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

11:05 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 31 new deaths from COVID-19 in Ontario for a total of 253.

The province also reported 411 new cases of the virus, with the total number of cases at 6,648.

The Ministry of Health says 2,858 of the cases are resolved, which is just over 40 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Ontario.


11 a.m.

Some Quebec parents and teachers' unions are pushing back against the idea of allowing children to return to schools and daycares this spring.

Quebec has cancelled classes until May 4 but Premier Francois Legault suggested during his briefing Friday they could resume ahead of that date, which quickly led to an emotional reaction.

One petition that began circulating after his comments, demanding the closure of daycares and schools be maintained until September, has garnered more than 132,000 digital signatures as of Saturday morning.

Legault has said children have been shown to be less at risk of having coronavirus complications, but took to social media later Friday to reassure parents.

"I repeat that any opening of schools will be done with the agreement of public health," he wrote. "We will not rush any decisions."


10:15 a.m.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet says his party believes in the importance of the wage subsidy program to ensure businesses remain viable through the pandemic, and said the bill will pass today.

He says his party successfully negotiated some additions to the bill that will see businesses get help with some of their fixed costs.

Blanchet said further improvements are needed to the wage subsidy program, including for seasonal workers.

Blanchet also raised concerns about temporary foreign workers from Mexico coming to work on Quebec farms -- workers he believes are being subjected to less stringent quarantine criteria than residents of the province.


9:40 a.m.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he wants the government to lift all criteria for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to allow any Canadian who is in financial distress due to COVID-19 to qualify for benefits.

Singh says he has heard from many Canadians who do not qualify for the emergency benefit program, which opened to applicants this week, including people who are still earning a small income, students and those who were unemployed before the pandemic began.

Singh says he is in negotiations with the Liberals and has received assurances from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that gaps in the program will be addressed.

But the NDP leader says Trudeau could go even farther and drop all criteria to ensure all those who need help can apply.


9:30 a.m.

Toronto Mayor John Tory is calling for stricter enforcement of COVID-19 measures after seeing some people not take physical distancing seriously.

The mayor has pushed for tougher enforcement in a letter he sent to Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and Carleton Grant, the municipal licensing and standards executive director.

Tory's letter says he believes the time has come for more tickets because authorities are still having informational chats with hundreds of people who aren't physical distancing.

Tory says the city has received reports of people who don't live together hosting bonfires on the beach, hanging out in groups in parking lots and playing pickup sports in closed areas.

The Canadian Press