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Ottawa announces $240M for online health care
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 04, 2020
The federal government will invest more than $240 million to expand online health-care tools and create new virtual platforms for mental health and primary care. (



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New money for online health care

The federal government will invest more than $240 million to expand online health-care tools and create new virtual platforms for mental health and primary care, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday. “If we can use apps to order dinner and video chats to stay in touch with family, we can use new technology to keep each other healthy,” he said. Trudeau also announced Ottawa will give $175 million to AbCellera, a Vancouver-based company that says it has isolated hundreds of antibodies that could lead to a COVID-19 vaccine.

Health Canada restricts rapid COVID-19 test

The federal government is restricting the use of a rapid COVID-19 test hailed as a “game changer” when it was approved three weeks ago. Health Canada now says the test, made by Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience, is providing unreliable results and should be used only for research purposes. The company has already shipped 5,500 kits across the country but says it will recall them voluntarily and perform more clinical trials.

COVID-19 cases in Ontario top 17,500

Per yesterday's government report, there are 17,553 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, an increase of 434. There are 1,010 people in hospital with 232 of them in intensive care and 174 on ventilators. To date, 1,216 people have died.

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 170 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 2,719 confirmed cases in residents, and 1,594 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 954 confirmed resident deaths. 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 this weekend’s edition.

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COVID-19 in cottage country: The retailer

Columnist Matt Gurney speaks with Sherry Peel, a Bobcaygeon retailer, about how the pandemic is affecting her store. “The curbside options we’re using now are good,” she says. “We’ll probably keep doing that. Even once the store is open again, people might feel more comfortable parking out front, and we bring their order to them. So we’re talking about that. Do we wear masks? Gloves? Plexiglass by the cash? We really have always wanted a casual atmosphere in this store — it’s cottage country!”

What does an opposition politician have to do to get some attention? 

With the premier spending more time in front of the cameras, leaders of opposition parties have been pushed into the background. Steve Paikin examines the Ontario Liberals, who are trying to put new leader Steven Del Duca in the spotlight. “So what are the Liberals doing? They’ve started to release a daily transcript of what question period might look like if the House were sitting. Yes, it’s a virtual question period,” he writes. “The Liberals are supplying the questions; there are no answers in the transcripts. You can supply your own joke here about the extent to which this therefore resembles a real question period (the government of the day, regardless of who’s in power, often doesn’t provide answers — it is called question period, after all, not question and answer period).”

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The Agenda: The gig economy and the pandemic


Restaurant delivery service Foodora has announced it’s leaving the Canadian market. What does that mean for gig-economy workers? Toronto Star reporter Sara Mojtehedzadeh joins The Agenda to explain and to discuss how the pandemic has revealed structural problems in our economy.

Where the Universe Sings

An intimate portrait of the life and art of Lawren Harris — a founding member of the Group of Seven — and the expansive landscapes that inspired him. Harris’s artwork has become the most expensive in Canadian history, with his canvases routinely garnering millions of dollars at auction.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — COVID-19: Anxiety and young adults

Before COVID-19, young people were visiting emergency rooms in increasing numbers due to growing anxiety. As the pandemic continues, The Agenda checks in on the province’s youth with Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag, director of the Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute at the Sinai Health System, and Jennille Seedial, peer supporter at Stella’s Place.

9 p.m. — Einstein and Hawking: Masters of Our Universe

Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking each shaped humanity's understanding of the universe. The first episode of this two-part documentary tracks where their work aligns, and where the two physicists diverge.

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