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The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Aug. 2

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. on August 2, 2020:

There are 116,599 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 59,458 confirmed (including 5,678 deaths, 50,886 resolved)

_ Ontario: 39,333 confirmed (including 2,777 deaths, 35,237 resolved)

_ Alberta: 10,843 confirmed (including 196 deaths, 9,261 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 3,641 confirmed (including 195 deaths, 3,168 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 1,334 confirmed (including 18 deaths, 1,054 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,069 confirmed (including 64 deaths, 1,003 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 403 confirmed (including 8 deaths, 337 resolved), 14 presumptive

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 266 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 259 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 170 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 166 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 36 confirmed (including 36 resolved)

_ Yukon: 14 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases

_ Total: 116,599 (14 presumptive, 116,585 confirmed including 8,941 deaths, 101,436 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 2, 2020.

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Helicopter was preparing to land before fatal Newfoundland crash: TSB

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says a helicopter that crashed near a Newfoundland lake last month was preparing to land and refuel before the pilot lost control of the aircraft.

The federal agency shared new details today about the ongoing investigation into the July 20 crash that killed one man near Thorburn Lake, about 200 kilometres northwest of St. John’s.

Three men were on board the Robinson R44 light utility helicopter that had left Springdale Airport in Newfoundland on one leg of a cross-country pleasure flight.

The pilot had planned to refuel at a maintenance facility on the northeast side of the lake and completed a circuit around the gravel parking lot where he wanted to land.

TSB investigators say as the helicopter began to climb vertically from tree-top level, the pilot lost control and the aircraft crashed into the ground.

RCMP said a 69-year-old Gambo man died at the scene and two others, a 68-year-old man from Aquaforte and a 54-year-old man from St. John’s, were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 14, 2020.

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Man pleads guilty in gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

WETASKIWIN, Alta. — A man who was charged with second-degree murder after an Alberta gas station owner was killed in a gas-and-dash has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Ki Yun Jo, who was 54, was killed outside his Fas Gas station in Thorsby, about 70 kilometres southwest of Edmonton, on Oct. 6, 2017.

Police have said he tried to stop a driver who sped off in a stolen white cub van without paying for fuel.

A witness saw Jo hanging onto the van’s passenger side mirror and, when the vehicle swerved, he was tossed to the ground and run over.

Twenty-nine year old Mitchell Robert Sydlowski of Spruce Grove, Alta., also pleaded guilty in a Wetaskiwin courtroom to failing to remain at the scene of a fatal accident.

Shortly after Jo’s death, the Alberta government moved to bring in legislation requiring drivers to prepay before filling up at gas stations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Aug. 14, 2020

The Canadian Press

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Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica faces funding crunch as COVID-19 curbs tourism

MONTREAL — One of Canada’s best-known religious landmarks, the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, is seeking urgent government assistance to withstand a budget shortfall caused by COVID-19.

Claudia Morissette, director of the historic church in Old Montreal, said Notre-Dame expects to be short about $12 million in revenues this year as cultural events and guided visits remain suspended due to the pandemic.

“It’s huge. It represents 85 per cent of our total revenue,” Morissette said in an interview.

She said that money is “absolutely necessary” to preserve and restore the stone church, which was constructed in the 1820s in the Gothic Revival style and remains one of the main tourist destinations in the city, welcoming around one million visitors per year before the pandemic.

A first phase of restoration work is already underway on its facade, but Morissette said the church is concerned it will not be able to finance the second and third phases of restoration on the building’s east and west towers.

These first three phases are expected to cost $9.2 million out of a total of nearly $30 million of work needed to preserve and restore the building over the next decade, the church estimates.

“We can’t press pause (on phases two and three) because that would risk putting the integrity of the towers in peril and (could) even become dangerous,” said Morissette, adding that delays on the work could also lead to an increase in overall costs.

Notre-Dame is not the only church in Quebec facing economic challenges due to COVID-19, which has hit the province hard.

Across the province, where the Catholic Church historically played a central role but has seen a decline in recent decades, many churches have struggled to pay rent and maintain their aging buildings as the pandemic forced them this spring to suspend in-person services.

Quebec’s Culture Department announced last month that it would invest $15 million to preserve religious heritage, targeting 62 buildings and three organs. Culture Minister Nathalie Roy said the investment also would help stimulate the economy and create jobs for artisans and labourers.

Morissette said Notre-Dame received $1 million last year from Quebec’s Religious Heritage Council, a non-profit organization that supports the conservation of historic buildings, to help finance part of phase one of its restoration. But the church did not get any of the new funding.

“We understand that (the money) goes quickly, and we also understand that we’re not the only ones. We know that COVID-19 affected many people,” Morissette said. “But we’re a major attraction. We are one of the major patrimonial jewels.”

The Quebec Culture Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Canadian Press.

Andreanne Jalbert-Laramee, cultural heritage adviser at Quebec’s Religious Heritage Council, said that if Notre-Dame is struggling, smaller and less renowned churches are no doubt struggling, too.

“The worry is that if their financial situation is difficult, they will delay these restoration projects, this work, and that will make the situation even more difficult for those buildings,” Jalbert-Laramee said in an interview.

She said that while about $40 million is needed to restore and preserve religious heritage buildings across Quebec, the government’s $15-million investment is a good step.

“These are interventions that are essential for the survival of these buildings,” Jalbert-Laramee said. “We see that the need is great, the need is there.”

For her part, Morissette said she remains concerned the Notre-Dame Basilica will not be able to finance its restoration.

While daily masses resumed last month, guided tours and shows that draw tourists to the church have not — meaning that Notre-Dame missed out on the summer tourist season, which typically draws hundreds of thousands of visitors.

The church said it sold nearly 833,500 tickets for guided tours and over 227,000 tickets to its light show called Aura in 2018.

Morissette called for any of the three levels of government — federal, provincial and municipal — to provide urgent financial aid to help Notre-Dame withstand its losses.

“Because it’s the symbol of the founding of the City of Montreal, that it’s one of the most well-known religious monuments in North America, that it’s the main tourist attraction in Old Montreal … we need to preserve this gem so that the next generations can enjoy it,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 14, 2020.

Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, The Canadian Press

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