Canada was warned not to cozy up Huawei and Beijing. Now here we are.

Terry Glavin: We listened instead to Jean Chrétien and the pro-PRC Liberal old guard. Remember that if—or when—Xi Jinping takes revenge over the Meng Wanzhou decision.

For all anybody knows, now that Judge Heather Holmes has rendered a markedly unfavourable decision in the case of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, the notoriously petulant and sadistic Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping will retaliate against Canada by instructing his secret police to abduct and imprison some more Canadians. As will be understood by anyone who has taken any notice of the Xi regime’s erratic and belligerent brinksmanship everywhere in the world—if you think this is just about Xi’s difficulties with the equally erratic U.S. President Donald Trump, you haven’t been paying attention at all—just about anything is possible.

And by this point, whatever is about to befall Canada, we should admit out loud that we were warned. It’s been at least a decade since U.S. intelligence officials and Barack Obama’s White House first told us, in the clearest language possible, that Huawei was bad news. But we thought we were clever. And around Trudeau’s cabinet table they still think they’re clever, ignoring the warnings of Canada’s intelligence agencies, and the intelligence agencies of our allies and kicking the can down the road on whether to bar Huawei from Canada’s fifth-generation internet evolution. 

We ignored the Obama administration’s warnings that Huawei was up to its neck in dodgy sanctions-busting dealings in Iran. We ignored the warnings about Huawei’s deep and intricate entanglements with the Chinese police state. We were warned that while we thought it was smart to allow ourselves to be lavishly courted by China’s globe-encircling “national champion” telecom giant—and to do so at the expense of American national-security vigilance—that it would not end well. That it would end in misery.


But we didn’t listen. Instead, we listened to Jean Chrétien, and we took his counsel as the sage guidance of a lovable old statesman, rather than the cynical urgings of a big-money deal-maker who was working rooms in Beijing just as soon as he left office in the shadow of the sponsorship scandal in 2013. And we listened to Martin Cauchon, the Chrétien-era justice minister whose counsel when Huawei was moving into its gleaming and tidily-subsidized operations centre in Ottawa in 2013 was to ignore all the talk about Huawei’s opaque relationship with the Chinese military and intelligence superstructure. “If you can’t beat them,” Cauchon said at the time, “join them.”

It may well be that the “continuous harm” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Canada should be made to endure in the event that things did not go Meng’s way is that none of us will ever see the hostages Michael Kovrig or Michael Spavor—abducted shortly after Meng was detained on a U.S. Justice Department extradition request in December 2018—ever again.

Perhaps an acceleration of the sabotage to the $100 billion annual Canada-China trade relationship will be among the “grave consequences” Beijing has been warning we will be made to endure unless Prime Minister Trudeau made an end-run around the courts of the kind he scandalously attempted on behalf of SNC-Lavalin. Perhaps the trade vandalism we’ve already endured, in the billions of dollars lost in disruptions to Canada’s soybean, pork, beef, peas and canola exports, is just a hint of what’s to come.

READ MORE: With the Meng Wanzhou decision, politicized process lives only in China’s imagination

Then there’s the potential losses in tourism dollars, and maybe a hemorrhaging of budgets at all the Canadian universities that have become so greedily and stupidly over-reliant on the roughly 70,000 fee-paying Chinese students who sign up at campuses across Canada every year. One shudders to think of the mayhem that Beijing’s proxies in Canada could cause now, and the mischief that might be made by the wealthy and well-connected associates of the United Front Work Department, which runs Beijing’s overseas influence-peddling operation in Canada.

All along, we listened to Chrétien, and to Cauchon, and we took it seriously when Chrétien’s deputy prime minister from the old days, John Manley, argued that we should have simply ignored the U.S. Justice Department’s extradition request, and that the only reason we did not was because of that obstreperous Jody Wilson-Raybould, who had to be banished, it will be remembered, for refusing to be bulldozed when the Prime Minister’s Office took up the cause of SNC-Lavalin in its Libyan corruption trial troubles.

There did come a point, however briefly, when it all became a bit too much. The Chrétien-era cabinet minister John McCallum, who had seen nothing untoward about taking $73,000 in free trips to China in the years before he finally got his plum posting as Canada’s ambassador in Beijing, just couldn’t stop himself from pleading on Meng’s behalf. It got to the point when Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland had put up with quite enough—either he goes or I go—and McCallum had to be fired.

RELATED: Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou: The world’s most wanted woman

McCallum was all in for Meng and Huawei—they had a case, you know, he kept insisting. The threshold of double criminality was not met, because Canada’s Iran sanctions were over by the time the evidence was piling up that Meng was defrauding banks and arranging bank transfers in such a way as to hide Huawei’s dealings in Iran and evade the American sanctions on the Iranian regime. That was McCallum’s claim, and that was the hard bedrock of the case mounted by Meng’s legal team, an it was precisely the case that Judge Homes threw out in her decision in Vancouver on Wednesday.

And so what was the reason that Xi Jinping thought that he could take a couple of hostages and hey presto, Meng Wanzhou would be on a plane back to her palace in Beijing, instead of slumming it in her Shaughnessy mansion in Vancouver, awaiting trial all this time? What made Xi think that strong-arming Canada and having Kovrig and Spavor picked up and tossed into a dungeon would be enough to do the trick?

It was that Xi, too, had been listening to the likes of Jean Chrétien and Martin Cauchon, and to John Manley and John McCallum and the rest. Xi had been given every impression that Trudeau’s Liberals would act on their customary instincts to capitulate. And there is still an opportunity for the Trudeau government to get away with it, Canada’s so-far-unsullied extradition treaty with the United States be damned. In Ottawa Wednesday, the Department of Justice issued a statement following Judge Holmes’ decision in Vancouver, noting that Wilson-Raybould’s successor, David Lametti, is not required to make any decision “until and unless the judge commits the person for extradition.”

RELATED: Meng Wanzhou is ready for her close-up 

Months will pass, perhaps even years, before it will come to that, because Meng’s lawyers are expected to exhaust every opportunity available to their client in her effort to evade the 13 counts of fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud awaiting her in the courts of the Eastern District of New York. It’s a case against Meng, and against Huawei Technologies, and Huwei’s U.S. subsidiary, and against Skycom—Huawei’s Iran partner, or Iran subsidiary, depending on which legal team you believe—that goes back several years. The investigation began long before the American presidency was even a grifter’s gleam in Donald Trump’s eye.

For all anybody knows, China will be doing everything it can to make life miserable for Canada and for Canadians for as long as this case goes on, and probably until well after it’s all over. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay for ignoring all those warnings, for thinking we were clever, and for taking the guidance and counsel of Jean Chrétien and the rest.



With the Meng Wanzhou decision, politicized process lives only in China's imagination

The judge ruled against the Huawei exec, but it was no slam dunk. If only Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig had access to such an impartial hearing.

On the courthouse steps, protestors flashed signs and chanted about the plight of Uyghurs in China, imprisoned Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, Chinese Communist Party influence and Huawei’s bid to help build the Canadian 5G system. Some signs even mentioned the extradition of Meng Wanzhou, the actual topic at play on Wednesday inside the B.C. Supreme Court.

Despite the outsized weight and impact of Meng’s continued detention and pending U.S. fraud charges, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes was tasked with tuning all that out and ruling on whether the offences with which the Huawei executive was criminally charged south of the border would merit charges in Canada, as well. She determined that such so-called “double criminality” indeed exists in this case.

So the Meng Wanzhou show will proceed apace: the geopolitics; the threats and retaliatory measures from an outraged Beijing; the international media circus and, of course, Canada’s unsexy extradition process—the juridical centre from which all other matters spiral out.


The rejection of Meng’s bid to get the extradition thrown out means she remains on partial house arrest at her mansion in posh Shaughnessy, with ankle monitor and bodyguards. Its consequences are more dire, of course, for Spavor and Kovrig, jailed in China two weeks after Meng’s December 2018 arrest, and still held in solitary confinement without charges, or access to either lawyers or family. China’s reliance on tit-for-tat recrimination is unlikely to end anytime soon: the dubious sanctions on Canada’s canola exporters will doubtless remain in place, plus whatever further reprisals Beijing deems fit. What the Canadian and U.S. governments see as an independent judge’s decision on a matter of extradition law, the authoritarian state sees as a brazen provocation by a U.S. puppet state.

From the vantage point of China’s government-run Global Times, the failure to rule in Meng’s favour has reduced Canada to a “pathetic clown and a scapegoat in the fight between China and the U.S.” It pushes Canada-China relations to “worst-ever” status, and will further harm bilateral trade, the tabloid goes on to say. That hyperbole is part of a recent ratcheting-up of rhetoric from Chinese government officials, including the embassy’s statement today: “Immediately release Ms. Meng Wanzhou to allow her to return safely to China, and not to go further down the wrong path.” Ottawa and its diplomatic corps must brace for some swift political retaliation for what Beijing misperceives as nakedly political decisions. It is hard, evidently, to understand the machinations of an independent judiciary when one’s own is anything but.

In fact, Holmes’ ruling should give all sides, should they give it a reasoned read, reassurance that the handling of this case remains resolutely detached from political considerations. Meng’s lawyers had argued that since the fraud charges stem from allegations the executive lied to global bank HSBC concerning violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran, and Canada did not have such sanctions, that this would not be a crime in Canada. Crown lawyers argued that the charges are about fraudulent representations to the bank, rather than what the misleading statements were about. The judge rejected some of the Canadian government’s argument, but ultimately ruled in its favour: that if someone in Canada made false statements that put a foreign bank at risk of breaking foreign sanctions, that would be illegal. “I cannot agree with Ms. Meng that to refer to U.S. sanctions in order to understand the risk to HSBC is to allow the essence of the conduct to be defined by foreign law.  Canada’s laws determine whether the alleged conduct, in its essence, amounts to fraud,” Holmes writes.

RELATED: Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou: The world’s most wanted woman

Meng’s team can appeal this decision, says Asad Kiyani, an assistant professor of law at University of Calgary. Meanwhile, extradition hearing continues in June, and her defence lawyers will try once again to end the process by arguing that she was unjustly treated when authorities initially detained her Vancouver International Airport, where she was connecting to a flight to Mexico. Then there’s a hearing to determine if there’s sufficient evidence support extradition—and Canada sets the bar quite low for that part of the process, Kiyani says. Even if appeals on the double-criminality ruling and abuse of process are longshots, he adds, Meng lawyers are likely to take each chance: “It’s worth taking, especially if you’re concerned about the latter stages of the hearing.”

This process can stretch out over years, despite the government’s stated desire to proceed “expeditiously.” Alas, there has been no parallel judicial structure for Spavor or Kovrig to avail themselves of. No talk of expeditious anything in Beijing’s treatment of them. And the Trump administration, whose extradition request placed Canada in this vise, does precious little to fight for Canada in this mess, even as the president and his secretaries ratchet up tensions themselves with accusations that China is at fault for the ballooning tally of U.S. casualties from coronavirus.

This past weekend, Meng and her colleagues appeared on those courthouse steps for a bizarrely premature “thumbs up” group photograph. Not only did that scene seem stunningly presumptuous of the outcome, it stood out as oblivious to the world and how it’s changed in the last few months. Meng and her friends stood shoulder to shoulder, extended thumb to extended thumb, without masks—as though there were no risk of catching coronavirus within a large group gathering. As though the confidence and influence of a high-ranking member of China’s executive class, with the support of a sabre-rattling government, could thumbs-up its way to victory in a democratic, rule-of-law state.

—with files from Hamdi Issawi



Coronavirus in Canada: These charts show how our fight to 'flatten the curve' is going

A World Health Organization expert in epidemics warns that COVID-19 cases could peak again within the current wave of infections, leaving little time to prepare for a second wave

Note: Data in the charts last updated on May 27 at 4 p.m. EDT.

As a veteran of numerous public health campaigns, including those to eliminate deadly Ebola outbreaks in Africa, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the Health Emergencies Programme at the World Health Organization, has lots of experience with outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics.  He’s worried that a second peak of COVID-19 cases may be occurring in areas around the world.

A second wave in a pandemic, such as the world is experiencing now, occurs when the number of cases begins to rise again after several months of the disease retreating to low levels after the first wave. But what happens if that trough never occurs?

“We need to be cognisant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time,” Ryan said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now that it’s going to keep going down, and we’re going to get a number of months to get ready for a second wave. We may get a second peak in this wave. This happened during pandemics in the past. It certainly happened in the pandemic of 1919, in the Spanish flu. We got a second peak, not necessarily a second wave.”

Certainly, the daily number of cases in Canada has trended downward in May. The first week posted an average of nearly 1,700 new cases a day. The past seven days have averaged just 1,088 cases. That decline is helped by some provinces effectively stalling the spread of COVID-19. Manitoba as well as Atlantic Canada and the territories in the North have reported only 33 new cases in the past two weeks. Nova Scotia, which has an outbreak at a long-term-care home, accounts for 28 of those. In addition, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan each report daily increases of under one per cent.

That good news all but evaporates in central Canada. In the past two weeks, Ontario has added 5,158 new cases, averaging nearly 400 new cases a day—although some days spiked much higher—not only stalling the downward roller coaster but sending it back up. The city of Toronto, which is at the epicentre of the provincial COVID-19 crisis, accounts for a little more than half of those newly recorded infections.

Then there is Quebec, which accounts for more than half of all cases in the nation. It piled another 8,668 to its tally in the past two weeks, forcing its trend line higher as well. And like Toronto, it’s the province’s biggest city which is at the epicentre: Montreal accounts for just under half of the province’s new cases.


(Patricia Treble and Lauren Cattermole)

(Patricia Treble and Lauren Cattermole)

As of Tuesday, Quebec accounted for 63 per cent of new cases, while Ontario’s portion was 33 per cent, with the other four provinces carving up the remaining four per cent. Canada’s COVID-19 crisis is morphing into a two-province public health problem, for the most part centred in Toronto and Montreal.

The concern is that, with both provinces reporting low testing rates in recent weeks, the virus could again surge, especially as both provinces charge forward with their reopening plans. It’s happened before, warns Dr. Mike Ryan.





Why use percentage charts: By looking at the percentage change in cases, it’s easier to see trends that are not apparent in raw numbers. Daily increases can fluctuate wildly—such as when Quebec combined its confirmed and probable cases into one number on March 24, which resulted in a one-day spike of nearly 800 cases. So, to help see shifts without the graphic “noise” generated by these daily fluctuations, we’ve used a method called a rolling (or moving) average, which compares percentage changes between seven-day averages, to smooth the lines for each jurisdiction and allow trends to be more readily apparent.

(Patricia Treble and Lauren Cattermole)

(Patricia Treble and Lauren Cattermole)

Why use logarithmic charts: COVID-19 is increasing at an exponential pace, which can overwhelm normal linear charts. In contrast, overall trends are apparent when compared using a logarithmic chart. To explain his popular COVID-19 logarithmic charts on the Financial Times website, data expert John Burn-Murdoch has this handy explanation: the space between 100 and 1,000 is the same as the space between 1,000 and 10,000, because exponential increases means it takes the same amount of time to go between those two milestones. That allows readers to easily see if jurisdictions are following the same path or doing better or worse.


B.C. court dismisses Meng Wanzhou's application to get out of extradition

The ruling is a major blow to the Huawei executive and means the extradition process can continue. Read the full decision here.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled that the crimes Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou has been accused of can meet the “double criminality requirement,” meaning the extradition proceedings against her can proceed.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes’s ruling on double-criminality comes a year and a half after Wanzhou was first arrested in Vancouver.

Read the full ruling here:

2020 BCSC 785 United States v. Meng by Maclean’s Magazine on Scribd



Coronavirus in Canada: Reopening plans province-by-province

With the initial stage of the epidemic slowing in many parts of the nation, here's how provinces are planning to reopen

This post is updated as of Wednesday, May 27

In March, Canada began shutting down as the number of COVID-19 cases and resulting deaths soared. Now, with the initial stage of the epidemic slowing in many parts of the nation, provinces and territories are rolling out their reopening plans. Every jurisdiction is providing detailed advice, some with colour-coded charts and graphics.

A few general caveats:

  • A business or service may have reopened but that does not mean it has returned to “before COVID-19” standards.
  • People should expect that public health limits and distancing guidelines are in place, governing everything from the number of people in stores and restaurants to how professionals deal with close-contact situations and even how many people can attend a funeral. Self-isolation rules and other restrictions often do not apply to essential workers, such as truckers.
  • Not all services will resume in all areas at the start of each reopening phase.


There are rules on a national level in areas of federal jurisdiction:

  • Everyone returning from foreign travel must immediately go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine
  • All air travellers must wear masks
  • All international flights are restricted to airports in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal
  • The Canada-U.S. border is closed to non-essential travel until at least June 21

To skip directly to information and instructions for your home province on this post, follow the applicable link below:

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
Newfoundland and Labrador

British Columbia

Name: Restart Plan

Current status: Stage 2, as of May 19

What reopens:

  • Restoration of health services
    • Re-scheduling elective surgery
  • Medically related services:
    • Dentistry, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, and chiropractors
    • Physical therapy, speech therapy, and similar services
  • Retail sector
  • Hair salons, barbers, and other personal service establishments
  • In-person counselling
  • Restaurants, cafés, and pubs
  • Museums, art galleries, and libraries
  • Office-based worksites
  • Recreation and sports
  • Parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces
  • Child care
  • Parents will have the choice of bringing their children back to class on a part-time basis on June 1

Gatherings: Limited to 50 or fewer

Self-isolation after interprovincial travel: No

What’s next: Phase 3 from June to September.

What’s on the reopening schedule:

  • Hotels and Resorts (June 2020)
  • Parks – broader reopening, including some overnight camping (June)
  • Film industry – beginning with domestic productions (June/July)
  • Select entertainment – movies and symphony, but not large concerts (July)
  • Post-secondary education – with mix of online and in-class (September)
  • K-12 education – with only a partial return this school year (September)

Here is B.C.’s main provincial COVID-19 website.


Name: Relaunch Strategy

Current status: Stage 1, as of May 14

What reopens:

  • Retail businesses like clothing, furniture and book stores
  • All farmers’ market vendors
  • Hairstyling and barber shops
  • Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen for table service
  • Some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries to resume
  • Museums and art galleries.
  • Daycares and out-of-school care
  • Day camps, including summer school.
  • Post-secondary institutions will continue course delivery
  • Places of worship and funeral services
  • Dog parks and playgrounds

NOTE: Calgary and Brooks are on a more gradual schedule due to higher case numbers

 Gatherings: Limited to 15 or fewer indoors and 50 or fewer outdoors

Self-isolation after interprovincial travel: No

What’s next: Stage 2 (timing is TBD)

What’s on the reopening schedule:

  • K-12 schools
  • Libraries
  • More surgeries scheduled
  • Services by health disciplines, such as acupuncture and massage therapy
  • Personal services, such as artificial tanning, esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments and reflexology
  • Larger gatherings permitted 15 people indoors and 30 outdoors
  • Movie theatres and theatres

Here’s the main provincial COVID-19 website.


Name: Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan

Current status: Phase two, as of May 19

What reopens:

  • Retail businesses, including clothing stores, jewellers, toy stores, travel agencies, marinas, flower shops
  • Shopping malls
  • Personal service businesses, including hair salons, registered massage therapists, acupuncturists
  • Public markets and farmers’ markets

As of May 19, Saskatchewan Health Authority entered phase one of its own reopening schedule, focusing on:

  • outpatient physiotherapy appointments
  • kidney health services
  • some laboratory services
  • home care (e.g. bathing services) expanded immunizations

Gatherings: Limited to 10 or fewer

Self-isolation after interprovincial travel: No

What’s next: Phase three (timing TBD)

What’s on the reopening schedule:

  • Personal service businesses, including tattoo artists, estheticians, manicurists, suntanning parlours
  • Restaurant and food services
  • Gyms and fitness facilities
  • Licensed establishments
  • Childcare facilities

Here’s the main provincial COVID-19 website.


Name: Restoring Safe Services

Current status: Phase one, as of May 4

What reopens:

  • non-urgent surgery and diagnostic procedures
  • therapeutic and health care services
  • retail businesses
  • restaurants – patio/walk-up services
  • hairstylists and barbers
  • museums, galleries and libraries
  • outdoor recreation and campgrounds, including playgrounds, marinas, golf courses, outdoor yoga

Gatherings: Limited to 25 people or fewer indoors and 50 people outdoors, as of May 22

Self-isolation after interprovincial travel: Yes

What’s next: Phase two, beginning on June 1

What’s on the reopening schedule:

  • Restaurants, bars etc. to operate patio and dine-in services
  • Sports activities
  • Swimming pools, fitness clubs and community centres
  • Film production
  • Dance, art and theatres reopen
  • Day camp groups up to 24 people
  • Manicurists, tattoo parlours and tanning parlours etc.
  • Direct travel to northern parks, campgrounds, cabins etc.

Here’s the main provincial COVID-19 site.


Name: A Framework for Reopening Our Province

Current status: Stage 1, as of May 19

What reopens:

  • retail stores with street-front entrances, car dealerships
  • off-leash dog parks, water sports, tennis courts, outdoor sports facilities etc.
  • scheduled surgeries, procedures and services in hospitals, independent health facilities, clinics and private practices
  • religious services, drive-in only
  • libraries for pickup or deliveries
  • indoor and outdoor household services, such as cleaning and maintenance
  • veterinarians, pet grooming

Gatherings: Limited to five or fewer

Self-isolation after interprovincial travel: No

What’s next: Stage 2 (timing TBD but likely 2-4 weeks after Stage 1)

What’s on the reopening schedule:

  • More workplaces, including service industries as well as office and retail workplaces
  • Larger public gatherings

Here’s the main provincial COVID-19 site.


Name: Gradual Resumption of Activities under the COVID-19-Related Pause

Current status: The province’s gradual reopening doesn’t have defined phases, such as those in other provincial plans. Reopening unrolled on a sector-by-sector basis, beginning on May 4.

What reopens:

  • Gradual withdrawal of checkpoints in remote regions within the province
  • Street-front retail businesses open
  • Non-priority mining and manufacturing enterprises, as well as construction sector, resume
  • Real estate brokers and building appraisers
  • Pre-schools and elementary schools open
  • Childcare services back in business
  • Outdoor sports and leisure activities

Note: Greater Montreal is on a more gradual schedule due to higher case numbers

Gatherings: As of May 22, limited to 10 people outside, including those from no more than three households

Self-isolation after interprovincial travel: No

What’s next: Rolling, sector-by-sector reopenings

What’s on the reopening schedule:

  • Dental services
  • Therapeutic care businesses, including physiotherapy, massage therapy
  • Libraries and museums
  • Performance halls, film studios (without audiences)

Here’s the main provincial COVID-19 site

New Brunswick

Name: Recovery Plan

Current status: Yellow level, as of May 22

What reopens:

On May 22:

  • Two-household bubble can be extended to close friends and family with indoor gatherings limited to 10 or fewer people
  • Non-regulated health professionals and businesses open, including acupuncturists and naturopaths.
  • Personal services and businesses may open, including barbers, hairstylists, spas, estheticians, manicurists, pedicurists and tattoo artists.

On May 29:

  • Outdoor public gatherings of 50 people or fewer
  • Religious services, including wedding and funerals, of 50 people or fewer, both indoors and outdoors
  • Elective surgeries and other non-emergency health-care services will increase.
  • Low-contact team sports
  • Swimming pools, saunas and waterparks, gyms, yoga and dance studios, rinks and indoor recreational facilities, pool halls and bowling alleys

On June 19: Overnight camps open

Gatherings: Limited to 10 or fewer (as of May 22)

Self-isolation after interprovincial travel: Yes

What’s next: Green level (timing TBD)

What’s on the reopening schedule:

  • Family and friends bubble
  • Gatherings with physical distancing of 50 or fewer
  • Increase in elective surgeries and other non-emergency health-care services
  • Non-regulated health professionals/businesses
  • Personal services businesses
  • Swimming pools, saunas and waterparks
  • Gyms, yoga and dance studios
  • Rinks and indoor recreational facilities
  • Pool halls and bowling alleys
  • Low-contact team sports

Here’s the main provincial COVID-19 website.

Nova Scotia

Name: Easing of Some Public Health Measures press release (No official plan unveiled to date)

Current status: Initial steps, as of May 1

What reopens:

  • Two-household bubble
  • provincial and municipal parks, community gardens
  • garden centres, nurseries and similar businesses
  • sport fishing is permitted from shore or boat
  • golf driving ranges
  • Cottages (restricted to one household unit at a time)
  • drive-in religious services will be allowed

Gatherings: Limited to 5 or fewer

Self-isolation after interprovincial travel: Yes

What’s next: A detailed recovery plan is still TBD

What’s on the reopening schedule: TBD

Here’s the main provincial COVID-19 site.

Prince Edward Island

Name: Renew PEI, Together

Current status: Phase Two, as of May 22

What reopens:

  • Members of the same household may gather outdoors with up to 10 other individuals from different households and indoors with up to five other individuals. Household units can expand by one or two members
  • Retail outlets
  • Greenhouses and nurseries
  • Construction, maintenance and repair services
  • Cleaning and restoration services
  • Hairdressers, barbers, and pet grooming.
  • Daycares
  • Health-service providers, including massage therapists
  • Dental care for emergency and urgent treatments
  • As of June 1, seasonal residents submit online applications to enter Prince Edward Island

Gatherings: Limited to household plus up to 10 others outdoors, household plus five others indoors

Self-isolation after interprovincial travel: Yes

What’s next: Phase 3, potentially on June 1

What’s on the reopening schedule:

  • Gatherings of up to 15 people indoors and 20 people outdoors
  • Organized recreational activities including soccer, baseball and day camps, swimming pools and gyms
  • Art galleries, libraries and community centres
  • Nail salons, spas, tattoo studios
  • Indoor dining at food premises
  • Accommodation at campgrounds, inns, B&Bs (P.E.I. residents only)
  • Elective dental care

Here’s the main provincial COVID-19 site.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Name: A Foundation for Living with Covid-19

Current status: Alert Level 4, as of April 30

What reopens:

  • Double household bubble
  • Funeral and wedding gatherings restricted to 10 people or fewer
  • Recreational fishing and hunting, golf courses
  • Municipal parks
  • Some health care services resume
  • In-person services offered by professional services, such as lawyers and accountants
  • Gardening centres, landscaping services
  • Animal day cares
  • As of May 27, the government reinstates in-person family visitations for children and youths in care.

Gatherings: Limited to 10 or fewer

Self-isolation after interprovincial travel: Yes

What’s next: Alert Level 3, no earlier than June 8

What’s on the reopening schedule:

  • Gatherings expand to no more than 20 people
  • Day-use campsites
  • Summer day camps
  • Field sports, outdoor pools
  • Private health clinics
  • Retail stores, including those in shopping malls
  • Personal service businesses, including hair salons
  • Dine-in eating

Here’s the main provincial COVID-19 site.


A long-term care disaster that everyone saw coming

Politics Insider for May 27: Ford releases a devastating military report on elder care, Meng Wanzhou has her day in court and Twitter tackles Trump

Welcome to a sneak peek of the Maclean’s Politics Insider newsletter. Sign up to get it delivered straight to your inbox.

Doug Ford looked rattled. Justin Trudeau looked stern. Both men were responding to a devastating report on the squalid conditions facing residents at five long-term care homes in Ontario. The report came from whistle-blowing members of the military deployed to five facilities in the Greater Toronto Area.

At a press conference, Ford called the report heartbreaking, horrific and gut-wrenching (read his full remarks). Trudeau said when he read the report, he felt a “range of emotions” including anger, frustration, sadness and grief (watch the PM’s full remarks).

What’s inside the report: Patricia Treble delved in after Ford made it public. This is just a sampling of what she found:

Military teams witnessed “aggressive behaviour” that they believed was “abusive/inappropriate” as well as “degrading or inappropriate comments directed at residents.” Soldiers saw residents left in soiled diapers, some unbathed for several weeks. They saw cockroaches, ants and rotten food, as well as “significant gross fecal contamination….in numerous patient rooms.”

“The conditions were perfect for a deadly virus such as COVID-19 to strike,” writes Treble, who details the Ford government’s changes to inspection procedures and the province’s slow response to combatting COVID-19. She points to decades worth of reports into the fraying system of elder care. Treble ends with the obvious question: “If it took the intervention of the Canadian Armed Forces for the public to find out the dire situation at five facilities, what are the conditions in the other 621 LTC homes in the province?”

Today marks a possibly ground-shifting moment in Canada-China relations. A B.C. judge will rule on the so-called “double criminality” at play in Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou‘s extradition case—whether or not her alleged U.S. crimes would also be considered crimes in Canada. If Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes finds no double criminality, Meng could be a free woman. If not, she can look forward to more court dates.

Meng’s spirits don’t appear dampened in public. She recently cheekily posed with a thumbs-up gesture on the courthouse steps in Vancouver. The two Canadians imprisoned in China in retaliation for Meng’s arrest, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, haven’t had consular access in months and can barely dream of free movement outdoors.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry once again urged Canada to release Meng “at an early date” in order to “avoid continuous harm” in bilateral relations. Asked by the Globe and Mail if Canada would face reprisals if the B.C. court rules against Meng, Zhao Lijian said he doesn’t “take hypothetical questions.”

Joyce Murray, the Liberal minister for digital government, has her staff engage on the Chinese-owned WeChat social network. TheBreaker.news first reported that a user post on Murray’s group promoted a lawsuit that targets Global News reporter Sam Cooper. Murray’s office denied any support for the post and Trudeau called the post “unacceptable.” Time for a group moderator to step up their game, perhaps.

Baby steps: Everyone knows that U.S. President Donald Trump sounds off in fact-free fashion on Twitter. For years, the social media giant has faced calls to take action against the leader of the free world. Yesterday, a new feature popped up attached to his tweets: “Get the facts” links to media reports debunking the president’s claims.

In the former auto-making mecca of Oshawa, Ont., General Motors has retooled part of its assembly plant to manufacture masks. The feds will buy 10 million masks from the company over the next year. Sixty former autoworkers will assemble the personal protective equipment in two shifts.

A mea culpa: Yesterday, we mistakenly promoted Germany to a permanent member of the UN Security Council. In fact, Germany’s term expires this year (along with Belgium’s two-year stint). It’s one of those seats that Canada covets.

Your morning smile: Renee Filiatrault, a former comms aide to three defence ministers—including Harjit Sajjan—stumbled on the perfect metaphor for human efficiency, or maybe rebellion against rules, outside the Museum of Nature.


What's inside the disturbing report on Ontario's long-term-care homes

As military personnel provide assistance at Ontario long-term-care homes struggling with COVID-19 outbreaks, the Canadian Armed Forces release a scathing report on dire conditions in those facilities

On April 24, Canadian Armed Forces medical personnel and troops arrived at five long-term-care (LTC) homes in Ontario, at the request of the provincial government. The Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care identified these five homes as needing immediate and intensive intervention: staffing levels were inadequate for the COVID-19 outbreaks in progress, and there were issues with both infection controls and protocols governing personal protective equipment that are essential for controlling such medical crises.

The situation was dire, the Canadian Armed Forces soon realized.

The military was so alarmed that it wrote about its findings in a 15-page report. Military teams witnessed “aggressive behaviour” that they believed was “abusive/inappropriate” as well as “degrading or inappropriate comments directed at residents.” Soldiers saw residents left in soiled diapers, some unbathed for several weeks. They saw cockroaches, ants and rotten food, as well as “significant gross fecal contamination….in numerous patient rooms.” There were “inadequate dosing intervals” for medications for palliative patients. Critical supplies, such as wipes, were “kept under lock, not accessible by those who need them for work.” Some nurses and personal support workers continued wearing their personal protective equipment for hours even while moving between patient rooms. “Forceful feeding [were] observed by staff causing audible choking/aspiration” as well as inappropriate meals were “fed to residents with swallowing difficulties.” Linen shortages “led to residents sleeping on beds with no linen leading to increased skin breakdown.”

READ: These charts show how our fight to ‘flatten the curve’ is going

“It is deeply disturbing,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said of the report, which he read on May 25. “There are things in there that are extremely troubling. We need to take action.”

At the time the military entered these facilities, Ontario had reported that 2,287 residents in LTC homes in the province were infected with COVID-19, plus 1,089 staff. Some 573 residents had already died of the virus.

The death toll has been high in the five homes where the military is helping:

  • Orchard Villa (Pickering): 70 deaths
  • Alamont Care Community (Toronto): 52 deaths
  • Eatonville (Toronto): 42 deaths
  • Hawthorne Place (Toronto): 42 deaths
  • Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor (Brampton): 11 deaths

Even now, the situation isn’t under control. Although 142 outbreaks have been resolved according to the ministry, there are still 150 active outbreaks, meaning that nearly half of the province’s 626 LTC homes have either experienced or are enduring outbreaks.

The problems at Ontario’s LTC homes are endemic to the sector. Over the decades, countless reports have documented the problems and deteriorating conditions. In 2018, the new Progressive Conservative government implemented a risk-based inspection process, meaning complaints or previous risks were required before the government would inspect the facilities. The result was a sharp drop in full inspections. CBC reported that only nine of 626 LTC homes received detailed proactive quality inspections in 2019.

The conditions were perfect for a deadly virus such as COVID-19 to strike.

Compounding the existing problems was a slow response by the Ontario government to the COVID-19 pandemic. In early March, British Columbia reported the first outbreak at a long-term-care facility; in total, 20 residents at Lynn Valley Care Centre would die. Yet, even with that warning of what could happen, Ontario reacted slowly. On March 13, Dr. David Williams, chief medical officer of health, issued a recommendation to the LTC sector advising that only essential visitors be allowed into homes. But it was not until March 31 that Williams issued a formal ban on non-essential visits to LTC homes.

The Ontario government waited until April 22 before temporarily banning employees from working at more than one facility in an effort to stop infected staff from spreading COVID-19. Even then, the regulation had gaping loopholes, such as not applying to private agency staff that were called into homes experiencing worker shortages.

The death toll keeps climbing. Some 1,787 residents have died in LTC homes, as of the end of last week, according to Iacovos Michael, a scientist who has tracked the crisis in an open-source dataset. More than 80 per cent of all deaths in the province were in care homes, the vast majority in long-term-care facilities.

Now comes word that in addition to the military report, dated May 14,* the provincial coroner is investigating one death at Orchard Villa in Pickering. The provincial government has committed only to holding a commission, not an independent inquiry.

As for those five homes (four privately-run, one run by a not-for-profit), the Ontario government has “reached out” to request management plans and long-term staffing plans. The first step under the act that governs such institutions is an inspection. It hasn’t happened yet.

As worried families continue to be barred from the facilities and are unable to report on conditions, there is one question that must haunt them: If it took the intervention of the Canadian Armed Forces for the public to find out the dire situation at five facilities, what are the conditions in the other 621 LTC homes in the province?

CORRECTION, May 27, 2020: This story originally said the Canadian Armed Forces report was sent to federal ministers on May 14. The report, dated May 14, was sent to federal ministers after that date according to the office of the minister of emergency preparedness.


Meng Wanzhou is ready for her close-up

Image of the Week: The Huawei CFO does a cheeky photo-op on the eve of the court decision that will determine her future

The final chapter in a nearly two-year-long battle between Canada and China may have just begun with a cheery thumbs-up. On Saturday, Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei and daughter to its billionaire founder, surprised the public by showing up on the steps of B.C.’s Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver wearing a sleek black dress and a broad smile. The ruling was days away, yet a confident Wanzhou, surrounded by a posse of supportive friends and family, waved, gave the universal all’s-well sign and flashed the ankle bracelet that is evidence she’s still living under house arrest. But those arguably enviable detention conditions⁠—she’s confined to one of her two multimillion-dollar properties on Vancouver’s West Side; with the world under lockdown, surely few sympathize⁠—could end on Wednesday, when a judge will rule whether Canada should extradite Wanzhou to the U.S. to face charges of fraud. Her arrest on Dec. 1, 2018 and subsequent detention sparked significant tensions between Ottawa and Beijing: China quickly arrested two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig; the federal Liberals sacked their ambassador to China after he sided with the wrong team; and a national debate heated up over whether to allow Huawei to help build Canada’s 5G network. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far refrained from attacking China’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, perhaps sensing an opportunity for the two nations to warm relations up a bit. But if Wanzhou ends up extradited, Trudeau may have to rethink any visions of rapprochement. The Chinese government certainly will.


Doug Ford's latest coronavirus update: Long-term care report was 'heartbreaking,' 'horrific,' 'gut-wrenching'

Ontario's premier reacted to a report compiled by the Canadian Armed Forces that reveals horrible conditions in several Ontario long-term care homes

This is the full transcript of Doug Ford’s May 26 remarks

Yesterday afternoon, I was briefed on the reports provided by our brave men and women in uniform who are currently working around the clock to stabilize our hardest hit long-term care homes. After being devastated by a serious COVID-19 outbreak, these five homes had reached a crisis situation and that’s why we called in the military for help. We knew these homes were having serious problems and needed help. But until yesterday morning, we didn’t know the full extent of what these homes—what these residents were dealing with.

The reports they provided us were heartbreaking. They were horrific—shocking that this can happen here in Canada. It’s gut-wrenching, and reading those reports was the hardest thing I’ve done as premier, knowing that so much more needs to be done. But what I am feeling, what we all are feeling is little in comparison to the hardship that these residents and their families have had to endure. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless when it comes to protecting a loved one. So please pray for these residents. Please pray for their families.

And as hard as this is for everyone, as hard as it will be to hear some of these details, I believe that the public needs to see these reports. You need to know exactly what I know. You deserve to know what I know as premier. That’s why I ordered these reports to be released in their entirety. Right now, our number one priority remains protecting these residents, continuing to stabilize the conditions in these homes and across the system. Each of these homes has a hospital partner supporting them. These hospitals have stood with us through the darkest days.

The expertise, knowledge and dedication of our hospital partners has been absolutely critical. And we will continue to need our incredible hospitals as we move forward. And thanks to the help of our hospital partners, thanks to the incredible work of our armed forces. Thanks to their sacrifice and dedication, the conditions in these homes is stabilizing, but there’s still so much more work to be done.

I’m calling on the Canadian Forces to extend their current mission for another 30 days. I spoke to General Vance last night and again this morning. I thank the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces. Thank you for putting up your hand. Thank you for going into those homes in crisis. And most of all, thank you for bringing these incredibly serious issues to light. I know the public wants answers and I promise you, my commitment to the people of Ontario is that I will get those answers. There’ll be accountability. There’ll be justice for these residents and their families.

As soon as we received these reports, we launched a full investigation into these allegations. This includes an investigation by Ontario’s chief corner. The results of these investigations will be shared with police to look into any possible criminal charges. And I will also make the results of these investigations public. Because we all want answers, we need answers. That is why I ordered these records to be released in their entirety so you can see what I’ve seen so you can fully understand what I understand that we must change the system.

This tragedy must serve as a wake-up call to our entire country. And it’s no secret that COVID-19, has taken a system with deep problems. A system that is being neglected for years and pushed to the brink. COVID-19 has exposed the deep, deep cracks in long term care system. And it’s up to us now to fix these problems. It is up to us to face the hard truths that have been ignored for decades and from our first day in office, we got to work by fixing a broken system. Fixing a system that has suffered from decades of neglect takes time and it takes massive resources and billions of dollars. But we know that we must do better as a province, that we must do better as a country, because this isn’t a problem that is unique to Ontario.

As Canadians, we must protect those who cannot protect themselves. I spoke to the Prime Minister this morning. I thanked him again for the support of the Canadian Forces. I told him that after reading this report, now more than ever, it is clear there is a need, we must work together. The Prime Minister offered his full support and I am grateful for the Prime Minister’s commitment to working with us to solve this problem because we need their help, if we’re going to fix this broken system. A system with hundreds of facilities, tens of thousands of residents and workers, we can’t do it alone. We need the federal government at the table as a funding partner. And today, I’m calling on the Prime Minister—support us as we move forward. Help us fix this problem. We can’t fix it alone. No province can fix it alone. As Canadians, we need to protect these residents.

My friends, you should expect nothing less as a province. We should expect nothing less as a country. We should expect nothing less. And as your premier, I expect nothing less. I will do everything in my power. I will move heaven and earth to do what is right to help these people. To help those who need us. That is our job. It is our responsibility. And we will stop at nothing less. Thank you. And God bless the people of Ontario.


A heat map of coronavirus cases in Canada

A snapshot of the latest COVID-19 cases across provinces, plus more maps and charts looking at the number of deaths and testing rates from coast to coast

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across Canada and the world, the numbers are changing quickly. Maclean’s has created this heat map to present all the crucial information on one page. Numbers were last updated as of May 27 at 9 a.m. EDT, and include the latest data from the federal, provincial and territorial governments. (Maclean’s is also keeping track of Canada’s progress in “flattening the curve”—see that here.)

Here are the national statistics for Canada:

  • No. of cases: 88,002
  • No. of cases per 100,000 population: 232
  • No. of deaths: 6,731
  • No. of daily tests: 22,483
  • No. of daily tests per 100,000 population: 59

The chart below and the heat map (top) include data calculated on a “per 100,000 population” basis rather than raw numbers in order to allow readers to more easily compare the situation across Canada. Provinces with a large population will usually have higher raw numbers. For instance, figures on March 23 put Ontario at 425 cases and Yukon at just two. Yet, by calculating their cases per 100,000 population, Yukon has 4.9 cases per 100,000 population while Ontario has 2.9.

Differences in how the pandemic has affected the regions of the country also impact the percentage of cases that are currently active, as well as the percentage of those who have recovered from the infections or have died.



Doug Ford's announcement on COVID-19 in Ontario long-term care homes: Live video

The premier is expected to address a report on the coronavirus crisis in long-term care homes in the province

The premier, minister of health Christine Elliott and minister of long-term care, Merrilee Fullerton are set to speak at 1:30 p.m. ET. Stay tuned for the livestream.


Justin Trudeau's latest polite request to intrude on the provinces

Politics Insider for May 26: The PM announces an attempt to persuade the provinces on expanded sick leave, the Harper/media spat just never ends and Rick Pauzé returns home

Welcome to a sneak peek of the Maclean’s Politics Insider newsletter. Sign up to get it delivered straight to your inbox.

Add another federal-provincial project to the list. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to working with provinces on a deal that would see every Canadian guaranteed 10 days of paid sick leave. He credited New Democrats—federal leader Jagmeet Singh and B.C. Premier John Horgan—with pushing the policy. Horgan had the idea first, he said, but Singh applied the parliamentary pressure, using sick leave as a bargaining chip in negotiations on re-opening the House of Commons.

Of course, signalling an effort to get provinces to agree to new sick-leave guarantees and persuading provinces to enact new sick-leave guarantees are two very different things. As always: to the provincial capitals!

As the elected people in the Commons argued out the details of how exactly they’d keep meeting (read the government’s lengthy proposal to expand the work of the COVID committee), Trudeau made his third announcement on the federal-provincial rent relief program meant to help commercial tenants. Applications are now open, though staggered by province—today is for landlords in B.C., Alberta, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.

As the PM’s daily Rideau Cottage ritual entered its 11th week, Maclean’s asked the PMO if there was a plan to wind down the morning pressers. The response: keep watching those public itineraries. (He will be out in front of his house again this morning.)

Yesterday, the PM was on the horn with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, a pair of key European allies who just so happen to sit on the UN Security Council. They agreed on the merits of multilateralism, internationalism and helping vulnerable countries fight COVID-19 (African nations got an explicit mention with Macron, who has made it a priority to reengage with the continent once heavily colonized by his own country. Yesterday was also Africa Day.)

Patty Hajdu live with Paul wells: Tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET, Paul Wells will sit down with the health minister for an hour-long conversation—via Zoom—about the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the minister’s central role in all the ups and downs. Get all the details here.

Stephen Harper vs. the Media: Every so often, an old video of the former prime minister pops up online and riles up viewers who wish Harper could be forever banished from the nation’s political landscape. It happened again, this time when an American conservative talkshow host’s YouTube channel retroactively posted a chat with the former PM from 2018 (watch it here).

Harper took pains to blame the media, to a significant degree, for his 2015 loss to the hated Liberals. Andrew MacDougall, Harper’s former comms head, writes in Maclean’s that his former boss isn’t the only one stoking the embers of those old flame wars between journalists and governing Conservatives. Journalists aren’t blameless, either, he writes.

Yesterday’s lesson in crisis communications might be that energy ministers should watch what they say on podcasts hosted by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors. The Globe and Mail paraphrased Alberta’s Sonya Savage as saying it’s a “good time to build a pipeline because public health restrictions limit protests against them.” The quiet part out loud, indeed.

The case for a snap electionPhilippe J. Fournier took stock of the recent Abacus poll that gave Liberals a commanding lead over their competition in most regions across Canada. Sure, Tory voters are the most eager to go to the polls. And maybe Trudeau’s soaring approval ratings are only temporary. But still, might the PM be at least a bit tempted to visit Rideau Hall?

Given such strong approval numbers for the Liberals of late and the peculiar eagerness of some Conservatives to return to the polls shortly after their new leader takes hold of the party, the siren call of a fall/winter snap election could become too alluring to resist for the Prime Minister, especially with the dreadful fiscal news that is expected to come in the budget next March.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit has topped $40 billion in payments, about the same gross total estimated by the Parliamentary Budget office late last month—but long before the program’s eventual wind-up.

Last week, we asked readers to identify the NHL team logo visible on the Senate’s virtual tour of Centre Block. Five readers knew the answer, and Catherine Leroux and Alec Boudreau were particularly speedy. If you’re still stumped, look beneath the clock in the Senate chamber. The official word: “The story is that one of the carvers had a brother who played for the [Ottawa] Senators and, in a burst of home-team pride, he carved the team’s insignia into the woodwork.”

Safe and sound: Regular readers know we’ve followed the story of musician Rick Pauzé, a Canadian crew member aboard the Sea Princess cruise ship who was marooned at sea for months, desperate to return home but unsure when or how he’d get there. Even a typhoon delayed his repatriation. Well, he finally landed in Toronto yesterday—32 minutes ahead of schedule at 4:15 p.m., by way of New York City and Seoul—and is now back home in Wasaga Beach. If you want to celebrate Pauzé’s return, send us a note and we’ll make sure it gets to Rick and his extraordinarily patient wife, Dorothy.


The fight for a free Hong Kong isn't over just because Canada wants no part of it

Terry Glavin: Politicians, academics and activists around the world say Beijing has undermined its claim to sovereignty over Hong Kong by breaching its 1997 agreement with Britain. Will the Trudeau government join them?

As thousands of angry Hongkongers defied the law and poured into the streets over the weekend in response to the Chinese Communist Party’s increasingly aggressive moves to finally enclose the semi-autonomous region within Xi Jinping’s police state, it looked very much like the former British colony’s storied and long-standing status as one of the world’s great, free cities was coming to a bitter and heartbreaking end.

At least 180 people were arrested on charges of participating in unauthorized gatherings after riot police broke up a march that was originally planned to protest Xi’s insistence that Hong Kong adopt his National Anthem law. The law provides for severe fines and jail terms of up to three years for mocking the People’s Republic of China’s anthem, “March of the Volunteers.” After a new “national security” law aimed at imposing direct rule over Hong Kong was unveiled last Friday at the National Peoples Congress in Beijing, the weekend protests took on greater urgency. Riot police deployed water cannon, pepper spray and tear gas to disperse crowds.

The national security law is widely understood to stand in direct contravention of Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law—the document enshrining the legal and political autonomy guaranteed to Hongkongers in Britain’s 1997 handover of the territory to Beijing. The new national security law authorizes Beijing to directly impose its own system of population control on Hong Kong, criminalizing any activities the Communist Party arbitrarily considers terrorism, treason, subversion or plotting with foreign organizations.

RELATED: Hong Kong protestors to democratic leaders: Stand up for us before it’s too late

The law would also embed China’s secret police and intelligence apparatus directly into Hong Kong’s governance structure in a “supervisory” role.

As grim as Hong Kong’s prospects appeared over the weekend, there are some faint flickers of hope. The city-state’s future may come down to whether Xi would think twice about his manoeuvres if he were facing the severe economic penalties set out in the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, adopted by a unanimous Senate vote and a 417-1 vote in the House of Representatives in Washington last November. 

It remains to be seen whether U.S. President Donald Trump will make use of the sanctions and other measures under the Act, however. When the law came into force late last year, after intense lobbying efforts by Hong Kong’s young democrats, Trump said parts of the Act impinged upon his authority as president. “We have to stand with Hong Kong,” Trump said at the time, “but I’m also standing with President Xi. He’s a friend of mine.”

Even so, on Sunday, Robert O’Brien, the White House national security adviser, said the U.S. State Department would likely find it impossible to certify that Hong Kong continues to maintain a high degree of autonomy, now that Beijing is adopting measures that amount to a “takeover” of Hong Kong. If Secretary of State Mike Pompeo can’t justify that certification, it’s likely that the provisions of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would be triggered.

RELATED: While Hong Kong fights for democracy, Canada goes silent

There is also the potential for a broader international response arising from a multinational, cross-party declaration led by Chris Patten, Hong Kong’s last British viceroy. By this morning, the statement had won the support of 226 leading legislators, former ambassadors and leading public officials from 25 countries, including several leading Conservative MPs from Canada. While Canada’s governing Liberals are noticeably absent from the declaration—Senator Jim Munson was the only Liberal to sign on—the proclamation has won the support of the current chairs of the foreign affairs committees of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The declaration calls Beijing’s latest move a “flagrant breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration” that set out the 1997 terms of Hong Kong’s autonomy, which is supposed to be in force until at least 2047. “This is a comprehensive assault on the city’s autonomy, rule of law, and fundamental freedoms,” the proclamation states. “The integrity of one-country, two-systems hangs by a thread.”

If the world’s liberal democracies come to a consensus that Beijing has abrogated the Sino-British declaration, it follows that the liberal-democratic camp in the United Nations could no longer recognize the legitimacy of Beijing’s claim of sovereignty over Hong Kong. There is already a move afoot in the U.S. Congress to authorize the White House, at the president’s discretion, to recognize Hong Kong as an independent national state. There is also a corresponding viewpoint emerging among Hong Kong’s democrats that it’s either independence or total submission to Beijing. 

British Human Rights activist Benedict Rogers, founder of Hong Kong Watch, said he hopes Patten’s declaration will be sufficient to give Beijing pause. “The death of democracy in Hong Kong should be of grave concern to us all. We hope that this international statement from policymakers across the political and geographic divide will send a clear message to Beijing that the world will not meekly consent to the dismantling of the ‘One, Country Two Systems’ model overnight.”

If the international community allows Beijing to get away with shredding the Sino-British Joint declaration and abrogating the terms of the 1997 handover agreement with impunity, Xi should be expected to turn his sights on Taiwan next, Charles Burton, longtime China expert and associate professor at Brock University, told me. “Once Xi has destroyed Hong Kong, I fully expect him to move on to Taiwan and damn the consequences,” Burton said.

RELATED: Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou: The world’s most wanted woman

Along with its unilateral moves against Hong Kong’s autonomy last week, Beijing dropped its usual references to the “peaceful reunification” of Taiwan with the People’s Republic. Beijing has conventionally declared the independent, self-governing country of Taiwan to be a temporary breakaway province of China. But Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told the National People’s Congress last week that Beijing would “resolutely oppose and deter any separatist activities seeking Taiwan independence.” The word “peaceful” was absent for the first time in Premier Li’s annual Taiwan report.

Burton said both Hong Kong and Taiwan together serve as a withering rebuke to the Chinese Communist Party’s insistence that democracy runs counter to the Chinese character. “The existence in Hong Kong and Taiwan of alternative Chinas to the CCP’s Stalinist dictatorship is a major threat to Xi Jinping. He insists that the CCP represents the interests of the Chinese people everywhere and is legitimated by Chinese culture and historical tradition, but the vibrant democracy and freedom of citizens in Taiwan and Hong Kong give the lie to that.”

In the meantime, Ottawa should adopt several long-overdue measures to come to Hong Kong’s aid, and also to safeguard Canadian sovereignty, says a coalition of Canadian Hongkongers. The recently-established Alliance Canada Hong Kong (ACHK) says it is long past time for Canada to acknowledge that by shredding the “one country, two systems” conditions underlying the 1997 handover, Beijing has already relinquished any legitimate claim it can make to sovereignty over Hong Kong. Like Taiwan, Hong Kong was never directly ruled by the People’s Republic.  

“Hong Kong is no longer an autonomous region,” the ACHK declared in response to Beijing’s unveiling of the new national security law. “We demand the Canadian government and the international community to immediately revoke Hong Kong’s special administrative status. We must consider Hong Kong’s democratic future outside of the confines of the One-China fantasy.”

ACHK is asking Ottawa to: invoke Canada’s “Magnitsky” legislation to sanction specific human rights abusers in the Chinese government and in the administration of Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, Bejing’s chief puppet in the Special Administrative Region; Offer humanitarian support to Hongkongers, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and members of other persecuted groups who qualify for asylum in Canada; take measures to address Beijing’s persistent interference in Canadian affairs by its subversion and influence operations in public and private Canadian institutions.

So far, however, the Trudeau government has gone only so far as to express “concern” about the crisis in Hong Kong. and has committed only to continue to “monitor” the situation.

Pressed by Opposition leader Andrew Scheer in the House of Commons today, Trudeau dodged several questions about what specifically Canada intends to do, beyond reiterating earlier statements about Canada’s hopes for a “de-escalation” of tensions. Trudeau said Canada stands with the people of Hong Kong and will work with allies around the world to “stand for human rights” there. Scheer said Beijing is trampling on the rights of Hongkongers, noting that it continues to hold Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor as hostages, while Canada takes no action and instead persists in “a policy of appeasement.”

Trudeau again said only that Canada supports the human rights of Hongkongers, despite Scheer’s repeated questions about what specific measures his government intends to take in response to Beijing’s latest moves.


Coronavirus in Canada: how to get tested, what the symptoms are, where to get help

A province-by-province breakdown of advice, requirements and who to call if you think you might have it, along with information on who is most vulnerable

NOTE: This post was originally published on March 12, and is being updated frequently with the most recent information from official federal and provincial sources. Because events are changing quickly, we are drawing not only from government websites but also Twitter feeds, press conferences and other sources. Last update was Friday, May 22 at 12 p.m.

In addition to all provinces having declared emergencies to deal with the coronavirus, cities are doing the same. On April 1, Toronto declared an emergency, cancelled all non-essential services and upcoming events and closed many facilities. It won’t be the last municipality to do so. In addition to checking this post for the latest federal and provincial guidance, Maclean’s recommends that readers check their own municipal websites for specific local information.

As the coronavirus known as COVID-19 spreads in Canada, the sheer volume of information and misinformation about it can make it difficult to know exactly what is going on, and what to do if you think you or someone near you could have the virus.

So, Maclean’s has compiled information about the current situation in Canada, symptoms of COVID-19, who is most vulnerable to the virus, as well as self-isolation and notification details for each province and territory. We combed through the official coronavirus webpages of the federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as of the World Health Organization (WHO), which published a preliminary report on the outbreak in China. Sources are noted throughout.

As each province and territory has its own health terminology—Telehealth Ontario vs. Health Link 811 in Alberta, for example—much of the wording is taken directly from their sites to avoid confusion.

An important note: this information is frequently revised and updated by authorities. This post, too, is being updated regularly, but we urge readers to click on the links, especially the official sites, for the latest.

Also, wash your hands with soap. Often.

To skip directly to information and instructions for your home province on this post, follow the applicable link below:

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories



Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus while the average is 5-6 days after infection (PHAC and WHO).

According to the BC Centre of Disease Control, the leading symptoms in confirmed cases include:

  • Cough (86%)
  • Fever (70%)
  • Chills (68%)
  • Headache (66%)
  • Weakness (63%)
  • Myalgia or muscle pain (60%)
  • Pharyngitis or sore throat (48%)
  • Shortness of breath/ breathing difficulty (47%)

The WHO report on COVID-19 in China found that:

  • 80% of patients experienced mild to moderate effects (fever, cough, maybe pneumonia—but not needing supplemental oxygen)
  • 14% suffered severe symptoms (requiring supplemental oxygen, including via a ventilator)
  • 1% were critical (respiratory failure, septic shock and/or organ dysfunction/failure)

Who is most vulnerable?

There is increased risk of more severe outcomes for those:

  • Aged 65 and over
  • With compromised immune systems
  • With underlying medical conditions or chronic diseases including:
  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • heart, renal or chronic lung disease (Ont.)

Those warnings follow the findings of that February WHO report on COVID-19 in China. According to the research team, the age difference among those affected was stark: 21.9 per cent of those over 80 years died, while just 2.4 per cent of all reported cases were children aged 18 and under (only 0.2 per cent of those became critically ill).

As well, while 1.4 per cent of COVID-19 patients with no other underlying conditions died, those with other conditions experienced much higher death rates:

  • cardiovascular disease (13.2%)
  • diabetes (8.4%)
  • hypertension (8.4%)
  • chronic respiratory disease (8%)
  • cancer (7.6%)

In more severe cases, public health authorities believe infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death (Sask). Yet, unlike the nature of influenza, pregnant women do not appear to be at a higher risk for the severe form of COVID-19, according to the WHO report.

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms

Contact a care provider in your area to get tested (province-by-province contact information below). Staff in some jurisdictions, especially large cities, may direct you to special assessment centres set up for COVID-19 testing. There are some basic caveats to observe, though, before and after you get tested, as the B.C. site explains:

  • If it becomes harder to breathe, you can’t drink anything or feel much worse than when you got tested, seek immediate medical care at an urgent-care clinic or emergency department. If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately.
  • Call ahead before you get medical care. If leaving your home for care, call ahead and tell the clinic you are coming in and that you just had a COVID-19 test. By calling ahead, you help the clinic, hospital, lab, urgent care or doctor’s office prepare for your visit and stop the spread of germs. Remind each health care provider that is taking care of you that you are waiting for COVID-19 test results.
  • Self-isolate

The health-care professionals will need to know: a) your symptoms b) where you have been travelling or living c) if you had direct contact with animals, for example, if you visited a live animal market d) if you had close contact with a sick person, especially if they had a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

How many Canadians have COVID-19?

As of the May 22, 11 a.m. update, 6,180 residents have died of COVID-19 and there were 81,765 cases in Canada: B.C. (2,479), Alberta (6,768), Saskatchewan (622), Manitoba (290), Ontario (24,628), Quebec (45,495), New Brunswick (121), Nova Scotia (1,046), Prince Edward Island (27), Newfoundland and Labrador (260), Yukon (11), the Northwest Territories (5) and repatriated travellers (13), per daily federal and provincial updates.

Of detailed data available on more than 39,000 cases:

  • 4,424 cases have been hospitalized, including 978 in intensive care
  • 35% of COVID-19 cases were among those 60 years old or over

Federal government

Official site here.

A dashboard loaded with statistics tracking the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada has been developed by Public Health Agency of Canada and is here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool here.

COVID-19 app is here. It will allow users to receive the latest updates, vetted resources and a self-assessment tool.

There is a virtual assistant option for those looking for information (click on the small circular graphic of a headset and maple leaf at bottom right of page).

Getting advice: The Public Health Agency of Canada has an information line about COVID-19 at 1-833-784-4397. It has interpretation services available in multiple languages.


Stay at home as much as possible. All Canadians should be practising physical (social) distancing. Even if you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, you could become infected by others.

  • stay at home unless you have to go to work
    • talk to your employer about working at home if possible
  • avoid all non-essential trips in your community
  • do not gather in groups
  • limit contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)
  • go outside to exercise but stay close to home
  • if you leave your home, always keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others
    • household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick or have travelled in the last 14 days

You can go for a walk if you:

  • have not been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • do not have symptoms of COVID-19
  • have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days

If you go out for a walk, do not congregate and always practise physical (social) distancing by keeping at least two metres apart from others at all times.

Travellers returning to Canada

The Government of Canada has put in place an emergency order under the Quarantine Act. It applies to all travellers arriving in Canada. Its purpose is to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. Failure to comply with this order is an offence under the Quarantine Act.

Travellers with symptoms: mandatory isolation

If you are Canadian or a permanent resident, and you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you may still enter Canada by land, rail or sea. You may not enter Canada by air, to protect the health of all travellers.

If you have symptoms, you must isolate for 14 days. This is mandatory.

Travellers without symptoms: mandatory quarantine

If you have recently returned to Canada and you have no symptoms, you must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days. This is mandatory. You are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.

You must:

  • go directly to your place of quarantine, without stopping anywhere, and stay there for 14 days
    • do not go to school, work or other public areas and community settings
  • monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19
  • arrange to have someone pick up essentials like groceries or medication for you
  • do not have visitors
  • stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh air
  • keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others

If you develop symptoms within 14 days:

  • isolate yourself from others
  • immediately call a health care professional or public health authority and:
    • describe your symptoms and travel history
    • follow their instructions carefully
  • extend your quarantine to 14 days following the appearance of symptoms

Non-medical masks or face coverings while travelling

Effective April 20, 2020 and until further notice, new measures require all air passengers to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel.

Advice from provincial and territorial governments, and where to get information

Specific information regarding self-isolation and reporting varies by province, so here are the breakdowns, using the wording from their own websites. Please note that new information is causing their risk assessments to be re-evaluated.

British Columbia

Official site for the BC Centre for Disease Control is here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool here.

COVID-19 self-assessment app can be accessed here.

A digital assistant to answer questions can be accessed on the BC Centre for Disease Control COVID-19 page

Getting help:

  • The province has created 1 888 COVID-19 to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about COVID-19. This includes the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing, as well as access to support and resources from the provincial and federal governments. 1 888 COVID-19 is available seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in 110 languages.
  • The 811 number is also in place for medical-related COVID-19 questions.


British Columbia moved from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of its restart plan on May 19, which includes:

  • small social gatherings;
  • a resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling;
  • provincial parks open for day use;
  • opening more non-essential businesses, including restaurants and hair salons etc, in keeping with safe operations plans;
  • recalling the provincial legislature for regular sittings.

Parents will have the choice of bringing their children back to class on a part-time basis this school year as part of BC’s Restart Plan, with the goal of returning to full-time classes in September 2020, provided it is safe to do so.

A detailed list of advice and measures is here.

On March 18, the province declared a state of emergency to support the COVID-19 response.

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Official site here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool here.

Getting help: If you recently returned from travel outside Canada or have symptoms—cough, fever, fatigue or difficulty breathing:


Alberta begins stage 1 of its reopening plan, though there are delays for some items for Calgary and Brooks, which includes:

  • Scheduled, non-urgent surgeries.
  • Dental and other regulated health-care workers such as physiotherapists
  • Golf courses open.

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

On March 17, Alberta declared a public health emergency. A list of businesses deemed essential services can be found here.


Official site here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool here.

Getting help:

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency has a dedicated, toll-free phone line for people who have general questions about the COVID-19 pandemic that are not health-specific: 1-855-559-5502 (for Regina residents: 306-787-8539) The line will be staffed 16 hours a day, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., by operators who will be able to answer questions or point people to information ranging from government services to travel restrictions.

COVID-19 public inquiry email at COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca. Members of the public with email inquiries can expect a response within 24 hours from the dedicated response team

If you fit the criteria of potential exposure, are exhibiting mild symptoms and suspect you may have COVID-19, you can obtain a referral to a community testing centre by phoning:

  1. HealthLine 811 (204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257)
  2. Your local Public Health Communicable Disease Control office.
  3. Your family physician.


In-class learning is suspended until at least September. For those students graduating this year, school divisions are working with graduates and staff to consider virtual graduation ceremonies and possible postponements as well, as public health orders remain which prevent more than 10 people from gathering together.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will be initiating a phased resumption of health-care services on May 19, 2020. This process will start to reverse some of the service changes and reductions that had been initiated at earlier phases of the SHA’s COVID-19 Readiness Plan. On May 1, Saskatchewan updated the particulars in phase 1 of its reopening plan, which can be accessed here

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

On March 18, the Government of Saskatchewan declared a provincial State of Emergency, giving the government broad powers to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

A list of all the tools available for the public to ask questions, access information and obtain support during the COVID-19 pandemic is here.

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Official site here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool here.

Getting help: Contact Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) if you’re experiencing symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus


NEW: The draft plan for phase two of restoring services includes:

  • Increasing gathering sizes to 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors, which come into effect on May 22.
  • Other measures being examined include resuming sports activities, reopening pools and gyms, allow drive-in religious services, opening manicurist shops etc., and allowing dine-in eating to resume.

The reopening of the province will be a multi-phased process. As of May 4, a variety of non-essential health-care and retail businesses will have the option to reopen under strict guidelines:

  • Priority elective surgeries have been restarted, diagnostics screening will resume and some non-essential businesses will be reopened
  • schools will remain closed
  • non-urgent surgery and diagnostic procedures restored
  • therapeutic and health care services restored
  • retail businesses reopen
  • restaurants – patio/walk-up services restored
  • hairstylists and barbers reopen
  • museums, galleries and libraries reopen
  • outdoor recreation and campgrounds reopen

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

On March 20, the government declared a state of emergency.

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Official site for Ministry of Health here and Public Health Ontario is here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool is here.

Getting help:

Contact your primary care provider  or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 if you’re experiencing symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus.


Ontario officially enters the first stage of its Framework for Reopening the Province on May 19.

As part of this initial stage, the government is permitting:

  • Visiting retail stores that have street-front entrances
  • Have cleaners inside your residence
  • Have people inside your residence for non-emergency maintenance
  • Visit a library for pick-up or delivery.
  • Using marinas and yacht clubs
  • Playing tennis, ping pong and other racquet sports, along with gymnastics and skating.
  • The reopening of some outdoor recreational amenities.
  • The government has approved an exemption to the emergency order related to gatherings to allow Ontarians to attend drive-in religious gatherings

Ontario will not reopen its schools this school year. As well, summer overnight camps will not open this year.

The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects.

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

On March 17, the government of Ontario has declared an emergency.

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Official site here.

Getting help:

If you are worried about COVID‑19 or display symptoms such as a cough or fever, you can call toll free 418-644-4545 in the Quebec City region, 514-644-4545 in the Montreal area and 1-877-644-4545 elsewhere in Quebec.

If you have these symptoms:

  • do not go to a medical clinic without having received an appointment beforehand;
  • if your condition allows, call 1 877 644-4545. If you have been back from a trip for less than 14 days, specify this;
  • go to the emergency room only if you have breathing difficulties (difficulty breathing at rest or inability to breathe while lying down).


The province outlined its plan for opening schools; it is here with more information here as well as here, as well as details regarding daycares. As of May 4, access to various restricted areas will be relaxed. More information is here.

NEW: Recreational sports, leisure and outdoor activities carried out individually or in pairs, without physical contact, will be permitted outside starting on May 20.

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here, including a self-care guide.

On March 13, Quebec declared a health emergency.

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New Brunswick

Official site: here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool here.

Getting help: Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can:

  • make a virtual appointment with their primary care provider; or;
  • call Tele-Care at 8-1-1 to speak with a registered nurse.

(If they require an in-person assessment, a referral will be provided to the Community Assessment Centre in their area. Note: those centres are not walk-in clinics.)


New Brunswick’s recovery plan and the loosening of some public health restrictions were announced on April 24.

NEW: The province is moving gradually into the Yellow level of its reopening plan, on May 22

As of May 22, two-household bubbles can be extended to close friends and family, while indoor gatherings should be limited to 10 people or fewer. As well, acupuncturists etc. are open, as are hair salons, manicurists etc.

As of March 25, restrictions will be implemented for all travellers arriving in New Brunswick from outside the province. Interprovincial travellers, like international travellers, will need to self-isolate for 14 days. All unnecessary travel into New Brunswick is prohibited, and peace officers are authorized to turn away visitors when they attempt to enter.

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

On March 19, the government declared a state of emergency.

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Nova Scotia

Official site: here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool here.

Getting help:

Getting help: To find out if you need to call 811, use the COVID-19 online self-assessment. (Nova Scotia Health Authority has established COVID-19 assessment centres. If you need in-person assessment, 811 will refer you to a centre. Don’t go to a COVID-19 assessment centre unless 811 referred you.)


NEW: The province has expanded the criteria for testing. If you have any one of the following symptoms, visit https://811.novascotia.ca to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment:

  • fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
  • cough or worsening of a previous cough
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • shortness of breath
  • muscle aches
  • sneezing
  • nasal congestion/runny nose
  • hoarse voice
  • diarrhea
  • unusual fatigue
  • loss of sense of smell or taste
  • red, purple or blueish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause

Nova Scotia introduced the following:

  • The immediate family bubble, allowing two immediate family households to come together without physical distancing. The families must be mutually exclusive to each other to minimize risk of COVID-19 spread.
  • Outdoor golf, sailing, tennis etc can resume.
  • Beaches can reopen, but no gatherings more than five people.

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

On March 22, Nova Scotia declared a provincial state of emergency

Anyone who has travelled outside of Nova Scotia must self-isolate for 14 days. If you have travelled outside of Nova Scotia, or been in close contact with someone who has travelled, and are experiencing fever or new cough, you should complete the online questionnaire before calling 811.

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Prince Edward Island

Official site here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool here.

Getting help:

  • 811 – If you have COVID-19 symptoms, including a cough, fever or difficulty breathing.
  • 1-833-533-9333 – health questions, services for Islanders, business programs
  • 1-800-958-6400 – concerns that someone you know is not following the self-isolation directive.
  • View Government of PEI contact information for COVID-19.


The province’s Renew PEI Together was unveiled on May 1. Details are here. 

New: The province moves to Phase Two of Renew PEI, Together

What reopens:

  • Members of the same household may gather outdoors with up to 10 other individuals from different households and indoors with up to five other individuals. Household units can expand by one or two members
  • Retail outlets
  • Greenhouses and nurseries
  • Construction, maintenance and repair services
  • Cleaning and restoration services
  • Hairdressers, barbers, and pet grooming.
  • Daycares
  • Health-service providers, including massage therapists
  • Dental care for emergency and urgent treatments

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

The province has declared a state of public health emergency on March 16, and, on April 16, a state of emergency.

The government outlined plans for the remainder of the school year here

Starting April 1, everyone coming across the bridge are being stopped to determine if their travel to Prince Edward Island is considered essential based on guidelines set out by the Chief Public Health Officer earlier in the week. Non-Islanders travelling unnecessarily to the province for personal reasons will be asked to turn around.

Islanders returning to Prince Edward Island from domestic or international travel must self-isolate for 14 days. Exceptions are being made for essential workers, including truck drivers, airline crews, essential public and private sector worker in critical sectors, as well as on compassionate grounds.

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Newfoundland and Labrador

Official site here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool here.

Mental health and wellness services are available here.

Getting help:

For anyone having issues or concerns regarding self-isolation, please call the Canadian Red Cross COVID-19 help line at 1-800-863-6582, available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Contact 811 if you develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing.


On April 30, the Chief Medical Officer of Health today announced Newfoundland and Labrador’s plan for living with COVID-19. The plan, ‘A Foundation for Living with COVID-19’, includes five alert levels. Depending on which level the province is in, as determined by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health restrictions will be gradually relaxed. The province is currently in Alert Level 5.

On May 11, the province enters Alert Level 4. Alert Level 4 permits the gradual resumption of some activities and business operations, while maintaining certain public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19

Schools will not reopen during the current school year.

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

On March 18, the Minister of Health and Community Services declared COVID-19 a public health emergency.

Anyone arriving to the province from outside of Newfoundland and Labrador on or after March 20, 2020 is required to self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival.

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Official site here.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool here.

Getting help: phone 811 or your health provider (Do not go to an emergency department, family doctor, walk-in clinic or your local health centre without calling 811 first).

Call the COVID-19 InfoLine at 877-374-0425 for non-medical COVID-19 information in Yukon.


The government releases its reopening plan, A Path Forward. The territory is in Phase 1 (restart), which allows:

  • Up to two households to form a combined bubble
  • A combined household maximum of 10 people
  • Food trucks can reopen
  • Funeral and religious service restrictions eased
  • Non-urgent medical services re-open, including diagnostic testing

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

On March 18, the government declared a public health emergency.

Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) Enforcement Officers have been placed at Yukon borders and at the Whitehorse airport as a measure to ensure that all travellers have the information they need to keep themselves and Yukoners safe from the spread of COVID-19.

These Government of Yukon enforcement officers will be collecting contact information from all travellers coming through Yukon or returning home, details of their 14-day self-isolation plans, and declarations of any symptoms of COVID-19. This information will allow CEMA Enforcement Officers to follow up and ensure that travellers are following self-isolation rules.

Specific information on the various public health orders, now enforceable under the Civil Emergency Measures Act, including requirements on travellers entering Yukon, as well as guidelines for critical, essential and non-essential service workers, is here

Non-essential travel outside of territory and into rural Yukon. We advise that:

  • people do not travel to or from Yukon;
  • Yukoners outside of the territory return home, now; and
  • people do not travel to Yukon’s rural communities.
  • Advice for all travellers
  • Self-isolation



Anyone arriving by air or road has to self-isolate for 14 days, including travel from:

  • within Canada;
  • the US (Alaska); and
  • overseas

Northwest Territories

Official site here.

Getting help: For questions on self-isolation and travel restrictions, contact protectnwt@govt.nt.ca or call 1-833-378-8297. Tell your health care provider if you have symptoms.


The Emerging Wisely Plan moves into its relaxing phase one, which includes:

  • Each household can have five people come inside their homes, to a maximum of 10. Strongly recommended that households keep to their “fave five”
  • Outdoor gatherings limited to 25 people
  • Reopening of hair salons, massage therapy clinics, art galleries etc
  • Outdoor sports restart
  • Farmers’ markets, libraries etc open with capacity limits.

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

On March 18, the government declared a territory-wide Public Health Emergency under the Northwest Territories Public Health Act.

The NWT Chief Public Health Officer has prohibited all travel into the NWT by non-residents. Import/export workers are, however, exempted from the travel ban.

If you develop fever, cough, or other flu-like symptoms during this time period, contact the following:

  • Yellowknife: 867-767-9120
  • Inuvik: 867-490-2225
  • Fort Smith: 867-872-6219 or 867-872-6221
  • Hay River: 867-874-7201 (8:30 to 16:30). After hours, please contact the Emergency Department at 867-874-8050.
  • For all other communities, see https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/health-centres.

They will talk with you about your symptoms, and advise you what to do next. Do not go in without calling.

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Official site here.

Getting help: call your local health centre.

COVID-19 self-assessment tool is here


A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is here.

On March 18, the government declared a public health emergency.

Strict travel restrictions to Nunavut is in place. Only residents and critical workers can travel into the territory. Everyone except critical workers with written permission from the Chief Public Health Officer must be in a mandatory 14-day isolation period in the south before they can board a plane to come to Nunavut. This includes residents and students.

Ongoing health services:

  • Access to health care services will remain available in all communities seven days a week.
  • All non-urgent requests will be triaged daily.
  • Immediate access to urgent and emergent health care services are and will continue to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • In Iqaluit, public health, the emergency room and inpatient unit will remain open.

All public gatherings are now banned, and all playgrounds and municipal parks are now closed.

If you become ill:

If you develop symptoms and have travelled to a region with known cases of COVID-19 occurring in the community or have been in contact with someone who has:

  • stay at home and avoid contact with others
  • follow up with your health care professional

If you develop fever, cough or difficulty breathing in the next 14 days, call your health care provider or local public health authority and advise them of possible contact with COVID-19.

If you are ill and must visit a health care professional, call ahead or tell them when you arrive that you have a respiratory illness and if you have travelled.

  • Please call before going to your health centre, if it is a non-emergency. You will be assessed by phone.
  • For Iqaluit, for non-emergency situations, it’s the same thing—please call before going to the Qikiqtani General Hospital.
  • For all communities, for non-emergency situations please call first before coming to the health centre. You will be assessed by phone.
  • Physicians will continue community visits.
  • Mental health supports are available.


Do Peter MacKay or Erin O'Toole stand a chance against Justin Trudeau?

Politics Insider for May 22: A new Abacus poll reveals the same cleavages, cities have a new leader in Ottawa and Shopify goes 'digital first'

Welcome to a sneak peek of the Maclean’s Politics Insider newsletter. Sign up to get it delivered straight to your inbox.

In the before times, horse-race polling was all the rage. But as partisanship took a back seat to emergency sittings, spending and scrutinizing, who even had time to talk about voter intentions? Of course, that break from political reality was always going to be temporary. (Philippe J. Fournier crunched the numbers earlier this month on all the most recent polling.)

Now, a new Abacus poll surveyed the nation’s voters and the results revealed all the same regional cleavages, some exacerbated. Outside of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Liberals have sewn up 42 per cent of the vote, a 15-point lead over the Tories. Within those two Prairie provinces, the Conservative vote has held steady at 54 per cent, 31 points more than the Liberals. It’s not even close in the Atlantic, and Team Trudeau holds a commanding lead in all-important Ontario.

Oh, and Abacus has both Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole—whom the Hill Times reports are waging digital war against each other—trailing Justin Trudeau badly in head-to-head polls.

Pyrrhic victory: Just a single day after an Ontario judge overturned Jim Karahalios‘s banishment from the Tory leadership race because the subcommittee that booted him didn’t have the jurisdiction, the committee that did have the authority wasted little time in showing Karahalios the door.

Canada’s cities have a new top dog in Ottawa. Carole Saab, a lobbyist whose run at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) spans a decade, will take over for retiring CEO Brock Carlton this summer. Before she was an FCM mainstay—and named consistently by the Hill Times as one of the city’s top lobbyists—Saab spent four years working inside Jack Layton’s NDP.

The FCM has been pushing the feds for a multi-billion-dollar funding serge for cities hit by the pandemic. And it has been active on Parliament Hill, lobbying officials in the Prime Minister’s office and an array of other important places in Ottawa.

If your prime-minister-calls-world-leaders Bingo card had the president of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, cross that off the list. Trudeau spoke with Nyusi yesterday and thanked him for “ongoing help” to repatriate Canadians from the southern African nation. Today, the PM will try to burnish Canada’s credentials in a virtual meeting with UN representatives of Arab League countries. Meanwhile, the Canadian Press scored an interview with Marc-André Blanchard, Canada’s UN ambassador, as he heads back to New York City for the home stretch of the Security Council election.

Meng Wanzhou will be thrust into Canada’s spotlight again next Wednesday when a B.C. judge will release her findings on whether or not Meng’s alleged crimes in the U.S. would be considered crimes in Canada. If they’re not and Meng prevails, she could be a free woman. Otherwise, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes would then hear arguments from the defence team about Meng’s alleged mistreatment during her arrest. Either way, a decision on her extradition to the U.S. hangs in the balance.

A new non-profit with some serious political power players from all over the political spectrum and corporate world hopes to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on women in Canada. The Prosperity Project is headed up by Pamela Jeffery, a founder of the Canadian Board Diversity Council. The team includes 60 women including former Ontario privacy watchdog Ann Cavoukian, Indspire CEO Roberta Jamieson, former B.C. premier Christy Clark, Ontario Liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter and Sleep Country Canada founder Christine Magee.

Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke dropped some mega-news on Canada’s tech community yesterday, tweeting the company would go “digital by default.” When Canada’s most valuable company makes a decision like that, questions inevitably follow. A city councillor in Ottawa, the home of Shopify’s HQ, wondered if the company would still locate its workers in the city. How would the move not disadvantage women? Would the company upgrade everyone’s internet? What does it all mean for real estate markets? And what of Shopify’s reputation for having tricked-out workspaces?

Progressive progress redux: The little Senate grouping-that-could now has enough senators to constitute a “recognized” group in the chamber. The Progressive Senate Group netted another turncoatPierre Dalphond, from the Independent Senators Group. Dalphond told CBC News he was dissatisfied by recent moves by the “facilitator” of the ISG, Yuen Pau Woo. Peter Harder crossed over just last week. Woo, for his part, blames recent defections on a misunderstanding.

The Senate has stumped your humble newsletter correspondent. A quiz in the red chamber’s newsletter challenged readers to launch a virtual tour of Centre Block and identify, among other trivialities, an NHL logo. If you find it, please email us the team name and the logo’s location in Centre Block. The first reader to educate us gets crowned Politics Insider Nerd of the Week.

The family of Maxime Miron-Morin, one of the HMCS Fredericton personnel who recently died at sea, released statements to the public yesterday. His wife, Kathryn, wrote that Miron-Morin had a “rare ability to teach himself anything. His mother, Marie-Claude, wrote that a Rubik’s Cube was “always close at hand”—even an 8×8 cube—and he could solve them with his eyes closed. Marie-Claude wrote that she “was not reassured” by his deployment overseas, but Maxime assured her he’d be okay. “His desire was so strong,” she wrote. “I could feel it.”


A bit of Trudeau coverage we can all appreciate

Image of the Week: The PM takes the word of Canada's top public health official to heart—and puts it into action

On Wednesday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Theresa Tam, changed her official stance (yet again) when it comes to wearing masks in public: she’s now recommending it. Specifically, as provinces begin enacting the early stages of Canada’s economic reawakening, she told reporters during her daily briefing, “This will help us reopen and add another layer to how you go out safely.” Indeed, with warmer weather finally here, cooped-up Canadians are getting outside any way they can. But the recommendation contradicts her advice from over a month ago (“Putting a mask on an asymptomatic person is not beneficial”) and a shift from just a few days ago (when she suggested, rather than recommended, the universal use of masks). To be fair, her initial, now-outdated, recommendation was based on a national shortage of PPE stockpiles, unknown factors about disease transmission and the hope that most Canadians were staying indoors at all times. Today, much of that’s changed. And if we’re going to go outside again, we should do it in style. Cue the Prime Minister: hours after Tam’s recommendation, Trudeau popped out of his motorcade sporting a sleek, black-and-grey mask covering half his face. Perhaps this puts to rest his concern about speaking moistly onto others.



Canada: Drive-through nation

From rhinos to rock shows and dinosaurs to dining, a stir-crazy nation turns to its cars to get out and experience something close to normal

This story was last updated on May 25, 2020

Imagine spotting a lion during a safari adventure in the African savannah. Close your eyes and soak in the sunshine for a moment. Breathe in the warm, dusty air. 

Maybe someday international travel will be an option again. But in the meantime, with the sun beating down on your car and the air smelling like… your car, spotting a lion is an option. Or a rhino. Or a monkey. 

The Toronto Zoo is selling online tickets to a “scenic safari” that lets vehicles wind single-file past a variety of its exhibits. “Quarantine’s been tough on everyone, particularly families,” zoo CEO Dolf DeJong says. “It’s tough to be cooped up for a long time. And we think having these opportunities is going to be key to a well-measured recovery.” 

DeJong is, of course, talking about our society’s collective recovery from a pandemic that has transformed our day-to-day lives and made many recreational activities all but impossible. (The animals, while remaining cooped up, are being monitored, he says, to make sure the car lineup isn’t stressing them out.)

In this stir-crazy nation, a day at the zoo is not the only thing you can now accomplish by automobile, for those who have access to one. 

Families have found creative ways to celebrate kids’ birthdays—like one for Jaxson, a five-year-old in Winnipeg, that attracted dozens of vehicles for drive-by celebrating. 

The art world is mobilized. In Toronto, a Van Gogh-themed musical light show in a former newspaper printing plant will be accessible by car for part of June. 

For that matter the dinosaur world is mobilized: daily drives past a giant T-rex model, among others, have recently been scheduled to raise funds for the Indian River Reptile Zoo near Peterborough, Ont. (A cruise through Drumheller, Alta., still offers dinosaur views year-round.) 

Drive-through confessions were already taking place at Catholic parishes across the country; now, drive-in religious services are green-lit in Ontario. And drive-in movie theatres are in for a major comeback. 

In Prince George, B.C., local band Studio 720 is preparing for Canada’s first drive-in rock concert on the roof of the city’s CN Centre arena. Expected for May 23, it was moved there from the roof of a Canadian Tire due to popular demand.

“I hope this brings some sort of life back to the entertainment industry and the music industry, and that people will start to think outside the box,” vocalist J.P. Muldoe told Maclean’s in the lead-up to the event. It has since been postponed because of new gathering guidelines from the provincial government. According to the band, a new date hasn’t yet been set.

The idea is a massive undertaking birthed by local politician Kyle Samson, with optional donations from concert-goers going to Wheelin’ Warriors of the North, a cancer charity. If and when the show goes on, there will be a full stage set-up on the roof. Lights. Smoke. Facebook and Instagram live streams. “All the goodies,” Muldoe said, “as well as FM transmission, so transmitting the entire show over the radio into your car.”

Band members, who plan to be spaced apart on the stage, have managed to practice a bit even though social distancing guidelines have made it challenging. They’re hoping to include a cover of Nazareth’s à propos “Turn on your receiver” in the set.

Meanwhile, a struggling restaurant industry has largely pivoted to takeout but that hasn’t stopped some vendors from trying new things. In Vancouver, though the Pacific National Exhibition won’t host its annual fair this year, the nostalgic can hit the PNE and drive past four mini donut stalls. Mini donuts will not fix everything. But let’s be honest: mini donuts might fix something. 

And in Ottawa, five-course meals from Atelier, routinely listed as one of the country’s best restaurants, are now available via drive-through on the weekends. 

Diners drive by to pick up the first course, served with a non-alcoholic drink pairing, then eat it in their car before returning for the next. At the end of the meal, chef Marc Lepine puts a printed-out menu on their dashboards. It looks like a parking ticket. 

“People seem to really enjoy it,” Lepine says of their first shot at the experiment last weekend. “Out their car windows, they were saying, ‘this is such a great idea!’ They wanted to know when the menu would change so they could come back.” 

He is delighted but bewildered by that. “A few months ago, if we had asked people if they could eat in their cars?” he laughs. “That wouldn’t have gone over very well.”