A person walks past a COVID-19 restrictions sign during in Mississauga, Ont., on Tuesday, December 22, 2020. Ontario is reporting a new daily record for COVID-19 infections as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledges this Christmas won’t be the one Canadians had hoped for. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A person walks past a COVID-19 restrictions sign during in Mississauga, Ont., on Tuesday, December 22, 2020. Ontario is reporting a new daily record for COVID-19 infections as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledges this Christmas won’t be the one Canadians had hoped for. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

VIDEO: Trudeau strikes hopeful note in holiday message after tumultuous year

Pandemic means families aren’t supposed to gather the way they normally would for Christmas

Canada’s two most populous provinces reported record daily COVID-19 caseloads as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged this won’t be the Christmas anyone had hoped for.

Ontario reported 2,447 new infections on Thursday, topping its previous high a week ago by 15. It also recorded 49 new deaths from the novel coronavirus.

Quebec, meanwhile, had 2,349 new infections, the third day in a row it hit a record. There were 46 additional deaths.

The pandemic means families aren’t supposed to gather the way they normally would for Christmas.

“This isn’t the holiday season we wanted, I know,” Trudeau said in his annual Christmas message.

“But here’s the thing: Even though this year’s Christmas traditions will be different, we can and should give thanks for everything that unites us.

“This crisis will end and as a country we will come out of it stronger and more united.”

In Ontario, sweeping provincewide restrictions come into effect on Boxing Day to stem the spread of the virus. They are to last a month in the southern part of the province and two weeks in the north.

The measures include a ban on indoor gatherings, a 10-person cap on outdoor gatherings, and the closure of non-essential businesses and sit-down dining.

In a video message posted on Twitter, Ontario Premier Doug Ford urged Ontarians to only go out if it’s necessary — even before the “lockdown” begins.

“Every time you take a trip, it puts people in jeopardy so please, as of right now … stay at home when you can,” he said.

“But folks, we will get through this. We have 28 days and we’re going to give it everything we can and we will come out stronger than ever after this.”

Quebec is closing all businesses the government deems “non-essential” on Christmas Day, until at least Jan. 11, in an effort to reduce transmission and ease pressure on the health-care system. Indoor and outdoor gatherings in the hardest-hit zones are not allowed over the holiday period.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said on Twitter that there were an estimated 1,100 cases identified the previous day and that seven per cent of tests were coming back positive. She said hospitalizations were on the rise, but intensive care admissions were stable.

Alberta has also prohibited indoor or outdoor social gatherings into the new year to get its COVID-19 caseload under control. Earlier this week, Premier Jason Kenney announced that a person living alone can attend one family gathering in another household over a five-day period that started Wednesday and that a household may have up to two single people as guests.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick reported two new cases and Nova Scotia recorded seven new infections.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvideo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

county
County of Stettler council meeting highlights for Jan. 13th

County council chambers will be getting some audio-visual upgrades

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

Stettler town hall. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)
Town of Stettler launches redesigned website

The new website increases user functionality and offers additional features

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

(Via the Canadian Press)
Alberta monolith comes with message to save eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains

‘They deserve our attention. They warrant our protection. They are under threat’

blessing
Bentley Blessing Pantry continues to faithfully serve the community

‘We just wanted to make everyone aware that we are still here to serve you throughout this coming year.’

A Suncor logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 2, 2019. A worker is missing after a dozer broke through ice on an inactive Suncor tailings pond in northern Alberta.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Worker missing after dozer breaks through frozen tailings pond in northern Alberta

The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction

File Photo
‘You took away some real joy,’ Sylvan Lake Winter Village turned off after vandalism

Sometime during the night of Jan, 12 the light display at the pier was vandalized and damaged

Most Read