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

(Pexels photo)
Okanagan film boom owes to industry’s strong pandemic response: Sandhu

Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu lauded the local film industry’s adaptation to the pandemic

The City of Vernon is still taking applications for council discretionary grants until April 30. (File photo)
Funding available to Vernon non-profits, societies

Grants awarded to organizations that ‘contribute to the general interest and advantage of the city;’ deadline is April 30

A sani-dump station is coming to the frontage road off Okanagan Landing Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
New Vernon sani-dump station raises a stink among neighbours

Temporary relocation to Okanagan Landing with future plan at former Kin racetrack

The Wild Oak Cafe in Armstrong is one of the available squares in the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce's Bingo game to support local businesses. (Facebook)
Bingo boosts Armstrong eateries

Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber launches #BoostOurBiz featuring bingo card which would win you prizes

Vernon Fire Rescue Services will conduct a controlled burn in the Foothills area Friday, April 16. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Controlled Foothills burn cancelled

Vernon Fire Rescue Services had planned for a controlled burn in Foothills on Friday, April 16

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Missy MacKintosh, founder of MisMacK Clean Cosmetics, smiles broadly beneath her mask as she is thrilled to have opened her new storefront location at 231 Alexander St. in Salmon Arm on April 10, 2021. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Downtown Salmon Arm store ‘a dream come true’ for clean cosmetics owner

Missy MacKintosh’s MisMack Clean Cosmetics moves from home basement to storefront

A member of the Oliver Fire Department works on the wildfire near the Cottages at Osoyoos Lake on Tuesday night. The fire is believed to have been caused by a human. (Oliver Fire Department Facebook)
UPDATE: Osoyoos wildfire believed to be human-caused

The Oliver Fire department also responded to another fire along the hike and bike trail on Saturday

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

desert hills estate winery grapes
Osoyoos winery back in business after clean bill of health

Desert Hills chose to temporarily close after a close contact tested positive for COVID

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Hikers are still able to climb to the top of Giant’s Head Mountain in Summerland, but the paved road to the upper parking lot will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon and all day on Sundays. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland park partially closed to vehicle traffic

Giant’s Head Mountain Park gates will be closed to cars until noon

Most Read