In a briefing held on November 20th, Robert Desmarais, Director General of the MRC, said that in the last month, there was an increase of 55% in the total number of COVID-19 cases and large discrepancies in the MRC. For example, in TBL, the number of cases went from 21 to 29 or a 38% increase. In Cowansville, the cases went from 33 to 68 or a 106% increase. As of November 20th, the total number of cases in the MRC had reached 383, a situation that Dr. Alain Poirier, Director of Public Health for Estrie, said “was not alarming.’’ To pull out of the red zone however will require more effort from everyone.
Some 250 businesses had to close in the MRC since the beginning of the pandemic. Financial help of up to $50,000 per business is now in place. In TBL, council will use some of its expected $3M surplus to reduce municipal taxes for commercial buildings by 33.6% and by 29% for the industrial sector in 2021. Residential owners will see a freeze in their property tax rate at 0.665 cents per $100 valuation.