COVID-19 in Canada: More than 10,000 deaths recorded across the country, PM warns of 'difficult' times ahead

Elisabetta Bianchini
·7-min read

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

Canada records more than 10,000 deaths

Canada reached more than 10,000 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

This comes as 28 deaths were confirmed in Canada by Tuesday afternoon, after Alberta reported two deaths in the last 24 hours.

The majority of COVID-19 deaths in Canada were people from Ontario and Quebec.

Prime minister’s frank message about COVID-19: ‘This sucks’

As Canada was approaching 10,000 deaths from COVID-19, Trudeau didn’t waste time mincing words about the dark reality of the pandemic.

"What we are living through is a horrific national tragedy. Families have lost loved ones, been devastated by these tragedies and we need to know that there are more tragedies to come,” the leader said. He added that families “need to be there for each other”, but understands the months coming are “still going to be a very difficult time for many Canadians.”

When asked about Canadians having “COVID-19 fatigue” and being frustrated with the rules in place, Prime Minister had a frank message to the public, “this sucks.”

“It’s tough going through this second wave, it’s frustrating having shut down all of [our lives] through the spring and now [being] forced to make more difficult choices and knowing that it’s going to be a tough winter ahead as well,” the prime minister said. “It’s easy for us to want to throw up our hands.”

“I think we have to ask ourselves who we really are as Canadians. Are we really good neighbours? Are we really people who care about the vulnerable, about each other?”

Trudeau said Canadians are not going to be “perfect” at all times but urged the public to follow local public health advice, even though that might differ from province to province or city to city, in order to flatten the curve this winter.

“It’s frustrating to have to explain to your kids in many parts of the country, like here in Ottawa, that we’re not going to be trick-or-treating this weekend,” the prime minister said. “It’s frustrating knowing that unless we’re really, really careful there may not be the kinds of family gatherings we want to have at Christmas.”

Trudeau shared that his six-year-old son asked him a few weeks ago if COVID-19 is going to be “forever.”

“He’s in Grade 1 and this was supposed to be his big year as a big boy, and they’re not even singing in his classroom,” the prime minister said. “This is really difficult, it’s a time where we need to do the right thing, we need to lean on each other, we need to use all the tools we can.”

Is there hope for 2021?

“Vaccines are on the horizon, spring and summer will come and they will be better than this winter. It’s frustrating to have to go though this situation, nobody wanted 2020 to be this way, but we do get to control how bad it gets by all of us doing our part.”

Trudeau added that provinces need to make the “tough decisions” on what needs to close and when, while the federal government comes in with income supports so businesses and services can close when they need to.

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer, echoed the prime minister’s message that everyone must look to their local public health officials for guidance, even if rules differ across different jurisdictions.

“We are a big country, the situation in the northern territories is different from the Atlantic bubble, as compared to British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec,” Dr. Njoo said.

He added that Canada has to find that balance or “sweet spot” where there is a certain expected level of COVID-19 but it isn’t overwhelming the healthcare system.

Dr. Njoo added that Canada has not overloaded the healthcare system at this point but some areas of the country are cancelling elective surgeries, which is “concerning.”

He said there has to be “social cohesion” in Canada, referring to the capacity of Canadians to collaborate and support each other, including people looking out for vulnerable or elderly family members or neighbours.

Quebec premier defends extending red zone restrictions

Quebec Premier François Legault defended the provincial government’s decision to extend the red zone restrictions past the 28 day mark.

“We really thought that at the beginning of October that after 28 days with these measures that we would see a decrease in the number of new cases,” Legault said on Tuesday. “It wasn’t the result we had.”

“Unfortunately, like in many other countries, we didn’t see a decrease. At least in Quebec, we didn’t see an increase like in other countries. It’s half of a victory.”

Quebec’s red zone restrictions will remain in place until Nov. 23.

‘He said it’s not going to happen again and I accept that’

A photo of people gathered at a Niagara region banquet hall was posted by Niagara MPP Sam Oosterhoff over the weekend. (Facebook: Sam Oosterhoff)
A photo of people gathered at a Niagara region banquet hall was posted by Niagara MPP Sam Oosterhoff over the weekend. (Facebook: Sam Oosterhoff)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford continued to field questions about the photo of Sam Oosterhoff, Niagara West MPP and parliamentary secretary to the minister of education, with a large group of people without masks.

Betty’s Restaurant, where the gathering was held, posted a response on their Facebook page, indicating that they are following the proper COVID-19 protocols and guidelines for operations.

“There was a group in last week, that has caused some concern,” the statement reads. “They were at the restaurant for a private function. They were in a private room with a separate entrance and had separate restrooms.”

“This group was reminded several times that they were required to wear masks when not seated at their table. Unfortunately they chose not to follow posted rules about wearing masks and distancing.”

Ford said Tuesday everyone has to wear face coverings but also continued to support the MPP.

“He apologized, he said it’s not going to happen again and I accept that,” the premier said. “We all make mistakes, I understand that.”

“He understands and I’m sure he’ll pass it on to the rest of the folks that were there as well.”

766 more hospital beds in Ontario

The Ontario government also announced it is allocating $116.5 million to create up to 766 more beds at 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province.

“We are taking another step today to keep that promise by adding hundreds more hospital beds across the province,” Ford said in a statement. “This will not only ensure we are ready for any surges in COVID-19 cases, but provide patients with the care they need and deserve close to home.”


Ontario sees small dip in COVID-19 cases

Ontario reported 827 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with 355 in Toronto, 169 in Peel, 89 in York Region and 58 in Ottawa.

The province reported four new deaths, brining the total in Ontario to 3,103.

Ontario completed 23,945 tests since the previous day, with 22,636 tests currently under investigation.

There are currently 312 in Ontario hospitals, 75 people in ICU.

Currently, 88 long-term care homes are reporting outbreaks with 397 active resident cases and 299 staff cases.

Ontario reported 144 new school-related COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, 82 cases are students, 12 cases are teachers and 50 have not been identified.

Quebec sees cases over 900

Quebec reported 963 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with 319 cases in Montreal, 129 cases in Quebec City and 122 cases in Montérégie.

The province confirmed 19 additional COVID-19 deaths, four of which occurred in the last 24 hours.

There are 527 people in hospitals in Quebec and 91 in ICU.

B.C. reported more than 200 new cases, two new outbreaks

B.C. reported 217 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with 2,322 active cases in the province. There are currently 84 people in hospitals, 27 in ICU.

Two new healthcare facility outbreaks were reported at Felburn Care Centre and St. Michael’s Centre. There are now 21 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities with active outbreaks.

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