Good morning, Ontario.
Here's what we're following:
Ford looks to ease pandemic restrictions
Premier Doug Ford said he’s asked public health officials to present him with a plan to ease restrictions in the province’s four COVID-19 hotspots. "I want the health officials to come up with a plan that lets businesses operate safety because we don’t know how long this virus will be with us,” he said. If accepted, the plan would kick in once the 28-day restriction period imposed by the province in each region would expire.
Ford also said he’s considering moving away from restrictions that target entire regions to measures that target only specific neighbourhoods and parts of cities hit hard by the coronavirus. “I can’t punish everyone and paint a broad brush.”
Federal government announces large increase in immigration targets
Federal Immigration Minister Marco Mendocino announced Canada intends to bring in 1.2 million immigrants over the next three years. The historically-high number represents about 50,000 more immigrants coming into the country per year compared to the government’s previous targets. “The plan today helps us to make up for the disruption that has been caused by COVID-19 in 2020,” Mendicino told Reuters.
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Ford’s constituency office closed due to COVID-19 outbreak
Three employees at Premier Doug Ford’s constituency office in Etobicoke North have tested positive for the coronavirus. “To allow for a deep cleaning, the office will be closed for the foreseeable future as services and support continue to be offered virtually,” said Ivana Yelich, Ford’s spokesperson. “The premier has not visited the office in the past two weeks and has had no exposure.”
Annamie Paul is the newly-minted leader of the federal Green Party. She joins host Nam Kiwanuka to discuss replacing Elizabeth May and the party’s future.
Nigella Lawson leads a tribute to food writer Anna Del Conte, who helped transform Britain's understanding of Italian cooking. Born in Milan in 1925, Del Conte moved to England in 1949 — and paved the way for today's foodie culture.
The fog of war is killing Ontario’s pandemic response
The government released new modelling Thursday that answers some questions, poses more questions — and is all-around frustrating. “There’s a ‘fog of war’ in the province’s battle against COVID-19 — a lack of clarity about what the virus is doing, what we’re doing, and whether it’s working — and the way to address it is to spend more money in the public-health system,” writes columnist John Michael McGrath.
Private long-term care is not the problem. We are the problem
Something needs to be done about long-term care in Ontario. But columnist Matt Gurney argues there’s an issue with the NDP plan to fix it.
This weekend on TVO
Saturday, 9 p.m. — The Age of Consequences
This documentary explores how climate change interacts with societal tensions to spark international conflict. Military leaders and veterans discuss the roots of the conflict in Syria, the Arab Spring, the rise of ISIS, and the European refugee crisis, and what they mean for global stability.
Sunday 8 p.m. — Striking Balance: Mount Arrowsmith
Following unprecedented droughts, the people of British Columbia's Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region begin their quest to restore the water balance.