Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto attends a news conference in Toronto on Jan. 27, 2020.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Health officials in Toronto and Montreal struck vastly different tones on the state of COVID-19 in their cities on Wednesday, with Toronto’s medical officer of health warning the Ontario capital could be following in the footsteps of hard-hit Europe.

Dr. Eileen de Villa said she was concerned with a one-day, 21-person rise in hospitalizations and a test positivity rate that climbed from 3.1 per cent to 4.4 per cent since Monday.

“I’m concerned that this upward climb is not over, especially when I look at COVID-19′s renewed eruption in other countries,” she said.

Story continues below advertisement

She noted that rising cases have prompted new lockdowns in several European countries, including Ireland and parts of the United Kingdom.

“There is nothing to prevent COVID-19 from catching fire here except the choices we make,” she said.

In contrast, officials in Montreal said the situation in the city was “progressing in the right direction” following a stabilization of cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks.

“Montreal is still in the red zone and all our indicators are still in the red zone, but we are not seeing this important rise, we’re seeing a plateau that has been there for the last two weeks,” said Mylene Drouin, the city’s regional director of public health.

Montreal is the epicentre of the virus in Canada, with almost 40,000 cases.

Drouin credited Montrealers' efforts in following strict public health measures implemented at the beginning of October, which included closing bars, restaurant dining rooms and gyms and limiting indoor private gatherings to people who live together.

However, Drouin noted the city is still battling some 200 outbreaks as well as a test positivity rate above five per cent, and urged Montrealers not to relax their guard.

Story continues below advertisement

Quebec once again surpassed the bar of 1,000 new cases per day on Wednesday, as well as recording 19 new deaths. Ontario reported 790 cases.

In Manitoba, Premier Brian Pallister announced the province was hiking the fines for individuals and businesses who disregard public health orders aimed at stopping transmission of the virus.

The province reported 135 cases on Wednesday, with most located in Winnipeg.

Alberta reported its highest daily case tally on Wednesday with 406 new cases, just as it was announced that Premier Jason Kenney was isolating at home as a precaution while being tested.

Other politicians were also isolating after the province’s municipal affairs minister tested positive.

Both Drouin and Ontario Premier Doug Ford expressed concerns over the impact the second wave of the pandemic is having on mental health, particularly for children and young adults.

Story continues below advertisement

Drouin told reporters in Montreal that more than 45 per cent of young adults reported mental health impacts due to the pandemic, which is higher than in other age groups. Young adults were also more likely to report having lost their jobs or having trouble paying bills, she said.

Ford announced his government was allocating over $24 million of his government’s $176 million mental health commitment for specialized mental health services for children and youth, including money to increase access to counselling, support for programs aimed at youth, and eating disorder intervention.

There was good news on the testing front as procurement Minister Anita Anand said Canada has received a first shipment of 100,000 rapid tests for COVID-19.

Anand confirmed the delivery of the ID Now kit, which can provide results in as little as 13 minutes on the spot where the patient is tested.

She said on Twitter that the country is on track to receive more than 2.5 million of the tests by the end of the year, and that delivery of a second rapid test, the Abbott Panbio, should begin to arrive shortly.

The news on testing was overshadowed by a confidence vote in the House of Commons that had threatened to trigger an election and upend the government’s pandemic recovery plans.

Story continues below advertisement

In the end, the minority Liberals survived the vote as a majority of MPs voted against a Conservative motion to create a special anticorruption committee to investigate the WE Charity affair and concerns over pandemic-related spending.

The NDP and Green Party both prevented the government’s fall by voting against the motion, with leaders of both parties expressing their opposition to plunging the country into an election when it needs to focus instead on helping Canadians recover from the pandemic.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says combating fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious challenge for public health. Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both say the amount of disinformation hitting Canadians about the pandemic is troubling. The Canadian Press

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies