View the Country Report for Canada in the Oxford Compendium of National Legal Responses to Covid-19

As of 9 March 2021, Canada Covid-19 death rate was approximately 59 deaths for every 100,000 people. Within Canada, the rate of Covid-19 deaths has varied widely between provinces and territories. Quebec accounts for the highest death rate, while the territories and Atlantic provinces account for the lowest death rates. Some of the key challenges faced in the Canadian context have been the slow response to testing and insufficient capacity to test for Covid-19, especially in the early days of the pandemic; outbreaks in long-term care homes; and the slow rollout of vaccines.

Canada’s constitutionally-entrenched division of powers between federal and provincial governments has resulted in a fragmented and varied responses to Covid-19 across the country. Despite the Federal Government not declaring a national emergency over Covid-19, all provinces and territories have declared states of emergency under their respective emergency powers legislation. After the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020, provincial and territorial governments all began issuing recommendations and eventually, issuing orders pursuant to pre-existing legislation. Depending on the region, these recommendations and orders resulted in lockdowns involving the closure of schools, non-essential businesses, and many public spaces. They also created restrictions on gatherings and travel. Quebec has restricted non-residents’ travel into the province, and travel between regions within the province. Quebec has also implemented region-specific curfews. Canada’s Atlantic provinces created an 'Atlantic bubble', which at times disallowed non-residents from entering the bubbled provinces and always required a two-week quarantine upon entering the bubble. Public health measures such as physical distancing and the use of face coverings in public spaces have been used widely across the country.

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