• Ontario has crashed through another milestone with 30,202+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, up 364 cases. There have been 2,407+ deaths and 23,947+ recoveries.
  • The province completed 23,105 tests a new high. The provincial target is 20,000 tests a day and lab capacity is 25,000 daily.
  • There are 83 outbreaks in long term care homes.
  • In Quebec there have been 52,398 confirmed cases of COVID‑19 and 4,935 deaths.
  • In Canada, there are now 94,335+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7,703+ deaths. More than half of the cases — 52,568+ — have recovered.
  • Globally there are 6,759,210+ cases with 395,331+ deaths and 2,760,840+ recoveries.

COVID-19 by the numbers

Note: The following graphics show cases reported by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Numbers may lag behind local reports.

 









Click here for more COVID-19 graphics


 

June 5

  • The federal government is offering $14 billion to the provincial and territorial governments for measures to keep COVID-19 at bay.
  • How the money is distributed will be settled by “safe-restart agreements” between the federal government and each province or territory.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the money offered “won’t cut it” as the provinces reopen. He says about $23 billion is needed.
  • The money would help cover costs for protective equipment for health workers, support for strapped municipalities, paid sick leave and other help for schools and seniors.
  • Ford said that the province is working on digitizing the health system to remove such things as requiring faxes to submit COVID-19 test results.
  • There are now 29,747+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario with 2,372+ deaths from the infection. That includes 344 new cases and 15 deaths uncovered in the past 24 hours. There have been 23,583+ recoveries.
  • Ontario is lifting restrictions on short-term rentals today. Lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums and bed-and-breakfast rentals are all included.
  • Premier Doug Ford says the government is considering moving to Ontario’s Stage Two of reopening. Stage Two would allow a wider number of office-based businesses to reopen and expand the maximum size of social gatherings that’s currently limited to five.
  • The premier said that an announcement on Stage Two would be coming early next week. He stressed the expansion of reopening would not begin right away.
  • A dentist based in Burlington, Ont. says dental offices looking to reopen to the public Monday won’t offer non-essential services like cleaning, based on the latest information sent out by the regulatory college that oversees the doctors, CTV reports.
  • There are now 85 outbreaks of COVID-19 in long term care homes in Ontario and 1,692 residents have died from the infection.
  • Sienna Senior Living, one of the companies at the centre of the long-term care crisis in Ontario, fired its executive vice president of operations Thursday after she was heard mocking the concerns of families at a hard-hit Toronto care home after a virtual town hall meeting aimed at revamping the company’s image.
  • The province completed 20,730 tests, once again topping the daily target.
  • Ottawa Public Health reports 1,992 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 248 deaths. This includes seven new cases and no new deaths. There are 31 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 in hospital. There are 17 outbreaks in institutions.
  • In Quebec there have been 52,398 confirmed cases of COVID‑19 and 4,935 deaths. There were 50 new deaths and 255 new cases reported.
  • The province completed 12,490 tests on June 3. That’s below the 14,000 test target.
  • In the Outaouais there has been 548 cases reported along with 25 deaths. No new cases were reported but there were two deaths.
  • From February to April, 5.5 million Canadian workers were affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. This included a drop in employment of 3.0 million and a COVID-19-related increase in absences from work of 2.5 million, Statistic Canada reports.
  • In May, employment rose by 290,000 (1.8 per cent), while the number of people who worked less than half their usual hours dropped by 292,000 (-8.6 per cent). These changes in the labour market represented a recovery of 10.6 per cent of the COVID-19-related employment losses and absences.
  • Three-quarters of the employment gains from April to May, StatsCan says, were in full-time work (219,000 or +1.6 per cent). Compared with February, full-time employment was down 11.1 per cent in May, while part-time work was down 27.6 per cent.
  • Bombardier says it will lay off 2,500 workers from the aviation side of the company because of the pandemic’s impact.
  • Public health officials are warning protesters across the country in cities such as Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Toronto and Edmonton to wave signs and not shout to avoid possibly spreading the COVID-19 virus. Officials are encouraging the wearing of masks as well as physical distancing if at all possible.
  • The prime minister today promised the government will make a one-time $600 payment to Canadians with disabilities.
  • In Canada, current levels of mask production, and imports of medical and non-medical grade masks from major export markets, like China, will not be able to meet future demand, according to a survey by AAG, an Ottawa-based trade and export consulting firm. According to Public Services and Procurement Canada, as of May 26, the federal government had ordered 1.8 billion units of PPE, from masks to gloves to gowns. With approximately 333,703,750 million surgical masks ordered by the Canadian government, the backlog remains at near-record levels with only 101,325,500 million masks received.
  • The survey says that even if some provinces increase their output to balance out supply and demand, current levels of production in Canada and imports may not be able to meet future demand for items like disposable facemasks and medical-grade surgical masks by 2021.
  • The Nunavut government is preparing to lift its travel restriction on the Northwest Territories. Health officials are planning to create a two-territory bubble.
  • In Canada, there are now 94,070+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7,652+ deaths. More than half of the cases — 52,114+ — have recovered.
  • Almost all the students in a classroom in a school in Trois-Rivières, Quebec have contracted COVID-19. After one child at École Louis-de-France was diagnosed with the virus, health officials tested all children part of the class, identifying eight other cases. There were 11 or 12 students in the classroom. The school is still open. The room is closed and being disinfected.
  • Globally there are 6,632,985+ cases with 391,136+ deaths and 2,869,963+ recoveries.
  • India’s Health Ministry on Friday reported a record spike in new coronavirus cases — more than 9,800 in 24 hours.
  • India now has 226,770 confirmed cases with 6,348 deaths, 273 of them in the past 24 hours, the ministry said. It says the overall rate of recovery for coronavirus patients is around 48 per cent.
  • The unemployment rate fell in the United States in May to 13.3 per cent. The government said Friday that the economy added 2.5 million jobs last month, driving unemployment down from 14.7 per cent in April.
  • The U.S. is approaching two million confirmed cases of the illness with 1,917,101+ and 109,979+ deaths. There have been 439,194+ recoveries.

June 4

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says new federal modelling shows that COVID-19 is in decline across Canada.
  • The latest modelling provided by Public Health Canada Thursday projects between 97,990 and 17,544 cases of COVID-19 by June 15. The modelling also predicts between 7,700 and 9,400 deaths by June 15. In the past two weeks 90 per cent of the confirmed cases in Canada have been reported by Ontario and Quebec.
  • The reproductive rate of the pandemic (Rt) in Canada has been below one for nearly two weeks. This suggests public health measures are being effective in controlling the epidemic.
  • The modelling shows fluctuations above and below on in the last month reflecting ongoing transmission in some communities especially in and around Canada’s most populous cities, Toronto and Montreal.
  • New Brunswick has reported the province’s first death from COVID-19. A man in his 80s who had been living in the Manoir de la Vallee in Atholville, N.B., died from the virus Thursday. The province has seen an outbreak in the Campbellton area sparked by an emergency room doctor who had travelled to Quebec to pick up his young daughter and had not self-isolated upon return.
  • In Ottawa, public health says there are now 1,985 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 248 deaths. This includes eight new cases and one death. There are 33 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 in hospital. There are 16 outbreaks in institutions.
  • In Ontario, there were 20,822 tests completed in the past 24 hours, surpassing the 20,000 target after several days below.
  • There are now 29,403 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,357 deaths. The province saw 356 new cases. There have been 23,208 recoveries.
  • There are now 89 outbreaks in long term care institutions where 1,679 residents have died of COVID-19 infection. Seven staff have also died.
  • The province has announced that short-term rentals will be allowed to resume operations on Friday. The move applies to lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums and bed and breakfasts.
  • Ontario has hired former federal health minister Jane Philpott as a special advisor on the Ontario Health Data Platform that will provide anonymous health information starting in July to public health units, hospitals and researchers to assist their decision making.
  • The Supreme Court of Canada will hold its hearings entirely remotely, convening using Zoom video software next week to keep justice moving despite COVID-19 restrictions. The National Post has more.
  • Ontario’s justice minister is expected to announce technological changes to the province’s justice system today.
  • Quebec has seen 52,143 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection with 4,885 deaths. The province saw 259 new cases and 91 deaths. The number of recoveries is 17,336. 
  • There are now 548 cases of COVID-19 in the Outaouais with 23 deaths. That is one new case and one new death.
  • Testing in Quebec fell short of the provincial target of 14,000 with 12,444 COVID-19 tests on June 2. (Quebec reports its daily testing figures from two days prior).
  • In Quebec, some secondary students with special needs will be invited to attend what the province’s Education Ministry is calling a “pedagogical camp.” The three-week-long learning camps will be held at high schools, which have remained closed since mid-March, as well as at elementary schools in Montreal which have yet to reopen. CBC has more.
  • Quebec’s Ministry of Education provided general instructions to school boards in a four paragraph letter dated June 1, which indicates the camps must be operating by the week of June 8.
  • In Canada, there are now 93,700+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7,635+ deaths. More than half of the cases — 51,674+ — have recovered.
  • There have been 1,787,370 tests for COVID-19 in Canada.
  • The one-time payment of up to $500 for Canadian seniors to offset additional costs from COVID-19 will be delivered the week of July 6.
  • Those who qualify for the Old Age Security benefit are eligible for a tax-free payment of $300, while those who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement will get an additional $200.The 2.2 million seniors who qualify for both receive $500.
  • Meanwhile, the federal government is planning to spend $88.7 million on advertising about health advice and government programs related to COVID-19, CBC reports. This will be on top of departmental advertising.
  • Effective at noon today, federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau is expanding the required use of face coverings on planes, trains, ships and transit to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Canada’s exports fell 29.7 per cent to $32.7 billion in April, the lowest level in more than 10 years, and imports declined 25.1 to $35.9 billion, the lowest since February 2011, Statistics Canada reports.
  • Canada’s central bank sees reason to be optimistic about the country’s economic recovery, but it is keeping a close eye on how COVID-19 is affecting growth and demand in its key export markets, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Toni Gravelle said on Thursday.
  • In a speech following the bank’s decision on Wednesday to hold its key interest rate steady, Gravelle made no mention of future policy moves and reiterated the bank thinks 0.25 per cent is as low as rates can go without causing problems for the financial system. Reuters has more.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told an international summit hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that a COVID-19 vaccine must be shared by the world to eradicate the disease.
  • Globally there are 6,573,286+ cases with 387,898+ deaths and 2,837,955+ recoveries.
  • The National Basketball Association’s Board of Governors has approved a 22-team format for restarting the season in late July at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida.

June 3

  • In Ontario, 338 news cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed. That raises the total to 29,047+. There have now been 2,312+ deaths in the province from novel coronavirus. That’s up 19. There have been 22,811+ recoveries.
  • The province conducted 17,537 tests. The provincial target is 20,000. There are now 94 outbreaks in long term care homes, according to the ministry of long-term care.
  • The province says it is examining regulatory changes it could make to allow collection of such race -based data about the impact of the pandemic provincewide.
  • Sienna Senior Living, one of the largest for profit retirement and care home companies in the province has steps to examine its own business practices. Among the the steps:
  • Sienna has hired Paul Boniferro, former deputy attorney general of Ontario, to conduct a company-wide review into the policies, practices and culture at Sienna to help identify how best to ensure “a respectful, safe and inclusive environment are met at every residence, at all hours of the day.”
  • The company will hire a senior health and long-term care expert to advise management and Board of Directors.
  • Sienna will educate staff on quality and safety including sessions focused on PPE.
  • Sienna is accelerating aggressive recruitment of staff and will allocate additional resources to communicating with families.
  • Ontario will spend $150 million to bring broadband service to rural Ontario. The goal is to ensure all high school students have access to the internet by the time school resumes in the fall.
  • The expansion will also bring cellphone service to remote Indigenous communities.
  • Premier Doug Ford also reiterated that he is prepared to legislate landlords into helping small businesses in the province with rent obligations.
  • The Ottawa Citizen reports that about one-third of long-term care beds in the Ottawa region are in facilities built to 1972 design standards that permit four beds in a room the size of a small studio apartment.
  • Three of the five worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the Ottawa region have occurred in older, long-term care homes classified as “C” facilities: Carlingview Manor, Laurier Manor and Almonte Country Haven, the newspaper said.
  • Ottawa Public Health reports 1,977 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 247 deaths. This includes eight new cases and no new deaths. There are now 36 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 in hospital. OPH says that two previously reported cases were determined to reside out of Ottawa. This results in one less death and two less hospitalizations than in the last report.
  • There are 16 outbreaks in institutions.
  • City Council’s Transportation Committee has unanimously approved allowing food trucks to set up in the parking lots of City of Ottawa parks and sell food to park-goers. City staff are working with Ottawa Bylaw and Recreation, Cultural and Facilities Services to identify specific parks where food trucks can operate by early July. 
  • The plan will also allow businesses to create outdoor retail spaces on the sidewalks outside their property. The proposals follow a decision by city council to waive patio fees for restaurants and bars this summer.
  • The Canada Army Run scheduled for Sept. 20 has been cancelled. Organizers are promising virtual runs similar to the ones conducted by the Ottawa Race Weekend organizers.
  • Public washrooms are now open at Britannia Park, Andrew Haydon Park, Westboro Beach, Mooney’s Bay Beach and Petrie Island Beaches, the city said. But there are no lifeguards and the water is not being tested. City crews will clean and disinfect the washrooms throughout the day and give them a thorough going over at the end of each day. Water fountains are working at the beaches and will be disinfected twice a day.
  • Quebec has reported 291 new cases of COVID-19. There now have been a total of 51,884+ cases in the province that has been the hardest hit in Canada.
  • There are now 4,794 people who have died, up 81. Of those, 59 of those deaths occurred in the past 24 hours, while 22 occurred before May 27. There now have been 16,803 recoveries in the province.
  • Quebec completed 9,646 COVID-19 tests on June 1, well below the 14,000 test target. (Quebec reports its daily testing figures from two days prior).
  • There are now 547 cases of novel coronavirus in the Outaouais, an increase of eight. There are now 22 deaths from the virus in the region, an increase of two.
  • Quebec Premier Francois Legault says 55,000 people have signed up to study and become orderlies. The three-month training program will start in June.
  • There are now 133 cases of the virus in New Brunswick. Tuesday. Two new cases has beend added to the list. All the cases are in the Campbellton region and flow from an infection sparked by an emergency room doctor who failed to isolate after a brief visit to nearby Quebec.
  • The doctor in question, Dr. Jean Robert Ngola had tendered his resignation to the Campbellton Regional Hospital, effective Aug. 1, said Dr. Ed Schollenberg, the registrar of the provincial licensing body for doctors.
  • He told the CBC he does not know where he contracted COVID-19. Ngola said he decided to speak out because he’s become the target of racist verbal attacks daily and false reports to police, and he feels abandoned by Public Health officials.
  • In Canada, there are now 92,737+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7,414+ deaths. More than half of the cases — 50,684+ — have recovered.
  • The Bank of Canada held its benchmark interest rate steady at 0.25 per cent on Wednesday and said it thinks the economic impact of COVID-19 on the world’s economy “appears to have peaked.”
  • Globally there are 6,411,023+ cases with 380,880+ deaths and 2,750,891+ recoveries.
  • The World Health Organization is resuming its trial of hydroxychloroquine after temporarily halting research over safety concerns. 
  • The Data Safety Monitoring Board decided there was no reason to discontinue the international trial after reviewing available data on the drug, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.
  • This came as the respected medical journal The Lancet has issued an “expression of concern” over a large-scale study of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine it published that led to the World Health Organization suspending clinical trials of the anti-viral drugs as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
  • In a statement, the medical journal acknowledged “important” questions over the research, after dozens of scientists issued an open letter last week raising concerns about its methodology and transparency around the data, which was provided by the firm Surgisphere.
  • The World Health Organization is also saying that Latin America has become the “red zone” of coronavirus transmissions in the world.
  • In Mexico, COVID-19 infections are surging. The total number of known cases rose to 97,326 and 10,637 deaths. Health authorities have previously said the real number is higher.
  • Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Mexicans are returning to work in the auto factories lining the border with the U.S. 
  • Brazil has recorded another day of record high deaths — more than 1,200 — and nearly 29,000 additional cases. More than half a million people in the country have confirmed infections. 
  • In Peru, authorities are knocking on doors in the capital Lima to test residents for COVID-19 infection.
  • Peru has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in Latin America at 174,884+ and 4,767+ deaths.

June 2

  • Ottawa Public Health has seen 1,969 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 248 deaths. This includes seven new cases and four deaths. There are 39 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 in hospital. There are 18 outbreaks in institutions.
  • Ontario is extending its pandemic state of emergency until June 30 which means that groups of more than five are banned and other limitations.
  • Data released by Ottawa Public Health (OPH) shows 60 per cent of confirmed cases are women. That means 1,172 women have tested positive compared to 790 men in Ottawa.
  • Health-care workers make up roughly 28 per cent of all cases. CBC has more.
  • Premier Doug Ford said this will not affect the reopening of the provincial economy.
  • There are now 28,709+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario with 2,293+ deaths. There have been 22,484 recoveries. There were 446 new cases reported with 17 new deaths. The number of cases reported is the most in several days.
  • The province conducted 15,244 tests below the 20,000 target and the 25,000-test capacity of provincial laboratories.
  • The Ministry of Long-Term Care says 105 care homes have outbreaks. There have been 1,652 resident deaths.
  • The ministry has issued a mandatory management order for a Kitchener hospital to take over management of Forest Heights Revera care home for 90 days and possibly more. An outbreak was first declared at the facility on April 1. More than 175 residents and 69 staff members have been infected and 51 have died.
  • Operators of a farm in Norfolk County say 164 migrant workers have tested positive for COVID-19. The first worker at Scotlynn Farms was diagnosed last week. CTV has more.
  • While Ontario’s case numbers go up, Quebec’s seem to be falling. The province reported 239 new cases of COVID-19. That’s the lowest since March 21. There are now a total of 51,593+ cases in the province that has been the hardest hit in Canada.
  • There are now 4,713 people who have died, up 52. There are now 16,803 recoveries in the province.
  • Quebec completed 9,458 COVID-19 tests on May 31, well below the 14,000 test target. (Quebec reports its daily testing figures from two days prior).
  • There are now 539 cases of novel coronavirus in the Outaouais, an increase of two. There are now 20 deaths from the virus, an increase of two.
  • Quebec Premier Francois Legault says the province wants to train and hire 10,000 to work as orderlies in long-term care homes. Shortages of staff have been affecting the provincial response to outbreaks in these homes.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his morning briefing that the federal government has signed a new contract for “millions of syringes,” to have a stockpile ready if an effective vaccine is found.
  • The federal government is also funding four Canadian companies working on potential “breakthrough solutions” for rapid COVID-19 testing, the prime minister said.
  • In Canada, there are now 92,140+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7,344+ deaths. More than half of the cases — 50,070+ — have recovered.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency’s National Leads Program is now accepting information regarding the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The National Post has more.
  • Globally there are 6,302,318+ cases with 375,656+ deaths and 2,716,924+ recoveries.

June 1

  • Ottawa Public Health has reported no new deaths from COVID-19 in the city to add to the total of 244. There are only 11 new confirmed infections for a total of 1,962 cases.
  • There are 38 Ottawa residents in hospital and 18 outbreaks in institutions.
  • The City of Ottawa is cancelling summer camps set to run from June 29 to Aug. 28. These will be replaced with new programs built around pandemic health measures. Detail TBA. Ontario is expected to extend the state of emergency in the province to June 30 from June 2 following a vote in the legislature this afternoon.
  • Ontario new has 28,263 cases of COVID-19 with 2,276 deaths and 22,153 recoveries. There were 404 news cases reported after several days below 400. There were 10 deaths.
  • A greenhouse in St. Catharines has 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among temporary workers Monday morning. prompting an investigation by Niagara public health officials.
  • The province tested 14,379, well below the provincial target of 20,000 and the lab capacity of 25,000.
  • Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé today launched an investigation into the oversight of long-term care homes by the Ministries of Long-Term Care and Health during the pandemic.
  • There have been 1,648 resident deaths and seven staff deaths in care homes in Ontario.
  • Ontario has announced amendments to the Employment Standards Act, which currently requires businesses to terminate employees who have been laid off for 13 weeks and pay severance. The government fears could bankrupt some businesses.
  • Non-unionized workers who have their hours reduced or eliminated will now be placed on a temporary leave to preserve their job. Workers will still be eligible for federal emergency income support programs.
  • The amendment will expire six weeks after the province’s declared state of emergency ends.
  • Statistics Canada says Ontario lost 689,200 jobs in April. The province’s unemployment rate climbed to 11.3 per cent.
  • Quebec has seen 51,354 confirmed cases of COVID‑19, including 4,661 deaths. There have been 16,597 recoveries. On May 30, the province conducted 12,611 tests, below the provincial target of 14,000. The 20 new deaths are the fewest since April 4. The 295 new cases are fewest reported since March 25.
  • The Outaouais now has 537 cases of COVID-19, an increase of one case. There have been 18 deaths.
  • Quebec is beginning the next phase of its reopening today including daycare centres in the Montreal area, courthouses, shopping malls outside Montreal, campgrounds, marinas, cottages rentals, private health services outside Montreal, pet grooming services, recording studios, concert halls and other performance venues for the sole purpose of recording concerts or shows without audiences.
  • In Canada, there are now 91,647+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7,325+ deaths. More than half of the cases — 49,235+ — have recovered.
  • The prime minister said the federal government will help Canadian municipalities with $2.2 billion from the federal gas tax fund. This is the full 2020-21 payment from the fund which is normally handed out in two instalments. He called this a start on help for communities.
  • The Federation of Canadian Municipalities says communities will need $10 billion.
  • Further supports for cities need provincial participation, he said. Cities are the creatures of the provinces.
  • A new Abacus Data survey finds six out of 10 Canadians support the federal government’s response to COVID-19.
  • Some national parks and historic sites are reopening today for day use.
  • Canadian Heritage has unveiled ways Canadians at home and abroad can celebrate the nation’s 153rd birthday from the safety of their own homes.
  • The first step is to RSVP to the virtual Canada Day 2020 event on Facebook.
  • The ministry also encourages Canadians to follow and watch their social media channels and website.
  • Canadian Heritage will release downloadable celebration kits starting June 15.
  • Food for thought: Canada is mismanaging its most significant peacetime crisis in a century and the seeds of our failure are everywhere. Here are four things that must change, writes uOttawa professor Amir Attaran in Maclean’s.
  • For the first time in several days, New Brunswick reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Four people are in hospital, one in intensive care. There are 12 active cases in the province, all linked to a cluster in the Campbellton area, sparked by an infected doctor who did not self-quarantine after visiting the province of Quebec. The doctor has been suspended.
  • Globally there are 6,206,773+ cases with 372,752+ deaths and 2,661,643+ recoveries.
  • As the United States sees unprecedented public outrage over the death of a black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the prime minister condemned anti-black racism in Canada in his daily appearance. He pledged to take action to combat hate and racism.
  • Protesting in a pandemic: Bring hand sanitizer and use it, physically distance as much as possible, wear a mask and don’t shout, instead carry a sign, Dr. Theresa Tam said today. “Be considerate of others,” she added.
  • Russia should not be allowed into the G7, the prime minister said when asked about the summit planned for the fall in the United States. President Donald Trump said he was considering inviting Russia, along with Australia, India and South Korea to the meeting.

May 31

  • Ottawa Public Health reports there are now 1,951 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city with 244 deaths. This includes 16 new cases and two new deaths.
  • There are 36 Ottawa residents in hospital and there are 18 outbreaks in institutions.
  • In Ontario there have been another 326 cases of novel coronavirus, along with 19 deaths.
  • The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province is now 27,859+, including 2,266+ deaths and 21,810+ recoveries.
  • The province saw 17,014. tests conducted, below the 20,000 daily target. To date, 718,341 tests have been completed with 9,647 test samples under investigation.
  • In Quebec, private health-care services, such as dentists and physiotherapists, will be allowed to reopen June 1. Shopping malls will reopen and it will be possible to go camping, rent a country house and book a chalet outside Montreal and the Joliette region. It will not yet be possible to rent a room in a bed and breakfast.
  • Businesses that provide personal-care services, like hairdressers, outside the greater Montreal area will be allowed to open on the same date.
  • June 1 will also mark the gradual reopening of courthouses across the province.
  • Quebec has seen 51,059 confirmed cases of COVID‑19, including 4,641 deaths. There have been 16,346 recoveries. On May 29, the province conducted 12,900 tests.
  • Because of what is being called a “data transmission problem” from Quebec public health the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the province jumped by 202 Sunday.
  • Quebec announced 37 more people died due to the virus in the past 24 hours. Some 165 deaths in the Montreal region had not been counted and were added to the total Sunday.
  • In the Outaouais, there have been 536 cases with 18 deaths.
  • In Canada, there are now 90,928+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7,294+ deaths. More than half of the cases — 48,839+ — have recovered.
  • The federal government will invest $30 million to help provinces and territories to promote holidays in their “own back yard.”
  • Globally there are 6,112,902+ cases with 370,416+ deaths and 2,597,111+ recoveries.

May 30

  • Ontario hit a high for the number of tests for COVID-19 conducted in a single day with 20,640. The provincial system can test 25,000 samples daily.
  • The province added 323 cases of COVID-19 Saturday morning for a total of 27,533+. The have been 2,247 deaths, an increase of 17. A total of 21,353 people have recovered.
  • The Ontario government has increased funding for eligible retirement home residents. Under the new regulatory amendment, emergency payments will increase from $2,000 to $3,500. The increase can be used to cover costs for transportation, alternative accommodation or temporary care. 
  • Retirement homes will now have to report infectious disease outbreaks to the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority during the pandemic and into the future.
  • There are 114 active outbreaks in long term care homes; 180 outbreaks have been resolved. There have been 1,636 resident deaths.
  • Ontario will put in place a fixed electricity price June 1 and that price will continue until Oct. 1. Under the COVID-19 Recovery Rate, Ontarians will pay 12.8 cents per kWh, which will be automatically applied to all time-of-use customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • The province will allow drive-in theatres and batting cages to open Sunday. On Monday, Ontario Parks will open up access points, paddle and portage routes and hiking trails, as well as day-use activities, such as picnicking and off-leash pet areas. Recreational camping reopens on Crown land.
  • At least 41 staff and students tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the first two weeks after elementary schools outside the Montreal area reopened, Quebec’s education department says.
  • The numbers came from a survey of school boards conducted May 25, which found that 19 students and 22 staff members were infected. Twelve of the province’s 72 school boards did not offer up data.
  • The province now has 50,651 with 4,439+ deaths. There have been 1,197 hospitalizations. On May 28, the province conducted 14,288 tests.
  • The Outaouais now has 536 cases of COVID-19 with 18 deaths. Six new cases were recorded. There were no new deaths.
  • In Canada, two grim milestones have been reached. There are now 90,162+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7,073+ deaths. More than half of the cases — 48,085+ — have recovered.
  • A report by RBC suggests Canada’s economic strategy based in increased immigration may suffer because of COVID-19.
  • The report notes that on March 12, the federal government released a plan calling for 370,000 new permanent residents in 2020. Four days later, concerns about the spread of COVID-19 led Canada to implement travel restrictions that shut down immigration.
  • “The disruption will reverberate across the economy, given our reliance on immigration for labour-force growth and to offset Canada’s aging demographic. Among the potential casualties: industries with labour shortages, urban rental and housing markets, and university budgets,” the report says.
  • Globally there are 5,998,070+ cases with 367,097+ deaths and 2,533,164+ recoveries.

May 29

  • A second employee at Madonna Care Community in Orléans has died after contracting COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health says. Four staff members at nursing homes in Ottawa-Gatineau have died from the coronavirus so far. 
  • The staff member was a female personal support worker in her 50s.
  • The city now has 1,937 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 240 deaths. This includes seven new cases. There were no new deaths. There are 36 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 in hospital. There are 18 outbreaks in institutions.
  • City of Ottawa crews have painted white circles in the grass at Mooney’s Bay to encourage physical distancing. Other cities have done this as well including Toronto.
  • The city says that people gathered in groups larger than five during the heat wave this week — hence the circles.
  • There is increased Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Service officers presence at five locations to make sure people are following the COVID-19 rules: Mooney’s Bay, Petrie Island, Westboro Beach, McKay Lake and Britannia Beach.
  • Ontario has revealed plans for a new more intensive testing strategy to increase the number of daily tests for COVID-19.
  • The plan includes:
  • Assessment Centre Testing: expanding who gets tested to now include asymptomatic individuals concerned about exposure and continued routine symptomatic testing at assessment centres.
  • Targeted Campaigns: detecting and containing cases by expanding asymptomatic surveillance for vulnerable populations, including in long-term care homes and other shared living spaces like shelters and group homes, as well as targeted testing of workplaces in priority sectors which work with priority populations and where it may be difficult to physically distance.
  • Outbreak Management: testing to ensure rapid and agile response capacity for outbreak management, including in specific neighbourhoods and regions or at hospitals, institutions and workplaces. detecting and containing cases by expanding asymptomatic surveillance for vulnerable populations, including in long-term care homes and other shared living spaces like shelters and group homes, as well as targeted testing of workplaces in priority sectors which work with priority populations and where it may be difficult to physically distance.
  • Ontario’s testing capacity is now 20,000 a day and the province wants to increase that.
  • More than 50 per cent of tests, on average, were getting results within a day, and 82 per cent were seeing results in two days or less.
  • Adjusted for population, Ontario ranks third among the provinces. Alberta has tested the most people, followed by Quebec.
  • The province completed 18,525 tests Thursday.
  • Ontario now has 27,210+ cases, of those 20,983+ are resolved. There have been 2,230 deaths 2,186. There were 344 news cases reported today and 44 deaths.
  • There are 123 outbreaks in Ontario care homes and 1,625 residents have died.
  • Ontario considering a regional approach to the staged reopening of the economy, the premier said today. Health ministry data show two-thirds of confirmed cases in Ontario come from public health units in the Greater Toronto Area
  • Union leader Warren ‘Smokey’ Thomas says Premier Doug Ford should apologize for accusing long-term care inspectors of refusing to do in-person inspections of LTC homes
  • ‘The premier couldn’t have been more wrong,’ Thomas said today, adding the ‘ill-advised and incorrect remarks cut like a knife’
  • Quebec has passed a grim milestone with 50,232 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That’s an increase of 530 cases, the lowest increase since the end of March. There are now 4,363 people who have died of COVID-19, up 61. There have been 15,908 recoveries.
  • The Outaouais saw five new cases of the infection and three new deaths. There are now 532 cases along with 18 deaths.
  • Hard hit Montreal has now seen 25,043+ cases with 2,690+ deaths … that’s 205 new cases and 24 new deaths.
  • The federal government is making an additional $650 million available for Indigenous communities to deal with COVID-19 needs and prepare for a potential second wave of the pandemic.
  • Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller on Friday said the new funding will go toward the public health response to the pandemic, the on-reserve income assistance program and the construction of new women’s shelters.
  • The federal Transport minister announced an extension of the ban on large cruise ships from Canada’s ports until at least the fall.
  • In New Brunswick, there are now six new cases connected to a doctor who travelled to Quebec and did not self-isolate after returning home. At least 150 other people may have been exposed to the virus.
  • The next phase of New Brunswick’s reopening, which was supposed to begin Friday, is delayed for at least a week, until June 5.
  • In Canada, there have been 89,390+ cases with 6,979+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 47,442+ — have recovered.
  • Canada’s economy shrank at an 8.2 per cent annual pace in the first three months of 2020, the sharpest quarterly drop since the financial crisis of 2009, Statistics Canada says.
  • Globally there are 5,867,727+ cases with 362,238+ deaths and 2,462,386+ recoveries.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump announced that in the middle of a global pandemic, he is “terminating” the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • “The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government. China’s coverup of the Wuhan virus allowed the disease to spread all over the world,” Trump said, saying it was a coverup the WHO participated in under pressure from China.
  • The U.S. calls for significant reform to the organization have not been met, he said. “China has total control over the World Health Organization.”
  • Trump also said Friday he would strip several of Hong Kong’s special privileges with the United States and bar some Chinese students from U.S. universities over Beijing’s move to exert control in the financial hub.

May 28

  • OC Transpo wants riders and staff to wear a face mask starting June 15. The recommendation will be voted on June 1 at a special meeting of transit commission.
  • Ottawa Public Health says there are now 1,930 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 240 deaths in Ottawa. This includes eight new cases and two new deaths.
  • There are 37 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 i hospital. There are 18 outbreaks in institutions.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford said today that one of the reasons the Canadian military was called into help with care homes was the fact that health inspectors refused to go into long term care homes. A deal with the union has been reached and the inspectors will return to the homes, Ford said.
  • He also threatened to pull the licences of for-profit homes if they do not meet standards of care.
  • The minister for long term care, Kanata-Carleton MPP Merrilee Fullerton, said the situation in the province’s 626 homes is improving with 19 homes in a worrisome situation.
  • Ontario is allowing more than two dozen health-care provider professions, including dentists, psychologists and massage therapists, to return to work once health and safety guidelines are in place in offices.
  • The province reported a jump in COVID-19 cases today. There were 383 new cases for a total of 26,866+. There were 34 more deaths bringing the toll to 2,186. There have been 20,673 recoveries.
  • There are COVID-19 outbreaks in 129 care homes in Ontario, the province says.
  • The province conducted 17,615 tests Wednesday, surpassing the provincial target of 16,000 for the first time in several days.
  • An 56 year old employee at CHSLD Lionel-Émond in Gatineau has become the first health care worker in the Outaouais to die of COVID-19. So far 87 employees with the local health authority have tested positive.
  • According to the latest provincial report, 29 residents at the home have tested positive for the respiratory illness and seven have died.
  • There are 527 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Outaouais, up nine, with 15 deaths.
  • Quebec is approaching 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 563 added today. There are now 49,702+ The province saw 74 deaths for a total of 4,302.
  • There are 1,331 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals, down 47 from Wednesday. Of those in a hospital, 178 are in intensive care, down six.
  • The number of recoveries is now 15,618.
  • Quebec completed 12,960 COVID-19 tests on Tuesday, up 2,359 from the 10,098 it completed a day earlier. (Quebec reports its daily testing figures from two days prior).
  • The premier announced the reopening of courthouses in the province.
  • In Canada, there have been 88,468+ cases with 6,873+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 46,766+ — have recovered.
  • New Brunswick is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 all linked to the cluster in the Campbellton area and the province’s chief medical officer of health expects there will be more.
  • One of the infected is a health care worker who had worked in Quebec and had returned home and did not self-isolate.
  • It is believed that up to 150 people may have been exposed.
  • “These were completely preventable,” Dr. Jennifer Russell said Thursday afternoon during a new conference in Fredericton.
  • Google Canada is committing $1 million to help more small business owners get online through Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE program, by providing free website support and marketing tools.
  • The deadline to file federal income tax is June 1. People have until Sept.1 to pay any tax owed.
  • Some national parks are opening on June 1 for day use. Camping will not resume until at least June 21.
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank reported a profit of $1.5 billion for the quarter ending April 30, down from $3.1 billion a year ago.
  • The bank set aside $3.2 billion during the quarter to offset bad loans, up from $633 million the year before.
  • CIBC set aside $1.41 billion in the quarter for future loan losses, compared with $255 million a year earlier.
  • Globally there are 5,690,182+ cases with 355,575+ deaths and 2,349,598+ recoveries.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau co-hosted a meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness on mitigating the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • “For the global economy to recover, and for our domestic economies to bounce back, we need a global, co-ordinated plan,” Trudeau said. “Our citizens need to have confidence in international institutions that leave no one behind and are capable of overcoming global challenges.”
  • More than 50 heads of state and government participated in the meeting — including Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron and the U.K.’s Boris Johnson. U.S. President Donald Trump did not take part.

May 27

  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced today that the province is taking over management of five long term care homes, four were mentioned in a damning report by the Canadian military released Tuesday. The homes are Orchard Villa in Pickering, Altamont Care Community in Scarborough, Eatonville in Etobicoke, Hawthorne Place in North York and the Camilla Care Community in Mississauga.
  • Ford said the province is ready to take over more homes if needed.
  • The province has also assigned inspectors to be on site at 19 homes that have been identified as troubled to ensure that changes are being made. Ford also said inspections will be stepped up across the province to take in all 626 homes.
  • The province is also moving to establish an independent commission by July to review and report on the situation in long term care homes. The auditor general is investigating and the provincial coroner is also investigating.
  • Ford also refused to fire his minister of long term care Kanata-Carleton MPP Merrilee Fullerton.
  • Ontario has asked the military to stay on the job until June 12. Quebec is asking for help until September.
  • A report prepared by the Canadian military about 25 long term care homes in Quebec says the division between “hot” and “cold” zones, proper use of protective equipment and staffing shortages remain major challenges. The report was made public this morning.
  • In many cases, the military describes how equipment and staffing were inadequate when they arrived but have since improved, CBC reports.
  • Ontario has extended its COVID-19 emergency orders to at least June 9 on Wednesday, as some areas of the province continue to see a concerning number of new cases.
  • Gatherings are limited to up to five people. Outdoor playgrounds, public swimming pools and bars and restaurants — with the exception of takeout and delivery services — will all remain closed.
  • Toronto and its surrounding regions account for a disproportionately high number of Ontario’s new cases of COVID-19, according to a CBC News analysis.
  • In Ottawa, there are now 1,922 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 238 deaths. This includes 14 new cases and three new deaths. There are 38 Ottawa residents in hospital. There are 19 outbreaks in institutions.
  • Dr. Vera Etches, the city’s medical officer of health, told council Wednesday the spread of the virus is slowing in Ottawa. There are fewer institutional outbreaks and hospitals have been handling the caseload well.
  • Ottawa Public Health is now advising residents to think carefully about how they can stay safe while doing activities such as running, cycling and shopping instead of staying home.
  • OPH classifies the city’s current status as “orange,” the third level on a four-level system. Red means widespread infection and overburdened hospitals, and green means few new cases and efficient contact tracing.
  • Etches said most people are waiting more than two days after first feeling symptoms to get tested. She urged residents to act faster if they think they might have COVID-19. Anyone can now be tested  at one of three assessment centres.
  • She also said mental health issues seem to be worsening. She said the Ottawa Distress Centre received more than 9,000 calls over the last two months, a record.
  • Ontario reported 292 new cases of COVID-19 infections and 32 deaths. The total number of cases in the province are 26,483+. There have been 2,155+ deaths and 20,372+ recoveries. There are 135 outbreaks in long term care facilities, down from 150. So far, 1,587 residents have died along with six care workers.
  • There were 15,133 tests conducted in Ontario, below the 16,000 test target, but well above recent reports.
  • Profits at Royal Bank and Bank of Montreal were cut in half from last year in the fiscal second quarter. The banks released first quarter results Wednesday. 
  • Royal Bank made a profit of more than $1.4 billion in the quarter, down 54 per cent from what the bank made in the same stretch in 2019. The Royal set aside $2.8 billion in the quarter to cover bad loans, up from $426 million last year.
  • BMO earned $689 million in the quarter. It made $1.5 billion last year. Loan loss provisions rose to $1.11 billion from $176 million.
  • National Bank of Canada’s net income plunged 32 per cent in its second quarter.
  • The Montreal-based bank said its net income amounted to $379 million for the period ended April 30, compared with $558 million in the same quarter last year.
  • The bank allocated $504 million for bad loans compared to $84 million in the same quarter last year.
  • Quebec reported 541 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 49,139+. The province reported 614 new cases and 70 deaths on Tuesday. Another 89 deaths have been reported today for a total of 4,228.
  • There are now 518 cases in the Outaouais, an increase of 13, with 15 deaths, an increase of two.
  • In Canada, there have been 87,519+ cases with 6,765+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 46,177+ — have recovered.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s “unacceptable” that a Chinese social media group run by an aide to a cabinet minister was used to promote a fundraiser to sue a journalist who reported on the Chinese government, the National Post reports.
  • Globally there have been 5,685,512+ cases with 354,983+ deaths and 2,347,276+ recoveries.
  • The United States has passed a grim marker today in its battle with COVID-19. There have now been 101,599+ deaths from the infection. There have been 1,733,992+ confirmed cases and 370,921+ recoveries.
  • The European Union has proposed a 750 billion euro (CDN $1.1. trillion) recovery fund to help countries weather a recession triggered by the coronavirus.

May 26

  • The National Hockey league has announced a phased in approach to completing the 2019-20 season.
  • There will be 24 teams involved in an expanded playoffs. Games will be performed in empty arenas in what are called hub cities, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced today. Possible sites include Edmonton, Alberta, Columbus, Ohio, Toronto and Las Vegas.
  • Seven teams will not take part including the Ottawa Senators.
  • Canadian teams in the mix include: Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
  • All this is contingent on getting clearance to play in these communities.
  • There are 1,700 Canadian Forces personnel working in five long term care homes in Ontario and 25 in Quebec. DND now says 36 have been infected with COVID-19, 14 in Ontario and 22 in Quebec.
  • The prime minister said Ontario and Quebec have requested an extension to the mission. Ontario has requested another 30 days, Premier Doug Ford said.
  • The soldiers working in Ontario have flagged serious problems with these homes in a shocking report, the prime minister said this morning. He did not elaborate what the soldiers had seen. He did say he was shocked, saddened and angered by what he was told.
  • Military personnel sent to nursing homes in Ontario observed shocking conditions, including disregard for infection control measures with infected seniors allowed to wander the halls, mistreatment of residents and a level of care described as “horrible.” Seniors were not bathed for days and often left in soiled diapers. Cockroaches were present. Residents were given expired medication and needles were reused.
  • In his press conference today Ford thanked the Canadian Forces for filing the report.
  • Ford has ordered a commission of inquiry into the observations and the situation in care homes generally and the results of the reports will be handed to police to determine whether charges are warranted.
  • “COVID-19 has exposed the deep cracks in the long term care system,” Ford said. He called the report the “most gut-wrenching thing I have ever read.”
  • He urged the federal government to help fix the crisis in long term care. “Ontario can’t do it alone,” he said.
  • The province’s minister of long term care, Kanata-Carleton MPP Merrilee Fullerton, said she believed conditions have improved in the five homes where CF personnel are deployed.
  • Earlier this week, Ontario ordered two care homes placed under hospital supervision. The Ministry of Long-Term Care issued “mandatory management orders” empowering Humber River Hospital to temporarily manage Downsview Long Term Care and Southlake Regional Health Centre to run River Glen Haven Nursing Home.
  • The two facilities account for 72 of the 1,531 deaths from COVID-19 in Ontario’s 626 long-term-care homes.
  • “We need to do a better job of supporting our seniors in long term care,” the prime minister said.
  • A second report on the situation in Quebec by the Canadian Forces is expected in coming days.
  • The CF teams were dispatched from April 24 to 27 to assess the homes, and began deploying on April 28. The teams are made up of senior medical personnel and medical workers from 4 Health Services Group, along with support personnel.
  • A total of 285 Canadian Forces members are working in Ontario care homes. In Quebec, more than 1,500 soldiers were deployed, with up to 60 at each facility. 
  • In Quebec, the provincial ombudsman is investigating the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes.
  • Residents in the province’s network of CHSLDs and private seniors’ residences account for more than 80 per cent of deaths related to the virus. 
  • The investigation will look into the Ministry of Health and Social Services and long-term care homes within the public health network, ombudsman Marie Rinfret announced Tuesday.
  • Quebec reports 614 new cases and 70 deaths on Tuesday. The province now has 48,598+ cases and 4,139 deaths.
  • There are 1,403 people in hospital, down 22. Of them, 181 people are in intensive care, up two from Monday. So far, about 15,000 people have recovered from COVID-19 in Quebec.
  • In the Outaouais, there are now 505 cases of COVID-19, up 11. There have been 13 deaths.
  • In Canada, there have been 86,614+ cases with 6,638+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 45,250+ — have recovered. To date, 1,500,481 tests have been administered with 80,024 positive results.
  • The prime minister reported this morning that 40 flights came into Canada carrying personal protective equipment over the past 10 weeks including hospital gowns and masks.
  • He announced the federal government has signed a contract with General Motors to produce 10 million face masks in Oshawa.
  • The government has also signed a contract to produce 10,000 ventilators in Canada made through a partnership with the company Vexos, located in Markham, ON, and a team of physicists led by Queen’s University Nobel laureate Art McDonald.
  • As of May 19, data posted by Public Services and Procurement Canada showed only a fraction of the millions of gloves, masks, face shields, ventilators and litres of hand sanitizer ordered by the federal government had so far been received.
  • For example, of 29,570 ventilators ordered, only 203 had been received.
  • About 104 million N95 masks had been ordered but just less than 12 million received and, of those, 9.8 million didn’t meet Canadian standards.
  • The government is also announcing funding for 700 jobs in food production on farms.
  • The prime minister also said he will chair a meeting Thursday with the Secretary General of the United Nations and the prime minister of Jamaica to examine what can be done to help the economies of developing countries through the pandemic.
  • The Ontario government has identified what they believe is a contributing factor to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the province: Mother’s Day.
  • The recent uptick in positive cases and large group gatherings this past weekend means Ontario will maintain some COVID-19 restrictions longer than initially planned. Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province had been considering allowing groups of more than five people to gather in the near future, but those plans have temporarily been put aside.
  • Ontario reported 287 new cases of COVID-19 infections, the lowest number in several days. The total number of cases in the province are 26,191+. There have been 2,123 deaths and 19,958 recoveries. There are 150 outbreaks in long term care facilities.
  • There were only 9,875 tests conducted in Ontario, far below the 16,000 test target.
  • In the city of Ottawa there are now 1,908 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 235 deaths. This includes seven new cases and one new death.
  • There are 37 Ottawa residents in hospital and 20 outbreaks in institutions.
  • The prime minister said today that he would be tested for antibodies to COVID-19 when the tests are available.
  • He also signalled that the government might consider exceptions for asylum seekers in Canada who are working on the frontlines of COVID-19 care. He said the Immigration minister is examining options, he added.
  • Scotiabank posted a profit Tuesday morning of $1.32 billion in the three months up to the end of April, down more than 40 per cent from last year.
  • The bank’s provisions for credit losses totalled nearly $1.85 billion for the quarter, up 111 per cent from the $873 million in bad loans the bank revealed in the same three months last year.
  • The bank said 300,000 Canadian customers have applied for financial relief on the $60 billion they owe to the bank.
  • Scotiabank is the first big bank to report quarterly numbers.
  • The Canada Pension Plan earned a return of 3.1 per cent after expenses during the financial year ended March 31, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said Tuesday.
  • Net assets for Canada’s national pension plan totalled $409.6 billion as of the end of March, up from $392 billion at the end of the previous financial year. The $17.6-billion year-over-year increase included $12.1 billion in net income from its investments. The other $5.5 billion came from contributions of more than 20 million Canadian workers covered by the plan.
  • “Despite severe downward pressure in our final quarter, the fund’s 12.6 per cent return on a 2019 calendar-year basis combined with the relative resilience of our diversified portfolio helped cushion the impact,” chief executive officer Mark Machin said.
  • A COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) has cleared another major milestone in moving towards human clinical trials: the novel vaccine has proven highly effective in ferrets, one of the commonly used animal models for COVID-19.  
  • Globally there have been 5,543,439+ cases with 347,836+ deaths and 2,266,394+ recoveries.
  • India on Monday posted its biggest single-day jump in cases of COVID-19, overtaking Iran to become one of the 10 worst-hit nations, even as the government allowed domestic air travel to restart.
  • India has now seen 145,380 cases with 4,167 deaths and 60,491 recoveries.
  • Russia and China are said to be driving misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic online. CBC has more.

May 25

  • Ontario has added 404 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for a total of 25,904. There have been 2,102+ deaths. There have been 19,698+ recoveries.
  • Ontario’s network of labs processed 8,170 tests on Sunday about half of the target of 16,000 per day and nowhere near the 20,000 tests that could be processed daily.
  • There are now 159 outbreaks in long term care homes, where 1,531 resident have died. Some 1,926 residents have been infected while 1,395 still have active cases. In the Toronto area, the management of two homes have been taken over by hospitals.
  • The Ministry of Long-Term Care issued “mandatory management orders” today empowering Humber River Hospital to temporarily manage Downsview Long Term Care and Southlake Regional Health Centre to run River Glen Haven Nursing Home.
  • The two facilities account for 72 of the 1,531 deaths from COVID-19 in Ontario’s more than 600 long-term-care homes.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday that people at Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday should “do us all a favour and go get tested now? Go to a local hospital or assessment centre and get tested.”
  • The province’s associate medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, said following Ford’s conference that people who were in Bellwoods on Saturday should not get tested. Instead, they’re advised to wear masks, stay away from vulnerable people and self-monitor for symptoms. 
  • Ontario is establishing a $500 million line of credit to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The loan will also help OLG meet its contractual obligations over the short term as its operations remain closed.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it’s “natural for people to be a little confused” about what they can do during reopening. “That’s why we’re really going to continue to impress upon people the importance of making smart decisions.”
  • He was responding to pictures of crowds at Trinity Bellwoods Park.
  • Businesses with street access in the Montreal area are reopening today. Shopping malls are still closed.
  • In Quebec, to date, there are 47,984+ confirmed cases of COVID‑19, including 4,069 deaths.
  • In the Outaouais there have been 494 confirmed cases of COVId-19 with 13 deaths (up one).
  • In Canada, there have been 85,679+ cases with 6,538+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 44,538+ — have recovered.
  • In the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health says anyone who wants a COVID-19 test can get one. It’s part of Ontario’s push to increase testing after several days of failing to meet the provincial target of 16,000 tests a day.
  • Ottawa Public Health reports 1,901 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 234 deaths. This includes five new cases and one death. There are 35 residents in hospital.
  • There are 20 ongoing outbreaks in institutions.
  • Commercial landlords can begin applying for a government rent relief program today. The Canada emergency commercial rent assistance (CECRA) program aims to reduce the rent owed by small business tenants by 75 per cent for April, May and June.
  • The government also announced a new customized financial advice service to help small businesses recover from the pandemic. The free hotline is meant to help vulnerable businesses navigate tax regulations and government supports.
  • Set up by the federal government in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the business resilience service hotline (1-866-989-1080) will be serviced by 125 business advisers and chartered accountants seven days a week.
  • MPs are meeting today to discuss how Parliament will function under the pandemic.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants the provinces to give workers 10 days of paid sick leave a year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The initiative appears to respond to a demand from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in exchange for the New Democrats’ support for a motion to limit sittings and votes in the House of Commons this summer.
  • The governing Liberals propose four sittings a week of a special committee to talk about the pandemic and how the government is responding to it. This would see some MPs in the Commons chamber in Ottawa and others participating by video conference.
  • There would also be four days scattered through the summer when MPs could press cabinet ministers on other issues.
  • The prime minister also defended the Liberal party decision to use the federal wage subsidy program to pay its workers.
  • The Liberal, Conservative, NDP and Green parties all have applied for relief through the emergency wage subsidy, which provides up to $847 a week for each employee a business, charity or non-profit organization has on the payroll.
  • The Bloc Québécois has said it will not use the program to cover wages.
  • Conservative leadership hopefuls Peter McKay and Erin O’Toole both criticized the use of the subsidy.
  • The three largest parties employ about 200 party workers, which means they are collectively entitled to some $700,000 per month from the federal treasury to cover salaries.
  • Globally there have been 5,453,784+ cases with 345,886+ deaths and 2,191,310+ recoveries.
  • In the city of Wuhan, China there have been more than 6.5 million coronavirus tests over a 10-day period. The plan is to test all 11 million residents. No new COVID-19 cases have been reported since the 10-day campaign started.
  • In Spain, half of the population, including in Madrid and Barcelona, is entering phase 1 of reopening on Monday. This allows gatherings in limited numbers, restaurant and bar service with outdoor seating and some cultural and sports activities. Spain has seen 28,773+ deaths from COVID-19.
  • Donald Trump, who leads the nation with the most cases of COVID-19 and the most deaths from the infection, has banned flights from Brazil, the Latin American nation with the second worst global toll.
  • The United States has seen 1,678,477+ cases of COVID-19 infection. There have been 98,044+ deaths and 345,482+ recoveries.
  • Brazil has seen 365,213+ cases with 22,746+ deaths and 149,911+ deaths.

May 24

  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford urged people to “please go get a test” — even if they are asymptomatic.
  • The province processed 11,383 tests on Saturday, the seventh day in a row it has failed to reach the 16,000 test target. 
  • The province is expected to release a “detailed” testing strategy this week.
  • Ontario government saw 460 new cases of COVID-19 the highest since May 8. The province has seen 25,500 cases with 19,477 resolved cases. There have been 2,073 deaths.
  • Outrage is growing because thousands of people chose to abandon social distancing requirements by gathering in a popular downtown Toronto park. on Saturday
  • Videos show large groups of people socializing and enjoying the sunshine on Saturday in Trinity Bellwoods Park.
  • “I thought it was a rock concert at the beginning when I went out there. I was absolutely shocked,” Ford said Sunday. “It might not even be about the young people. They can go home and give it to their parents or their grandparents, because there’s still a deadly virus among us. If we allow it … it will spread like wildfire.”
  • The City of Toronto increased the presence of police and bylaw officers at the park Sunday.
  • In the City of Ottawa there were five new deaths reported for a total of 233, Ottawa Public Health says.
  • There were only nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19. Since the start of the outbreak,1,896 cases have been confirmed in Ottawa. There have been 1,488 recoveries. There are 20 outbreaks at institutions and 38 people are in hospital.
  • In the Outaouais there are now 483 confirmed cases with 12 deaths.
  • Gatineau Police were out in force at the Aylmer Marina Sunday following photographs of large groups gathering at the beach on Saturday.
  • In Quebec, to date, there are 47,411 confirmed cases of COVID‑19, including 3,984 deaths.
  • In Canada, there have been 84,655+ cases with 6,424+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 43,927+ — have recovered.
  • It has been 17 days without a new case of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, with pet groomers preparing to reopen on Monday.
  • The province has seen 260 cases. There are still three active cases of COVID-19 in the province; 254 have recovered. There have been three deaths.
  • The casket carrying the body of Capt. Jennifer Casey will be honoured in her hometown of Halifax today before a funeral service. Gov.-Gen Julie Payette is in attendance.
  • Canadian Muslims marked the end of Ramadan under the rules of the pandemic.In Ottawa the main mosque marked Eid al-Fitr with a drive through service.
  • Globally there have been 5,354,539+ cases with 343,116+ deaths and 2,143,815+ recoveries.
  • Brazil’s deaths from COVID-19 have soared to 22,412+. The nation now has a total of 354,460+ confirmed cases in second place behind the United States.
  • Mexico, too, is seeing a surge in infections and deaths. The country now has 7,179+ deaths and 65,856+ confirmed cases. More than one-quarter of the deaths have occurred in Mexico City where paramedics say hospitals are being inundated with patients.
  • The United States continues to have the most cases and deaths of any country with 1,668,246+ confirmed cases and 97,781+ deaths. There have been 339,286+ recoveries.

May 23

  • Ottawa Public Health is reporting 1,887 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 228 deaths. This includes two new cases and eight new deaths.
  • There are 41 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 in hospital.
  • There are 19 outbreaks in institutions.
  • In Ontario, there were 412 new cases of COVID-19 reported Saturday for a total of 25,040. Of the total, 76.5 per cent, or 19,146, are resolved. The five-day rolling average of new cases has been trending upward since May 12.
  • The province fell short of its testing target for the sixth day in a row Friday, processing 11,028 tests. The target is 16,000 tests a day. Ontario labs can handle 20,000 tests a day.
  • In Quebec there were 75 new deaths bringing the total in the hard hit province to 3,940.
  • The province reported 697 new cases, for a total of 46,838 — with more than 23,000 in Montreal. Quebec has more than half of the confirmed cases in Canada.
  • In the Outaouais there are 479 confirmed cases and 12 deaths.
  • The province has begun allowing outdoor gatherings with a maximum of 10 people from three families with social distancing in place.
  • More will happen Monday when retail businesses with street access are to reopen in the greater Montreal area.
  • Quebec surpassed their daily testing goal with 14,572 tests.
  • In Canada, there have been 83,590+ cases with 6,352+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 43,207+ — have recovered.
  • COVID consequences: The pandemic has handed the public service an opportunity to experiment with new ways of operating, including rethinking the need for massive office buildings in Ottawa-Gatineau and embracing digital government more fully. What public servants learn in the next few months by working remotely and in crisis could jolt the bureaucracy into a re-ordering of practices and culture that reformers haven’t been able to do in 25 years. The Ottawa Citizen has more.
  • There’s an app for this: The prime minister is signalling Canada will adopt just one contact tracing app to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
  • Globally there have been 5,252,452+ cases with 339,026+ deaths and 2,081,303+ recoveries.

May 22

  • The prime minister says that federal public servants are available to handle 3,600 contact tracing calls a day, seven days a week. These bureaucrats are already at work in Ontario, he added.
  • Statistics Canada has also made available 1,700 interviewers who are reading to make up to 20,000 calls daily, he said.
  • This is part of a push for more testing and contact tracing capability across the country.
  • Canada can handle 60,000 tests a day. Currently about 28,000 are being done.
  • Concern is growing that Canadians are losing interest in getting tested.
  • The federal government has set up an online tool on canada.ca/benefits that will outline programs for which a person is eligible.
  • The prime minister also called out acts of racism against Asian Canadians. “Hate, violence and discrimination have no place in Canada.”
  • Testing is important in Ontario where there are now 24,628+ infections, an increase of 441, the largest rise in recent days. There have been 2,021+ deaths and 18,767+ recoveries.
  • There were 11,276 tests conducted in the past 24 hours in Ontario, below the 16,000 tests daily target and below the 20,000 tests capacity in provincial labs.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford urged people to “go out and get tested” if they have any symptoms.
  • Concern is growing that questions about where Canadians are getting infected with COVID-19 and why case levels remain high in our hardest-hit provinces are unanswered. CBC has more.
  • In the city of Ottawa there are now 1,885 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 220 deaths, reported. This includes 17 new cases and nine new deaths. There are 44 Ottawa residents in hospital. There are 20 outbreaks in institutions.
  • Ottawa’s medical officer of health says Ottawa residents have a “responsibility” to be tested if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Ottawa Public Health is considering expanding testing to asymptomatic residents.
  • Dr. Vera Etches is urging everyone with symptoms of novel coronavirus to present for testing at the Brewer Arena Assessment Centre or the two community care clinics in Ottawa.
  • Canada’s spy agency is warning Canadian academics and corporations that they are at increased risk of espionage or intellectual property theft as agents of foreign governments target a surge in research related to COVID-19.
  • Quebec has seen 65 new deaths from COVID-19 raising the total to 3,865. The number of confirmed cases has risen 646 to 46,141+.
  • There are 1,479 in hospital, down 25. Of those, 171 are in intensive care, down five.
  • In the Outaouais there are now 472+ cases with 12 deaths.
  • On May 29, museums in Quebec will reopen long with some library services and drive-in movie theatres.
  • In Canada, there have been 82,420+ cases with 6,245+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 42,481+ — have recovered.
  • There have been 28 members of the Canadian Forces infected with COVID-19 while on duty helping long term care homes deal with outbreaks — 16 in Quebec and 12 in Ontario.
  • Retail sales fell for the first time in five months, plunging 10.0 per cent to $47.1 billion in March, Statistics Canada reports. This drop is the largest on record and is comparable to the retail sales decline observed in the United States (-7.1 per cent) and other countries in the wake of COVID-19. 
  • Globally there have been 5,168,433+ cases with 335,936+ deaths and 1,985,656+ recoveries.
  • A study published by The Lancet magazine says hydroxycholorquine did not help coronavirus patients and may have done harm. The study is based on the records of nearly 15,000 patients who received the drugs and 81,000 who did not.
  • A vaccine being tested in Canada has been found to be safe well tolerated and able to generate an immune response in humans, The Lancet reports.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday called on local officials to reopen churches and other places of worship this weekend.
  • The United States has 1,626,066+ cases with 95,906+ deaths and 311,442+ recoveries.

May 21

  • With warnings about a second wave of COVID-19, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the federal government is willing to help the provinces and territories increase their testing and contact tracing capabilities.
  • Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief medical officer of health, says that on average 28,000 people are being tested daily. Canada has capacity for 60,000 tests a day. In total, Canada has tested nearly 1.4 million people.
  • Ottawa Public Health is reporting 1,868 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 211 deaths. This includes 19 new cases and one new death.Some 43 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 are in hospital.
  • There are 21 ongoing outbreaks in institutions in the city.
  • A Ottawa support worker at the city-run Peter D. Clark home has died.
  • In Ontario, there have been 24,187+ cases, up 413 cases from Wednesday, with 1,993+ deaths (31 since Wednesday’s report) and 18,509+ recoveries.
  • There are now 175 outbreaks in long term care institutions and 1,452 residents have died.
  • The province conducted 10,506 tests — still far below the 16,000 target and the 20,000 test capacity in labs.
  • Premier Doug Ford promised to improve testing.
  • “That’s what I want and I’m confident it’s going to happen,” he said. “Believe me, it’s frustrating.”
  • Ford said he wants to introduce more random testing to get a more accurate account of COVID-19’s presence in Ontario. He listed truckers, taxi drivers, auto workers and food supply workers as people in critical industries in need of more thorough testing.
  • “We can’t just be testing people with symptoms, we have to start going to the broader public,” he said. “How do we know how many asymptomatic people are out there right now?”
  • Ford did not provide a timeline. The premier also said people are not coming to assessment centres.
  • The Ontario government is funding 15 research projects looking into everything from COVID antibody testing to vaccine development. The province has committed $20 million towards funding a range of projects.
  • Quebec has 45,495+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 3,800+ deaths. That is an increase of 720 cases and 82 deaths. There are 1,504 people in hospital (a decrease of 41), including 176 in intensive care (a decrease of seven). 
  • Quebec will now allow small outdoor gatherings starting Friday.
  • Dentists and other private health providers can reopen June 1.
  • Personal care businesses, such as hairdressers, will be allowed to reopen outside Montreal and Joliette June 1.
  • Children’s summer day camps will be allowed to open June 22. Overnight camps remain closed. Physical distancing rules apply.
  • In Canada, there have been 81,279+ cases with 6,145+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 41,623+ — have recovered.
  • The federal government announced $75 million to help off-reserve Indigenous people during the pandemic. The funding will be for community-based projects such as those aimed at providing access to food, transportation, educational materials or mental health services among other things.
  • The low infection rates have led New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs and P.E.I. Premier Dennis King to raise the possibility of forming a regional travel bubble involving the two provinces. The two jurisdictions have not seen a COVID-19 case for several days.
  • P.E.I. is also allowing seasonal residents to come into the province on June 1. They will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • The president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) says the country isn’t prepared for a possible second wave of COVID-19 and a shortage of personal protective equipment and poor testing numbers are leaving Canadians vulnerable.
  • “We’re gambling by reopening,” Dr. Sandy Buchman told the Senate’s social affairs committee Wednesday. CBC has more.
  • Manitoba will allow outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people and indoor gatherings of up to 25 as of Friday. Physical distancing measures will need to be in place.
  • Saskatchewan is expanding testing for coronavirus to anyone working outside the home. The province has seen seven COVID-19 deaths with 620 coronavirus cases, 494 considered recovered. Most new cases in the north and far north regions.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador has gone 13 days without a new case of COVID-19.
  • A 2016 report commissioned by the Pan Canadian Public Health Care Network flagged that Canada’s public health surveillance system was inadequate, with inconsistent data sharing between provinces, a lack of common standards and gaps that could hamper a response to a virus like COVID-19, The National Post reports.
  • Globally there have been 5,014,943+ cases with 328,462+ deaths and 1,909,701+ recoveries.

May 20

  • The prime minister announced today that a portal to obtain Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance will open May 25. He urged landlords to participate.
  • The assistance for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants and meet operating expenses on commercial properties
  • Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75 per cent rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020.
  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the details of the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility which will provide bridge loans for companies with more than $300 million in annual revenue.
  • The loan applications will require that the money can not go towards excessive executive pay, restructuring, dividends. The companies must maintain job and investment levels and honour collective agreements and pension plans.
  • The goal is to preserve firms and jobs, Morneau said.
  • Applications for a LEEFF loan can be made starting today.
  • Statistics Canada says the annual Consumer Price Index across Canada fell by 0.2 per cent in April. That’s down from a 0.9 per cent year-on-year rise in March. This was the first year-over-year decline in the CPI since September 2009. The CPI declined as energy prices fell as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Excluding energy, the CPI rose 1.6 per cent. The CPI dropped by 0.7 per cent in April after a 0.9 per cent monthly drop in March.
  • Ontario reported 390 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 23,774+. The province’s death toll is now 1,962+ after 43 new fatalities reported since Tuesday. About 1,500 of the deaths occurred in long term care homes. There have been 17,898+ recoveries.
  • The province processed 7,382 tests on Tuesday below the target of 16,000 tests per day and far less than the nearly 20,000 tests provincial labs can handle. The is the third consecutive day testing has been so low. On Monday, the province processed 9,155 tests; on Tuesday 5, 813 tests were completed. 
  • “I recognize that the numbers weren’t there – it shocked me too – but in saying that, we have a strong plan, a strong plan to ramp up testing,” Premier Doug Ford said at Queen’s Park on Wednesday. 
  • The City of Ottawa has opened baseball diamonds, soccer fields, frisbee golf locations, tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, BMX parks and skate parks. In addition, off-leash dog areas, benches, picnic areas and shelters are also open. Physical distancing of at least two metres is required.
  • Restrictions on benches, picnic tables and gazebos have also been relaxed. Benches and tables are not cleaned frequently, the city warns, urging people to wash their hands after using them.
  • Ottawa Public Health reported 1,849 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 210 deaths. This includes 25 new cases and 8 new deaths since the previous report. There are 44 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 in hospital. There are 24 ongoing outbreaks in institutions.
  • Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced on twitter that “based on @ottawahealth’s recommendation, the City of Ottawa is extending the suspension of City-permitted special events and other cultural programs to Aug. 31.”
  • Quebec is allowing limited outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people from three families starting Friday. will be permitted starting Friday as the province continues to record a downward trend of new COVID-19 cases.
  • Dentist offices across the province — and hair salons outside the Montreal and Joliette regions — can reopen on June 1.
  • Provincial parks began to partially reopen today. This triggered a blockade by members of the Mohawk community of Kanesatake, to preventing access to Oka provincial park north of Montreal.
  • Quebec is reporting 71 new deaths for a total of 3,718+ deaths. The province now has 44,775+ cases of COVID-19.
  • The Outaouais now has 432 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 11 deaths.
  • Montreal has 22,636 confirmed cases and 2,367 deaths.
  • Canada’s chief public health officer is formally recommending the wearing of non-medical masks or face coverings especially in situations when physical distancing is not possible.
  • In Canada, there have been 80,102+ cases with 6,028+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 40,697+ — have recovered.
  • COVID consequences: Reitmans Canada Ltd has obtained preliminary approval to seek bankruptcy protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, the latest retailer seeking to restructure its operations as the COVID-19 pandemic causes prolonged store closures.
  • Pier 1 is now closing down all its stores in Canada and the United States.
  • Globally there have been 4,955,312+ cases with 325,810+ deaths and 1,723,379+ recoveries.
  • Brazil now has the third-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections, behind Russia and the United States. Brazil’s confirmed cases also jumped by a record 17,408 on Tuesday, for a total of 271,628 people who have tested positive for the virus. The pandemic has killed at least 17,971 people in Brazil, according to the country’s health ministry.

May 19

  • COVID-consequences: NAV Canada announced in a media release today its traffic figures for the month of April 2020 as compared to last fiscal year. NAV Canada is a privately run, not-for-profit corporation that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation system.
  • Air traffic in April decreased by an average of 74.7 per cent compared to the same month in 2019.
  • The report measures the number of flights, aircraft size and distance flown in Canadian airspace.
  • The pandemic lockdowns have had an “extreme” effect on daily carbon emissions, causing a whopping 17 per cent drop globally during peak confinement measures by early April – levels last seen in 2006.
  • However, it is unlikely to last, according to a new analysis by an international team of scientists, who said the brief pollution break will likely be “a drop in the ocean” when it comes to climate change.
  • In his daily briefing, the prime minister announced the expansion of eligibility for emergency business loans.
  • “If you are the sole owner-operator of a business, if your business relies on contractors, or if you have a family-owned business and you pay employees though dividends, you will now qualify,” Justin Trudeau said.
  • The program is called the Canada Emergency Business Account. The program is targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses, and as expanded, companies who paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 are eligible to receive a loan.
  • If the business can repay the balance of the loan by the end of 2022, up to $10,000 will be forgiven.
  • He also said that the government has entered into contracts with some 15 Canadian companies for the manufacture of personal protective equipment.
  • He said the federal government is hoping to start ramping up testing in the country and intends to invest in such a national effort.
  • The prime minister said the government was leaving the investigation of the Snowbird crash on the weekend to the Canadian military. He said he would speak to the parents of Capt. Jennifer Casey
  • The prime minister said the U.S.-Canada border will be closed for 30 more days after an agreement between the two nations.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump is talking about ending funding of the World Health Organization, while China is contributing $2 billion to the WHO. The prime minister said it is important to have a multilateral approach to the pandemic.
  • He added that there needs to be an investigation of the WHO’s handling of the pandemic.
  • Ontario is reporting 427 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths. The total cases in the province are 23,384+ cases, an increase of 1.9 per cent over the previous day, the largest growth rate in a week and a half. There are now 1,919+ deaths and 17,898+ cases have been resolved.
  • Ontario also reported a major decrease in the total number of tests completed on holiday Monday, with just 5,813 completed. A total of 559,794 tests have been administered in the province to date, and 2,294 remain under investigation.
  • Some Ontario businesses will be allowed to open their doors Tuesday including retailers with a street entrance, some sports centres and vehicle dealerships.
  • Ontario has cancelled in-person classes for students for the year. School will resume in September. The government will announce a plan on how this will happen in coming days.
  • The province is continuing online instruction and report cards will be handed out.
  • Reopening of day care centres and summer day camps is under consideration. Overnight camps will not reopen.
  • Premier Doug Ford said he didn’t want to risk the health of Ontario children.
  • The province is allowing drive-in religious gatherings, if vehicles are kept at least two metres apart, contain members of the same household and no one leaves their vehicle.
  • Ontario is launching an independent commission into the long-term care system. Nearly 1,400 long-term care residents have died amid COVID-19 outbreaks in the facilities, as well as five staff members.
  • City of Ottawa bylaw officers issued roughly $100,000 in fines to people in April for allegedly violating park usage rules and other provincial emergency orders issued to stem COVID-19. CBC has more.
  • Ottawa Public Health reports 1,824 laboratory-confirmed cases with 202 deaths. This includes 22 new cases and one new death since the previous report. There are 47 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 hospitalized. There are 22 ongoing outbreaks in institutions.
  • Hard hit Quebec is reporting 51 new deaths for a total of 3,647 Quebecers. There are 44,197 cases after 570 infections were reported on Tuesday. That’s the lowest number of new cases in the province in a month.
  • British Columbia is entering its second phase of reopening which includes retail outlets, hair salons, art galleries and museums, restaurants, dental offices and elective surgeries allowed under proper physical distancing.
  • In Canada, there have been 79,110+ cases with 5,909+ deaths and more than half of the cases — 40,381+ — have recovered.
  • Globally there have been 4,867,515+ cases with 321,459+ deaths and 1,664,885+ recoveries.

May 18

  • The pilot who survived the crash of a Snowbirds aerobatic team jet in Kamloops, B.C. Sunday is Capt. Richard MacDougall of Moncton, N.B. He is being treated in hospital for serious but non-life threatening injuries.
  • Pilots in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia will conduct a mass fly-over at 6 p.m. local time in a tribute to the Snowbirds. The fly-over is being called Operation Backup Inspiration (Snowbird Memorial).
  • As Ontario gets ready for a major reopening of retail stores on Tuesday, the province has now recorded 24,157+ cases of COVID-19 with 1,984 deaths.
  • The province completed just 9,155 tests on Sunday, the lowest since April 17 and well below the provincial target of 16,000 tests a day.
  • In Ottawa, there are now 1,802 laboratory-confirmed cases with 201 deaths, Ottawa Public Health reports. There have been 11 new cases and seven deaths since Sunday’s report. At present, 48 Ottawa residents with COVID-19 are hospitalized. There are 23 outbreaks in institutions
  • The province of Quebec has removed the police checkpoints between Ottawa and Gatineau but officials say people should only travel for essential reasons.
  • Quebec’s latest COVID-19 numbers are 43,627+ confirmed cases of COVID‑19 with 3,596 deaths. There have been 12,045 recoveries
  • Premier Francois Legault says businesses that open to the street in hard hit Montreal will be able to open as planned on May 25. Day cares in Montreal will open June 1.
  • There are 1,771 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals. Of those, 179 are in intensive care.
  • In Canada, there have been 78,017+ cases with 5,839+ deaths and 39,138+ recoveries.
  • Globally there have been 4,758,937+ cases with 316,277+ deaths and 1,754,891+ recoveries.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Monday during the World Health Organization’s (WHO) world health assembly that China was pledging $2 billion US over two years to the COVID-19 response.
  • China has seen 88,423+ cases with 4,634 deaths.
  • He also defended his country’s handling of the pandemic, stressing it had acted “with openness, transparency, and responsibility.”
  • The United States on Monday slammed the World Health Organization’s “failure” to obtain and provide vital information on COVID-19 that could have reined in the pandemic and saved many lives.
  • “We must be frank about one of the primary reasons this outbreak spun out of control: there was a failure by this organization to obtain the information that the world needed, and that failure cost many lives,” U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said in a video address to the WHO’s main annual meeting.
  • The UN Secretary General issued a call for unity in combatting the pandemic. He told the to the World Health Assembly: “COVID-19 must be a wake-up call.  It is time for an end to the hubris.  Our deep feelings of powerlessness must lead to greater humility.  Deadly global threats require a new unity and solidarity.  We have seen some solidarity, but very little unity, in our response to COVID-19.”
  • U.S. President Donald Trump surprised reporters today when he said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that he has been touting, for several days.
  • Trump said he had been taking it as a preventive against COVID-19.
  • The U.S. passed a significant milestone today reaching 90,263+ deaths. The country has seen 1,525,646+ cases of the infection.

May 17

  • A Canadian Forces Snowbird plane has crashed in a Kamloops, B.C. neighbourhood.
  • One Royal Canadian Air Force member died in the incident and a second suffered serious, but not life-threatening, injuries. The dead crew member has been identified as Capt. Jennifer Casey, of Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was the public affairs officer for the Snowbirds.
  • The plane crashed into a neighbourhood. One house was set ablaze by the crash and a person in a second home suffered injuries. A third home was also affected, officials said.
  • Sunday’s crash occurred the same day the Snowbirds were to fly from Kamloops to Kelowna as part of Operation Inspiration, a cross-country tour aimed at boosting the morale of Canadians struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Canada has joined a coalition of 62 countries calling for an “independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the World Health Organization’s timeline of actions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ottawa Public Health reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday for a total of 1,791, 1,379 have recovered about 77 per cent. For the second time this month there were no deaths reported. The city’s death toll remains at 194.  
  • There are also 22 outbreaks at institutions across the city including at Bruyere’s Besserer Place in Orleans, CTV reports.
  • Ontario had 340 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the provincial total to 22,653. There have been 1,881 deaths with 17,360 recoveries.
  • There are 934 people in hospital, with 171 in intensive care units, 129 are on ventilators.
  • The province was able to test more than 16,000 people on Saturday, down from Friday when more than 17,000 were tested.
  • The Outaouais has seen 14 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total there to 395. In all, 11 people have died. 
  • Quebec has reported 42,920 cases with 3,562 deaths.
  • A student at a Cantley, Quebec elementary school has tested positive for COVID-19, says the Commission scolaire des Draveurs. The student attendsEcole de l’Oree-des-Bois.
  • Canada has Canada has seen 77,002+ cases with 5,782+ deaths and 38,550+ recoveries.
  • Globally there are 4,687,320+ cases with 313,127+ deaths and 1,720,446+ recoveries.
  • The United States now has 1,512,549+ cases and in closing in on a grim milestone with 89,754+ deaths. There have been 276,477+ recoveries.
  • The Chinese consulate in Calgary is taking aim at Alberta Premier Jason Kenney for his rebuke of China’s handling of the initial outbreak of COVID-19.
  • The consulate says Kenney wilfully ignored “facts” in an effort to appease U.S. President Donald Trump with anti-China rhetoric.
  • The consulate appears to be responding to a story by The Canadian Press published by the Calgary Herald last Thursday. Taking part in a virtual roundtable, the premier cautioned that China will soon face a “great reckoning” for downplaying the dangers posed by the novel coronavirus when it first emerged in Wuhan.
  • Donald Trump called his predecessor in the White House “grossly incompetent” during his time in office.
  • Trump was responding to comments by Barack Obama Saturday. The former president, appearing on a CNN virtual convocation said “More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.
  • The No. 1 golfer in the world, Rory McIlroy, says he wouldn’t play golf again with U.S. President Donald Trump and doubts he would even be invited after questioning his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • McIlroy did an hour-plus interview for the McKellar Journal podcast in which he was asked whether he regretted the February 2017 round with Trump because of criticism on social media.
  • “I haven’t done it since … out of choice,” McIlroy said.

May 16

  • The first Canadian clinical trials for a possible COVID-19 vaccine have been approved by Health Canada.
  • The trials will take place at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University, in Halifax.
  • The prime minister said during his regular briefing that the federal government is contributing $100 million to the Red Cross to “that the (agency) can keep responding to COVID-19 while also preparing for potential floods and wildfires.”
  • The government will also boost the amount of the child benefit on July 20, the prime minister said. The government has already increased it by $300 per child in May.
  • Air Canada has laid off some 20,000 workers or about half its workforce. The airline said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has reduced air travel drastically so that the airline is flying at about five per cent of the capacity it flew last year.
  • Ottawa Public Health says that five more people have died because of COVID-19. That raises the grim total to 194 deaths. There are 1,774 cases of infection with 1,355 recoveries.
  • There are also 21 outbreaks at institutions in Ottawa.
  • Ottawa residents are using less energy. Hydro Ottawa says there was a 10-to-11 per cent drop in electricity consumption in April, with the biggest decline in electricity usage happening early in the morning, CTV reports.
  • Ontario reported 391 new COVID-19 cases Saturday. The total now is 22,313. There have been 1,858 deaths.
  • The provincial health ministry says 975 people are hospitalized, with 180 in intensive care units — and 135 of those patients are on ventilators. A total of 17,020 people have recovered.
  • In the Outaouais, another 14 cases of COVID-19 were reported Saturday, bringing the total there to 381. There have been 10 deaths.
  • In Quebec, there have been 42,183 confirmed cases of COVID‑19, including 3,483 deaths. Hard hit Montreal has seen 21,410 cases and 2,234 deaths.
  • Canada has Canada has seen 75,770+ cases with 5,677+ deaths and 37,707+ recoveries.
  • Globally there are 4,586,915+ cases with 309,184+ deaths and 1,656,497+ recoveries.

May 15

  • As Ontario starts to reopen the province has seen 21,922+ cases of COVID-19. There have been 1,825+ deaths and 16,641+ recoveries. There are 986 people in hospital with the virus. Of those 179 are in intensive care and of those 135 are on a ventilator.
  • There are 263 outbreaks in long term care facilities in Ontario. Some 2,469 residents have COVID-19 and 1,647 staff — 1,320 residents have died, along with five staff.
  • Health Minister Christine Elliott has tweeted a correction in the case numbers: “We’ve learned of a small glitch with (Thursday)’s #COVID19 reporting. Because of a one-time data upload issue, yesterday missed 87 cases. While they’re captured in today’s update, the real day-over-day numbers are 345 new cases on May 14 and 341 today.”
  • British Columbia has announce that public schools will reopen on June 1. Attendance is voluntary and will be part time. The province has seen 2,392 cases with 135 deaths and 1,885 recoveries.
  • In Quebec, two members of the Canadian military have tested positive for COVID-19 after serving in long-term care centres.
  • Quebec has 41,420+ cases with 3,401+ deaths. There are 1,822+ in hospital. In Montreal there have been 21,038+ cases with 2,182+ deaths.
  • Over the past 24 hours, 50 Quebecers died of the virus, the lowest daily death toll since mid-April.
  • Premier Francois Legault announces the province will give the city of Montreal a million masks to be given to residents. Legault has been “strongly recommending” the wearing of masks, especially in hot zones.
  • The province is also giving public transit commissions $6 million to enhance COVID-19 measures.
  • Quebec is lifting the police blockades between Gatineau and Ottawa on Monday.
  • The Outaouais has seen 10 deaths along with 367 cases of COVID-19.
  • In the City of Ottawa there have been 1,753 cases of COVID-19 with 189 deaths.
  • Dr. Vera Etches, the city’s medical officer of health, says that 20 per cent of cases in Ottawa are the result community spread. The rest are connected to long term care facilities.
  • Canada has seen 74,532+ cases with 5,553+ deaths and 36,750+ recoveries. There have been 1,232,912 tests for COVID-19. About six per cent have been positive.
  • The federal government is providing $450 million to help research institutions keeps labs open. Money will flow through federal granting agencies.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed the emergency wage-subsidy program will be extended to the end of August to help employers keep their workers. The government has also broadened the range of businesses that qualify.
  • He pledged the government will work with with businesses and stakeholders to fine tune the program including looking at the 30 per cent drop in revenue eligibility threshold.
  • So far, there has been limited take-up of the supports offered by the wage subsidy program while the Canada Emergency Response Benefit has doled out about $30 billion.
  • Students can apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit starting today. The amount is $1,250 a month from May to August. Some students with dependants or disabilities will get up to $1,750 a month.
  • The first set of Canada Summer Jobs are on the government website, the prime minister said.
  • COVID consequences: Canada’s residential real estate market plunged dramatically last month, as the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 pushed buyers and sellers to the sidelines, CBC reports.
  • Police and youth workers in Ottawa say they’ve seen an increase in calls about disputes between teens and their parents during the COVID-19 lockdown. 
  • Eight more residents and three more staff at the City of Ottawa’s Peter D. Clark care home have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total numbers to 17 affected residents and nine staff.
  • Globally there are 4,483,864+ cases with 303,825+ deaths and 1,609,475+ recoveries.
  • Good news from tiny Slovenia. It is the first European country to declare an official end to its coronavirus epidemic after authorities confirmed fewer than seven new coronavirus cases each day for the past two weeks.
  • The country of two million people, which borders Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, has so far reported 1,464 coronavirus cases and 103 deaths. It declared an epidemic on March 12.
  • Germany will start to relax some border controls on Saturday.
  • In Russia, COVID-19 infections now standing at 252,245+ and deaths at 2,305+. Russia’s coronavirus mortality rate appears to be dramatically lower than that of other countries. Using data reported by the country’s health ministry, the Financial Times estimates the real number of victims may be 70 per cent higher than official estimates.
  • The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia opened their borders to each other at the stroke of midnight on Friday, creating Europe’s first “travel bubble.” 
  • Australia and New Zealand have created their own travel bubble as well.

May 14

  • Ontario is finally releasing details about the first phase of its reopening plan which will begin formally on May 19 when retail stories with a street entrance can reopen — if they are ready — while maintain physical distancing. Such entities as golf courses and marinas may start opening this weekend. Openings will also include low-risk workplaces, seasonal businesses, pet grooming, dog parks and construction.
  • There is no target date for phase two.
  • Hospitals will be permitted to resume some non-urgent surgeries.
  • Most provincial parks are now open for limited day use. The rest will open by the weekend. Trails at Prescott-Russell’s Larose Forest will also reopen Saturday.
  • The province will also expand its testing regime to include anyone with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Ontario is reporting its lowest number of new cases of COVID-19 in more than six weeks with 258 cases confirmed on Wednesday. Ontario now has 21,494 cases of COVID-19 with 16,204 recoveries. There have been 33 new deaths reported for a grim total of 1,798.
  • The federal government will begin a gradual reopening of 38 national parks and 171 historic sites, including lighthouses, forts, canals and monuments, starting on June 1. The reopening will only be for day. Camping won’t be allowed until at least June 21.
  • The federal government also announced $470 million to support fisheries, including a new $267.6-million benefit that covers 75 per cent of losses, up to about $10,000, for fishermen whose incomes drop 25 per cent this season.
  • The prime minister urged Canadians “to buy Canadian. Pick up some Canadian cheese to help a local dairy farmer, have a ‘fish fry, or buy Canadian lobster.”
  • In Ottawa, the National Capital Commission is closing westbound lanes of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway between Dominion Avenue and Booth Street, as well as the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway between the Aviation Parkway and St. Joseph Boulevard, to help people practise physical distancing.
  • Gatineau Park is open for people within walking or biking distance. Ottawa parks are open as well for limited use.
  • The closures will last from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of May. 
  • The Queen Elizabeth Driveway will continue to close every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Sunday, May 24, the NCC says. 
  • There have now been 1,725 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 185 deaths.
  • Quebec Premier François Legault said the metropolitan Montreal region has not seen the reduction in hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 needed to allow schools and daycares to be reopened safely by May 25, as previously announced.
  • Schools in the city will now not open until August at the earliest.
  • Quebec has 40,724+ cases of COVID-19 with 3,351+ deaths and 10,829+ recoveries. The Montreal area has 20 633+ cases with 2 154+ deaths.
  • COVID consequences: The Bank of Canada says there are signs in the country’s financial markets that suggest concern about the ability of companies to weather the COVID-19 economic crisis.
  • The bank says cash-flow problems for businesses seeing sharp revenue declines during the crisis could soon develop into a solvency issue.
  • The report also raises concerns that household debt levels are likely to rise and become acute for households whose incomes don’t fully recover from the pandemic.
  • The central bank also warns about cyber crime.
  • “There is evidence of increased phishing and malware attacks designed to take advantage of the growth in remote work and the public appetite for information related to COVID-19,” the report said. “Cyber criminals are also using public interest in new government support programs to lure users to malicious websites.”
  • There is a volunteer shortage across the country as seniors, who make up half of the available volunteers in the country, Global News reports.
  • Canadian manufacturing sales fell 9.2 per cent in March, the largest single-month fall since the global financial crisis of 2008.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency will get around to checking up on Canadians receiving emergency benefits during the COVID-19 crisis when 2021 taxes are filed, CBC reports.
  • Canada now has 73,335+ cases with 5,468+ deaths and 35,936+ recoveries.
  • Globally there are 4,413,597+ cases with 300,798+ deaths and 1,578,135+ recoveries.
  • In Washington, Rick Bright, an immunologist who says he was unfairly ousted from his job with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told a House of Representatives panel today that if the U.S. does not develop a plan to address a second wave of the virus, the country will experience the “darkest winter in modern history.” 
  • The United States has 1,436,690+ cases of COVID-19 with 85,846+ deaths and 247,430+ recoveries.

May 13

  • The federal government is releasing the details of the funding contained in the national $962-million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). The fund is intended to support sectors such as tourism and other seasonal industries to retain employees, pay rent and access capital to pay bills during the pandemic.
  • The money will flow from the six federal regional economic agencies, the prime minister said today.
  • He also said that students can apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit on Friday. The amount is $1,250 a month from May to August. Some students with dependants or disabilities will get up to $1,750 a month.
  • Ontario has passed an emergency order that allows the province to appoint a manager to run a care home that is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Health Minister Christine Elliott says this order is part of the toolbox that the province has at its disposable. It is not being used right away.
  • This comes as two companies (Revera and Sienna) that manage private long term care homes face a potential class lawsuit. A third company, Chartwell also faces a legal action.
  • Ontario has 256 care homes with a COVID-19 outbreak. So far 1,269+ residents have died. Several staff workers have died, the latest being a registered nurse from London, Ontario.
  • Ontario now has 21,236+ cases of COVID-19 with 1,765+ deaths and 15,845+ recoveries. There are 1,018 in hospital. Of those, 189 are in intensive care, 144 on a ventilator.
  • Some 15,137 tests were completed on Tuesday in Ontario, up from a low of 11,971 one day prior but short of the provincial goal of 20,000 tests a day.
  • The province has reached an agreement with education unions to redeploy workers, such as custodial staff, into long term care homes, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced. In Kenora, CUPE workers are moving into care homes in that city.
  • The City of Ottawa could soon issue permits to allow restaurants to expand existing patios or open new patios as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery this summer, CTV reports.
  • COVID-19 infections in Ottawa and in local long-term care homes are both decreasing, according to the city’s medical officer of health.
  • Dr. Vera Etches told Ottawa city council Wednesday that 90 per cent of the time, public health is able to reach all cases and contacts of COVID-19 cases within 24 hours.
  • Ottawa Public Health has tested everyone in all 28 long-term care homes beating he provincial deadline of May 15 with time to spare. It has also tested staff in Ottawa’s three emergency child care centres.
  • OPH testing is moving into retirement homes where the need is the greatest, said Etches.
  • Ottawa has seen 1,707 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 182 deaths, OPH says. This includes 15 new cases and four new deaths. There are 21 ongoing outbreaks in institutions
  • Health Canada has approved an Italian blood test for antibodies to COVID-19. At least one million Canadian blood samples would be collected and tested over the next two years to track the virus in the general population and in groups that are at higher risk.
  • Two variants of the drug Interferon (Interferon beta-1a, currently in use to treat multiple sclerosis and interferon alfa-2b) are under investigation as potential treatments for people with COVID-19.
  • In Quebec, there are now 39,931+ cases with 3,220+ deaths and 10, recoveries.
  • With 20,032 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Montreal remains the hardest-hit region in Quebec and Canada. There are 360 confirmed cases in the Outaouais with eight deaths.
  • Canada now has 72,200+ cases with 5,301+ deaths and 34,927+ recoveries.
  • Forty meat plant inspectors in Canada — 21 in Alberta — have contracted COVID-19, according to their union. Among the infected are 18 of the 37 inspectors at the Cargill meat plant near High River, south of Calgary. 
  • The Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux says it’s “not unthinkable” that the federal debt could reach $1 trillion this fiscal year as the economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues. He made the comment during Tuesday’s finance committee meeting.
  • Globally there are 4,308,055+ cases with 294,155+ deaths and 1,518,424+ recoveries.
  • A new Angus Reid survey shows that just 14 per cent of Canadians adults now say they have a positive opinion of China, a level half as high as it was six months ago (29 per cent).
  • More than four-in-five (85 per cent) of Canadians say Beijing has not been honest about what has happened in its own country in the pandemic.
  • The first attempt at calculating a national excess death toll has been made public by Statistics Canada. The federal agency released estimated excess death numbers for most of the country. 
  • The National Research Council is teaming up with a Chinese company to “advance bioprocessing and clinical development in Canada of a candidate vaccine” called Ad5-nCoV which is being developed by the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and CanSino Biologics, which are already conducting human clinical trials. The NRC says the vaccine is the first to enter the second phase of human clinical trials after it presented no major safety issues.
  • Twitter is to allow employees to work from home “forever.”

May 12

  • The federal government announces help for low income seniors.
  • The government is offering a one-time, $300 payment for those seniors eligible for Old Age Security. More than six million people receive OAS.
  • Those receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement will get a further $200. The deadline for claiming the GIS has been pushed back to Oct. 1, 2020.
  • In all the two top-ups total $2.5 billion.
  • The government is also boosting funding for the New Horizons for Seniors program that support community efforts to reduce isolation. The government will add $20 million.
  • “It’s not a fortune,” Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos admitted when responding to reporters questions about the amounts unveiled today.
  • “This is short-term help,” the prime minister said during his morning briefing.
  • Canadian rocker Bryan Adams is being accused racism over an Instagram post that blamed “bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards” for putting the world on hold. The rant also mentioned the cancellation of his concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall. 
  • He has now apologized, also on Instagram: “Apologies to any and all that took offence [sic] to my posting yesterday. No excuse, I just wanted to have a rant about the horrible animal cruelty in these wet-markets being the possible source of the virus, and promote veganism. I have love for all people and my thoughts are with everyone dealing with this pandemic around the world.”
  • Several Canadian universities are saying classes this fall will primarily be online as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
  • McGill University, the Universite de Montreal, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University are looking at online learning in the fall.
  • The University of Ottawa says its courses, with some exceptions, will include a distance-learning option in the fall.
  • Carleton University says that, in the fall, it will offer online instruction while slowly reopening some in-class options including research labs.
  • About 11 per cent of post-secondary students who participated in a survey by Statistics Canada indicated they were not able to complete their degree, diploma or certificate as planned because of the COVID-19 crisis, while 10 per cent were not able to complete some of their winter-term courses.
  • There were seven deaths and 16 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. The totals are 1,692 cases and 178 deaths. Seventy per cent of the cases have recovered, Ottawa Public Health says.
  • The City of Ottawa’s medical officer of health says surveillance testing of all staff and residents of long-term care homes will be completed by this week’s deadline set by Ontario’s Ministry of Health.
  • That means testing can be expanded to more people with at least one COVID-19 symptom including: Ottawa residents 60 years and older; health care workers or staff who work in health care facilities and members of their households; first responders such as firefighters, police and paramedics; critical infrastructure workers, including grocery stores, food services, maintenance and transportation workers; cross-border workers; caregivers and care providers; individuals with frequent health care contact such as patients with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy, dialysis therapy, pre-or-post transplant, pregnancy, and newborns; a close contact of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19; returning international travellers and members of remote, isolated, rural, and/or indigenous communities.
  • In a rare sitting of the legislature, Ontario MPPs extended the provincial COVID emergency to June 2 today.
  • In his daily briefing Premier Doug Ford said another announcement on reopening more of the province will happen Thursday. Under consideration is an expansion of the number of people that can gather in a group from five to 10.
  • Ontario has 20,907+ cases with 1,725+ deaths and 15,391+ recoveries. There are 1,025 in hospital. Of those, 192 are in intensive care, 146 on a ventilator. The province reported 361 new cases today and 56 new deaths.
  • There have been 245 outbreaks of COVID-19 at long-term care homes in Ontario, an increase of six since Monday’s report.
  • More than 459,921 novel coronavirus tests have been conducted so far with 11,957 tests conducted in the 24 hours. That’s well below the 20,000 target set by the province. There are 10,811 test samples that remain under investigation in Ontario.
  • In hard hit Quebec, there are now 3,131+ people who have died of COVID-19. Confirmed cases in the province reached 39,225+, with 10,056+ recoveries. The province saw 118 new deaths and 756 cases. Of those 118 newly reported deaths, 113 are in the Montreal region. There are 1841 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals as of Tuesday, up only three from the 1.838 reported Monday. Of those in a hospital, 186 are in intensive care, down seven from the 193 reported 24 hours earlier.
  • Premier Francois Legault urged Quebecers to wear face masks in his daily briefing. He sported a homemade mask made by a Madame Bergeron. The province did not make masks mandatory.
  • He also urged people to get tested especially if they are in a hot zone such as the Greater Montreal region.
  • In response to a question, Legault said the province could see a $12 billion deficit this year.
  • Canada has 71,105+ cases of COVID-19 with 5,167+ deaths and 33,722+ recoveries.
  • Globally there are 4,233,504+ cases, 289,932+ deaths and 1,481,314+ recoveries.
  • South Korean officials are scrambling to contain a new outbreak of coronavirus after a cluster of more than 100 cases was linked one man who visited several nightclubs in Seoul. Bars and discos across South Korea’s capital have been closed. Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon announced on Tuesday that 101 people had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • South Korea has 10,936+ cases with 258+ deaths and 9,670+ recoveries.
  • China says it will test all 11 million residents of the city of Wuhan after six new cases of COVID-19 were found.
  • COVID consequences: The Calgary Zoo is sending two giant pandas back to China years ahead of schedule due to difficulty obtaining bamboo amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly the entire diet of a panda is made up of fresh bamboo. An adult can eat roughly 40 kilograms a day.
  • The Vancouver Airport Authority is laying off one quarter of its staff. The authority is forecasting a decline of eight to 15 million passengers.
  • Manitoba Hydro laying off 700.
  • Toyota workers on the job again at two plants in Ontario.
  • This summer’s Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto has been cancelled.

May 11

  • This is National Nursing Week.
  • In the City of Ottawa, there are now 1,676 laboratory-confirmed cases, Ottawa Public Health reports. There have been 171 deaths, (10 reported this afternoon). There are 23 ongoing outbreaks in institutions.
  • There have been 90 more people considered recovered from COVID-19 with 23 new cases reported, the fourth day in a row in which recoveries have outpaced new cases. There are 1,139 people who have recovered.
  • The federal government will provide emergency financing to large and medium-sized businesses facing insolvency during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It is also expanding the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to support mid-sized companies with larger financing needs. Eligible businesses will be able to receive loans of up to $60 million per company, and guarantees of up to $80 million.
  • One initiative is the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). It is intended to help large firms protect Canadian employees and avoid bankruptcies.
  • The LEEFF has set strict limits on dividends, share buy-backs and executive pay. Businesses must demonstrate how they intend to preserve employment and maintain investment activities. For example, recipients will need to commit to collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions.
  • Companies are also required to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports.
  • The government is continuing to provide funding through Farm Credit Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada, and Export Development Canada.
  • The prime minister said today the federal government is setting itself up as a lender of last resort.
  • Ontario is a yardstick for the economic impact of COVID-19 with a deficit projection of $41 billion, Ontario Financial Accountability (FAO) Officer Peter Weltman said today.
  • In Ontario retail businesses with doors opening to the street can now open for curbside pickup and delivery. Some 520 provincial parks are now open for day use.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford is catching fire for allowing two of his daughters to visit the family home on Mothers Day.
  • He told reporters during his daily briefing that “the girls came over. There was six of us, direct family. None of the husbands, boyfriends, no one came. Just themselves.”
  • He then said people in the province should stick to gathering with their “immediate family” and not in larger groups “for a little bit longer. … I’d keep with the immediate family. That would be my recommendation. I wouldn’t get into the big gatherings. If we had our whole family, you’d have 30 some odd people. It just can’t happen.”
  • Ford has four daughters, two of whom don’t live in the family home.
  • The premier will ask the Ontario Legislature on Tuesday to extend the provincial state of emergency until June 2. On the eve of the session, Ford praised the co-operation that has existed between the parties.
  • The legislature will resume for its fourth emergency session Tuesday.
  • Only 42 MPPs will attend the one-day session: 21 Progressive Conservatives, 14 NDP MPPs, three Liberals, Green leader Mike Schreiner, two independents and Speaker Ted Arnott. 
  • The legislature will sit on May 19, 20, 26, 27, June 2 and 3.
  • The province has recorded 308 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 more deaths. Ontario now has 20,546+ confirmed cases, 1,669+ deaths and 15,131+ recoveries. Ontario has completed 447,964 tests for COVID-19. On Sunday, 13,970 tests were completed below the 16,000 daily target. There are more than 9,000 tests under investigation. 
  • There are 245 COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care homes, the province says. 
  • Premier Doug Ford said in his daily briefing he believes the province has made real progress in the fight against COVID-19.
  • In Quebec, elementary students are back in school and day cares are open in the Outaouais. Mobility in the region is now allowed except in Gatineau. Class sizes are limited to 15 students and desks have been rearranged to create enough physical distance between children. Libraries and gyms will remain closed to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • There are 346 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Outaouais with eight deaths.
  • Also most retail stores with doors opening to the street outside Montreal are opening today in la belle province.
  • Construction sites in Quebec are back in operation and manufacturers can start up again with less than 50 people working at the same time. 82 were in the Greater Montreal area
  • Quebec has 38,469+ confirmed cases of COVID-19, 3,013+ people have died. There have been 9,526+ recoveries. There were 85 deaths reported today and 82 were in the Montreal area where there are 19,492+ confirmed cases.
  • There are 780 Canadian Forces members working at Quebec care homes.
  • Quebec Premier François Legault says he is concerned about the situation in Montreal and raised the possibility that reopening schools and businesses could be pushed back later than May 25. 
  • “We are all concerned about Montreal, me above all,” Legault said. 
  • Quebec’s public health institute has warned that deaths could soar to 150 a day in the greater Montreal area if physical distancing measures are lifted. And new cases could balloon to 10,000 by June a surge in hospitalizations.
  • Still Legault rejected calls to isolate Montreal, the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada, from the rest of the province.
  • The American Hockey League has cancelled the rest of its season. The Belleville Senators had been leading their division when play stopped.
  • Canada has 69,958+ COVID-19 cases. There have been 4,992+ deaths and 32,934+ recoveries. Dr. Theresa Tam says 1,097,444 people have been tested with a six per cent positive rate. Canada is testing about 25,000 a day. There is room for 60,000 tests a day.
  • Globally there are 4,165,752+ cases with 285,307+ deaths and 1,452,091+ recoveries.
  • The city of Wuhan has reported its first cluster of five COVID-19 infections since its lockdown was lifted a month ago.
  • The pandemic does have unusual impacts. For example, BC Hydro says power demand has dropped across the province raising the risk of flooding as reservoirs fill up.
  • A report by the crown corporation says demand for electricity is down 10 per cent and that could fall to 12 per cent by 2021.
  • A new Angus Reid survey of kids aged 10 to 17 shows Canadian children are “bored” (71 per cent) while 41 per cent feel “normal.” Older kids are twice as likely as younger ones to say they feel “angry” compared to those aged 10 to 15, and half as likely to say they feel “good”.
  • Most say they’re keeping up with their online classes (75 per cent) but they aren’t motivated (60 per cent). Fifty seven per cent dislike the arrangement. Three-in-10 say missing school as their major concern, a number that rises among teenagers 16 and 17 years of age. Another major fear: that parents or other family members may get sick.

May 10

  • A second Cargill meat-processing plant in Chambly, Quebec south of Montreal is shutting down temporarily after at least 64 workers were diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Cargill’s beef-packing plant in High River, Alberta, south of Calgary, reopened last Monday following a two-week shutdown. More than 900 of its 2,000 workers tested positive for the virus. Some 1,500 cases and two deaths are linked to the Alberta facility, making it the largest COVID-19 outbreak in North America.
  • Canada has seen 68,003+ confirmed cases of COVD-19 with 4,728+ deaths and 31,644+ recoveries.
  • The total deaths caused by coronavirus in Canada rose by 2.2 per cent Sunday, one of the lowest daily increases since the outbreak started, federal public health agency data showed.
  • “We have come a long way in a short time since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared and our efforts have undoubtedly prevented wider spread of the virus across the country,” chief public health officer Theresa Tam said in a statement released Sunday.
  • The numbers were similarly low in Ottawa which reported four deaths on Sunday bringing the total in the city to 161.
  • There were only reported nine new confirmed cases of the virus, Ottawa Public Health said Sunday update, the lowest one-day tally since March 30 when eight cases were confirmed.
  • There have now been been 1,653 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa with 1,049 recoveries. There are 23 outbreaks of the virus at institutions across the city. 
  • COVID-19 has taken a toll on the city’s books. A report for Wednesday’s council meeting shows the City of Ottawa posted a $6.63 million deficit in the first quarter of 2020. Staff say the deficit was “primarily due to lost revenues and increased costs from the COVID-19 measures.”
  • Hard hit Quebec has 36,986+ cases with 2,786+ deaths and 9,268+ recoveries. Elementary school and day cares outside of Montreal will reopen on Monday.
  • Ontario added only 234 cases Sunday, bringing the total to 20,238+ with 1,709+ deaths. 
  • Alberta: 6,157 cases, 116 deaths, 4,204 recovered.
  • British Columbia: 2,330 cases, 129 deaths, 1,659 recovered.
  • Globally there have been 4,055,863+ cases with 279,892+ deaths and 1,386,631+ recoveries.
  • The war of words between China and the U.S. over COVID-19 has moved online, CBC reports.
  • Britain is beginning to cautiously open up. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an array of steps Sunday.
  • Three members of Donald Trump’s COVID-19 task force are self-quarantining as a result of exposure to the virus. This includes the head of the Centres for Disease Control, Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Federal Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Hahn and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and one of the most important voices on the pandemic.

May 9

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned on Saturday that if provinces move too quickly to reopen their economies, a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic could send Canada “back into confinement this summer.”
  • Trudeau represents Papineau riding in Montreal. He told reporters he is concerned about the virus’ spread in that province.
  • Although health officials have pointed to a flattening rate of daily cases in many provinces, Trudeau said Canada was “not in the recovery phase yet.”
  • Quebec is reopening elementary schools outside of Montreal starting on Monday.
  • Quebec has now seen 36,150+ cases with 2,725+ deaths and 8,928 recoveries.
  • The prime minister also said the federal government would not pay for masks that fail to meet national standards and is looking into using the faulty equipment for non-medical purposes.
  • The comments came after the government halted shipments of N95 respirators from one supplier after millions of the masks were deemed defective.
  • The office of Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Friday that of the nearly 11 million masks received from the Montreal distributor, about one million met federal standards and another 1.6 million masks are still being tested. Eight million masks were rejected.
  • Ontario has announced details about the opening of 520 provincial parks on Monday and another 115 the following Friday. Recreational activities will be limited to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching, the province said. Camping, beaches and playgrounds will remain closed. Standing requirements for physical distancing apply with groups of no more than five.
  • Ontario has 19,944+ confirmed cases. There were 346 new cases Saturday. Deaths are now at 1,599, 775 of the deaths were residents in the troubled long-term care system. There are 237 outbreaks in care homes in Ontario.
  • The province said 19,227 people were tested for the virus over the last 24 hours. More than 416,376 people have been tested so far.
  • The province also said Saturday financial support is coming for child-care providers. Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the government will cover fixed operating costs and waive all fees related to licensing applications, renewals and revisions for a period of months.
  • The Ontario government has also approved an emergency order that would enable available school board employees to be voluntarily redeployed to congregate care settings during the COVID-19 pandemic, including hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes and women’s shelters. Many of these congregate care settings are in need of staff such as custodial and maintenance workers.
  • Ottawa has seen 1,603 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 148 deaths linked to the respiratory illness with 1,420 recoveries.
  • There are 326+ cases in the Outaouais where there have been six deaths.
  • The city has announced $3 million for homeless shelters and other community organizations to help pay for basics like extra food, cleaning and staff.
  • The National Capital Commission has reopened Gatineau Park to walkers and cyclists. It has allowed people to photograph the tulips and has closed parts of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway.
  • Canada has seen 66,783+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4,629+ deaths and 30,640+ recoveries.
  • Globally there have been 3,979,442+ confirmed cases with 276,421+ deaths and 1,342,381+ recoveries.

May 8

  • Ottawa Public Health reported 24 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, along with seven more deaths. The city has seen 1,603 confirmed cases and 148 deaths.
  • West Quebec has seen 322 cases and six deaths.
  • In comparison, Kingston’s health unit says all 61 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in that region have recovered.
  • Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says he hopes the National Capital Commission will allow people to take pictures of the tulips in bloom in locations around the city.
  • “I think the whole purpose of going and seeing the tulips is not only to see the beauty in person but also snap a quick picture,” said Watson at a Friday news conference. “My hope is the NCC reconsiders that regulation.”
  • This morning the prime minister announced an extension of the federal emergency wage subsidy past the original June deadline. There was no mention of an extension of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.
  • Some 96,000 businesses have applied for the wage subsidy.
  • The announcement came as Statistics Canada reported the jobless rate for April was 13 per cent.
  • More than two million jobs were lost, the agency said. That means three million have been lost since the lockdown began in mid-March. Since comparable data became available in 1976, the April unemployment rate was second-highest only to December 1982, when it reached 13.1 per cent.
  • The rapid decline in employment is unprecedented, Statistics Canada says. The decline since February of 15.7 per cent outpaces previous financial crises. The 1981-1982 recession, which resulted in a drop of 5.4 per cent over 17 months. 
  • The unemployment rate rose markedly in all provinces in April. In Quebec, the rate rose to 17.0 per cent, the highest rate in the province since comparable data became available in 1976. Quebec’s rate was the highest of the provinces.
  • About 97 per cent of the newly unemployed were on temporary layoff, suggesting they expect to return to their previous places of work as the shutdown is relaxed.
  • Construction and manufacturing saw 621,000 jobs disappear, a drop of 15.8 per cent after being virtually unchanged in March.
  • By comparison, the U.S. economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April, the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression. The U.S. Department of Labour said the unemployment rate surging to 14.7 per cent last month.
  • The federal heritage minister announced details on $500 million in funding support for the arts. Nearly $327 million will be handed out by the heritage department in the initial stages, while the remainder will be “assessed based on needs.” CBC has more.
  • The Ontario government won’t allow a region-by-region loosening of emergency restrictions, as is happening in Quebec and Alberta. 
  • Infection rates in Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor-Essex, and Peel and York regions are all five to six times higher than the rates in northeastern and northwestern Ontario, according to the latest per capita data.
  • However, Ontario is allowing professional sports training facilities to reopen, starting today, as long as leagues have coronavirus-specific health and safety rules in place. The announcement was made by the provincial minister of sport Nepean MPP Lisa McLeod.
  • Garden centres and nurseries can reopen in Ontario starting today. Hardware stores can reopen Saturday.
  • Meanwhile Premier Doug Ford is taking some heat for going to his cottage last month, days after asking the province’s residents to stay away from theirs.
  • A spokesperson confirmed Friday in an email to CBC that on the morning of April 12, the premier “drove alone to his family property up north to check on the plumbing as the property is under construction and has been over the past two years. He spent less than an hour there and on his travel he didn’t stop anywhere and he didn’t interact with anyone.”
  • There have been 66,326+ confirmed cases in Canada with 4,567+ deaths and 29,948+ recoveries.
  • There are 19,598+ confirmed cases in Ontario with 1,540+ deaths and 13,990+ recoveries. 
  • Nine more outbreaks were reported in long-term care homes. A total of 175 homes have outbreaks; 4,489 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among residents and staff, while 1,150 residents have died.
  • In Quebec, the province has announced a “massive” new COVID-19 screening strategy in the Montreal area, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. The goal is 14,000 COVID-19 tests a day. 
  • Quebec has 36,150+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,725 people have died. There are 1,827 people in hospital, including 207 in intensive care. 
  • In Alberta, Canada Post’s main plant in Calgary has six confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • Globally there have been 3,926,724+ cases, 273,034+ deaths and 1,314,751+ recoveries.
  • This is VE Day. The 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe is being marked around the world including in Canada.
  • Queen Elizabeth delivered a televised message to mark the occasion.
  • She said: “Today it may seem hard that we cannot mark this special anniversary as we would wish. Instead we remember from our homes and our doorsteps. But our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other. And when I look at our country today, and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride that we are still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognize and admire. I send my warmest good wishes to you all.”
  • The U.K. was led in a singalong of the wartime tune We’ll Meet Again by 103 year old Vera Lynn.
  • The United Kingdom has seen 211,364+ cases with 31,241 deaths and 1,918+ recoveries.
  • As proof the virus respects no one, an aide to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has tested positive for COVID-19. This follows the positive test for a valet to Donald Trump. Both Pence and Trump are now being tested daily.
  • The United States has seen 1,313,798+ cases with 77,925+ deaths and 178,348+ recoveries.

May 7

  • There have been 1,579 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health says with now 141 deaths. OPH says 397 health care workers and first responders have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The toll on long term care homes continues in the city as Carlingview Manor says 36 residents have now died from COVID-19.
  • As well a care worker at the Madonna Care Community says a worker has passed away because of the virus bringing the toll in that home to 30.
  • The Chateau Laurier is preparing to reopen on July 1, hotel management says.
  • Beechwood Cemetery is reopening. Hours Monday to Friday, 4 p.m. to sunset; Saturday and Sunday, sunrise to sunset. Physical distancing and group size rules apply.
  • This measure is to ensure the safety of our employees.The prime minister said today that by next week up to 1,350 Canadian Forces members will be helping battle COVID-19 in some 25 long term care homes in the Montreal area.
  • In Ontario, 265 members of the military have been deployed to five long-term care homes.
  • Justin Trudeau also announced an agreement with provincial governments to “top up” the wages of essential workers such as those in hospitals and care homes. The provinces will determine who gets the wage increase.
  • Quebec, British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan have already rolled out hourly pay increases for some workers in essential service sectors.
  • The total cost will be $4 billion, with 75 per cent coming from the federal government.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford said today that people should refrain from travelling to cottage country for the time being. The premier has promised earlier in the week an update on cottage access.
  • Ontario has announced a return to elective surgeries with priority given to cardiac and cancer cases. No date yet. The Ministry of Health has outlined conditions that hospitals must meet.
  • Ontario has seen 19,121+ cases of COVID-19 with 1,477+ deaths and 13,569+ recoveries.
  • There were 15,179 tests completed in the past 24 hours, up from 12,961 a day earlier, but still short of the 16,000 tests per day target set back in April. The backlog of tests waiting to be processed grew to 13,012, up from 8,790 a day before.
  • More than a million tests have now been conducted in Canada. The country is seeing about 30,000 tests a day but Dr. Theresa Tam says that there is capacity for 60,000 tests a day.
  • British Columbia too has announced a return to elective surgeries. Some 30,000 have been cancelled because of the pandemic. There will be extensive screening for coronavirus in place, the province says. It will take up to two years to catch up.
  • The start date is May 18 for B.C.’s return to surgeries. There are 2,255 cases of COVID-19 in B.C. with 124 deaths and 1,494 recoveries.
  • In Quebec the reopening of hard hit Montreal has been pushed back to May 25.
  • Quebec has seen 34,327+ cases with 2,510+ deaths and 8,284+ recoveries.
  • Canada’s chief science advisor says that Quebec is not testing enough.
  • Mona Nemer says the province still hasn’t submitted a detailed plan to ramp up testing as it opens up.
  • Quebec’s chief public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, has said the province’s target is to conduct 14,000 COVID-19 tests a day as the province starts opening. But he said Wednesday that the province is only conducting 7,000 tests a day. 
  • Canada now has 64,922+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4,408+ deaths and 29,247+ recoveries.
  • The prime minister said he disagrees with Green Party leader Elizabeth May on the future of the oil and gas sector. She said Wednesday that it’s dead. Justin Trudeau said oil and gas will be part of the future of the country’s economy even as the country becomes greener.
  • Greyhound Canada says it will halt all of its bus routes in Canada starting May 13. The company has seen a 95 per cent decrease in ridership. The move will affect Toronto to Ottawa, Ottawa to Montreal and Ottawa to Kingston routes among others.
  • Quebec provincial police say they have arrested a man and a woman, both in their 20s, after a string of fires at telecommunications towers in the province.
  • Globally there are 3,836,215+ confirmed cases with 268,999+ deaths and 1,278,499+ recoveries.
  • U.S. scientists are working to understand a rare, life-threatening inflammatory syndrome in children associated with exposure to COVID-19.
  • Cases were first reported in Britain, Italy and Spain, but doctors in the United States are now seeing clusters of children with the disorder, Reuters reports.
  • One of Donald Trump’s valets has tested positive for COVID-19. This is prompting the president and the vice president to be tested daily for the virus.
  • The United States now has 1,288,930+ cases, 76,513+ deaths and 174,042+ recoveries.

March 6

  • B.C. Premier John Horgan has announced a cautious opening of his province. Among the moves:
  • The plan will allow groups of up to six people to gather by the Victoria Day weekend.
  • Retail stores, hair salons, child care, restaurants, libraries and museums could reopen in mid May.
  • B.C. parks are expected to open for day use on May 14. Overnight camping could be allowed in June.
  • Schools expected to be open for classes in September.
  • All reopenings will depend on detailed plans to avoid transmission of COVID-19.
  • Just before the premier made his announcement, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial medical officer of health, announced 23 new cases in the province over the past 24 hours, and three new deaths. B.C. now has 2,255 confirmed cases, 124 deaths and 1,494 recoveries.
  • In the city of Ottawa there now are 1,558 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 139 deaths. There are outbreaks at 23 long-term care facilities in the city, where most deaths have occurred.
  • There has been a fifth death in the Outaouais where there are 318 confirmed cases.
  • Gatineau Park will reopen May 9 to people who can access the sprawling park on foot or by bike, the National Capital Commission (NCC) says.
  • The City of Ottawa is reopening green spaces within public parks. Play structures and benches remain off limits, as are dog parks, sports fields and basketball courts.
  • People cannot gather in groups larger than five. The city is urging physical distancing.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the reopening of garden centres and nurseries (May 8), hardware and safety supply stores (May 9) and stores that open to the street (May 11). The latter is for pick-up and delivery.
  • Ontario is reporting 412 new cases of COVID-19 and 68 new deaths. The province now has 18,722+ cases, including 1,429 deaths and 13,222 resolved cases.
  • There were 12,961 tests completed Tuesday, below the provincial target of 14,000 a day.
  • Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer, has previously said that there is capacity in the province to process more than 19,500 tests each day.
  • Ontario is extending all-day, off-peak electricity rates until the end of May.
  • Other emergency orders, including the closure of non-essential businesses, the prohibition of public gatherings of more than five people and the closure of outdoor amenities such as playgrounds, have been extended to May 19.
  • The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is allowing licensed restaurants and bars to sell some spirits at a lower price to customers who order take out and delivery food. 
  • The minimum sale price for whiskey, gin, rum and some other select liquors has been lowered to $1.34 per 29 mL, down from the previous price of $2 for the same volume, the AGCO said. The measure ends Jan. 1, 2021 after that licensed restaurants and bars will no longer be allowed to sell alcohol with takeout and delivery food.
  • The AGCO is also loosening the rules allowing cideries to sell product to the public.
  • Toronto Public Health says infection and hospitalization rates for COVID-19 are higher in Toronto neighbourhoods with “a greater proportion of low-income earners, recent immigrants and high unemployment rates.” This is preliminary data.
  • Quebec has seen 35,238+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,631+ deaths and 7,923+ recoveries.
  • There are 1,836 people in hospital, including 224 in intensive care. 
  • Health care workers dispatched into care homes in Quebec maybe be bringing the virus with them. CBC has more.
  • Quebec government statistics show that hospital occupancies are nearly 80 per cent in hard hit Montreal. At Cité de la Santé hospital in Laval the rate is 97 per cent, that has prompted making Place Bell arena a temporary hospital.
  • Health officials in Saskatchewan are scrambling to tamp down a COVID-19 outbreak in the northern Indigenous community of La Loche. Two elders at a care home have died and about 174 are confirmed infected. The nearby Clearwater River Dene Nation and the English River First Nation have also reported cases of COVID-19.
  • Canada has seen 63,496+ cases with 4,232+ deaths and 28,171+ recoveries.
  • More than 970,000 tests have been completed in Canada; six per cent are positive for COVID-19. Quebec Public Health reported today that 112 more people died because of the virus.
  • Dr. Theresa Tam says the COVID-19 epidemic continues to slow down with the number of cases now doubling about every 20 days.
  • Officials in British Columbia are expected to lay out a reopening plan on Wednesday.
  • Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos said today during a briefing some 750 Canadian Forces members are working in Quebec care homes. He said the service members are working at 13 care homes and a further seven are being targeted for help. In Ontario CF members are at five homes. In all 1,000 soldiers are expected to be assigned to this work.
  • Duclos also said that 545,000 businesses have received emergency help and 7.5 million individual Canadians.
  • In a bit of good business news, Ottawa’s Shopify has overtaken the Royal Bank for title of most valuable company in Canada as online sellers take advantage of its platform during the pandemic. Global News has more.
  • At CFB Trenton a repatriation ceremony was held for the six members who died in a helicopter crash while on a NATO mission off the coast of Greece. The prime minister and defence minister were in attendance wearing black face masks.
  • Globally there are 3,744,585+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 263,068+ deaths and 1,238,250+ recoveries.
  • In the U.S., Donald Trump has contradicted his vice president by saying the White House Task Force on the pandemic response will continue to operate. Mike Pence said on Tuesday it would disband.
  • Major U.S. automakers are planning to reopen North American factories by May 18. GM is starting to reopen a plant in St. Catharines, ON next week.
  • The EU says 27-nation economy is predicted to contract by 7.5 per cent this year, before growing by about six per cent in 2021. The 19 nations using the euro will see a record decline of 7.75 per cent this year, and grow by 6.25 per cent in 2021, the European Commission said in its spring economic forecast.
  • More than 1.1 million people have contracted the virus across Europe and more than 137,000 have died, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
  • Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says that his government will declare a national state of mourning for the more than 25,800 recorded deaths the European nation has suffered from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Russian health officials have reported more than 10,000 new cases for the fourth day in a row. There are now more than 165,929+ cases and 1,539+ deaths.
  • COVID-19 has now spread across Africa with all but Lesotho of the continent’s 54 nations reporting cases. The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cases should top expected to surpass 50,000 today with more than 2,000 deaths.

May 5

  • There were 31 new confirmed cases in Ottawa today, raising the total to 1,535+ cases. There were 11 more deaths, Ottawa Public Health said, making the total 138. OPH says 875 people have recovered. 
  • There have been 312 confirmed cases in West Quebec including Gatineau.
  • The prime minister has announced a $252 million injection of support for Canada’s agricultural sector.
  • The Canadian Federation of Agriculture had asked for $2 billion.
  • “The government themselves asked us to quantify our ask, and this falls short of what we identified as financial damages we’re already facing,” said Chris van den Heuvel, second vice-president at the CFA to Global News.
  • The federal money will support farmers to keep their cattle and pigs on the farm.
  • About $77 million is intended to help meat packing plants stay open and keep workers safe from COVID-19 infection. The plants, such as the Cargill plant in southern Alberta, have been the site of large outbreaks of the infection.
  • The funding includes $50 million to buy food that spoils and send it to groups such as food banks.
  • Another indicator of the economic impact of the pandemic is the country’s trade deficit. In March, both imports and exports decreased notably, Statistics Canada reported today. Canada’s merchandise exports fell 4.7 per cent, while imports declined 3.5 per cent. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit widened from $894 million in February to $1.4 billion in March.
  • Canada has 61,981+ confirmed cases of COVID-19. The country has seen 4,037+ deaths and 26,661+ recoveries. Federal modelling release last week suggested the country would see between 53,196+ and 66,835+ COVID-19 cases by May 5 with 3,277 to 3,883 deaths.
  • Ontario is reporting 387 additional cases of COVID-19, a very small increase from the 370 confirmed cases it recorded Monday. The province is running well below the daily case numbers in the 400s and 500s of previous weeks. Ontario has 18,310+ cases.
  • The provincial death toll has risen by 61 to 1,361. Of those 1,003 were residents of long term care homes.
  • Testing in Ontario was down to 10,654 Monday from about 14,555 on Sunday.
  • That brought a sharp rebuke from Premier Doug Ford. The premier said about half of the 34 medical officers of health are not pulling their weight.
  • Quebec 33,417+ confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 2,398+ people have died an increase of 118. There are 1,821 people in hospital, including 218 in intensive care.
  • The Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced a loosening of the restrictions on some “autonomous” seniors.
  • Some seniors in retirement homes — not long term care homes — will now be allowed unsupervised walks outside as long as physical distancing is maintained and proper handwashing is done. These walks will happen in certain areas of the province outside the hard hit Montreal area. Families can now meet with residents outdoors, while maintaining distance
  • Visits to those in palliative care will be allowed, so that children and partners can say goodbye to family members. 
  • According to Health Canada, February and March showed a 58 per cent increase from the same period a year earlier in reported exposures related to cleaning products, bleaches, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and chlorine and chloramine gases. 
  • Poisonings involving bleach are most common, making up 38 per cent of all calls to poison centres in March.
  • Seven Ottawa councillors have signed a letter urging the reopening of green spaces not playground equipment or other amenities.
  • City officials say they’re now working with public health officials to “reassess” the closure of parks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Premier Ford said today the province too is reviewing access to green space and to cottages. A statement is expected “soon.”
  • Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told CTV Ottawa he’s frustrated by the restrictions on the border with the city of Gatineau.
  • Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, meanwhile, supports Quebec’s decision to continue police checkpoints to limit non-essential travel across the provincial border.
  • “Ottawa is a hot zone, we’re a cold zone and we have to protect ourselves.”
  • He said 1,700 vehicles were stopped from crossing the Gatineau-Ottawa border last weekend.
  • Globally there are 3,618,325+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 253,381+ deaths and 1,184,145+ recoveries.
  • The United Kingdom has seen 32,313+ COVID-19 deaths making it the hardest hit country in Europe.
  • The United States remains the hardest hit nation with 1,229,409+ cases, 71,735+ deaths and 162,873+ recoveries.

May 4

  • May the Fourth be with us.
  • Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 35 new deaths from COVID-19 Monday. This is the biggest one-day jump in fatalities since the pandemic began.
  • Ottawa’s death toll is now 127. OPH says that 1,504 people in the city have tested positive. OPH says 866 cases are resolved.
  • Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec have more than 2,340 COVID-19 cases, with more than 1,250 people reported to have recovered from the respiratory illness. 
  • The prime minister has announced that Canada is committing $850 million to help with the global battle against COVID-19.
  • The Conservative leader Andrew Scheer urged the government to deliver an economic statement by June.
  • More than nine million Canadians have received either the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or the wage subsidy as of Sunday (May 3).
  • The announcement was made by Treasury Board president Jean-Yves Duclos on Monday.
  • Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec lifting some COVID-19 restrictions today.
  • Hard hit Quebec is reopening some stores outside Montreal that open to the street today.
  • Store openings in Montreal have been pushed back a week to May 18 because of the number of hospitalizations, CTV reports.
  • There are 1,772 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals as of Monday, up 18 from the 1,754 reported Sunday; 218 are in intensive care.
  • Quebec has 32,623+ cases of COVID-19 with 2,280+ deaths and 7,578,+ recoveries.
  • English school boards in the province have been asking for flexibility in reopening starting May 11.
  • Quebec Premier Francois Legault said, “it will be the parents who will decide if they send or not their child to school, not the old school boards,” adding that the boards don’t have the power to block reopening.
  • Meanwhile, the Quebec provincial police are investigating two more cell tower fires. The incidents happened in the Laurentians. Cell towers have been targeted in other countries because of a conspiracy theory that says 5G technology has caused the pandemic.
  • Ontario is opening landscaping services, automatic car washes, car dealerships (by appointment) and garden centres for curbside pickup.
  • Ontario has 17,903+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,300+ deaths and 12,505+ recoveries.
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario has announced it is opening some elements of emergency care through 24 scheduled appointments between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • The Cargill meat procession plant in Alberta is reopening today despite having seen about 1,000 cases of COVD-19 infection.
  • In a sign of the economic impact of the pandemic, Air Canada says it lost $1.05 billion in its first quarter compared with a profit of $345 million in the same quarter last year.
  • The airline now says it will require passengers to wear and mask and submit to a temperature check.
  • Dr. Theresa Tam said today that temperature checks do not necessarily detect the coronavirus.
  • Canada has seen 60,650+ confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 3,842+ deaths and 25,747+ recoveries.
  • There have now been 919,000+ tests for the virus with 6.5 per cent of those being positive, Tam says.
  • She also said that she has not seen any specific evidence to point to a theory that’s reportedly gaining traction in the U.S. intelligence community: that the outbreak emanated from a virology lab in China.
  • She added that there are more questions than answers about the true origins of the outbreak, which began in Wuhan in late December.
  • In a bit of good news, New Brunswick has announced that all cases of COVID-19 in the province are now resolved. The province had seen 188 cases with no deaths.
  • Former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque is in hospital with COVID-19. He says his condition is steadily improving but, in a series of blogs, he added people needed to take the respiratory disease seriously.
  • Globally there have been 3,529,408+ cases with 248,025+ deaths and 1,133,538+ recoveries.
  • The United States may now see 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, President Donald Trump says.
  • The U.S. has 1,202,788+ cases with 69,128+ deaths and 157,807+ recoveries.

May 3

  • Ottawa Public Health has reported 14 more deaths Sunday. That puts the sad toll in the city at 92.
  • There have now been 1,483 confirmed cases in Ottawa, an increase of 63 cases since Saturday. There have been 830 recoveries. There are also 22 outbreaks at institutions across the city.
  • The English language Western Quebec School Board says it won’t open its elementary schools until it can ensure it can be done safely.
  • “There are far too many unknowns that compromise the ability of school boards to safely and effectively reopen schools,” a press release from the board says. “We believe that the implementation of these measures will vary significantly in our schools and may not be possible in some areas.” The WQSB oversees English schools in the Outaouais.
  • Elementary schools in the Outaouais were to reopen for students May 11. Teachers were to be in schools to prepare for the children starting Monday.
  • Quebec has been hardest hit in Canada. There are 29,656+ cases with 2,136+ deaths and 5,841+ recoveries. The province will be starting to reopen the economy on Monday.
  • Health Canada is restricting the use of a rapid COVID-19 test created by Ottawa’s Spartan Bioscience after the National Microbiology Lab found problems with the test that made it unreliable. 
  • Spartan says Health Canada’s concerns stem from the efficacy of the swabs the testing unit uses — and not with the machine. The company said it’s voluntarily recalling the product to perform more clinical tests.
  • The federal government will put $240 million toward moving mental health and primary care services online to combat concerns over mental and physical wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis. The prime minister announced Sunday. The prime minister said a new mental health platform will provide strategies for managing stress with specific help for those from marginalized communities.
  • Money will also be used to provide virtual primary care for patients who don’t need to visit a doctor’s office.
  • The federal government has created a COVID-19 Supply Council which will bring together a diverse group of leaders to provide the government with advice on the procurement of critical goods and services required.
  • The prime minister said a Vancouver biotech firm, AbCellera, has identified antibodies for use in potential drugs to treat the virus. The firm will get $175 million to help carry out human trials which could start by July.
  • Canada is closing in on 60,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The total on Sunday was 59,357+. There have been 3,675+ deaths. Federal modelling released this past week predicted between 53,196 and 66,835+ COVID-19 cases by May 5 with 3,277 to 3,883 deaths. There have been 24,710+ recoveries.
  • Ontario saw 434 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, a slight drop from 511 announced Saturday. The total number of confirmed cases is 17,553+. There have been 1,216+ deaths and 12,005+ recoveries.
  • The province has now done more than 327,505 tests for the virus. In the last 24 hours, officials conducted 17,146 tests. CTV news has more.
  • Globally there have been 3,483,194+ confirmed cases with 246,027+ deaths and 1,113,454+ recoveries.
  • The United States has seen the most cases and deaths of any country. The toll there is 1,174,514+ cases and 67,958+ deaths. There have been 152,884+ recoveries.
  • In Italy, the number of beds treating COVID-19 patients continued to decline as the country prepared to ease its lockdown measures on Monday.
  • The Civil Protection Agency said there were 212 fewer people hospitalized with the virus and 39 fewer in intensive care in the past 24 hours.
  • The number of dead nudged up by 474. Italy has registered the most deaths after the United States, at 28,710.
  • In Iran, mosques will reopen on Monday in low-risk cities and towns while they adhere to health protocols. Schools were to reopen starting May 16.
  • In Russia, there were 10,633 new cases in the past 24-hours, the highest one-day rise so far. More than half of the new cases reported were in Moscow. Russia has more than 134,000 coronavirus infections overall and 1,420 deaths.
  • Britain has now seen 28,131+ COVID-19 deaths.

May 2

  • Two people have died in Ottawa from COVID-19, raising the total to 78 deaths. 
  • There have been 1,420 confirmed cases, according to Ottawa Public Health’s Saturday report. That’s up 48 new cases since Friday, 548 of those confirmed cases are considered resolved.
  • There are also 23 ongoing outbreaks at institutions across the city.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Saturday that he believes the province will get through the COVID-19 pandemic a lot sooner than the province thought if health protocols continue to be followed.
  • Protesters gathered outside Queen’s Park today to protest the provincial lockdown.
  • Ford said they were endangering their own health and “what burns me up when I see our flag flown upside down that’s the utmost disrespect to our Canadian military” in reference to the six service members who died in a helicopter crash this past week.
  • The province is set to begin loosening the restrictions on Monday.
  • Meanwhile, an Ontario union is asking for better protection for front-line health-care workers as a third personal support work dies of COVID-19 in the province in less than three weeks.
  • Nova Scotia is loosening up as well, opening hiking trails and provincial and municipal parks, garden centres, nurseries and similar businesses, driving ranges but not golf courses.
  • The union representing workers in the Cargill meat packing plant near Calgary is seeking an injunction against the reopening of the plant on Monday.
  • The U.S. Trade Representative is raising concerns about Canada’s plan to change how it calculates the fair price of prescription drugs, the National Post reports.
  • Canada now has 56,585+ confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 3,562+ deaths and 23,602+ recoveries.
  • Quebec, the hardest hit province, has 29,656+ confirmed cases with 2,136+ deaths and 5,841+ recoveries.
  • English elementary schools in Quebec won’t be reopening starting on May 11 until it’s safe for students and staff, says the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA).
  • “There are still far too many unknowns that compromise the ability of school boards to safely and effectively reopen schools,” said QESBA president Dan Lamoureux in a press release on the association’s website.
  • Ontario has 17,119+ confirmed cases with 1,176+ deaths and 8,964 recoveries.
  • Ontario saw a decrease of 40 people in hospital to 977, after watching that number grow the past two days.
  • There are 221 people in intensive care, down four from Friday. This is the fewest amount of people in ICU since April 6. There are 154 people on ventilators (down 21), the lowest total since April 5.
  • Quebec has seen 28,648+ cases with 2,022 + deaths and 58,41+ recoveries.
  • Globally there have been 3,386,519+ confirmed cases with 239,448+ deaths and 1,063,521+ recoveries.
  • Japan will formally decide as early as Monday whether to extend its state of emergency, which was originally set to end on May 6. 
  • In China, Beijing’s parks and museums, including the ancient Forbidden City, reopened to the public after being closed for months by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Meanwhile Russia is seeing surge in cases. The total now is 124,054+ cases with 1,222 deaths and 15,013 recoveries. The number of cases is likely to be much higher as not everyone gets tested, and tests in Russia were reported to be only 70 to 80 per cent accurate.
  • In other news, Ontario Premier Doug Ford took issue with the federal decision to ban assault-style weapons saying toughen sentences and the border would be better than “pointing the finger” at legitimate gun owners.

May 1

  • Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has changed its testing recommendations to say that any Ottawa resident 60 years of age or older, who is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms to go for testing. Testing is available at any COVID-19 Assessment Centre or COVID-19 Care Clinic.
  • Dr. Vera Etches says there are 1,372 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. There have been 76 deaths.
  • Canada’s largest provincial economy will begin to reopen on May 4 with landscaping businesses and garden centres among the first. These are seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects. 
  • The businesses will have to comply with public health measures.
  • Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot says the province is looking at using apps in its contact tracing effort.
  • Ontario says 541 long-term care residents have now died of COVID-19, an increase of 11 since Thursday. The province is also tracking outbreaks at eight additional long-term care homes, bringing the provincial total to 198.
  • Ontario has 16,608+ confirmed cases with 1,121+ deaths and 8,964+ recoveries.
  • Public health units in Ontario have hit the provincial target for testing.
  • Thursday saw 16,532 tests recorded in Ontario — an increase of more than 3,600 over Wednesday when 12,928 tests were logged.
  • Quebec says it will ramp up its testing to 14,000 a day by the end of next week.
  • A study led by researchers at Université de Montréal (UdeM) suggests that nearly half a million residents of Ontario and Quebec have had COVID-19, about 14 times greater than what Canada’s two largest provinces officially report.
  • Alberta has announced its relaunch strategy. Premier Jason Kenney says that some medical services, parks, golf courses and businesses will reopen.
  • If COVID-19 hospitalizations remain stable, it will see scheduled surgeries resume May 4 — along with some health services like dental. Restaurants will open at half capacity on May 14.
  • Vehicle access to parking lots and staging areas in parks and on public lands will be opening on May 1.
  • A number of boat launches in provincial parks will be opening on May 1. Global News has more details.
  • Alberta has 5,355+ cases with 89+ deaths and 1,664+ recoveries.
  • Newfoundland says its reopening plan would see the loosening of some public health restrictions on May 11 – as long as COVID-19 indicators such as health system capacity remain steady.
  • Dr. Theresa Tam said the number of reported cases currently is just the tip of the iceberg of the pandemic. Any reopening requires ramped up testing and contact tracing, she said.
  • She says 60,000 tests a day is the target, adding that there is capacity in the system for this amount.
  • She said today that hospitalizations and ICU placements are another indicator to watch. The goal is to protect the ability of the health-care system to function, she said.
  • There are 54,784+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada with 3,387+ deaths and 22,513+ recoveries.
  • Globally there are 3,303,296+ cases with 235,290+ deaths and 1,039,588+ recoveries.
  • China’s envoy in Ottawa says that while the United States is “smearing” his country over COVID-19, the People’s Republic appreciates Canada’s “cool-headed” co-operation on battling the pandemic. The National Post has more in this Canadian Press story.
  • The federal government has named Tiff Macklem as the new head of the Bank of Canada. He replaces Stephen Poloz. Macklem will take over in June.
  • The prime minister has announced the banning of assault style weapons by regulations. The measure includes some 1,500 variants of the weapon.
  • “You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer,” he said.
  • There will be a two-year amnesty so gun owners can hand in their weapons. A buy back program is coming as well. But that requires legislation. No date set for that.
  • Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer accused the prime minister of using the COVID-19 pandemic and the immediate emotion of the horrific murders in Nova Scotia to push the Liberals’ ideological agenda and make major firearms policy changes.
  • “Taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens does nothing to stop dangerous criminals who obtain their guns illegally,” Scheer said in a statement.

April 30

  • Ontario has unveiled 61 labour guidelines businesses in the province will need to follow. The guidelines were released to help businesses prepare to reopen.
  • Premier Doug Ford said the province is “getting close” to reopening but he did not set a date for that reopening to begin.
  • The new guidelines include:
  • Ensuring appropriate physical distancing such as eliminating pay-at-the-door options, holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times and using ground markings and barriers to manage traffic.
  • Installing plexiglass barriers, increasing the air intake on building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to increase air flow and using boot sanitizing trays.
  • Promoting proper workplace sanitation, providing personal protective equipment, substituting dry dusting with vacuuming, ensuring customer-facing staff are given hand sanitizer, providing a place to dispose of sanitizing wipes and enforcing handwashing before and after breaks.
  • The federal deficit could reach $252 billion, the Parliamentary Budget Office said in a report released today. This is the largest deficit since statistics were started to be counted in 1961.
  • The PBO said $146-billion in spending has been announced by the federal government. More fiscal measures may be required to support the economy in the coming months, the analysis adds.
  • GDP is expected to shrink 12 per cent.
  • Federal debt as a percentage of GDP could now reach 48 per cent in 2021, up from around 30 per cent over the last number of years.
  • The prime minster expressed confidence in the economy’s ability to recover after the COVID crisis has passed.
  • Another spending measure giving students access to $9 billion in supports passed the House of Commons Wednesday evening. It will be taken up by the Senate on Friday with Royal Assent expected soon after.
  • The global COVID-19 pandemic began in Wuhan, China, but data from Canada’s largest provinces show it was American travellers, not Chinese, who brought the deadly virus to our shores, the National Post reports.
  • The Cargill meat packing plant in Alberta plans to reopen with one shift on May 4. The plant was shut down for two weeks when hundreds of workers fell ill with COVID-19 and one woman died. The plant supplies one third of Canada’s beef.
  • The union representing the workers says the move is “incredibly concerning.”
  • Nunavut has recorded its first case of COVID-19.
  • There are now 1,297+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and nearly 2,100+ in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. The death toll in Ottawa is 76. 
  • Canada has 53,021+ confirmed cases with 3,180+ deaths and 21,198+ recoveries.
  • Ontario now has 16,187+ cases with 1,082+ deaths and 8,964+ recoveries.
  • Quebec has now seen 1,859+ deaths from COVID-19; 92 in care homes today alone. The province has 27,538+ confirmed cases of the infection.
  • Globally there are 3,249,022+ cases with 230,804+ deaths and 1,006,112+ recoveries.
  • Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says on Twitter that he has directed city staff to work with Ottawa Public Health to “come up with a way to reinstate window visits for family members with loved ones at our long term care homes.”
  • Dean Lett, director of long-term care at the City of Ottawa  quoted by the CBC this morning, said, “this difficult decision to limit these visitors to the exterior grounds of the homes is based on prioritizing the safety and health of residents and staff, We have experienced a number of situations where families have visited and have not respected the requirement for physical distancing as directed through public health agencies.”
  • Ottawa’s medical officer of health says she was not consulted before the city asked residents not to visit their loved ones at the windows of city-owned long-term care homes.
  • Speaking on CTV Morning Live on Thursday morning, Dr. Vera Etches said she’s hopeful the City will re-examine the directive.
  • When asked about this, Ontario Premier Doug Ford urged families to visit relatives in long term care homes through the window.
  • The premier also said that an announcement on garden centres opening in Ontario will come soon.
  • A major search is now on for a Canadian Forces helicopter that crashed into the Ionian Sea with six on board Wednesday night.
  • The body of Abbigail Cowbrough, a sub-lieutenant with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has been recovered as well as the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter’s black box.
  • Missing are: Captain Brenden MacDonald and Captain Kevin Hagen, Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke and Master Corporal Matthew Cousins.
  • In Fort MacMurray, Alberta, the ice jam that has caused flooding in the hard hit city is beginning to soften and disintegrate. Water levels are dropping.
  • The federal government could move forward in an assault rifle ban within a week, media reports suggest. Eleven weapons are said to be on a list prepared by Public Security Minister Bill Blair including the AR-15 and the Ruger Mini-14. 

April 29

  • Ottawa Public Health is reporting 1,297+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with five more deaths. The number of fatalities now stands at 76. There have been 548 recoveries.
  • There are 38 patients in hospital coronavirus, eight in intensive care.
  • There are 270 confirmed cases in the Outaouais, 222 of those in Gatineau.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers have agreed on a set of guidelines for reopening:
  • COVID-19 transmission is contained to a level the health system can manage. This includes stabilizing the number of hospitalizations and new cases;
  • Sufficient capacity is available to test, trace and isolate the virus so when, for example, someone around you tests positive;
  • The health system can manage COVID-19 and non COVID-19 patients;
  • Additional protections are in place for vulnerable groups, communities, and key populations such as long-term care homes and in jails or shelters;
  • Workplace protocols are in place and monitored to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as providing personal protective equipment for workers who can’t maintain physical distancing;
  • Restrictions on non-essential travel will be loosened in a “co-ordinated manner;” to avoid the risk of importing the virus through domestic travel and,
  • Communities are able to manage localized outbreaks, including within schools or on public transit.
  • Each region will “take different steps at different times in order to ease restrictions, reflecting the specific circumstances in each jurisdiction.”
  • The House of Commons will meet to pass legislation to provide $9 billion in emergency relief to students in need.
  • Manitoba has announced a four-step reopening plan that will start on May 4. Manitoba has 272+ cases of COVID-19 with six deaths and 209+ recoveries.
  • Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have announced their plans and are moving forward. Saskatchewan has seen 366+ cases, five deaths and 291 recoveries. New Brunswick has not had a new case of COVID confirmed in 11 days. New Brunswick has seen 118 cases with no deaths and 114 recoveries.
  • Hard hit Quebec, which will see some stores open May 4 and elementary schools and day cares reopen starting May 11, will also start to loosen travel restrictions inside and across Quebec’s borders starting May 4 in the Laurentides, Lanaudière, Chaudière-Appalaches and Rouyn-Noranda.
  • On May 11, the travel restrictiosn will lift in the Outaouais (except Gatineau), Abitibi-Témiscamingue, La Tuque and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
  • Bas-St-Laurent, Gaspésie, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Charlevoix, Côte-Nord will lift on May 18.
  • Ontario has announced a much more cautious plan which does not include schools.
  • Prince Edward Island will start opening May 1. The island province has a four-stage plan. P.E.I. has 27 cases, 24 recoveries and no deaths.
  • The move by U.S. President Donald Trump to ensure meat processing plants stay open prompted questions to the prime minister about similar measures in Canada. Justin Trudeau said the government was in discussions with the agricultural industry about a way forward.
  • Meanwhile, McDonald’s Canada says it will start importing beef as Canada’s beef supply chain struggles to meet current demand amid COVID-19. This is because of limited processing capacity at Canadian suppliers, such as a Cargill Inc. plant near High River, Alta which has been closed because of a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • In British Columbia, three poultry processing plants have outbreaks.
  • The Canadian Football League has asked the federal government for a $150 million bailout. The prime minister said the request is under consideration.
  • Canada now has 51,248+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,985+ deaths and 20,100+ recoveries.
  • Quebec has 26,594+ cases with 1,761+ deaths and 5,841+ deaths. There 1,648 people being treated for COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals, up 23 from the 1,625 reported Tuesday. Of those, 222 are in intensive care, up five from Tuesday.
  • Ontario now has 15,728+ cases with 996+ deaths and 8,964+ recoveries.
  • Ontario reported 347 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the first day day with fewer than 400 new cases since April 7, CBC says.
  • “We are getting closer,” Premier Doug Ford said today as he announce expansion of child care services for essential workers.
  • The total number of people in Ontario hospitalized with COVID-19 is 1,798 (11.4 per cent of all cases)
  • There are 181 outbreaks at long-term care homes in the province.
  • Females continue to make up a greater portion of confirmed cases (57.5 per cent) than males (41.6 per cent)
  • There have now been a total of 264,594 tests conducted for COVID-19 in Ontario.
  • Globally the number of confirmed cases stands at 3,141,981+ with 218,564+ deaths and 948,545+ recoveries.
  • COVID-19 is now surging in Russia where confirmed cases now stand at 99,399+.
  • Boris Johnson was off the job again today but this time for a happy occasion as he was marking the birth of a son with his partner Carrie Symonds.
  • A study of the drug remdesivir is being hailed as a possible treatment for those with COVID-19. A recently completed study showed the drug had some effect especially on the duration of the illness.
  • The United States now has recorded 60,823+ deaths from COVID-19 with 1,056,780+ confirmed cases and 119,406+ recoveries.

April 28

  • In a grim reminder of the toll the pandemic is taking, the City of Ottawa has seen its largest number of daily deaths caused by COVID-19. Twelve people passed away because of the infection, Ottawa Public Health said.
  • In all, 71 people in the city have died because of COVID-19. There are now 1,221 confirmed cases. The city saw 67 new cases of COVID-19, the largest increase in one day so far.
  • Western Quebec has seen 272 cases and two fatalities. 
  • New federal modelling predicts between 53,196 and 66,835+ COVID-19 cases by May 5 with 3,277 to 3,883 deaths.
  • The modelling foresees the first wave of COVID-19 ending this summer. To stay on this path requires a high rate of physical distancing, Dr. Theresa Tam said in a technical briefing today.
  • Success will mean only a small percentage of the population will have been exposed to the virus and will have immunity (if immunity is possible). The situation will require on-going physical distancing and other measures until a vaccine is developed.
  • “We are … bringing the epidemic under control,” Tam said.
  • The modelling shows that Ontario and Quebec account for 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases. B.C. and Alberta make up 14 per cent of cases. Only Nunavut has not recorded a case.
  • Fatalities are now at 5.5 per cent of cases.
  • The modelling shows a levelling of case trajectories across Canada with regional differences.
  • Infection outbreaks in care homes are driving case trajectories in Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia. They are responsible for 79 per cent of COVID deaths in Canada.
  • The measures Canada has taken are working, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today at his morning briefing. He once again cautioned against lifting restrictions too soon.
  • Canada’s COVID-19 case count is now doubling every 16 days.
  • He said that there were about 26,000 tests for COVID-19 across Canada on Monday but the prime minister said more testing needs to be done.
  • He thanked first responders who rescued his mother from a fire in Montreal. Margaret Sinclair Trudeau is recovering from smoke inhalation in hospital.
  • He said some six million surgical masks will be sent to the provinces this week.
  • More than 100,000 face shields will be distributed soon, he added.
  • The first-ever virtual Parliament has convened as MPs gathered on Zoom to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken.
  • Today is a National Day of Mourning for those who have lost their lives, or suffered injury or illness on the job or due to a work-related tragedy. This is especially poignant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • B’nai Brith Canada says Jews are being blamed by anti-Semites for the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Among the allegations is the false notion that the state of Israel developed the virus and is spreading it.
  • The federal government has relaxed labelling rules on products used to combat COVID-19 including household cleaning products, hand soaps and body soaps.
  • The move concerns the Official Languages Commissioner Raymond Theberge.
  • Canada has 49,817+ confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 2,852+ deaths and 19,050+ recoveries.
  • Ontario has 15,381+ cases with 951+ deaths and 8,000+ recoveries.
  • Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says a new study by Toronto’s University Health Network shows that 35 people have died in the province because their heart procedures were cancelled due to COVID-19.
  • Quebec has released its plan for restarting the provincial economy. On May 4, businesses that open to the street will be able to open. This is in regions outside Montreal.
  • In Montreal, stores opening to the street can open for business on May 11.
  • By the end of the month manufacturing can restart. Factories will have limits on number of staff over 50 employees will be in force.
  • This comes a day after announcing that elementary schools and day cares will open starting May 11. The Montreal area will see schools and day cares reopen May 19.
  • Quebec has 24,982+ cases with 1,599+ deaths and 5,342+ recoveries.
  • Globally there are 3,083,467+ cases with 213,824+ deaths and 915,988+ recoveries.
  • The United States now has 1,032,131+ COVID-19 cases with 58,906+ deaths and 117,648+ recoveries.
  • RBC Ottawa Bluesfest, one of North America’s largest music festivals, has cancelled the 2020 summer event. The announcement was made today by festival CEO Mark Monahan.
  • Canada’s largest newspaper company, Postmedia, has closed small papers in Manitoba and Ontario. The company has also reduced salaries, laid off 50 staff temporarily and laid off 30 staff permanently.

April 27

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is now open for business, the prime minister said today. Payments will begin to arrive May 7. By 11 a.m. 10,000 businesses had applied.
  • The first virtual session of the House of Commons will take place Tuesday. On Wednesday, there will be an in-person meeting with a much-reduced complement of MPs.
  • The prime minister also talked about reopening the economy. He said the provinces have the authority to determine what is in their specific interests.
  • “They have the responsibility,” he said.
  • The federal government and the provinces have been working on a set of guidelines for reopening, he added.
  • Ontario must see a “consistent two-to-four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases” before the government can start loosening restrictions and begin reopening the economy, says a new framework for reopening released by the province today.
  • The reopening will take place in three stages over weeks and months.
  • There is no firm date and few details about when that effort will begin. 
  • “This is a roadmap, not a calendar,” Premier Doug Ford said today. “We won’t be rushed into anything.”
  • Stage 1: Select workplaces that can “immediately meet” public health guidance and some outdoor spaces such as parks
  • Stage 2: More workplaces based on risk assessments, which could include some service industries and retail; and some larger gatherings.
  • Stage 3: Further relax restrictions on public gatherings and open all work places “responsibly.” Even in this phase, however, “large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future.”
  • Reopening will depend on a number of factors, including: a consistent two-to-four week drop in new daily COVID-19 cases; a decrease in cases not traced to a source and a decrease in new hospitalizations.
  • Ontario has 14,856+ cases of COVID-19 with 892+ deaths and 8,000+ recoveries.
  • Quebec Premier François Legault says the province will be reopening its primary schools and child-care centres on May 19 in the Montreal region and May 11 elsewhere in the province. He said the reopening will be gradual and not obligatory.
  • All other schools — high schools, colleges and universities — won’t reopen until late August.
  • The government will monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary, the premier said.
  • Quebec has 24,982+ cases with 1,579+ deaths and 5,342+ recoveries.
  • There are 1,154+ people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the city of Ottawa. Some 501 cases have been “resolved.” There have been seven more deaths making a total of 59, Ottawa Public Health says.
  • The Outaouais now has 266+ cases with two deaths.
  • A new Angus Reid poll suggests that 50 per cent of Canadians are seeing a decline in their mental health.
  • Federal consultations show a 20 to 30 per cent increase in domestic violence rates in certain regions of the country. CBC has more.
  • Canada now has 48,229+ cases with 2,701+ deaths and 18,093+ recoveries.
  • Globally there are 3,002,303+ confirmed cases with 208,131+ deaths and 878,813+ recoveries.
  • With new cases in single figures for several days — one on Sunday — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the virus was “currently” eliminated in that country.
  • New Zealand officials have warned against complacency, saying it does not mean a total end to new coronavirus cases.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is back on the job after a battle with COVID-19. He told his nation that the U.K. was reaching “the end of the first phase of this conflict” but warned that a quick end to the current lockdown was not in sight.
  • A South Korean official says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “alive and well.”

April 26

  • Ontario has extended the public school closure to May 31 because of the COVID_19 pandemic. The province is not ready to cancel the rest of the year yet.
  • Health Canada is warning against the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent COVID-19 and that the drugs should not be taken unless prescribed and under supervision of a physician.
  • In the City of Ottawa there are now 52 deaths from COVID-19. There are 1,110 cases, Ottawa Public Health has reported. There are 252 cases in the Outaouais. There have been two deaths.
  • Canada now has 46,648+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. There have been 2,560+ deaths and 17,243+ recoveries.
  • Globally there have been 2,954,106+ cases with 205,398+ deaths and 860,875+ recoveries.
  • In Ontario there have been 14,432+ cases with 835+ deaths and 8,000+ recoveries.
  • Quebec, the hardest hit province, has 24,107+ cases with 1,515+ deaths and 5,342+ recoveries.
  • In the United States, cases are near one million at 983,229+. There have been 55,335+ deaths and 108,871+ recoveries.
  • In Spain, one of the hardest hit countries, children have been allowed outside for one hour each day. Spain has 219,764+ cases with 23,190+ deaths and 98,732+ recoveries.
  • Italy says it will announce its reopening plan next week. Italy has 197,675+ cases with 26,644+ deaths and 64,928+ recoveries.
  • World leaders have pledged to accelerate work on tests, drugs and vaccines against COVID-19 and to share them around the globe, but the United States did not take part in the launch of the World Health Organization (WHO) initiative.

April 25

  • There are now 1,060+ cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. Eight more people have died bringing the city’s total to 50+.
  • There are currently 31 people in the hospital because of COVID-19 complications, with in intensive care.
  • A total of 453 people have recovered, about 43 per cent of all cases to date. 
  • The Outaouais has 246+ cases with two deaths.
  • Ottawa Public Health says there are COVID-19 outbreaks at 23 health-care institutions, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, and acute care departments of local hospitals. CTV has a list of the institutions facing outbreaks.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford called anti-lockdown protesters at Queen’s Park on Saturday “a bunch of yahoos” and said they were being “selfish” and “irresponsible” for demonstrating against provincial emergency orders in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Ontario government has announced it will be providing frontline workers with a temporary “pandemic pay” raise.
  • The increase will provide $4 per hour extra on top of existing wages.
  • Employees working more than 100 hours per month will receive lump-sum payments of $250 a month for the next four months, meaning eligible employees working an average of 40 hours a week will receive a total of $3,560 in additional wages.
  • The prime minister announced a $62.5-million aid package Saturday to help fish and seafood processors protect workers from COVID-19 and ensure they can continue to keep the seafood market alive.
  • The prime minister ruled out the idea of “immunity passports” for Canadians because the science is unclear about whether people who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected from catching it a second time.
  • Trudeau spoke to premiers Friday and they discussed a basic framework that provinces will use as they reopen businesses, schools and other institutions. The focus, he said, is on preventing the spread of the virus through physical distancing and personal protective equipment.
  • Canada has 45,138+ confirmed cases of the COVID-19. There have been 2,464+ deaths with 16,351 recoveries.
  • Ontario has 13,995+ cases with 811+ deaths and 7,509+ recoveries.
  • Quebec has 23,267+ cases with 1,446+ deaths and 5,057+ recoveries.
  • New Brunswick has unveiled a plan that will ease COVID-19 restrictions. It begins immediately with the loosening of physical distancing restrictions to allow two-household gatherings, Premier Blaine Higgs has announced. The opening will move slowly from there.
  • Globally there are 2,868,539+ cases with 201,502+ deaths and 811,660+ recoveries.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will return to work on Monday.
  • Johnson has been recovering from COVID-19 at Chequers, his official country residence, after spending three nights in intensive care at St. Thomas’ Hospital in central London earlier this month.
  • Meanwhile the death toll from COVID-19 in the United Kingdom is now 20,319+.
  • There are concerns Brazil is on the road to becoming a pandemic hot spot.
  • Medical officials in Rio de Janeiro and four other major cities warned that their hospital systems are on the verge of collapse or are already overwhelmed.
  • Iran says it registered 76 more deaths in the previous 24 hours. That puts the reported death toll from COVID-19 at 5,650+ and confirmed cases at over 89,000+. Iran is the hardest hit country in the Middle East.
  • China is said to have sent a team to North Korea to advise on the health of leader Kim Jong-un, according to three sources. The North Korean leader is said to be receiving treatment after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure early this month. Rumours are now swirling that Kim has died. He has not been seen in public for two weeks.

April 24

  • The prime minister announced a rent relief program for small businesses this morning.
  • The federal help is expected to lower rent by 75 per cent for affected small businesses and it will be provided in partnership with the provinces and territories, which have jurisdiction.
  • The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of rent payments by eligible small business tenants experiencing financial hardship in April, May and June.
  • The federal Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will administer and deliver the program.
  • Provinces and territories will cover up to 25 per cent of costs, subject to terms of agreements with the federal government. They will implement the measures.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his government would commit $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA).
  • The premier also spoke about residential tenants who also will face rent payments come May 1. Ford said he will urge the federal government for a plan on that.
  • The premier also said that his government will release its framework for reopening the Ontario economy, early next week.
  • Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said there are 131+ outbreaks in long-term care homes, and that 573+ residents and one staff member have died from COVID-19.
  • The Canadian military has been deployed to support the effort on care homes.
  • The premier has asked for help at five of Ontario’s hardest-hit nursing homes: Orchard Villa, 40 deaths, 104 resident cases, 59 staff cases; Eatonville Care Centre, 37 deaths, 143 cases; Altamont Community Care Centre, 28 resident deaths and one staff member, 58 resident cases, five staff cases; Hawthorne Place, nine deaths, 47 cases and Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor, two deaths, 49 resident cases, 21 staff cases. 
  • Quebec Premier Francois Legault said today he’s thinking of turning private care homes public as the province continues to experience a fire inside the homes.
  • In Lasalle, the Red Cross is setting up a 40 bed hospital in an arena to handle COVID-19 cases.
  • The province will unveil its plan to reopen next week with the first steps to be taken May 4. Schools and daycares will be among the first to open.
  • “We’re going to be staying two metres away from other people for months to come, but we do need normal life to start again. We need to slowly and prudently start again with life in society,” he said today.
  • The City of Ottawa has 1,034+ confirmed cases with 42 deaths, 29 of which happened in care homes.
  • There are 32 people currently in hospital with eight in intensive care. 435 cases are considered resolved, accounting for 42 per cent of all cases to date.
  • Six weeks after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Ottawa, the city is shifting from a response posture to recovery from COVID-19.
  • City staff are working with Ottawa Public Health and the other levels of government to look ahead to the eventual easing of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. CTV news has more.
  • City manager Steve Kanellakos says four teams are being set up that will focus on: People, Finance, Services and Economic Recovery.
  • Ontario has 13,519+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 763+ deaths and 7,087+ recoveries.
  • Canada has 43,562+ cases with 2,294+ deaths and 15,479+ recoveries.
  • Quebec has 22,616+ confirmed cases with 1,340+ deaths and 4,724+ recoveries.
  • Globally, there are 2,761,121+ confirmed cases with 193,671+ deaths and 760,047+ recoveries.
  • The United States has 905,492+ confirmed cases with 51,209+ deaths and 83,861+ recoveries.

April 23

  • The prime minister announced a $1.1 billion strategy this morning to fund research into a vaccine and better understanding of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Some $350 million will go towards expanded testing for COVID-19. Health experts will develop a strategy for testing including blood testing and antibody testing. One million will be tested as part of this strategy.
  • “Testing is key” Justin Trudeau said. Canada is conducting almost 20,000 tests a day but that needs to expand, he said.
  • To date, Canada has tested more than 620,000 individuals with 6.5 per cent of tests positive.
  • Dr. Theresa Tam says expanded testing capacity could reach 60,000 daily. She says the country’s labs should soon be able to triple that number.
  • “We are failing out parents, grandparents and our elders,” the prime minister said and he announced the Canadian military will respond to requests from Ontario and Quebec for support in suppressing the outbreaks in long term care homes. The number of soldiers deployed has not been set yet. Quebec asked for 1,000.
  • “This is not a long term solution. Our soldiers should not be the ones looking after our seniors,” he said.
  • The prime minister also condemned incidents of racism against Asian Canadians, including one recent one in Vancouver when an elderly man with dementia was pushed from a store.
  • The PM’s comment followed an email attack on Dr. Theresa Tam by Ontario Tory MP and leadership candidate Derek Sloan who told supports Tam was not working on behalf of Canadians. He implied she was working for China and should be fired. He posted similar comments on social media.
  • Tory leader Andrew Scheer would not comment on Sloan’s comment.
  • Politico reports that Canada’s public health authority says around one million KN95 respirators acquired from China have failed to meet federal Covid-19 standards for use by frontline health professionals.
  • In Alberta, investigations are underway into COVID-19 outbreaks at to essential meat processing plants where hundreds of cases of the infection have emerged. CBC has more.
  • Canada’s cities are on the brink of financial crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of municipal leaders say — unless the federal government urgently provides billions of dollars in help.
  • The hole in municipal budgets could be anywhere between $10 billion and $15 billion over the next six months, depending on the severity and duration of the pandemic-related shutdown, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities says. Canadian Press has more.
  • Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has announced his province will begin a five-step plan to reopen the economy starting in May. The first phase begins May 4.
  • More good news down east as Newfoundland, P.E.I. and New Brunswick have not seen a confirmed COVID-19 case for several days.
  • Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday morning that the provincial state of emergency is being extended to May 6.
  • The premier also said that his 95 year old mother-in-law has been diagnosed with COVID-19. She lives in a residence in Toronto’s west end.
  • During his daily briefing, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said a total of 9,500 employees from the health network are currently off the job. Among those, Legault said it is estimated that 4,000 are off because they have tested positive for COVID-19. The other 5,500 are either off because they are high risk, under quarantine, or feel unsafe under the circumstances.
  • The premier said this is one reason why the province has asked for 1,000 soldiers to help with the care home crisis.
  • With many Canadians isolating at home and shopping online, Canada Post says it is processing and delivering parcels at levels similar to the busiest weeks of the Christmas season. This will mean delays, Canada Post says.
  • The world famous Calgary Stampede has been cancelled, the Calgary Herald says.
  • Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa are closing in on 1,000 with 977+. The death toll rose by three and now is 35. There are 405+ recoveries. The number in hospital due to coronavirus has dipped to 33. Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec are approaching 1,675 confirmed cases.
  • Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches warns COVID-19 will be “part of our lives” for the foreseeable future and relaxing the pandemic restrictions will take time.
  • Her statement comes as Ottawa Public Health prepares to launch public consultations next week on easing the restrictions.
  • In Canada, there are 40,813+ confirmed cases with 2,028+ deaths and 13,986+ recoveries.
  • In Ontario, there are 12,879+ cases with 713+ deaths and 6,221+ recoveries.
  • In Quebec, there are 20,965+ cases with 1,134+ deaths and 4,291+ recoveries.
  • Globally, there are 2,658,062+ cases with 184,643+ deaths and 721,531+ recoveries.
  • China is upping its contribution to the World Health Organization by $30 million.

April 22

  • The prime minister announced several measures for students and recent graduates worth up to $9 billion in his morning briefing today. Some measures will need legislation.
  • The government will create the Emergency Student Benefit to deliver $1,250 a month from May to August to help students and youth who can’t find a summer job. If students have a disability or are caring for someone, the monthly payment rises to $1,750 a month.
  • The government will also create 76,000 more jobs in addition to the Canada Summer Jobs program.
  • The government will also invest $291 million to extend grants, scholarships and fellowships.
  • The federal government will also double the support to student loan programs for the 2020-21 school year.
  • The government will also direct $75 million to Indigenous students.
  • In response to a question, the prime minister said support would be coming for seniors and the recently retired.
  • Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe will address the province today about the state of the pandemic. He is expected to outline a plan to loosen the provincial state of emergency.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford Ford told an Ottawa talk show this morning that he and his team are working on a framework on how to reopen the economy safely in the coming weeks and months and suggested the Victoria Day long weekend may be a target. CTV news has more.
  • Later in the day, Ontario became the second province to seek the military’s help in halting the COVID crisis i long term care homes. The province has asked all residents and staff in long-term care homes where a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared to undergo testing.
  • With Ramadan set to begin Thursday, Canadian Muslims are launching a virtual way to mark the annual event.
  • Another measure of the economic impact of COVID-19 emerged this morning. Inflation cratered in March, Statistics Canada says, dropping to .9 per cent. Energy prices led the drop.
  • Carleton University is looking at continuing online classes or holding smaller lectures in the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, President and Vice-Chancellor Benoit-Antoine Bacon says the university is looking at how to use digital technologies as alternatives to larger classes.
  • Ottawa Treasurer Wendy Stephanson presented City Council will three scenarios for a budget deficit this year because of COVID-19 measures and the shutdown of city services: $18 million deficit if the measures remain in place until the end of June; $35.8 million deficit if the measures remain in place until September and a $49.8 million deficit if the measures remain in place until the end of the year. CTV news has more.
  • Gatineau’s mayor has said that city may have a budget shortfall of $25 to $35 million depending how long restrictions last.
  • There are now 943 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and more than 1,625 in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
  • A total of 32 people have died from coronavirus in Ottawa with 21 of them in long-term care or retirement homes.
  • Canada now has 40,108+ confirmed cases with 1,971+ deaths and 13,911+ recoveries.
  • Ontario has 12,245+ cases with 659+ deaths and 6,221+ recoveries.
  • Quebec has the most cases with 20,126+ and the most deaths at 1,041+. The province has 4,048+ recoveries. More than have of the deaths are in care facilities.
  • Globally, there are 2,628,894+ cases, 182,992+ deaths and 709,050+ recoveries.
  • Criticism is rising in Nova Scotia over the way the public was alerted about the shooting rampage that left 22 people dead. The RCMP used social media to inform residents. Many point out that rural Nova Scotians don’t use social media and may not have internet service at all.
  • The RCMP said in an afternoon press conference that they were preparing an alert when the shooter was shot dead at a gas station on the way to Halifax.
  • They also said the gunman acted alone.
  • The premier Stephen McNeil said that the provincial emergency alert service had asked the force for the wording of an alert a few times during the the event.
  • Internationally, New Zealand is reopening. By next week, businesses, kindergarten and elementary schools in the island nation that teach ages one to 10 will reopen.

April 21

  • RCMP say that 22 people were killed in the murderous spree in rural Nova Scotia on the weekend.
  • The force is currently investigating 16 crime scenes.
  • The Queen, who turns 94 today, has sent a message of condolence to the province.
  • The prime minister said the government is establishing a $350 million fund to support community organizations and non-profits working to help people cope with COVID-19 at the grassroots level.
  • Businesses can started applying for the wage subsidy on April 27.
  • Justin Trudeau said that the supply of beef processed in Canada will meet Canadian needs before any exports happen. He said he did not expected shortages but he did say that prices may increase.
  • A major processing plant in High River, Alberta run by Cargill is closed because of a major COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The prime minister said that the federal government is working to help provinces deal with the financial costs of fighting COVID-19.
  • He continued to warn about easing COVID-19 restrictions too soon despite the fact that there are encouraging signs of a slowdown in the number of cases.
  • There are continuing concerns about supply of personal protective gear coming from China. Two planes that were supposed to carry PPEs turned up empty after having been forced to by Chinese officials to take off before the supplies arrived. The government says the gear is in a warehouse in China and will eventually come to Canada.
  • Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’ chief medical officer of health, says there are some aspects of the current situation will likely remain such as the need to maintain two metres distance between people and to isolate at home if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • She wants Canadian society to start thinking about how to adapt day-to-day activities to maintain physical distancing until there is a treatment or vaccine.
  • “I think for sure crowded conditions, mass gatherings are not in any of our near future. I think that is sort of pretty evident,” CTV reports.
  • More than 565,000 people have been tested for COVID-19, with around 6.5 per cent testing positive.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Tuesday that he’s being pressured to reopen the economy and ease restrictions in the wake of optimistic modelling that shows the community-spread cases may have peaked in the province.
  • Ford says be patient. “There’s no one out there that wants to move forward on the economy more than I do, but we would rather be safe than sorry.”
  • Ford said that his government was starting to create a plan that will guide the “gradual, measured and safe” reopening of the economy.  
  • Ontario is investing $11 million in the Meals on Wheels program, which delivers food, medicine and other necessities to isolated seniors.
  • The government will raise Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments to provide “support to the seniors that need it most,” Ford said. Individuals will receive up to $166 a month and couples will get up to $332 a month.
  • Air Canada will stop flying into the U.S. on April 26. It plans to resume service May 22, unless government restrictions are extended again. The airline says it will waive change fees for affected customers.
  • CBC/Radio-Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts have created a new funding initiative to help the country’s arts community put work to online audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • There are now 899 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and more than 1,575 in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
  • Ottawa Public Health says 226 of Ottawa’s 899 confirmed cases have been in long term care institutions. Fourteen residents have died. In all 25 have died of COVID-19 in Ottawa.
  • More than half the 226 cases are in three institutions: Carlingview Manor, Laurier Manor and Madonna Care Community.
  • Five residents at the Montfort Long-Term Care Centre have died of COVID-19, the most of any of the 18 institutions in Ottawa having outbreaks.
  • Canada has 38,210+ cases of COVID-19 with 1,831+ deaths and 13,143+ recoveries.
  • Ontario has 11,735+ cases with 622+ deaths and 5,515+ recoveries.
  • Quebec has 20,126+ cases with 1,041+ deaths and 4,048+ recoveries.
  • Globally 2,531,804+ have confirmed cases of the illness with 174,336+ deaths and 665,458+ recoveries.
  • The head of the U.S. Centres for Disease Control warns that a second wave of COVID-19 would coincide with the annual flu season, making its impact much worse that the first wave. The Washington Post has more.

April 20

  • Political leaders and members of the national community are expressing condolences for the deaths caused in Canada’s worst mass shooting.
  • At least 19 people, including an RCMP officer, an elementary school teacher, a nurse and a volunteer firefighter, died in a killing spree Sunday across rural Nova Scotia starting in the tiny hamlet of Portapique.
  • A virtual vigil to honour the slain is being planned for later this week, meanwhile the investigation continues.
  • The prime minister in his morning briefing said that his government intends to bring in gun control measures banning assault weapons as soon as the COVID-19 crisis passes.
  • The House of Commons resumed sitting this morning with a small cadre of MPs taking part in the session. A motion that passed during today’s sitting says that there will be one in-person and a few virtual sittings each week of this session.
  • The City of Ottawa will spend $11.4 million to bolster the capital’s shelter system and agencies supporting the city’s homeless population through the pandemic, Mayor Jim Watson said.
  • Garbage and recycling collection will be delayed in four Ottawa wards by one day this week after an employee at Miller Waste Ottawa tested positive for COVID-19 while the company completes an assessment of its employees, CTV has more.
  • The number of cases in Ottawa has hit 857+ with over the weekend. There have been 25 deaths.
  • There are 19 outbreaks at institutions such as hospitals and retirement and long-term care homes in the city.
  • There are 36,672+ cases of COVID-19 in Canada with 1,681+ deaths and 12,502+ recoveries.
  • In Ontario, the are 11,184 cases with 584 deaths and 5,209 recoveries.
  • New models presented in Ontario today suggest the pandemic has peaked in the province. The models also foresee total cases for the span of this outbreak are now likely less than 20,000, starkly lower than the worst-case scenario of 300,000.
  • A provincial jail in Brampton has been closed because of a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected eight staff and 60+ prisoners.
  • Quebec leads the country with 18,357+ cases, 877+ deaths and 3,555+ recoveries.
  • Globally there are 2,463,357+ cases, 169,502+ deaths and 644,262+ recoveries.
  • In Ontario, the Ford government and the public high school teachers union have reached an agreement in principle on a new contract.
  • In Germany today stores are reopened and people are moving about more freely as the country slowly returns to normal.
  • Ottawa-based Shopify said on Monday it would provide cash advances to small businesses in Canada that are struggling due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the global economy.
  • In a sign of unease over restrictions caused by social distancing measures, police clashed with youths in a poor Paris suburb on Sunday.
  • Peru has more than 15,000 cases of coronavirus with 400 deaths.
  • Switzerland has seen 1,135 deaths with 27,740 confirmed cases.
  • Russia puts troops in quarantine after training for a parade in Red Square.
  • There have been 16,509+ deaths from COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.

April 19

  • The House of Commons is to resume sitting on Monday but the federal parties are discussing different ways of bringing MPs together during the pandemic including virtual sittings, which are the preference of the Trudeau government.
  • So far there is no agreement on how this should take place. Discussions continue with the Official Opposition Conservative party the last hold out, the prime minister said.
  • Conservative leader Andrew Scheer says his party wants three in-person sittings a week.
  • The City of Ottawa has now seen 23 COVID-19 deaths. There are 19+ institutional outbreaks in the city due to COVID-19 — including at a long-term care home operated by the Bruyère Hospital where a staffer has tested positive.
  • There are 803+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and nearly 1,400 in eastern Ontario. There have been 338 recoveries.
  • There are 34,813+ cases of COVID-19 in Canada with 1,583+ deaths and 11,807+ recoveries.
  • Ontario has 10,578+ cases with 553+ deaths and 4,875+ recoveries. There are 809 patients in hospital, including 247 in intensive care and 196 on ventilators.
  • The province said 112 long-term care homes now have outbreaks, including Almonte Country Haven where 23 are dead.
  • In the Outaouais, there are 209+ confirmed cases.
  • Globally there are 2,382,064+ cases with 165,636+ deaths and 611,791+ recoveries.
  • A Nova Scotia man has been shot dead after a reported shooting spree and a series of house fires in the town of Portapique. Police say there are at least 16 dead in the incident including a female RCMP officer and the gunman. The prime minister praised police and residents for their actions and co-operation during the incident in his morning briefing.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is letting smaller stores reopen Monday after a shutdown that deprived German retailers of 30 billion euros ($45 billion) in sales and pushed many shops to the brink of bankruptcy.
  • The United States, the United Kingdom and others criticized China for the arrest of 15 pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.
  • Egged on by Donald Trump, protests took place across the United States on Saturday, as residents continued to ask state government officials to lift self-isolation restrictions.
  • The United States has 740,557 cases of COVID-19. There have been 38,979+ deatsh so far and there have been 66,648+ recoveries.

April 17

  • The prime minister said that 125 members of the Canadian Forces with medical training will be sent to Quebec to help with the crisis in care homes in the province. The request for help was made by Premier Francois Legault Thursday.
  • In the province some 2,000 doctors and other medically trained individuals have volunteered to help in the homes as well.
  • Bell Canada has donated N95 masks to the government that will be distributed to health care workers.
  • The federal government is injecting $1.7 billion to clean up orphaned and inactive wells in the west and in Newfoundland and Labrador. The goal is to create hundreds of jobs and help companies while supporting environmental goals.
  • The government will also create an emission reduction fund of $750 million focussed mainly on reducing release of methane gas. This money will go to help firms to do this work.
  • The prime minister said 10,000 jobs would be supported by the funding.
  • The Business Development Bank and the Export Development Bank will also offer credit support to oil and gas companies.
  • Small businesses in rural areas will also get help. The government will provide $962 million to regional development agencies to support these companies.
  • A further $272 million will support innovators and start-ups.
  • For the arts, culture and sports sectors, the government is offering $500 million in funding through Heritage Canada. This will include wage support and help for organizations experiencing liquidity problems.
  • Candian cities are also hurting and the federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna is seeking shovel-ready projects that can be helped by the government’s $180-billion infrastructure plan. A spokesperson for her office told iPolitics Friday that Infrastructure Canada is already accelerating project funding approvals.
  • Canadian Heritage also announced Friday that this year’s Canada Day festivities in Ottawa would be held online.
  • Canada and the United States have agreed to extend the current closure of the border to all non-essential travel for at least another month.
  • Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that the province will move to beef up high speed internet to high schools. Every high school will have it by September. There is no sign students will return to school classrooms this year.
  • Ottawa now has 21 COVID-19-related deaths. Ottawa Public Health said the new deaths were all related to outbreaks in long-term care and retirement homes, bringing the totalCOVID-19-related deaths in those facilities to 12. The city now has 728 confirmed cases.
  • The National Capital Commission will close the Queen Elizabeth Driveway between Laurier and Fifth avenues to motor vehicles from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., starting Saturday and running through April 26.
  • Canada has 31,644+ cases of COVID-19 with 1,310+ deaths and 10,349+ recoveries. About half of the deaths are residents of long term care homes.
  • Ontario has 9,525+ cases of novel coronavirus with 501+ deaths and 4,556+ recoveries.
  • The province has 104 care homes with COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • Ontario crematoriums have been ordered to prepare to operate round-the-clock to ensure that dead bodies are not “stockpiled” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bereavement Authority of Ontario, the agency that licenses and regulates funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries, issued the directive earlier this month as part of its wide-ranging response to COVID-19, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
  • Globally there are 2,216,228+ cases with 151,006+ deaths and 565,864+ recoveries.
  • The United States has 697,566+ cases with 36,501+ deaths and 58,328+ recoveries.
  • The American president has unveiled a plan to phase in a return to economic and societal activity.
  • Tokyo, Japan has reported 201 new cases of the coronavirus Friday, setting a new record for a daily rise, bringing the prefectural total to 2,796, with 56 deaths. The Japanese capital has seen its new cases shoot up since late March, raising concerns about the infections becoming explosive.
  • In China, the city of Wuhan has revised its total COVID-19 death toll up by 50 per cent. That would take China’s official total deaths to more than 4,500.
  • China’s economy is in its worst downturn since the ’70s.
  • Singapore is now experiencing a jump in COVID-19 cases among the migrant workers who live in dormitories in the island state, Reuters reports. Around 60 per cent of the 4,427 people infected on the island stay in these tiny rooms where the workers live 12 to 20 in one space.

April 16

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that federal the government is increasing access to the federal emergency loan program to businesses that spent between $20,000 and $1.5 million in payroll in 2019. The program offers $40,000 loans to businesses with $10,000 of that could be forgivable if the company can repay the balance of the loan by the end of 2022. So far, 195,000 loans worth a total of $7.5 billion have been approved
  • He also promised support for small businesses to help them pay for rent for April, May and June under a new Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program. This will involve co-operation with the provinces who have jurisdiction.
  • For the third time. Quebec has asked the federal government for help in dealing with that province’s long term care home crisis, the prime minister said. The federal government has deployed the Canadian Rangers to parts of northern and eastern Quebec in response to earlier requests from the province.
  • The prime minister said he would be talking to the premiers this evening. One of the key topics will be the crisis in long term care homes.
  • The prime minister reiterated that this is not the time to loosen the restrictions on physical distancing as provinces such as British Columbia and Saskatchewan start to think about doing just that.
  • This comes as U.S. President Donald Trump muses about loosening the limits on cross-border traffic between the two countries. Trudeau said it was too early to do that.
  • Justin Trudeau discussed a call with G7 leaders saying that all nations agreed there is a need for international co-ordination. He said there was recognition from other leaders that the World Health Organization had a role to play in this.
  • There are 678+ confirmed cases in Ottawa, up by 35 from Wednesday. Fourteen have died and 43 are in hospital, 17 of them in intensive care. So far, 275 people have recovered from the respiratory illness.
  • There are 138 cases in Gatineau and 43 in the rest of the Outaouais.
  • Ottawa Public Health is in talks with local health care partners and various levels of governments to prepare for loosening restrictions in place because of COVID-19.
  • “We’re just starting to think about what would be the priorities [for relaxing restrictions],” said Vera Etches, the city’s medical officer of health, said during a teleconference Thursday.
  • The first restrictions to be lifted will likely be for non-COVID-19 patients who had treatment or surgeries cancelled or delayed because of the pandemic, said Etches.
  • Canada has 29,930+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,191+ deaths and 9,701+ recoveries.
  • Ontario now has 8,967+ confirmed cases, with 423+ deaths and 4,194+ cases resolved.
  • The province tested more than 9,000 individuals Wednesday reaching a target set by the premier. He said that he expects testing to ramp up to 13,000 a day by the end of the month.
  • The province has also increased who gets tested to include wssential workers, cross-border workers, and people living with health-care workers, care providers and first responders.
  • People who need to be in frequent contact with the health system, including cancer patients, people undergoing dialysis, anyone pre- or post-transplant and pregnant women should be tested as soon as they develop symptoms.
  • Testing asymptomatic people is still not recommended, except for newborns whose mothers have COVID-19.
  • Ontario is also moving to up the number of available beds in hospitals. The premier said 1,035 acute care beds and 1,492 critical care beds are now available to deal with a sudden increase in COVID-19 patients.
  • Of the province’s 3,504 critical care beds, officials say about 2,811 are now equipped with ventilators, up from 1,319 available previously.
  • The premier added that he hopes about 4,200 more acute care beds will be available by the end of the month.
  • Nearly one in six workers in Ontario lost their job in March or had hours cut back sharply due to the COVID-19 crisis. More losses are likely this month, according to the Financial Accountability Office.
  • Quebec Premier François Legault says the COVID-19 outbreak is under control in Quebec’s hospitals, but in a “critical” state in the province’s long-term care homes.
  • Of those who have died of the pandemic in the province, 90 per cent are 70 and over, with an added 8.4 per cent in the 60 to 69 age bracket, the premier said in his daily briefing.
  • Seventy per cent of the dead lived in long term care residences (51 per cent), or other seniors’ residences (19.3 per cent), according to Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s public health director.
  • Quebec has 15,957+ cases of coronavirus with 630+ deaths and 2,491 recoveries.
  • The 2020 RBC Canadian Open has been cancelled. It was to begin June 11.
  • The City of Ottawa will decide by April 30 whether summer festivals such as RBC Ottawa Bluesfest and Ottawa Chamberfest will proceed.
  • Between April 3 and April 14, City of Ottawa bylaw officers had issued 74 tickets and responded to 1,916 complaints about the violation of physical distancing rules.
  • Globally there are 2,127,873+ confirmed cases with 141,454+ deaths and 540,575+ recoveries.
  • The United States leads the way with 664,201+ cases, 33,633+ deaths and 53,588+ recoveries.
  • There are positive signs in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Switzerland that COVID-19’s progress is slowing.
  • Meanwhile sustained or increased levels of infections are being seen in Britain, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia.
  • Germany has announced initial steps to reopen some shops and gradually restart schools.
  • Denmark has begun reopening schools for younger children
  • Finland has lifted a blockade of Helsinki.

April 15

  • Canada’s GDP declined by nine per cent in March, Statistics Canada reported today.
  • At the same time the Bank of Canada said it was keeping its key lending rate at .25 per cent in the midst of what it calls the worst economic downturn on record.
  • The bank estimated real GDP would fall by one to three per cent in the first quarter and would contract by 15 to 30 per cent in the second quarter, both compared with the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic brought the real estate market in Ottawa and across Canada to a halt at the end of March.
  • The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales fell last month as the pandemic caused “both buyers and sellers to increasingly retreat to the sidelines.”
  • Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says Canadians could see higher prices and less variety of food on store shelves this year.
  • Bibeau says she’s confident the country has enough food but added COVID-19 is creating challenges across the agricultural industry.
  • Labour shortages on farms and outbreaks of illness among employees at processing plants are two current issues that affect the food supply.
  • The prime minister announced an expansion of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help those earning $1,000 a month or less, seasonal workers, artists and those whose employment insurance has expired.
  • Essential workers, including those in care homes, earning less than $2,500 a month will receive a top-up from the federal government and the provinces.
  • The prime minister announced that LuminUltra of Fredericton, N.B. is ramping up production of chemicals needed for COVID test kits. The country has also received a new batch of swabs.
  • He said the federal government is working with provinces to provide help with the crisis in long term care homes.
  • The prime minister said he would be speaking with other G7 leaders about a united approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. He did not comment on Donald Trump’s decision to halt and review funding for the World Health Organization.
  • Trudeau said the U.S. President has not put pressure on Canada to cut that funding. He said Canada contributes $71 million a year to the WHO.
  • “There will be plenty of time” to reflect on what has happened during the pandemic, he said.
  • Conservative leader Andrew Scheer resumed his call for a return of Parliament to debate and discuss the federal measures to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The World Health Organization has issued guidelines for countries to follow when easing restrictions on physical distancing. Canada is not ready to meet those guidelines, the National Post reports.
  • Parks Canada has closed parks, national monuments and historic sites until May 31 at least.
  • The City of Ottawa now has 643+ confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 13 deaths.
  • Ottawa Public Health is investigating 16 COVID-19 outbreaks at hospitals, long-term care homes and group homes. Cases have been detected at the Ottawa Hospital General Campus and three outbreaks at the Montfort Hospital.
  • Ottawa officials clarified the rules on physical distancing explaining that it’s OK to meet in groups of less than five, maintaining two metres of separation. You can have a cold one on the driveway, they said.
  • There are also cases of COVID-19 involving patients and staff at the following long-term care and retirement homes Carlingview Manor, Cite Parkway, Garden Terrace, Laurier Manor, Madonna Care Community, Manoir Marochel, Maplewood Retirement Community, Montfort Long-Term Care Home, Promenade, Starwood, Villa Marconi and Waterford Retirement
  • Canada now has 28,209+ COVID-19 cases, 1,054+ deaths and 8,937+ recoveries.
  • Ontario has 8,447+ cases, 385+ deaths and 3,568+ recoveries.
  • Ontario has unveiled more information about its enhanced plan to fight COVID-19 in the province’s long-term care homes. It will include stricter testing and screening measures in homes facing outbreaks as well as ensuring the facilities are always stocked with personal protective equipment. This will begin over the next 48 hours.
  • The province will deploy teams into LTC homes from local hospitals.
  • Consideration is being given to moving residents to improve isolation standards inside the homes.
  • There are outbreaks in 114 facilities in Ontario.
  • Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says it is designing a 400-bed facility for homeless people in Toronto in its first Canadian project.
  • Quebec has issued a call for 2,000 doctors and people with medical training to help in the province’s long term care homes because of a nursing shortage. There are 142 care homes with cases of COVID-19; 41 face a critical infection. The premier, Francois Legault, has said he has asked the federal government how many Canadian Forces personnel would have the experience necessary.
  • Quebec now has 457+ deaths.
  • On the positive side, Dr. Theresa Tam says that the COVID-19 case rate is now doubling every 10 days. In late March, it was every three days. She said it was too soon to relax any mitigation efforts, however.
  • Globally there are 2,071,710+ confirmed cases with 137,029+ deaths and 507,330+ recoveries.
  • The United States leads the grim toll with 636,591+ cases, 27,808+ deaths and 50,893+ recoveries.

April 14

  • In his regular briefing the prime minister announced $130 million to help northern communities beef up their health systems and help businesses on the north.
  • He also said that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will receive $20 million to increase inspections.
  • Justin Trudeau said that four planeloads of personal protective equipment have arrived in the country and will be distributed to the provinces. He said 1.1 million N95 masks are available.
  • He said reopening the economy is being discussed but added that it will take several weeks before that happens. Any relaxation will happen in co-ordination with the provinces.
  • He said that plans are being finalized on rent support for small businesses and more help for students. These will be announced in coming days.
  • The government is strengthening the Quarantine Act orders enforcing self-isolation on those entering the country. The new measures will come into effect at midnight. These orders appear to have temporary foreign workers in mind. Arrivals will have to have an acceptable self-isolation plan otherwise they will be put in isolation in accredited locations.
  • The prime minister says that the government was receiving briefings on the pandemic at the end of January and began preparations then.
  • The prime minister defended federal health officials from criticism directed by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney who said his province will not wait for Health Canada to approve treatments and tests.
  • Kenney also took aim at Dr. Theresa Tam for being slow to act on the coming pandemic and for parroting Chinese officials on the virus. Justin Trudeau said he would continue to take advice from the “wonderful” Dr. Tam.
  • Canada has 26,897+ confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 898+ deaths. There have been 8,173 recoveries.
  • Ontario has 7,953+ confirmed cases with 483+ deaths and 3,357 recoveries.
  • In Ottawa there are 619 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 12 deaths. Forty-two patients are in hospital with COVID-19, 16 of whom are in intensive care. It’s now taking 12 days for the number of cases in Ottawa hospitals to double, up from the three- to four-day doubling when the city was first hit with coronavirus.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, P.E.I. hasn’t had a confirmed case of COVID-19 in five days and Manitoba, Newfoundland and New Brunswick have not had a confirmed case today.
  • In a rare sitting, the Ontario legislature has extended the provincial state of emergency by 28 days to May 12.
  • Students will not return to class on May 4 in Ontario.
  • Calling the situation in long term care homes a wildfire of COVID-19, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the province will ask hospitals to create infection SWAT teams to go into care homes in crisis. He also ended the practice of employees working in multiple homes. And he says testing will ramp up in LTC homes.
  • Premier Ford’s mother-in-law is in the West Park Long-Term Care home where at least five deaths have happened.
  • Half of the COVID-19 deaths have been happening in long term care homes including the Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke where 25 COVID-19 deaths have happened.
  • The prime minister says the federal government is in talks with the provinces about ways to support the staffing in long term care homes including wage top-ups to keep workers working.
  • There now have been 18 deaths and there are 36 confirmed cases in a long term care home in Almonte. Two more people have died of COVID-19 at the Stoneridge Manor long-term care home in Carleton Place where 29 residents and 19 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Carlingview Manor is one of 15 institutions in Ottawa with an outbreak of COVID-19. It reported two cases today.
  • In Dorval, a suburb of Montreal, 31 people have died at one long-term facility, CHSLD Herron. Both Montreal police and a provincial coroner have opened investigations.
  • The IMF said Tuesday that it expects the global economy to shrink three per cent this year — far worse than its 0.1 per cent dip in the Great Recession year of 2009 — before rebounding in 2021 with 5.8 per cent growth. Prospects for a rebound next year are uncertain, however.
  • Canada will experience a contraction of 6.2 per cent this year followed by growth of 4.2 per cent in 2021, the IMF says.
  • The IMF is calling this economic shock the Great Lockdown.
  • Late Tuesday afternoon during a daily briefing the U.S. President cut his country’s funding to the World Health Organization.
  • There are 1,956,077+ confirmed cases globally with 125,123+ deaths and 471,469 recoveries.

April 13

  • Health Canada has approved the use of a portable, rapid-testing device for COVID-19 made by the Ottawa biotech company Spartan Bioscience. It can have a result in an hour. A second version of the test will cut that time in half.
  • The Conservative party is proposing using banks and credit unions to speed up delivery of the $73 billion federal wage subsidy benefit for businesses. The federal government has been saying it will take a month for this money to flow. Not good enough, says Tory finance critic Pierre Poilievre.
  • Marie-Claude Bibeau, the federal minister of agriculture, has announced support to help farmers and other food processors quarantine temporary farm workers who are needed for the planting season. Employers will get $1,500 per worker to help meet the costs of the quarantine.
  • Deb Schulte, minister for seniors, released guidelines to help protect the residents of long-term care homes including limiting volunteering to essential work, making anyone entering a residence wear a mask, serving meals in solitude and ensuring that carers work at one facility only. The homes are provincial responsibilities. The guidelines are issued to help.
  • There now have been 16 deaths and there are 36 confirmed cases in a long term care home in Almonte. Two more people have died of COVID-19 at the Stoneridge Manor long-term care home in Carleton Place.
  • In Dorval, a suburb of Montreal, 31 people have died at one long-term facility, CHSLD Herron. Both Montreal police and a provincial coroner have opened investigations.
  • Quebec has placed an additional five private long-term care homes under watch, the Globe and Mail reports. 
  • In Halifax, a large nursing home has seen a spike in COVID-19 infections.
  • Toronto Public Health says 23 homeless people in seven different facilities have tested positive for the virus.
  • Almost half the COVID-19 deaths in Canada have been linked to a long-term care facility, Dr. Theresa Tam says.
  • Quebec has 12,846+ confirmed cases with 328+ deaths and 1,341 recoveries.
  • COVID-19 cases in Canada stand at 25,599+ with 778+ deaths and 7,681+ recoveries. Some 422,000 people have been tested; more than five per cent have the virus.
  • Ontario has seen 7,470+ cases with 291+ deaths and 2,574+ recoveries.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the state of emergency in the province will be extended another 28 days.
  • The City of Ottawa has seen another 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for a total of 586 cases.
  • Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec have more than 1,100 confirmed cases.
  • The United States now has 580,097 confirmed cases with 23,068 deaths (10,000+ alone in New York State) and 43,130 recoveries.
  • Globally there are 1,905,935+ confirmed cases with 118,623+ deaths and 446,336+ recoveries.
  • OPEC and other producing nations have agreed to an oil production cut of 10 million barrels a day, despite that stock markets were down.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is recovering at his Chequers home.

April 11

  • Ontario has extended its emergency measures until at least April 23. Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants are closed, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging.
  • Ontario health officials report the provincial total of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 6,648+. There were also 31 new deaths reported, the highest toll so far, for a total of 253+.
  • The province also has reported 79+ outbreaks, with 625+ resident cases, in long-term care facilities and 20+ in hospitals. There have been 108+ deaths in the LTC outbreaks.
  • The City of Ottawa is now seeing 524+ cases. Eleven people have died. Ten were over the age of 65 years and one was 45-64 years old. Seven are male and four are females.
  • There are 37+ people in hospital with the virus, with 13+ are in intensive care.
  • In Canada, officials said Saturday there are 23,318+ confirmed cases of COVID-19, which have resulted in 653+ deaths 6,458 have recovered. More than 400,000+ people have been tested for the virus, or about five per cent of the population.
  • There are more than 900 confirmed cases in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Thirteen deaths in the region have been linked to COVID-19.
  • Parliament met to pass legislation that will deliver the Wage Subsidy Benefit to Canadian businesses, small and large. The subsidy of up to 75 per cent of an employee’s wage is expected to cost the treasury about $73 billion. A small number of MPs, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Quebec leader Yves-François Blanchet debated the legislation. The House of Commons passed the bill this afternoon. The Senate will vote tonight after which it will get Royal Assent.
  • The United States has passed Italy to become the country with the most coronavirus deaths. However, as a proportion of the total population in the U.S., virus deaths remain at about one-sixth of those in hard-hit Italy or Spain, USA Today reports
  • More than 20,456 Americans have died due to complications from the coronavirus as of Saturday, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University dashboard.  There are 529,768+ confirmed cases.
  • Italy’s death toll was at 19,468+ and Spain, the nation with the third-most fatalities, had 16,606+ reported deaths. Worldwide, the death count has surpassed 102,136+.

April 10

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened his Good Friday morning briefing by encouraging everyone to celebrate Easter at home. He said he was taking Sunday and Monday to be with his family and will not hold a briefing.
  • On Saturday, the prime minister will brief the nation from inside the House of Commons. The House is meeting to debate and then vote on the “largest economic measure Canada has seen since World War II”, said Trudeau in his briefing. There will be a limited number of MPs in attendance: 14 Liberals, 11 Conservatives, 3 Bloc Quebecois MPs, 3 NDP MPs and 1 Green.
  • The $73-billion wage subsidy will help Canadian businesses keep staff on salary and will provide 75 per cent of wages. 
  • Trudeau also mentioned businesses could access the Canada Emergency Business Account, which provides an interest-free bank loan of up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profit companies that have seen their revenues drop due to COVID-19.
  • Trudeau said there are new proposals being reviewed to provide adequate protection in long-term care homes.
  • The RCMP will now be verifying quarantine orders. “Recklessly” failing to comply could result in a $1-million dollar fine and three years in prison, Global News reported
  • 27,000 people have registered to volunteer to work on in the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, Trudeau said.
  • Federal and provincial health officials are recruiting small armies of staff and examining technology options such as cell phone location data as they ramp up Canada’s capacity to do contact tracing once the first wave ebbs, the National Post reports.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in “extremely good spirits” despite still showing strong symptoms of COVID-19. The British government has confirmed another 300+ deaths and 65,872 confirmed cases.
  • Millions of Christians are observing Good Friday services at home through remote service online while clergy preach to cameras in empty churches. The BBC is showing images around the world.
  • A court in eastern Germany has ruled that locals can go to the Baltic coast this Easter weekend, despite the nation’s coronavirus lockdown. The court said the regional government’s travel ban was “disproportionate” in curbing people’s local freedom. Locals are still urged to remain two meters (6.6 feet) away from each other. People from other regions are banned from entering, the BBC reported
  • To speed up the CERB claim process, the Carla Qualtrough said in a daily news conference that all claims will be approved and income documentation won’t be required during the application, but everything will be reviewed later on, as reported by Global News.
  • Ontario is increasing its testing rate after being criticized for being the province with the lowest per capita testing rate. Priority will go to hospital patients, residents of long-term care facilities and retirement homes, health care employees and other frontline workers, and Indigenous Canadians, as reported by the Ottawa Citizen.
  • Ottawa’s Jordan Harding has distributed more than 500 bottles of hand sanitizer for free to those at risk, such as doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists. Uber drivers, restaurant workers and grocery store employees are also on the list of high-need individuals. You can sign up to get a bottle or donate at handsan.ca.
  • Ottawa area hospitals are quickly emptying beds, expanding capacity and coordinating services in preparation for an influx of COVID-19 patients, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
  • Ottawa Public Health says there are now 494+ lab-confirmed cases in Ottawa. Nine people have died.
  • There are 6,237+ cases in Ontario, 222+ deaths and 2,574+ recoveries.
  • There are 21,243+ cases in Canada, 531+ deaths and 5,580+ recoveries.
  • Globally, there are 1,681,964+ cases, 102,026+ deaths and 374,509+ recoveries.

April 9

  • The House of Commons will sit on Saturday from 12:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. to pass legislation updating and expanding the wage subsidy program, CTV reported.
  • Canada has renegotiated its arms deal with Saudi Arabia amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will now allow for controlled goods, including military equipment, to be shipped to the region, CTV reported.
  • British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has left intensive care as he continues to recover from COVID-19. Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago and had been in intensive care for three days after his symptoms worsened, CBC reported.
  • One hundred days have passed since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in China.
  • More than a million jobs were lost in March due to COVID-19, pushing the jobless rate up to 7.8 per cent, published Statistics Canada in their monthly Labour Force Survey.  The sample week was March 15-21.
  • So far this week more than four million applications for the new Canada Emergency Relief Benefit have been processed, Justin Trudeau said in his daily morning briefing
  • “We won’t have a normal life until there’s a vaccine,” he said Thursday morning in answering questions about the projections made by the federal government about the scope and duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The Prime Minister encouraged citizens to stay at home, especially this Easter weekend.
  • Federal projections released by Health Canada Thursday morning, predict that between 4,000 and 50,000 Canadians could die from COVID-19 in the next few months. These figures depend on the infection rate in the country ranging between one per cent and 10 per cent, CTV reports. Officials suggest that the current projections show an infection rate of 2.5 per cent and a range of 11,000 to 22,000 deaths.
  • Without the physical distancing the death toll could have reached 300,000, officials said.
  • Public Health officials said that the peak of the curve could arrive in late spring or early summer with the end of the first wave of the pandemic happening in summer. The officials said that first wave would be followed by other smaller outbreaks, meaning the measures such as physical distancing, testing and contact tracing need to be maintained.
  • The projections see 500 to 700 deaths by April 16.
  • Ten deaths and 20 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Almonte Country Haven a long-term care home in the municipality of Mississippi Mills after an outbreak. There are 82 residents living at the home, CTV reported
  • In Ottawa, there are now 458 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths — a jump of 29 new cases and two new deaths since the previous day.
  • Ottawa has opened its second COVID-19 care clinic.
  • There has been a new outbreak of COVID-19 at the Montfort Long-Term Care Home on Montreal Road.
  • The unemplyment rate in Ottawa was 5.1 per cent in March up from 4.7 per cent in February.
  • There are 5,759+ cases in Ontario with 215+ deaths and 2,305+ recovered.
  • There are 20,703+ cases in Canada, 504+ deaths and 5,218+ recovered.
  • Quebec has recorded its largest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths, for a total 216+ to date. Nearly half of the deaths in the province have occurred in long-term care homes.
  • Quebec is also the province with the highest number of confirmed cases with 10,912+.
  • The World Health Organizations (WHO) is warning there is a growing tide of fake treatments for COVID-19 in developing countries, BBC reports.

April 8

  • Justin Trudeau began his daily briefing address by recognizing the Canadian Jewish community. Passover begins at sundown today. “I know staying in tonight and not gathering with extended family will be hard but it’s the best way to keep your loved ones safe.” This is also Easter week and Canadian Christians are being urged to stay home and stay physically distanced during Good Friday and Easter
  • The prime minister announced changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program to help students who don’t qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
  • Students can now be hired part-time, the end date of employment has been extended and employers will receive up to 100 per cent of the minimum hourly wage for each employee.
  • Concerns are being expressed about older students not being part of the summer jobs program.
  • Trudeau also announced some tweaks to the CERB. Businesses originally had to show a 30 per cent loss of revenue this year compared to last year, but they now only have to show a 15 per cent decline in the month of March and can opt to use January and February as a point of reference for revenue losses.
  • Charities can choose to include or exclude government funding when calculating revenue loss.
  • Some CERB applicants reported receiving more than $2,000. Jean-Yves Duclos, the president of the Treasury Board explained that if people received two payments, one is a retroactive payment for March and the second is for the month of April.
  • So far, 3.87 million CERB claims have been processed.
  • The prime minister left his house for the first time in about a month to attend a cabinet meeting this afternoon. He said he will still mostly work from home and is exploring virtual options for future meetings.
  • Trudeau confirmed that 500,000 N95 masks from 3M, previously held at the border by the US, arrived in Canada last night.
  • B.C. Premier John Hogan said more extensive airport screening will be announced this afternoon to ensure travellers have concrete plans to self-quarantine upon their return. He said he expects other provinces will follow suit.
  • Ontario saw its highest jump in cases in a single day so far, reporting 550 new cases and 21 more deaths, as reported by Global News.
  • The province announced five measures, including more inspections, to ensure workplace safety for essential workers.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he was displeased about the low numbers of COVID-19 tests and has directed that 13,000 Ontarians now must be tested daily. “We have to make this happen,” he said. The province is now testing an average of about 3,000 tests a day.
  • Ford also announced the province will accelerate essential construction projects like new hospital builds and expansions. With work hours extended, construction will be permitted at all hours, as reported by Global News.
  • Doug Ford said grocery stores and pharmacies in Ontario will close Friday and Sunday this long weekend so essential workers get a break. “They have been working day and night for weeks to keep the food and medicine we need on the shelves,” said Ford. “One way we are saying ‘thank you,’ is making sure they have this Friday and Sunday off.” Global News.
  • The Ontario’s registered nurses’ association is calling for the province to restrict the number of health-care staff that can work in long-term care homes during the pandemic, as reported by Global News.
  • Quebec has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases with 10,031+. So far the province has seen 150+ deaths.
  • A quarter of Canadians are not taking social distancing seriously, according to a new poll, Global News reports.
  • The City of Gatineau extended its shutdown of events to May 4, in accordance with Quebec emergency measures, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
  • Traffic will be limited on Byron Avenue between Redwood and Golden Avenues starting tomorrow, to make more room for pedestrians as the weather warms up and people take a break from social distancing to get some fresh air, the Ottawa Sun reports.
  • ONroute is offering free coffee to truck drivers today to show appreciation for their work maintaining supply chains across the country.
  • Dr. Vera Etches, the Ottawa’s medical officer of health said the city could have between 11,000 to 34,000 cases of COVID-19, as reported by the Ottawa Citizen.
  • Ottawa Public Health announced one death and 26 new cases this afternoon, bringing the city’s totals to seven deaths and 429 confirmed cases.
  • There are 5,276+ cases in Ontario, 174+ deaths and 1,802+ recoveries.
  • There are 19,231+ cases in Canada, 430+ deaths and 4,620+ recoveries.
  • Globally, there are 1,500,830+ cases, 87,706+ deaths and 317,855+ recoveries.

April 7

  • The prime minister concentrated on medical supplies during his daily briefing from Ottawa.
  • He said Canada should receive shipment of 500,000 masks Wednesday at 3 p.m.
  • Justin Trudeau also said that hundreds of Canadian companies have offered to help produce a range of personal protective equipment from gowns to face shields to ventilators.
  • During his morning briefing, he said some 30,000 ventilators are being manufactured in Canada.
  • More that a million Canadians have applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Today people born in April, May or June were able to apply. On Wednesday, people born in July, August and September get their turn.
  • Justin Trudeau and other world leaders wished Boris Johnson, U.K. Prime Minister, a speedy recovery on Twitter. The British prime minister is in intensive care suffering from symptoms of coronavirus. He is not on a ventilator, although he has received oxygen, the British government says.
  • Public health experts with the Quebec government are projecting between 1,200 and 9,000 people could die of COVID-19 by the end of April. The officials hasten to add they believe the current trajectory for mortalities is toward the lower end of that range, CBC reports. Quebec has 150+ COVID-19 deaths and 9,340+ confirmed cases.
  • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney released his province’s COVID-19 pandemic projections. He says the provincial curve is more like South Korea’s than the U.S. The worst case scenario projects 6,600 deaths by the end of summer. The best case and more probable scenario predicts 400 to 3,100 deaths with the curve peaking in mid-May, Kenney said. 
  • The Alberta premier is also warning the unemployment rate in the province could hit 25 per cent as the province experiences collapsing oil prices and a deep recession that will raise the provincial deficit to $20 billion.
  • Nova Scotia has recorded its first COVID-19 death.
  • Canada has 17,833+ confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 399+ deaths with 3,942+ recoveries.
  • Ontario has 4,726+ cases with 153+ deaths and 1,624+ recoveries.
  • The province has released more than 1,900 inmates.
  • Ottawa Public Health in its latest release says it is investigating 403 lab-confirmed cases  in the community and seven outbreaks in institutions. There are 56 resolved cases. There are 30 in hospital, 14 in ICU. Six have died; five were over 65 years and one was 45-64 years old. Three of the dead are males and three females. CTV reports there are outbreaks in several institutions including: Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, Ottawa Hospital General Campus, Montfort Hospital “Ancillary Staff”, Montfort Hospital “3C”, Park Place Retirement Residence, Promenade Retirement Residence in Orleans, Garden Terrace long-term care home on Aird Place in Kanata, Maplewood Retirement Community on Industrial Avenue, Ottawa Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities – Settlers Ridge and Manoir Marochel on Montreal Road.
  • The City of Toronto has recalled $200K worth of surgical masks given to care homes because they do not meet standards.
  • Paris banned all daytime jogging to keep people from bending the lockdown rules. The country has now 10,000+ COVID-19 deaths, CTV reports.
  • The Ottawa Redblacks will have a late start to their season, along with the rest of the CFL.
  • New mothers with suspected COVID-19 can still breastfeed their babies according to both the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), CTV reports.
  • After reporting no new deaths in China, the city of Wuhan has lifted their lockdown, citizens can now leave their homes for the first time since Jan. 23, BBC reports.

April 6

  • More than 300,000 Canadians have applied to the COVID-19 emergency benefits program. Applications opened today and the benefit will provide $2,000 a month for four months for those eligible. CTV reports.
  • In the coming days, the federal government will announce how more Canadians will be covered by the emergency benefit, Justin Trudeau said. This would include gig workers, contract workers and students, who don’t currently qualify, according to CBC.
  • Trudeau also put a call out for volunteers to help Health Canada with data collection, case tracking and contact tracing of COVID-19.
  • The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre is opening a temporary urgent-care clinic today to reduce the need for those struggling to go to emergency rooms amid the pandemic, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
  • Essential medical supplies like respirators, masks and gloves are set to continue arriving in Canada this week, even as some provinces, such as Ontario, warn they are days away from running out, CTV said.
  • Premier Doug Ford says Ontario has a one-week supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) due to delays in global shipments and “recent restrictions” at the U.S. border, CP24 reports.
  • “That’s why we have taken steps to ramp up Ontario-based manufacturing of critical PPE. Many of these Ontario-based supplies are weeks away from being in the hands of frontline health care workers,” Ford’s statement read. “In the meantime, we are desperately counting on the fulfillment of shipments that Ontario has placed through the federal government’s bulk purchasing program.”
  • Ontario is also offering parents of children a one-time payment of $200 per child, $250 for children with special needs.
  • Speaking of masks, Canada’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Theresa Tam says, after review, that Canadians could consider using cloth masks when they venture out in public to prevent infecting others that people come in contact with.
  • The federal government said ministers are continuing to talk with the U.S. administration to ensure that crucial orders of personal protective equipment are able to cross the border.
  • A man was fined $880 over the weekend for failing to comply with the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, while walking his dog through Britannia Park, as reported by the Ottawa Citizen.
  • E-learning is beginning in Ontario, CTV reports.
  • Ontario dairy farmers are starting to dump excess milk as restaurant and commercial demand stops, CBC reports.
  • The NHL might start back up in August without fans in the stands, according to CBC.
  • The City of Ottawa has placed 4,000 part-time employees on a temporary leave of absence without pay, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
  • The city has also shutdown festivals and other events until June 30. This affects events such as Tulip Festival and the Ottawa Jazz Festival. Canada Day festivities will also be affected.
  • Mayor Jim Watson said the city is losing about $1 million a day during this crisis.
  • More than 56,000 people gathered on Parliament Hill to celebrate Canada Day last year, but Canadian Heritage is unsure whether the celebration will go on this time around, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s COVID-19 is now in intensive care, as his symptoms have worsened, according to Bloomberg.
  • Some military personnel have expressed concern about a mask shortage and others have complained about not being allowed to wear masks on the job, but the Canadian Military took inventory and said they’re confident they have enough.
  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology released a report saying pink eye and conjunctivitis may be an overlooked symptom of COVID-19 and a way for it to spread, CTV reports.
  • Ottawa Public Health says there are now 370+ lab-confirmed cases in Ottawa. Six people have died.
  • There are 4,347+ cases in Ontario, 132+ deaths and 1,624+ recoveries.
  • There are 16,544+ cases in Canada, 322+ deaths and 3,534+ recoveries.
  • Globally, there are 1,331,032+ cases, 73,917+ deaths and 275,851+ recoveries.

April 5

  • Canada’s House of Commons is looking at taking its debates virtual as COVID-19 is expected to prevent a return as planned on April 20, CTV news reports.
  • The Canadian government says it will not retaliate against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to block the export of N95 masks. The prime minister says that he expects to speak with Trump soon and that Canadian officials were having “very constructive” discussions with the U.S. administration, the National Post reports.
  • Dr. Theresa Tam says efforts are underway to see if N95 masks can be decontaminated. Typically these masks have been throw away after one use. Tam urged hospitals to hang on to their used masks.
  • Queen Elizabeth delivered a hopeful message Sunday afternoon to the U.K. and Commonwealth about the coronavirus pandemic. “If we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it … We will meet again,” she said.
  • Meanwhile British PM Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital. He is suffering from COVID-19.
  • During his daily briefing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told military reservists that there are available paid positions with the Canadian Forces if they wish to join.
  • The prime minister also reminded Canadians that they could start applying for the emergency relief benefit on Monday. The government would like applications to be staggered starting with those born in January, February and March on Monday and so on.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford says that the province will soon have its own supply of masks that he calls N96 according to a report.
  • Canadians aboard a COVID-19 stricken cruise ship are expected to start coming home today. The Coral Princess arrived in Miami Saturday with 97 Canadian passengers and two Canadian crew members aboard, and Princess Cruises said disembarkation of guests who are fit to fly would begin Sunday, CTV news reports.
  • Ottawa Public Health says there are now 345 lab-confirmed cases in Ottawa with four deaths.
  • There are also six outbreaks at various institutions in the city, including at the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus.
  • There are 109+ cases in the Outaouais.
  • In Canada there are 15,407+ confirmed cases, 277+ deaths and 2,847+ recoveries.
  • Ontario has some 4,038+ confirmed cases with 139+ deaths and 1,219+ recoveries. There are 6,997+ confirmed cases in Quebec with 94+ deaths and 306+ recoveries.
  • Globally there are 1,260,104+ confirmed cased of COVID-19. There have been 68,413 deaths. There have been 258,888+ recoveries.

April 4

  • The number of confirmed cases world-wide has passed 1.1 million, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker. As of noon Saturday, the countries with the highest number are the U.S. (278,943), Spain (124,736) and Italy (119,827). Italy is reporting the highest number of deaths at nearly 15,000.
  • Ontario is reporting 27 new deaths as of April 3 and Ottawa is reporting 20 new cases, for a total of 309.
  • As noon Saturday, the number of confirmed cases in Canada was 12,938, with Quebec still reporting the highest number.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new measures this morning to help Canada’s most most vulnerable, including funding for shelters and sexual assault centres.

April 3

  • Ontario is forecasting that between 3,000 and 15,000 people in the province will die because of the COVID-19 pandemic with the current measures that are in place. Without the current measures, the forecast is closer to 100,000 in the next 18-24 months.
  • The province added that current safety measures have prevented 4,400 deaths already, but they expect 1,600 deaths by the end of April if stricter measures aren’t taken.
  • The forecast predicts 80,000 cases of COVID-19 in the province by April 30, with the pandemic potentially lasting 18 months to two years.
  • In today’s briefing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that $100 million is being put toward getting food for Canadians who are struggling to do so on their own. This will support food banks among other services.
  • Trudeau also announced that the military will be deployed to Quebec’s north to help battle COVID-19. Quebec is the first province to ask for military assistance.
  • Ottawa Public Health has confirmed 29 new cases today, bringing the city’s total to 281. Three have died.
  • A Shoppers Drug Mart employee in Kanata has tested positive for COVID-19, according to CTV Ottawa. The employee last worked on March 25 and received their results on Thursday night.
  • Ontario had 462 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths, bringing the total to 3,255 with 67 deaths.
  • There are 12,374 confirmed cases in Canada with 178 deaths. 2,190 people have recovered.
  • The United States has 269, 557 cases, including 6,907 deaths.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top medical expert on COVID-19 in the U.S., says that every state should issue a stay-at-home order, according to CNN.
  • 3M, the company that produces N95 masks, has been under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to stop exporting masks to Canada, according to CBC News. 3M added that if this were to happen, other countries may retaliate and stop sending medical supplies to the United States. The prime minister said that Canada is in talks with the U.S. administration to prevent this from happening.
  • Justin Trudeau said that there are hundreds of health care workers who cross the border each day to work in U.S. hospitals. He also noted that Canada supplies the U.S. with other critical materials daily.
  • International medical graduates who have graduated within the last two years or have passed exams to practice in Canada can apply for a supervised 30-day Ontario license to help fight COVID-19, according to CBC News.

April 2

  • Ottawa has seen another alarming increase of COVID-19 infections, adding 58 new cases on Thursday for a total of 252 confirmed cases in the city. There have been three deaths.
  • The office of Capital Ward Coun. Shawn Menard has created a webpage to help citizens navigate COVID-19 in the capital. The councillor says it will be updated regularly.
  • Canada has 11,116 cases with 134 deaths, 1,891 recovered. Some 256,000+ people have been tested, says Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief medical officer of health, about 3.4 per cent have the illness.
  • Ontario has 2,850 cases, with 85 deaths.
  • Gatineau police have begun turning around visitors from outside the province as the provincial travel ban is implemented. Ottawa police are not yet fining people for breaking lockdown rules.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford urged the federal government to consider cross-border travel in the Ottawa-Gatineau region so that essential goods and services can flow.
  • Ontario has pledged $14 million for mental health supports.
  • Toronto Mayor John Tory has moved to toughen enforcement of social distancing in his city by passing a new bylaw with fines. If ticketed and subsequently convicted, residents can face fines of up to $5,000, Global News reports.
  • The prime minister said in his morning briefing that about a million masks were received overnight. That’s makes 10 million masks received this week. He also said Bauer, the hockey equipment company, is now making face shields for health care workers. Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Wednesday that Canada “likely did not have enough” personal protective gear in the national stockpile. “To your question about whether we had enough — no, we likely did not have enough. I think federal governments for decades have been under-funding things like public health preparedness.”
  • Justin Trudeau said Canadians aboard a cruise ship that is currently near Florida are to be repatriated on a charter flight.
  • The prime minister said he would be speaking with premiers to get a sense of the national effort against COVID-19. Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his province would brief citizens Friday about the COVID-19 numbers. It will be “stark,” he said.
  • The global number of cases is now 1,002,159 with 51,485 deaths and 208,949 recoveries. The United States now has at least 240,120 cases, and more than 5,794 deaths. 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment insurance last week. Vice-President Mike Pence says current models project as many as 240,000 people may die from coronavirus in the states. He also says that the U.S. is on Italy’s path.
  • Restaurants Canada reported more than 800,000 restaurant jobs were lost in Canada with one in 10 restaurants already being closed, and one in five expecting to close, according to Global News. These are the worst losses they have seen in 75 years.
  • There are some reports that suggest the federal deficit could be $140 billion as a result of COVID-19.
  • Shopify, a popular Ottawa e-commerce platform, has announced it will suspend its financial outlook past March 31 as the Canadian economy struggles.

April 1

  • Ottawa Public Health reported the city’s biggest jump in cases as 50 new cases were confirmed on Wednesday, according to CTV Ottawa. There are 194 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa with three deaths.
  • Ottawa Public Health says those diagnosed with COVID-19 in the city range from two to 97, with the average age being 47.
  • The Ottawa Senators have confirmed four new cases of COVID-19 on the team. The Senators’ statement didn’t reveal whether those testing positive were players or staff members, but it now brings the organization’s total to six cases. CBC Sports has the full story.
  • Canada has 9,659 cases and 112 deaths. The country’s top health official Dr. Theresa Tam says around 250,000 tests have been completed, with 95 per cent of them coming back negative and 3.7 per cent being positive.
  • The United States now has at least 211,408 cases, along with 4,718 deaths.
  • Atlantic Canada’s fertility clinics have stopped in-person treatment due to COVID-19, according to CBC News.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he intends to recall Parliament soon to reassess the COVID-19 effort. “Canada hasn’t seen this type of civic mobilization since the Second World War,” he said.
  • Justin Trudeau said that as of April 6, Canadians can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. However, Canadians cannot apply if they’re already collecting the 75 per cent wage subsidy.
  • Ontario has now reached 2,392 cases, included 41 deaths. The number of cases is up by 426 from the previous day. So far, 33 deaths in nursing homes in the province have been linked to COVID-19.
  • Public Safety Minister Bill Blair wants prisons and parole boards to consider an early release for some federal prisoners to help lessen the impact of COVID-19 in correctional facilities, according to CBC News.
  • An OC Transpo bus driver has tested positive for COVID-19. No details of the driver have been given for privacy reasons, but Transportation General Manager John Manconi said that the driver first developed symptoms on March 20 and was tested the next day. CTV Ottawa reports.
  • Ottawa bylaw officers have responded to complaints about birthday bashes and joggers as people drop a dime on potential delinquents in this new era of physical distancing, the Ottawa Citizen says.
  • The Quebec Government has announced that as of 12 p.m. today, police spot checks have been placed around the Outaouais region to limit non-essential travel between regions and provinces, according to CTV Ottawa. This affects bridge traffic between Ottawa and Gatineau.
  • More than two million Canadians have applied for EI.
  • Bruce Power has donated 600,000 PPEs to the province of Ontario for health care workers.
  • CNN Reports that new data estimates that 25 per cent to 50 per cent of COVID-19 carriers are asymptomatic.
  • Wimbledon, the oldest tennis championship tournament in the world, has been cancelled due to COVID-19. The 134th edition of the tournament will be held from June 28 to July 11, 2021, according to ESPN.
  • Concerts by Justin Bieber and Gordon Lightfoot scheduled for later this year have been postponed. The Ottawa run of the musical Hamilton has been postponed until Nov. 24.
  • For the first time since the Second World War, the Wimbledon tennis tournament has been cancelled.

March 31

  • A third person has died from COVID-19 in Ottawa. The last two people to have died from the virus were a man and a woman in their 80s. Both lived at the Promenade retirement residence on Rossignol Drive in Orléans, Global News reports.
  • Carleton University has announced its first case of COVID-19. The identity of the employee has not been revealed.
  • Prison guards at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre refused to work their morning shift over lack of COVID-19 mitigation measures, according to the Toronto Star.
  • Ottawa Public Health says there are 14 more cases of COVID-19 in the city, bringing the total to 144, 21 are in hospital and six are in an ICU bed. The agency says there are likely hundreds of cases in the city that have not been captured by testing.
  • Ottawa bylaw officers will now enforce social distancing laws, such as gatherings of more than five people and businesses that remain illegally open, according to CBC.
  • Ottawa transit officials are scaling back service, CBC says.
  • Ontario has confirmed 260 more cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,985. The death toll is 36.
  • The death toll at the Pinecrest retirement home in Bobcaygeon, Ontario is now 13, including one volunteer.
  • Ontario schools will remain closed until May 4, the government said today. Teachers will be called back May 1.
  • The Ontario government has announced the closure of all outdoor recreational amenities, public and private, including sports fields, beaches, off-leash dog parks, and outdoor picnic areas. Green spaces in parks and other outdoor sites can remain open for walkthrough access, though users have to maintain a distance of two metres from others.
  • The Ontario government has urged people to not return to their cottages or summer homes to social distance.
  • At his morning briefing, Justin Trudeau announced the federal government will spend $2 billion to buy personal protective equipment to support health care workers. The federal government has also contracted companies to produce PPEs.
  • The federal government has purchased 157 million surgical masks and more than 60 million N95 masks, used by health-care professional to stop the spread of COVID-19. There are also 1,570 ventilators on order, with officials looking to secure 4,000 more.
  • Canada’s chief public health officer says there have now been 236,000 tests in Canada for COVID-19. Dr. Theresa Tam says 3.5 per cent are confirmed positive, and more than 93 per cent confirmed negative.
  • A Canada Post union has asked the public to disinfect mailboxes to prevent workers from getting sick, the Toronto Star says.
  • The Toronto Stock Exchange has posted its worst quarter since the 2008 crash
  • There are 8,484 confirmed cases across Canada, including 95 deaths. This was led by a spike of new cases in Quebec where six more people have died and 732 new cases have been confirmed raising the total number to 4,162. The total number of deaths in Quebec is 31
  • Premier Francois Legault thanked Ontario Premier Doug Ford for transferring needed equipment to his province. Ford said Ontario had provided leads on new gear to Quebec.
  • The city of Toronto has cancelled festivals and events until the end of June. This includes the annual Pride parade.
  • White House officials say they will not station troops at the border, according to CBC. Talks will continue until Friday.
  • There have been 3,431 deaths in the United States with 184,183 confirmed cases. New York City remains the most severely affected centre from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • There are 823,479 confirmed cases globally with 40,617 deaths.

March 30

  • Ottawa Public Health announced on Monday that a second person has died from COVID-19 in the city. The person lived in a retirement home in Orléans, but details surrounding age and gender have not been released.
  • Ottawa Public Health also added that eight more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total to 130, according to CBC. The agency says there are likely hundreds of cases in the city that have not been captured by testing.
  • CTV Ottawa reports that Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced that there will a dedicated team of bylaw officers who have the power to issue fines to those in gatherings of more than five people; restaurants offering dine-in services and non-essential businesses that refuse to close.
  • The Ottawa Race Weekend has been cancelled due to COVID-19. It was supposed to happen May 23-24. There are no refunds available, according to CBC. Runners have been offered spots in a virtual race “where they’ll determine their own route and run or walk their chosen distance through their own neighbourhood.”
  • World Health Organization officials announced that people should only wear masks if they are sick or are caring for someone who is, according to CNN. WHO added that there isn’t any evidence suggesting “there is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit.”
  • In a briefing, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that Ontarians should be prepared to see a surge in COVID-19 cases over the next few weeks, resulting in shortage of medical equipment.
  • After seeing many people out during the weekend, Ford said that he wouldn’t hesitate to order a mandatory stay-at-home order if the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health advises it. He said fines and snitch lines are under consideration.
  • The Ontario government set aside $5 million more to help companies deliver essential goods. The total is now $10 million.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced more details about the emergency financial aid announced last week. He said that large and small businesses and non-profit organizations who see a drop in revenue of at least 30 per cent will qualify for the 75 per cent wage subsidy. Ottawa will now cover up to 75 per cent on the first $58,700 an employee earns regardless of the size of the company. 
  • The subsidy payment will be retroactive to March 15. Trudeau said the estimated fiscal cost of the program will be announced on Tuesday.
  • The Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said up to 24,000 Canadian soldiers could be mobilized if needed to help with the COVID-19 emergency or any other emergency the occurs.
  • There are 7,319 confirmed or presumptive cases across Canada, including 82 deaths.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador recorded its first COVID-19 death. While there isn’t a lot of information on the man yet, sources told CBC News that he was a retired man and that his health deteriorated quickly after being hospitalized.
  • Nine seniors died of COVID-19-linked complications at an Ontario nursing home 150 kilometres north of Toronto last week. At least 34 out of 66 staff members at the facility reported feeling some of the COVID-19 symptoms last week.
  • The number of cases in Ontario has increased to 1,706 cases and 33 deaths.
  • There are growing concerns about testing and the lag in providing results in Ontario.
  • Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says that there were 122 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city, CBC reports.
  • The death of a woman in her 90s in Pembroke has linked to COVID-19.
  • The region has more than 200 confirmed cases. Public health estimates that there are hundreds more cases that have not shown up in testing.
  • CBC reports there are 434 patients in Ontario hospitals who either have COVID-19 or are suspected of having the virus. The data obtained through the Ministry of Health also revealed that one in four intensive care unit patients in Ontario hospitals have or are suspected of having COVID-19.
  • Cases in the United States are spiking with 160,881 confirmed cases and 2,975 deaths. New York City remains the most severely affected centre from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • There are 775,306 confirmed cases globally with 36,946 deaths. So far 160,130 have recovered.
  • The Tokyo Olympics will now take place from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021

March 29

  • Ottawa Public Health is reporting 106 cases of COVID-19 in the city. There is a special focus on an Orleans retirement home where there has been a positive case. Old age homes have been the centre of severe outbreaks in Canada.
  • The prime minister announced, during his regular morning briefing, the federal government will give $200 million to shelters to protect the homeless and those fleeing domestic violence; $9 million to help seniors get the essentials such as check-ins and food and drug deliveries; and $7.5 million for the Kids Help Phone line.
  • The money to help seniors will be directed to the United Way through the federal New Horizons program.
  • One prominent person who has recovered is Sophie Gregoire Trudeau who has taken to Instagram to urge people to self-isolate. The prime minister says he will continue in self-isolation because of his wife’s illness and follow the advice of Health Canada.
  • The prime minister also said that China has sent masks, gloves and gowns to Canada in a return of the favour when Canada sent critical supplies to that country earlier this year.
  • Ontario announces substantial fines for companies and individuals found to be over-charging on essential products. Individuals face a year in jail and a $100,000 fine. Companies face a fine of $10 million. Individual company directors could face a fine of up to $500,000 or up to a year in jail.
  • The government has created a form by which citizens can report gouging.
  • The province has also banned gatherings of five or more people.
  • Ontario now has 1,355 confirmed cases with 21 deaths. Ontario is also ramping up testing so numbers of confirmed cases are expected to rise sharply in the next few weeks.
  • Canada has 5,607 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 61 deaths. So far 479 have recovered. Public health officials stress that there are likely thousands more unconfirmed cases because of a lack of testing.
  • Learning from the examples of other jurisdictions, some Canadian cities and provinces are moving to create temporary hospitals in hotels and motels, CBC reports.
  • In the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading American infectious disease expert, told CNN there could be “millions of cases” of COVID-19 and between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. Currently there are 124,697 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,227 deaths.
  • Globally there are 678,857 confirmed cases with 31,776 deaths. There have been 141,916 recoveries.

March 28

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new restrictions on domestic travel, saying that people showing symptoms will no longer be able to travel by air or rail. The new measures are set to take effect on Monday at noon. More details here.
  • The number of confirmed cases in Canada is just over 4,700, with Quebec reporting the highest provincial number at just over 2,000.
  • The number of cases world-wide has passed 621,000, with nearly 30,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. According to that tracker, the U.S. is the country with the largest number of cases, at 105,573, as of noon March 28.
  • Carleton University announced March 27 that it will postpone spring convocation.

March 27

  • Globally, cases surpass a half-million. There are 587,958 cases with 26,909 deaths; 132,440 recovered.
  • There are 4,662 cases in Canada with 53 deaths; 257 have recovered. Ontario has 993 confirmed cases with 18 deaths. Ottawa Public Health says there are 75 cases in the city, 17 are in hospital and seven. One person is a resident of a retirement home in Orleans.
  • Quebec has announced another 10 deaths making a total of 18. Confirmed cases rises beyond 2,000 in the province Premier Francois Legault points to fact that March break began earlier than in other provinces and a lot of Quebecers were travelling.
  • The LCBO will install plexiglass barriers at check-out counters to better protect staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • Ontario Doug Ford slams a Toronto store for charging $30 a unit for Lysol. The premier said the province will soon fines businesses for over-charging on critical supplies.
  • Ontario residents received an emergency alert on their cellphones, radios and TVs today warning returning travellers to self-isolate. A mandatory 14-day self-isolation is required for Canadians who have just returned home from abroad
  • The Bank of Canada dropped its trend-setting interest rate by 50 basis points to 0.25 per cent, the second unscheduled emergency rate cut to help boost the economy.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a major increase to the wage subsidy for small- and medium-sized businesses. The federal government will now cover up to 75 per cent of staff wages to avoid layoffs during COVID-19 crisis. Under a new emergency business account, banks will provide $40,000 interest free loans and import/export duties will be suspended for six months. If the loans are paid back by 2022, 25 per cent of the loan will be forgiven.
  • Service Canada offices are shut down for in-person services over COVID-19 concerns and the service delivery will continue online. This will include making employment benefit applications and other applications.
  • The University of Ottawa has cancelled spring convocation. Carleton University’s Senate is meeting today to discuss postponement of convocation.
  • The Conservative Party of Canada suspends its leadership race.
  • Talks are continuing with the Trump administration about the stationing of U.S. troops near the border.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces plans to withdraw the 200 troops it has in Ukraine. It will leave a skeleton force starting next month.
  • The United States now leads the world in confirmed COVID-19 cases, more than China, Italy. 
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self- isolating. He will continue to lead the government’s response to COVID-19. 

March 26

  • Globally, cases are set to reach a half-million worldwide. There are 493,394 cases with 22,197 deaths; 119,736 recovered.
  • In Canada, COVID-19 cases surpasses 3,409, including 35 deaths.
  • Ontario reported 170 new cases, bringing the provincial total to 858, which is the biggest one-day increase in new cases. The number of deaths reported is 13 in the province.
  • The province is promising to ramp up testing. By April 17, labs across Ontario will be performing 18,900 tests a day, the Toronto Star reports.
  • In Ottawa, there are five new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the city’s total to 32. There are 66 confirmed cases in eastern Ontario and 13 still in quarantine at CFB Trenton. There are 13 cases in western Quebec.
  • Ottawa’s medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, says more COVID-19 deaths in Ottawa are likely. So far there has been one death. To combat this, two more stand-alone clinics are being planned to open in the city. These clinics will be able to test for COVID-19 and take the pressure off hospitals in the city.
  • Canada has imposed the Quarantine Act, which mandates all travellers returning to Canada to self-isolate for 14 days. People who do not comply can face a fine of up to $750,000. If you transmit the virus and infect someone the fine can rise to $1 million and/or three years in federal prison.
  • In the United States, the Senate has approved a $2 trillion emergency relief package for citizens and businesses to cope with the economic collapse caused by the virus. The House of Representatives will vote on the package Friday. In the meantime, about 3.2 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance, the most ever in one week.
  • Ottawa city manager Steve Kanellakos says that the city is struggling with a steep decline in revenues because of low ridership on OC Transpo, the closure of recreation facilities and the delay in property tax payments.
  • Sports fields, courts and parks are closing in Ottawa but parks will remain open — for now.
  • Ottawa Hospital is now providing two facemasks to health care workers per shift to ration and conserve the safety equipment. Health care workers are feeling unprotected and worried because of this new development.
  • Hospitals in Ottawa are accepting equipment donations now.
  • A doctor at the Ottawa Hospital told CTV news that, “I can’t believe that we are undoing years of infection control practices and putting staff and their families at risk.”
  • Meanwhile, memos obtained by CBC News suggest that major Toronto hospitals are rationing surgical masks and in some cases, administrators are urging nurses to use just one mask for an entire shift.
  • A virtual meeting with the leaders of G20 countries has taken place to talk about the global efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and the following economic recovery. The leaders pledged to work together.
  • Global News has reported that the U.S. is considering moving soldiers to the northern border to control the flow of asylum seekers. The prime minister said there are discussions on-going. Justin Trudeau said Canada preferred to maintain the status of the world’s longest un-militarized border. Last week Canada and the U.S. agreed to return asylum seekers to each nation. Most of the flow is from the U.S. to Canada.
  • This news comes as Canada has appointed a new ambassador to Washington. Kristen Hillman had been serving as acting ambassador.
  • The federal government plans to open a portal for applications to give $2,000 per month up to four months for people without any income because of the pandemic under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. The prime minister also warned people about a text fraud that is now circulating.
  • Bank of Canada says that retailers shouldn’t stop taking cash because of the pandemic. The risks posed by handling money are no higher than with touching door knobs or handrails, says the bank.
  • Life is slowly returning to normal in Hubei, China, and on April 8 in Wuhan. However, approaches are being put in place to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 in the country. Researchers estimate that by lifting restrictions, a second wave of could hit by late August, but if the easing of restrictions is delayed, a second wave could be put off until October.

March 25

  • Ontario reports 100 more cases and another death bringing the totals to 688 cases and 12 deaths.
  • Canada’s total reaches 3,304 confirmed and presumptive cases. So far 33 people have died.
  • Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announces that the federal Health minister, Patty Hajdu, will invoke the Quarantine Act to impose a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period on all people coming into Canada starting at midnight.
  • Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson opened a council meeting today by declaring a state of emergency, which will allow the city to “deploy our emergency operations in a quicker and more nimble fashion.” This would include buying equipment for frontline workers and first responders.
  • City council defers property taxes and water bills.
  • Ottawa Public Health says the city has had its first death from COVID-19; a man in his 90s who was living at home and had no recent travel history. The agency says it is investigating 43 confirmed and indeterminate cases of COVID-19. 
  • The $107 billion federal COVID-19 emergency bill (Bill C-13) that makes aid available for families and businesses impacted by the pandemic, defers tax payments and prvides liquidity for businesses is now law. It will take a few weeks before the money starts to flow.
  • Included in the legislation is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit which will support workers losing income because of the COVID-19 pandemic with $2,000 a month for up to four months.
  • Ontario unveiled an economic statement on Wednesday. Finance minister Rod Phillips said that the province will spend $17 billion to protect businesses, households and public services. The statement assume zero growth in the province in 2020 and two per cent growth in 2021. The provincial deficit will hit $20.5 billion.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a strong warning for those who do not follow social distancing guidelines “This is not a suggestion. You need to go home and stay there,” he said. “If people do not follow these guidelines, we will put much more stringent measures in place.” He is on his 14th day in self-isolation with no symptoms. He said his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau is feeling better. Trudeau said he would follow the advice of public health officials about whether he can leave his home.
  • Supports are coming to journalists and media outlets. This comes as Atlantic Canada’s largest newspaper chain is temporarily laying off 40 per cent of its staff and shutting down its weekly publications. SaltWire Network operates 35 weeklies and dailies in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I. and New Brunswick, including the Halifax Chronicle Herald and the St. John’s Telegram.
  • Brampton-West Liberal MP Kamal Khera tests positive for COVID-19.
  • The Canadian Football League is discussing the fate of the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The league has already postponed their annual draft.
  • Globally there are 441,093 cases with 19,764 deaths; 112,036 recovered.
  • The death toll in Spain, more than 3,400, now exceeds that of China.
  • In Zimbabwe, doctors and nurses are striking over a shortage of protective gears against COVID-19.
  • In the United States, the White House and the Senate have reached a deal to release $2 trillion to send direct payments to individuals, states and businesses affected by COVID-19. The House of Representatives will vote soon.
  • Prince Charles has tested positive for COVID-19. He is said to have mild symptoms and is at Balmoral in Scotland. The Duchess of Cornwall is self-isolating but is not infected by the virus. Queen Elizabeth is in good health at Windsor Castle.

March 24

  • Federal legislation intended to inject $82 billion in stimulus has been delayed. A vote is expected today but the federal parties are still negotiating a package that includes $27 billion directly for citizens through emergency funds and $55 billion in deferred taxes.
  • Ontario reports 85 new COVID-19 cases, the largest increase in a day so far. The total number of cases surpasses 588. Seven people have died.
  • Concern is rising about testing delays in Ontario.
  • The City of Ottawa is reporting three new cases for a total of 27 for the community.
  • There are eight cases in the Outaouais.
  • Canada has 2,176 cases with 25 deaths.
  • Globally there are 400,412 cases with 17,451 deaths; 103,748 recovered.
  • The mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau are asking residents to withdraw from crossing the interprovincial border.
  • The Ontario government has reduced hydro rates to offset the costs of working from home. For the next 45 days, residents, small businesses and farms will pay off-peak prices for hydro.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford said only essential businesses will be open after midnight. These include such outlets as the LCBO, cannabis stores and hardware stores along with construction sites, grocery stores and drug stores. Here’s the full list.
  • With the help of TVOntario, the province is launching an e-learning program for students as schools will not be reopening on April 6 as had been hoped.
  • There are 1,013 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Quebec, almost half in Montreal. That’s up sharply from the 628 cases that were confirmed Monday afternoon. Sixty-seven COVID-19 patients in Quebec were in hospital as of Tuesday afternoon, 31 of them in intensive care. There have been four deaths in the province.
  • The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, have been postponed to 2021.
  • New York State, which borders Ontario, has reported more than 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, most in New York City and surrounding area. The state has the most cases, by far, in the United States.
  • India is now on lockdown for 21 days by the order of the government. The country has 1.3 billion people.
  • Climate change activist Greta Thunberg is self-isolating in Sweden and has been for the past 10 days, after coming down with symptoms of COVID-19. Thunberg and her father had just returned home from travelling around Central Europe when they began showing symptoms. 

March 23

Prime Minister Trudeau spoke Monday morning from Rideau Cottage to address the growing cases of COVID-19 in Canada and the government’s response to it. Here is what he said:

  • “You think you’re invincible. You’re not. Enough is enough. Go home and stay home.” That was the message from the prime minister to Canadians who choose to ignore social isolating or distancing. They are putting themselves and others at risk, he said.
  • Justin Trudeau also introduced an online tracking system for the COVID-19 cases in Canada called Blue Dot.
  • He said the federal government is investing further in vaccine development to accelerate clinical trials, but this will still take many months, he said. He also announced government is working with labs across the country.
  • Parliament will reconvene Tuesday to pass an emergency legislative package to aid Canadians. It contains $82 billion put towards helping Canadians and businesses cope with the pandemic. This includes income supports, wage subsidies and tax deferrals. Of that $27 billion is for direct support to citizens.
  • Another $5 billion was announced to support farmers, producers and those transporting food for Canadians.
  • This evening Trudeau will have a virtual meeting with his cabinet to discuss the economy to ensure it rebounds once the crisis ends, working with airlines to help stranded Canadians abroad get home and looking at what other provinces are doing and seeing if federal help is needed.

Other COVID-19 news in Canada:

  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered all non-essential businesses to close Tuesday. Only grocery stores, pharmacies, takeout and delivery restaurants, essential manufacturing industries and supply chain suppliers — as well as the province’s liquor stores — will be remain open. A full list of businesses allowed to stay open will be released Tuesday, he said.
  • Thirteen hospital workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Toronto.
  • Canada pulls out of 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympics. A statement released by the national Olympic committees said “This is not solely about athlete health – it’s about public health.”
  • Walmart Canada announces they are hiring 10,000 new employees to keep up with growing demand.
  • Toronto reported the city’s first COVID-19 death this past weekend.
  • A Brampton Tim Horton’s employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The Brampton mayor is asking those who were there to self-isolate.
  • Yukon announced their first two cases of COVID-19 Sunday.
  • In Ottawa, the medical officer of health says that community spread is now happening. Dr. Vera Etches says that there are five cases unrelated to travel or close contact. There are now 24 cases in Ottawa.
  • With many businesses closed, Ottawa police are offering owners advice on how to take precautions against theft and vandalism.

Canadian Press reports there are 2,049 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada, 24 deaths, and 15 recoveries. There are 503 cases on Ontario with six deaths.

Globally the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Map says there are 354,677 cases. There have been 15,436 deaths; 100,462 have recovered.

March 22

The prime minister addressed the nation again Sunday morning. He announced:

  • Parliament would reconvene on Tuesday to pass legislation that will provide economic support to Canadians.
  • Justin Trudeau also said that more flights would be coming to repatriate Canadians from abroad. WestJet has made 30 flights available. These will happen in coming days. Other airlines are offering to help as well including Sunwing and Air Transat. Air Canada will make two flights to repatriate Canadians from Morocco in coming days.
  • The prime minister said the government is not planning to invoke the Emergencies Act. However Health Minister Patty Hajdu warned later that the federal government is prepared to use any measure it deems appropriate to ensure social distancing.
  • Meanwhile Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil declared a provincial state of emergency. McNeil said having observed people ignoring the need for social distancing prompted him to order the following: As of 6 a.m. Monday, anyone who enters the province will have to self-isolate for 14 days. Police are being given the power to enforce social distancing with $1,000 fines for individuals and $7,500 fines for businesses. Provincial parks are closed. People using them are trespassing, the premier said, and their cars will be towed.
  • Ontario now has 412 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with five deaths. There are 1,385 confirmed cases in Canada.
  • Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health estimates, based on modeling, that there are 4,000 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa. Dr. Vera Etches said Sunday afternoon there are 27 confirmed and presumptive cases in the city.
  • The federal government has assembled a page on canada.ca dedicated to information about the COVID-19 crisis. This includes a self-diagnosis tool.
  • The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared New York State has a disaster area.
  • There are 1,435 confirmed cases in Canada. So far 21 people have died. Globally there are 334,451 cases with 14,597 deaths. Some 97,574 people have recovered from the infection.

March 21

  • Ottawa Public Health said it is investigating 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city.
  • There are two confirmed cases in the Outaouais.
  • The Ottawa Citizen reports Saturday that a man in his 30s has a confirmed case of COVID-19. This would be Ottawa’s 20th case. Meanwhile, a second member of the Ottawa Senators has tested positive.
  • The City of Ottawa is opening an isolation centre for people who need it in the Byward Market for those who are in the shelter system.
  • Ontario has 377 confirmed cases, CP24 reports. Three have died. The latest is a man in his 70s who was in close contact to another man in his 70s who was the first to die in the province. There are 7,239 cases under active investigation.
  • There are 1,332 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada.
  • British Columbia has the highest number with 426 confirmed including 10 deaths. Six cases have been resolved).
  • Alberta: 226 confirmed (including 1 death)
  • Quebec: 181 confirmed (including 5 deaths, 1 resolved)
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that despite the government’s efforts to help Canadians return home from abroad, it may not be possible to get them all back.
  • A woman who had tested positive for COVID-19 was arrested Friday in Quebec City for defying a quarantine order, the CBC reports.
  • The first flight of repatriated Canadians is landing in Montreal Saturday night. It flew from Morocco.
  • In the U.S., more states are imposing measures aimed at keeping people home. According to the New York Times, by the end of the weekend “at least 1 in 5 Americans will be under orders to stay home, and more states were expected to follow suit.”
  • In Europe, Italy and Spain recorded their highest number of deaths in a single day, according to the Guardian. In Italy Friday, 627 new deaths were reported and in Spain there were 1,002 reported.
  • As of 1:45 p.m. on March 21, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center was reporting nearly 300,000 confirmed cases world-wide, with nearly 13,000 deaths.

March 20

COVID-19 related deaths in Italy have passed the numbers in China:

  • COVID-19 has claimed 3,405 people in Italy, while China has had 3,245 deaths.
  • Europe has more that 5,000 fatalities.
  • California, the fifth largest economy in the world, is on lockdown as is New York State and several other U.S. states.

Three more confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa and 60 new cases in Ontario:

  • Ottawa now has 19 confirmed cases and Ontario has 318. There are 1,087 in Canada.
  • The Chateau Laurier hotel will close because of the pandemic at noon Saturday.
  • The City of Ottawa has established a task force to help vulnerable residents.
  • Air Canada union officials say the airline is laying off more than 5,000 employees as a result of route cuts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A new study suggests that in a “conservative” scenario the province will run out of ventilators and ICU beds in 37 days.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the media and spoke to the nation for the fifth straight day Friday. He announced:

  • The border between the United States and Canada will closed at midnight to non-essential travel.
  • As the result of an agreement reached overnight, Canada and the United States will now return asylum seekers to the United States who cross anywhere at the border. This has happened a day after the prime minister said asylum seekers would be isolated in Canada.
  • Canada will ramp up production of medical supplies, such as hand sanitizer, masks and other high demand supplies. Three companies, in Ottawa, Montreal and in Thornhill, Ontario will be part of the effort. Auto parts manufacturers are also looking into pitching in. Distilleries are making hand sanitizer.
  • The Prime Minister said more than 500,000 Canadians applied for employment insurance benefits this week. About 27,000 applied the same week a year ago.
  • He also said a repatriation flight to bring home Canadians in Morocco will happen this weekend. More flights are being planned.
  • As of Friday afternoon, there are 944 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide with 12 deaths, a 13th Canadian has died in Japan.

March 19

A new report states, of the 508 COVID-19 patients known to have been hospitalized in the United States, 38 per cent were between the ages of 20 and 54. That underlines the point that no one is immune to the disease, CDC says.

  • In Italy and Spain, one-third of the ICU cases involve people between the ages of 20 and 60, according to the U.S. Centers for disease control and prevention.
  • People in France must now fill out a form authorizing them to leave their house during the lockdown. If they leave without doing so they risk a fine.
  • Spain’s health ministry says their death toll from COVID-19 has risen from 209 deaths to 727 overnight.
  • In Italy, the fatalities from COVID-19 has surged in the past day. It jumped from 475 deaths to 2978.
  • The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resources Centre says there are 229,390 cases worldwide.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canadian border could be closed for all non-essential travel by the weekend:
  • The Prime Minister says Canadians can expect social distancing measures to be in place from “weeks to months”.
  • The government needs to pass legislation first before parts of the $82 billion aid package can come into force. The prime minister says the opposition parties are on board with his plan. Parliament is expected to be recalled next week to passes the bills.
  • Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says asylum seekers crossing into Canada will be screened and isolated.
  • There are 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, according to Ottawa Public Health. The latest are a man in his 40s and a woman in her 60s. Both were infected overseas:
  • Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, warns there could be anywhere from a couple of hundred to 1,000 undetected cases in the city right now.
  • One of the men in Ottawa who has been hospitalized with COVID-19 is in his 20s.
  • There are 251 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario.
  • There are an additional 3971 cases under investigation.
  • There has been a second death related to COVID-19 in Ontario. A Halton area man, in his 50s, had underlying health problems.
  • The province has added 1,300 extra lines to the Telehealth Ontario line a day after the system crashed because of demand.
  • Toronto’s public transit operator, the Toronto Transit Commission, reported that one of its workers has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Nationally, there are 800 cases of COVID-19.
  • There have been 10 COVID-19 related deaths — seven in British Columbia, two in Ontario and one in Quebec.
  • More than 55,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 nationwide.
  • Local food banks are asking for help from the public as they try to help those who are most vulnerable.
  • Canadian Tire is limiting hours because of the pandemic and closing SportChek and Marks stores across the country. For more.
  • The Ontario Legislature convened Thursday to pass emergency legislation including:
  • Allowing workers who can’t go to work because of COVID-19 emergency leave
  • Allowing grocery stores to receive shipments at any hour of the day. These were limited by noise bylaws.
  • Premier Doug Ford’s government suspended evictions of tenants by landlords until further notice.

March 18

  • A new case of COVID-19 in Ottawa has been identified:
  • The Ottawa man is in his 20s and is one of the 23 people in the city with COVID-19.
  • He recently travelled from the United States and is self-isolating, Ottawa Public Health said.
  • There are now 212 cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, 655 in Canada. There have been nine deaths.
  • Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced that he wants the city to extend the grace period for tax payments to April 15.
  • He would also like to implement a “property tax hardship deferral program” so small businesses and homeowners can apply to defer their taxes until Oct. 31.
  • The proposal will be brought before council on March 25.
  • At uOttawa, courses went online and students were told to leave residence and head home. Carleton recommends that those students who can leave residence and go home should.

Elsewhere in Ontario

  • Porter Airlines is shutting down all flights after Friday, March 20. They will not resume again until after June 1, at the earliest.
  • Ontario’s education minister, Stephen Lecce, announced that standardized testing has been cancelled for the rest of the school year.
  • Classes have been cancelled at all public schools across the province until April 3.
  • Ottawa Senators confirm one of their players is the first in the NHL to test positive for COVID-19.
  • The grocery store, McKeen Metro Glebe, is offering free local delivery until April 4, to help with social distancing.
  • Public transit in Ottawa continues to operate free of charge and bus riders are asked to enter through the back.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an $82 billion COVID-19 response package:

  • The package includes $27 billion in direct support for Canadians who have been hit financially and an additional $55 billion to help businesses and citizens through tax deferral until August.
  • In total, the package is equivalent to more three per cent of Canada’s GDP.
  • The package will also boost the child benefit payments, adding $2 billion in extra support.
  • A new Emergency Care Benefit will provide qualifying Canadians up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks to provide income support to workers who have to stay home and don’t have access to paid sick leave. In total, it could deliver up to $10 billion.
  • There will be a six-month, interest-free postponement on student loan payments.
  • The homeless care program will be doubled. 
  • Justin Trudeau announced the tax filing deadline will be pushed to June 1.
  • Justin Trudeau says there will be EI funding available for people who normally do not qualify.
  • Liberal Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez said on Wednesday that the federal government was looking at various options for when an emergency session on COVID-19 is called to pass emergency legislation. The government says they would only call back enough MPs to meet quorum, which is between 20 to 30, and would not include MPs who have to travel by plane.
  • The prime minister also announced that the American and Canadian border will close to non-essential travel. “Travellers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism,” he said.
  • Health Canada said this morning that there were 569 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.
  • British Columbia has called a provincial state of emergency. This will allow the province to enforce such things as social distancing and to guarantee essential goods and services.

March 17

British Columbia declares public health emergency as COVID-19 cases continue to rise:

  • British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, says B.C. has 186 cases of COVID-19.
  • Seven individuals have died from COVID-19 complications.
  • On Wednesday, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa will formally move their classes online.
  • Also tomorrow, Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to announce a stimulus package to help workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Reports suggest the amount is $25 billion.
  • Alberta has also declared a provincial state of emergency:
  • Alberta Premier Jason Kenny says all gatherings with more than 50 people are to be cancelled.
  • Albertans are also prohibited from entering public recreation centres, casinos, bingo halls, bars, nightclubs, fitness centres, arenas, museums and indoor children’s play centres.
  • Alberta has 97 cases of COVID-19.
  • This is only the third time in Alberta’s history that is has declared a state of emergency. The first was during the southern Alberta floods in 2013 and the second was because of the 2016 Fort McMurray fires.

Ontario health officials have confirmed Ontario’s first COVID-19 related death:

  • A spokesman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said a 77-year-old man in the Muskoka region is the first to die of COVID-19 in the province. He was in close contact with another case of COVID-19.
  • The man was not a confirmed case when he died. He was under investigation for the virus, but it was confirmed after death that he had the illness.

In response to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced a state of emergency. His declaration means:

  • All restaurants and bars shall close except for take out and delivery service.
  • The province is prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people and closing recreation centres, theatres, libraries, places of worship, schools and daycares until March 31.
  • The closures do not apply to shopping malls, public transit, grocery stores or pharmacies.
  • Ford stated that the state of emergency does not mean a “provincial shutdown”.
  • Ford also announced an emergency relief fund. First some $300 million dollars will be used to add 75 critical-care beds and 500 post-acute care beds in Ontario hospitals.
  • The province will also add 25 more COVID-19 assessment centres.
  • As of Monday night, there were 189 cases of COVID-19 in the province, however, five are considered to be resolved.
  • Beginning March 19, all LCBO stores will operate from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
  • One of 13 COVID-19 patients in Ottawa is now in hospital. The person is in their 60s. The city’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, estimates there are hundreds of COVID-19 cases in the city.
  • The National Arts Centre has postponed the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards gala from April 25 to sometime in 2021.
  • There are 189 COVID-19 cases in Ontario.
  • Hydro Ottawa is extending ban on winter disconnections, suspended account collections and is offering customers flexible payment plans.

The prime minister also spoke Tuesday:

  • Justin Trudeau asked Canadians to wash their hands often, sneeze into their elbows and not to gather in groups of 50 or more.
  • Global Affairs Canada has set up an emergency loan program of up to $5,000 for Canadians abroad who need help getting home or to survive in place if they have the illness. Flight crews and Americans are not included in the program.
  • Canadians stuck abroad can call 1-613-996-8885.
  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to announce a massive $25 billion economic stimulus package on Wednesday.
  • Quebec has given residents until June 1 to file their taxes.
  • There are 556 COVID-19 cases in Canada. Eight people have died.
  • Health Canada, in its latest update, says 51% of cases are female; 31% of cases are 60 years old and over; 13% of cases have been hospitalized and 74% of cases are travellers and 6% are close contacts of travellers

March 16

As the spread of the novel coronavirus accelerates in Canada, including in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the closure of the border for most non-Canadian residents here’s the latest as of 1700 ET.

  • Non-Canadian residents and citizens are not allowed to enter the country.
  • American citizens, flight crews and diplomats are exempt for now, Trudeau said.
  • Canadians abroad who have symptoms will not be allowed to enter the country. Border officers will screen passengers with symptoms of COVID-19 before they board planes. They will be asked if they have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. If they do they will be isolated and referred to local public health officials.
  • Trudeau promised funding for Canadians travelling back home, for Canadians who can not enter the country due to illness and for Canadians who are home and are concerned about paying their bills because of work closures. Only Toronto’s Pearson, Montreal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Vancouver International and Calgary International airports will accept international flights.
  • Trudeau promised to take “further measures in the coming days” including a fiscal stimulus packaged that will attempt to prop up the suddenly struggling economy.

By the numbers:

  • Ottawa Public Health says there now are 13 cases of COVID-19 in the city. Dr. Vera Etches says that there could now be hundreds of unconfirmed cases in the region.
  • In a frank Facebook post, Dr. Lucie Filteau, who is a frontline doctor at The Ottawa Hospital explained why people need to self-isolate: “There are 3,170 ICU beds in Canada. That’s it for all critical care. ICUs in Canada already run at 100% capacity so there’s no room for a surge in demand. At least 10 per cent of people who get COVID-19 require hospitalization. At least five per cent of people who get COVID-19 will require mechanical ventilation. … We don’t have anywhere near the capacity to deal with these demands. Not only will we not have ICU beds and ventilators for COVID patients (not by a long shot). We won’t have health care resources for anyone else (heart attacks, strokes, trauma, any need for surgery). Slowing down the viral spread is what’s needed to save as many people as possible so that doctors don’t have to tell patients we don’t have a ventilator for you. …”
  • Ontario’s virus tracker says there are 177 positive cases in the province and 1,537 cases under investigation. A total of 10,178 people have been tested in Ontario.
  • Nationwide, there are 449 cases. Five people have died, four British Columbia and one in Ontario.
  • Ontario is adding 130 more nurses to monitor their Telehealth line.
  • The province intends to introduce legislation that would “immediately provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine,” including those needing to be away from work to care for children during school and daycare closures.
  • Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health asks all gatherings of more than 50 people to be cancelled or altered.
  • He asks that all schools, libraries, bars, recreational programs, all daycares, all churches and other faith settings to close.