M-P-Ps will be back at Queen’s Park today, where they’re expected to pass emergency legislation to protect workers forced to stay home due to COVID-19.

But in the name of social distancing, there will only be 24 members in the house: 12 governing Progressive Conservatives, eight New Democrats, two Liberals, one Green and the Speaker.

The Tories promised the bill earlier in the week.

They say it will apply to employees under investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19.

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Yesterday, one new case of covid-19 was reported in Ottawa.

Ontario health officials say a man in his twenties recently travelled to the United States and is in self-isolation.

We also learned a man in his 60s from Prescott Russell who travelled to the UK represents the Eastern Ontario health unit’s second positive test for novel coronavirus

The man was tested March 14th and sent home for self isolation  — the confirmation came yestersday.

The health unit is actively engaged in the process of contact tracing for other individuals who may have been in close contact with the man.

There is also one new confirmed case in the Outaouis.

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Ottawa’s medical officer of health is sounding a note of caution to residents to take the covid-19 pandemic seriously in the capital

Dr Vera Etches says everyone in Ottawa needs to act as if the virus is here, circulating in our community.

Etches says the testing *has not* revealed community transmission in Ottawa but emphasises that for every lab-confirmed case related to travel…there is a likelihood of at least an equal number of travel-related cases not detected

Etches says based on current confirmed cases — who have moved beyond 1st stage symptoms, there could potentially be anywhere between 200 to 1000 undetected causes in the community now

Dr etches emphasises there is no laboratory-confirmed community spread in Ottawa.

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Ottawa public health is trying to bring your attention to a local scam that’s popped up since the outbreak of covid-19.

In a tweet, the local health agency says people are spoofing health units and asking for your credit card number when calling about the coronavirus.

They say no one from OPH or health unit would ever ask for your credit card.

If this happens, hang up right away and contact the Ottawa police.

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Health Canada is waiving some of its usual regulatory requirements to increase supplies of hand sanitizers, disinfectants, swabs and personal protective equipment such as masks and gowns used to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

The agency says due to “unprecedented demand” it will temporarily allow them to be sold in this country even if they don’t meet the normal regulatory requirements.

The temporary waiver will apply to products that are already authorized for sale in Canada but aren’t fully compliant with Health Canada regulations.

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Canadian pet shelters are feeling the pinch as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many have placed adoptions on hold and humane society offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto are closed.

Edmonton Humane Society C-E-O Liza Sunley says at this point people can’t just stop by and surrender their pets, but it will still deal with urgent cases.

In Ottawa, the adoption centre will be closed to visitors until further notice but animals can be adopted on an appointment basis.

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The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is urging consumers not to panic buy.

President Keith Currie says people should be reassured that safe food will continue to be produced, processed, and distributed despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says Ontario’s food distribution system will continue stocking grocery store shelves and can handle the additional pressures put on it as a result of the current health crisis.

Currie says there is no reason to hoard food.

The federation represents more than 49-thousand farms across the province that grow more than 200 different farm and food products.

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A woman in her 50’s has died following a late morning fire in Kanata south.

Ottawa fire fighters responded just before 11:30 this morning to a call about black smoke and flames seen in a three-storey row housing unit on Torcastle Way

The blaze was centred in the bedroom of one unit, and fire crews found one person there.

Paramedics assessed a second person and treated them for minor burns at the scene.

No word on a cause or damage estimate.

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An inquest has been announced into the death of a 48 year inmate at the Ottawa Carleton detention centre.

Jean Hervé Veillette died in hospital after a transfer from OCDC.

The inquest will examine the circumstances surrounding the death.

Information regarding a date and location will be announced at a later date.

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Ottawa is coming together in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal political parties are now working together to recall Parliament so it can pass legislation that would implement billions in aid for Canadians struggling with the economic fallout from the outbreak.

Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez says fast passage of the measures is critical and things will start happening next week.

Rodriguez is now working with other parties to determine how to make up the minimum number of M-Ps required to pass the initiatives, which is 20

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A closure of the world’s longest undefended border is expected to begin in earnest today as Canada and the U-S continue to work out the details of banning non-essential travel between the two countries.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump announced the ban yesterday, saying it was meant to curtail the rapid spread of COVID-19 without disrupting the flow of essential goods and services.

Also announced yesterday was 82-billion-dollars in federal financial aid and tax deferrals to help take the sting out of the pandemic’s effect on the economy.

Trudeau will hold another news conference this morning.

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Another group of Canadians on a cruise ship are experience the choppy waters of uncertainty as the COVID-19 outbreak hits several passengers.

Global Affairs Canada says there are at least 77 Canadians onboard the trans-Atlantic cruise ship bound for the French Mediterranean port of Marseille.

The Costa Luminosa — with more than 14-hundred people on board — is expected to arrive in port waters Thursday, but it’s not known if passengers will be allowed off.

A Global Affairs spokeswoman says the agency is standing ready to provide consular assistance, but no further information can be disclosed due to provisions of the Privacy Act.

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World markets continue to sing the COVID-19 blues.

Shares in Asia tumbled further this morning after the Dow industrials plunged despite more government help for economies reeling from virus outbreaks.

Investors are rushing to convert holdings to cash, bracing for a prolonged coronavirus-induced recession.

Yesterday’s nose-dive tripped market circuit breakers, forcing a pause in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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Iranian State T-V is reporting that the country’s top leader will pardon 10-thousand more prisoners in an apparent effort to combat the coronavirus and its spread through the prison system.

Officials have already released 85-thousand prisoners on temporary leave — among them an unknown number of inmates whose cases are political and related to activism or speech.

A judiciary spokesman says a number of the prisoners could be granted amnesty under a decree by the country’s Supreme Leader on the occasion of the Iranian new year, called Nowruz.

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