A woman dresses mannequins in a storefront window in Montreal, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A woman dresses mannequins in a storefront window in Montreal, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Quebec, Nova Scotia and Alberta begin relaxing COVID-19 restrictions

In Alberta, restaurants also reopened for in-person dining Monday

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday that his province’s state of emergency will not be extended, while authorities in Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia began lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

Ford told reporters that while he’s concerned about new coronavirus variants, he was ready to “gradually and safely” return to the colour-coded system of regional restrictions that was in place before the lockdown order. He said restaurants and non-essential businesses in three regions where COVID-19 cases are low will be allowed to open on Wednesday.

A stay-at-home order, however, will remain in effect across most of the province, he said, adding that it will be lifted on a region-by-region basis over the coming weeks. Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters that all positive COVID-19 tests are being screened for known variants, adding that “variants of concern” have been found in several parts of the province.

Ontario reported 1,265 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 33 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. Health officials said 901 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 335 in intensive care.

ALSO READ: B.C. extends COVID-19 gathering restrictions as infections slow down

In Quebec, where 853 new cases and 17 more COVID-19-related deaths were reported Monday, non-essential stores, personal-care salons and museums reopened across the province. In six, less populated regions, gyms were allowed to reopen and in-person restaurant dining could resume.

In Alberta, restaurants also reopened for in-person dining Monday, while gyms could offer one-on-one training.

Restrictions on organized gatherings were eased in Nova Scotia Monday, as authorities reported one, travel-related case of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada released a report Monday noting a rise in excess mortality among younger men in Western Canada between the spring and fall. The agency said the increase may be linked to “indirect consequences of the pandemic, which could include increases in mortality due to overdose.”

Excess mortality — when more deaths than expected are reported during a specific period — among Canadians under 45 rose from four per cent between March and June to 16 per cent between mid-September and November, the federal statistics agency said.

Men accounted for 77 per cent of those excess deaths, and only British Columbia and Alberta saw “significant excess mortality” among men under 45.

Roughly 50 people under 45 in Canada have died from COVID-19, well below the 440 excess deaths among people under 45 reported from September to November alone, StatCan said.

Among all age groups, there were 12,067 excess deaths between January and November 2020, the study said, which is five per cent more deaths than would have been expected if there were no COVID-19 pandemic.

Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

More childcare spaces are opening in Langley. (Black Press Media files)
Langley gets 144 new daycare spaces

Government funding is expanding childcare

Tako van Popta, MP for Langley-Aldergrove. (Tako van Popta/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley MP Tako van Popta to hold virtual town hall to discuss firearm legislation

A lot of my constituents have serious concerns about how Bill C-21 will affect them, van Popta says

The Langley School District has issued COVID-19 notifications at three schools. (Langley Schools)
Six Langley schools on COVID exposure list, three added Wednesday

Parents are asked to continue to send their kids to school

A HUB Cycling award will go to local winner Geraldine Jordan of Langley, with her youngest daughter Casandra Jordan. (Elisabeth Jordan/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
HUB Cycling award winner Geraldine Jordan of Langley, with her youngest daughter Casandra Jordan. (Elisabeth Jordan/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley cyclist wins award for local advocacy

HUB has honoured Langley’s Geraldine Jordan

Critter Care posted this image of one of the bear cubs that are now waking up from hibernation and will need donations of fish and chicken to eat (Facebook image)
Critter Care appeals for assistance in feeding their bear cubs

Thirteen black bear cubs are all waking up from hibernation with big appetites

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

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

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read