daily: Monday, March 30

Ontario prohibits gatherings of more than five
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Mar 30, 2020



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Province warns against price-gouging

After sharply criticizing stores that were overcharging for essential goods, Premier Doug Ford announced measures on the weekend to crack down on merchants who take advantage of consumers during the COVID-19 crisis. People may report instances of inflated prices on goods such as household cleaners and personal protective equipment at a new consumer protection webpage

The government also issued a new emergency order to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately. The order does not apply to households with five people or more, or to funerals, which may proceed with up to 10 people at a time. It replaces a previous order prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people.

Officials struggle to track COVID-19 exposure

Exposure information is missing in about 45 per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, Barbara Yaffe, said at a press conference Saturday afternoon. Of those cases for which information exists, 29 per cent of the patients had travelled; 10 per cent were a close contact of a confirmed case; and 16 per cent acquired the infection in the community. Sixty-three people are in intensive care; of those, 46 are on ventilators. Yaffe also said that the province is processing more than 3,000 tests a day and aiming for 5,000 a day by later this week.

As of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, there were 1,324 confirmed active positive cases in Ontario. In total, eight cases have been resolved; 23 people have died.

Trudeau announces charity funding

At a press conference Sunday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $7.5 million in funding for Kids Help Phone and $9 million for the United Way's New Horizons program for seniors. Meanwhile, more than 200 Canadian charities have come together to ask the federal government for a $10 billion emergency stabilization fund.

Travel restrictions beefed up

Starting Tuesday, VIA Rail will reduce service between Ottawa and Toronto and Ottawa and Montreal to one train daily. The service reduction follows an announcement by the prime minister on Saturday that, as of Monday at noon, “people showing any signs whatsoever of COVID-19 will be denied boarding on all domestic flights and intercity passenger trains.”

Province takes control of supply chain

The Ontario government has proclaimed the Supply Chain Management Act, part of the 2019 legislation accompanying the fall economic statement. The law gives the government the power to consolidate public-sector procurement and was passed by MPPs in a December vote. Health Minister Christine Elliott says the law will let the government work “with innovators and businesses across the province who can supply emergency products and cutting-edge solutions to support ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19.” publishing regional updates

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

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Ontario Hubs: The effects of no ice on the Great Lakes

A relatively mild winter has resulted in less ice cover on the Great Lakes, which means it was a tough season for ice fishing. Ontario Hubs field producer Jeyan Jeganathan visits Manitoulin Island and Mitchell’s Bay to see how small communities that rely on ice fishing as an economic boost are responding.

Gloria and Me

Gloria Taylor was diagnosed with ALS in 2009, and, over the next three years, advocated in the courts and the media for the right to a medically-assisted death. In 2012, she won a landmark constitutional challenge in the B.C. Supreme Court and was granted a personal exemption, making her the only person in Canada who could legally seek physician-assisted death. Filmmaker David McIlvride chronicles her perseverance and eventual courtroom victory, as well as the personal indignities she faced.

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How Indigenous artists are getting even more creative during COVID-19

Across the province, Indigenous creators are sharing their work and trying to adjust to the new realities of the pandemic. Shelby Lisk, TVO’s journalist covering Indigenous issues, spoke to artists trying to adapt. “Indigenous artists who rely on performances — including at festivals and powwows — to sell their work have been especially affected,” she writes. “To address this, Cree artist Crystal Semaganis, who runs the Sudbury Indigenous market Facebook page, created the Turtle Island Quarantine Festival, an online outlet for Indigenous artists to share and sell their work and exchange tips.”

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Indigenous health in a pandemic

Indigenous people living in remote or fly-in communities face a particularly difficult challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Agenda welcomes Dr. Suzanne Stewart, who is a member of the Yellowknife Dene First Nation, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, and chair of the Indigenous Education Network.

9 p.m. — Coppers

In the world broadcast premiere of this TVO Original, documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig examines the lives of retired police officers with a hard-hitting and empathetic look behind the fabled  “blue wall.” Policing is a profession marked by adrenaline and chaos, but also by suicide and relationship breakdown. Zweig’s trademark probing interviews shed light on what it really means to serve and protect.

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