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