Coronavirus: Everything you need to know in Vancouver today

Apr 16 2020, 6:22 pm

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

Now, we’re bringing you the top coronavirus headlines from Vancouver and across Canada all together in one place on a daily basis, to help you digest all the information and stay in the know with the biggest stories and developments.

Top COVID-19 stories for April 15 in Vancouver

Trudeau says Canada’s economy won’t reopen “for many more weeks”

Early this morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new financial aid program to help businesses and commercial property holders struggling with rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will expand loan qualifications for small and medium-sized businesses through existing programs. Trudeau unveiled the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program, which is meant to help small businesses and commercial property holders pay rent for April, May, and June.

New cases, three more deaths announced in BC

Here in BC, health officials announced 14 new test-positive COVID-19 cases for a recorded total of 1,575 cases in the province. While no press conference was held today, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s provincial health officer, issued a joint statement regarding updates on the coronavirus response in British Columbia: “Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 670 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 630 are in the Fraser Health region, 94 are in the Island Health region, 149 are in the Interior Health region and 32 are in the Northern Health region,” the statement said. Three more people have now died from the virus, as well.

BC reducing majority of commercial property tax, increasing support for small business

The provincial government is launching a COVID-19 Support Service that will provide information on resources for BC businesses.The program is being operated by Small Business BC (SBBC) and will help connect local businesses with support programs being made available by the provincial and federal governments, as well as industry and community partners. Advisors will be available starting Thursday, April 16, and can be contacted between Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Calls will be accepted in multiple languages and in the case of high call volumes, a call-back feature is being enabled.

Also today, the provincial government announced it is reducing most commercial property tax bills by an average of 25%, along with “new measures to support local governments facing temporary revenue shortfalls,” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Looking for more information and further updates? You can view all the day’s headlines in real-time here.