Feds meeting with provinces to strategize on scaling up domestic vaccine capacity: LeBlanc

OTTAWA — Amid claims the federal government has blocked provinces from buying their own COVID-19 vaccine supplies, Ottawa will soon reach out to strategize how they can work together to boost Canada’s domestic manufacturing capacity, says Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc. The meeting is set to happen in “the coming days,” and is being led by LeBlanc and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne. In an interview on CTV’s Question Period, LeBlanc — whose office would not confirm precisely when the call is set to happen — said the discussion will “look at how we can collaborate with provinces on building up our biomanufacturing capacity in Canada.” “We share that concern with all the provinces and want to

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Quebec surpasses 275,000 COVID-19 cases, as provinces adds 1,049 new

MONTREAL — Quebec reported Saturday that 1,049 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 275,880 since the start of the pandemic.  Of those, 255,146 are reported to have recovered from the disease, which is 1,145 more than on Friday.  The seven-day average for daily cases is now 986, and there are 10,533 active cases in the province, according to the Quebec Institute of Public Health. Quebec reported 33 new deaths with five occurring in the past 24 hours, 21 between Feb. 6 and Feb. 11, and seven before Feb. 6.  The province also removed five deaths from the overall total, as an investigation found they were not attributable

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Ontario records more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases, 19 more deaths

TORONTO — Ontario health officials are reporting more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths related to the disease. Health officials confirmed 1,300 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday. The province has now reported fewer than 1,500 new cases for eight straight days. On Thursday, the province reported 945 new cases and on Friday, it reported 1,076 new cases, but health officials noted those totals were underestimated due to a data issue in Toronto. With 58,760 tests completed, the Ontario Ministry of Health reported a positivity rate of 2.3 per cent on Saturday. The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 1,167, down from 1,479 one week ago. Of the 19 people

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‘This isn’t a wave, it’s a forest fire’: experts predict rise of COVID-19 variant cases

TORONTO — Infectious disease experts and COVID-19 modelers are sounding alarm bells of an approaching third wave expected to be driven by more contagious variants of the virus. But while we brace for Wave 3, some are wondering if we ever actually cleared Wave 2, especially in populous areas of the country where transmission has remained more steady. Experts say the definition of what constitutes a “wave” and pinpointing when it’s passed isn’t so clear. Some say we’re on the tail end of the second wave now, as evidenced by the downward trend of cases across the country, while others say ebbs and flows haven’t been uniform enough to determine when one wave ends and another begins. Caroline Colijn, a

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‘This isn’t a wave, it’s a forest fire’: experts predict rise of COVID-19 variant cases in Canada

TORONTO — Infectious disease experts and COVID-19 modelers are sounding alarm bells of an approaching third wave expected to be driven by more contagious variants of the virus. But while we brace for Wave 3, some are wondering if we ever actually cleared Wave 2, especially in populous areas of the country where transmission has remained more steady. Experts say the definition of what constitutes a “wave” and pinpointing when it’s passed isn’t so clear. Some say we’re on the tail end of the second wave now, as evidenced by the downward trend of cases across the country, while others say ebbs and flows haven’t been uniform enough to determine when one wave ends and another begins. Caroline Colijn, a

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N.L. confirms U.K. variant behind outbreak, raises alert level; in-person voting suspended for election

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer has confirmed the U.K. variant is behind the COVID-19 outbreak that has hit the province this week. Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says she is moving the entire province back to its highest alert level. She says it is presumed that all of the more than 200 COVID-19 cases identified this week in the greater St. John’s area are related to the more infectious variant of the virus first identified in the United Kingdom. Under the province’s Alert Level 5, gatherings of more than 5 people are prohibited and non-essential businesses are closed, as are restaurants, bars and cinemas. Fitzgerald would not comment on the impact of the announcement on the provincial

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Canada’s COVID-19 curve is bending, but with variants it’s not time to ease up: Tam

OTTAWA — The national COVID-19 curve is bending, but with more cases of novel coronavirus variants being detected across Canada, now is not the time to ease up on public health restrictions, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam is warning. “These past weeks have been very challenging, but we’ve made great progress and are now almost two-thirds of the way down this curve… But we’ll need to keep putting the brakes on the spread of new virus variants of concern in Canada,” Tam said during a briefing on the current COVID-19 situation on Friday morning. “We need to keep doing what we’ve been doing, but with even more diligence to counter these more contagious variants. This means keeping up

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Mandatory hotel quarantine measures for travellers to come into effect Feb. 22

EDMONTON — New quarantine measures forcing air travellers to foot the bill for a mandatory hotel quarantine after arriving in Canada will come into effect on Feb. 22, CTV News has learned. The federal government is set to unveil more details on the new quarantine rules for incoming travellers today. As of Feb. 22, air travellers arriving in Canada will be required to take a COVID-19 test at their own expense, and then pay for a 72-hour stay at a government-approved facility.​

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Ontario logs nearly 1,100 new COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths; Toronto data issue continues

TORONTO — Ontario is reporting nearly 1,100 new COVID-19 cases and 18 more deaths linked to the disease as officials note a data migration issue in Toronto yet again. On Friday, provincial health officials logged 1,076 infections of the novel coronavirus. Of the news cases logged, 361 are in Toronto, 210 are in Peel Region and 122 are in York Region. According to Health Minister Christine Elliot, the case count logged for Toronto on Friday is “under-reported” due to a further data migration. Officials have not said how many more cases should have been included in Ontario’s total count on Friday as a result. The same issue was reported on Thursday when Ontario recorded 945 new COVID-19 infections. Earlier this

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What space scientists hope to accomplish with this month’s missions to Mars

TORONTO — It’s been a long time since we believed there could be “little green men” on Mars – but the debate over life on the red planet could soon be reignited. At least, that’s the dream of the scientists behind the three Martian missions arriving at their destinations this month. The United Arab Emirates-developed Amal orbiter and China’s Tianwen-1 combination orbiter and rover have already arrived at the red planet, and NASA’s Perseverance rover is scheduled to land there Feb. 18. The confluence of these three missions is more about timing than teamwork – they were all launched last summer, to take advantage of the window when Earth and Mars are at their closest – but they’re all designed

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