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COVID-19

Ottawa says coronavirus disability grant will be paid Friday after months-long delay

A long-delayed, one-time payment to Canadians with disabilities to help them financially during the coronavirus pandemic will finally be delivered starting Friday.The federal government says the tax-free payment up to $600 will arrive that day for Canadians who were deemed eligible by the end of September. Payments to other recipients may arrive in January or spring of 2021 if they are confirmed by the end of November and February, respectively.Roughly 1.6 million Canadians are anticipated to receive the payment, which the parliamentary budget office says will cost the federal treasury $792 million. The payment is intended to help offset additional costs during the pandemic, including grocery deliveries, medications and personal protective equipment.The first legislative push to provide th...

Logan’s Pub, Victoria live music mainstay, shuts for good amid COVID-19

A popular Victoria, B.C. gathering place and live music venue is closing its doors for good due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Logan’s Pub announced this week that it is shutting down permanently after more than two decades in business.Logan’s closed in March for what it described as an “intermission,” but has yet to reopen.The owners said they had explored the possibility of reopening without live music. [ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ] But they said the cost of health regulations, the inability to open a street patio and a recent public health order banning liquor sales after 10 p.m. meant it wouldn’t be financially viable. Trending Stories Story continues below advertisement 1:59 B.C. pubs closing after health order cuts off liquor sales early B.C. p...

Video shows ‘aggressive verbal argument’ over masks on SkyTrain

Metro Vancouver Transit Police are urging the public not to take it upon themselves to enforce TransLink’s mandatory mask policy.It comes after another video surfaced on social media of a transit confrontation over masking up, this time on SkyTrain.In the video, two men can be seen standing toe to toe, screaming profanities at one another. After the two separate, one of the men can be heard yelling COVID-19 conspiracy theories to other passengers on the train.“It appears an argument between two men over either wearing or not wearing a mask,” said transit police Sgt. Clint Hampton.“It was a pretty aggressive verbal argument, and fortunately, at least from what we’ve seen, there wasn’t any kind of physical assault … but it could have turned into something so much more.” Story continues below...

St. Boniface Hospital intensive care unit officially over capacity

St. Boniface Hospital’s intensive care unit is officially over capacity.The Intensive Care Medicine Surgery (ICMS) unit, where the hospital says it cares for its most critical patients, has all 14 beds occupied.A memo posted to the hospital’s website says they have had to admit a patient to the Intensive Care Cardiac Surgery (ICCS) unit as a result.The ICCS unit is also unable to take any new patients as staff have been furloughed due to exposure from a patient.The hospital says more than half the patients needing critical care are positive for COVID-19. Story continues below advertisement “We know that patients being treated for COVID-19 remain in intensive care for longer periods of time than other critical care patients,” the memo says.“This puts additional pressure on our capacity. Due...

Canada posts 2nd-highest total of new coronavirus cases as U.S., world smash records

Canada reported another 2,951 new cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday, nearly hitting the daily record set just days ago.It’s the second-highest number of daily confirmed infections since the beginning of the pandemic, behind the 3,004 reported on Sunday.The new cases account for just over three per cent of the 92,328 tests completed over the past day, according to provincial health data.Canada has now seen a total of 228,301 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date, of which 191,208 have recovered from the disease. Over 11.5 million tests have been completed. Story continues below advertisement Forty-two new deaths were also reported Thursday, bringing the national death toll to 10,074. Over a third of those deaths were historical and did not occur over the past 24 hours.Out of the 17,043 ...

France, Germany face new round of coronavirus lockdowns as cases surge

A new wave of lockdowns and business closings swept across France, Germany and other places in Europe on Wednesday as surging coronavirus infections there and in the U.S. wipe out months of progress against the scourge on two continents.The resurgence and the resulting clampdown sent a shudder through Wall Street. The S&P 500 fell 3.5 per cent, its biggest drop since June, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 943 points, or 3.4 per cent.French President Emmanuel Macron declared a new nationwide lockdown starting Friday, saying the country has been “overpowered by a second wave.” Many doctors had urged the move, given that 58 per cent of the nation’s intensive care units are now taken up by COVID-19 patients. Story continues below advertisement In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel...

720 Disney World performers laid off due to coronavirus

With many of its live entertainment shows gone dark because of the coronavirus, Walt Disney World on Wednesday laid off 720 actors and singers, according Actors’ Equity Association, the labour union representing the performers.Only 60 Equity performers are working or returning to work at the Orlando, Florida-based theme park resort, the union said in a statement.The performer layoffs were part of The Walt Disney Co.’s plans to eliminate 28,000 jobs in its parks division in California and Florida because of restrictions and costs from the pandemic. Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers.“Our hearts go out to all the cast members at Walt Disney World,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association. “Disney has made it clear that our members would face work r...

College Louis-Riel temporarily sending students home after several COVID-19 cases

A Winnipeg school is transitioning to remote learning and closing its doors for two weeks after a rise in COVID-19 cases.The DSFM (Division scolaire franco-manitobaine) is asking students at College Louis-Riel to stay home until Monday, Nov. 9, when classes are scheduled to resume.“There are four cases presently at College Louis-Riel,” DSFM superintendent Alain Laberge told Global News.“Our school board made the decision to send all students home to err on the side of caution.”“We understand this is an unexpected inconvenience, but know that this decision is made in the best interests of students, school staff and community health,” Laberge added in a letter to parents. Story continues below advertisement New rules introduced at schools in the Winnipeg Metro region and Northern region on M...

Liberals continue filibuster at Commons finance committee over WE Charity affair

The House of Commons finance committee — which could be holding consultations on an upcoming federal budget that is expected to contain historic deficits and unprecedented spending to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic — continues to be stuck on the WE Charity affair.Liberal members of the committee have resumed their filibuster of a Conservative motion that calls on the Speaker of the Commons to rule that redactions made to more than 5,000 pages of government documents on the WE affair amount to a breach of the committee’s privileges.The committee had ordered that the documents be released, without any redactions, to the parliamentary law clerk, who would then decide what information needed to be blacked out to protect personal privacy or cabinet confidences. Story continues below advertisem...

B.C. is cracking down on social gatherings. How will the rules be enforced?

Surrey RCMP say they are prepared to deal with changes to public health orders, after B.C.’s top doctor announced the province is cracking down on the number of people allowed at social gatherings.Following the highest-number of COVID-19 cases recorded yet in a single day, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday that she was limiting gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household plus your “safe six.” 1:33 Keith Baldrey on new restrictions on private gatherings Keith Baldrey on new restrictions on private gatherings That refers to the six additional people in your household’s bubble, not six additional people per person living in your house. Story continues below advertisement Surrey RCMP said they expect to be busy, especially with Halloween just ...

City of Regina steps up mandatory mask enforcement on buses

The City of Regina says it’s taking steps to ensure mandatory mask use on buses.Since Aug. 31, mask use has been mandatory and Regina Transit has been handing out the personal protective equipment (PPE) at some locations.“The bus drivers are being asked, as part of their function, to remind (riders) to please put a mask on and it is an exceptional circumstance where people don’t have masks on,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said on Tuesday.Last week, Regina Transit increased distribution to 10 locations during peak ridership times. The city said it’s handed out just over 5,700 masks.Starting Wednesday, Oct. 28, buses will be randomly checked for compliance and passengers not wearing a mask — except those who are medically exempt and children under five years of age — will be asked to leave....

Toronto council turns to Ontario government to reduce delivery app commissions

A motion before Toronto city council is requesting the Ontario government use its legislative might to reduce the commissions restaurants are paying to third-party delivery apps.Lawrence La Pienta, like many other restaurant owners and operators, said he has relied heavily on app-based services like Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes during the coronavirus pandemic. The owner of Elm St. Italian Deli and Cherry St. Bar-B-Que said it connected the business with customers after finding themselves suddenly cut off.But La Pienta said it was never meant to be a long-term substitution for lost walk-ins, noting the commissions some of the apps take on each order are becoming harder to absorb.“You have had what you think is a fairly good week and you realize that, in some cases, 30 per cent of that is b...

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