The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

COVID-19: the latest

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

11:50 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says we are failing our parents and grandparents in long-term care homes.

Trudeau says the government is sending the military to help in long-term care homes in Ontario and Quebec.

But he says it should never have come to this, and there are tough questions to be asked once the crisis is over.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in long-term care homes has outraged many Canadians and Trudeau says that outrage is not misplaced.

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa is rolling out $1.1 billion for a national medical and research strategy, almost a third of which is aimed at expanding national testing and modeling to better prevent the spread of COVID-19 while a vaccine is in development.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a vaccine is the long-term solution but until then we need to slow the spread to start reopening the economy, so $350 million is going towards more testing and modelling, with a new task force.

There is $115 million for additional research on vaccines and treatments, but the lion's share of the funding - $662 million - will be for the clinical trials to test those vaccines and treatments as they are developed.

10:50 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 634 new cases of COVID-19 today and 54 more deaths.

That brings the total number of cases in the province to 12,879 — a 5.2 per cent increase over Wednesday.

The total includes 713 deaths and 6,680 cases that have been resolved.

10:25 a.m.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is asking the federal government to give local governments billions in emergency funding to stave off financial ruin.

The organization says local governments need between $10 billion and $15 billion over the next six months to pay for services while they see revenue declines.

Transit ridership, for instance, is down as people stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and municipal councils are considering or have approved delays in collecting property taxes to give residents a financial break.

That's why they're asking for $2.4 billion for cities with transit systems.

10:15 a.m.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is calling on the federal government to showcase a plan for the next steps of Canada's COVID-19 response.

Scheer says a potential patchwork approach by the provinces to loosening restrictions on physical distancing ought to be led by federal guidelines.

He says if experts are suggesting the current level of testing must be tripled, he also wants to know how the Liberal government will meet that threshold.

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