|London: The Queen gave a message to the Commonwealth. Click here for the link, and video. |
City of Calgary:
City event cancellations extended
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in response to the recent provincial public health order to prohibit gatherings with more than 15 people, all City of Calgary led events set to take place through June 30 are cancelled. In addition, we are cancelling permits for third party events that were set to be held on City land through June 30 which means those events cannot proceed. A total of 79 festivals and events set to take place on City land through to June 30 have been impacted due to COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions. Impacted events include the Calgary Marathon, Nagar Kirtan (Sikh Parade), Parade of Wonders, 4th Street Lilac Festival, World Partnership Walk, Father’s Day Run Walk, Neighbor Day, Inglewood Night Market, VegFest, and Breakfast on the Bridge.
Calgary Fire Department Drive-By Birthdays
To help celebrate Calgarians’ birthdays, while respecting the rules of physical distancing, the Calgary Fire Department is offering Drive-By Birthdays to people between the ages of 4-12 and 75+. “This idea came from our members and the Calgary Firefighters’ Association, and they have been a driving force in getting this program launched,” says Calgary Fire Department Chief Steve Dongworth. “We are living in a difficult time, and if the Calgary Fire Department can help in a small way by bringing a smile to the face of birthday celebrants – both young and old – then we are happy to do so.” From now until the end of May 2020, citizens can request a special Drive-By Birthday by calling 311 or filling out a Fire Dept – Operation Birthdays service request online. Please note, this service is not guaranteed as our crews may be called upon to assist at an emergency. For more information, please visit calgary.ca/birthdaysurprise.
In order to ensure we continue to limit the spread of COVID-19, The City is reminding all citizens about the importance of maintaining a 2 metre distance between you and those around you. To further enforce physical distancing, the Plus 15 network was fully closed as of 6 p.m. April 2, 2020, until further notice.
City-operated playgrounds are closed but Calgary’s parks remain open. Calgary has 8,000 hectares of parks spaces, and nearly 1,000 km of pathways for citizens to enjoy. The City will continue to put measures in place to provide good pedestrian and cyclist spacing to support our COVID-19 response, including weekend closures of selected roads. Help us keep City parks open and limit the spread of COVID-19, by avoiding crowding parks, off leash areas or hiking trails, as well as by staying within your own community. Ninety-nine per cent of Calgary residences are within a 5 minute walk of a park or green space. Park users are asked to stay at least two metres, or six feet apart and avoid touching equipment with hard surfaces as they are not disinfected regularly. Do not use parks if you are exhibiting any symptoms.
Waste & Recycling Services – Collection day changes
Starting April 6, some households may see a change in their pickup day for their blue, green or black cart. Please visit calgary.ca/collection to check your collection schedule and sign up for reminders by email, text message, telephone or download the Garbage Day app. If you are already signed up and your schedule is changing, pickup day reminders will automatically adjust to your new collection schedule. These previously planned schedule changes allow us to accommodate city growth and continue providing reliable service to Calgarians.
Frequency of pickups
Green cart collection is remaining at every other week instead of switching to weekly for spring. By keeping green cart collection at every other week, we are better prepared for staffing impacts related to COVID-19 and will be able to continue to provide reliable pickup to Calgarians. Blue carts will continue to be picked up every week. Black carts will continue to be picked up every other week. Please keep extra garbage, recyclables or yard waste on your property until your next collection day, when you can fit them into the appropriate cart. Alternatively, ask a neighbour if they have space in their carts that you could also use. Please note we are not collecting extra bags left outside of the cart at this time. This helps keep your driver safe and healthy by reducing their interactions with the public and limiting their contact with various surfaces.
A new website has been created that provides dozens of links for community services to help Calgarians find the support they may need during the COVID-19 pandemic. This website can be accessed via the COVID-19 page on calgary.ca, under the “supports for individuals” category. Information on this site has been organized into categories that address main areas of support that have been requested by Calgarians. This includes funding support that the federal and provincial governments have made available to citizens – access to food, essential contact numbers for seniors and resources for immigrants. This website is a work in progress, and as more programs and services come online, they will be added to this new website. If any citizen is worried about their income, their food supply, isolation, and personal health, they can access the City’s COVID-19 page for all the information they need to come through this pandemic.
Reminder – Don’t flush wipes
Flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet can clog pipes and create sewer back-ups, which can be costly for both homeowners and The City. Wipes that claim to be flushable aren’t. After they’re flushed, they don’t break down like toilet paper does. Toilet paper will disintegrate after it’s flushed, but so-called “flushable” wipes retain their shape and strength, causing blockages in pipes. Facial tissue (Kleenex), serviettes and paper towel cannot be flushed down your toilet. They do not break down as toilet paper does, and lead to clogs and sewer back-ups. Wipes, paper towel and all other items used as a toilet paper alternatives should be bagged and disposed of in your black cart. They do not belong in your green or blue bins. There is additional information of what can’t go down your sink and toilet.
Edmonton: For a full list of links, information, closures, and financial help to those who have been impacted, visit the Government of Alberta website here.
Trudeau confirmed that the first installment of emergency funds – up to $2,000 per month for those who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic – will be deposited into the accounts of eligible Canadians within three to five days of applying. He said the government approved over 240,000 applications in the first few hours the portal was open. Potential applicants are urged to visit the CERB website, where they can find the timeslot, based on birth month, for when they can apply.
Additional Support on the Way
The Prime Minister also noted that further CERB support is coming for those still employed but with drastically reduced hours or other precarious situations such as “gig” and contract workers. “We see you, and we’re going to be there for you,” he promised. He also mentioned help for university and college students who will be looking for summer work in the coming months. Details of these aid programs are being finalized, with Finance Minister Bill Morneau to provide updates shortly.
United States Ban on Exports
While shipments of emergency protective equipment were stopped at the American border last night, Trudeau was optimistic about constructive conversations with the U.S. administration. He noted that Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne had a conversation with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this morning. Trudeau reiterated that he expects that these supplies will be delivered.
Canadian Business Resilience Network
Trudeau acknowledged the work of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce which, in partnership with government, has launched the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help drive the economic recovery after the pandemic. For more information on the CBRN,
visit their site here.
Relief for Credit Card Debt
The PM also thanked the six major banks and cooperatives for agreeing to reduce interest rates on credit cards, both personal and business, by 50% for those who need it. Individuals and businesses should contact their bank directly for more information.
Doing Your Part
Trudeau once again asked Canadians to do their part in combating COVID-19. Yesterday the government called on Canadians with specialized skill sets to sign up for the National COVID-19 Volunteer Recruitment Campaign. The government is looking for help with case tracking and contact tracing, health system surge capacity and case data collection and reporting. Reservists are also being offered full-time employment opportunities to bolster Canadian Armed Forces numbers
Support for Vulnerable Canadians
Trudeau provided more details on the $207.5 million investment to support vulnerable populations across the country.
This funding will be provided in the following ways: Homelessness: $157.5 million to address the needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness through the Reaching Home program. These funds will go to the purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters. Gender-based violence: $40 million to be given to Women and Gender Equality Canada, with a large portion to be distributed to 575 violence against women shelters across Canada. $10 million to be provided to Indigenous Services Canada’s (ISC) existing network of 46 emergency shelters on reserve and in Yukon to support Indigenous women and children fleeing violence.
Personal Protective Equipment
The PM announced that Canada has leased a warehouse in China to help collect and distribute PPE to Canada as quickly as possible. The government has been chartering flights through Cargo Jet and Air Canada.