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Ontario retailers prepare to reopen
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 07, 2020
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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following


Province allows more businesses to reopen

Premier Doug Ford announced yesterday that some businesses will be able to restart operations over the next week. Garden centres and nurseries will be able to fully reopen Friday, hardware and safety-supply stores can open Saturday, and all retail stores with a street entrance can offer curbside pickup starting Monday. Ford said that all businesses will be expected to follow provincial health measures.

LCBO to extend hours

The LCBO announced that 360 of its stores will be open for longer as of May 14. Extended hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday. Most stores will continue to operate from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays; all stores will remain closed on Mondays.
  
In other booze news, the province is allowing restaurants and bars to sell whisky, gin, and other spirits at lower prices to help them recover from the COVID-19 shutdown. Ontario is also making it easier for cideries to sell directly to customers.


Ontario extends lower electricity rates

The electricity-rate relief that was set to end today has been extended until May 31. As of March 24, customers who pay time-of-use pricing have paid the lowest price, known as the off-peak rate, for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The province also extended its emergency orders, which allow it to close businesses and prohibit public gatherings, until May 19.

Shopify nearly Canada’s most valuable company

Ottawa-based Shopify’s total stock value surged to more than $120 billion — making it less than $1 billion shy of Canada’s most valuable company by market capitalization, the Royal Bank of Canada. Shopify, which makes e-commerce software used by more than 1 million businesses, said it has been increasingly busy as shopping has moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

TVO.org publishing regional updates

Every day, we will publish a collection of COVID-19 news items from across the province. Please visit TVO.org for the latest. Here is Wednesday’s edition.


Listen now

#onpoli: Ontario (sort of) opens for business

The provincial government announced an expanded list of retailers allowed to operate fully, including hardware stores and garden centres. Additionally, all retailers with a ground-level entrance will soon be able to offer curbside pickup. Hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath discuss these moves.


Watch now

The Agenda: Ontario’s post-pandemic hospital

Hospitals across the province paused elective surgeries and shifted resources in order to prepare for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients. How has that affected Ontarians who’ve been waiting for care? The Agenda welcomes Danielle Martin, executive vice-president and chief medical executive at Women's College Hospital; and Alison Thompson, associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

National Geographic Breakthrough: Water Apocalypse

Hundreds of millions of people around the world lack access to clean drinking water — a problem made worse by climate change and rising populations. In this film, scientists and engineers struggle to find local solutions for the global water crisis.


Read now

Safe-consumption sites need more PPE during COVID-19

A shortage of personal protective equipment makes it difficult to operate supervised-consumption sites safely during COVID-19. “While staff at funded sites have daily conference calls with the ministry during which they provide updates on their inventory levels and current needs, St. Stephen’s has no such regular access,” journalist Audrey Carleton writes. “Instead, Barb Panter, manager of housing and drop-in services, says that she and her team have been posting requests for donations on social media and reaching out to family and friends.”

When businesses reopen, how long will it take for customers to come back?

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As Ontario businesses await the green light to reopen, columnist John Michael McGrath wonders whether they can depend on a still-wary public to return. “A new poll from Leger released Tuesday shows that huge majorities of people are profoundly uncomfortable with the idea of returning to public spaces in a big way,” he writes. “The relative good news is that 41 per cent of people say they’d be willing to dine out at a restaurant, but it gets bleaker from there. Only 23 per cent say they’d fly on an airplane, and about one in five say they’d be willing to go to the gym or attend large public events, such as concerts or sports. Only 17 per cent say they’d be willing to go to a bar or pub.”


Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: COVID-19 and immigration uncertainty

The COVID-19 pandemic presents new challenges for migrant workers, non-status individuals, and other vulnerable groups. The Agenda discusses immigration uncertainty with Francisco Rico-Martinez, co-director of the FCJ Refugee Centre; and Rupaleem Bhuyan, an associate professor at the University of Toronto and a member of the Rights of Non-Status Women Network.

9 p.m. — Big Life Fix

A terminally ill photographer who can no longer use his hands. A remote Welsh village without internet access or a reliable telephone connection. A young designer with Parkinson's disease who is unable to use a pen. Can a team of inventors find solutions to the challenges these people and communities are facing?

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