Afternoon News: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID-19 Ottawa Update:

There are three more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa Tuesday, bringing the total to 27.

The Ministry of Health says a woman in her 30’s, and a man in his 40’s contracted the novel Coronavirus through close contact with someone else presumed to have the virus. The other new patient, a man in his 50’s, recently traveled to the United States. All three are now self-isolating.

COVID-19 Ontario/Quebec Update:

85 new cases have been reported across Ontario, with another COVID-19 death confirmed. There are 588 confirmed cases in the province, causing 7 deaths.

Quebec is now reporting one-thousand and 13 confirmed cases

There are now 21-hundred and 87 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 across the country.

Ottawa-Gatineau Travel:

The mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau are asking you to limit interprovincial travel between the two cities.

In a joint statement, Jim Watson and Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin say the situation with COVID-19 is likely to develop differently on either side of the river. They say they want to make sure people don’t spread the virus outside of their neighbourhoods or across the provincial border.

Hydro Rate Relief:

Ontario is expected to temporarily cut hydro rates as many people work from home during the pandemic.

Sources say the province will move current pricing to off-peak rates. The lower rates are expected to last for 45 days and will save families about 20 dollars a month, small businesses about 150 dollars a month and farms more than 300 dollars a month.

AFN Declares State of Emergency:

The Assembly of First Nations has declared a state of emergency.

National Chief Perry Bellegarde says Indigenous communities need immediate increases in funding and full involvement in all discussions with governments on planning and preparedness. He says while the announced federal funding is a good start, more will be required. The assembly’s motion says that special consideration must be given to Canada’s 96 remote, fly-in Indigenous communities.

Meanwhile, Indigenous health managers from across Canada will meet online tomorrow to discuss how the novel coronavirus pandemic is affecting their communities. Marion Crowe of the First Nations Health Managers Association says the meeting will allow managers to compare notes on their specific challenges of fighting the virus.

Emergency Parliament Session Suspended:

Just minutes after the emergency sitting of Parliament started, government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez asked that it be suspended.

It appears the government is still negotiating details of the emergency legislation that would provide 82-billion-dollars in financial aid to help Canadians affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The Conservatives objected to a provision that would have given the government sweeping powers to unilaterally spend, borrow and change taxation levels without Parliament’s approval.

Sports:

The Tokyo Olympics have been officially postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Olympic Committee says the Games will be held no later than the summer of 2021.

ELMNT FM Weather:

Clearing and breezy tonight, dropping to an overnight low of -6.

A mix of sun and cloud with a high of 7 Wednesday.

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