These are the top stories:
- House approves emergency bill to respond to coronavirus economic fallout
- Government urges Canadians abroad to come home, while developing plan for those who can’t
- Canada to begin enforcing 14-day self-isolation for travellers
- World’s largest coronavirus lockdown begins in India
- For more updates on what you missed yesterday, check out our daily round-up
Ottawa expects four million Canadians to apply for emergency job loss fund because of COVID-19
Ottawa is bracing for an influx of four million applications under a new relief fund that will pay $2,000 a month to workers who have lost income because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit will help pay rent and groceries for up to four months. The existing employment insurance program is struggling to cope with a recent surge of applications.
He added the government is also looking at boosting wage subsidies to businesses to avoid mass layoffs.
Also read our explainers:
- How to apply for EI and other COVID-19 emergency government income supports
- What to do if you’ve been newly laid off
Health care: Some Canadian hospitals are limiting front-line staff to one or two disposable masks a day and asking the public for donations of protective gear. The rationing of paper surgical masks is happening despite Ottawa and the provinces promising that more personal protective equipment is on the way.
Education: E-learning has been a source of tension in public education, most recently in contract negotiations with teachers’ unions in Ontario, but education experts say significant parts of the movement toward remote learning will likely soon be integrated into curriculums, reframing discussion around the issue in the months and years ahead.
Have you had to self-quarantine because of the coronavirus? We want to hear your story. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Canada’s oil industry facing deep production cuts as demand dwindles and storage capacity runs low
As financial pressure on the industry and governments builds, companies will have to reduce output by as much as 11 per cent by April as tanks get filled to the brim, according to one estimate.
Alberta has said it will declare oil sands workers as essential in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Opinion (Kelly Cryderman) The coronavirus-induced economic hiatus is a reckoning for Canada’s oil and gas sector
- Opinion (Max Fawcett): How Ottawa could make the most of its coronavirus bailout in Alberta
In other business and economic news
- Employment lawyers are warning that the law does not actually permit short-term layoffs in many cases and employers could face lawsuits seeking severance payments. Employers typically can’t impose temporary layoffs unless they have a contractual right to do so or have an implied right based on past practices.
- The chief executive of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce says banks are facing their “moment of truth” as they are thrust into a central role in keeping businesses and families afloat long enough to ride out a fast-moving public health emergency.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Turkish prosecutors file indictment against 20 Saudi nationals over 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi: All suspects however, have left Turkey and Saudi Arabia has rejected Turkish calls for their return to face trial
New Zealand mosque shooter changes plea to guilty: One year after shootings at two Christchurch mosques, an Australian white supremacist, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, has pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism.
Ross Atkins suggests seven-inning doubleheaders as a way to condense MLB season: Opening day has been postponed until at least mid-May because of the new coronavirus pandemic. The regular season had been scheduled to begin Thursday.
Judge rules in Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s favour in DAPL case: A federal judge ordered a sweeping new environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been carrying oil for nearly three years and has been contested by environmental groups and American tribes who live near it.
World markets fell this morning as nerves over jobs data outweighed a US$2-trillion stimulus package. Questions are being raised over whether the massive U.S. stimulus bill will do enough to soften the pandemic’s economic hammer blow, with investors bracing for jobs data forecast to show a huge spike in unemployment in the world’s biggest economy.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Canada must be ready for the mayhem Trump is about to unleash
Gary Mason: “We can’t let our health be compromised by the idiocy of Mr. Trump and the pathetic, loyal lapdogs that make up his administration.”
François Legault provides a master class in crisis management
Konrad Yakabuski: “In his daily briefings, Mr. Legault has managed to sound forceful, knowledgeable, empathetic and determined – all at the same time – while maintaining a folksy demeanour and down-to-earth sense of humour.”
Come together, right now, over a livestream: The power of music during a pandemic
Laura Risk: “As we livestream our way through the next weeks or months, let’s remember the power of music to bring us together physically.” Risk is assistant professor of music and culture at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
If you’re concerned about how coronavirus has, or might, affect your ability to work, we’ve put together several guides to help navigate questions about employment insurance, salaries, layoffs and more.
Employment lawyer Daniel Lublin answered some frequently asked questions employees have about how the coronavirus affects their jobs.
And after the federal government’s Wednesday announcement about the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Gillian Livingston explains how to apply for EI and other COVID-19 emergency government income supports
MOMENT IN TIME
The Métis under Louis Riel begin the North-West Rebellion
March 26, 1885: A man named “Gentleman” Joe McKay fired the misguided first shot, felling an elderly, unarmed Cree man and touching off the first battle of the 1885 Resistance. Gentleman Joe was an interpreter for the North-West Mounted Police forces sent to quash a Métis uprising led by Louis Riel, a familiar thorn in Ottawa’s side. Fifteen years earlier, Riel had launched a resistance against government encroachment on Métis land around present-day Winnipeg. With similar grievances emerging in Saskatchewan, Métis leaders convinced Riel to return to Canada from his Montana exile and lead a second resistance on their behalf. He began by sending a list of demands to Ottawa. When that was largely ignored, they took up arms, seizing buildings, establishing a provisional government and naming Gabriel Dumont military commander. On March 26, a rag-tag force of about 100 North-West Mounted Police and civilian volunteers met Dumont’s men outside Duck Lake. During a peaceful discussion among emissaries from the two sides, Gentleman Joe shot dead an unarmed, half-blind Cree man. The ensuing fusillade sent the policemen fleeing through the snow. Métis victory would be short-lived. By May, Riel would surrender to vastly greater Canadian military forces. He was convicted and hanged before the year was out. - Patrick White