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Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. The Trudeau government said the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would be a lifeline to struggling employers in the pandemic. But, it turns out many of the businesses that received it weren’t struggling, data show
  2. Experts in national security, public health and medicine told a parliamentary committee many of the problems with Canada’s pandemic response were avoidable
  3. University of British Columbia, University of Alberta and McGill University decide against vaccination passports

There have been 1,286,669 cases of COVID-19 reported in Canada. 24,626 people have died and another 1,181,257 have recovered. There are currently 3,659 patients in hospitals due to COVID-19, 1,376 of whom are in the ICU.

Canada’s inoculation rate is 15th among 84 countries with a population of one million or more people.

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.

Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and chartsTracking vaccine dosesLockdown rules and reopeningVaccine distribution planFour vaccines approved in CanadaEssential resources

Photo of the day

Graduate students sit physically distanced at a University of Missouri commencement ceremony in Columbia, Mo., on May 7. Anthony Fauci said today that he was open to relaxing indoor masking rules as more Americans get vaccinated against the virus, just two days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention belatedly emphasized the danger of airborne transmission.JACOB MOSCOVITCH/The New York Times News Service

Coronavirus in Canada

The Globe and Mail compiled a database showing that 389 publicly traded companies (or their wholly owned subsidiaries) received more than $3.6-billion in Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy payments as of late January.

  • Some of the biggest names in Corporate Canada were the recipients of the CEWS, including Air Canada, BCE Inc., Canadian National Railway Co., Onex Corp., Power Corp., SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and Suncor Energy.
  • Citing privacy restrictions protecting tax filers, Ottawa has refused to release a full accounting of subsidies paid. Despite that very limited disclosure, this Globe database is the most comprehensive picture of how large companies have accessed the program.

Pandemic response: Poor intelligence gathering, faulty risk assessments, and a Public Health Agency of Canada that lacked enough scientific expertise all helped make the pandemic worse in the country, a committee heard.

Vaccine efficacy: Canada’s top doctor, Theresa Tam, reminded Canadians that even those who are fully vaccinated remain susceptible to COVID-19.

Coronavirus around the world

Coronavirus and business

The CEWS, the costliest, most expansive federal assistance program in Canadian history, is shrouded in secrecy more than a year after its rollout.

  • The extraordinary lack of transparency around the subsidy has stymied experts, stifled media efforts to hold the government and receiving companies accountable, and kept shareholders and economists in the dark about the program’s efficacy.

Also today: In what appears to be a new trend, businesses in Canada are giving discounts and giveaways for customers who show proof they’ve received their first dose.

Globe opinion

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Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.

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