Skip to content

Coronavirus News Updates

A Supplement to the Municipal World Daily

To help our clients and partners in their efforts to #FlattenTheCurve across Canada, Municipal World is curating this special #COVID19 news update page. The response to the outbreak is rolling out differently across the country, as appropriate for local circumstances, so our team is working to collect those items most relevant to local governments, including changes related to conferences and events. Also, you can listen to our special podcast episode on the coronavirus and the impact on communities. Check back for updates as they are posted.

 

Coronavirus Municipal Conference Updates

Last updated: April 12 at 9 a.m.

April 12

New Brunswick suspends municipal elections in lockdown areas
New Brunswick’s municipal elections, scheduled for May 10 after being postponed last year due to the pandemic, are being put on hold in some northwest regions that are under lockdown. Read more…


Ajax mayor reaching out to address vaccine hesitancy
In an attempt to combat hesitancy around the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier is holding a series of Live w/ Mayor Talks throughout April. Read more…


Expansion of high-speed internet not speedy enough, say rural Nova Scotians
With many people working from home and moving to Nova Scotia for remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, some say high-speed internet services can’t come fast enough. Read more…


City of Red Deer expedites patio process for desperate restaurants
In an effort to offer immediate assistance to businesses, the City of Red Deer is modifying its processes to allow for installation of patios prior to permits being issued. Read more….


Is COVID-19 pushing Canadians away from the big cities?
The pandemic has triggered a record surge in Canadians leaving the big cities in favour of suburbs and small towns where house prices are more affordable, recent figures from Statistics Canada has shown. Read more…


City of Brooks helping restaurants establish patios amid restrictions
The City of Brooks is lending a hand to help local restaurants generate revenue while still complying with the latest restrictions that ban indoor dining. Read more…


Vancouver to temporarily close streets to encourage active transportation
The City of Vancouver will be closing the streets in front of three elementary schools starting Monday to encourage parents to use active transportation to pick up and drop off their children. Read more…


Montreal mayor issues 500 day challenge to revive city’s economy
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante has a challenge for the city’s residents: to take 500 days to revive the city from the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


April 9

Guelph may revoke licenses of businesses that repeatedly ignore shutdown
The City of Guelph said it could consider revoking business licences of those that repeatedly disobey the provincial shutdown order, but only as a last resort. Read more…


Nova Scotia updates several municipal government operating regulations
Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nova Scotia is revamping the way municipal governments can operate, introducing amendments to the Municipal Government Act and the Halifax Regional Municipality charter. Read more…


Construction on Hamilton Health Sciences field hospital to start next week
The CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences says the hospital network is moving forward with its temporary field hospital. Read more…


Wastewater data suggests COVID-19 cases to soon reach record highs in London
Researchers say wastewater surveillance in London suggests COVID-19 case counts in the coming week will be equivalent to what was seen at the peak of the pandemic’s second wave. Read more…


Kamloops looks at helping businesses with vandalism, graffiti repair
The City of Kamloops is exploring the idea of helping local businesses impacted by vandalism and graffiti during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Quebec extends lockdown in COVID-19 hot spots
Quebec Premier François Legault announced an extension of emergency measures in the cities of Gatineau, Lévis, Quebec City, as well as the Beauce region, after a spike in new COVID-19 cases. Read more…


Toronto lowering COVID-19 vaccine age eligibility to 50 in hot spots Friday
The City of Toronto says that residents 50 years old and over living in all hot spot neighbourhoods in the city will be able to book an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine shot starting Friday morning. Read more…


Downtown Vancouver office vacancy rate exceeds level of 2008 financial crisis
Downtown Vancouver’s office vacancy rate is currently at 6.7 percent, putting it above the peak levels that followed the global financial crisis in 2008 when many companies let go of their prime office space. Read more…


April 8

Venezuelan mayor marks homes of COVID patients with red symbol
A mayor in central Venezuela has begun placing red warning symbols on the homes of people with COVID-19 and also threatened to cut welfare handouts for those breaking quarantine. Read more…


Staff recommends Saskatoon use reserves to cover fiscal year-end deficit
Saskatoon city administration is recommending council use funds from reserves to cover a year-end budget deficit for 2020 at just over $700,000. Read more…


City of Grande Prairie reminds restaurant owners of COVID-19 grants
City Hall is reminding restaurant owners they can take advantage of grants offered under the City of Grande Prairie’s Economic Recovery Program. Read more…


April 7

Ontario to enact month-long stay-at-home order beginning Thursday: sources
The Ford government is set to announce a provincewide, month-long stay-at-home order today similar to what was enacted in January in a bid to stem the third wave of COVID-19, multiple sources say. Read more…


Weyburn city council back to Zoom due to COVID
Weyburn city council will be holding its April 12 meeting at its regular time of 5 p.m. via Zoom, due to increased COVID-19 and variant of concern cases in the community and surrounding area. Read more…


Quebec tightens COVID-19 restrictions in Montreal two weeks after easing them
Less than two weeks after easing restrictions, Quebec is reversing its decision to reopen gyms and high schools in the greater Montreal area. Read more…


April 6

Five more Quebec municipalities to enter lockdown
The mayor of a small town that was set to enter lockdown Monday night says the provincial government has been incoherent in its messaging on COVID-19 health orders. Read more…


Proposal to help restaurants pay for temporary patios withdrawn
Owen Sound council didn’t end up voting on a councillor’s proposal to provide matching grants to help downtown restaurants – hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic – with the cost of setting up temporary patios this summer. Read more…


Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph public health to order temporary closure of schools
The medical officer of health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph has decided to order the temporary closure of schools in the region effective Wednesday amid a “troubling rise in cases of COVID-19 among children,” officials say. Read more…


City of Toronto will look at more “targeted approach” to vaccinate people: Tory
Vaccinating people in higher-risk neighbourhoods and workplaces, regardless of age, is a targeted approach the city should consider going forward, Toronto Mayor John Tory says. Read more…


Business licenses for two COVID rule-flouting Vancouver restaurants suspended
The City of Vancouver has suspended the business licenses for two restaurants for at least two weeks, after they defied COVID-19 related health orders. Read more…


April 1

Ontario heading back into lockdown starting on Saturday
Sources say the Ford government is triggering an Ontario-wide 28-day emergency break starting this Saturday, this in response to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Read more…


Legault puts Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau “on pause”
Premier François Legault slapped additional emergency COVID-19 restrictions on Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau Wednesday, rolling the curfew back to 8 p.m. and closing non-essential businesses and schools until at least April 12. Read more…


Dawson Creek mayor asks for community-wide vaccinations
The mayor of Dawson Creek is calling on the Northern Health Authority to open a community-wide vaccination clinic to combat dramatically rising infection rates in the region. Read more…


City of Prince George to waive patio fees
In an effort to help local restaurants, cafes, and pubs as they transition to outdoor food services, the City of Prince George is waiving all fees associated with temporary permitting requirements for the use of outdoor patios. Read more…


Moose Jaw mayor urges discipline, NDP calls for tighter rules in zone
Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie urged residents to keep following COVID-19 restrictions a day after Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer said the city was on “red alert.” Read more…


March 31

Elections NB adds priority mail-in ballot, online portal for upcoming election
Elections New Brunswick will provide voters with priority mail-in ballots for the municipal elections this spring to try to make the second election of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Brunswick go more smoothly. Read more…


Kirkland postpones its 60th anniversary party due to COVID-19
The City of Kirkland has put its 60th anniversary celebrations on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It marks the second time since the pandemic began that a West Island municipality has had to cancel its celebrations. Read more…


New app offers safety tips from Regina Fire and Protective Services
In a typical year, Regina Fire and Protective Services presents approximately 400 public education sessions to the community, but because of the pandemic it had to come up with some new ways to get the message across. Read more…


City of Brandon waiving license fees for pop-up patios
The City of Brandon is waiving fees for businesses hoping to expand their footprint onto the sidewalk or street during the pandemic without having to pay fees to the city. Read more…


March 30

FCM applauds first federal fund dedicated to rural transit solutions
Following the announcement of $250 million over five years dedicated to rural transit solutions, officials with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities are weighing in on the federal government’s commitment. Read more…


Edmonton to “Reimagine” city services to help with pandemic recovery
Edmonton is exploring new ways to draw in revenue and cut costs to help the city recover from the challenges of the pandemic and an economic recession. Read more…


City of Winnipeg looking at short-term COVID-19 recovery plan
A motion at Winnipeg City Hall is calling for a short-term COVID-19 recovery plan to help the city grow its economy while addressing social equality issues made more visible during the pandemic. Read more…


March 29

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger sees “hope” despite returning lockdown
As Hamilton enters another lockdown, Mayor Fred Eisenberger is optimistic that by September, people will be able to take part in large gatherings again. Read more…


Burlington introducing changes to park management to fix COVID-19 issues
The city has witnessed unprecedented use of its parks in the last year. While that’s generally been a good thing for the City of Burlington, it has presented a number of COVID-19-related challenges. Read more…


Transit union renews call for Winnipeg bus drivers to be prioritized for vaccines
The union representing transit workers in Winnipeg is again calling for its members to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines, as more cases of highly contagious coronavirus variants continue popping up in the city. Read more…


Edmonton bike industry experiencing “overload of demand”
The past 12 months have been record-breaking for the bike industry around the world, including in Edmonton, as the pandemic has introduced many new people to cycling. Read more…


Municipalities look to lure home buyers away from the GTA
More space for less money. These are the things on the mind of potential homeowners as they ponder their next move. And with many working remotely from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one’s office can be anywhere. Read more…


March 26

City of Regina suspends parking meter enforcement until April 5
The City of Regina has announced it has suspended expired parking meter enforcement until April 5 while the regional COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Read more…


Iqaluit council holds first meeting in new city hall
Although the public is not able to attend council meetings in person due to COVID-19 restrictions, Iqaluit city councillors settled into their new chamber on Tuesday. Read more…


Ottawa to mark anniversary of city’s first COVID-19 death
Flags at Ottawa City Hall will fly at half mast until sunset on Sunday, March 28 as the city marks the anniversary of the first COVID-19 death of an Ottawa resident on March 25, 2020. Read more…


Complaints about COVID vaccine online booking system flood mayor’s office
Thunder Bay’s mayor says his office has been receiving a high volume of calls from residents having issues with online booking for the COVID -19 vaccine. Read more…


COVID-19 leads to spike in Hamilton staffers seeking mental health programs
The more than year-long focus on the pandemic has resulted in “measurable impacts on staff well-being,” noted a report before the Hamilton city council’s general issues committee on Wednesday. Read more…


March 25

Ontario budget brings province’s COVID-19 response to $51 billion
The 2021 Ontario budget – Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy – is the next phase of the province’s response to COVID-19 and is the second budget the government has delivered during the pandemic. Read more…


Ontario budget continues to manage pandemic impacts, prepare for recovery
Graydon Smith, president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, is lauding the new provincial budget as a good one for municipal governments. Read more…


New Brunswick-Quebec border communities eager to reopen travel bubbles
Communities along both sides of New Brunswick’s northern border are welcoming an expected loosening of restrictions after months of challenges that kept them apart. Read more…


Municipality offers patio guidelines for 2021
Chatham council authorized the municipality to run a temporary sidewalk patio program again in the same manner as 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Read more…


Giant rabbits take over downtown Edmonton park in effort to “Spark” vibrancy
Some massive rabbits were unveiled in downtown Edmonton Wednesday, part of an art display aimed at luring customers to spend cash at pandemic-battered businesses in the city core. Read more…


Regina and area businesses react to new round of COVID-19 restrictions
Under a regional public health order, restaurants and bars in Regina and surrounding area must close dine-in services starting Sunday and lasting until at least April 5. Read more…


Mayor fears Mississauga and Brampton headed for another stay-at-home order
The new variants of COVID-19 are now accounting for 45 percent of cases in Peel Region and with all pandemic indicators on the rise, Mississauga’s mayor fears we are headed for another stay-at-home order. Read more…


March 24

Regina closing city-operated recreation facilities starting Sunday
Mayor Sandra Masters has announced city-owned recreation facilities will close to the public on March 28 after the provincial government’s amendment to the public health order for Regina and area on Tuesday. Read more…


South Frontenac council votes to denounce Randy Hillier over COVID-19 rhetoric
Councillors in South Frontenac, a municipality in Randy Hillier’s riding, voted unanimously to denounce the provincial politician over his stance on COVID-19. Read more…


City of Edmonton to review effectiveness of transit security measures
Councillors want a report on the effectiveness of security measures at Edmonton transit stations and the use of transit security guards and peace officers. Read more…


March 23

Calgary to waive some business licence fees for two more years
Calgary city council voted to waive fees related to some business licences for two years in an effort to lessen the impact of challenges related to the pandemic. Read more…


March 22

City of Edmonton further increases security presence at transit stations
Security measures at Edmonton transit facilities are being ramped up in response to recent attacks and an increase of social disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Chatham-Kent offers patio guidelines for 2021
Chatham-Kent council has authorized the municipality to run a temporary sidewalk patio program again in the same manner as 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Read more…


New Brunswick-Quebec border communities eager to reopen travel bubbles
Communities along both sides of New Brunswick’s northern border are welcoming an expected loosening of restrictions after months of challenges that kept them apart. Read more…


Miami Beach extends COVID-19 curfew to control rowdy spring break crowds
Miami Beach officials voted on Sunday to extend an 8 p.m. curfew and emergency powers for up to three weeks to help control unruly and mostly maskless crowds that have converged on the party destination during spring break. Read more…


March 19

Atlantic bubble 2.0 expected to begin by April 19, premiers say
Round two of the Atlantic bubble is expected to begin by April 19, the Council of Atlantic Premiers announced on Thursday. Read more…


How pandemic bike lanes made some Canadian cities more accessible
Several Canadian cities set up temporary bike lanes to accommodate the pandemic cycling boom, and biking enthusiasts want the changes to stay. Read more…


CK’s top doc “aghast” over lack of plan to vaccinate migrant workers on arrival
Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health is frustrated there isn’t a better plan from upper levels of government to provide COVID-19 vaccines to temporary foreign workers. Read more…


Town saves over $15,000 as pandemic reduces council travel
A report showing the salary and expenses paid to members of the Town of Minto Council revealed a decrease of more than 10% over the previous 12-month total. Read more…


Toronto wants to stay in grey-lockdown zone, with tweaks: city officials
Toronto will not move to the red zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework, but will instead ask the province to slightly modify its grey-lockdown rules for some outdoor activities. Read more…


March 18

Mayor Crombie brings in Hazel McCallion to encourage seniors get vaccinated
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has brought in her predecessor, Hazel McCallion, to help convince more people in her city to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more…


Regina council meetings move online amid COVID-19 variant outbreak
All in-person City of Regina council and committee meetings will be suspended and will return to a virtual format following an increase in COVID-19 variant cases in Saskatchewan. Read more…


City of London adding “park and pick-up” spots downtown
The City of London is adding more than a dozen new “park and pick-up” locations throughout London’s downtown. These short-term parking spots are for people picking up orders. Read more…


Saint John “Workcation” program seeing early signs of success
The community and business partners behind a program that’s looking to bring remote workers to Saint John says it’s seeing early signs of success. Read more…


“Suppressive” approach to variants making a difference: Montreal public health
A “suppressive” approach to controlling the spread of more transmissible coronavirus variants in Montreal has prevented a spike in COVID-19 cases involving those mutations, the city’s public health director said Wednesday. Read more…


March 17

Mayor praises Newmarket’s resiliency, compassion during year of COVID
Reflecting on the past year, Mayor John Taylor said he has been proud to see the resiliency, strength, and compassion the people of Newmarket have shown during difficult times. Read more…


City of Winnipeg to reopen indoor pools, offer spring programming
The City of Winnipeg says indoor city pools will reopen on March 29, just in time for spring break. However, capacity at pools will stay at 25 percent. Read more…


March 16

Federal budget must support Canadians during, after COVID-19: municipalities
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is calling on the federal government to continue supporting Canadians and kickstart the economic recovery from the ground up. Read more…


Lincoln fast-tracking tent permits, temporary patio expansions
The Town of Lincoln is expediting seasonal tent requests and temporary approvals for restaurants, bars, and wineries to help boost business as they reopen. Read more…


City of Castlegar to offer mail ballot voting for 2021 by-election
The City of Castlegar has received a Ministerial Order that allows mail ballot voting for the 2021 By-election. The option is being offered to help ensure public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


March 15

Juno Awards cancellation still felt in Saskatoon one year later
Saskatoon was supposed to come alive with all the festivities the Juno Awards bring one year ago this week and the impact of the cancellation is still being felt in the city. Read more…


City of Edmonton records $40.2 million surplus in 2020
The City of Edmonton raked in a budget surplus of $40.2 million in 2020 despite COVID-19 revenue reductions of more than $142 million. Read more…


Vancouverites burst into sunny outdoor spaces as gathering rules eased
People in Vancouver burst into public spaces on Saturday, celebrating new rules that allow outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people after a dark and isolating pandemic winter. Read more…


100 arrested as spring break crowds hit Miami Beach despite the pandemic
About 100 people have been arrested and two police officers injured as spring break crowds gathered in Florida’s Miami Beach over the weekend, the city says. Read more…


March 11

Mississauga mayor pushes for city to be moved into COVID-19 red zone
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie is pushing for her city to be moved into the red zone of Ontario’s coronavirus response framework, which would allow for a further loosening of restrictions. Read more…


Winnipeg restaurants “shocked” after city attaches $500 fee to patio program
Restaurateurs in Winnipeg were excited with the above-seasonal temperatures this week, but news the city is attaching a price tag to last year’s popular temporary patio permit program has caught them by surprise. Read more…


Traffic in Vancouver dropped as much as 50 percent at height of pandemic
With people staying at home more since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic trends in the Vancouver have followed with volumes dropping as low as 50 percent in April 2020. Read more…


Regina approves $2.5 million program to increase bus driver safety
Regina City Council voted unanimously in favour of installing plexiglass shields in all city buses as an added layer of protection for drivers. Read more…


March 10

Blue Mountains mayor cries foul over third-round of COVID funding
The mayor of the Town of the Blue Mountains said the latest round of COVID-relief funding from the province does not take into account the impacts of tourism. Read more…


Just 10 COVID-19 mask bylaw tickets issued to Edmontonians so far in March
The City of Edmonton released data Tuesday that shows so far in March, only 10 tickets were handed out to people in the city for violating the COVID-19 mask bylaw. Read more…


March 9

Cities will be key in green recovery, Green Party leader says
Cities have a key role in the green recovery, the plan to address climate change as a core part of the pandemic recovery, says federal Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. Read more…


Unpaid oil, gas company taxes straining Alberta municipalities
Rural Municipalities of Alberta recently released new statistics indicating oil and gas companies now owe more than $245 million in property taxes to rural municipalities. Read more…


Illegal gathering near Quebec City nets $55K in tickets
An illegal gathering in a ski resort region near Quebec City on Saturday night netted $54,800 in fines: $1,550 for each of the 36 partygoers. Read more…


City of Winnipeg hoping for best financially but prepared for worst
As Winnipeg’s economy treads water, city economists are busy working out finances to guard against a possible drowning event. Read more…


New website lets Calgarians track traces of COVID-19 in their wastewater
A new website that tracks traces of COVID-19 found in Calgary’s wastewater is now up and running and available to the public. Read more…


Pop-up hospital being planned for Hamilton
Hamilton Health Sciences is planning a pop-up hospital – potentially in a Wellington Street North parking lot – to be used as overflow while the pandemic strains the province’s health-care system. Read more…


March 8

Tightened travel restrictions underline challenges for tourism
According to the latest data from the World Tourism Organization, one in three destinations worldwide are now completely closed to international tourism. Read more…


City of Edmonton prepares for the COVID-19 spring
More space for walking, shopping, and dining outdoors will be made available by the City of Edmonton this spring in an effort to provide enough room to follow COVID-19 distancing requirements. Read more…


Quebec City marchers demand return of organized sports
Marchers gathered Sunday in front of the Quebec National Assembly to demand the resumption of organized sports. Read more…


Toronto has some of the longest COVID-19 business closures in North America
As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on for a year, Toronto has become a flashpoint for the inherent inequities and political consequences that come with difficult public-health decisions. Read more…


Calgary officials assess city’s response to pandemic year after first case
One year after the first presumptive case of COVID-19 was reported in the province, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he’s proud of the way residents responded to the crisis. Read more…


Mass testing, mask wearing help Detroit slow virus’ pace
COVID-19 hit Detroit hard. But fast action by local leaders early in the pandemic may have slowed the rampant advance of the virus among city’s largely Black population. Read more…


March 5

Ontario provides additional support for municipalities during COVID-19
The Ontario government is providing an additional $500 million to help the province’s 444 municipalities address ongoing COVID-19 operating costs. Read more…


Sports competition and games allowed again in Halifax Regional Municipality
Games and competition are allowed again in Halifax Regional Municipality after a successful stretch of limiting the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


Hamilton warning residents of scam offering COVID-19 vaccines for money
The City of Hamilton is alerting residents about an alleged scam that offers front-of-line COVID-19 vaccine service for a fee. Read more…


Quebec eases some COVID-19 restrictions, maintains Montreal at highest level
Quebec Premier François Legault said Wednesday he is maintaining restrictions in the Montreal area because public health authorities fear a novel coronavirus variant could cause rising case numbers and hospitalizations in the region. Read more…


Toronto lost $8.35B in tourist activity due to first year of COVID-19 pandemic
According to a recent analysis, the COVID-19 pandemic has cost the City of Toronto’s economy $8.35 billion due to a drop in tourism and hospitality spending. Read more…


March 4

2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed because of COVID-19
The 2022 Arctic Winter Games have been postponed and it is not known when they will be held. The news comes nearly one year after the games were cancelled in Whitehorse because of COVID-19 restrictions. Read more…


City of Regina looks to increase protections for bus drivers
The City of Regina is looking to protect transit bus drivers – not only from COVID-19, but from some passengers as well. Read more…


Toronto’s top doctor asks for city to be placed in grey zone
Toronto’s top doctor is asking the province to place the city in the grey lockdown category of its framework for COVID-19 restrictions, allowing non-essential retail stores to reopen while keeping most other businesses closed. Read more…


Calgary bars, restaurants to continue using public land during patio season
The City of Calgary will permit bars, restaurants and cafes to make use of public land for temporary patios this year as pandemic-related capacity restrictions remain in place. Read more…


March 3

Calgary’s expanded patios, temporary pedestrian space will return
The City of Calgary is preparing to bring back expanded restaurant patios and extra space for pedestrians as the COVID-19 pandemic heads toward its second spring. Read more…


Mayor in Nunavut hopes curfew order, bylaw patrol will drop COVID-19 cases
The mayor of Arviat in Nunavut says his community has strictly followed a state of emergency order that includes a nightly curfew. Read more…


March 2

Collingwood council telling province to put town back in the red “immediately”
Collingwood council is demanding an explanation from the province for the local lockdown and asking for the town to be returned to red zone (or lower) restrictions effective immediately. Read more…


City of Vancouver starts accepting commercial patio applications for 2021
The City of Vancouver announced March 1 that restaurant, pub, and brewery owners may now apply for free temporary patio licences. Read more…


Whitehorse first capital city in Canada to open vaccine clinics to all adults
Whitehorse is the first capital city in Canada to open its COVID-19 vaccination clinic to all citizens aged 18 and older, the Yukon government confirmed. Read more…


Mass vaccination campaign launches in Montreal with snags, frustration
The Olympic Stadium may not get much use these days in Montreal, but it was certainly busy on Monday as hundreds of seniors showed up to get a dose of a vaccine that could save their lives. Read more…


March 1

These two Ontario cities have launched campaigns to attract GTA residents
Two southwestern Ontario municipalities – London and Owen Sound – have launched marketing campaigns aimed at attracting people who are leaving the Greater Toronto Area amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Municipal mask order lifts in Wood Buffalo, provincial order remains
With fewer than 50 active COVID-19 cases in the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo area, the municipal mandatory mask bylaw has been lifted. But, the province-wide mask rule is still in place. Read more…


City of Toronto to begin vaccinating those using homeless shelters
The City of Toronto says COVID-19 vaccines will start to be administered to those experiencing homelessness in the city’s shelter system this week. Read more…


Guelph city council debating options for future of patio season
As a recent surge in temperatures is reminding Guelph residents of sunnier days eating and drinking outside, city council is debating options for the future of their patio season. Read more…


Mississauga wants to honour city’s COVID-19 heroes
Mississauga is seeking nominations for residents, local groups and businesses that have served the community heroically during COVID-19. Read more…


February 26

Mayor says they’re not waiting for provincial COVID-19 vaccine online portal
Mayor Cam Guthrie says seniors above the age of 80 in Guelph don’t need to wait for the provincial government’s go-ahead to register for their COVID-19 vaccine. Read more…


City of Thunder Bay still waiting for COVID-19 support from the province
The City of Thunder Bay is still waiting for the province to respond to its second pandemic-related state of emergency, Mayor Bill Mauro said Wednesday. Read more…


City of Winnipeg libraries and fitness facilities to reopen in March
The City of Winnipeg is bringing back some its temporary employees who were laid off earlier in the pandemic, as it begins to reopen its libraries and fitness facilities. Read more…


Quebec makes masks mandatory for primary students
Quebec will require elementary school students in regions hardest hit by COVID-19 to wear masks when they return from next week’s March break, health authorities announced Thursday. Read more…


February 25

Mississauga mayor wants city to enter red zone when stay-at-home order lifted
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie is pushing for her city to be placed in the red zone of the province’s colour-coded framework for COVID-19 restrictions once the stay-at-home order is lifted. Read more…


Nunavut community declares state of emergency over rising COVID-19 numbers
The Nunavut community of Arviat has declared a state of emergency over rising COVID-19 case numbers. There were 27 active cases Wednesday in the hamlet of about 2,800 people. Read more…


City of Toronto cancels major events up to July 1
The City of Toronto has extended a cancellation of major in-person events until July 1, including Canada Day celebrations, citing coronavirus concerns. Read more…


February 24

Halifax hopes music scene, hidden gems can revive tourism sector
Halifax’s new tourism strategy will be a year-round effort as the municipality looks to rebound post-pandemic from losses of around $800 million so far. Read more…


Kelowna council advocates for increased provincial social assistance payments
Kelowna city council will be sending letters to provincial ministries supporting the increase of social assistance payments and that the $300 COVID-19 supplement to those payments is made permanent. Read more…


City of Calgary’s state of emergency extended 90 more days
The City of Calgary is extending its local state of emergency for another 90 days, the head of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency announced on Tuesday. Read more…


Lethbridge extends mandatory mask bylaw to April 30 
After a lengthy, and at times, emotionally heated debate, Lethbridge city council voted early Tuesday evening to extend the city’s mandatory face-covering bylaw until April 30. Read more…


February 23

Calgary’s post-pandemic recovery top of mind ahead of provincial budget
Expectations from the upcoming Alberta budget vary among organizations and city officials in Calgary, but support for pandemic recovery is a priority. Read more…


Anti-lockdown councillor ousted as Centre Wellington deputy mayor
Centre Wellington council has replaced Councillor Steven Vanleeuwen as deputy mayor after he stirred controversy by helping to form an anti-lockdown caucus with other politicians across Canada. Read more..


NYC mayor appoints “recovery czar” to lead city’s rebound
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed a new “recovery czar” on Monday to lead the city’s economic revival, nearly a year after the city’s first COVID-19 cases shut the city down last March. Read more…


February 22

Toronto city council votes to temporarily reduce taxi renewal fees
Toronto city council has voted to temporarily reduce licence renewal fees for taxis and limousines amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


The pandemic has young Quebecers moving from city centres to rural regions
The pandemic is giving people cooped up in city centres the chance to make a change, and escape to some wide open spaces. Read more…


City of Hamilton launches COVID “concierge service” for businesses
Businesses in Hamilton will now have access to a centralized phone line and web portal run by the city, in partnership with local chambers of commerce, to address questions about the reopening. Read more…


Healthy PPE stash helping St. John’s maintain services, says mayor
St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen says a strong supply of personal protective equipment is allowing the city to continue providing a high level of essential services during this latest outbreak of the coronavirus. Read more…


February 19

City of Kelowna launches grant program to help local non-profits
The City of Kelowna has launched a new grant program – a one-time funding initiative – to support non-profit organizations in the sport, event and cultural sectors in the city that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Read more…


Toronto city council has passed budget with massive hole
Toronto City Council has passed an annual budget that includes a minimal property tax increase and will need around $650 million in support from other levels of government to achieve balance. Read more…


California conference in “immunity bubble” spreads COVID-19
XPrize founder Peter Diamandis thought he could hold a conference in an “immunity bubble” in the middle of California’s COVID-19 surge last month, but instead created a super-spreader event that infected attendees, staff, and himself. Read more…


February 18

Toronto, Peel medical officers request shutdown to remain until at least March
The medical officers of health for Toronto and Peel Region have written a letter to the province requesting that their respective municipalities remain in shutdown until at least March 9. Read more…


Red Deer mayor “deeply concerned” by increasing COVID-19 cases
Red Deer’s mayor says her city is at a critical crossroads, grappling with a growing active COVID-19 case rate that’s partially due to an outbreak at a local pork plant. Read more…


Hamilton studies creation of “virtual memorial wall” to COVID-19 victims
There may soon be another way to remember Hamiltonians who have lost their lives to COVID-19 after councillors unanimously approved a motion to study the creation of a “virtual memorial wall” on the city’s website. Read more…


London officials getting set for mass COVID-19 vaccination effort
The London-area health unit is adding two COVID-19 vaccination clinics to its arsenal as it gears up for a mass vaccination campaign this spring, a push that hinges on the availability of the coveted doses. Read more…


February 17

Saint John reminds people of pandemic rule that requires masks outdoors
Wearing a mask has become second nature for most New Brunswickers, but the City of Saint John is looking to clear up confusion when it comes to what to do when you’re outside. Read more…


St. John’s, Mount Pearl mayors say cities better prepared for COVID-19 lockdown
They’ve had to deal with Alert Level 5 before, but the mayors of both cities in the eastern part of the province say they’re much more prepared to deal with COVID-19-related challenges this time around. Read more…


City council approves extension to Red Deer’s face covering bylaw
Red Deer city council has extended the end date for a bylaw mandating the wearing of face coverings in indoor public places and public vehicles in the community. Read more…


February 16

Ontario lifts stay-at-home order in 27 regions as economic reopening continues
A stay-at-home order lifts for 27 Ontario public health units today. The units will now return to the province’s COVID-19 colour-coded tiered ranking system used prior to a provincewide lockdown which began on Boxing Day. Read more…


Some in Labrador pushing for tighter travel restrictions to keep COVID-19 out
Municipal leaders in Labrador West are hoping to get self-isolation rules in place for people travelling from Newfoundland, in an effort to keep a coronavirus variant outbreak from reaching the region. Read more…


Snap lockdown for New Zealand’s city after family tests positive for variant
New Zealand’s summer of unrestricted movement and social interaction has been brought to an abrupt halt by three new community cases of COVID-19. Read more…


February 12

Barrie’s sewage offers loads of information into spread of COVID-19, UK variant
A new testing process in Ottawa has detected the COVID-19 UK variant in Barrie’s wastewater and ongoing screening could find early indications of any increases in infections. Read more…


Scammers asking for COVID-19 vaccination money, health unit warns
Health authorities in Niagara Region are warning about a COVID-19 vaccination scam. It appears someone is calling residents to schedule a vaccination appointment. The caller also asks for payment. Read more…


First Nations pledge “unity” after growing, widespread COVID-19 racism
Two Indigenous leaders in British Columbia are just the latest to speak out against a growing litany of reports about discrimination against their members in nearby communities. Read more…


Toronto mayor pushes to spend $8M on programs in COVID-19 hotspots
Toronto Mayor John Tory is proposing that an additional $8 million be spent on community programs “in the areas of the city hit hardest by COVID-19” as part of the city’s 2021 budget. Read more…


St. John’s metro region in lockdown as COVID-19 cases balloon
The St. John’s region is essentially in total lockdown as of midnight Wednesday as Public Health officials try to tamp down a mushrooming outbreak of COVID-19. Read more…


February 11

FCM welcomes landmark recovery-supporting transit investment
Garth Frizzell, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, Chair of FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus, issued a statement following Ottawa’s major new investment in public transit. Read more…


Toronto to open nine clinics as part of COVID-19 vaccination plan
City of Toronto officials say nine COVID-19 immunization clinics will be opened as part of the municipal vaccination plan. Read more…


Sun Peaks mayor calls on property owners to be vigilant about rentals
The mayor of Sun Peaks is calling on local business owners to practise vigilance when it comes to following COVID-19 rules and regulations amid increased scrutiny of the ski industry by provincial authorities. Read more…


City of Calgary reopens select rinks and pools
The City of Calgary has announced it will reopen six sheets of ice at three arenas and four swimming pools in response to the government of Alberta’s eased COVID-19 restrictions. Read more…


Kelowna officials warn against anti-COVID protests ahead of planned rally
Kelowna’s mayor and top cop have some choice words for those planning on participating in an anti-restriction “mega rally” this weekend. Read more…


February 10

Southern Alberta municipalities decide whether or not to keep ice in arenas
When the Alberta government announced it was adding “limited school and minor sport training” to Step 1 of the province’s staggered easing of COVID-19 restrictions, it left some small-town arenas in a tough spot. Read more…


Durham Region launches mobile COVID-19 testing clinic
Durham Region Transit and Region of Durham Paramedic Services are working together to launch an innovative mobile COVID-19 testing clinic. Read more…


Charlottetown’s COVID-19 patio program on track to return
Charlottetown’s COVID-19 temporary patio program could be back again this summer. The program was initially established to help businesses deal with the pandemic and give customers the chance to enjoy the outdoors. Read more…


February 9

City examining ways to address Nanaimo’s battered downtown 
A pair of projects addressing downtown social disorder are pushing forward, while City of Nanaimo officials monitor how to react to an expected increase in challenges in the months ahead. Read more…


Proposed $100K program to boost London restaurant patios shot down
A pair of COVID-19 recovery efforts were tossed out by London politicians on Monday, raising concerns about the cost of the programs and efforts that favoured core-area businesses. Read more…


Future Air Canada flights to Regina could be affected by loss of control tower
Air Canada confirmed that if the Regina airport loses its air traffic control tower it will have an effect on the airline’s decision to send flights to the Queen City. Read more…


February 8

Big City Mayors to ask feds for second round of pandemic funding
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says he and his fellow big city mayors will be lobbying for another round of pandemic funding to help municipalities avoid deficits in 2021. Read more…


City of Winnipeg cases nearing magic threshold
As caseloads and test positivity rates continue to drop in southern Manitoba, provincial leaders are considering relaxing some pandemic restrictions when current health orders expire on February 13. Read more…


Montreal protesters rally against curfew, call for stricter public health measures
A small group of protesters rallied in front of the Quebec Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s office on Sunday in Montreal to protest the lack of affordable housing in the city and the “mismanagement” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Tourism in Vernon took a beating last year because of COVID restrictions
According to City of Vernon staff, room revenue and resulting Municipal Regional District Tax received until October 2020 are down 28.6 percent compared to the same period last year. Read more…


Quebec reopens non-essential stores as COVID-19 restrictions ease
Non-essential stores, personal care salons, and museums across Quebec will allowed to reopen Monday as the province eases some of the restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


February 5

Escape To Moose Jaw – Canada’s Most Notorious City
Mayor Fraser Tolmie has a message for politicians feeling the heat, and anyone needing to escape. The City of Moose Jaw asks everyone to follow all current Public Health guidelines. Watch more…


City of Peterborough to assemble team to assist health unit in vaccine rollout
The City of Peterborough will create a team to assist health officials in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more…


Ontario changes rules allowing pet groomers to open under restrictions
The provincial government says it’s amending its rules to allow pet groomers across Ontario to operate under some restrictions as of Thursday. Read more…


February 4

Pelham to honour those lost to COVID-19 next month
The Town of Pelham will be lowering flags at town facilities to half-mast next month in memory of those lost to COVID-19. Read more…


Quebec won’t set up police checkpoints to limit travel between regions
Quebec’s public security minister rejected calls on Wednesday from opposition parties to set up police checkpoints limiting travel between regions when some COVID-19 health orders are relaxed next week. Read more…


Saskatchewan communities promoting local tourism during pandemic
While tourism is usually focused on bringing money and visitors in from other places, many Saskatchewan communities have been forced to look inward to invigorate the industry. Read more…


Kingston providing $1M pandemic relief for small biz, social services, artists
Non-profits and organizations in Kingston are hoping for a piece of the pie after city council voted to add a $1 million pandemic relief package during recent budget deliberations. Read more…


February 3

City of Thunder Bay declares health and social services state of emergency
The City of Thunder Bay is declaring a health and social services state of emergency in relation to COVID-19, calling for immediate support from the province. Read more…


Saskatoon library first in Canada to offer outreach support at walk-up window
Saskatoon Public Library is now offering walk-up outreach services where patrons can meet with an outreach worker for help with issues such as housing, food insecurity, job services, and crisis supports. Read more…


Why some Islanders won’t be getting the day off for bad weather anymore
On Tuesday, federal and municipal offices in Charlottetown and provincial civil service offices all shut their doors because of the weather. But in the face of COVID-19, many employees already work from home. Read more…


February 2

Ottawa stretching city’s COVID-19 vaccine supply with six doses per vial
The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Ottawa has surpassed the city’s stated inventory amid efforts to extract a sixth dose from each vial, according to the local public health unit. Read more…


Barrie mayor urges residents to stay home amid threat of new COVID-19 variant
Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman has taken to the airwaves to urge residents to stay home with a simple but powerful message. Read more…


Massive COVID-19 vaccination site set up in downtown Montreal
Quebec’s vaccination campaign may be slowed by shipment delays, but health officials are still getting ready to administer inoculations on a massive scale in and around Montreal. Read more…


COVID-19 once again puts squeeze on services for Saskatoon’s vulnerable
The Saskatchewan Health Authority’s list of recent outbreaks in Saskatoon could easily leave the impression the virus is targeting the city’s most vulnerable. Read more…


February 1

Consult with municipalities about border reopening, mayors say
Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop has joined with other border municipality officials calling on the federal government consult with municipalities when it comes to reopening the Canada-U. S. border. Read more…


Toronto drives home message to wear masks in condo common areas
Refusal by some to wear masks in condo buildings has triggered the city to launch a campaign this week to drive home the message people must cover up in common areas. Read more…


City council votes to freeze parking rates in downtown Charlottetown
Parking rates in Charlottetown have been frozen until at least September 1 after city council voted 7-0 in favour of maintaining the current rates at meters and parkades. Read more…


Masks, reservations now required for all City of Brampton outdoor ice rinks
Non-medical masks or face coverings are mandatory on the ice at all City of Brampton-owned outdoor skating rinks for all participants over the age of 10. Read more…


Okanagan municipality waives business license fees amid pandemic
The District of Summerland and the Summerland Chamber of Commerce are taking extra steps in supporting local businesses amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


January 29

La Broquerie reeve suspended for breaking code of conduct by attending rally
Councillors in a rural municipality in Manitoba voted to suspend their reeve after an investigation found he violated the council’s code of conduct by attending a rally protesting heightened public health restrictions last November. Read more…


Toronto’s COVID-19 rules should be extended to June, public health chief urges
City bylaws requiring residents to stay two metres apart in public and wear masks in public spaces should be extended into June, according to a report from Toronto’s medical officer of health. Read more…


Okanagan municipality waives business license fees amid pandemic
The District of Summerland and the Summerland Chamber of Commerce are taking extra steps in supporting local businesses amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more..


City of Welland lowers flags to half-mast in recognition of lives lost to COVID-19
Flags are flying at half-mast at Welland Civic Square and other municipal facilities to honour the nearly 300 Niagara residents who have died from COVID-19. Read more…


City pauses COVID-19 enforcement on dog walkers and groomers
Mississauga is pausing enforcement on COVID-19 rules for dog walking and grooming businesses. Read more…


Ottawa homeless shelter faces major COVID-19 outbreak
Ten months into the pandemic, Ottawa’s overcrowded homeless shelter system is now facing what has long been feared – a major COVID-19 outbreak. Read more…


Tampa’s mayor issues outdoor mask order for Super Bowl
Anyone visiting Tampa’s popular outdoor destinations for the Super Bowl will be required to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Read more…


January 28

City of Edmonton officials respond to enforcement questions
Many fines for people defying the city’s mask bylaw and public health rules are being laid “after the fact,” according to city administrators. Read more…


Halifax to allow live streaming from its arenas, but only at discretion of renter
Minor hockey parents in the Halifax region who had no way to watch their children play hockey will now be able watch their games on live streams, but only at the discretion of the renter of the arena. Read more…


Ottawa pushes Ontario to allow small biz to operate under big box store rules
The City of Ottawa is calling on the Ontario government to treat small businesses the same as big box stores during the COVID-19 lockdown. Read more…


Golden Scissors recognizes modernized alcohol sales and patio rules
It may have taken a global pandemic for governments to tackle red tape surrounding alcohol sales and provide innovative changes to patio regulations, but they deserve a pat on the back for helping countless restaurants survive. Read more…


More Winnipeg library staff going back to work
The City of Winnipeg said 91 temporary, part-time library employees who were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic are coming back to work. Read more…


January 27

Global call for climate leadership at city level
The call is out for municipal leaders around the world to join a network using COVID-19 as an opportunity to develop more climate-resilient communities. Read more…


Saint John looking for people willing to take a “workcation”
Instead of looking to attract more jobs to the region, the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce is hoping to attract more people who already have one. Read more…


Quebec to go back to region-by-region restrictions, Montreal among strictest
Quebec Premier François Legault said he “hopes” to announce a loosening of COVID-19 restrictions next week – in some regions, but likely not in Montreal. Read more…


Municipal partners champion Hearts for Healthcare Workers
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, five local governments are working together to show appreciation for frontline healthcare workers. Read more…


Outbreak declared among City of Saskatoon workers
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has declared a COVID-19 outbreak among the roadways nightshift at the City of Saskatoon City Yards, the city says. Read more…


Consult with municipalities about border reopening, mayors say
Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop has joined with other border municipality officials calling on the federal government to consult with municipalities when it comes to reopening the Canada-U.S. border. Read more…


January 26

Premier Ford promises to “have the backs” of rural municipalities
In an address to Ontario’s rural municipal leaders, Premier Doug Ford delivered the message that the province will continue to “have the backs” of local governments in the face of ongoing challenges of the global pandemic. Read more…


Halifax won’t remove inhabited huts for homeless people
Halifax won’t remove shelters for homeless people that have popped up on municipal property recently if they’re occupied, but it will remove vacant ones, the municipality said Monday. Read more…


Municipalities hit with hikes in insurance premiums
The City of Timmins appears to be one of the few municipalities in Ontario not facing a triple-digit percentage hike in its insurance premiums. Read more…


Free parking to start in uptown Saint John as city returns to orange phase
The City of Saint John is hoping to jump-start its economy by offering an hour of free on-street parking to motivate people to shop local. Read more…


Council votes to allow municipal mask bylaw to expire
The Temporary Mandatory Face Covering Bylaw will expire as scheduled on Sunday in the City of Grande Prairie. A provincial order making masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces remains in affect. Read more…


January 25

Whistler mayor asks for compliance amid “concerning increase” in COVID cases
The mayor of Whistler, B.C. is asking residents to “refocus their efforts” on stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the resort municipality. Read more…


Northern municipality feeling the pinch of maintaining unused arenas
The COVID-19 shutdown is bringing an early end to hockey season in some corners of northern Ontario, including West Nipissing where council is spending thousands on maintaining arena ice that isn’t being used. Read more…


Campaign aims to counter COVID-19 misinformation
Scientists and health experts are launching a nationwide campaign to counter misinformation about COVID-19 and related vaccines. The #ScienceUpFirst initiative will use social media to debunk incorrect information. Read more…


Ottawa’s 311 centre receives thousands of calls relating to COVID-19 in 2020
Ottawa residents flooded Bylaw Services with thousands of calls about COVID-19 enforcement and mask violations last year. Read more…


Montreal police break up gatherings in Outremont
Montreal police had to intervene on three occasions at places of worship in Outremont on Saturday, breaking up gatherings exceeding the allowed 10-person limit under COVID-19 regulations. Read more…


COVID-19 is accelerating the flight of Toronto families to smaller centres
Experts say an exodus from Toronto of families with young kids, happening for years, is being accelerated by people learning to work from home and employers, public and private sector, newly open to staff contributing from a distance. Read more…


January 22

Quebec will not grant curfew exemptions to homeless population
Quebec Premier François Legault reiterated Thursday that he would not be modifying curfew rules, claiming that his critics calling for amnesty for the homeless are sowing division in the province. Read more…


Fort Nelson loses flight service for at least three months amid COVID slump
Central Mountain Air announced Tuesday it is suspending flights between Fort Nelson, B.C., and the northern hub of Prince George, leaving the northeastern community with no flight services for at least three months. Read more…


City of Orillia staff issued “temporary suspensions” amid lockdown
Some City of Orillia staff are out of work now that the province has issued a stay-at-home order. The city has issued “temporary suspensions” as a result of that order and the province being in the grey (lockdown) zone. Read more…


COVID-19 positivity rate in small B.C. city “bad as anywhere in the world”: doctor
Fernie is the latest city in the B.C. Interior to report a spike in COVID-19 cases. Officials say the positivity rate in Fernie has jumped to 20 percent in recent weeks but they are not sure what is leading the surge. Read more…


Ottawa advocating to prioritize vaccines for Indigenous people
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says Ottawa is working with the provinces to prioritize vaccinating Indigenous people against COVID-19. Read more…


 

January 21

Vancouver businesses call for city to provide public toilets during pandemic
People working in Vancouver coffee shops are calling on the city to step up and provide public washrooms for the homeless as the pandemic stretches on. Read more…


“Mega-clinic” vaccine centre opens in Quebec City
A vaccination centre in Quebec City that aims to inoculate tens of thousands of people per week against COVID-19 opened its doors on Wednesday. Read more…


Manitoba’s top doctor says “incomplete” info led to city gyms staying open
Manitoba’s top doctor said the City of Winnipeg should not allow its staff to use private gyms at city hall or other city-owned facilities, saying he expects other levels of government to follow the “spirit” of the public health orders. Read more…


Mississauga council calls on Ontario for stricter COVID-19 rules
Mississauga council is asking the province for tougher measures on big-box stores and to “consider a controlled and safe reopening of small businesses.” Read more…


Banff ends state of local emergency as COVID-19 cases decline
The Town of Banff has ended a state of local emergency declared November 25 as COVID-19 active case numbers have declined to just 10. Read more…


“We Have To Keep Pushing”: Saint John mayor meets with top doc
The mayor of Saint John says we need to dig deep for the next few weeks to get through this pandemic hurdle. Read more…


January 20

Chatham-Kent council offers more flexibility for permanent patio seekers
Chatham-Kent restaurant owners may find it easier to construct permanent patios after council adopted changes that allow owners to use up more parking space. Live music will also be allowed. Read more…


City of Winnipeg allowed employees to use its gyms during code red
The City of Winnipeg has been allowing its employees to use gyms and fitness centres at its facilities amid code red restrictions due to an exemption for governments in health orders. Read more…


Regina gives out $40,000 in grants for outdoor winter activities, programs
Outdoor plays and scavenger hunts will be hosted by the City of Regina this winter, as the pandemic drags on and limits activities. Read more…


Gander wants to put pressure on governments regarding airport troubles
The Town of Gander wants to hear from people in the region about the importance the Gander International Airport plays in their lives. The hope is it will help put pressure on the government to help the airline industry in this province. Read more…


Toronto “pauses” new COVID-19 clinic after province orders it closed
The City of Toronto has closed its new COVID-19 immunization clinic downtown after it was told to do so by the Ontario government due to a shortage of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Read more…


January 19

Newly built Vaughan hospital to be dedicated COVID-19 facility
Premier Doug Ford announced Monday that the newly built Cortellucci hospital in Vaughan will be dedicated to treating only COVID-19 patients when it opens in February. Read more…


Edmonton eyes possible $23 million in grants for big downtown projects
Edmonton city council is looking at giving up to $22.9 million in grants over four or five years to developers of major downtown projects starting construction this year. Read more…


Dawson Creek mayor says it’s “disappointing” city councillor travelled abroad
The mayor of Dawson Creek, B.C., says he plans to speak to a newly elected councillor who travelled abroad despite public health recommendations not to. Read more…


Ontario’s first major COVID-19 vaccination site will pause after just five days
Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg says a pilot COVID-19 vaccination clinic that just opened at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will have to pause vaccinations on Friday because of a shortage of vaccine supply in the province. Read more…


January 18

Vaccine pilot project to kick off Monday at Metro Toronto Convention Centre
A six-week vaccine clinic pilot project is set to start giving COVID-19 shots to frontline workers on Monday. While this clinic is not open to the public, the structure will help figure out the playbook for future vaccine sites. Read more…


Montreal libraries to slightly loosen public health restrictions on Monday
Montreal’s libraries will loosen some restrictions put in place as COVID-19 public health measures as of Monday. Read more…


City of Ottawa vowing to pursue all pandemic fines
The City of Ottawa says it plans to collect all fines issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, including ones handed out in parks that some in the legal community call “legally dubious.” Read more…


Sharp uptick in COVID-19 violations as Albertans continue to defy health orders
The City of Calgary handed out 167 tickets under the Public Health Act last week as businesses and individuals ignored public health advice. Read more…


January 15

Ontario pauses residential evictions for length of emergency declaration
Ontario has temporarily paused residential evictions during its current state of emergency to ensure people can stay safely in their residences while a stay-at-home order remains in place. Read more…


Despite pandemic costs, 38 municipalities didn’t apply for COVID relief money
Thirty-eight municipalities didn’t bother applying for aid after realizing the decisions they had to make to balance their budgets would make them ineligible under the province’s rules. Read more…


Montreal “once again the epicentre” of COVID-19 crisis
Montrealers are being asked to be tested as soon as they have symptoms of COVID-19 as the growing number of hospitalizations and cases put pressure on the city’s health network. Read more…


Chatham-Kent police, bylaw officers to crack down on COVID-19 rule-breakers
Chatham-Kent police and municipal bylaw enforcement officers will step up investigations and enforcement of COVID-19 safety measures. Read more…


Alberta lifts restrictions: hair salons, tattoo parlours, small social gatherings
For the first time in a month, hair salons and tattoo parlours can open for business in Alberta on Monday, and visiting with a few friends outdoors will be allowed. Read more…


Municipalities announce plans to meet stay-home orders
Ontario’s latest COVID-19 control measures, which started Thursday and run to at least February 11, prompted some local municipalities and others to announce their own plans. Read more…


Lethbridge police charge organizer of protest against COVID-19 health measures
Police issued two tickets to the organizer of a protest against mandatory health measures tied to COVID-19 that took place Tuesday outside Lethbridge City Hall. Read more…


Livestream performances delayed or cancelled as Ontario tightens COVID rules
Organizers behind a number of livestreaming concerts and theatre shows in Ontario say the province’s stricter stay-at-home orders have forced them to sideline an array of upcoming virtual events. Read more…


Toronto experiences record population loss as more move away from city
Toronto has experienced a slower population growth as people choose to move away from the city amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to Statistics Canada. Read more…


Yukon could be first place in Canada to achieve herd immunity, says top doctor
Yukon’s chief medical officer of health says he can see the territory’s population achieving herd immunity within three months if the vaccine supplies come in as scheduled. Read more…


Second year of pandemic “could be even tougher,” top WHO official warns
The second year of the COVID-19 pandemic may be tougher than the first given how the new coronavirus is spreading, the World Health Organization warns. Read more…


January 14

Nunavut municipality holds cash draw for vaccinated residents
Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr. of Arviat, Nunavut, says offering cash prizes as an incentive for vaccination is a small cost compared with what the community has experienced since a COVID-19 outbreak began in November. Read more…


City of Montreal to delay payments for property taxes
The City of Montreal announced Wednesday that it will be giving property owners a bit of breathing room to pay their municipal tax bill. Read more…


Toronto mayor says new emergency COVID-19 rules not clear
The Ford government has some explaining to do when it comes to the finer points of its new stay-at-home order, Toronto Mayor John Tory said Wednesday. Read more…


January 13

Mayor Tory asks for more funding from federal, provincial governments for 2021
Toronto’s mayor is calling on the federal and provincial governments to once again step up with financial support for Canadian cities as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into a second fiscal year. Read more…


City-run rinks ban outdoor hockey amid COVID-19 pandemic
Games of shinny have largely disappeared this winter as many city-run ice surfaces across the country prohibit outdoor hockey in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


Edmonton bus drivers “strongly encouraged” but not required to wear masks
Ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic, bus drivers and LRT operators in Edmonton are not required to wear a mask despite having frequent interactions with the public. Read more…


Senators owner clarifies comments on fan attendance: “That time is not now”
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is clarifying his stance on having fans at home games, saying he recognizes now is not the time to welcome spectators back to the Canadian Tire Centre. Read more…


January 12

City of Winnipeg fends off bleak budget
The City of Winnipeg now believes its budget would have fallen $92 million short in 2020, had ample federal support and cost-cutting measures not filled the gap. Read more…


Job cuts at Calgary city hall may take until mid-2021 to complete
The City of Calgary may take until the middle of the year before it completes the process of eliminating 162 jobs as part of its 2021 budget. Read more…


Regina councillors and mayor say they stayed home over holidays
As politicians across the country come under scrutiny for non-essential, out-of-country travel in spite of public health recommendations, Regina’s city council appears to be heeding the advisory. Read more…


COVID-19 vaccination clinic coming to downtown Toronto
A large COVID-19 vaccination clinic will open up inside a downtown convention centre next week as officials step up their efforts to prepare for the mass vaccinations slated to take place across Toronto this spring. Read more…


Metro Vancouver’s top doctor defends response amid COVID-19 outbreaks
The Chief Medical Health Officer of Vancouver Coastal Health is speaking out about controversy over transparency about COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes. Read more…


Montreal police hand out nearly 200 tickets for illegal outings
Over the first weekend under curfew, police officers across Quebec handed out 750 tickets worth thousands of dollars in fines to people caught out after 8 p.m. Read more…


January 11

Vancouver Island mayor rebukes racist response to First Nation COVID-19 cases
A Vancouver Island mayor is condemning the “vile” and “racist” response – both online and off – to COVID-19 cases among members of the Cowichan Tribes First Nation. Read more…


Ottawa Public Health recommends wearing masks outside
According to the head of Ottawa Public Health, recent data relating to the COVID-19 pandemic justifies additional measures to curb the bleeding. Read more…


Toronto mayor calls on province to announce new COID19 restrictions today
Toronto Mayor John Tory is calling on the province to announce any new restrictions that will be implemented as soon as possible. Read more…


Atlantic provinces worry as flight and bus routes cut off amid pandemic
Two airports in Atlantic Canada will watch their last commercial flights leave Monday, as worry grows around the region that recent cuts to rail, bus, and air transportation routes may take years to reverse when the pandemic is over. Read more…


Montreal streets empty during first curfew in 50 years
Before the 8 p.m. curfew hit and an eerie stillness descended over Canada’s second-largest city Saturday night, life was about as normal as it gets during a pandemic. Read more…


City of Cornwall to discipline employee following confrontation at local rink
A Cornwall city employee who was involved in a heated confrontation with some young people playing hockey at a local rink will be disciplined, but will not be fired. Read more…


Global COVID-19 cases surpass 90 million as battle against new variant continues
Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Monday as nations around the globe scramble to procure vaccines and continue to extend or reinstate lockdowns to fight new coronavirus variants. Read more…


January 8

Proposal for rural mass-immunization hub ready to execute
The Grey Bruce Health Unit has a proposal before the provincial government addressed to General Hillier that would provide a successful pilot of a Pfizer logistic hub for vaccine delivery in small-urban and rural communities, which is representative of the majority of communities in Ontario. Read more…


Edmonton hands out nearly 100 mask bylaw fines over holidays
“Our first step is education but we feel like we’ve been doing that for a while,” Laughlin said. “If there’s a repeat non-compliance with the restrictions then our folks are prepared to take that enforcement step.” Read more…


Ottawa’s top doctor recommends wearing masks outside
Ottawa’s top doctor is recommending you wear a mask outside of your home as much as possible to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Read more…


MoS president’s travel to Hawaii sparks calls for resignation
Colleagues of Gordon Barnhart, mayor of Saltcoats, Sask., and president of Municipalities of Saskatchewan (MoS) are expressing outrage after finding out Barnhart travelled to Hawaii during the pandemic. Read more…


Students in southern Ontario will not return to class until Jan. 25
Students in southern Ontario will not return to the classroom on Monday for in-person learning amid a surge in COVID-19 cases across the province. Read more…


Toronto needs political juice to mount a COVID-19 recovery, advocates argue
The COVID-19 pandemic has made long-standing calls to provide Toronto with more decision-making power and better protection from political interference increasingly urgent, say groups advocating for an overhaul of Ontario’s political power structure. Read more…


City of Red Deer has policies in place discouraging foreign travel by staff
Red Deer’s city manager says directives to staff regarding non-essential international travel during the pandemic largely follow provincial and federal health recommendations. Read more…


Ottawa introducing booking system to manage crowds at outdoor rinks
People hoping to skate on Ottawa’s four refrigerated outdoor rinks will soon have to book an appointment as the city tightens restrictions at crowded winter recreation venues to manage the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


January 7

Newfoundland and Labrador will remain out of any Atlantic bubble
As Premier Andrew Furey announced Newfoundland and Labrador will remain out of the Atlantic bubble for at least another month, health officials are gearing up to start vaccinating residents of long-term care facilities next week. Read more…


John Tory on board with Maple Leafs playing home games in Toronto
Toronto mayor John Tory says he and local health officials are in favour of the Toronto Maple Leafs playing home games in the city, but final approval must come from higher levels of government. Read more…


Victoria mayor says council has no power to discipline travelling councillor
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said city councillor Sharmarke Dubow’s decision to travel to Africa recently was “irresponsible” but as mayor, she has no power to discipline him. Read more…


How the city is addressing an increase in stays in Winnipeg bus shelters
With the pandemic and winter weather taking a hold of Winnipeg, finding a warm place to sleep isn’t always easy for the homeless population. Read more…


Quebec imposes curfew, tightens lockdown as coronavirus crisis deepens
Quebec Premier François Legault has announced a tightening of lockdown measures aimed at bringing the second wave of the novel coronavirus in the province under control. Read more…


Sask. vaccine distribution slowed by challenges in remote communities
While the provincial government says it is getting COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of Saskatchewan residents as quickly as it can, only a third of its current vaccine stock has been administered to date. Read more…


January 6

How Canadians started community fridges in their cities
With food insecurity soaring through the COVID-19 pandemic, community fridges have popped up across the U.S. and Canada, in the most ordinary of public places. Read more…


Officials mulling COVID-19 curfew in Quebec, which would be a first in Canada
The Quebec government has been in talks with public health authorities about whether it would be worthwhile to impose an overnight curfew as the local COVID-19 situation spirals out of control. Read more…


Pandemic has created a “new form of anti-Asian racism,” says city
Incidents of anti-Asian racism have been on the rise, according to report data from the Ottawa Police Service’s hate and bias crime unit. Read more…


Charlottetown keeping lights on to continue “festive feeling”
Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown said during the COVID-19 pandemic, residents and visitors need to see the lights continue despite the increased cost. Read more…


Over a dozen outdoor city rinks now open in Winnipeg
Winnipeggers looking to make the best of pandemic isolation have a variety of additional outdoor options to choose from, including all city toboggan hills and over a dozen outdoor rinks that are now open. Read more…


January 5

Confusion swirls over City of Toronto’s hockey, tobogganing crackdown
As the City of Toronto’s struggle against unsanctioned hockey and tobogganing continues, residents are being left in the cold over what they are – and aren’t – allowed to do outside this winter. Read more…


Halifax restaurants shake off the dine-in service rust after five-week lockdown
After a five-week COVID-19 lockdown, restaurants across the Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County can reopen for dine-in service. Read more…


Hamilton lays 32 charges under COVID-19 lockdown orders over the holidays
Hamilton’s emergency operations centre director says the city received over 200 complaints during the holidays in connection with potential breaches under Ontario’s COVID-19 lockdown measures. Read more…


Edmonton’s 2021 municipal election nomination process kicks off amid COVID-19
The nomination process for aspiring candidates for Edmonton’s October 18 municipal election kicked off Monday morning. Read more…


January 4

Halifax restaurants prepare to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions lift Monday
Halifax restaurants are preparing to reopen as the province’s COVID-19 restrictions are set to lift on Monday. The service industry is using a variety of different techniques as they look to get back on track. Read more…


Quebec City police issue 52 tickets for New Year’s Eve lockdown violations
Quebec City police say they issued 52 tickets for violations of the province’s COVID-19 regulations on Thursday night over gatherings in the city’s Parliament Hill area. Read more…


Large crowds at Ottawa City Hall skating rink prompt pandemic safety concerns
The Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall is one of the few city amenities that remains open during Ontario’s provincewide shutdown and it’s proving to be a popular spot. Read more…


COVID-19 cluster prompts lockdown of Vancouver Island First Nation
The first case was identified on December 30, and a 14-day shelter in place order was issued on New Year’s Day after five cases were confirmed in the Snuneymuxw First Nation near Nanaimo. Read more…


December 31

Toronto plans further restrictions as city braces for COVID-19 surge
The City of Toronto is bracing for surging COVID-19 rates in the new year, starting with further restrictions on businesses. Read more…


Outbreak hits Quebec’s first vaccination site, public health says “it’s expected”
On December 11, as the Quebec City health region was preparing to administer the first Canadian doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, two residents at the CHSLD Saint-Antoine tested positive for coronavirus. Read more…


Ottawa makes masks mandatory for non-skaters at municipal outdoor rinks
The City of Ottawa has made its first outdoor mandatory mask-wearing order during the pandemic, requiring non-skaters to wear face coverings at rinks. Read more…


City of Prince Albert urges residents to stop putting face masks in the blue bin
Prince Albert’s sanitation manager is urging residents to dispose of face masks in the garbage, not the blue bin. Read more…


Victoria mayor lauds city’s resilience in face of COVID-19
The final days before ­Christmas looked pretty much like every other day of the past year for Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps as she dealt with yet another ­housing crisis. Read more…


Union says city policy a catalyst in Mississauga fire COVID-19 outbreak
Head of the Mississauga Fire Fighters Association says that corporate policies, staffing shortages, and infrastructure needs have played a role in the spread of COVID-19 in the fire department. Read more…


Charlottetown short-term rental rules “in limbo” as public meeting put off
The City of Charlottetown won’t be holding a public meeting on the proposed short-term rental bylaw anytime soon. Read more…


Sarnia mayor reacts to growing COVID-19 cases counts in Lambton
Concerns in Sarnia-Lambton won’t be waning any time soon it appears, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, putting health officials ill at ease. Read more…


December 30

New Brunswick municipalities in line for millions in unclaimed COVID relief
New Brunswick municipalities will be splitting $20 million in unclaimed COVID-19 relief next month, part of a federal assistance quirk that delivered more aid to the province’s local governments than was ultimately needed. Read more…


Outbreak declared among City of Sarnia staff
Lambton Public Health has declared an outbreak within the Corporation of the City of Sarnia after five staff members tested positive for COVID-19. Read more…


Decline in travel forcing Sask. airports into debt in 2021
The sharp decline in travel from the pandemic is taking a financial toll on Saskatchewan’s two major airports, with Regina and Saskatoon’s facilities being forced into debt to cover operating costs. Read more…


Video makes pitch to Ottawa to help save small airports
In just a couple of weeks, there will be no commercial air travel to and from Sydney, N.S. or Saint John, N.B. While that will be a blow in the short term – efforts to save smaller airports in the Maritimes have already taken off. Read more…


Winnipeg airport looking into rapid COVID-19 screening
The Winnipeg Airports Authority is looking into the idea of providing rapid COVID-19 screening. As of now, travellers coming to Winnipeg have to self-isolate for 14 days. Read more…


Montreal police hand out 34 fines over the holidays for COVID-19 violations
Montreal police handed out 34 fines to people violating public health measures aimed at limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus during Christmastime. Read more…


December 29

Quebec City police fine minors at illegal holiday gathering
Quebec City police officers broke up another illegal party held overnight on Sunday at a residence in the borough of Sainte-Foy. Read more…


First Nation using youth to spread COVID-19 message
A First Nation in Alberta is turning to its youth to help spread the message to older members about the dangers of COVID-19. Read more…


Winnipeg Airports Authority pushes for on-site COVID-19 testing
The Winnipeg Airports Authority is calling for on-site COVID-19 testing that could potentially reduce the amount of time people spend in isolation after travel. Read more…


Experts say tobogganing during the pandemic is “totally safe”
With many across the country stuck under various lockdown measures, some tired of being indoors may find themselves looking for outdoor fun, including tobogganing. Read more…


December 28

Mayor Mike Savage reflects on difficult year for Nova Scotia
As 2020 nears an end, Halifax’s mayor reflects on a heavy year and looks ahead at one that will likely still prove challenging. Read more…


COVID-19 “heaviest weight” on Winnipeg mayor as pandemic’s death toll mounts
The COVID-19 pandemic hangs over Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman as the number of city residents who have died from the disease has passed 400. Read more…


Ottawa tourism industry bracing for long recovery from COVID-19
COVID-19 took $1.4 billion in visitor spending out of the Ottawa economy and businesses say they are facing the prospect of a long recovery. Read more…


Nurses call for more access to PPE as new COVID-19 strain reaches B.C.
Nurses in B.C. are calling for more support for frontline workers as a new variant of COVID-19 is found in B.C. Read more…


Darkest days of COVID-19 battle still ahead: Fauci
Warnings of a dark winter have come to pass in the U.S., as COVID-19 has now killed about one in every 1,000 Americans. Watch more…


December 23

Ford defends lockdown in Ottawa as Watson questions its need
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is standing firm on the decision to put Ottawa into a lockdown on Boxing Day, despite comments from the city’s mayor and medical officer of health that stricter measures aren’t warranted. Read more…


City of Regina outdoor rinks open with specific COVID-19 rules
Regina has opened 31 of 52 outdoor rinks in the city, with specific COVID-19 guidelines in place. The warm weather and flurries have made it challenging to open the rinks any sooner this season, the city said. Read more…


Government of Canada announces support for rapid housing in Halifax
The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that affordable housing is key to Canada’s recovery as major cities across the country, including Halifax, are dealing with the devastating impacts of rising levels of homelessness and housing need. Read more…


COVID-19 reaches Antarctica, pandemic now on every continent
Three dozen people have reportedly contracted COVID-19 at a Chilean research base in Antarctica, which was for months the only landmass untouched by the global pandemic. Read more…


Legault warns of strict rules for travellers returning to Quebec
Very strict measures will be put in place to ensure Quebecers who travelled south during the holidays respect the quarantine rules upon their return, Premier François Legault said Tuesday. Read more…


Rapid Covid-19 testing now available in all NWT communities
Covid-19 tests that can deliver results in 15 minutes are now available across the Northwest Territories, the NWT’s health authority announced on Tuesday. Read more…


December 22

Calgary officials seek more clarity on COVID-19 skating restrictions
Four days after police arrested a hockey player on an outdoor rink in southwest Calgary, city officials say they’re still seeking more clarity on how to enforce provincial COVID-19 restrictions on skating surfaces. Read more…


Toronto mayor supports “hard lockdown,” says onus on residents to follow rules
Toronto Mayor John Tory says he supports a provincial decision to lock down Ontario for 28 days starting on Boxing Day and the onus is now on city residents to keep following public health rules. Read more…


Winnipeg small biz shuttered due to COVID-19 can apply for new grant, city says
A new program launched by the City of Winnipeg will help small businesses and non-profits make it through the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with a $1,500, non-repayable grant. Read more…


Edmonton mayor predicts resurgence of community life after COVID-19
Beyond the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson sees a future of vibrant growth and solidarity for the region. Read more…


2020 was particularly tough for Sask. small governments
Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities President Ray Orb says the coming year could be a trying one for the province’s small governments. Read more…


December 21

Hockey underway in some Nunavut communities, others still waiting
With restrictions having been lifted in most Nunavut communities, sporting events are slowly but surely back underway – particularly in local hockey arenas. Read more…


Calgary toy drive-thru supports city’s less fortunate children
A pair of Calgary organizations have not allowed the COVID-19 pandemic to stop them from supporting the city’s less fortunate children. Read more…


Premier Ford to announce new health measures as Hamilton enters lockdown
Premier Doug Ford is set to announce new public health measures this afternoon, as another region of Ontario heads into lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


City remains open for business despite new COVID-19 restrictions
City hall and several other City of Cold Lake buildings will remain open despite new COVID-19 restrictions. Read more…


Quebec’s provincewide COVID-19 vaccination rollout launches today
Quebec’s unprecedented COVID-19 vaccination campaign is pushing forward today with 21 centres opening across the province aimed at inoculating the highest priority residents. Read more…


COVID-19 delivers another blow to the N.L. hospitality industry
With informal gatherings limited to 20 people, some in the Newfoundland and Labrador hospitality industry are shutting their doors over Christmas, and worrying about the slow winter months ahead. Read more…


“Boxes of Love” distributed to Metro Vancouver families in need for Christmas
A 20-year-old tradition of paying it forward went ahead on Saturday, despite the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Read more…


December 18

City of Toronto to freeze TTC fares in 2021 due to pandemic: Tory
Toronto Mayor John Tory said Thursday the city will freeze TTC fares in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, calling the move “the right and responsible thing to do.” Read more…


Brantford mayor fears “dark winter,” asks residents to follow COVID-19 rules
With an “alarming” increase in COVID-19 case counts and a vaccine that is still months away for most, Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis is pleading with city residents to stay safe over the holidays. Read more…


Santa Claus is coming to town. Ontario deems him an essential service provider
Santa Claus has now been given permission by all levels of government to come to town – even to those cities under lockdown. Read more…


City of Orillia reducing capacity limits for large stores
The City of Orillia is taking the Emergency Orders a step further with a unanimous vote by council to reduce big box stores’ capacity. Read more…


Thunder Bay boosts grant program for downtown improvements
Looking to boost recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and spur improvements in its core business districts, the City of Thunder Bay has made it easier to access municipal grants for commercial property improvements. Read more…


December 17

Ontario provides more financial relief for municipalities during COVID-19
The Ontario government is allocating an additional $695 million to provide financial relief for municipalities and help ensure they do not carry operating deficits into 2021.
Read more…


Toronto exploring stricter COVID-19 regulations
Toronto and its neighbouring regions are exploring the possibility of stricter restrictions over the holiday season as COVID-19 cases soar, the city’s mayor said Wednesday. Read more…


Calgary city council supports 15 percent cap on food delivery fees
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is hoping to help out local restaurants by supporting a cap on fees that delivery apps charge per order. Read more…


Saskatchewan casino COVID-19 closures impact Indigenous organizations
For a Saskatchewan organization supporting Métis businesses, there are few guarantees beyond March 31, especially in light of casino closures due to COVID-19. Read more…


Mayor weighs in on how new COVID restrictions will affect St. Albert
With new provincial COVID-19 measures in place, the City of St. Albert has updated residents on how the new restrictions will affect the community and city facilities. Read more…


City of Kelowna updates website with COVID-19 chatbot
A new feature has been added to the City of Kelowna’s website to help educate residents on Kelowna’s COVID-19 response and services available. Read more…


December 16

Calgary requesting “clause” declaring Santa an essential service
In a first for Calgary city council, a special notice of motion was introduced Tuesday requesting the Province of Alberta declare Santa Claus an essential service amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Read more…


City, Kingston police issue 50 Reopening Ontario, Quarantine Act charges
City bylaw enforcement and Kingston police have issued 50 charges under the Reopening Ontario Act and the Quarantine Act over the past two months. Read more…


Lethbridge approves rent subsidy for those impacted by COVID shutdowns
Help will soon be on the way for residents of Lethbridge who have had their jobs and income impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Cambridge bailing out Drayton Entertainment
Cambridge city council has agreed to bail out a theatre company struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Alaska city to honour coronavirus conscious businesses
An Alaska city has created a program to honour businesses that have followed or will follow public health guidelines implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


Weyburn meetings to be held virtually, COVID-19 restrictions at city hall
After the province announced additional restrictions to help reduce COVID-19 transmission, Weyburn council provided direction to staff that council and committee meetings will now be held virtually. Read more…


December 15

COVID-19 cases could be “flattening” in Saskatoon, city leaders say
COVID-19 cases have fluctuated quite a bit in Saskatoon over the past nine months. Active cases have recently risen exponentially in the city, but medical health officer Dr. Jasmine Hasselback said this pattern may be slowing down. Read more…


Town of Hay River requires facemasks for its facilities
The Town of Hay River has announced a mandatory facemask policy for its facilities. The requirement covers all employees and anyone else entering and remaining in the buildings. Read more…


Niagara businesses hit with big COVID fines were likely previously warned
Some businesses facing what Niagara Region called “enhanced fines” for alleged violations of Ontario’s COVID-19 emergency orders might have only themselves to blame. Read more…


RM of Prince Albert ratifies new pandemic relief policy
After months of work, the council of the Rural Municipality of Prince Albert passed their Pandemic Strategy and Relief policy at their regular meeting on December 10. Read more…


December 14

City council to debate increasing fines for Calgary mask bylaw
Calgary city administration is recommending councillors approve an increase in fines for violating the mandatory face covering bylaw. Read more…


More N.W.T. communities pass mandatory mask policies
More communities in the Northwest Territories are instituting mandatory mask policies as COVID-19 cases continue to climb across Canada. Read more…


Toronto mayor “astounded” at indifference to COVID-19 lockdown
Toronto Mayor John Tory says he is “astounded” at the level of indifference shown by some as the city continues its time in a lockdown due to COVID-19, with deaths and intensive care unit occupancy in area hospitals climbing steadily. Read more…


Regina police fine anti-mask protest organizers
Regina police have handed out two tickets to organizers of an anti-mask rally. The protest took place in front of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building Saturday, drawing a large crowd. Read more…


COVID-19 has made reading next year’s real estate market harder than ever
Canadians are about to get an update on the state of the housing market and the latest resurgence of COVID-19 has only added another layer of confusion to a year of uncertainty over where real estate prices will go in 2021. Read more…


Kelowna Mounties issue fine to organizer of anti-restrictions rally
Kelowna RCMP have issued a $2,300 ticket to the organizer of a large anti-COVID-19 restrictions protest that took place in the Okanagan city on Saturday. Read more…


Video capturing 150 skaters in London prompts greater monitoring
A video capturing approximately 150 skaters on the ice at London’s Victoria Park public ice rink has prompted officials to hurry with a solution as the region moves into the red tier. Read more…


December 11

New hardship grant for Ponoka businesses impacted by COVID-19
Ponoka Town Council has approved a new $50,000 Hardship Grant that offers financial assistance to Ponoka businesses whose bottom lines are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Yukon to get first Moderna vaccine doses in January, with more in March
Premier Sandy Silver says the territory will get enough of the vaccine for every adult who wants it. Read more…


Small Newfoundland towns lean on each other during COVID-19 lockdowns
Before the tiny town of Harbour Breton on Newfoundland’s south coast asked businesses to temporarily close, Mayor Georgina Ollerhead got a call from the mayor of Deer Lake, about 430 kilometres away. Read more…


Province “best positioned” to implement public health restrictions: city solicitor
The City of Saskatoon’s top lawyer says the municipality does not have the necessary expert medical advice to make “informed decisions” about the actions required to manage a public health emergency. Read more…


Ontario to begin vaccinations next week in Toronto, Ottawa
Ontario will administer its first COVID-19 vaccines next Tuesday at two hospitals in Toronto and Ottawa, the province confirmed. Read more…


Manitoba passes new law, throws doors open to Sunday and holiday shopping
The Manitoba government has thrown aside the restrictions that limited when businesses could be open on Sundays and most holidays. Read more…


Tecumseh closes town hall and arena offices to walk-in service
As a result of the increase in COVID-19 cases in Windsor-Essex, and the anticipated move to Ontario’s grey zone of the Provincial COVID Response Framework, Town Hall and the Tecumseh Arena Offices are closed to walk-in service. Read more…


Montreal public health “worried” after city hits 600 new coronavirus cases
Montreal public health authorities are sounding the alarm over the rapid progression of the COVID-19 pandemic after reporting its highest daily tally of new cases with 648 on Thursday. Read more…


December 10

City of Red Deer shares municipal impacts of new provincial health measures
The City of Red Deer has announced adjustments to its operations over the next several weeks due to the mandatory province-wide health restrictions announced by the Alberta government on Tuesday. Read more…


COVID-19 vaccine rollout explained to local leaders
Municipal leaders, including Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman, got the lowdown Tuesday on the provincial strategy to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine, which was approved Wednesday by Health Canada. Read more…


Town of Creston launches program to support local businesses amid pandemic
The Town of Creston has launched the Community Health Initiative Program (C.H.I.P.) in an effort to assist local businesses in their implementation of new Provincial Orders and direction while continuing to focus on the health of the community. Read more…


Rocky councillor defends stance on masking
A Rocky Mountain House man is raising concerns over a town councillor’s remarks regarding face coverings. Read more…


B.C.’s Deer Santa strolls through downtown Invermere sporting holiday cheer
Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer has some Canadian competition, courtesy of a mule deer buck tangled up in holiday lights. Read more…


Santa Claus is no longer coming to town: LaSalle cancels Santa drive-by event
The Town of LaSalle is cancelling its Santa Drive-By event planned for Saturday “out of an abundance of caution” as COVID-19 cases rise in the region. Read more…


The Senators get a hand from the City of Belleville to help deal with pandemic
The Belleville Senators have been given an assist by the city to help deal with the financial strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


December 9

Manitoba loosens some COVID-19 restrictions, allows drive-in church services
The Manitoba government is extending its COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings and business operations into January, but is loosening a handful of rules, most notably on drive-in church services. Read more…


Helping residents of N.W.T. town get cheaper groceries during the pandemic
A Northwest Territories man’s new business involves driving back and forth to the Alberta border to pick-up lower priced groceries for the residents of Hay River. Read more…


Rural Municipality of West River, P.E.I. qualifies for federal funding
The Rural Municipality of West River is getting some federal funding under the safe restart agreement. Read more…


Town of Bashaw encourages masks, won’t force them
The Town of Bashaw council agreed they prefer citizens wear masks in public places during the COVID-19 pandemic, but won’t force anybody to do it. Read more…


City looks at bolstering COVID-19 penalties amid weekly protests
Calgary city council voted to consider increasing fines and to review its mask bylaw, which includes the possibility of raising the current $50 fine. Read more…


December 8

Business closures on the table as city weighs restriction options
The City of Edmonton is exploring exactly what public health restrictions it could impose in the coming days, if the provincial government does not strengthen its own measures. Read more…


Officials asking people to stop arguing over COVID-19 measures
Health officials overseeing Elgin and Oxford counties are pleading with people to stop arguing with each other over COVID-19 public health guidelines. Read more…


Amherst imposing two-week “circuit-breaker” at town hall
Amherst is implementing a two-week, post-holiday “circuit-breaker” early in 2021 in an effort to help protect the health of town employees while maintaining municipal services. Read more…


Calgary cancels annual mail-outs, testing for lead in water due to COVID-19
The City of Calgary confirms it did not send out water quality information letters in 2020. This means homeowners and renters will not receive communications in the mail relating to lead until 2021. Read more…


December 7

City partnering with U of R to help predict COVID-19 cases by analyzing stool
The City of Regina says it’s partnering with the University of Regina to analyze human waste as a way to predict how many COVID-19 cases the city could see. Read more…


Canadian Rangers will help with Manitoba First Nation’s COVID-19 outbreak
The Canadian Armed Forces says it will send a team of reservists to a First Nation in Manitoba to help with the community’s COVID-19 response. Read more…


Sechelt already planning COVID-friendly Canada Day for 2021
Plans are already underway for next summer’s arts and culture activities in Sechelt and officials are preparing with the pandemic in mind. Read more…


COVID-19 clusters break out in Japan’s coldest city as winter closes in
The emergence of Japan’s coldest city as a COVID-19 hotspot has raised fears among health experts that it could be a sign of what the rest of the nation may face as winter sets in and more people stay indoors. Read more…


December 4

Calgary officials vow concerted crackdown on future COVID-19 protests
Calgary police say they’re now bringing charges against nine people involved in last Saturday’s anti-masking demonstration in the downtown that attracted several hundred people. Read more…


Quebec nixes Christmas gatherings as second coronavirus wave gains steam
Quebec is prohibiting gatherings over the Christmas holiday season as coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to mount in the province. Read more…


California ties new COVID-19 rules to hospital capacity
California is on the brink of a new stay-at-home order that would close businesses and curb travel in regions that could see hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. Read more…


Battle lines drawn as Mississauga and Brampton fight it out over store openings
A move by Mississauga to allow small businesses to open while those in Brampton remain closed has been successful, but it may not change the status quo. Read more…


Montreal unveils $60 million economic relaunch roadmap
Montreal’s economic growth was leading the pack among Canada’s major cities before COVID-19 hit businesses hard and stalled that growth. But Montreal officials say they have a $60 million plan to help relaunch the economy. Read more…


Plastic shopping bag ban in Vancouver could be delayed until 2022
The pandemic’s disruption of the economy has prompted Vancouver city staff to recommend holding off for a year on enforcing regulations that ban businesses from providing plastic shopping bags. Read more…


Banff ramps up testing as COVID-19 cases surge in tourist town
Banff has implemented more restrictions as a result of the increase in COVID-19 cases. Masks now have to be worn outside on more of the downtown streets while bars and restaurants can only operate at 50 percent capacity of fire code. Read more…


Pandemic-driven mental health crises on the rise in Canada
As the second wave of COVID-19 sweeps across the nation, the damage the drawn-out emergency has done to Canadians’ mental health is becoming more clear, and we need to be checking in on one another more often, say experts. Read more…


Ottawa’s COVID-19 success “really unique” globally
Ottawa’s success at reducing its COVID-19 case count – and keeping it relatively low – over the past two months may be unique in the world, say Canadian epidemiologists. Read more…


December 3

More Montreal communities adopting PPE recycling
Two more Montreal-area communities have set up boxes at various locations in order to make it easier for people to recycle personal protective equipment. Read more…


Experts tell City of Toronto to change messaging for COVID-19 rule-breakers
After breaking its record for COVID-19 case counts on two consecutive days this week, some are calling on Toronto to change up its messaging in order to reach those who have tuned out of the daily warnings. Read more…


Winnipeg staff temporarily laid off after redeployment efforts fall through
The City of Winnipeg says efforts to redeploy hundreds of city workers slated for temporary layoffs through the latest COVID-19 lockdown, have so far failed. Read more…


Mask bylaw passed by Medicine Hat city council
For the first time since the last pandemic hit Medicine Hat a century ago, the city once again has a mask bylaw after council voted 6 to 3 in favour during a special council meeting Wednesday evening. Read more…


William Shatner urges Alberta to adopt federal COVID-19 contact tracing app
Capt. James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, in violation of Starfleet’s Prime Directive, is questioning the intelligence of Alberta-based life forms over their COVID-19 contact tracing app. Read more…


December 2

City of Saskatoon recommending community hockey rinks remove nets
The City of Saskatoon is recommending nets be removed when the rinks aren’t being used to prevent people playing games and violating public health orders. Read more…


SaskPower warns public about scam related to power rebate in Regina
As the provincial government announces a 10 percent rebate on SaskPower bills for the next year Tuesday, the Crown Corporation is already reporting one scam in connection to the rebate. Read more…


Hamilton hits more than 100 new COVID-19 cases in a day for the first time
Hamilton recorded 108 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday – a new record for the number of daily cases. The city is is also reporting that six more people who had the virus have died, raising the number of deaths to 92. Read more…


Halifax Transit drivers getting fed up with toothless mask rule
Three Halifax Transit drivers have refused work, saying their safety is at risk because the rule mandating mask use by passengers has no teeth. Read more…


Alaska city watches wastewater for signs of coronavirus
An Alaska city that is home to one of the busiest fishing ports in the U.S. has included wastewater testing among the mitigation efforts that could help maintain a low number of coronavirus infections. Read more…


December 1

Two Halifax Transit drivers refuse work, renewing call for mask enforcement
Two Halifax Transit bus drivers refused to work last week after multiple passengers entered their buses without wearing masks, renewing union calls to enforce Nova Scotia’s mandatory mask rule. Read more…


Lethbridge extends mandatory mask bylaw until at least February 23
Face coverings will continue to be mandatory in indoor public spaces in Lethbridge until at least February 23, after city council extended the temporary bylaw on Monday. Read more…


Face coverings mandatory in Red Deer starting today
Today is the day Red Deer makes it mandatory for face coverings to be worn in most indoor public spaces, and in public vehicles, in an effort to help limit COVID-19 spread. Read more…


Guelph preparing for level red/control in provincial COVID-19 framework
The City of Guelph is preparing for further restrictions if Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework moves Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health from level orange/restrict to level red/control. Read more…


Strict enforcement of COVID-19 laws now the reality, say Calgary officials
The time for educating Calgarians on COVID-19 restrictions is over and enforcement will now be the rule, city officials said Monday. Read more…


Explore Edmonton asks city to double its budget in COVID-19
Edmonton’s tourism and convention authority is asking the city for nearly $22 million next year, up from $8.5 million earmarked in the current budget. Read more…


Toronto’s top doctor appeals to residents amid new COVID-19 record
Toronto’s top public health official is warning residents “to keep their guard up” and avoid close contact with people outside of their households for “the foreseeable future” amid a record number of new COVID-19 cases in the city. Read more…


Manitoba opens new coronavirus isolation site for Winnipeg’s shelter population
A new 138-bed facility in Winnipeg is opening to help the city’s shelter population self-isolate due to COVID-19. Read more…


Krown Kafe once again charged by City of Hamilton for flouting COVID rules
Seven more Hamilton businesses have been charged with flouting COVID-19 regulations and bylaws in the past week. And one of them is a repeat offender, according to the city’s online list. Read more..


 

Archives: August-November

 

Archives: March-July