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

Top headlines:

  1. Here’s what you should know about Wednesday’s Throne Speech, during which the Liberals will lay out new plans to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and repair the economic damage done
  2. Cases are spiking, but is COVID-19 becoming less deadly in Canada? It’s complicated
  3. Scotiabank CEO Brian Porter calls on Ottawa to take measures to provide childcare amid pandemic

In Canada, there have been at least 143,649 cases reported. In the last week 6,394 new cases were announced, 33% more than the previous week. Health officials have administered more than 7,119,876 tests.

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There have also been at least 9,217 deaths. Six deaths were reported both today and yesterday.

The Globe and Mail

Worldwide, there have been at least 30,777,606 cases confirmed and 956,976 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.

Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening plans in each provinceGlobal rules on mask-wearingBack to school

Photo of the day

An employee dressed in full protective gear disinfects a cinema after a show in La Paz, Bolivia on Sept. 20. Cinemas, parks and restaurants reopened on Saturday for the first time since the new coronavirus pandemic forced their closure. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Juan Karita/The Associated Press

Coronavirus in Canada

  • Ontario reported 365 new cases of COVID-19 today, along with one new death linked to the novel coronavirus. The daily tally is lower than totals posted in the previous two days, but still among the highest numbers seen since early June. Premier Doug Ford announced yesterday that Ontario is restricting social gatherings and parties across the province.
  • Quebec announced it will impose tighter restrictions on public and private indoor gatherings in Montreal and Quebec City, among other parts of the province, amid a recent spike of cases. Quebec reported 462 new cases of COVID-19 today, hitting a months-long high for the second day in a row.
  • Election administrators in Saskatchewan are preparing for a vote that will happen by Oct. 26.

National updates

When Ontario released its daily COVID-19 figures on Friday, the topline number landed like a punch to the gut. Ontario’s seven-day average of new infections per day – a measure that smooths out daily blips and makes trends easier to see – had nearly doubled by Friday from two weeks earlier. Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia have been reporting case spikes, too.

Lost in all of the worry about growing case counts was another number in Ontario’s Friday report: zero. The province of 14 million reported no new COVID-19 deaths, the 12th day of zero deaths since the beginning of August.

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Is COVID-19 becoming less deadly in Canada? It’s complicated.

Economic recovery: The Trudeau government says its Throne Speech will chart a new course through the pandemic, but without the Opposition’s help, it will be headed for a political reckoning instead.

Childcare: The chief executive officer of one of Canada’s largest banks is urging the federal government to “significantly” enhance its supports for parents with children in daycare to allow more women to thrive in the work force.

Housing: The national housing strategy will need new tools to move more quickly from ideas to finished projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the head of the federal housing agency.

Coronavirus around the world

  • Cases in Britain are rising in what Prime Minister Boris Johnson has labelled a second wave of the virus, with large areas of the country subject to restrictions on social freedom and London expected to be next in line. More than 40,000 people in Britain have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in March, the highest number in Europe.
  • France reported 13,498 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the previous 24 hours on Saturday, setting another record in new daily infections since the start of the epidemic.
  • Global oil refiners reeling from months of lacklustre demand and an abundance of inventories are cutting fuel production into the autumn, according to industry executives. Refiners cut output by as much as 35 per cent in spring as coronavirus lockdowns destroyed the need for travel. The hit to capacity has been most notable in China.

Coronavirus and business

Canadians are shaking up their spending patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a two-track recovery for consumption: Sales of goods are thriving, while services are slumping.

  • During the second quarter, when the country was largely under lockdown, household spending declined 13.1 per cent in inflation-adjusted terms, according to Statistics Canada. The services sector dropped by twice as much (16.7 per cent) as the goods sector (8.4 per cent).
  • More recently, however, goods are riding high. Retailers sold $53-billion of merchandise in July – the highest month on record. As stores reopened this summer, pent-up demand led to an onslaught of sales and shortages of everything from kayaks to patio furniture.
  • On the services side, however, progress appears to be slower. Recent data point to continuing weakness in industries under tight restrictions, such as travel and entertainment, along with those where close interaction is unavoidable, such as restaurants and barber shops.

The services sector “is going to be the most affected” as cases increase again, National Bank of Canada economist Jocelyn Paquet said.

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Commentary: “According to institutional investors who are in the audience when executives step on to virtual stages, this September’s road shows reveal a growing gap in leadership across corporate Canada.”

Globe opinion

  • Brian Porter: “The Prime Minister has promised an ambitious plan to set Canada on a path to recovery from the staggering economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key components of such a plan must be to enable more women to enter the work force and build a meaningful career.”
  • Vincent Lam: “Rather than waiting to see whether a reactive scramble to “lockdown” affects each of our communities. … Let’s decide to plan and schedule the next broad lockdown to our best advantage.”
  • Kevin Lynch: “While there will be promises of expensive ornaments on the tree, the litmus test for business owners and workers is whether [Justin Trudeau’s Throne Speech] puts forward a credible and ambitious post-pandemic economic recovery plan.”
  • Kim Pate: ”The Liberals' Throne Speech on Sept. 23 will be an opportunity to set out policies and programs to carry us forward in ways that are more inclusive and equitable. What might such a Canada look like?”

More reporting

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