These are the top stories:
‘It is a very dire situation’: At least 600 nursing, retirement homes in Canada have coronavirus cases
Canada’s coronavirus epidemic has caused more devastation in seniors’ homes than anywhere else in the country, with at least 75 known COVID-19 deaths among residents of such facilities, according to a tally done by The Globe and Mail after contacting provincial and local health authorities.
Canada is spending millions on faster testing tech for COVID-19. How could it affect the backlog?
This week, the federal government signed deals with Spartan Bioscience Inc., a small Ottawa-based company that produces a hand-held DNA analyzer that can provide COVID-19 test results in about 30 minutes. That’s something urgently needed as public health agencies and hospital labs are still doing most of the heavy lifting.
Canada’s food supply at risk as pandemic tightens borders to farm workers
Spring is here, which is when a lot of work is done to prepare for the season ahead. Canada admits about 60,000 seasonal agricultural and other temporary foreign workers each year to work on fruit, vegetable and other farms – a program farmers say is critical to reliable food production. Without labour soon, yields could fall, affecting Canada’s food supply.
Other developments in Canadian news:
- Trudeau to recall Parliament for a ‘Team Canada effort’ on emergency relief
- Since March 13, 158 flights have come into Canada with a confirmed case of COVID-19 on board
- Costly flights, food shortages: Canadians stranded in India tell their stories
- Get the latest coronavirus updates in our rolling news file
On Thursday, join Joel Plaskett and The Globe and Mail for an exclusive Facebook Live performance from his studio in Dartmouth, N.S. The show begins at 8 p.m. ET, and will be hosted by Globe writer Jana G. Pruden, with songs and questions from the audience
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In business news
U.S. shale giant’s bankruptcy a warning to Canada’s oil patch
It is unlikely the insolvency will set off a domino effect into the closely integrated Canadian sector, but it has put the northern patch on notice to tighten operations and finances as much as possible, analysts say. Canadian producers have some advantages that could protect them from the same fate.
- Tenants wanted April rent relief due to COVID-19 financial pressures. Some got it, others didn’t
- Bank of Canada begins plan to buy billions in government bonds, with more measures to come
- Banks, credit unions will start offering government-backed loans to small businesses next week
On a lighter note
Sign-language interpreter takes on Premier Ford’s ‘angry dad’ approach as he pushes for accessibility: Christopher Desloges, an American sign language interpreter, has become a fixture at Mr. Ford’s news conferences, where he translates the Premier’s message live on television for tens of thousands of deaf people in Ontario and across Canada.
Cocktail hours and dinner parties didn’t stop, they’re just online: Maybe you’ve tried it when you were younger, or when a friend moved away. Online gatherings are a good way to reconnect and enjoy a night in with your friends and loved ones. Also provided: some tech recommendations for your virtual gatherings.
Movie theatres are shutting down, but drive-ins are ramping up: Drive-in theatres, where moviegoers can self-isolate in the comfort of their own vehicles, might have a booming season ahead of them. Who knew it would take a virus to breathe new life into a dying medium?
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ontario high school teachers to resume bargaining for first time since December: A spokeswoman for Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the negotiations will be conducted via teleconference.
Climate summit in Glasgow postponed to 2021 because of coronavirus pandemic: The summit had been meant to galvanize a renewed international commitment to an accord brokered in Paris in 2015 aimed at stabilizing the Earth’s climate.
Trump says Canadians on two stranded cruise ships will be heading home: The U.S. Coast Guard has directed all cruise ships to remain at sea where they may be sequestered “indefinitely” during the coronavirus pandemic.
World stocks drifted on Thursday on concerns of the rising death toll from the new coronavirus and deepening economic pain, with another record week of jobless claims expected in the United States.
In Japan, the Nikkei index ended down 1.37 per cent to 17,818.72, taking its losses to 25 per cent so far this year. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.8 per cent to end at 23,280.06.
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.8 per cent to 5,498.95 and Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.2 per cent to 9,568.67. The CAC 40 in France advanced 0.5 per cent to 4,225.89.
On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 2.1 per cent.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Why would we trust China’s official COVID-19 numbers?
Konrad Yakabuski: “There is little doubt that the lockdowns imposed in late January in Wuhan and Hubei province helped stem the spread of the coronavirus. But official data on the overall number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in China must be interpreted with a healthy dose of skepticism.”
The dangerous legacy of COVID-19: A rise in antimicrobial resistance
Andrew Morris and Gerry Wright: “We can safely predict that this will lead to a rise in antimicrobial resistance, which will affect all aspects of health care long after COVID-19 has left us.” Morris is an Infectious Diseases Physician at Sinai Health, University Health Network and the U of T. Wright is the Scientific Director of the M.G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and the D. Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery at McMaster University.
No more incremental measures. We need to enact tomorrow’s policies today
Robyn Urback: The rules across provinces should be standardized. Otherwise, it’s impossible for the average person to keep track of the ever-changing rules, which is of particular importance to those who live along provincial borders.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Is the COVID-19 pandemic keeping you up at night?
Prioritizing sleep is important in tough times. A good night’s rest builds your immune system and regulates your mood, two things that are going to be important while self isolating at home. The Globe’s Wency Leung has compiled a list of advice from experts to answer some of the hard questions. What can you do when your thoughts keep you awake? What should you do if you cannot fall back asleep? How do you ensure your children are getting the rest they need?
MOMENT IN TIME
Elvis performs in Toronto
April 2, 1957: “Strikingly devoid of talent” was how Toronto Star music critic Hugh Thomson described Elvis Presley’s first appearance in Canada, while also conceding that he himself was neither a girl nor an adolescent – the then-22-year-old’s singer’s target audience. Still, a total of 23,000 fans – mostly female from 4 to 64 – crammed into Maple Leaf Gardens that day and sat through a half-dozen opening acts, including a tap dancer, banjo player and an Irish tenor, to witness the “King of Rock and Roll.” As pictured above, he belted out two 40-minute sets, with the second attendance of 15,000 representing the largest concert Presley had performed to date. The Toronto gigs were two of just five concerts – alongside a pair in Ottawa the next day and another in Vancouver – that Presley performed outside the United States during his career. At the end of his second performance, fans shrieked for an encore. But it was too late, as he was already on his way to the nation’s capital. It was left to his promoter to take to the stage instead and inform a disappointed crowd that “Elvis has left the building.” - Paul Attfield