Overnight news briefs for Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 8:47am


Shawn Auger

A FIRST FATALITY FROM COVID-19 in northern Alberta is a man in his 30s from High Prairie. He has been identified as Shawn Auger. Auger had served as a team leader with the Government of Alberta. He was also the vice-president of High Prairie Minor Hockey and a former coach. He was also a husband and a father.

THE BLOOD TRIBE IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA has imposed a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for all youth under the age of 18. The goal is to minimize the risk of community transmission, especially in the town sites. Youth must stay at home during those nighttime hours unless they are with a parent or other caregiver in the communities of Standoff, Moses Lake, Lavern and generally on the Blood Reserve.

THE GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA has finalized an agreement with Calgary-based TC Energy Corporation to provide financial support to accelerate construction of the KXL pipeline starting April 1. The investment will include $1.5 billion in equity investment in 2020 followed by a $6 billion loan guarantee in 2021. The project is expected to be completed and in service in 2023. The government is backstopping the project to enable TC Energy to begin immediate construction on the Alberta portion of the pipeline. Alberta says the project will create more than 1,400 direct and 5,400 indirect jobs in Alberta during construction and will generate an estimated $30 billion in tax and royalty revenues.

MÉTIS NATION–SASKATCHEWAN has announced interim funding in the amount of $2.88 million for immediate emergency COVID-19 relief measures for its citizens and communities. The funding is to secure childcare supports, personal protective equipment, regional capacity and the needs of Metis households in financial distress because of COVID-19. Details are to be released on the MN-S website at https://www.metisnationsk.com/

YOUTH IN CARE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA will not age out of services during the COVID-19 pandemic and those who have recently aged out will get extra assistance. This will enable extra stability and support for young people who might otherwise face housing, educational and employment uncertainty, reads a press statement. Youth currently living in foster care, contracted residential agencies or with relatives through the extended family program will be able to stay where they are. Social workers are modifying agreements to allow youth and caregivers to extend their current living arrangements once a youth reaches 19 years old. Young adults between the ages of 19 and 27 who are enrolled in the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program will continue to receive financial support despite school closures and other training program interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

THE ELECTION FOR PRESIDENT OF NUNATSIAVUT, scheduled for May 5, 2020, has been postponed until Oct. 6, 2020 due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. “There is no choice but to postpone the election to a time when it is hoped the public health situation has improved,” said Nunatsiavut Assembly First Minister Tyler Edmunds. Any nomination papers that may have been filed with the Nunatsiavut Electoral Officer are deemed void and of no effect. Nominations for the Oct. 6 election will close at 12 noon (Atlantic Standard Time) on Sept. 1, 2020. The opening of the nomination period has yet to be announced. 

THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT IS working with businesses, volunteer organizations and non-profits to make it easier for seniors to self-isolate and practice physical distancing by investing $10 million to help community organizations with the coordination of subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other necessities. Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health is strongly urging those over the age of 70 or those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions to stay at home. The government is also working with grocers and pharmacists to prioritize seniors' delivery orders and establish senior-only shopping hours.