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Good morning, Sudbury! Here are eight stories to start your day

Here's what's happening around Greater Sudbury today
Greater Sudbury city council held their first virtual meeting on March 24 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and passed a trio of resolutions to help citizens deal with some of the hardships that have come as a result of the virus. (File)

Good morning, Greater Sudbury.

Here are some stories to start your day.

Council increases garbage bag limit and waives metered parking fees during state of emergency:

Greater Sudbury city council held their first virtual meeting on March 24 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and passed a trio of resolutions to help citizens deal with some of the hardships that have come as a result of the virus. Meeting from their homes and/or offices, members of council and mayor Brian Bigger assembled via a video conference Tuesday and wasted little time tabling motions of good will to try to ease some of the stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon the city's residents. Council has suspended the charging of interest on overdue water and wastewater accounts effective immediately through June 4. Additionally, there will be no imposed non-sufficient funds charges for customers who are on pre-authorized plans and there will be no water shut-offs for arrears before June 4. City council also voted in favour of allowing a second garbage bag for curbside pickup, effectively immediately, until at least March 31, while the province is under a state of emergency. Finally, council also voted to waive downtown metered parking fees, effective immediately and concurrent with Ontario's state of emergency.

West Nipissing OPP officer tests presumptive positive for COVID-19:

The OPP confirmed Tuesday that its first uniform member has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. Following their doctor's instructions, the member is in isolation at their home and is recovering. "We wish them a speedy recovery. Their family and colleagues are in our thoughts," said the OPP in a news release. The OPP member presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19 serves the Nipissing West Detachment area in northeastern Ontario. The member's name and specific work location is being withheld to respect their privacy. The OPP was made aware of the diagnosis on March 21.

Food bank asks for help keeping shelves stocked during pandemic:

The executive director of the Sudbury Food Bank is anticipating an influx of first-time users and is asking for your help to prepare. Dan Xilon said the Sudbury Food Bank’s annual spring food drive normally raises about $200,000 in food and cash donations. However, due to restrictions related to COVID-19, a traditional food drive of collecting food may not be possible. The Sudbury Food Bank assists 44 food banks and meal providers. These agencies currently support 8,000-8,500 people per month. “We expect the need to increase during this unprecedented time when Greater Sudbury, like the rest of the world, is dealing with the economic and public health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Xilon said in a news release. All levels of government are promising financial assistance to individuals and businesses, but there will be gaps in timing and shortages in the amounts needed, he said. “Our community needs to work together to bridge these gaps. Our most vulnerable citizens cannot stockpile food and they need your assistance now.” The food bank is seeking cash to purchase the cans that would have been collected in a traditional food drive. Find out how you can help here.

Residents should expect to save $24 on hydro bills during rate freeze:

Premier Doug Forod announced today that the province is providing temporary 45-day emergency relief to support Ontarians affected by the global COVID-19 outbreak. As of Tuesday, March 24, households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged off-peak rates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As per direction from the province, Greater Sudbury Hydro will automatically apply the lowest “off-peak” rate of 10.1 cents per kilowatt/hour (kWh) to all consumers in the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) for electricity used from March 24th onward. The “off-peak” rate will show for all three time of use (TOU) periods. Customers do not need to take any action. The estimated impact on the average monthly residential bill will be approximately $16/month, or $24 over the 45-day period. For small business customers with monthly consumption of 10,000 kWh, the reduction would be about $308/month or $462 over the 45-day period.

One in five Canadians think COVID-19 pandemic blown out of proportion: Poll:

One in five Canadians weren't taking the deadly COVID-19 pandemic seriously as recently as last weekend, a new poll suggests. In a Leger poll conducted between Friday and Sunday, 16 per cent of respondents said the crisis was partly blown out of proportion and another four per cent believed it was blown way out of proportion. As well, 16 per cent said the crisis was having no impact on them going out to stores, restaurants or other places; 17 per cent said it was having no impact on the social distance they're keeping from others; and 21 per cent said it was having no impact on visits with friends and family. Nine per cent said they were still planning to let their kids play outside with other children. While the poll suggests the vast majority of Canadians were taking the crisis seriously and abiding by government advice to stay home as much as possible, Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque says the 20 per cent who weren't taking it seriously could jeopardize nationwide efforts to curb the rapid spread of the respiratory virus. Full story here.

Missing: Woman has not been seen since March 21:

Greater Sudbury Police are seeking public's assistance in locating 26-year-old Courtney Towegejick. She has not been seen by family since March 21. She is described as 5-9, 130 lbs. with brown shoulder-length hair. Towegejick walks with crutches due to right leg injury. Anyone with info is asked to please call 705-675-9171.

HSN Foundation seeks donations to buy equipment, supplies:

The Health Sciences North Foundation has set up a COVID-19 support fund in an effort to purchase necessary equipment and supplies for front-line health-care workers. Health Sciences North said the donation page was created in response to a significant number of community members wanting to support the hospital’s operations during the current COVID-19 outbreak. “HSN continues to be in touch with businesses, industry and community partners to see if they have additional personal protective equipment (PPE) such as n95 masks, gloves, gowns and goggles that can be donated,” the hospital said in its daily bulletin.  Organizations looking to donate supplies to HSN can email or click here.

Send your loved one an email at local nursing homes during COVID-19:

St. Joseph’s Health Centre has created designated email addresses for family and friends of residents to send emails, pictures, etc. to their loved ones who do not have access to technology. Staff will deliver the messages to residents and patients as the emails arrive. Staff will also help residents and patients with reply emails. Each of the care group's facilities has a dedicated email address: St. Joseph’s Villa:, St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre:, Villa St. Gabriel Villa:

Wednesday Weather:

Mainly cloudy Wednesday with a few sunny spots. Today's high will get up to 7. Mostly cloudy this evening with periods of snow possible. Overnight low will be sitting at zero. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit's weather page at