Coronavirus: Everything you need to know in Montreal today

Mar 27 2020, 2:04 pm

Every day in Canada, a lot of news regarding COVID-19 comes out nationally and locally.

And for now, we will be putting together Montreal and Canada’s top headlines daily to help digest the news in one place.

Throughout the day, you can see all the headlines in real-time here.

Top coronavirus stories for March 27, as of 5 pm ET:  

Trudeau announces Canada to cover 75% of wages for qualifying businesses to avoid layoffs

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government will be increasing its wage subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses to 75% to avoid layoffs.

According to Trudeau, this move will be backdated to March 15.

He said that small and medium businesses are the backbone of the community, “these places make our communities feel like home.”

Friday’s announcement was an increase from last week’s initial 10% wage subsidy from the federal government.

10 more dead in Quebec as coronavirus totals hit 2,021 known provincial cases

Quebec Premier François Legault announced that the province’s death toll from coronavirus has reached 18 citizens, a spike of ten people since Thursday’s numbers.

Known confirmed cases have increased to 2,021 as of March 27, and cases “under investigation” have spiked to 7,236. In Quebec, 32,335 cases have turned up negative and 29 patients have recovered from the virus.

This is why Bank of Canada dropping interest rates is important

The Bank of Canada (BoC) lowered its interest rate in a move meant to help the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank drastically lowered its target for the overnight rate by 50 basis points to 0.25% — the lowest that rates can be set.

Essentially, the BoC said this move will allow for more credit in the economy for businesses that need it, which will help lay the groundwork for the economy’s return to normalcy.

Hydro-Québec warns customers about scammers using the company’s name

Hydro-Québec is warning its clients to beware of new scams that are circulating around the province, using the utility company’s name. According to Hydro-Québec, scammers are trying to take advantage of the pandemic by sending out fake emails and text messages offering refunds.

The fraudsters are asking clients for credit card and interact information, contacting people pretending to be Hydro-Québec employees.

Montreal church bells will ring in unison this weekend as gesture of support

Montreal’s Archbishop, Christain Lépine, and Quebec’s Auxiliary Bishop, Marc Pelchat, have started a new tradition at Catholic churches to lighten our hopes during the pandemic.

Churches within their dioceses will be ringing church bells every Sunday, starting March 29, through until Easter.

Titled the Crescendo of Bells, each church is asked to ring its bells for 10 consecutive minutes starting at 12 pm on Sundays.

STM to scale down bus and metro services next week

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) will be scaling back its bus and metro service throughout the island starting on Monday, March 30.

The frequency decrease is in response to a significant demand during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“This change takes into account a major decrease in ridership, essential workers’ transportation needs, and workforce planning,” states the STM. “It is a temporary measure that will make it possible to ensure the continuity of services, as well as the safety of our customers and employees.”

Telus will waive internet fees for low income families during pandemic

Telus has announced it will be automatically waiving internet fees for low-income families currently enrolled in the Internet for Good program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement on Friday, Telus said it will be “automatically waiving fees for the Telus Internet for Good program for two months,” which will allow these customers to access high-speed internet in their home for free for 60 days.

Canadians can be fined up to $1M or face jail time for breaking mandatory self-isolation

A new order placed by the federal government makes self-isolation mandatory for anyone entering Canada, and with it comes fines along with possible jail time for failure to comply.

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