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

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

DOH
Provincial grant tapped to finance downtown project

Butler and 10th next on improvement list

RDBN. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Houston Soccer club. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston Soccer gets record number of registrations

Club will have a soccer season amidst COVID restrictions

District of Houston
Safe Restart grant spending firmed up

Will help cover losses from recreation fees

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read