Good morning, Greater Sudbury.
Here are some stories to start your day.
COVID-19 response causing $380,000 in operations losses per week for the city:
The city's response to COVID-19 on the operations side of business has resulted in a net loss of approximately $380,000 per week. The estimated figure was included in a report presented to city council Tuesday night and includes lower revenues compared to budgeted levels that would have offset ongoing direct service costs, as well as some incremental costs associate with require adjustments to municipal services. The city has suspended numerous services including libraries, citizen service centres, arenas, museums, parks and recreation programming including pools and ski hills. In addition to the suspended programs, the city has been operating a number of its services on a modified basis. Many services have been modified in order to accommodate the more than 600 municipal employees who are now working from home. Some examples of the modified services are economic development, most social services (Ontario Works, housing operations), building permits and approvals, building inspections, animal shelter services and transit. The latter will be seeing some more changes in the near future, as GOVA operations will be modified further to the changes that were implemented on March 20. Changes to transit are expected by April 18, with some adjustments to route frequency. Get the full story here.
Truckers, health-care workers, first responders eat for free at Nairn Centre restaurant:
McDougall Energy is extending its support to frontline health care workers, first responders and transportation drivers by offering free beverages, snacks and meals when they visit the company's retail and gasoline locations. To support these workers, 12 retail and gasoline locations are participating, including sites in Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Nairn Centre, Blind River, Elliot Lake and Carleton Place. The offer is valid for: per person, per visit, per day.
Province launches website to increase recruitment of health care workers:
Ontario Premier Doug Ford referred to the province as an army of 14 million during his press conference on Tuesday, as the Ontario government has sounded the horn for health care volunteers. The Ontario government is recruiting health care workers to increase the frontline capacity of hospitals, clinics, and assessment centres. On Tuesday, the province launched a new online tool that will help match skilled frontline workers with employers. The new Health Workforce Matching Portal will enable health care providers with a range of experience to join the province's response to COVID-19. Those providers include retired or non-active health care professionals, internationally educated health care professionals, students, and volunteers with health care experience. The portal will efficiently match the availability and skillsets of frontline health care workers to the employers in need of assistance to perform a variety of public health functions, such as case and contact management. Watch Ford's press conference from Tuesday here.
These Sudbury retailers are offering curbside pickup:
A state of emergency in the province due to COVID-19 that has shuttered the storefronts of businesses considered “non-essential” has made it increasingly difficult for business owners to connect with customers. While the majority of businesses that supply products to the public have adopted online platforms in place of a physical storefront, not everyone has the ability or financial means to access the internet. In addition to that barrier, Canada Post has adapted its parcel delivery so that any items that require proof of age, identification or customs payments, will be sent directly to a retail post office. This move potentially affects the ability of some to access this service. To support local commerce and consumers, Sudbury.com wants to put together a list of all businesses offering curbside pickup. If you are the owner of a business offering curbside pickup, whether you have been deemed a non-essential business or not, email the details to email@example.com. Check out our list of businesses offering alternative shopping methods here.
Second teen charged in relation to fatal downtown stabbing:
Greater Sudbury Police have charged a second individual in relation to a fatal stabbing in the city's downtown last November. On Nov. 15, 2019, 17-year-old Preston Pellerin was fatally stabbed on Cedar Street. A day later, on Nov. 16, 2019, 18-year-old Steffin Rees was arrested and charged with Second Degree Murder. As a result of further investigation by detectives in the GSPS Criminal Investigations Division, an 18-year-old man was arrested on April 5, and charged with accessory after the fact to murder and obstruct justice. He was released on a promise to appear with a first appearance court date of Nov. 15, 2020. His name can't be released as the information has not yet been sworn to through the court process.
Offender known to frequent the Soo wanted on Canada-wide warrant:
The OPP's Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement (ROPE) Squad is requesting the public’s assistance in locating a federal offender known to frequent the Sault Ste. Marie and Greater Toronto areas. Paul Quesnel is 29 years old, 5-10 and 150 lbs. He is described as an Indigenous male, with brown hair and blue eyes. He has numerous tattoos on his arms, neck and face, including a musical note on his left cheek, as well as the words Saint and Come on his left hand/fingers. Quesnel is serving a two year and one month sentence for armed robbery, disguise with intent, possession of dangerous weapons, failure to comply with probation and failure to attend court. He is current in breach of his statutory release. Anyone who has been in contact with the offender or has information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the Provincial ROPE Squad at 416-808-5900 or toll-free at 1-866-870-7673 (ROPE) or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or call 9-1-1.
If you have an emergency, don’t avoid the ER, hospital CEO says:
Health Sciences North CEO Dominic Giroux wants you to know that if you have an emergency, you shouldn't avoid the hospital emergency department over COVID-19 fears. “Our emergency department is open, and a safe environment to receive emergency care,” Giroux said April 6 during a livestream press conference hosted by the City of Greater Sudbury. During the press conference, Giroux provided an update on what’s happening at the hospital in terms of creating capacity to manage a potential surge in COVID-19 cases. At the COVID-19 testing centre at Health Sciences North Research Institute on Walford Road, 2,009 COVID-19 phone assessments have been done, and 652 swabs. Of those swabs, 72 were on medical staff or a hospital employee; 55 of the tests came out negative and 17 are pending. The hospital is “as ready as we can be” for a coming surge in COVID-19 cases, Giroux said. There are only 310 admitted patients (down from 529 last month), or 66-per-cent occupancy. There is no one in the emergency department waiting for a bed. Of the 40 critical care beds, there are 21 patients occupying those at the moment (only one COVID-19 patient is in ICU). The hospital, with help from Laurentian University, Cambrian College, Greater Sudbury Paramedics and others, has transformed three floors of the Clarion Hotel on Elm Street downtown into a makeshift hospital for 95 alternative level of care patients.
Periods of drizzle to start the day ending near noon then mainly cloudy. Risk of freezing drizzle early in the morning. Wednesday's high will get up to 9. Mainly cloudy this evening with a 40 per cent chance of rain showers then 40 percent chance of flurries overnight. Low will be sitting at zero. For current weather conditions, short-term and long-term forecasts visit Sudbury.com's weather page at www.sudbury.com/weather.