COVID-19: Trudeau pledges fund to support provincial vaccine mandates, if re-elected; Ottawa reports 47 new cases

The number of new cases is the highest daily total since June 3, when 48 cases were recorded in Ottawa.

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A re-elected Liberal government would introduce a fund to help provinces that implement a proof-of-vaccine requirement for non-essential businesses and public spaces.


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The planned $1-billion COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination Fund, announced in Mississauga Friday by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, would help provinces acquire enough vaccines to ensure free booster shots and second-generation vaccines, and invest in studies to look at the long-term health impacts of COVID-19.

“So if your premier, wherever you are across the country, if your premier mandates that everyone in your local restaurant or gym or other non-essential locations must be fully vaccinated and show proof, we’ll pay for the development and rollout of that program.

“A vaccination mandate for non-essential businesses is a good idea,” he added. “It keeps people safe, it encourages everyone to do the right thing, it keeps our businesses open and it keeps our economy rebuilding.


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“This is about doing the right thing, and the smart thing.”

Trudeau specifically urged Ontario to mandate vaccinations and “passport” programs, saying, “Already (B.C.) premier Horgan and (Quebec) premier Legault have stepped up and I certainly hope that here in Ontario Premier Ford steps up as well. It’s time to listen to public health officials and leaders like (Mississauga Mayor) Bonnie Crombie and we’ll be ready when he does.”

Crombie tweeted on Thursday that Ontario needs to step up and implement a standardized proof of vaccination program.

Trudeau took a jab at Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, saying that “we certainly can’t afford a party that would roll back our progress … From vaccines to $10-a-day childcare, none of this happens if Erin O’Toole is sitting across the table from Doug Ford or any other premier.


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“One thing he won’t choose is vaccines,” Trudeau added. “He can’t even tell his own candidates to get their shots.”

He also took a swipe at those protesting vaccines and mask mandates, noting that while that’s their choice, it’s one they’re imposing on others.

“Because we only get through this pandemic if everyone steps up, not just for themselves, but for each other.”

Latest COVID-19 news in Ontario

Ontario reported 781 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest daily total this month, and only the second time in August that the number of new cases in a single day exceeded 700.

The province also confirmed 17 new deaths, although all but three of those were from at least two months ago.

Toronto, with 185 new cases, Peel, with 96, and York, with 93, were the province’s worst-hit regions.


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The new figures raise Ontario’s total number of COVID cases since January 2020 to 562,756 and its death toll to 9,489. There are 14,933 active cases in the province.

Meanwhile, there are 306 COVID patients currently in Ontario hospitals. There are 158 patients in ICU due to COVID-19 and 87 patients on ventilators.

Of the hospitalized patients where their vaccination status was known, 80 per cent were unvaccinated, while an additional 7.6 per cent were only partially vaccinated.

According to PHO, of the new cases where patients’ vaccination status was known, 68 per cent of the new cases were among unvaccinated patients, while 12 per cent had received just one inoculation, and 21 per cent were fully vaccinated.


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Additionally, 36,195 vaccine doses were administered in the province in the 24-hour period ending Thursday evening, for a province-wide total of 20,641,600. A total of 9,867,920 Ontarians have been fully vaccinated, an increase of 23,261 over the previous day’s total.

To date, 83 per cent of eligible Ontarians (age 12 and over) have had at least one shot, while 76 per cent have received two.

An association representing many of Ontario’s not-for-profit long-term care homes is urging the province to mandate vaccines for all health care workers.

Lisa Levin, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario, which represents more than 30,000 beds at more than 400 providers of seniors’ care, including municipally owned and charitable LTC homes, said in a statement Friday that the province’s current “patchwork framework” will lead to further deaths in the pandemic’s fourth wave.


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“We are very concerned with the province’s reluctance to step up and introduce a policy mandating vaccines in our sector,” she said. “We need government to create a level playing field by creating a single policy that applies evenly across the entire healthcare sector.”

The association worries that the uneven policies currently in effect will create staffing instability, and lead to vaccinated staff leaving long-term care homes to work in other parts of the healthcare sector that have mandatory policies.

“More people will die unless government acts,” added Levin. “We must put our residents first. We’re talking about the most vulnerable people in the province, and everyone has the right to safety, no matter where they live. Only government can ensure that can happen.”


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Latest COVID-19 news from Ottawa

Ottawa’s assessment centres and care clinics will remain open in September for children, youths and adults who require a COVID-19 test.

The announcement was made Friday by the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce in anticipation of students returning to classrooms during the pandemic’s fourth wave.

“Ottawa’s labs and testing locations,” the release noted, “have also increased staffing levels in anticipation of kids returning to school.”

According to the taskforce, parents, students and staff must complete the COVID-19 School and Childcare screening tool daily, and follow its recommended steps, including staying at home and seeking a COVID-19 test if needed.

The screening tool, as well as a list of assessment centres, can be found on Ottawa Public Health’s website, at ottawapublichealth.ca.


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Ottawa Public Health reported 47 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and no new deaths.

The number of new cases is the highest daily total since June 3, when 48 cases were recorded.

The new figures bring the total number of COVID cases in the city to 28,192 since the pandemic started, while the death toll remains unchanged at 593.

There are currently 185 active cases in Ottawa. Of those, four people are in hospital with COVID, one of them in intensive care.

The city’s seven-day infection rate, meanwhile, is 13.6 per 100,000 population.

Ottawa’s seven-day positivity rate is 1.6 per cent, while the seven-day reproduction rate, R(t), is 1.03, indicating that the virus’s spread is increasing slightly.

As of 3 a.m. Friday, 85 per cent of Ottawans 12 and over had received at least one vaccine dose, while 79 per cent were fully vaccinated. Among all Ottawans, 75 per cent had have at least one dose, while 69 per cent had had two.


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There were no new outbreaks reported Friday. Outbreaks continue at a sports and recreation setting and a retail establishment.

In other health units in the region, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit saw its confirmed case numbers go up by 12, while Leeds, Grenville and Lanark saw its count increase by three. Kingston reported two new cases and Renfrew County reported none.

Latest COVID-19 news in Quebec

Quebec’s Health Department says police complaints have been filed after politicians’ vaccine passport information was allegedly hacked.

The department said in a statement today it is aware of reports that people have managed to steal the QR codes of members of the Quebec legislature and is taking the matter seriously.


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The quick response codes are scannable codes containing a person’s name, date of birth and information about the vaccinations they have received.

They are the central feature of the government’s vaccine passport system, which will be required as of Sept. 1 to visit businesses the provincial government deems non-essential, such as bars, clubs and restaurants.

The government says nobody is allowed to use another person’s QR code and anyone who breaks that rule could face serious penalties.

Businesses who require the vaccine passport will also be asked to check their customers’ photo ID to ensure the name matches, and they are expected to report to police anyone who tries to use someone else’s QR code.

In Quebec, 612 new COVID cases were confirmed Friday, and no new deaths.


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The new figures bring the province’s overall case count to 387,230 since the pandemic began, and its death toll to 11,285.

There are 126 COVID patients hospitalized in Quebec, including 36 in intensive care.

Additionally, the province administered 33,907 vaccine doses in the most recent 24-hour reporting period, for a province-wide total of 12,227,291.

Latest COVID-19 news in Canada

Health Canada announced Friday it has authorized the use of the Moderna vaccine for youth aged 12 to 17. Until now, this vaccine was only authorized for use in people 18 years of age or older.

In a tweet, the agency said “after a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, Health Canada has determined that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing #Covid19 in youth aged 12 to 17.”

  1. Dr. Robert Cushman, Renfrew County and District medical officer of health, says it would be ideal to have a vaccine passport system in place by the time most schools resume on Sept. 7, but that is unlikely.

    Medical officers of health are looking at a regional vaccine passport plan

  2. A test scan of a vaccine passport is shown at an Econofitness gym in Laval, Quebec, Canada August 17, 2021.

    Quebec’s vaccine passport starts Sept. 1, here’s what out-of-province visitors must show to gain access to non-essential businesses

-With files from The Canadian Press



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