Afternoon News: Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Federal Government Chips in $2-Billion For Safe School Return:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced his government is providing up to $two-billion-dollars in additional funding to help provinces and territories ensure children return to school safely during the pandemic.

Ontario is getting $380-million, while First Nations will receive $112-million. The Ontario government says it will spend its money on:

-$70-million will be used to hire more educators.

-$30-million will go towards buying additional personal protective equipment.

$100-million will be put towards items such as extra custodial staff and remote learning tools.

-$70-million will be spent on student transportation, with $25.5 million of that earmarked for helping to reduce the number of pupils on school buses.

Critics say the money is too little and coming too close to the start of classes.

COVID-19 Ottawa:

Ottawa Public Health is reporting sixteen new COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row.

That sends the city’s total throughout the pandemic up to 2,871, with 174 active cases, and 84 per cent of patients recovered. No new deaths related to the virus are being reported Wednesday. That number stays at 266.

COVID-19 Ontario:

There are 88 new cases and two new deaths related to the coronavirus across Ontario Wednesday.

The province’s total number of cases now stands at 41,695, which includes 2,802 deaths and 37,863 cases marked as resolved.

City Extends State of Emergency/Mask Bylaw:

Mayor Jim Watson announced at Wednesday’s council meeting that the city will remain in a State of Emergency until at least the end of September.

Watson says the move will make it easier for the city to access important tools, such as Personal Protective Equipment.

City council also voted to extend its mandatory mask bylaw, and expand it to include common areas of multi-residential homes like apartments and condos.

Catholic Board Delays School Start:

The Ottawa Catholic District School Board is following in the footsteps of the local public board in delaying the start of the new school year.

Some students with the Catholic Board will have a staggered start to the year, but that will now start on September 8, instead of September 3, as originally planned. The Ottawa Carleton District School Board voted in favour of a similar move at a meeting Tuesday night.

More Sex Charges For Teacher Arrested in July:

A former high school teacher with Ottawa Carleton District School Board who was arrested last month in connection with alleged sexual assaults involving students is facing more charges Wednesday.

Majed Turk, 42, is charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, and four counts of luring a child, following further investigation by Ottawa Police. He was hit with similar charges last month.

Investigators believe there might still be more victims out there, as Turk taught as a substitute or contract teacher at several schools between 2009 and last year. Anyone with more information is asked to call Police at 613-236-1222 ext. 5760 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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