Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Ontario will receive $760-million from feds as part of $2-billion school plan
- CanSino blames Chinese officials for abandonment of joint vaccine program with Canada
- ‘Very big news': Moderna says vaccine shows positive results in older adults
In Canada, there have been at least 126,417 cases reported. In the last week 2,926 new cases were announced, 10% more than the previous week. There have also been at least 112,455 recoveries and 9,094 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 5,600,500 tests.
Worldwide, there have been at least 23,889,150 cases confirmed and 819,414 deaths reported.
Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.
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In a new report, the Parliamentary Budget Officer says a one-time pandemic-related payment to people with disabilities will cost the federal treasury $792-million.
- Most of those funds will go to about 1.67 million people in payments of up to $600 this fall.
- The government said the one-time payment was aimed at offsetting extra costs linked to the pandemic.
The total cost should hit federal books this year, but the budget office warns there may be potential fiscal impacts in subsequent years.
The first legislative push to provide the special payments failed in June when the minority Liberal government couldn’t gain opposition support for a wider spending bill.
Coronavirus in Canada
- Health authorities in Quebec are reviewing 40 positive test results after they say some samples were contaminated.
- Ontario will receive a maximum of $763-million from Ottawa to safely reopen schools. Premier Doug Ford announced new guidance to parents and educators to help prevent and manage COVID-19 outbreaks in schools.
- In British Columbia, the provincial government will ask seniors in long-term care and their families to take a survey to chronicle their experiences during the pandemic.
In Toronto, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $2-billion in funding for schools ahead of the new school year.
- Money from the Safe Return to Class Fund can be used for new spaces, air ventilation, PPE and cleaning supplies. With children set to return to the classroom as early as this week, it’s unclear how and how quickly the money can be put in place.
- The money will be allocated based on the number of children aged four to 18 years old, with $2-million in base funding for each jurisdiction.
- The federal government is also spending an additional $112-million for schools in First Nations.
The $2-billion fund is in addition to the previously-announced $19-billion fund for provinces for economic recovery plans.
COVID-19 vaccines: Moderna Inc., the biotech company which has a deal with the federal government to provide its candidate vaccine to Canadians, has unveiled new data showing its vaccine has positive results among older adults.
Coronavirus around the world
- Russia’s Deputy Prime told President Vladimir Putin that early-stage clinical trials of a second vaccine would be completed by the end of September.
- CanSino Biologics Inc., one of China’s leading vaccine developers, is blaming domestic bureaucratic indecision for the delays in shipping supplies to Canada for a joint testing program that has now been abandoned.
Coronavirus and business
The Royal Bank of Canada reported a profit of $3.2-billion, down only 2 per cent from a year ago.
- RBC’s provisions for credit losses were $675-million, up 59 per cent from a year ago, and historically high, but down significantly from the $2.83-billion set aside in the previous quarter.
- As of July 31, about 278,400 RBC clients still had payments deferred on 344,541 loans worth $62.8-billion, down from nearly 580,000 loans totalling $78.3-billion last quarter
National Bank reported a profit of $602-million in its third-quarter earnings, down just 1 per cent from a year ago, even as it added new provisions for credit losses of $143-million.
- The bank’s loss provisions are up 66 per cent from a year ago, but have declined sharply from the $504-million it set aside in the second quarter.
- As of July 31, National Bank had deferred loans to personal banking clients – including mortgages and credit card debt – worth $4-billion, and commercial and corporate loans of $4.5-billion.
- Though the commercial balance was unchanged from the prior quarter, the balance of personal loans with deferred payments declined from $9.4-billion.
Yesterday, Bank of Montreal posted a better-than-expected third-quarter profit of $1.23-billion, and Scotiabank reported third-quarter profit of $1.3-billion. BMO set aside $1-billion for potential loan losses, while Scotiabank put $2.2-billion aside for possible loan losses.
Also today: Canada’s central bank is examining its monetary policy framework ahead of its renewal and is looking at whether to maintain its current goal of targeting an annual inflation rate or adopt a different target.
- Editorial: “There is no province in Canada that has done a perfect job of limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But there is one province that stands out as having done the least perfect job of all, and that is Quebec.”
- Lea Matheson: “Canada has been a leader in establishing international standards on migration, but our country’s treatment of migrant workers runs counter to its international commitments and threatens to damage its global reputation.”
- Airbnb told its employees they can opt to work remotely until August 2021.
- The World Economic Forum delays it 2021 annual meeting to early summer
📚 For the book word: Margaret Atwood announced Thomas King as her pick for the Globe’s September book club.
- Margaret Atwood plans to discuss an overview of King’s career, rather than focus on a specific book.
- Participants are encouraged to read three books: the novel Indians on Vacation, which is being published this month; his Taylor Prize-winning The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America; and Obsidian, the latest in his Thumps DreadfulWater mystery series.
📚 Join The Globe September 23, for a livestream conversation.
- Rob Carrick’s 10-point checklist of things you should have done by now to protect or improve your money situation. Tips for minimizing damage to your credit score; how to manage retirement anxiety during difficult times; and things to think about if you’re considering home delivery.
- Here are the expectations for self-isolation; tips for managing anxiety and protecting your mental health; and what to do if you think you have the virus. Wash your hands. How to break a bad habit (like touching your face). Is flying safe?
- The best foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home; four eating tips when working from home; and five mistakes that might cause you to gain unwanted weight. Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples and how to stop stress-eating. What to cook with rhubarb (aside from pie).
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; how the CRA might identify CERB fraud; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered. What to do if your employees don’t return to work because they want to collect CERB.