Premier Ford says a Canadian Armed Forces report on five long-term care centres in the province is heartbreaking, horrific and gut-wrenching. Ford requested that the military be deployed to the facilities overwhelmed by outbreaks of COVID-19. The report listed vermin infestations, hygiene problems, failure to isolate infected patients from other residents, aggressive resident feeding that caused choking and residents crying for help for hours, among its findings. Ford says the province has launched a full investigation into the allegations and will share the results with police so they can look into any possible criminal charges. He says the system is clearly broken and is not ruling out a public inquiry. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the report detailing conditions in Ontario homes is “deeply disturbing.” He said there is no doubt that more needs to be done for seniors in long-term care, and Ottawa will help.
Here is Premier Ford’s news conference:
The number of COVID-19 cases among troops deployed to long term care homes in Ontario and Quebec has jumped 30 per cent in less than a week. The Canadian Forces says 14 members of the military have contracted the virus in Ontario and 22 in Quebec. Both Premier Ford and Quebec Premier Francois Legault have asked for the military to extend the deployment to long-term care homes and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he expects to agree. To read more: CLICK HERE (You will be redirected)
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario has fallen below 300 for the first time in more than two weeks. Health officials reported 287 new cases yesterday and 21 more deaths. That brings the total to 26,191 cases with 2,123 deaths. Prior to yesterday, the previous five days had seen more than 400 daily new cases in a rising trend that health officials had linked to people visiting family on the Mother’s Day weekend.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) May 27, 2020
Massive Federal Deficit:
Parliament’s spending watchdog says the estimated federal deficit for the year has likely risen to about $260-billion. That’s with new measures rolled out in recent weeks to fight COVID-19. Speaking to a Senate committee yesterday afternoon, Yves Giroux says the government has added about $7.6-billion dollars in spending since his last report, pushing the potential deficit ever deeper.
Applications are now open for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program. So if you’re a property owner, you can now apply for support to help you reduce rent for your small business tenants by 75% for the months of April, May, and June.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 25, 2020
NDP Sides with Liberals – Parliament Not Sitting Until September:
The NDP has reversed course and now backed the governing Liberals and their bid to waive regular sittings of the House of Commons for another four months while the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis. The history-making decision will see a few dozen MPs gather in the Commons today where they’ll be joined by the other 300 or so MPs participating via videoconference. The new hybrid proceedings — including in-person and virtual participation — are an expanded version of the special COVID-19 committee that has acted as a stand-in for the Commons over the past month.
Mr. Blanchet has just confirmed what progressives in Quebec already knew: the NDP is the only party defending workers.
To say that sick leave is a vacation is completely not understanding the reality of workers.
The NDP will ALWAYS stand up for workers.
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) May 26, 2020
GM to Produce Face Masks:
Prime Minister Trudeau has announced a federal contract with General Motors to produce 10-million face masks. Trudeau says the contract will help keep people safe and slow the spread of COVID-19 — and will also help employment in Oshawa. He says it will support good, well-paying jobs for auto workers in an industry that has faced tough times.
Here is Prime Minister Trudeau’s news conference from yesterday:
Trudeau to Get Tested:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will be tested for COVID-19 as soon as an antibody test is widely available. He was exposed to the novel coronavirus earlier this year after his wife contracted it, but has never shown any symptoms. Testing was first limited to those who were symptomatic, but new procedures being introduced can detect whether a person was infected with the virus, even if they showed no indication of being sick Trudeau says that test will be an important part of understanding how the illness has been present in Canada, especially among those who never showed signs.
Porter Extends Flight Cancellations:
Porter Airlines says ongoing uncertainty due to government COVID-19 travel restrictions, including border closures, is forcing it to extend its suspension of all flights until at least July 29th. The airline stopped flying on March 21st as travel restrictions due to the pandemic ramped up and demand dropped sharply. It had planned to resume flights on June 29th.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, we are deferring our resumption of flights until July 29. As a result, seasonal service to Stephenville and Muskoka are cancelled this summer. To read more visit: https://t.co/J5AwOmxdbj
— Porter Airlines (@porterairlines) May 26, 2020
Bars and Restaurants Need Regulation Changes:
How will bars and restaurants operate once they’re allowed to open again? At least one group has an idea of how to help them survive. Spirits Canada is asking municipalities to “seriously consider” permitting alcohol consumption in certain public places, including designated municipal parks. They are also calling for bars and patios to expand into parking lots and adjacent public spaces and for quick approvals to accommodate social distancing, that would allow for larger licensed areas. They say the hospitality sector has been hit hard and these changes are needed. Whether municipalities agree to the changes or not, they also need to be approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission.
Cirque du Soleil Bailout:
The Quebec government is coming to the rescue of Cirque du Soleil. It is pledging to loan up to $200-million dollars U.S. to support the live entertainment giant, whose operations remain paralyzed by COVID-19. The Economy Minister says the province will become a creditor of the company under an agreement in principle with Cirque’s three main shareholders. In return, the headquarters must remain in Quebec, and its officers must live there.
Italy Unemployed Controversy:
Italy’s prime minister is defending a controversial proposal to use an army of unemployed volunteers to enforce COVID-19 restrictions. The government wants to use some 60,000 so-called “civic guards” to patrol outdoor spaces to limit the number of people in public spaces, and to ensure proper physical distancing. While Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte insists volunteers will not have police powers or duties, the populist faction of Italy’s coalition government says it’s the role of citizens to monitor politicians, not each other.
The NY Post reports that the number of employees with the coronavirus at Tyson Foods has risen from 1,600 to 7,000 over the last month. Tyson is America’s biggest meat processor.
Parts of U.S. Failing at Social Distancing:
More than half of all US states are currently failing at social distancing with New Jersey, Florida and Rhode Island among the worst, cellphone tracking data shows. According to Unacast’s COVID-19 Social Distancing Scoreboard, 32 states currently have an F grade when it comes down to, among other things, keeping six-feet distance from others. The other 18 states have varying degrees of D grades with Montana, Alaska and Wyoming – which are among the few states with very few COVID-19 infections – topping the list. Washington DC is the only area in the country with a C grade.
Waterloo Region Numbers:
Yesterday Region of Waterloo Public Health confirmed 7 new cases of COVID-19. It was only 4 on Monday. That puts the total number of cases at 1,089 with only 209 active cases because 25 more are now resolved. There were no new deaths reported yesterday so the total remains at 113. 93 of those were residents at long-term care homes. How did the neighbouring region do? In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph …. There were zero new cases yesterday. They remain at 367. Guelph has 136, Wellington has 64 and Dufferin County has 160 cases.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: Canadian Armed Forces via Twitter