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

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,183 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

50.5% of all active cases are variants of concern

File photo
A man walks into a Cargill meat processing factory. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Alberta meat plant, site of COVID-19 outbreak last year, to get vaccination clinics

Nearly half of the 2,200 workers at the Cargill facility contracted the novel coronavirus and two employees died last April

Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild, left, Grand Chief Arthur Noskey, centre and Chief Aaron Young during a meeting with First Nations Chiefs and Grand Chiefs in Edmonton. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta must retract Forest Act before it becomes law: Treaty 8 grand chief

‘We are asking (the government) to pull this back and consult with us,’ says Arthur Noskey of Treaty 8 First Nations

Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the United Conservative government’s draft elementary school curriculum pilot this fall. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
Calgary school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

Other school boards including Edmonton Public, Edmonton Catholic, Elk Island Public, Wild Rose, Medicine Hat Public, Medicine Hat Catholic and Lethbridge Public have also rejected it

A cross made out of hockey sticks at a makeshift memorial is silhouetted against the setting sun at the intersection of a fatal bus crash near Tisdale, Sask., on Monday, April, 9, 2018. A virtual tribute is planned to mark the third anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
VIDEO: Humboldt Broncos team to be honoured on third anniversary of fatal bus crash

16 people died and 13 were injured when a semi-trailer ran a stop sign into the path of the hockey team’s bus

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Stettler’s own Renegade Station is kicking off the spring season with a brand new single - to be released April 9th. (Photo submitted)
A brand new single is on the way from Stettler-based band Renegade Station

Free Free Free hits all streaming platforms on April 9th

Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau waits for a virtual meeting to begin with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ottawa, Friday February 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Ottawa mulls exempting more workers from Canada-U.S. border shutdown: Garneau

Canada-U.S. border has been closed to people travelling for vacations and other non-essential visits since March 2020

A worker smooths concrete at a construction site in Toronto on January 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
Economy adds 303,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate falls: Statistics Canada

Figure released this morning outpaced the 259,000 gain seen in February

FILE - This file photo dated July 10, 1947 shows the official photograph of Britain’s Princess Elizabeth and her fiance, Lieut. Philip Mountbatten in London. Buckingham Palace says Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died aged 99. (AP Photo/File)
Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, dies at 99

Philip spent a month in hospital earlier this year before being released on March 16

Campbell River city council will continue its 2020 policy of waiving late fees and NSFs. (Mirror File photo)
53% of Canadians teetering the brink of insolvency: survey

A majority of Canadians admit they’re just $200 away from not being able to pay their monthly bills

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney listens as the 2021 budget is delivered in Edmonton Alta, on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Kenney faces criticism from doctors, his own caucus, over new COVID-19 health rules

Alberta now has more than 10,000 active cases, about 43 per cent are variants

Most Read