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Contact-tracing coming to a smartphone near you
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Jun 22, 2020



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Ontario to roll out contact-tracing app

Ontario will be the first province to use a smartphone app to track the spread of COVID-19, Premier Doug Ford announced yesterday. The federally-backed COVID Alert app was developed with help from Shopify and Blackberry and uses Bluetooth technology. “We need people to download this app — it’s going to protect us, it’s going to protect our families,” Ford said. The app will be available for download on July 2, and the federal government hopes to make it available across the country. Using it will be voluntary.

Province to name supervisor for Peel schools

Education Minister Stephen Lecce plans to appoint a supervisor to oversee Peel District School Board as it deals with ongoing issues of anti-Black racism.  On Wednesday, the board asked Lecce to send a supervisor until at least the end of this year. “With this motion, we as a board are not walking away from our responsibilities to eliminate anti-Black racism in our schools; we are bringing in reinforcements to tackle it together,” board vice-chair David Green said.

Federal deficit projected to hit $256 billion

The Parliamentary Budget Officer’s latest report estimates the federal deficit could reach $256 billion this fiscal year. The record-setting shortfall includes $169 billion in emergency spending measures and a decline in tax revenue. Budget officer Yves Giroux now predicts the economy will shrink by 6.8 per cent this year. publishing regional updates

Every weekday, we will publish a collection of news items from across the province about the pandemic. Please visit for the latest. Here is Thursday’s edition.

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Contact tracing coming to a phone near you 

A made-in-Ontario app called COVID Alert will launch in July to help with contact tracing and stopping the spread of coronavirus. Podcast hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath examine how it will work and some of the privacy concerns. They also discuss NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s response after he was ejected from Parliament this week for calling a Bloc Québécois member racist. 

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The Agenda: Urban design is not neutral

How can city design promote inclusivity? The Agenda welcomes Tamika Butler, of Tamika L. Butler Consulting; and Jay Pitter, co-editor of Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper Diversity.


China produces 90 per cent of the world's consumer electronics, but the toxic chemicals used in the supply chain take a heavy toll on its young workforce. This documentary visits factories to reveal workplace health hazards.

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Social bubbles are a good idea. So what took so long?

Columnist Matt Gurney wonders why Ontario fell behind in allowing people to widen their social circles. “Bubbling joins a discouragingly long list of concepts and ideas that our government leaders were frustratingly slow to adopt,” he writes. “These delays probably cost lives in some cases and certainly contributed to economic damage. When this is finally over, we'll have to ask ourselves what the hold-up was.”

Why COVID-19 has city-dwellers trying to get out of Dodge 


With telecommuting on the rise, realtors say more urbanites are looking to escape city life. “As COVID-19 has forced many employees to work from home, it’s made moving out of big centres more feasible for some. Andrew Galvin, of the Galvin Team, in Peterborough, says he’s been getting calls from telecommuters and that he looks to be on track for a record year,” writes journalist Diane Peters.  

Tonight on TVO

7 p.m. — The Secret History of the British Garden

In the first of a four-part series, horticulturalist Monty Don explores the stories behind Britain's 17th-century gardens, starting at Levens Hall in Cumbria.

8 p.m. — The Agenda: The university that Sara built

Sara Diamond led OCAD University for 15 years. Now, she’s stepping down as president. She joins Steve Paikin talks to discuss her time at the helm of Canada’s largest university of art, design, and media.

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