Afternoon News: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

COVID-19 Ottawa:

Ottawa Public Health says four more people have died after contracting the Novel Coronavirus.

308 people in the Capital have now died from COVID-19 complications throughout the pandemic. 60 new cases were confirmed Wednesday, sending the city’s total up to 6226, with 717 active, and 5201 resolved.

Meanwhile, despite the rise in cases, Ottawa’s Top Doctor is feeling optimistic.

Dr. Vera Etches notes that new, daily case increases are going down, as are active cases, as well as the city’s test positivity rate. Etches is thanking everyone who avoided large gatherings over the Thanksgiving long weekend but admits more sacrifices will need to be made over the next few months.

COVID-19 Ontario:

790 new cases, and nine new deaths due to the virus are being reported across the Province Wednesday.

Ontario has recorded 66,686 cases during the pandemic, 57325 resolved, and 3062 deaths.

Ford Defends Liability Bill:

Premier Doug Ford says new COVID-19 liability legislation won’t prevent lawsuits against long-term care providers who endanger patients through gross negligence.

Ford is defending the bill after critics said it would make such lawsuits more difficult by raising the legal bar for a finding of negligence. He says the bill is aimed at protecting front-line workers and small businesses if COVID-19 exposures occur even though they’re following public health rules.

Neskantaga Water Crisis:

The chief of a northwestern Ontario First Nation says hundreds of people are being evacuated due to a water crisis.

Chief Christopher Moonias says an oily sheen was discovered in the Neskantaga First Nation’s water reservoir this week. Moonias notes that the community has also been under a boil-water advisory for more than 25 years, and accuses the provincial and federal governments of dragging their feet on the matter.

Chief to Address Commons Committee:

The chief of Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia is set to speak to the Commons committee on fisheries and oceans this evening about the band’s disputed lobster fishery.

Chief Mike Sack is estimating recent vandalism and the loss of potential sales has cost the band more than $1.5-million. He says the band has been blacklisted and that the non-Indigenous commercial fishery has systematically boxed his community out of the market.

Ford Government Criticized For Ranked Ballots Bill:

Critics are accusing the Ontario government of undermining local democracy in light of the province’s proposal to scrap ranked-ballot voting in the next civic election.

The Progressive Conservatives are defending the proposed change, which was introduced Tuesday as part of a broader bill on COVID-19 relief, saying it will save municipal resources that would be better spent tackling the ongoing pandemic.

The City of London was the first municipality in Ontario to use ranked balloting in the 2018 civic election. A referendum on the issue in Kingston that same year received support from more than 60 per cent of participating voters.

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