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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada


The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):

10:00 a.m.

COVID-19 is having an effect on the multi-billion dollar LNG Canada project in northwestern British Columbia.

In a post on its website, LNG Canada says out of concern for its workers, staff will be cut by 50 per cent at its Kitimat construction site over the next several days.

It says most of the cuts are being made by reducing the number of workers flying in on rotation but, if necessary, staff could be cut to levels required only to maintain site security and environmental controls.

LNG Canada is a consortium of five global energy companies, including PetroChina and South Korea's KOGAS, building a 40-billion dollar liquefied natural gas production and export facility.


9:20 a.m.

St. Patrick's Day won't be a party in Vancouver as health authorities have asked all bars and restaurants in the city to close their doors for the day.

The request from the Vancouver Health Authority came just hours after the city's mayor said the shutdown would help efforts to control COVID-19 by keeping people away from packed St. Patrick's Day events.

Gatherings of more than 50 people are now banned in British Columbia.

The province's latest official count of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus is 103, including four deaths and six patients under care in hospital.


9:15 a.m.

Quebec political leaders have announced the provincial legislature will be closed until April 21 after today's sitting due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Simon Jolin-Barrette, the government house leader, made the announcement today alongside counterparts from Quebec's other major political parties.

Jolin-Barrette says the suspension is to limit the spread of novel coronavirus and to allow legislators to work from home.

He says legislature members also need to be available to constituents in their ridings.


8:45 a.m.

A new survey suggests half of Canada's small businesses have already seen a drop in sales due to the economic effects of COVID-19.

The survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business also says four in 10 of those affected businesses are also reporting a drop of more than 25 per cent.

The CFIB survey found the sectors most negatively affected were hospitality, arts and recreation, retail and personal services.

It says 43 per cent have reduced hours for staff and 20 per cent have started temporary layoffs.

Thirty-eight per cent say they have experienced supply chain issues.

8:30 a.m.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is declaring a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state of emergency prohibits organized public events of 50 or more people in Ontario until March 31.

Effective immediately, all public libraries, private schools, licensed child daycares, theatres, cinemas and other public venues in the province must close.

All bars and restaurants must close except to provide takeout food and delivery.

Essential services such as grocery stores and pharmacies will continue to operate.


6:21 a.m.

Canadian Imperial Bank Of Commerce is changing the hours at its bank branches and temporarily closing some that do not offer over-the-counter cash and banking services.

The bank says 816 of its locations will remain open, but operate under modified hours, while 206 will temporarily close tomorrow in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

CIBC says any employee affected by the temporary changes will continue to receive their full pay.

The bank is also introducing assistance for clients impacted by job loss or other circumstances and urged those that need help to contact the bank.

The Canadian Press

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