Afternoon News: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Some welcome news from the Province today. There are no new reported cases of Covid-19 in Ottawa. There are thirteen confirmed cases in our city.

There are however nine new cases across the province, including the first three in Kingston. That brings the total to 186 confirmed cases in Ontario. We also have our first confirmed Covid-19-related death in the province. A Muskoka man, 77, was found to have the virus after passing away this week.

Premier Doug Ford declared a State of Emergency in the province this morning. This officially makes it illegal to hold gatherings of 50 people or more, and will affect parades, private schools, and places of worship. It also means theatres, cinemas, licensed daycares, and other large gathering facilities will have to close down.

Ford also announced a $300-million relief fund, with $4-million of that earmarked for indigenous communities to help with distribution of critical supplies and the transportation costs of health care experts.

Ottawa Police are adjusting some of their non-urgent services in response to the pandemic. Detachment’s front desk services will be offered between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, seven days a week.

The force is also closing its Queensview Drive walk-in service for record checks and police reports. The force is reminding you that collisions must be reported by phone, and that many other services can be found through their website.

Hydro Ottawa has extended its winter disconnection ban. The ban, which was due to end at the end of April, will continue until the end of July. The utility is also temporarily suspending account collection actions until further notice.

The City of Ottawa is making it easier for those who are working at home by easing some parking restrictions in residential neighborhoods. Mayor Jim Watson shared the news this morning that enforcement of overtime parking on residential streets has been suspended.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has suggested that Parliament will resume for a brief period to pass some legislation in light of Covid-19. Trudeau suggested that changes to employment insurance, delaying tax season, and relief for residents and businesses who are out of work because of the pandemic will be considered. He also mentioned the possibility of enacting some articles of the emergencies act. Trudeau once again encouraged Canadians to practice social distancing, and praised health care workers leading the fight against the virus.

In sports, Tom Brady has announced that he is leaving the New England Patriots after 20 seasons with the club. The Patriots won six Super Bowls with Brady at the helm. His destination is uncertain, but reports suggest he is set to sign with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers.

And there is a report that the NHL and the players union are considering an August-September finish for the 2019-2020 season.

Weather:

Just a few clouds sticking around tonight, with the sky clearing overnight. We will drop to an overnight low of minus eight.

Sunny to start the day tomorrow, with clouds moving in during the afternoon. The high tomorrow is five degrees.

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