COVID-19 reshapes Canada Day celebrations from big parties to online shows

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Large celebrations were replaced in many parts of the nation with backyard gatherings and digital events as Canadians marked a Canada Day unlike any other in the country's 153-year history.

It has been almost four months since governments ordered businesses closed and urged Canadians to stay home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus with restrictions only recently being eased.

Heading into Canada Day, the country had 104,204 reported cases of COVID-19, including 8,591 deaths and 67,954 recoveries, based on figures updated late Tuesday by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Millions have lost their jobs, government spending has skyrocketed to provide emergency relief, planned federal spending alone now tops $174 billion. Demand has also jumped for social services such as food banks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent part of his morning with his family harvesting broccoli at the farm operated by the Ottawa Food Bank.

The organization says demand has levelled out since an initial surge in need during the pandemic, but it now expects another large spike in demand once recipients max out payments through the $80-billion Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
(With files from Jordan Press of The Canadian Press)