In The News for Nov. 17

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Nov. 17 …

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© Provided by The Canadian Press

What we are watching in Canada …

Canada has reached a troubling milestone, surpassing 300,000 total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began 

Health experts are alarmed — but not surprised — by the rapid growth we’ve seen over the last few weeks.

The marker comes less than a month after the country reached 200,000 overall cases on Oct. 19. It took about four months for Canada to leap from 100,000 to 200,000, suggesting that even as some cases are being resolved, the spread is quickening.

Caroline Colijn, an infectious disease modeller and epidemiologist with Simon Fraser University, says the growth trajectory is worrying.

“We’ve seen this with Europe and the U.K. and U.S., and now across Canada — the pattern is very consistent,” she says.

“This is something that can overwhelm the health-care systems in western democracies. And it can do it very rapidly.”

Colijn projects Canada will reach the 400,000 total case milestone by early December, if the current trajectory holds up.

Also this …

A new poll suggests that the proportion of Canadians planning to get vaccinated for COVID-19 is on the rise after some encouraging initial results from Pfizer’s vaccine trial.

The survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 69 per cent of respondents plan to get inoculated against the novel coronavirus once Health Canada approves a vaccine that is free and broadly available, a jump from the 63 per cent who said they would take up such an offer one month ago.

Still, about one in five respondents said they do not intend to receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine in particular if it’s ready in the spring, despite early results that suggest a 90 per cent effectiveness rate.

The online poll, conducted Nov. 13 to 15, surveyed 1,522 Canadians, and cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

And …

So far this year, there have been just 17 confirmed cases of the flu in Canada, even though we’re testing twice as many people as usual.

At this point during last year’s flu season, Canada had already recorded 711 positive cases of influenza.

Dr. Gerald Evans, the chair of infectious disease in the department of medicine at Queen’s University, says all the handwashing, physical distancing and mask-wearing we are doing to prevent COVID-19 is also helping keep the flu at bay.

In 2019, there were 60 people hospitalized with the flu in the first week of November, but this year provinces and territories haven’t reported a single flu-related admission.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

Now that he’s the president-elect, Joe Biden is doubling down on his promise that economic recovery efforts in the United States will remain a made-in-America endeavour. 

Biden, who was vice-president when Canada last confronted a Democrat’s protectionist Buy American provisions, pared the commitment down to a simple sound bite Monday during a speech from his base of operations in Delaware.

“From autos to our stockpiles, we’re going to buy American,” Biden said. 

“No government contracts will be given to companies that don’t make their products here in America.”

It was a succinct and unmistakable distillation of the Buy American plan Biden laid out during the election campaign, which includes a specialized “Made in America” office within the White House to enforce and oversee the measures. 

It took Canada nearly a year to negotiate waivers to similar rules in 2010 when Barack Obama’s administration was preparing to spend more than $800 billion to bounce back from the Great Recession. 

On this day in 2000 …

A teenaged boy who fatally shot one student and wounded another at W. R. Myer High School in Taber, Alta., on April 28, 1999, was sentenced to three years in prison.

In entertainment …

Two quintessential heartthrobs of Canadian pop music are joining forces for their first duet.

Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber took to social media with plans to unleash their song collaboration “Monster.”

It’s the first time the Pickering, Ont.-raised Mendes, 22, has released a song with his contemporary, but the two have plenty in common.

Bieber, 26, grew up a few hours away from Mendes’ family. 

He was born in London, Ont., and raised in Stratford, where he became a local celebrity and eventually an international star through YouTube in the late aughts.

Several years later, Mendes built his own name on the now-defunct social platform Vine after a 2013 video of him covering Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” went viral.

They both saw meteoric rises to global fame in their adolescent years, fuelled by international pop hits and ardent fan bases.


Super Bowl champion Laurent Duvernay-Tardif says he is honoured to have his medical scrubs and lab coat on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman and medical school graduate opted out of the 2020 National Football League season to help on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duvernay-Tardif, from Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que., worked in a long-term care home an hour from Montreal.

The Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, tweeted a photo of the display to Duvernay-Tardif on Saturday. 

It shows a mannequin in a face mask, medical visor and grey scrubs emblazoned with “Dr. Duvernay-Tardif” and the Chiefs logo, as well as a white lab coat on another stand.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2020

The Canadian Press

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