Good evening, here are the COVID-19 updates you need to know tonight.
- The federal government has agreed to slightly broaden its COVID wage and rent subsidy with new legislation
- Tens of thousands of parents have already rushed to book pediatric vaccine appointments in provinces across Canada
- Italy announced new restrictions and vaccine mandates as Europe grapples with a new wave of infections
In the past seven days, 18,130 cases were reported, up 8 per cent from the previous seven days. There were 149 deaths announced, down 19 per cent over the same period. At least 1,607 people are being treated in hospitals.
Canada’s inoculation rate is 15th among 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.
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Coronavirus in Canada
- In Ontario, more than 93,000 appointments for kids aged five to 11 were booked through the provincial system today, and even more through individual public-health units. The bulk of the vaccinations will start Thursday. The province is reporting 591 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths from the virus on Wednesday.
- Alberta opened its booking system this morning for children aged five to 11, with the immunizations starting Friday.
- The first shots for kids were administered today in Saskatchewan.
- Manitoba could begin administering vaccines for children aged five to 11 as early as tomorrow.
- British Columbia announced details of a paid sick leave program for workers today. The province is poised to begin administering vaccines for kids starting Monday.
- Quebec began vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 today. In a press conference on Tuesday, Premier François Legault urged anxious parents to get their kids vaccinated so they could safely hug their grandparents at Christmas. The province is reporting 882 new cases of COVID-19 today and one more death attributed to the novel coronavirus.
- COVID-19 vaccinations for children in Yukon between the ages of five and 11 will start in early December.
In Ottawa, the Liberal government introduced new legislation today aimed at revising and extending federal wage and rent supports for businesses that have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- With Bill C-2, the federal government has added clear references to Canada’s cultural sector and other industries. A large number of business categories will qualify under the more generous Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, provided they meet the criteria of having revenue losses of at least 40 per cent. The program offers a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent.
- The Liberals have estimated that creating new, targeted benefits through to May 7 would cost roughly $7.4-billion. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Tuesday his party couldn’t support a bill that would cut help for workers, adding that he wants the government to reverse drops in income-tested benefits for low-income seniors and families who received aid last year.
Pandemic funding: Quebec’s Auditor-General says the Legault government provided emergency pandemic financial aid to several businesses that did not strictly qualify to receive help, including some that were already on shaky financial ground before the health crisis.
Vaccines for kids: The first pediatric vaccines in Canada were given out yesterday in Toronto, to 10 young people from the Hospital for Sick Children.
Coronavirus around the world
- Russia announced progress in its Sputnik suite of COVID-19 vaccines today, with a new version aimed at children and a nasal spray that President Vladimir Putin said he had taken as a booster.
- According to a survey released today, business morale in Germany is deteriorating amid supply bottlenecks in manufacturing and a surge in infections. Chancellor-elect Olaf Scholz announced plans Wednesday to create an expert team to provide daily scientific advice on tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
- Italy announced new restrictions and vaccine mandates today. As of Dec. 6, unvaccinated people will not be able to enter venues such as cinemas, restaurants and sports events.
- Today, Portugal reported its highest number of new daily COVID-19 infections since July. The government is expected to announce new restrictions tomorrow.
Coronavirus and business
Along the same lines as “the Great Resignation,” 30 per cent of traditionally employed professionals plan to transition to self-employment over the next two years, according to the Canadian Self-Employment Report.
- Due to mass layoffs and job insecurity during this uncertain time, “people realized that the jobs that they were in were not safe,” says Karla Briones, a business coach who specializes in working with under-represented entrepreneurs.
Also today: When it comes to vaccine mandates, how do unionized workers differ from non-unionized?
- Tuesday’s Throne Speech laid out the Liberal government’s priorities for the coming session of Parliament, including defeating the coronavirus
- COVID-19 casts a long shadow at first major auto show since 2020
- Everything you need to know about Canada’s travel restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people
- Waiting for a second dose? We answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions
- What is and isn’t ‘paid sick leave’ in Canada? A short primer
- Got a vaccine ‘hangover’? Here’s why
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.