Skip to content

Coronavirus News Updates

A Supplement to the Municipal World Daily

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

 

Coronavirus Municipal Conference Updates

Last updated: January 22 at 9:30 a.m.

January 22

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


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


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


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


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


 

January 21

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


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


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


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


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


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


January 20

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


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


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


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


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


January 19

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


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


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


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


January 18

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


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


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


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


January 15

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


January 14

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


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


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


January 13

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


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


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


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


January 12

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


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


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


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


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


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


January 11

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


January 8

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


January 7

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


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


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


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


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


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


January 6

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


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


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


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


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


January 5

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


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


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


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


January 4

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


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


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


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


December 31

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


December 30

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


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


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


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


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


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


December 29

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


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


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


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


December 28

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


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


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


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


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


December 23

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


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


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


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


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


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


December 22

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


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


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


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


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


December 21

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


December 18

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


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


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


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


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


December 17

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


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


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


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


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


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


December 16

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


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


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


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


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


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


December 15

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


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


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


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


December 14

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


December 11

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


December 10

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


December 9

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


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


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


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


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


December 8

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


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


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


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


December 7

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


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


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


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


December 4

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


December 3

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


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


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


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


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


December 2

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


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


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


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


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


December 1

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


 

Archives: August-November

 

Archives: March-July