Welcome to our daily COVID-19 update. We’ll let you know how Canadians are coping with being cooped up in their homes, offer tips and bring you some more uplifting news during these scary, uncertain times.
What’s the government doing? On Wednesday morning, the House of Commons passed an $107-billion package to help Canadians weather the effects of the pandemic, after a late-night debate.
A group of 32 MPs passed the legislation unanimously. It included $27 billion in support for workers and businesses. The bill did NOT include a contentious clause that would give the Liberals the power to tax and spend without Parliament’s approval for the next 21 months. It will now move to the Senate.
What’s happening across Canada? Alberta has confirmed its second COVID-19 related death. A Calgary woman in her 80s, who was living in a retirement home, died from the virus. The province confirmed 57 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Saskatchewan has confirmed its first community-transmitted cases, meaning that the virus has spread beyond just those who traveled recently. There are now 72 confirmed cases in the province.
Ontario is still experiencing growing testing backlogs. More than 10,000 people across the province are waiting for their test results, and a number of hospitals are stepping up to try to help clear the backlog. Ontario confirmed 85 new cases Tuesday, bringing its total to 588.
The number of confirmed cases countrywide has now grown to 1,959, and 27 people have died. And nearly one million Canadians have now applied for unemployment benefits since the beginning of last week.
Lift me up. In some uplifting news, a family of Syrian refugees brought a bunch of food to Canadian author Robin Stevenson, as she was in self-isolation. Stevenson had sponsored the family when they came to Canada in 2016, and the family returned the favour by dropping off bags of beans, dates, noodles, lentils, tahini and more on her porch.
Back in 2016 we sponsored a refugee family to come to Canada. Today, knowing that we’re self-isolating because of travel, they brought bags of food to my front porch. Beans, dates, noodles, lentils, tahini, veggies, meat, and candy for my kid. So kind… and I’m so grateful♥️😭🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/BksTcxl62y
— Robin Stevenson (@robin_stevenson) March 24, 2020
We’ll leave you today with the news that Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the British throne, has tested positive for COVID-19. CNN reports that earlier this month, the prince’s office said he wasn’t self-isolating because the UK government hadn’t yet advised its citizens to do so. Oops.