Ontario announces one-time payment for students aged 13 to grade 12

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Electricity will be provided at the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for all time-of-use and tiered customers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The province introduced a similar measure during the first wave last spring.

Premier Doug Ford announced this week that the entire province would move into lockdown on Boxing Day.

The measures also mean all non-essential businesses must close, and essential businesses that remain open will have strict capacity limits in place.

Both elementary and post-secondary schools will switch to remote learning on January 4.

At a press conference on Tuesday, officials said that students from the age of 13 up to those in Grade 12 will now be eligible to receive $200 payments under the expanded program.

Application instructions will be available at www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-learners in January. Previously, only children under the age of 12, and children and youth under the age of 21 who had special needs, were eligible.

The province detected 2,123 new cases on Monday, 2,316 on Sunday and 2,357 on Saturday.

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Companies already on the list include the telecoms giant Huawei and the surveillance camera maker Hikvision. SMIC has said previously that it has no relationship with the Chinese military.

Globally, 77.7 million cases have been recorded in total resulting in 1.7 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

Wednesday's figure includes 629 cases in Toronto, 448 in Peel Region, 234 in Windsor-Essex, 190 in York Region, 150 in Hamilton and 136 in Durham Region.

So far, there have been 3,409 vaccines administered in Ontario since the province received its first shipment on December 15.

Hospitals in various parts of southern Ontario, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding regions, have warned that increasing ICU admissions threaten to overwhelm the health-care system in coming weeks if climbing case numbers are not brought under control.

Hospital data revealed 1,002 patients with COVID-19, 275 in intensive care and 186 on ventilators.

On December 26, Ontario will enter a province-wide shutdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Ontario could get back to below 1,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, but it would require real sacrifice.

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