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GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNING, OTTAWA

Your daily morning newsletter was just awarded a grant from the Facebook Journalism Network to expand our COVID‌19 coverage, particularly of those who stories are not being told.

We’re excited to be able to soon increase our coverage and take this as an invitation to pitch us with suggestions of what to cover or stories that you would like to write. We have a new contributor page here.

See you Thursday. — Martha and Darren

 

STATS

Weather: Mainly cloudy with a high of 8°

Number: 7:30 . The time to light a candle for Passover this evening by Jewish families in Ottawa [Ottawa Citizen]

Ottawan of the Day: Sgt. Jason Riopel, the OPS officer who leapt from roof to roof to assist an unconscious woman who was on top of a building [Ottawa Citizen]

Quote: “What [Elana Crenna] did was neither secret, clandestine, surreptitious nor covert. Therefore, her action could not reasonably constitute espionage.” – Federal Court justice Henry S. Brown reads the dictionary to overrule Border Services who said Ottawa resident Elena Crenna was a Russian spy [Toronto Star]

 

FED UP IN AISLE THREE

Today, we’re talking about our food and delivery heroes who have been going in every day at significant risk to themselves. But how heroic are we if these workers can’t make their own choice to quit?

Yesterday, three IGA‌ grocery store workers in Gatineau and an Amazon warehouse worker on Boundary Road were reported to be tested positive for COVID‌19.

Like gig workers, these jobs are all minimum wage plus, somewhere in the $16 per hour range, including the raise that the major grocers have temporarily implemented. It’s hardly worth the risk to life and the lack of control over one’s safely.

Yet, if someone feels unsafe, they have no real option. If a front line worker quits, EI‌ and the new Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit are specifically denied to them. How then does one eat, much less pay rent for unknowing months ahead? It’s not as if there are other, safer jobs available.

Allowing people to quit and sign up to EI‌ or CERB‌ would force the stores to improve the safety and increase the pay, if only to retain their staff.

The next time you meet a cashier or a delivery person or a warehouse worker, ask them if they would rather be called a hero or if they would prefer a lot more money.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

There have been 403 cases of COVID‌ 19 in Ottawa and six deaths.

The Ottawa Distress Centre has seen a 30 per cent increase in calls this month [Capital Current]

The true number of dead and sick patients at an Almonte nursing home are being kept secret [CBC]

There are now four outbreaks in Ottawa hospitals [Ottawa Citizen]

RCAF‌ now allowing mechanics to wear masks [Ottawa Citizen]

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marta Morgan has tested positive for COVID-19 [Ottawa Matters]

Province planning on allowing cannabis delivery and curbside pick up [Financial Post]

+‌ Related The Ottawan’s Guide to Navigating COVID‌ 19

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IN OTHER NEWS

No Wifi? Do your homework in the parking lot
Ottawa-Carleton has set up wifi in all its parking lots for students without home WiFi but do have cars. [CBC]

Breathe in deep
Air pollution has dropped 15 per cent in Ottawa this month thanks to shutting down the world [Behind The Numbers]

Let’s make it biblical, with a flood
Ottawa city staff have been filling sandbags as they are trying to avoid using volunteers to deal with this year’s spring runoff. While the flooding was devastating two years ago, and serious last year, a mild winter may work in Ottawa’s favour this year. [CBC]

Elbow Room
People want streets closed to traffic, but Mayor Jim Watson thinks it would encourage people to congregate [CBC]

 

+‌[Related] Councillor Jeff Leiper has had Byron Avenue closed between Redwood and Golden Avenues to local traffic only to create more space [Ottawa Citizen]

Keep your junk
Many people are taking this opportunity to clear out their junk. Do you know who doesn’t want that junk until they can reopen? Charities that have donation bins. [CBC]

Walking on Water
Ottawa fire department has been rescuing dogs off of the river ice shelf. They don’t want to be doing that. [Ottawa Citizen]

High Five
Air Canada rehiring 16,000 workers thanks to Federal wage subsidies [Toronto Star]

 

LIVESTREAMING

🎼 3 pm British singer-songwriter SG‌ Lewis will sing live [Instagram]

📚7 pm Author Zoë S. Roy at the National Arts Centre [NAC]

🎭 Until tomorrow Official One Man, Two Guvnors with James Corden [National Theatre]

Cut us and we bleed Ottawa. Reply back to us with your comments or suggestions. We read every single email. [email protected]



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