Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Ottawa extends CEWS until fall
- Ontario premier asks commercial landlords to be flexible
- Canada’s N95 mask order dropped by 18.9 million units in first week of May
In Canada, 74,532 cases have been reported, more than double the number from 25 days ago. There have also been 36,763 recoveries and 5,553 deaths. Health officials have administered 1,293,384 tests.
Worldwide, 4,500,157 cases have been confirmed; with 1,619,019 recoveries and 304,798 deaths.
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: Updates and essential resources • Coronavirus in maps and charts • Lockdown rules and reopening plans in each province
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In all, 2.2 million people in Ontario - or about a third of workers - were affected by the shutdown, the province’s fiscal watchdog said Friday. An estimated 1.1 million workers in the province have lost their jobs, and another 1.1 million have seen their hours sharply reduced.
Coronavirus in Canada
There are currently at least 2,956 hospitalized cases, a 3 per cent drop from a week ago. Of those, 402 are in intensive care.
- The premier of Ontario said landlords should be flexible with commercial tenants. Toronto cancelled all summer camps, affecting some 68,000 young people.
- In Quebec, four Canadian Forces members working in long-term care homes have tested positive for COVID-19. Another military member tested positive in Ontario. Quebec will provide one million masks to Montreal to distribute to hot zones.
- In British Columbia, parents will have the option to return their kids to the classroom part-time starting in June, with the goal to fully return in September. “It’s our genuine desire to make sure no one feels pressured to do this,” the premier said.
- Every senior in Manitoba will receive a $200 relief cheque, plus a signed letter from the premier.
- The third phase of PEI’s reopening plan will launch early, on June 1, instead of June 12. The province has not reported a new case in 17 days.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases for the eighth consecutive day. Schools in the province will stay closed until September, the province confirmed today.
- Eight new cases were reported in Saskatchewan’s far north, including five cases in the community of La Loche.
- New Brunswick reported no new cases. Of the 120 cases in the province, 119 have recovered.
In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program will be extended until the end of August.
- The Finance Minister announced the extended eligibility for the program.
- The Prime Minister also announced $450-million in funding for research institutions. Like CEWS, the new program will cover up to 75 per cent of a worker’s wage.
Also today: Canada’s order of N95 respirator masks dropped by 18.9 million in the first week of May because of cancelled or amended contracts.
- On May 1, the government said it had orders for 154.4 million N95s. On May 8, that number was updated with no explanation to 135.6 million. The numbers are updated every Friday on the government’s website tracking its orders of PPE.
- In a statement, government official indicated “challenges experienced in the supply chain” were to blame for the drop in the order.
And: With riding lessons and horse shows out of commission, businesses in dire straits are rationing food and putting off medical care for their animals – or euthanizing them to cut their losses.
Coronavirus around the world
- In the United States, House Democrats pushed ahead with a far-reaching $3 trillion relief bill that would double the aid approved by Congress. Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump have promised to oppose the legislation. The FDA ordered a coronavirus testing program promoted by Bill Gates to stop its work, pending further review.
- In Aden, Yemen, hundreds have died, with symptoms of what health officials suspect to be coronavirus. The country’s weak health-care system has limited capacity to test possible cases as it continues to struggle after a five-year civil war. Only 700 ICU beds exist in the country of 30 million.
- Three countries – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – open their shared borders, creating the first “travel bubble” in the EU. None of the three sparsely populated countries reported more than a dozen new cases yesterday.
- The health minister of Brazil resigned today, less than a month into the job. The minister was tasked with creating a pandemic response that aligned with the president’s view that restrictions should not destroy the economy.
Coronavirus and business
Canadian home sales dropped 57 per cent in April, the weakest activity since 1984, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
- Last month, 16,612 homes were sold on a seasonally adjusted basis, down 57 per cent from 38,493 in March.
- In the GTA, new listings dropped by 56 per cent from March to April, and the average the average selling price in the GTA fell 11.8 per cent.
“The Canadian real estate market was effectively closed for business in April,” a senior official at BMO said in a research note.
And: In an unemployment crisis unlike any since the 1930s, a guaranteed living is a tempting idea – if we can figure out how to make it effective and affordable in the long run. John Ibbitson and Dave Parkinson look at some of Canada’s options.
Question and answer
On May 13, the Munk Dialogues hosted technology reporter Kara Swisher for a live Q&A on the role of ‘Big Tech’ and Silicon Valley in our society after COVID-19. Read the full recap of the livestream here.
Rudyard Griffiths: You have come up with an important thesis about how this pandemic has affected Big Tech and Big Tech’s impact on our society as a result of the pandemic. Can you unpack that for us?
Kara Swisher: I have written for a long time about the growing impact of technology on every aspect of our world, whether it’s education, health care, commerce, communications, media, whatever.
Tech has created the biggest and most important companies in the world. The people that run these companies are the richest people in human history and the most powerful and most unaccountable people in human history.
They have not just railways, like others did, or the steel mills, like [Andrew] Carnegie did. But in fact, they have data and information. They have never had so much data on so many human beings. It’s an incredibly powerful thing.
This pandemic, which is global, these companies, which are global, have created a situation where they are accelerating the trends they were already causing, such as the death of Main Street retail, this shift into monolithic companies. Google owns search, Facebook owns social media, Amazon owns commerce.
We’ve seen that we need them desperately in this pandemic situation in order to operate our society. It only further solidifies their strength. It further takes away the ability of regulators to control them. And it [reduces] the appetite to control them, which had been growing pre-pandemic.
An act of kindness
Sohail Mansoor is offering housing to health care workers on a pay-what-you-can basis
Mr. Mansoor has a basement suite in his home in Toronto. A few weeks ago, he went on Facebook and offered it to any health care worker on a pay-what-you-can basis.
His post was shared dozens of times, which led him to a website started by a group in Victoria called healthworkerhousing.ca, which offered similar housing. Mr. Mansoor got in touch with the organizers and within a couple of days he had launched Health Worker Housing in Toronto and helped it expand further. The all-volunteer group now operates in nine Canadian cities and it’s expanding into the United States.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to see it come together,” he said. “I’ve been in real estate for 16 years. It’s nice to be able to do it in a way that really makes a difference.”
Have you witnessed or performed acts of kindness in your neighbourhood? Share your stories, photos and videos and they might be included in The Globe and Mail. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
🧩For the brain teaser fan: Test your mental mettle with this brain-twisting assortment of word, logic and number puzzles by Fraser Simpson.
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More Globe reporting and opinion
- With the long weekend arriving, some may wonder: Don’t I have property rights?
- Tax and Spend: That $300 payment will go not just to seniors struggling to make ends meet but also to the highest-income Canadians eligible for OAS [For subscribers]
- André Picard: “As we pull out of lockdowns, our political and public-health messaging has to shift from promoting social chastity to urging people to reduce the risks of social interactions when they venture out.”
- Doug Saunders: “Germany’s success in getting that rate down, and its ability to monitor the spread, have been reassuring. But it’s not the country we all want to imitate.” [For subscribers]
- J.M. Opal and Steven M. Opal: “In this new world of emerging pathogens, the most frightening scenario is a docile return to national austerity and international hostility.”
- Navneet Alang: “The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just shown how we react as a society in extraordinary times; it’s also revealed the cracks of society through which the vulnerable and the independently employed fall.”
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered.
- How to minimize 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.
- How to get physical distancing right; measures condo buildings are taking to encourage physical distancing; and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
- Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples; foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home.
- How to break a bad habit (like touching your face) and what to do if you think you have the virus.
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