The government has won unanimous consent to quickly pass emergency legislation to free up 82-billion-dollars to help Canadians weather the COVID-19 crisis.

After a long day and night of negotiations, M-Ps began debating the bill in the wee hours of morning, with a vote planned within a couple of hours.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, speaking on the floor of the House, thanked his colleagues in the Opposition and the other parties for their help in fending of additional measures added to the bill by the Liberals.

Early he described the measures as undemocratic.

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The latest numbers from the province on covid 19 shows there are 588 cases.

There are another three cases in Ottawa.

They are; a woman in her 30’s and a man in his 40’s, both  from close contact, and a man in his 50’s  who was travelling in the United States.

All the new Ottawa patients are self isolating.

 

There are also three new cases in the Kingston area.

A man in his 30’s who travelled to the UK.

And two people in their 70’s.

The man and woman had travelled to Singapore.

They are all self isolating as well.

There are 54 confirmed cases in Eastern Ontario, including 27 in Ottawa.

There are 12 confirmed cases in western Quebec.

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With the number of covid-19 cases rising in the capital, and an ominous warning that we could see 4,000 cases a day during the peak of the coronavirus, Ottawa is looking to open another pair of assessment centres

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches says the Ottawa Hospital is taking charge of the specifics and looking for locations in both the east and west ends of the city.

When asked for details, the Ottawa Hospital said Ottawa public health would provide more information at their next media availability.

Ottawa’s top doctor did say another centre is expected to be open sometime this week.

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OC Transpo is scaling back its service.

The transit authority says they will be reducing service routes in the hopes of reducing the spread of the new coronavirus.

Since officials asked residents to ‘stay home’, OC Transpo says they’ve seen a 70 to 90 per cent drop in ridership.

Starting today, trains on the Trillium line will only run every 15 minutes….then on Friday, trains on the Confederation line will arrive every six to eight minutes during peak hours, and every 10 to 16 minutes on off-peak hours and weekends.

Para-Transpo is now only running with one passenger per trip to encourage distancing, and OC Transpo busses will be running on a weekend schedule, starting on Monday.

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A local public school board has sent a letter to parents updating the situation.

Schools will remain closed past the original  two week extension of March Break, there is no firm date  to resume classes.

The OCDSB says it understands the education ministry is working on a new date.

Additional resources for students to learn at home have been posted on the website.

The board is developing a strategy for online learning.

The board also knows that not all students are connected to a computer, and they are working with the province to make technology available.

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All non-essential businesses in Ontario are closed as of today.

Premier Doug Ford’s order to shut shop for at least 14 days took effect just before midnight.

But many companies will still be doing business after being designated as essential by the government.

They include construction firms, utilities, health-care professionals, veterinarians, grocery stores and pharmacies.

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Ontario’s finance minister is set to release a fiscal update later today.

Rod Phillips was originally supposed to present a full budget, but opted not to in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phillips says the update will contain a one-year- outlook based on the new economic realities caused by the novel coronavirus.

He’s set to deliver the update starting at 4 p-m.

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Tenant advocacy groups across the country are expected to formally ask governments for help paying rent today as an April first deadline looms.

Many renters have been left scrambling as the COVID-19 outbreak shuts down businesses and causes thousands of job losses.

Landlords say they still have to worry about paying mortgages, taxes and other expenses during the pandemic.

But Geordie Dent, the executive director of Toronto’s Federation of Metro Tenants Associations, says many renters won’t be able to make their payments without help.

He says that tenant associations across the country plan on issuing a joint statement today seeking some kind of government relief.

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The first in a series of Air Canada flights shuttling Canadians home from Peru was wheels up Tuesday evening.

Global Affairs Canada says a number of other flights around the world are being scheduled to pick-up Canadian travellers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials note that in the past week WestJet, Air Transat and Sunwing have brought home tens of thousands of Canadians, with more flights on the way.

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Thousands of injured veterans could be in line for payments thanks in part to a former special-forces soldier and his class-action lawsuit.

The Federal Court ruled in favour of retired warrant officer Simon Logan, who alleged he was shortchanged nearly three-thousand-dollar a month on his long-term disability payments.

In his ruling, Justice Richard Southcott agreed that the monthly allowances reflecting Logan’s special skills and the hazards he faced should’ve been calculated into the long-term disability.

Logan’s lawyer Daniel Wallace could not say how much the government could end up paying out to his client or the 68-hundred others in the class action.

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Egypt and Syria have announced nighttime curfews to combat the novel coronavirus.

Egypt says its curfew would last two weeks and keep 100-million people indoors from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

It has 402 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths, including two senior military officers.

Syria will begin imposing its curfew starting today.

It has reported only one COVID-19 cases, but nearly a decade of civil war has destroyed its health care system.

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U-S President Donald Trump’s idea of reopening the country by Easter may not gain traction amid opposition from the nation’s governors.

More restrictions are being put in place across the U-S.

Marlyland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, says the White House’s push for an Easter opening is based on some imaginary clock.

Trump says he is already looking toward easing the advisories that have sidelined workers, shuttered schools and led to a widespread economic slowdown.

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