daily: Friday, May 15

Stage 1 of reopening begins soon
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 15, 2020
Ontario starts opening up Saturday. (



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Province opening up starting Saturday

Premier Doug Ford announced that Stage 1 of the province’s reopening strategy will begin this weekend. Starting Saturday, businesses such as golf courses, marinas, and kennels can open to customers. On Tuesday, that list will grow to include construction sites, car dealerships, pet-grooming services, retail stores with street entrances, and more. Ford cautioned, however, that “businesses should open only if they're ready."

Province to expand testing

Health Minister Christine Elliott announced yesterday that the province would automatically test anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. In a tweet, she noted, “now that we’ve nearly completed testing all long-term care home staff and residents, we will also expand testing for other vulnerable populations, including those in retirement homes and other shared living spaces like shelters and group homes.” 

TTC short nearly $100 million a month

The Toronto Transit Commission’s ridership has dropped 80 per cent during COVID-19, resulting in a $92 million decline in monthly revenue, CBC News reports. The numbers were revealed at the transit agency’s monthly board meeting this week. Premier Doug Ford says the province alone will not be able to bail out the TTC: "We need the federal government to support us. It's just too big of a ticket."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not committed to supporting transit agencies but said this week that “the federal government will be there to work with the provinces, including supporting them in their areas of jurisdiction.”

Federal government announces help for rural areas

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will flow through six regional development agencies — including those for northern and southern Ontario. The $962 million fund will go to regional economies, communities, businesses, organizations, and community futures development corporations, which support small businesses and rural communities. publishing regional updates

Every day, we will publish a collection of COVID-19 news items from across the province. Please visit for the latest. Here is Thursday’s edition.

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Quantum computing’s pandemic potential

Computer scientists are creating tools to fight COVID-19. The Agenda welcomes Shohini Ghose, a Wilfrid Laurier University physics and computer-science professor, to discuss the role of quantum computing in the pandemic response.

First Contact

A group of people with fixed opinions about Indigenous issues continue their learning journey. In this episode, they visit Muskrat Dam, one of several fly-in reserves in northern Ontario that suffer from heightened poverty and a lack of infrastructure.

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#onpoli: A glimpse of Ontario in a COVID-19 world

On Thursday, Ontarians found out what’s next for businesses, health care, and sports during COVID-19. There’s good news for pickleball — and bad news for football. Hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath discuss Stage 1 of the province’s reopening strategy.

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Is it too much to ask for a direct answer to a direct question?

Stephen Gaetz, president of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, speaks with reporter Mary Baxter about the work that Ontario municipalities are doing to protect homeless populations during COVID-19 — and what they could be doing better. “I feel like we kind of planned our way to this point, and we're figuring things out as we go,” he says. “But we may be looking at a situation where the current response to homelessness will become overwhelmed. So the planning on what happens after needs to be happening. And I'm not sure to what degree that is. I don't think people are fools about the possibility of crisis after the first wave, but it's something we should be paying attention to.”

You thought murder hornets were scary? Ontario’s got bears


Ontario’s spring bear hunt is not just a popular activity — it doubles as a population-control measure, keeping bears away from urban areas. While COVID-19 makes hunting more difficult, are Ontario’s bears a greater safety risk to the rest of us? Columnist Matt Gurney speaks to Laurie Marcil, executive director of Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario, to find out.

Tonight on TVO

7 p.m. — Monty Don’s Japanese Gardens

Horticulturalist Monty Don travels Japan through spring and autumn in search of the country’s most beautiful gardens.

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Should kids go to camp this summer?

What will happen to summer camps during COVID-19? The Agenda welcomes Jocelyn Palm, owner and executive director of Glen Bernard Camp; David Latimer, owner and director of Kilcoo Camp; and Grayson Burke, director of Cedar Ridge Camp, to discuss.  

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