daily: Thursday, March 26

Ontario unveils $17B COVID-19 action plan
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Mar 26, 2020
Billed as “a first step in its response to COVID-19,” the Ontario government has announced a $17-billion action plan during the global coronavirus pandemic. (Frank Gunn/CP)



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Ontario pledges $17 billion in COVID-19 action plan

Billed as “a first step in its response to COVID-19,” the Ontario government has announced a $17-billion action plan during the global coronavirus pandemic. The effort includes $7 billion in additional support for health care “and direct support for people and jobs,” as well as $10 billion of tax and other payment deferrals. In releasing an economic update in place of the postponed provincial budget, Finance Minister Rod Phillips said his priority is “ensuring that our front-line health-care professionals have the resources they need to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.” The government is projecting a $20.5-billion deficit, more than double what it had previously estimated.

30 new Ontario COVID-19 cases traced to international travel

Ontario health officials confirmed 100 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, surpassing the previous one-day high of 85 cases reported the previous day. The total number of confirmed cases is 688, including eight resolved cases and 13 fatalities. Some 30 of the new cases relate to recent international travel, and 22 have been linked to close contact with a previously confirmed COVID-19 case. The update comes as Canada continues to clamp down on international travel. Also on Wednesday, the federal government announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine, effective as of midnight last night, for anyone returning to Canada, CBC News reports.

COVID-19 could derail GTA’s most-ambitious transit plans

Toronto’s already behind-schedule Eglinton Crosstown LRT is just one of the large-scale transit plans in the region that is expected to face lengthy delays because of the coronavirus pandemic the Toronto Star reports. “Overall I think the pandemic will have a negative impact on completion dates,” said Andy Manahan, executive director of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario. Initially, health precautions are likely to slow work. Experts anticipate that broader supply-chain shutdowns and a weakened economy will also take a toll on projects. Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency, notes that transit construction can continue during Premier Doug Ford’s shutdown of non-essential workplaces, but building activity must stop if conditions are unsafe. publishing daily COVID-19 roundup

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

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The Agenda: Opposition response to Ford’s fiscal update

The Ontario government’s opposition parties are reacting to the Progressive Conservative government’s fiscal update and its plans to deal with economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining Steve Paikin to discuss the response are Liberal finance critic Mitzie Hunter, NDP finance critic Sandy Shaw, and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner.

The Amazing World of Gravity

In the second episode of this two-part series, physics professor Jim Al-Khalili helps design a smartphone app that volunteers use to demonstrate how gravity affects people’s weight and the rate at which they age.

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#onpoli: Ep. 11 – Ontario’s unprecedented mini-budget

Each spring, the Ontario government releases a budget designed to provide a pathway for the government’s priorities. That was the plan until two weeks ago, when COVID-19 turned everything on its head. Yesterday, Finance Minister Rod Phillips released the government’s new fiscal update, and the #onpoli podcast digs into the details. Also, hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath answer questions about the federal government’s new emergency benefit. 

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You may be happy that the LCBO is still open — but employees aren’t

LCBO lineup
David Rockne Corrigan

The Ontario government’s decision to keep beer and liquor stores open while shutting down non-essential workplaces doesn’t sit well with some LCBO employees who feel at risk of catching COVID-19. Eastern Ontario Hub journalist David Rockne Corrigan examines the rationale for keeping the stores open.

Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Coronavirus and the arts community

The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily shut down the way actors, musicians, and comedians make a living. To discuss the effects of this on careers and finances, The Agenda welcomes Torquil Campbell, co-lead singer and songwriter with the band Stars; Quinn C. Martin, a Toronto-based stand-up comedian; and actress Samora Smallwood.

9 p.m. — How to Dance in Ohio

This award-winning documentary shows how a group of Ohio teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum prepare for a youth rite of passage — the spring formal. They spend 12 weeks working with their therapists to learn how to navigate the rituals of the event, from getting ready to dancing with partners.

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