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Afternoon News: Friday, May 15, 2020

COVID-19 Ottawa:

Ottawa Public Health is reporting 28 new COVID-19 cases, and four deaths.

The city is now up to 1,753 confirmed cases, and 189 deaths. 20 local institutions are still fighting outbreaks.

Quebec To Remove Checkpoints Monday:

The Quebec government has announced plans to remove checkpoints and allow non-essential travel between Ottawa and Gatineau…but not in time for the long weekend.

The government announced the check points will end on Monday, based on public health officials advice.

Mayor Jim Watson wasted no time in reacting to the news, tweeting, “It is regrettable that they won’t open the border today, at the start of the long weekend, but at the end of the holiday on Monday. Despite this decision by the Quebec government, the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau still have a strong and cooperative relationship.”

COVID-19 Ontario:

Ontario is reporting 341 new COVID-19 cases today and 27 more deaths.

That brings the province’s total number of cases up to nearly 21,922.

The province says that due to a glitch, Thursday’s COVID-19 case numbers were under-reported. There were actually 345 new cases, instead of the reported 258.

Meanwhile,

Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says about one in three workers in the province has been affected by the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic.

The Financial Accountability Office released the finding in a new report today on job losses since the crisis began. The office says an estimated 1.1-million workers in the province have lost their jobs, and another 1.1-million have seen their hours sharply reduced.

Wage Subsidy Extended:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a federal wage subsidy for employees in businesses hit hard by COVID-19 will last at least until the end of August.

The subsidy was set to expire in the first week of June, only a few weeks after the first payments rolled out.

Trudeau wants to give employers more runway and confidence to resume operations slowly if they have to.

Robbery Arrests:

Ottawa Police have made a pair of arrests in connection with a violent home invasion robbery.

Investigators say three people were robbed at gunpoint, and two of them were assaulted while being robbed of cash and a cell phone inside a unit on Prince of Wales Drive back on April 24.

Reshaun Tomlinson, 22, and Paige Denis, 20 are facing several charges, including armed robbery, forcible confinement, extortion, and Aggravated Assaulted.

Open/Closed on Victoria Day:

There will be some changes to city services and schedules this Holiday Monday.

Garbage and recycling trucks will remain parked, so you will need to put your garbage, recycling, and compost at the curb the day after your usual collection day next week.

OC Transpo will be running Monday, but on a Sunday schedule.

Most retail businesses will be closed Monday but nurseries, garden centres and gas stations are allowed to stay open.

The Loblaws at Rideau and Isabella Streets, as well as the Lansdowne Whole Foods, will stay open, but with reduced hours.

Indigenous Music Festival Kicks Off Friday:

A virtual music festival featuring some of Canada’s biggest indigenous artists kicks off Friday evening.

William Prince, Leela Gilday, GR Gritt, Beatrice Deer, DJ Shub and ELMNT FM’s very own Cody Coyote will be performing as part of the Tkaronto festival, which continues through Sunday.

Click here for more details.

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