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

Nelson Police responded to 802 calls last year they say had an element of mental health. File photo
Nelson Police: 802 mental-health related calls in 2020

That accounts for 12 per cent of total calls for service

Several large trees came down in the recent windstorm and destroyed a part of the building that houses Camp Koolaree’s showers and boy’s washroom. The camp has served generations of Kootenay families since 1931 as the Nelson area’s longest running children’s summer camp. Photo: Submitted
Camp Koolaree’s wash house destroyed by January windstorms

The camp is in need of donations to make repairs

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

L-R: Scott Robertson, Abigail Robertson, Caleb Bernhardt, Vijesh James and Oliver Marsh (missing) took part in the online Korean Consul General Cup. Photo: Submitted
Local martial artists win at online provincial tournament

Kootenay Martial Arts had five athletes participate in the Korean Consul General Cup

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Volunteer firefighters from Grand Forks Fire/Rescue head towards the scene of fatal car crash near Gibbs Creek Road, below Highway 3, Thursday evening, Jan. 21. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Motorist dies in Highway 3 crash west of Grand Forks

City first responders were called to the scene Thursday evening, Jan. 21

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram could be playing for Colorado when the NHL resumes play. (Rik Fedyck/file)
Cranbrook product Bowen Byram makes NHL debut with Avalanche

Highly touted prospect marks first pro game following World Junior tournament in Alberta

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Most Read