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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 3 at 12:15 p.m.

April 3

City of Kelowna to webcast council meetings starting Monday
In conjunction with recent system upgrades in chambers, cameras have been installed to allow for webcasting of Kelowna public council meetings and hearings. Read more…


Brantford trails, parks still open but public asked to maintain physical distancing
Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis said “walking, jogging or taking your dog for a walk” are still permitted in city parks and trails, provided people are following physical distancing requirements and staying at least two metres away from one another. Read more…


Tri-City firefighters will now only respond to most serious medical calls
Fire departments across the Tri-Cities (Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam) will be scaling back their responses to medical calls after the province dropped them from the BC Ambulance call triaging system for all but the most serious medical emergencies. Read more…


City of Ottawa prepared to fine citizens who disregard COVID-19 restrictions
Ottawa bylaw officers have issued dozens of verbal warnings, but are moving into “the charging phase” and are prepared to start charging residents who openly disregard the province’s COVID-19-related emergency orders. Read more…


Winnipeg city council report shows losses in millions because of COVID-19
The City of Winnipeg could be more than $73 million in the red if the COVID-19 health crisis reaches to the end of July, but Mayor Brian Bowman is so far holding back on measures to cut staff or services. Read more…


City of Barrie sets up hotline to report COVID-19 rule-breakers
The City of Barrie has set up a dedicated COVID-19 Enforcement Line for the public to report instances of non-compliance with the COVID-19 emergency orders. Read more…


Vancouver lays off 1,500 city workers due to COVID-19
The City of Vancouver has temporarily laid off 1,500 workers – mostly from theatres, recreation and community centres, and libraries – but they will continue to be paid for 42 days and will have their benefits extended for three months. Read more…


Winnipeg staff, school workers reinventing themselves to stave off layoffs 
While government and school workers are losing their jobs nationwide, in Winnipeg, city employees are turning the phrase “other duties as assigned” into a mantra. Read more…


City of Prince George suspends parking time limits downtown, near hospital
The City of Prince George announced it will not be enforcing time limits related to parking in the downtown and near the hospital due to COVID-19. Read more….


Windsor makes sandbags available for at-risk waterfront properties
The City of Windsor says that while there is no imminent threat at this time, water levels are high enough to warrant concern and preparations. Read more…


Document details grim impact of COVID-19 on Calgary non-profits, social services
The City of Calgary could need nearly $400 million over the next year to protect social services and non-profit organizations, according to an internal document prepared by city staff to plan for the COVID-19 emergency. Read more…


City of Toronto bylaw officers start crackdown
Accompanied in some cases by police officers, City of Toronto bylaw officers are being dispatched to hot spots where people have been seen using facilities closed to the public under emergency orders to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


City increasing transit security, shuttle service to aid homeless Edmontonians
The City of Edmonton is boosting supports for vulnerable residents after rising concerns of “disruptive behaviour” on the transit system. Read more…


City of Surrey lays off more than 2,000 employees
Surrey is the latest city to confirm massive layoffs of municipal workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic –1,900 of those laid off are auxillary workers without permanent, full-time jobs. Read more…


April 2

Calls mount for Ottawa to release projections on COVID-19 spread
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the country may have to endure the COVID-19 pandemic for months to come, but his government has so far refused to release internal projections of just how deadly the virus could be and when the caseload might peak. Read more…


B.C. city halls are shrinking but some have bigger reserves to fall on
British Columbia’s city halls are contracting during the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic response, and a lengthy economic decline will force local policy makers to decide how to employ financial reserves to stave off much greater attrition. Read more…


Charlottetown increases spending to aid post-pandemic economic recovery
The City of Charlottetown is planning more spending on infrastructure in the hopes of boosting the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic. The increased spending necessitated changes to the already passed capital budget. Read more…


COVID-19 scofflaws in Hamilton told to “knock it off”
“Knock it off” is the message from the city to troublemakers that have Hamilton bylaw officers bylaw “running ragged” trying to keep up as the Steel City focuses the bulk of its resources on fighting the potentially deadly virus. Read more…


Edmonton taking steps to address problems caused by homeless people on buses, LRT trains
The City of Edmonton says it is taking steps to address the growing problem of homeless people spending hours riding buses and LRT trains during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


City of London moving homeless into motels to combat spread of COIVD-19
The City of London has rented 100 motel rooms to help house the municipality’s vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city is working with London InterCommunity Health to get people assessed and tested as needed. Read more…


Saskatoon calling on province to act now to help city’s homeless
The Government of Saskatchewan needs to act faster to help Saskatoon’s homeless and vulnerable populations amid COVID-19, according to the city. Read more…


Jump in overdose deaths in Vancouver highlight two health emergencies: city
A recent spike of overdose deaths in Vancouver is an important reminder there are two ongoing public health emergencies, the city says as the province grapples with the rollout of a safe supply of drugs for users. Read more…


Complaints pour into London’s COVID-19 tip line, city hall responds by phone
In just five days, Londoners have lodged 1,250 complaints about people and businesses not following provincial COVID-19 orders. Read more…


Saskatchewan First Nation joins call for closing liquor stores during pandemic
The Chief and Council of Montreal Lake Cree Nation want the province to ban the sale of liquor to stop the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


Nova Scotia municipalities adopt new building inspection rules during pandemic
Municipalities across Nova Scotia have adopted new protocols for building inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Laid off City of Regina workers navigating new COVID-19 reality
With all of the city’s recreational facilities and programming temporarily shut down, City Manager Chris Holden said the hours just weren’t there to justify keeping casual employees on. Read more…


City of Lethbridge urges against gas hoarding during COVID-19 pandemic
The City of Lethbridge’s chief fire marshal had a stern message for anyone opting to take advantage of low gas prices by filling up more than just their vehicle. Read more…


Cargo ship denied entry to Port of Halifax over COVID-19 fears
A Halifax-bound vessel has been denied entry to the Port of Halifax by the Public Health Agency of Canada as some crew members displayed symptoms that resemble COVID-19. Read more…


Richmond Hill okays “boldest” move to extend relief measures to January 1
In what several councillors described as the “boldest move” the city could make, Richmond Hill residents who are enduring financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic may delay their tax payments until January 1. Read more…


Bootleggers are an old N.W.T. problem, Covid-19 is a new worry
Indigenous leaders across the Northwest Territories are imploring bootleggers to stop, worried they may bring Covid-19 into small communities alongside drugs and alcohol. Read more…


North Stormont council offers dial-in council meeting
North Stormont council has been looking into live-streaming their meetings. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, council has decided to expedite this initiative by holding a virtual meeting that will be available to the public via telephone. Read more…


City of North Vancouver warns of tight COVID-era budgets
City of North Vancouver council is making some 11th hour changes to its 2020 budget, realizing the COVID-19 pandemic is going to have a major hit on the city’s coffers. Read more…


April 1

Trudeau wants to recall MPs to back massive coronavirus aid package
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday he wanted to recall Parliament so legislators could approve a massive aid package he called “the biggest economic measures of our lifetimes”. Read more…


Shuttered Montreal hospital may be re-opened to in-patients, other makeshift facilities in works
Quebec’s health ministry says it is considering using Montreal’s Hotel Dieu to treat non-COVID in-patients, if a surge in people suffering from the new coronavirus strains resources at the city’s other hospitals. Read more…


Ottawa bylaw officers investigate pandemic beefs about birthdays, joggers and open businesses
Ottawa bylaw officers have responded to complaints about birthday bashes and joggers as people drop a dime on potential delinquents in this new era of physical distancing. Read more…


No live broadcasts of Port Coquitlam council meetings
Port Coquitlam city council meetings will have a different look for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. But, unlike in Coquitlam, the meetings won’t be webcast live; rather, they’ll be recorded and posted online within two days. Read more…


City of Brampton to provide rent relief for small businesses and city tenants amid COVID-19 outbreak
The City of Brampton announced that the city will defer rent payments for non-profits and small for-profit tenants for a period of three months. Read more…


City of Toronto cancels events through June 30, including Pride Parade
The City of Toronto has cancelled all city-led major events, festivals, conferences, and cultural programs through June 30 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


One P.E.I. town is finding unique ways to celebrate 25 years
As the Town of Stratford turns 25 on Wednesday, April 1, the community celebration that was being planned is on hold due to COVID-19, but that won’t stop residents from celebrating in other ways. Read more…


London continues some in-person meetings, but should they?
A small number of in-person meetings continue to take place at London city hall, and while distancing measures are in place, some are asking if in-person meetings are necessary at all. Read more….


Trail RCMP addresses COVID-19 concerns, including service delivery, frauds
Trail top cop Sgt. Mike Wicentowich has detailed a variety of ways COVID-19 is impacting local policing, including new frauds the virus has inspired. Read more…


Saskatoon plans to roll out “adjusted staffing plan” for next three months
The City of Saskatoon is expected to roll out an “adjusted staffing plan” it expects will be in place for at least three months as it works to maintain essential services while the pandemic sweeps through the province. Read more…


Brampton to enforce physical distancing with large fines
The City of Brampton will impose fines of between $500 and $100,000 for those not adhering to physical distancing guidelines. Read more…


Winnipeg to open four active transportation routes for pedestrians, cyclists
The City of Winnipeg is opening up its annual active transportation routes for pedestrians and cyclists earlier than normal, though the routes will be monitored to ensure Winnipeggers are practising physical distancing. Read more…


Hamilton closures extend to end of May as confirmed COVID-19 cases climb
The City of Hamilton’s closures will extend to May 25 as new COVID-19 cases continue to appear and cast doubt on how much longer it will take for life to return to normal. Read more…


Vancouver city council unanimously approves 2020 cultural grants
After weeks in crisis mode, Vancouver arts groups say announcements this week offer some hope for staying afloat through COVID-19 shutdowns. Read more…


Surge in transit concerns City of Timmins officials
The city is urging residents to be mindful that the free Timmins Transit service is intended for “essential travel only, meaning those requiring the service to get to and from work, or to secure essential goods and services.” Read more…


Edmonton working to get more showers for EXPO Centre COVID-19 facility
The City of Edmonton has set up a facility to support vulnerable people through the COVID-19 crisis. Staff are now pushing to get more shower facilities for those who use the services. Read more…


March 31

Canadian companies now manufacturing ventilators, surgical masks
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that companies across the country are now producing medical supplies, including hundreds of ventilators, as part of Canada’s battle to increase desperately needed equipment in the fight against COVID-19. Read more…


Windsor council to make “gut-wrenching” choice on paying city staff who are not working amid pandemic
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says a tough decision will need to be made with regards to paying city workers who are currently not working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


City of Lethbridge lays off more than 200 staff members
The City of Lethbridge is providing details on staff layoffs related to COVID-19. A total of 248 staff have been laid off: 244 casual positions and four permanent part-time roles. Read more…


Toronto converts hotel into COVID-19 recovery centre for people experiencing homelessness
In what the chair of Toronto’s Board of Health is calling a first in Canada, the city has converted a 200-room hotel into a COVID-19 recovery centre for people experiencing homelessness. Read more…


Crews doing the job differently, but municipal services continue to operate in Charlottetown, Summerside
Public works crews in Charlottetown and Summerside are doing their best to stay on top of work that needs to be done, all while doing it safely. Read more…


City of Barrie offers three extra garbage bag tags per household during pandemic
With more people working from home or waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic before they can head back to work, the city offering up three extra bag tags per household to handle the expected increase in garbage. Read more…


Ontario shutters playgrounds, beaches as emergency order extended
The Ontario government is ordering the closure of all communal or shared, public, or private outdoor recreational amenities across the province in order to help stem the transmission of COVID-19. Read more…


COVID-19 costs to City of Edmonton likely upward of $112 million
Through a lack of revenue and increased expenses, the City of Edmonton could be out $112.3 million if the current situation lasts until mid-September. Read more…


City of Kelowna preparing to slash 2020 budget amid coronavirus pandemic
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Kelowna anticipates revenues will plummet in 2020 and not support plans to run the city with $148 million this year. Read more….


Calgary temporarily lays off part-time, casual workers during pandemic
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said “somewhere south” of 10 percent of the city’s workforce of about 13,000 part-time or casual staff will be laid off. Read more…


City wants to share kids’ Medicine Hat artwork
In a video posted to the City of Medicine Hat’s YouTube page, Mayor Ted Clugston asks schoolkids to draw or paint their favourite part of the city. He then wants parents to submit a photo of it through the city’s Facebook page. Read more…


“Staggering”: New York virus death toll rises above 1,200
A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds arrived Monday in New York City as the number of deaths in the state from the coronavirus outbreak climbed quickly. Read more…


Mayor warns of $5,000 fines for people who gather at Toronto parks
Toronto Mayor John Tory said “time is up” for people who continue to congregate at city parks, warning that fines ranging from $750 to $5,000 will start being doled out with regularity until they “get the message.” Read more…


Halifax police warn those who ignore COVID-19 rules will face consequences 
Halifax’s chief of police says some people are taking unnecessary risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief Dan Kinsella said, by now, everybody should be aware of state of emergency restrictions. Read more…


City of Ottawa opens up donations process for commercial-grade PPE
The City of Ottawa is looking for donations of commercial-grade personal protective equipment to protect first responders and front-line workers. Read more…


City of Richmond defers utility bill to June due to COVID-19
The City of Richmond has announced the 2020 Flat Rate Utility Bill due date has been extended from March 31 to June 30 due to COVID-19. Read more…


March 30

Justin Trudeau reveals wage subsidy for businesses that see 30 percent or more drop in revenue
Any business that has seen a drop of 30 percent or more in revenue because of the fallout of COVID-19 will be eligible for federal wage subsidies of 75 per cent to help keep workers on the payroll. Read more…


City of London snitch line receives hundreds of calls and emails
The City of London’s COVID-19 “snitch line,” a way for people to report businesses and residents not following advisories put in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, received nearly 800 emails and phone calls over the weekend. Read more…


Winnipeg charities, non-profits face financial strain from COVID-19
The local charity and non-profit agencies that serve Winnipeg’s most vulnerable populations and lowest income residents are feeling the impact of the financial uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


Several employees at Toronto Public Health headquarters test positive for COVID-19
Employees have been told to self-isolate from Toronto Public Health headquarters in the city’s downtown core after several workers tested positive for coronavirus. Read more…


Saskatchewan airports adjusts to fewer travellers during pandemic
Airlines are making significant cuts to the number of flights at Saskatchewan airports. There are fewer people travelling as residents heed advice to self isolate. Read more…


University of Ottawa dorm to house 65 people at risk of contracting coronavirus
About 65 people from Ottawa families at-risk of contracting the novel coronavirus are moving into a University of Ottawa residence downtown, after the school said it agreed to a request from the City of Ottawa to house them. Read more…


Canada Post resumes St. John’s service in wake of 5 positive tests for COVID-19
Canada Post workers are urging people in the St. John’s area to give them their space as they get back to work Monday morning, after five employees tested positive for COVID-19. Read more…


Residents encouraged to take part in #BellevilleCares initiative
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new reality, the City of Belleville kicked off the #BellevilleCares initiative in which the city is calling on residents to share some of the wonderful acts of kindness they have seen in the community recently. Read more…


Canada preparing makeshift hospitals as COVID-19 pandemic stretches capacity
Provincial and municipal leaders in Canada are following examples in Europe and the U.S. by commandeering vast spaces normally reserved for conferences or sporting events to house the thousands of patients sickened by COVID-19. Read more…


More fines, more patrols as Montreal police ramp up public health enforcement 
Montreal police will begin handing out fines to people and businesses who disobey public health directives aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


Toronto acquires hotels, rental buildings for homeless in response to COVID-19
The City of Toronto has acquired hotels and residential buildings as part of its “integrated homelessness response to COVID-19.” Read more…


Calgary blocks traffic lanes to help pathway users maintain separation
Fans of Calgary’s decision to block off some traffic lanes to give pedestrians and cyclists extra room for social distancing hope other cities will follow suit. Read more…


Coquitlam wants residents to show their hearts for health care workers
Coquitlam wants residents to download a printable heart from the city website to adorn a window in their homes and cheer on health care workers at 7 p.m. daily. Read more…


City of Mississauga holds a Tele Town Hall amidst COVID-19 concerns
Joined by Mayor Bonnie Crombie, the City of Mississauga organized a virtual town hall to cover pressing questions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Nature takes back world’s empty city streets
As humans retreat into their homes as more and more countries go under coronavirus lockdown, wild animals are slipping cover to explore the empty streets of some of our biggest cities. Read more…


Saskatoon police highlight uplifting signs around city
The Saskatoon Police Service shared a few photos of uplifting signs patrol officers have found around the city. The photos were shared by the service to its Facebook page on Sunday. Read more…


City of Red Deer asks residents to help protect the pipes
City of Red Deer residents are reminded that disposable wipes are not flushable and should be disposed of in Black Carts to avoid costly blockages in the wastewater treatment system. Read more…


March 29

151 new COVID-19 cases in Ontario as province cracks down on price gouging, large gatherings
Ontario is cracking down on price gouging for essential hygiene and medical supplies, and pushing to limit gatherings to five people or fewer, as part of ongoing efforts to handle the COVID-19 outbreak across the province. Read more…


Coquitlam cancels May events, waiting on Canada Day and other summer happenings
Both Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam are taking a wait-and-see approach to events scheduled for after May and say they will heed advice from health authorities. Read more..


City of Hamilton helping local businesses shift to an online market
The City of Hamilton has launched a new website that houses many of the Steel City’s favourite neighbourhood spots under one roof so Hamiltonians can continue to support small vendors and restaurants. Read more…


City to help Winnipeg Harvest during virus
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Winnipeg Harvest has become busier and is in need of more volunteers. Mayor Brian Bowman announced Saturday that the city will be stepping up to help the organization sort food and stock hampers. Read more…


City of Montreal to provide more resources for homeless
Montreal is stepping up its measurers to help the homeless cope with the coronavirus. They include the opening of five outdoor day centres, expanded shelter room for men and women, and temporary public toilet facilities. Read more…


North Bay making changes to garbage and blue box pickup
In a social media post, the City of North Bay is asking residents to bag all garbage before placing into a garbage container. The city is asking for no loose garbage for the safety of its waste and blue box collection drivers. Read more…


First case of COVID-19 in Nunavik confirmed
Health authorities in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec have confirmed a case of the coronavirus known as COVID-19. Read more…


City of Richmond launches COVID-19 website
The City of Richmond just launched a COVID-19 website to let residents know what city services are closed and what are still functioning. Read more…


Police rack up nine more stunt driving offences on barren city streets
Ottawa police traffic officers continued their attack on speeders Saturdays, as drivers took advantage of light traffic conditions to put the pedal to the metal. City police issued 15 tickets for stunt driving over the past week. Read more…


Whitehorse businesses move to phone and online sales amid COVID-19 precautions
Many small businesses in Whitehorse are laying off staff, reducing hours and locking their front doors, but that doesn’t mean they’re shutting up shop completely. Read more…


March 28

London unveils “snitch line” for COVID-19 rule violations
City of London officials have set up new ways for residents to report businesses and individuals who aren’t following the rules around COVID-19. Read more…


Police boost patrols as Montreal declares state of emergency
Police are stepping up patrols across Montreal to make sure non-essential businesses stay closed and no public gatherings take place as the city declared a state of emergency on Friday. Read more…


Six Nations building barricades to block outsiders amid COVID-19
The Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council plans to build and install barricades to block people who aren’t part of the community from entering its territory and spreading COVID-19. Read more…


City of Kawartha Lakes now has 27 COVID-19 cases
Ontario’s largest outbreak is at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon; City of Kawartha Lakes closes playgrounds. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the City of Kawartha Lakes has risen to 27. Read more…


City of Burnaby employee tests positive for COVID-19
A City of Burnaby employee has tested positive for COVID-19, and another staff member who was in contact with the affected employee has been told to undergo self-assessment. Read more…


City launches online COVID-19 resources for Mississauga businesses
The City of Mississauga’s Economic Development Office has launched a new dedicated online resource for the business community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


City of Vancouver suspends business licence of downtown Tim Hortons after repeated COVID-19 bylaw noncompliance
The City of Vancouver announced Friday afternoon (March 27) that it has suspended the business licence of a downtown Tim Hortons restaurant because of noncompliance with the city’s State of Emergency bylaw to combat the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


March 27

Government boosts wage subsidy to 75 percent for small, medium businesses
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced more help for small and medium-sized businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis, including a 75 percent wage subsidy and guaranteed interest-free loans. Read more…


New pop-up shelters coming for Halifax amid COVID-19 spread
An organizer with the Out of the Cold shelter in Halifax says the province has authorized the creation of two new pop-up shelters with a third one expected to open next week. They will allow for physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Legault promises every Quebec worker at least $2,000 monthly through COVID-19 crisis
Quebec Premier François Legault has promised that no one who is working now and earning minimum wage will take home less than $2,000 monthly. Read more…


City of Ottawa closes off-leash dog parks, park equipment due to COVID-19
The City of Ottawa has closed off-leash dog parks and playground equipment to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


B.C. assumes power to take over supply chains amid COVID-19
British Columbia has dramatically stepped up its use of emergency powers, giving itself the authority to take over supply chains for delivering essential goods and services throughout the province. Read more…


City of Regina lays off 80 percent of casual staff amid COVID-19 pandemic
The City of Regina has issued layoff notices to 360 casual employees and is postponing the recall of 500 seasonal employees as confirmed COVID-19 cases grow. Read more…


City to relax construction traffic restrictions on major roads
Traffic volumes are lower because of the COVID-19 pandemic and contractors have asked the City of Ottawa to relax work restrictions on arterial and major collector roadways during peak periods. Read more…


Vancouver opening two emergency facilities inside community centres
The City of Vancouver is opening two emergency response centres inside community centres in order to create more space for homeless residents to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


Montreal, Quebec City transit agencies reduce services as ridership plummets
With ridership dwindling due to COVID-19, the public transit agencies in Montreal and Quebec City will strategically reduce services starting March 30. Read more…


Recent uptick in speeding on Edmonton roads concerns mayor 
As Edmontonians are being asked to stay home amid an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, city officials say they have seen a spike in drivers speeding. Read more…


Metro Vancouver cities identifying facilities for makeshift hospitals
The province is calling on British Columbia’s cities to offer possible venues for potential expansion of critical medical and logistical infrastructure. Read more…


Stay out of the city’s west end, director of public health warns Montrealers
Quebec’s director of public health is urging Montrealers and everyone else to stay out of the city’s west end, where the number of COVID-19 cases is growing. Read more…


New Brunswick cultural workforce looks to make up lost income
New Brunswick’s arts and culture workforce contribute around $550 million to the province’s GDP, but now that workforce is among those getting hit hardest by the widespread social distancing and other public health measures. Read more..


Is the City of North Bay muzzling employees?
City hall is either taking restrictive measures to stop the flow of information getting out to the public, or can’t get their message straight with its own workers. Read more…


Charlottetown outreach centre moves amid “stressful” COVID-19 situation
The Community Outreach Centre located at 211 Euston St. in Charlottetown has temporarily relocated to Birchwood Intermediate School just a few blocks away in order to adhere to public health recommendations like social distancing. Read more…


New Westminster council ponders the new COVID-19 normal
How not to let city priorities fall by the wayside and how to continue with public engagement are two of the issues facing New Westminster city council in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. Read more…


March 26

British Columbia takes over emergency response from cities
In an escalation of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the provincial government announced it has invoked the Emergency Program Act to take over emergency response from municipalities across British Columbia, give civic bylaw officers the ability to enforce orders from health authorities, and take control of supply chains. Read more…


Canadians targeted by scams taking advantage of COVID-19 fears
Canadians should be vigilant for text scams amid the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday during a press briefing outside his Ottawa home. Read more…


City of Kingston declares State of Emergency in response to COVID-19
Mayor Bryan Paterson declared a State of Emergency for Kingston to help contain the spread of COVID-19. This decision aligns with steps the Province of Ontario has taken in response to the pandemic. Read more…


Woman arrested for the second time after allegedly not self-isolating
Police say a woman in Newfoundland has been arrested for a second time for allegedly refusing to stay inside after arriving from outside the province, contravening public health measures put in place to combat COVID-19. Read more…


City of Sault Ste. Marie identifying business challenges, looking for solutions, during COVID-19
More than 160 participants tapped in to the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s business teleconference Thursday to learn about programs and services that may be available to help them keep afloat during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more…


COVID-19: London-area man in his 20s hospitalized as case count rises
A London-area man in his 20s is in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, as new cases in Ontario soar by 170 in a single day. Read more…


City of Saskatoon closes pedestrian bridge in response to COVID-19
The City of Saskatoon closed the CP Rail Pedestrian bridge – which spans the South Saskatchewan River from Spadina Crescent to the city’s university area – amid concern the bridge is not wide enough to maintain proper physical distancing. Read more…


Trudeau says banks, credit card companies asked to lower interest rates
The federal government is asking banks and credit-card companies to lower interest rates on Canadians struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


City’s Work in Belleville program still working
A city-created program aimed at connecting employers and potential employees continues to work despite the current economic challenges. Read more…


Guelph mayor doesn’t feel it’s necessary to declare state of emergency right now
As of Wednesday, roughly 80 of Ontario’s 444 municipalities having declared a state of emergency. However, Mayor Cam Guthrie says at this point there is no need to for the City of Guelph to do the same. Read more…


City encourages Ottawans to buy local during coronavirus pandemic with new campaign
In a new campaign launched Thursday, the City of Ottawa is encouraging residents to support local businesses and take action to help keep them afloat amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


Ontario municipalities worry about going in the red as COVID-19 drains coffers
A group representing Ontario’s municipalities is asking the province to commit enough cash to keep cities from going into debt amid concerns that COVID-19 will throw them into a fiscal hole so deep they can’t climb out. Read more…


City of Ottawa braces for shrinking revenues, workforce as coronavirus spreads
The City of Ottawa is exploring how to limit its spending and perhaps shrink its operations to only essential services as the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak threatens its finances, workforce, and ability to rally resources. Read more…


As N.W.T. news outlet suspends print, will northerners stay informed online?
Northern News Services Limited announced the company is suspending print copies and focusing its online output until the COVID-19 crisis is under control. Read more…


Thunder Bay ceases all non-essential services “until further notice”
The City of Thunder Bay announced it will be ceasing all non-essential services and employees have been instructed to stay home. Essential services such as emergency, water, wastewater, and transit will continue. Read more…


City of Regina updates lunch program and makes inspection changes
The City of Regina makes changes to the lunch program and how building inspections will be done to ensure the health of residents during COVID-19. Read more…


City of Guelph closes public waste drop-off to residents
The City of Guelph announced that due to an increase in traffic to waste drop off sites, and in order to help everyone maintain a safe physical distance of two metres, they’re suspending the service. Read more…


Frizzell seeks president’s seat at FCM
Prince George Coun. Garth Frizzell has put his nomination forward for the presidency of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Read more…


Kamloops, province working to enable virtual council meetings
The City of Kamloops is working with the British Columbia government to speed up the process to allow for virtual council meetings. The city’s procedural bylaw currently does not allow for electronic meetings. Read more…


City of Toronto closing all park amenities and playgrounds
Toronto is closing all city-owned playgrounds and other park amenities effective immediately as part of efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Read more…


Mapleton water, wastewater project draws fire from CUPE
Mapleton Township’s plan to outsource construction and operation of municipal water and wastewater infrastructure has drawn fire from a national public workers union. Read more…


Stay away from playgrounds for now, City of Greater Sudbury advises
The City of Greater Sudbury announced that for the time being, it is strongly discouraging the use of playgrounds, as equipment is not sanitized or maintained during the off-season. Read more…


Newfoundland issues stark warning as COVID-19 cases nearly double overnight
The number of COVID-19 patients in Newfoundland and Labrador has nearly doubled overnight, with 32 new cases announced on Wednesday. Read more…


March 25

Emergency COVID-19 bill that ups $27 billion in direct support to $52 billion gets royal assent
An emergency federal bill to give the government billions of dollars to spend to help anxious workers, families and employers cope with COVID-19 is now law. Read more…


Residential landlords face mounting calls for rent relief as COVID-19 results in layoffs, income loss
Residential landlords are facing mounting pressure to ease or defer rental charges as the COVID-19 pandemic results in widespread layoffs and loss of income, leading some tenants to consider withholding payments as part of a “rent strike” due to start next month. Read more…


No state of emergency declaration in Winnipeg, mayor says during COVID-19 response update
There is no need for the City of Winnipeg to declare a local state of emergency right now, the city’s mayor and emergency operations manager said during an update on Winnipeg’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Coronavirus is reshaping the way we get around cities
The rising need for social distancing has been changing how we get around cities – and whether we get around at all. Read more…


Small and medium-sized Quebec hardware stores to remain open during COVID-19 pandemic
While many merchants are forced to close their doors until mid-April, the Quebec government said small and medium-sized hardware stores may remain open following concerns expressed by the association that represents them. Read more…


“Playing it safe”: City of Guelph extends closure of all facilities to April 30
Based on the Ontario government’s declaration of an emergency, and advice from Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, the City of Guelph is extending the closure of all City facilities to April 30 to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


Newfoundland woman arrested for refusing to self isolate after talking to police
The arrest of a Newfoundland woman for refusing to stay home after she returned from a trip outside the province is raising questions about the extent to which law enforcement agencies can limit basic freedoms to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


City of Ottawa declares state of emergency over coronavirus
Mayor Jim Watson has declared a state of emergency in Ottawa in response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Read more…


Toronto rolling out major initiatives to help homeless people, vulnerable renters affected by COVID-19
The City of Toronto is taking steps to help prevent homeless people from contracting COVID-19 and help those who have been infected, including opening nine new shelters and setting up Canada’s first dedicated isolation and recovery sites. Read more…


How Regina city councillors are coping and caring for residents amid COVID-19
The background sounds of city council are normally limited to papers shuffling, residents conversing quietly and the shifting of bodies as a room full of people rise to greet the mayor entering council chambers, signalling the beginning of a meeting. In a COVID-19 world the sounds and the view are very different. Read more…


Montreal shelters’ concerns heightened after homeless man tests positive for COVID-19
A first reported case of COVID-19 within Montreal’s homeless community has prompted concern and questions among those who care for the city’s most vulnerable. Read more…


Canadians are panic-buying marijuana: Could coronavirus cause another shortage?
Marijuana sales hit an unprecedented bump recently, as U.S. consumers stocked up on cannabis goods like it was toilet paper or hand sanitizer. Data now shows Canadian cannabis stores experience a similar coronavirus-related spike in sales, in some provinces. Read more…


Kingston aims to open second temporary homeless shelter during COVID-19 pandemic
The City of Kingston confirms it’s working to open a second temporary shelter for the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


New York City to close streets, ban contact sports in parks to halt coronavirus
New York City will begin closing streets to traffic and ban close contact sports in city parks to help combat the coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday. Read more…


City of Vaughan closing all park facilities, including playgrounds
The City of Vaughan will close all facilities within its parks, including playgrounds, as it works to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the community. Read more…


Government, opposition reach deal on COVID-19 emergency aid bill
The COVID-19 Emergency Response Act passed after significant delays caused by opposition to the Liberals’ attempt to grant broad spending and taxing powers to cabinet without parliamentary oversight. Read more…


London council waives interest and penalties on unpaid taxes for 60 days
Londoners will not be charged any late penalties or interest fees for unpaid property tax bills due at the end of March for two more months as the City of London tries to help lessen the financial burden brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


City police to enforce public health order in Moose Jaw
The Moose Jaw Police Service will be checking local bars, nightclubs, and lounges in the coming days to make sure they are closed. Read more…


Municipal councils grapple with ways to be transparent during COVID-19
With social distancing rules in place, councils in Nova Scotia are grappling with ways to hold online meetings while still being transparent with the public. Read more…


Edmonton closes playgrounds, service counters amid COVID-19
Effective immediately, the City of Edmonton is closing all playgrounds as the city continues to navigate the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


City of Hamilton, waste collectors find common ground
The City of Hamilton and the outside workers unit of CUPE 5167 have resolved the health and safety concerns that prompted waste collectors to participate in a one-day work refusal on Monday. Read more…


Is your business closed? OPP have tips to keep your property safe
The OPP are offering tips to anyone who has had to shutter their business either due to provincial order or for social distancing purposes. Read more…


All-volunteer cyber civil defence brigade assembles to fight COVID-19 hackers
Civil defence used to involve air raid wardens, ambulance drivers, and rescue teams. These days, it means taking the fight online – against hackers and cyber criminals looking to take down or ransom critical infrastructure. Read more…


City of Fort St. John declares State of Local Emergency
The City of Fort St. John has declared a State of Local Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this declaration provides the city with nine additional powers, it doesn’t mean that they will use all or any of them. Read more…


Saskatoon lays off temporary staff, closes playgrounds amid COVID-19 pandemic
The City of Saskatoon is laying off 126 casual staff members, including lifeguards, cashiers, activity leaders, and recreational employees amid growing fear about the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Kingston city council to move to remote format for future meetings
Kingston council met in a virtual meeting format for the first time on Tuesday and it will likely be via videoconferencing that the councillors will assemble for meetings for the foreseeable future. Read more…


Winnipeg keeping parks open for now, adding physical distancing signage
The City of Winnipeg won’t be closing parks or play structures, but says it’s taking action to get the message out about proper usage during the pandemic. Read more…


Quebec City has laid off 2,000 employees due to the COVID-19 health crisis
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis and following directives from the Quebec government, Quebec City has laid off 2,000 employees. Read more…


March 24

Trudeau rules out phone-based surveillance for now
The federal government isn’t looking at using location data from Canadians’ phones to track cases of the novel coronavirus, but isn’t ruling it out in the future, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday. Read more…


Bombardier furloughs 12,400 workers, halts plane and rail production in Canada
Bombardier Inc. is temporarily halting production at its Canadian plants, sending 12,400 employees on unpaid leave as the plane maker suspends its 2020 financial forecast due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Saskatchewan chief medical health officer cautions about public outdoor spaces for most self-isolating
Saskatchewan has mandated 14-day isolation for travellers, anyone in close contact with COVID-19 patients. However, there seems to be some confusion about what self-isolation means and what people are allowed to do. Read more…


Kitchener offers economic relief for businesses, residents amid coronavirus pandemic
Kitchener city council has approved measures designed to provide some financial relief for area residents and local businesses due to the new coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down much of the city. Read more…


The “measure of last resort”: What is the Emergencies Act and what does it do?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the provincial and territorial leaders spoke about the possibility of invoking the federal Emergencies Act as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads — legislation that empowers Ottawa to do just about anything it thinks is necessary to cope with the crisis. Read more…


Alberta won’t “tolerate” returning snowbirds who don’t self-isolate immediately
Snowbirds who are returning to Alberta from the U.S. must follow self-isolation rules or else the government will enforce them, Premier Jason Kenney said Monday. Read more…


Canada’s farm industry reacts to Prime Minister’s pledge to aid
With global concern rising in the Agri-food industry, some Saskatchewan farmers breathed a sigh of relief when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced financial aid is imminent during uncertain times as Covid-19 spreads. Read more…


Kitchener offers economic relief for businesses, residents amid coronavirus pandemic
Kitchener city council has approved measures designed to provide some financial relief for area residents and local businesses due to the new coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down much of the city. Read more…


City of St. John’s closes all parks
The City of St. John’s closed all city parks and other outdoor spaces in response to the COVID-19 crisis, to promote social distancing and limit the spread of the pandemic. Read more…


Peterborough city, county declare state of emergency amid coronavirus pandemic
The City of Peterborough and Peterborough County have declared states of emergency amid the coronavirus pandemic. Both municipalities said the declaration may provide access to provincial funding for actions related to the emergency and relief, should funding become available. Read more…


Ontario closing at-risk businesses; releases list of essential workplaces
Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the Ontario government is ordering at-risk workplaces to close-down. The list of essential workplaces has now been released. Read more...


Never underestimate the resilience of a city
Cities are uniquely vulnerable in a crisis like this, but – let’s not forget – they are also uniquely resilient. Read more…


Vancouver increases fines to $50,000 for biz breaching state of emergency
Businesses who violate the City of Vancouver’s State of Emergency bylaw by failing to comply with social distancing orders during the COVID-19 pandemic could be fined as much as $50,000. Read more…


Moose Jaw to waive transit and paratransit fees
The City of Moose Jaw will be making a number of changes to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, including waiving ridership fees for city transit and paratransit services. Read more…


Mississauga declares state of emergency
The City of Mississauga has declared a State of Emergency due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. The declaration gives the city options to protect the health and safety of Mississauga’s residents. Read more…


Prince Albert council passes two new emergency measures
Prince Albert council passes two new emergency measures to help deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. However, four others died on the meeting floor and a fifth was cut short after too many councillors left during the meeting. Read more…


City of Victoria to allow temporary shelters during outbreak
Mayor Lisa Helps confirmed the City of Victoria will allow people without homes to set up temporary shelters at Beacon Hill and Topaz parks in a move aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


Windsor, emergency shelters shift services for homeless amid COVID-19
The City of Windsor announced shelters would implement heightened screening and cleaning protocols, and adopt social distancing measures such as increased distance between beds and staggered eating times. Read more…


Saint John council rejects freezing wages of city workers
Saint John council defeated a motion to freeze the wages of city workers for four years. Council also reject a motion to cut the mayor’s salary by $10,000 and the compensation of the deputy mayor and each councillor by 10 percent. Read more…


Toronto gathering cellphone location data in bid to slow spread of COVID-19
The City of Toronto is obtaining cellphone data from wireless carriers to help it identify where people have assembled in groups as part of its attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


City of Yellowknife waives late fees for property tax bills
Homeowners who can’t pay their interim property tax by the end of March won’t be charged late payment fees, according to the City of Yellowknife. Read more…


Town of Orangeville announces relief measures
Following the Town of Orangeville’s emergency declaration on March 20, a special meeting was held to waive all fees and interest related to the late payment of property taxes – on all tax classes – for a three-month period. Read more…


March 23

Ontario to close all non-essential businesses, as province confirms 78 new COVID-19 cases
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is ordering all non-essential stores and services to close starting Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


Winnipeg biotech company says COVID-19 treatment nearing production
A Winnipeg company is working on a way to treat those who have become ill with COVID-19. Emergent Biosolutions is developing experimental treatments for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Read more…


Vancouver seeks big fines, stricter measures as locals ignore social distancing rules
Despite the grim scenes playing out in areas of the world hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, health professionals and government officials are growing increasingly frustrated by those who just don’t seem to understand the severity of the situation. Read more…


Ontario announces $200 million for vulnerable populations
The Ontario government has announced $200 million in new money aimed at protecting Ontario’s most vulnerable populations as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


COVID-19 won’t stop London city council’s meeting. But it will make it dramatically different
London city council will go ahead, officials say, with its regular meeting schedule, and be held in council chambers at 300 Dufferin Ave. as usual. However, there will be some stark changes in format. Read more…


More First Nations lock down borders, declare their own states of emergency to keep COVID-19 out
More First Nations in Manitoba are locking down entry points to their communities and declaring their own states of emergency as the COVID-19 pandemic escalates. Read more…


What does declaring a state of emergency mean for a city?
In the absence of orders from provincial health officers – who instead have been using moral suasion to get people to stay home before resorting to direct order – cities have given themselves specific powers to act on their own. Read more…


Yes, patios must also close under coronavirus measures: City of Vancouver
Some Vancouver bars and restaurants have had to be reminded that the closure of dine-in operations due to the coronavirus pandemic means patios also have to be closed to guests. Read more…


Ottawa’s top doctor estimates 4,000 cases of COVID-19 in the city
Ottawa’s top doctor says there is community transmission of COVID-19 in Ottawa, and people should treat all “interactions with others as a potential source of transmission of COVID-19.” Read more…


Montreal city council to take public questions online during pandemic
Despite social distancing measures banning public gatherings, Montrealers will still have a chance to ask city council questions. Read more…


Halifax closes all parks, beaches, fields to reduce spread of COVID-19
The Halifax Regional Municipality announced Sunday that they will be closing all municipal parks, beaches, playgrounds, sports fields/courts, and trails until further notice. Read more…


City of Vernon gives out 102 layoff notices due to recreation facilities closure
After closing its recreation facilities to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, the City of Vernon has issued 102 layoff notices. Read more…


City of Lacombe closes municipal facilities
The City of Lacombe is shutting down all municipally run facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All facilities, including city hall, are closed to the public until further notice. Read more…


Toronto reminds residents social distancing applies at playgrounds, parks
As Toronto streets are lined with closed businesses, many people have been going to city parks and green spaces to get fresh air and get out of their homes, which have turned into makeshift workplaces. Read more…


Montreal police declare state of emergency; people gathering risk $1,000 fines
Montreal police have declared a state of emergency across the territory in order to better respond to the spread of COVID-19 – including breaking up gatherings of more than two people. Read more…


Canadian scientists fight coronavirus pandemic on dozens of fronts
The federal government awarded almost $27 million in grants to coronavirus-related research. The money is funding 47 projects across the country. Read more…


March 22

Canada will use “every measure in our toolbox” to prevent COVID-19 spread, minister says
Health Minister Patty Hajdu delivered a strong message to Canadians on preventing the spread of the coronavirus, saying that while the government would prefer not to penalize those who are asked to stay in self-isolation — it will if it has to. Read more…


Vancouver Park Board closes all public outdoor recreation facilities within parks and beaches
The Vancouver Park Board is closing all public outdoor recreation facilities within parks and beaches. That includes volleyball, skate parks, field sports, and tennis courts. The Park Board said in a tweet that it is currently installing signage to limit access to facilities. Read more…


Toronto man dies from COVID-19, marks city’s first coronavirus-related death
Toronto Public Health (TPH) says a man in his 70s is the first person in the city to die from COVID-19 since the coronavirus outbreak began. The man recently travelled to the United Kingdom. Read more…


Quebec closes shopping malls, restaurants, extends school closure
Quebec is ordering the closure of all restaurant dining rooms and shopping malls until at least May to prevent people from gathering and potentially spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Read more…


Labatt to switch production from beer to hand sanitizer
Labatt Breweries announced Sunday that they are shifting production from beer to sanitizer. These shifts will take place it their Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, and London. Read more…


Canadian scientists fighting coronavirus pandemic on dozens of fronts
Public health officials across Canada and around the world are working flat out to test as many people as possible for the novel coronavirus. Read more…


Nova Scotia declares province-wide state of emergency
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has declared a province-wide state of emergency. Among the province-wide restrictions, no entry into Nova Scotia is being allowed for social reasons and no more than five people permitted to gather in once location. Read more…


Kingston moves youth shelter, creates new space for homeless to “self-isolate”
The City of Kingston is introducing new resources and measures to protect the city’s homeless population during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city said it will also be looking to identify a second location in the city to provide homeless individuals with “a space for self-isolation.” Read more…


Ontario hospitals get new emergency powers; province to set up special daycare centres
Ontario hospitals have been given broad new powers to cope with COVID-19 outbreaks and special day care centres are being set up for the children of health care workers, paramedics, police, and firefighters to help them stay on the job. Read more…


Hydro-Quebec suspends fees as COVID-19 cases rise in province
Hydro-Quebec announced on its website on Sunday that it will be suspending its actions against unpaid bills. The provider said it will cease cutting off power to those unable to pay their electricity bills — residential or business. Read more…


Locals worried as people still head to Rocky Mountains despite COVID-19 pandemic
To the bewilderment of residents who live in places like Canmore and Bragg Creek, many people continue to flock to the mountains with some residents saying their communities were downright bustling despite the COVID-19 pandemic and pleas from governments to stay home. Read more…


Local spread of coronavirus confirmed in Toronto; city urges continued social distancing
Toronto’s chief medical officer of health confirmed Saturday that community transmission of the coronavirus is occurring in the city. The city also cautioned people who gather in parks that they are putting others at risk for infection. Read more…


Calgary City Hall restricting access starting Monday
As COVID-19 continues to spread, the City of Calgary is restricting access to its city hall complex in an effort to minimize the amount of people gathering in a single space and encourage social distancing. Read more…


Appointing councillor only option if city can’t hold byelection
The City of Ottawa’s ability to hold a byelection in Cumberland ward during a global pandemic is decreasing by the day, raising the possibility of selecting the only other option to fill the vacant council seat. Read more…


City of Nanaimo close all playgrounds after public comments, concerns
City officials have followed the lead of other municipalities in the region, along with pressure from Nanaimo residents and shut down playgrounds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


The City of Windsor announces collaboration to help the homeless
As the City of Windsor announced a State of Emergency, the Windsor Essex County Health Unit, The Downtown Mission, The Welcome Centre, and the Salvation Army Centre of Hope, are working together to help the homeless. Read more…


Regina city council to ask SHA for health assessment of refinery work camp
Worried about the safety of workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Regina city council is calling on the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to do an assessment of the refinery work camps. Read more…


Orillia shuts down access to playgrounds due to pandemic fears
The City of Orillia continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by evaluating the precautionary measures it can put in place to combat the spread of the virus and encourage social distancing. Read more…


City of Medicine Hat launches list of COVID-19 support
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Medicine Hat has put together a list of support that is available. The list is comprised of government agencies, cultural supports, financial assistance, grocery stores, and mental health resources. Read more…


London playgrounds stay open, but city urges kids to keep safe distance from each other
The City of London says it will keep playgrounds open for now, but is urging kids who play on them to keep a safe distance away from each other. Read more…


Northwest Territories shuts its borders as 1st case of COVID-19 confirmed
The Northwest Territories has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. It’s the first case from all three territories, which were the last provincial and territorial jurisdictions remaining in Canada to report zero cases of COVID-19. Read more…


March 21

Quebec City police arrest COVID-19 patient for defying quarantine
Quebec City police have arrested a woman, who has tested positive for the coronavirus, for being out in the city’s Limoilou neighbourhood despite being under a quarantine order. Read more…


Travellers returning from March break “must stay home,” Toronto’s medical officer of health says
Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa is reminding anyone who travelled over March break that ignoring the stipulated 14-day self-isolation is not an option, as the city works to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


No extension of city utility bill, property tax deadlines
The City of Prince George is encouraging residents to take advantage of several remote-paying options for utility bills and property taxes. There is no change to payment deadlines for utility bills or property taxes, the city said in a statement. Read more…


Winnipeg budget passes as political business winds down at city hall
Winnipeg’s city council voted 11-3 for a four-year budget that sees some grants pared back and a property tax increase of 2.33 percent. The budget vote came during what may be one of the last public meetings at city hall for several weeks or months because of COVID-19. Read more…


Montreal announces measures to protect city’s homeless amid pandemic
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and health officials announced that homeless people in Montreal infected with coronavirus, or who may be infected with the virus and are awaiting results, will be housed in isolation at the old Royal Victoria Hospital. Read more…


Prince Albert City Hall closes its doors in response to COVID-19
Prince Albert City Hall is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 virus. The city announced employees will continue to do their regular jobs but with no face-to-face public interaction. Read more…


Regina votes to add retail stores to list of businesses it feels should be closed
Effective Monday, Regina city council has added a selection of retail stores – including clothing, shoes, sporting, furniture, toy, craft, and gaming retail shops – to the list of businesses they feel must close in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


City of Windsor declares state of emergency, Devonshire and Tecumseh malls to close
As part of the city’s ongoing response to COVID-19, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens officially declared a state of emergency Friday evening and ordered the temporary closures of Devonshire and Tecumseh malls. Read more…


City service to be offered remotely for Kelowna residents
The City of Kelowna has announced that from now on, city services will be delivered remotely. Services will continue to be available by phone, e-mail and appointment only, during regular business hours. Read more…


March 20

City of London declares state of emergency
The City of London has declared a state of emergency, which gives the city access to provincial funding when it becomes available. The state of emergency was declared Friday, the same day when the number of cases in London and Ontario jumped. Read more…


City of Kamloops declares state of local emergency due to pandemic
The City of Kamloops has declared a state of local emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration gives the city the opportunity to quickly address emerging issues for the purposes of enhancing preparedness and response to the pandemic. Read more…


City of Ottawa task force addressing senior isolation, food security and housing concerns
A City of Ottawa “human needs task force” is keeping an eye on issues related to food security and helping vulnerable residents during this sensitive period of protecting people from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


COVID-19 may keep Quebec students out of school until May, Legault says
As the number of COVID-19 cases in the province rises, Premier François Legault says it may be weeks before children return to school. He added it is “unlikely” children will be back in the province’s schools before the beginning of May. Read more…


Feds offer help to companies to retool, pump out COVID-19 medical gear
The federal government is unveiling a plan to have companies quickly produce medical equipment to cope with the rapidly multiplying cases of COVID-19 across Canada. Read more…


Partial Canada-U.S. border closure to take effect at midnight, Trudeau says
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the mutual decision by Canada and the United States to close their shared border to non-essential travel will take effect at midnight tonight. Read more…


Six new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in London region
Six new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the London region, according to the Middlesex-London Health Unit. Health officials believe all six patients acquired the virus through community transmission. Read more…


New York Govenor Cuomo bans gatherings, nonessential workers to stay home
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is ordering all workers in nonessential businesses to stay home and is banning gatherings statewide as confirmed cases in New York climbed to more than 7,000. Read more…


Côte Saint-Luc mayor urges self-isolation as 4 people test positive for COVID-19
Four people in Côte Saint-Luc have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the mayor to urge residents to self-isolate to prevent the spread of the virus. Read more…


Woman purposefully coughs in St. Albert shop owner’s face
The owner of a St. Albert vape shop says she was shocked and angry when a customer purposefully coughed in her face after being asked to leave the store because she should be self-isolating. Read more…


No Indigenous community will be “left behind” in COVID-19 response
The federal government is offering $305 million to address the immediate needs of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities, and to get out public health messages in those communities. Read more…


Beware of COVID-19 scams, say police and municipalities
Reports have arisen of people receiving calls and text messages offering home testing for COVID-19 or free medical masks. Read more…


North Battleford to close city hall on March 23; considering online meetings
North Battleford has announced it will close city hall to the public effective Monday, March 23. The council meeting for that day has also been cancelled, but the city is working to establish council meetings through electronic means. Read more…


City of Richmond declares emergency, shuts down city hall
Richmond city council voted unanimously to declare an emergency, giving the city the ability to use any power it has to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Read more…


Kingston waives hourly parking fees in response to COVID-19 pandemic
The City of Kingston has made the decision to waive all hourly parking fees on city streets in response to concerns over the novel coronavirus. Read more…


Coronavirus infects Manitoba budget projections
Manitoba Finance Minister Scott Fielding finally got to introduce his 2020 budget. However, in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, his economic and fiscal projections are in a state of flux. Read more…


Toronto announces 60-day grace period for bill payments amid pandemic
Mayor John Tory has announced a 60-day grace period for City of Toronto residents and businesses due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


Saskatoon approves emergency measures as pandemic spreads
Saskatoon council unanimously approved a suite of emergency measures designed to ease the financial burden on residents as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province mounts. Read more…


More than 5,000 layoffs at Air Canada due to COVID-19
Air Canada has announced more than 5,000 workers will be laid off come April 30 due to a stark reduction in demand and strict limits on the destinations to which planes can fly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Gov. Gavin Newsom of California orders Californians to stay at home
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California has ordered Californians – all 40 million of them – to stay in their houses as much as possible in the coming weeks as the state confronts the escalating coronavirus outbreak. Read more…


March 19

Meeting rules could impact COVID-19 financial relief vote at London city hall
According to the Municipal Act only council members in attendance can vote on motions. London Mayor Ed Holder is asking the province to temporary permit voting remotely. Read more…


Quebec urges all municipalities to put a halt to citizen gatherings
The Quebec government is asking all municipalities to cancel or postpone all forms of consultation that require the presence of citizens, such as public consultation meetings, referendums or register keeping. Read more…


Nunavik forms COVID-19 response committee
Nunavik’s leaders have struck a new committee to help coordinate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nunavik Regional Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee brought together the Kativik Regional Police Force and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, led by the Kativik Regional Government. Read more…


Nearly $1 million in funding for Western to start work on COVID-19 vaccine
A team of researchers at Western University is starting work on a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19. Western is home to Canada’s newest Containment Level 3 facility, which will allow researchers to work safely. Read more…


Wuhan reports no new coronavirus cases, offering hope to world
Wuhan was where the COVID19 outbreak first took hold and thousands once lay sick or dying in hurriedly constructed hospitals. But Chinese authorities said Thursday that all 34 new cases recorded over the previous day had been imported from abroad. Read more…


Halton announces second COVID-19 death in Ontario as province announces 43 new cases
Halton Region Public Health announces that it has been notified of a death related to COVID-19. The individual, a man in his 50s, is the second known death in Ontario related to COVID-19. Read more…


City of Windsor closes city hall, scales back services
The City of Windsor is closing city hall and scaling back all non-essential programs to ensure it can deliver critical services in the face of the COVID-19 threat. The changes begin at the end of the business day on Thursday and will continue until at least April 5. Read more…


City of Kingston increasing allowed number of residential garbage bags
Until April 5, the City of Kingston is increasing the number of garbage bags – from 1 to 4 – that each household is allowed to put out. This change is being instituted to help self-isolating individuals and families to dispose of their garbage safely. Read more…


Corner Brook rolls back city staff while preparing for “protracted situation” with COVID-19
The City of Corner Brook is starting to prepare for what the mayor is calling a “protracted situation” with the COVID-19 outbreak. One of the first measures the city is taking is to send home city employees, with the exception of core services staff. Read more…


City of Kamloops closes scores of buildings amid pandemic
Following a state of emergency declared in the province, the City of Kamloops is taking further steps to close civic facilities to the public, including city hall, bylaw services and the water- and sewage-treatment plants. Read more…


City of Vancouver declares state of emergency amid coronavirus outbreak
The City of Vancouver has declared a state of emergency in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. It gives the city power to enforce public safety measures, such as monitoring grocery stores and pharmacies, to curb panic buying. Read more…


City of Saskatoon closes all facilities amid pandemic, including city hall
The City of Saskatoon is closing all its facilities, including city hall, after the Saskatchewan government declared a state of emergency. Read more…


COVID-19 concerns don’t dampen opposition to Winnipeg budget
Despite public health officials discouraging gatherings and encouraging social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, the list of delegations wishing to speak about the city budget runs 14 pages. Read more…


Orillia shutting down; declaring an emergency is “on the table”
While the city’s offices within the Orillia City Centre are closed to the public, there will be at least one staff member in each department to field calls and answer emailed questions during business hours. Read more…


Port Moody shuts down city hall, cancels and closes meetings
Port Moody is shutting down normal operations at city hall so the city can deal with COVID-19 pandemic, says Mayor Rob Vagramov. Read more…


Quebec City to open a drive-thru COVID screening clinic
Quebec City is opening a drive-thru COVID-19 screening clinic. Citizens can therefore be tested without getting out of their car: they only have to go through a garage door and exit from the other end like a car wash. Read more…


Toronto confirms seven more COVID-19 cases, says local transmission rising
Toronto Public Health confirmed seven new cases of COVID-19, with officials saying the evidence for local transmission of the virus appears to be growing. Read more…


Steinbach city council prepared to cancel April meetings if necessary
Steinbach city council passed a motion giving Mayor Earl Funk the ability to postpone, cancel, or change meeting dates in April with 72-hour notice. Read more…


Water taps won’t be turned off for Halifax residents struggling to pay
All Halifax Regional Municipality customer service centres are closed to the public, but those water customers facing economic hardships will not lose services because of an inability to pay during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more…

City of Ottawa to defer property taxes in light of COVID-19
The City of Ottawa is giving property owners more time to pay their property tax bills in light of the financial challenges created by he COVID-19 crisis. Read more…


March 18

Canada’s big grocers say there’s enough food stock to go around
Amid panic buying due to concerns around the spread of COVID-19, Canadian grocers are assuring customers they have enough supply to go around for most products. Read more…


City of Toronto fires director of Office of Emergency Management in middle of COVID-19 crisis
The City of Toronto has abruptly fired the director of its Office of Emergency Management, Charles Jansen. Jansen said he was relieved of his duties by city officials who told him the city is taking the office in “a different direction” and that they were worried Jansen “might not be the right fit.” Read more…


Moncton fire chief overseeing pandemic response goes into self-isolation
Moncton’s fire chief, in charge of the city’s emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic, has gone into self-isolation after learning he was among 70 people aboard a WestJet flight with a Prince Edward Island woman who tested positive. Read more…


Yellowknife closing facilities, suspending programming
The City of Yellowknife is shutting down six of its facilities and suspending visitor centre services out of city hall as a method to prepare for the potential spread of COVID-19. Read more…


Strathroy-Caradoc has issued a Declaration of Emergency
The Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc has issued a Declaration of Emergency. The municipality reassured residents the declaration doesn’t reflect any material change to the situation at hand, but will better position it to access funding related to COVID-19. Read more…


Canada’s big banks to allow mortgage payment deferrals
Canada’s big six banks will allow mortgage payment deferrals for up to six months as part of extraordinary measures to help customers struggling with the financial impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


London council to waive interest, penalties on unpaid taxes for 30 days 
London city councillors will introduce a motion to provide economic relief for families so they can weather the financial hardships of the growing coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


Trudeau announces $82 billion in aid; Canada/U.S. border closed to non-essential traffic
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says temporary wage subsidies will be provided to businesses to keep employees on the payroll. Income tax deadlines extended to August. Child care benefit will also be boosted for families. Read more…


Canada, U.S. working to close border to non-essential travel over coronavirus
Canada and the U.S. are working on a mutual ban on non-essential travel between the two countries over the spread of the coronavirus. Read more…


Moose Jaw making changes to council meetings during pandemic
In addition to closing many city-run facilities, Moose Jaw council will stick with its normal meeting schedule, but sessions will be closed to the public. Read more…


City of Toronto scaling back on “non-essential” services
The City of Toronto is scaling back or changing the delivery of a slew of non-essential services. However, services such as police, fire, paramedics, garbage collection, water, and others will continue. Read more..


City of Regina outlines bill payment options amid city hall closure
Regina’s city hall is closed to the public until further notice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Instead, the city is offering a list of alternatives to making bill payments in person. Read more…


City of Windsor postpones Ward 7 byelection
Citing COVID-19 concerns, the City of Windsor announced the April 27 byelection for the Ward 7 seat will be postponed until a yet-to-be-determined date. Read more…


City of Winnipeg moves to Level 2 emergency response to COVID-19
The City of Winnipeg has upgraded its response to the COVID-19 pandemic to Level 2 as it manages essential services and assesses what changes are coming. Read more…


City of Vernon to close all recreation facilities
The City of Vernon is benching its recreation services during what it calls the “unprecedented times” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


South Niagara municipalities close city halls
Welland, Port Colborne, Wainfleet, and Pelham have closed their offices to the public. All four municipalities also partially activated their emergency operations centres before Ontario declared a state of emergency. Read more…


City of Charlottetown unveils efforts to prevent spread of coronavirus
The City of Charlottetown is locking the doors to all of its buildings – including both fire stations, the police station, and city hall – to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Read more…


B.C. just announced a public health emergency. What does that mean?
British Columbia has announced a public health emergency due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. It’s just the second time such a declaration has been put into effect. Read more…


March 17

Canada among top world performers in testing for COVID-19, despite shortcomings
Figures indicated 34,000 had been swabbed for the pathogen across Canada, compared to 23,000 tests in the U.S., which has 10 times the population and number of COVID-19 cases. Read more…


PM says financial measures on the way to help “millions of Canadians” get through COVID-19 crisis
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a package of financial supports is on the way to help millions of Canadians and businesses get through the COVID-19 crisis — and he isn’t ruling out an extension to the tax filing deadline. Read more…


City workers asked to report to offices, despite social distancing push during COVID-19 outbreak
City workers who can work remotely are concerned the city is asking them to report for work, even as Toronto’s medical officer of health has asked that anyone who can stay home do so. Read more…


City of Orillia CAO back at city hall day after returning from Cayman Islands
City CAO Gayle Jackson returned from a vacation to the Cayman Islands on Sunday and was given permission to return to work at city hall Monday rather than self-isolate. Read more…


Eight more cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Ontario, bringing total to 185
There are eight more cases of the COVID-19 in Ontario, bringing the provincial total to 185, including five recoveries, as of Tuesday morning. Among the cases, five are in Hamilton, two are in Middlesex-London, and one is in York Region. Read more…


Ontario declares state of emergency amid COVID-19 pandemic 
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency as the province tries to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


Homeless vulnerable to COVID-19 need help from governments: advocates
Homeless people staying in close quarters at shelters, tent cities, and warming centres are especially at risk for COVID-19, says a Vancouver community advocate working to ensure hand-washing stations and clean bathrooms are available. Read more…


Alberta cities ramping up measures to fight spread of COVID-19
Two Alberta cities – Calgary and Red Deer – have called local states of emergency to help fight the spread of COVID-19. The move gives these cities access to additional resources and special powers under the Emergency Management Act. Read more…


How cities around the world are handling COVID-19
Cities that are open, transparent, collaborative, and adopt comprehensive responses are better equipped to manage pandemics than those that are not. Read more…


No local state of emergency, but Edmonton cutting transit hours amid COVID-19
Edmonton is not declaring a local state of emergency but is switching transit services to a reduced schedule amid a fall in ridership brought on by COVID-19. Read more…


Toronto faces new reality amid “evidence” of COVID-19 community spread
All Toronto bars, nightclubs, theatres, and restaurants – with the exception of take-out options – were asked to close, or risk facing a $25,000 daily fine. Read more…


Uber suspends pooled rides in US and Canada to limit coronavirus spread
Uber Technologies is suspending shared rides on its ride-hailing platform in the United States and Canada to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Read more…


More beaches are shut down in South Florida to ward off coronavirus
More South Florida cities closed down their beaches after Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach announced they were shutting down to help contain COVID-19. Read more…


Trump asks Americans to avoid groups over 10 people
U.S. President Donald Trump is asking Americans to avoid restaurants, groups of more than 10, and older people and those with underlying conditions. Read more…


U.S. cities and states suspend water shutoffs to tackle coronavirus pandemic
Almost 90 cities and states across the U.S. have suspended water shutoffs for residents unable to afford their bills, as local leaders scramble to tackle the complex public health threats posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


“Unprecedented”: B.C. cities close facilities, suspend “non-essential services”
Several B.C. municipalities are suspending non-essential services and shutting down civic facilities in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Halifax outlines measures taken to mitigate risk of COVID-19
Halifax Regional Municipality is shutting down recreational and community facilities while urging citizens to look out for each other. Read more…


Canadian tourism operators hope for cruise ports to reopen
Tourism operators across the country are hoping that Canadian ports will reopen to cruise ship passengers in time for the busy season to begin in July. Read more…


Regina takes action against COVID-19, closing recreation facilities and libraries
The City of Regina announced a number of preemptive measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including shutting down its community and recreation facilities to the public. Read more…


Quebec ramps up testing in bid to contain coronavirus
As coronavirus cases continue to climb in Quebec, the province has rolled out new measures to mitigate the economic impact of the disease. Read more…


WHO says countries not testing enough for coronavirus cases
The World Health Organization said that while social-distancing measures are important, countries need to ramp up testing in order to fight COVID-19. Read more…


March 16

Montreal, public health authorities aim to inform travellers at airport over coronavirus outbreak
Travellers arriving at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal will be asked to self-isolate for two weeks and take their temperatures twice per day as the number of novel coronavirus cases continues to climb in the province. Read more…


City of Saskatoon closing leisure centres, libraries to mitigate COVID-19 risk
The City of Saskatoon is closing all its leisure centres, libraries and indoor rinks until further notice in order to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19. Read more…


City of Regina closes city centres, postpones council meetings
The City of Regina has announced the closure of most city centres and postponement of council meetings in an effort to handle COVID-19. Read more…


Canada’s Chief Medical Officer says government needs to “act now”
Top Canadian public-health officials stressed that the window is closing to limit the exponential spread of COVID-19 as they escalated warnings and broad closings and identified new cases of community spread. Read more…


Calgary declares state of local emergency in response to COVID-19
The City of Calgary declared a state of local emergency Sunday as the number of COVID-19 infections in Alberta jumped significantly over the weekend. Read more…


Winnipeg council to vote on budget five days earlier than scheduled
The City of Winnipeg’s preliminary multi-year budget will be voted on by council a full five days earlier than scheduled in response to actions taken by the provincial government on COVID-19. Read more…


City of Edmonton employee tests positive for COVID-19
The City of Edmonton announced late Sunday a municipal employee has tested positive for COVID-19. According to the city, the case is travel-related. Read more…


City of Ottawa municipal facilities close, malls reduce hours due to COVID-19
All City of Ottawa recreation and cultural facilities are now closed for the next three weeks in a bid to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 in the community. Read more…


Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart outlines city’s response to COVID-19
Mayor Kennedy Stewart says his top priority right now is to ensure that the spread of the virus can be slowed and that Vancouver’s most vulnerable residents remain safe. Read more…


Toronto councillor calls for postponement of commercial property taxes
A Toronto city councillor is calling for commercial property taxes, water and waste collection bills to be postponed for local businesses in the city amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


Saskatoon closing leisure facilities, public libraries
The City of Saskatoon is temporarily shutting down its leisure facilities and all Saskatoon Public Library locations to limit the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


City of Kawartha Lakes has first confirmed case of COVID-19
Health officials have confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in the City of Kawartha Lakes. According to health officials, the woman in her 60s recently visited Germany. Read more…


Majority of Canadians worried about a coronavirus outbreak, poll finds
According to the poll, 59 percent of Canadians were worried that someone in their family would get sick from the coronavirus. Read more…


March 15

Toronto mayor to set up task force to help businesses affected by COVID-19
Toronto Mayor John Tory would lead an “economic support and recovery” task force designed to help businesses affected by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more …


COVID-19-related closures, cancellations at Metro Vancouver community centres and libraries
After British Columbia prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people Thursday, cities cancelled events and bookings expected to draw crowds of 250 or more. All Lower Mainland cities are urging anyone experiencing symptoms to self-isolate. Read more …


“Don’t travel here unless absolutely necessary,” says City of Iqaluit
The City of Iqaluit is asking the public not to travel to the city unless absolutely necessary, amid growing concerns over the prospect of the COVID-19 virus spreading in Nunavut. Read more …


Ottawa reports 5 new cases of COVID-19, bringing city total to 10
Ontario health officials confirmed five new cases of novel coronavirus in Ottawa Sunday morning, bringing the total in the city to 10. Read more …


City of London closing all city-operated facilities due to COVID-19
The City of London has announced that it’s cancelling all city-operated programs and closing the facilities where those programs are run due to COVID-19. Read more …


Edmonton closes city facilities and rec centres due to COVID-19
The City of Edmonton has closed all of its recreation facilities and attractions. Annual memberships will be put on hold, and the city is working on full or prorated refunds for programs. Read more …


City of Windsor to close facilities in response to COVID-19
The City of Windsor has opted to close some of its public facilities as a proactive measure following updates from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in response to COVID-19. Read more …


City of Kamloops closes hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms; public facilities to remain open
All City of Kamloops-operated hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms will be closed until further notices based on direction from the BC and Yukon Lifesaving Society. At this time public facilities remain open. Read more …


City of Brantford closing municipal facilities
All city-owned community centres and facilities in Brantford are being closed in response to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. They will remain closed until at least April 5. Read more …


March 14

City of Saskatoon creates webpage to help keep public informed about COVID-19
After Saskatoon’s first two presumptive cases of COVID-19 were discovered, the City of Saskatoon has created a webpage to help keep resident informed on the effect the virus is having on the community. Read more …


City of Winnipeg shutting down pools, libraries
The City of Winnipeg has announced that all city-owned and operated recreation centres, pools and libraries will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16. Read more …


City temporarily cancels all rec and culture programming, enacts other measures
The City of Red Deer announced the temporary cancellation of all recreation and culture programming at city facilities – effective immediately. Read more …


London Mayor Ed Holder will start self-isolation on Monday
London Mayor Ed Holder will self-isolate for two weeks starting Monday, after returning from a trip to the U.S. Read more…


Toronto shutting down major city services, Mayor Tory self-isolating
The City of St. Catharines is closing several city facilities until early April to help stop the spread of COVID-19, including all recreation centres, arenas, and sports fields. Read more…


City of Lachute closes municipal buildings, suspends all municipal activities, events
The City of Lachute announced this afternoon that all municipal buildings will be closed immediately and all municipal activities will be suspended, including use of the municipal pool. Read more…


Regina lays out COVID-19 strategy
Regina Mayor Michael Fougere explained that just because there aren’t any presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the city, doesn’t mean that they can’t be cautious and be prepared. Read more…


City of Ottawa closing all facilities on Monday, launching supports for festivals, small businesses
The City of Ottawa is closing all of its facilities, starting Monday, March 16. In the meantime city task force has been assembled to reduce the affect of coronavirus-related closures on special events, restaurants, and small businesses. Read more…


City of Gatineau shuttering facilities while opening first COVID-19 assessment centre
Though Gatineau has yet to have a confirmed case of COVID-19, authorities asked anyone with suspicious symptoms to call 1-877-644-4545 for guidance. Read more…


City of Iqaluit forms COVID-19 task force
To deal with a potential outbreak of COVID-19, the City of Iqaluit has created a take force dedicated to coordinating its prevention and, should the need arise, response. Read more…


Kelowna cancels large events in city-run facilities
The City of Kelowna is following a directive from provincial health officials, and will cancel all events attracting more than 250 people in city-run facilities. Read more…


Edmonton encourages two-metre separation distance, caution while using transit
City leaders are encouraging aggressive social distancing measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic while keeping transit running and recreation centres open. Read more …


March 13

City of St. Catharines closing several city facilities
The City of St. Catharines is closing several city facilities until early April to help stop the spread of COVID-19, including all recreation centres, arenas, and sports fields. Read more…


Queensway Carleton shuts down drive-thru testing centre
Hours after it opened, Queensway Carleton Hospital has shut down the city’s first drive-thru testing facility for COVID-19, a temporary measure to reduce a backlog. Read more…


Calgary implements Municipal Emergency Plan amid coronavirus pandemic
In response to the constantly changing COVID-19 situation, the City of Calgary implemented its municipal emergency plan. Read more…


Woodstock to proceed with March Break camps despite virus fears
Kids are still welcome to attend the City of Woodstock’s March Break camps, but the city said it will be taking extra precautions as concerns around the COVID-19 virus mount. Read more…


Barrie using “abundance of caution” with changes and cancellations
The City of Barrie is working closely with the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit and other community partners to monitor the global situation and respond accordingly. Read more…


No confirmed cases in Windsor area of COVID-19
Tests remain ongoing, but there are no confirmed local cases of COVID-19 as of Friday afternoon, said Windsor’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Wajid Ahmed. Read more…


FCM takes steps in response to COVID-19 outbreak
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has announced a 30-day work-from-home directive for all staff – effective Monday, March 16. It is also immediately suspending all international and domestic business travel. Read more…


Edmonton city council to hold emergency meeting on COVID-19
Edmonton will hold an emergency council meeting to discuss closing recreation centres and other actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more…


Quebec bans gatherings of more than 250 people to contain COVID-19 spread
Quebec Premier François Legault has banned public gatherings of more than 250 people and ordered into quarantine any public servants who return from outside the country, saying it’s time for the province to go into “emergency mode.” Read more…


Victoria council asking for ban on cruise ship visits amid coronavirus pandemic
Victoria city council has passed a resolution calling on the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and Transport Canada to suspend cruise ship visits to the Port of Victoria until the risk of coronavirus transmission has subsided. Read more…


Toronto activates “emergency operations centre” in response to coronavirus
The City of Toronto says it has begun the next phase of managing COVID-19 by activating its “Emergency Operations Centre” in response to the global pandemic of coronavirus. Read more…


City facilities to remain open as Moose Jaw officials monitor COVID-19 situation
The City of Moose Jaw is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely, but announced it will keep city facilities open – for now. Read more…


Canada develops COVID-19 guidelines on when to cancel major events
The Public Health Agency of Canada has posted guidelines aimed at helping event planners figure out whether to cancel mass gatherings of people as the federal government works to quell the potential spread of novel coronavirus. Read more…


Cobourg cancels all town events amid coronavirus concerns
The Town of Cobourg has cancelled all of its events as part of “decisive action” to ensure the well-being of residents in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


Halifax first responders preparing for coronavirus pandemic
First responders in Halifax are preparing for the province to be hit by the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus. Read more…


Local Municipalities Issue Statements on Coronavirus
Municipal officials are working with the Dufferin County officials, and health authorities while closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. Read more…


March 12

Ontario schools to shut down for two weeks after March Break to fight the spread of COVID-19
Ontario schools will be shut down for two weeks following the March Break to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


COVID-19 can “completely overwhelm” hospital, health system
The medical officer of health at Thunder Bay District Health Unit warned that COVID-19 has the potential to “completely overwhelm the health system and the hospital.” Read more…


Toronto to activate emergency operations centre amid COVID-19 outbreak
The City of Toronto says that it will create a task force and activate its emergency operations centre amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Read more…


Mayor holds off on COVID-19 motion at council meeting
After discussions with administration, Mayor Don Scott decided to hold off a motion proposing a municipal response plan to COVID-19 after reviewing steps already undertaken. Read more…


County prepping for COVID-19 potential impact
With waves of international news about the spread of the coronavirus, and its declaration from the World Health Organization  as a pandemic illness, Prince Edward County is preparing for potential impact. Read more…


Enhanced measures to protect Ontarians from COVID-19
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve globally, Ontario is taking further action to ensure the province’s health care system is positioned to continue to safeguard the health and well-being of Ontarians. Read more…


Still no confirmed COVID-19 cases in N.L.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s health minister says there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province as of March 12. Read more…


B.C. forestry convention cancelled due to coronavirus
The B.C. Council of Forest Industries has cancelled its annual convention due to concerns about COVID-19. Read more…


COVID-19 worries prompt Saskatoon Catholic churches to remove holy water, common communion cup
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has that it’s temporarily restricting some liturgical practices in its parishes across the city due to growing concern about the spread of COVID-19. Read more…


NYC mayor says new virus restrictions will be announced soon
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will announce new restrictions on gatherings to halt the spread of the new coronavirus in the coming days. Read more…


30 percent of Winnipeg firefighters could become exposed to COVID-19
The president of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeggers said upwards of 30 percent of the firefighting force could be exposed to COVID-19 and will need to be quarantined. Read more…


Coronavirus: Hamilton public health confirms 2nd positive test for COVID-19
Hamilton Public Health has confirmed that a 52-year-old man is the second case of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus disease, in the city. Read more…


Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief statement on coronavirus disease pandemic
Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare states that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the global coronavirus disease outbreak a pandemic. Read more…


Air Canada halting service to Lethbridge, Medicine Hat
Air Canada is suspending service at airports in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat at the end of this month. Read more…


Windsor groups raising money for Chinese cities hit by coronavirus
A pair of local Chinese associations have joined with the City of Windsor to send supplies to two cities in China hit hard by the coronavirus. Read more…


March 11

City of Calgary outlines plans to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city would be making a number of determinations on how to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and its plans to attempt to “flatten the curve.” Read more…


As COVID-19 hits pandemic status, Kamloops taking cues from health experts
While there is no need to panic, City of Kamloops CAO David Trawin said the municipality is meeting with Interior Health and has a pandemic plan in case of an emergency. Read more…


Chicago, other cities, cancel St. Patrick’s Day parades
Chicago has joined the ranks of cities around the world to scrap St. Patrick’s Day parades over concerns about spreading the new coronavirus. Read more…


“This isn’t a sprint,” city manager tells Edmonton committee on COVID-19 prep
While Edmonton is making preparations to control the coronavirus outbreak, it isn’t currently planning to shut down any facilities or cancel events. Read more…