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Ontario boosts pay, child care for more workers
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Apr 30, 2020
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Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Province expands free child care

More Ontarians can now access the province’s free daycare. Originally limited to front-line health-care workers, the program will be extended to truckers, grocery-store clerks, and pharmacy employees, among others. “Providing emergency child care for our essential workers gives parents one less thing to worry about when they’re on the job saving lives, protecting us, or keeping shelves stocked with food and necessities,” said Premier Doug Ford.

More health-care staff to get ‘pandemic pay’

The province is also expanding the list of health-care workers eligible for an extra $4 an hour in “pandemic pay.” The Ontario Public Service Employees Union said in a press release that the temporary pay bump is now open to paramedics, respiratory therapists, public health nurses, and some addictions and mental health workers. This is in addition to roughly 350,000 health-care workers covered initially by the program.

Ex-Liberal cabinet minister goes Green

Glen Murray, who served as a cabinet minister under Liberal premiers Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne, announced he is running to replace Elizabeth May as the leader of the federal Green party. In a press release, Murray highlighted the four years he spent as minister of the environment and climate change in Wynne’s government. “In the background of this pandemic are the worsening impacts of climate change underlining the need for us to act more boldly and rapidly,” he said.

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 Wednesday’s edition.


Watch now

The Agenda: Will COVID-19 redefine national security?

The Agenda examines the pandemic’s potential impact on national security strategy with Wesley Wark, a professor at the University of Ottawa; and Heather Hurlburt, director of the New Models of Policy Change project at New America's Political Reform program.

Breakthrough: Decoding the Brain

The human brain is composed of about 1.3 kilograms of tissue that somehow interprets all the joys and sorrow of the human experience. This documentary looks at the contemporary tools that shed light on the mystery of consciousness.


Read now

If we can’t get basic income, we should at least get a jobs guarantee

Justin Trudeau
(Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

Queen’s Park columnist John Michael McGrath looks ahead to the eventual end of emergency economic measures and argues that something more lasting should take their place. “When the pandemic is behind us, firms will need enormous help to rehire and rebuild their operations, and a federal wage subsidy could be part of that,” he writes. “But even when the economy is ‘back to normal,’ there will be recessions and other dips in the business cycle, and it would be nice for Ottawa to have a permanent lever it could pull to try to prevent mass layoffs and actively encourage higher employment.”

No more extensions: It’s time to cancel the school year

Parents across Ontario are struggling to keep their children engaged in e-learning and are frustrated by persistent technological obstacles. Nam Kiwanuka, a parent of two school-aged children, writes: “While it’s the right thing to keep schools closed, learning from home is not working for all Ontario students, and that’s why the government needs to follow other jurisdictions, such as New Brunswick, and cancel the rest of the school year.”


Listen now

#onpoli: Ford offers hope, but no dates

Podcast hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath discuss Ontario’s expansion of emergency child care for more essential workers. They also get into the Canadian Football League’s $150 million request for assistance from the federal government as well as the potential for beef shortages caused by the closure of meatpacking plants hit by COVID-19.

TVO tonight

8 p.m. — The Agenda: COVID-19’s impact on oil and gas

Last week, U.S. crude oil prices plunged below zero for the first time. Max Fawcett, a journalist and the former editor of Alberta Oil, joins the program to explain what it means for Canada’s oil and gas industry.

9 p.m. — National Geographic: Warlords of Ivory

A shocking trail of blood and money, a groundbreaking sting operation, and an attempt to save one of the planet's most magnificent animals from extinction: National Geographic exposes the illicit trade that enslaved tens of thousands of people and threatens to wipe elephants off the face of the Earth. 

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