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U.S. autoworkers return, while possible vaccine shows promise – CTV News

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WARREN, MICH. —
More than 130,000 autoworkers returned to factories across the U.S. for the first time in nearly two months Monday in one of the biggest steps yet to restart American industry, while an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus yielded encouraging results in a small and extremely early test.

Stocks rallied on the vaccine news and signs that the worst of the crisis has passed in many countries. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared about 900 points, or nearly 4%.

Detroit’s Big Three — Fiat Chrysler, General Motors and Ford — as well as Honda and Toyota all had screening procedures in place at the dozens of factories that reopened from the Great Lakes states south to Tennessee and Texas and out west at Tesla’s factory near the San Francisco Bay.

No one was immediately cranking out vehicles, because it will take time to get the plants restarted. But workers appeared reassured by the precautions taken by the automakers.

At a Fiat Chrysler pickup truck assembly plant in Warren, outside Detroit, workers entered a giant white tent with a sign that read: “Let’s restart and keep each other safe.” Inside they had their temperatures checked and answered a set of questions on whether they had symptoms of COVID-19.

“I feel safer than being anywhere at any stores, because they got the screening and everything,” said Ann’alazia Moore, a janitor at the factory. “I feel like that’s amazing. That’s smart. I like that. So, I feel more safe. I won’t get sick.”

Cole Stevenson, who installs steering wheels at a Ford pickup truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan, said: “The parts of the plant where people would be closer together, they’ve put up a lot of partitions. You can tell they’ve taken tape measures to just about any surface two people would need to be near each other.”

Meanwhile, an experimental vaccine by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. triggered hoped-for immune responses in eight healthy, middle-aged volunteers. They were found to have antibodies similar to those seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19.

Further studies on the vaccine’s safety, effectiveness and optimal dosage still need to be done. But with people desperate for any sign of progress against the scourge, the findings caused excitement on Wall Street.

Worldwide, about a dozen vaccine candidates are in the first stages of testing or nearing it. Health officials have said that if all goes well, studies might wrap up by late this year or early 2021.

Despite warnings from health experts that the virus could make a resurgence, many states have eased their lockdowns under pressure from President Donald Trump to save businesses and livelihoods. About 36 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits over the past two months, and U.S. unemployment surged in April to 14.7%, a level unseen since the Depression.

U.S. health authorities will be watching closely for a second wave of infections over the next few weeks and worry that Americans will disregard social distancing over Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. Over the past weekend, there were already large crowds. Connecticut had to close beaches before noon when they reached capacity under new restrictions.

One of California’s largest tribal casinos, Viejas Casino & Resort, near San Diego, reopened to a large crowd Monday. Customers had their temperatures taken at the door and were ordered to cover their faces, and very other slot machine was turned off to keep people separated. But the strong turnout meant many customers were still playing less than 6 feet (1.8 metres) apart.

Ronda McLauchlan lined up at 7:30 a.m. before going to work as a painting contractor because “it’s all about freedom.” She was highly critical of lockdown orders.

Elsewhere around the world, Europe pushed ahead with its reopening, allowing people into the Acropolis in Athens, high-fashion boutiques in Italy, museums in Belgium, golf courses in Ireland and beer gardens in Bavaria.

More than 4.7 million people worldwide have tested positive for the virus and over 315,000 deaths have been recorded, including about 90,000 in the U.S. and over 160,000 in Europe, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Those figures are believed to understate the true dimensions of the outbreak because of limited testing, differences in counting the dead and concealment by some governments.

In other developments, the World Health Organization bowed to calls from most of its member states to launch an independent investigation into how it responded to the coronavirus. Trump has repeatedly attacked both WHO and China, claiming the U.N. agency helped Beijing conceal the extent of the outbreak in its early stages.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the probe will take place “at the earliest appropriate moment.” The announcement, made at WHO’s annual meeting, came after a watchdog body found possible shortcomings in the agency’s warning system.

Chinese President Xi Jinping defended China’s record, saying the country provided all relevant outbreak data to WHO and other countries, including the virus’s genetic sequence, “in a most timely fashion.” He also announced that China will give $2 billion to the global fight against the virus.

But the Trump administration stepped up its attacks at the meeting, with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar accusing WHO of failing to obtain the information the world needed as the outbreak emerged.

Without mentioning China by name, Azar said: “In an apparent attempt to conceal this outbreak, at least one member state made a mockery of their transparency obligations, with tremendous costs for the entire world.”

He said the United States has allocated $9 billion for the global coronavirus response.

With new infections and deaths slowing considerably in Europe, many countries are preparing to reopen their borders and trying to draw up rules for a highly unusual summer tourist season.

“This vacation this year won’t be like the ones we know from the past,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told ZDF television. “The pandemic is still there, and we must at least have safety precautions for the worst case that the figures get worse again.”

Greece reopened some of its ancient sites, along with high schools, shopping malls and mainland travel. Paving stickers were used to keep visitors apart. Tourists were local, for the country still has a 14-day quarantine for arrivals, and travel to Greek islands remains broadly restricted.

Churches in Italy and at the Vatican resumed public Masses. Guards in hazmat suits took the temperatures of the faithful entering St. Peter’s Basilica, where Pope Francis celebrated an early morning Mass in a side chapel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of St. John Paul II.

Turkey’s president announced a four-day curfew during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. The country has opted to impose short weekend and holiday curfews, instead of full lockdowns, fearing damage to the already troubled economy.

In France, authorities were concerned after about 70 infections popped up in the country’s schools since they started reopening last week. France reopened about 40,000 preschools and primary schools last week, with classes capped at 15 students.

——

Long reported from Washington, Krisher from Detroit. Associated Press writers around the world contributed.

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Stock market news live updates: Stock futures steady amid unrest, US-China tensions – Yahoo Style

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Stocks were slightly positive Monday, steadying against a backdrop of protracted protests in some of the nation’s largest cities, many of which had already been struggling to reopen amid the coronavirus outbreak.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="[Click here to read what’s moving markets heading into Tuesday, June 2]” data-reactid=”17″>[Click here to read what’s moving markets heading into Tuesday, June 2]

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Market participants also eyed tensions between the U.S. and China, after Bloomberg and Reuters reported China had ordered some state-run agricultural companies to halt purchases of American farm goods.” data-reactid=”18″>Market participants also eyed tensions between the U.S. and China, after Bloomberg and Reuters reported China had ordered some state-run agricultural companies to halt purchases of American farm goods.

This came after President Donald Trump on Friday said his administration would take action to respond to China’s crackdown on Hong Kong, including removing Hong Kong’s preferential trade status with the U.S. and requesting a working group study Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges for potential unfair financial practices.

The protests over the past several days centered on constituents’ outrage over the death of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis last week in one of the latest public instances of police brutality against an unarmed black man.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Demonstrations since erupted in dozens of cities across the nation, accompanied by looting and destruction of some retail stores and other large and small businesses. The escalation of these protests led governors in two dozen states including Minnesota, California, Illinois and Washington to activate the National Guard, along with mayors in some cities to impose curfews.” data-reactid=”21″>Demonstrations since erupted in dozens of cities across the nation, accompanied by looting and destruction of some retail stores and other large and small businesses. The escalation of these protests led governors in two dozen states including Minnesota, California, Illinois and Washington to activate the National Guard, along with mayors in some cities to impose curfews.

“Mass gatherings could spark concerns about a second wave of the virus. We’ll let the medical experts handle this debate, but will weigh in on why this matters for stocks,” Lori Calvasina, head of U.S. equity strategy for RBC Capital Markets, said in a note Monday. “It bears on how quickly the US economy can get back to something resembling normal. Second wave fears could halt reopening or keep behavior cautious.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A number of major companies temporarily changed operations as they assessed the violence that ensued in recent days. Target (TGT) which is headquartered in Minneapolis and has 73 stores in Minnesota, closed or adjusted hours at 200 stores this weekend. Meanwhile, tech giant Amazon (AMZN) shifted delivery routes in some cities due to the protests, Amazon confirmed in an email to Yahoo Finance after a Bloomberg report, and Apple (AAPL) reportedly extended store closures of some of its outlets.” data-reactid=”23″>A number of major companies temporarily changed operations as they assessed the violence that ensued in recent days. Target (TGT) which is headquartered in Minneapolis and has 73 stores in Minnesota, closed or adjusted hours at 200 stores this weekend. Meanwhile, tech giant Amazon (AMZN) shifted delivery routes in some cities due to the protests, Amazon confirmed in an email to Yahoo Finance after a Bloomberg report, and Apple (AAPL) reportedly extended store closures of some of its outlets.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="A number of other corporate executives – including BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, Citi CFO Mark Mason and Apple CEO Tim Cook – also issued public remarks on the protests and the events that spurred them.” data-reactid=”24″>A number of other corporate executives – including BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, Citi CFO Mark Mason and Apple CEO Tim Cook – also issued public remarks on the protests and the events that spurred them.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="These developments coincided with a historic downturn in the U.S. economy, rendering tens of millions of Americans jobless as the coronavirus pandemic and measures to contain it swept the country and world. Though many states and cities across the U.S. have begun to undergo a phased reopening process, many economists expect domestic data to hold at very low levels for now. The Labor Department’s May jobs report set for release later this week is expected to show the unemployment rate jump to a record high of 19.6%,&nbsp;the highest based on monthly&nbsp;Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data spanning back to 1948.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”25″>These developments coincided with a historic downturn in the U.S. economy, rendering tens of millions of Americans jobless as the coronavirus pandemic and measures to contain it swept the country and world. Though many states and cities across the U.S. have begun to undergo a phased reopening process, many economists expect domestic data to hold at very low levels for now. The Labor Department’s May jobs report set for release later this week is expected to show the unemployment rate jump to a record high of 19.6%, the highest based on monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data spanning back to 1948

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="4:04 p.m. ET: Stocks rise in first session of June, stabilizing amid protests and US-China tensions” data-reactid=”27″>4:04 p.m. ET: Stocks rise in first session of June, stabilizing amid protests and US-China tensions

Here were the main moves in markets as of 4:04 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +11.42 (+0.38%) to 3,055.73

  • Dow (^DJI): +91.91 (+0.36%) to 25,475.02

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +62.18 (+0.66%) to 9,552.05

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.06 (+0.17%) to $35.55 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$1.20 (-0.07%) to $1,750.50 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.4 bps to yield 0.6620%

2:44 p.m. ET: US crude oil prices tick down 0.1%, or 5 cents, to $35.44 per barrel

Futures for U.S. West Texas intermediate edged down 0.1%, or 5 cents, to $35.44 per barrel Monday. The commodity held onto May’s gains, which sent prices up more than 80% for the month as states’ reopenings stoked hopes of a rebound in energy demand.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Earlier in the session Monday, multiple media outlets reported that OPEC and Russia were weighing extensions of oil output cuts, which would help ease months-long concerns of a global supply glut.” data-reactid=”39″>Earlier in the session Monday, multiple media outlets reported that OPEC and Russia were weighing extensions of oil output cuts, which would help ease months-long concerns of a global supply glut.

12:45 p.m. ET: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo considers curfew for NYC amid unrest

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during his daily coronavirus briefing Monday he is weighing a possible curfew in New York City following unrest, lootings and vandalism of stores over the weekend.

“Something has to get done because last night was not acceptable,” he said during the briefing.

Separately, New York state reported a daily death toll of 54 on May 31 from the coronavirus, or the lowest level so far in the period after the virus’s peak. Overall, new cases of the coronavirus in New York state fell below 1,000 for the first time in 11 weeks.

10:13 a.m. ET: Stocks turn positive, led by Financials

The three major indices turned positive Monday morning after opening slightly lower. The Financials and Consumer Discretionary sectors led gains in the S&P 500, while Boeing, American Express and Goldman Sachs led advances in the Dow.

Here’s where the three major indices were trading as of 10:13 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +5.23 points (+0.17%) to 3,049.54

  • Dow (^DJI): +57.14 points (+0.23%) to 25,440.25

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +26.33 points (+0.28%) to 9,518.12

10:03 a.m. ET: Construction spending falls 2.9% April, or less than expected

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Construction spending in the U.S. declined by 2.9% in April over the prior month, the Census Bureau said in its monthly report. This was a less drastic decline than expected, with consensus economists bracing for a 7.0% drop in construction spending for the month.” data-reactid=”59″>Construction spending in the U.S. declined by 2.9% in April over the prior month, the Census Bureau said in its monthly report. This was a less drastic decline than expected, with consensus economists bracing for a 7.0% drop in construction spending for the month.

March’s construction spending was revised to unchanged from a 0.9% gain previously reported.

By category, private construction spending declined 3.0% in April, comprising a 4.5% drop in residential construction spending and a 1.3% drop in nonresidential spending. Government construction spending fell 2.5% in April.

10:00 a.m. ET: ISM Manufacturing PMI ticks up less than expected in May

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 43.1 in May, but missed consensus estimates for 43.8. However, the reading stabilized slightly from April’s 11-year low of 41.5.” data-reactid=”64″>The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 43.1 in May, but missed consensus estimates for 43.8. However, the reading stabilized slightly from April’s 11-year low of 41.5.

Subindices tracking new orders, prices paid and employment each rose marginally from April’s low levels. All of these were still in contractionary territory, or below the neutral level of 50.0.

“The coronavirus pandemic impacted all manufacturing sectors for the third straight month. May appears to be a transition month, as many panelists and their suppliers returned to work late in the month,” Timothy Fiore, Chair of the Institue for Supply Management, said in a statement. “However, demand remains uncertain, likely impacting inventories, customer inventories, employment, imports and backlog of orders.”

9:45 a.m. ET: Decline in U.S. manufacturing activity suggests ‘any recovery will be frustratingly slow’: IHS Markit

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="U.S. manufacturing activity held in deeply contractionary territory in May, according to IHS Markit’s final monthly purchasing managers’ index. The manufacturing PMI registered at 39.8 in the final print, matching the advance print. This followed a reading of 36.1 in April.” data-reactid=”69″>U.S. manufacturing activity held in deeply contractionary territory in May, according to IHS Markit’s final monthly purchasing managers’ index. The manufacturing PMI registered at 39.8 in the final print, matching the advance print. This followed a reading of 36.1 in April.

Readings below the neutral level of 50.0 indicate contraction in a sector.

“Manufacturing remained in a deep downturn in May, as measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 continued to cause production losses, disrupt supply chains and hit demand,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said in a statement. “Job losses meanwhile continued to run at one of the highest rates in over a decade, and pricing power has collapsed.”

“There remains a high risk that any recovery will be frustratingly slow as ongoing social distancing measures, high unemployment, job insecurity and damaged balance sheets constrain consumer and business spending,” he added. “The recovery will of course also fade quickly if virus infections start to rise again. For now, however, we focus on the good news that we may be past the worst in terms of the economic decline.”

9:31 a.m. ET: Stocks open mostly lower

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:31 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -9.27 points (-0.3%) to 3,035.04

  • Dow (^DJI): -98.94 points (-0.39%) to 25,284.17

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -4.89 points (-0.03%) to 9,485.95

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.92 (-2.59%) to $34.57 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$5.90 (-0.43%) to $1,745.80 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +3.5 bps to yield 0.679%

7:23 a.m. ET Monday: Stock futures mixed

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:23 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,044.00, up 2 points (+0.07%)

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 25,422.00, up 44 points (+0.17%)

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 9,540.5, down 19.75 points (-0.21%)

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.99 (-2.94%) to $32.72 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$8.20 (-0.47%) to $1,743.50 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +2 bps to yield 0.664%

6:04 p.m. ET Sunday: Stock futures open lower

Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:04 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,017.75, down 24.25 points (-0.8%)

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 25,378.00, down 79 points (-0.31%)

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 9,476.00, down 84.25 points (-0.88%)

Protesters completely surround a line of police officers during nationwide unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. May 30, 2020. Picture taken May 30, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
Protesters completely surround a line of police officers during nationwide unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. May 30, 2020. Picture taken May 30, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

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North American markets gain ground to start the week – BNNBloomberg.ca

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North American equity markets clawed back ground into the close of Monday’s trade, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index up 0.29 per cent, the S&P 500 gaining 0.38 per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.36 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite Index up 0.66 per cent.

Equity markets had been mixed in earlier trading, as investors weighed the competing factors of economic reopenings and the rising tensions between the United States and China.

In Toronto, four of the 11 TSX subgroups closed in positive territory, with consumer discretionary, financials and materials leading the way. Consumer staples, information technology and health care were the lead laggards.

A big part of the weakness in health care stocks was the underperformance of Canopy Growth Corp., which finished the day as the worst performer on the index after a string of analyst downgrades. The analyst community has expressed concerns over the company’s lack of a clear path to sustained profitability after it withdrew its forecast last week.

Oil prices fluctuated throughout the day, with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate up 0.1 per cent to US$35.53 per barrel. Alberta’s Western Canadian Select was up 3.16 per cent to US$29.08 per barrel.

The Canadian dollar gained more than a full cent against its U.S. counterpart to trade at 73.68 cents U.S., though the greenback was weaker against all of its major-market peers.

1:00 p.m. ET: North American equity markets rebound, oil pares losses

North American equity markets rebounded into the midday trade, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.3 per cent each, the S&P 500 gaining 0.4 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite Index up 0.66 per cent.

In Toronto, only four of the 11 TSX subgroups were in positive territory, led by consumer discretionary, financials and materials stocks. Information technology, consumer staples and health care were the lead laggards.

120 of the index’s 230 members were higher with a pair of cannabis stocks bookending the composite. HEXO Corp. was the lead gainer on the TSX, up 10 per cent after Health Canada approved its facility in Bellville, Ontario. On the flip side, Canopy Growth Corp., was the biggest percentage loser, down nine per cent, after a slew of analyst downgrades after the company shelved its forecast for a path to profitability late last week.

Oil pared some of its earlier losses, with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate down a little more than one-and-a-half per cent to trade at US$34.90 per barrel. Alberta’s Western Canadian Select was essentially unchanged at US$28.16 per barrel.

10 a.m. ET – North American stocks slip, oil falls as U.S.-China tensions escalate

North American equity markets kicked off the week in modestly negative territory, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index down a tenth of a per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both falling 0.4 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite Index down 0.2 per cent.

Markets were under that modest pressure amid signs of a re-escalation of tensions between the United States and China, with Bloomberg News reporting Beijing has ordered a halt to imports of some American farm goods. Meanwhile, the U.S. is also facing a wave of civil unrest as demonstrators take to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, which has prompted some American cities to implement curfews.

Oil prices fell in the wake of those tensions, outweighing the impact of speculation the OPEC+ group of producers could be poised to implement a short extension of its output cuts in order to put some upward pressure on crude prices. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 2.5 per cent to US$34.60 per barrel, while Alberta’s Western Canadian Select dropped three per cent to US$27.34.

In Toronto, that weakness in crude weighed on the energy sector in early trading.

Another point of weakness was Canopy Growth Corp. The company’s shares fell about seven per cent after the firm was downgraded by four analysts following the cannabis producer’s disappointing quarterly results late last week.

The Canadian dollar rose a third of a cent against its American counterpart to 72.93 cents U.S., though the U.S. dollar was broadly weaker against its major global peers.

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B.C. protects small businesses from evictions – CityNews Vancouver

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VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) —  The B.C. government is banning commercial landlords who refuse to apply for federal assistance from evicting small businesses that can’t pay rent due to the pandemic.

The order is meant to support the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program and restricts the termination of lease agreements and the repossession of goods and property, says a government release.

“The federal launch of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program has been a welcome step in B.C., but we heard from small businesses that they need us to help fill a gap that has left some of them unable to get the support they need,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance.

“We’re listening to small businesses and have their backs. Preventing landlords who are eligible for CECRA from evicting tenants can encourage landlords to apply for the program and give some temporary relief to businesses who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.”

The emergency order restricting evictions is effective immediately and will continue for as long as the federal program is in place, which is currently until the end of June.

B.C. could extend the order if the federal program is, as well, James added.

The federal program is offering forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to reduce the rent for small business experiencing severe financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75 per cent reduction for the months of April, May, and June. The federal and B.C. governments will cover 50 per cent of the rent payments, while the tenants are responsible for 25 per cent of the rent, and landlords cover the remaining 25 per cent.

The federal program loans to landlords will be forgiven if they comply with program terms and conditions, including an agreement to not recover forgiven rent amounts when the program is over.

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