Good morning, Ontario.
Here's what we're following:
Mental health and addiction issues are worsening
A report released by the Public Health Agency of Canada says more people are struggling with mental health issues, opioid addiction, and other forms of substance abuse because of the pandemic. The report also says people of colour are more likely to catch COVID-19, citing pre-existing health disparities; increased stress; and low-wage, high-risk workplaces as possible reasons. "These findings are more than just uncomfortable facts about our country during this pandemic,” said chief public health officer Theresa Tam. “They're the lived realities of countless Canadians."
Ford promises ‘positive’ COVID-19 report
Premier Doug Ford says a report released today will show that the spread of the coronavirus in Ontario is beginning to slow. "That's really positive," Ford said yesterday, according to CBC News. "You see the fatigue out there, you see people frustrated … I'm here to give them hope.”
Bank of Canada says economy won’t fully recover until 2022
The Bank of Canada announced it will keep its key interest rate at 0.25 per cent, saying it expects rates to remain low until 2023. Bank officials predict the economy will shrink by 5.7 per cent this year, then grow by 4.2 per cent in 2021 and 3.7 per cent 2022 — which would bring it to pre-pandemic levels.
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In a speech, federal finance minister Chrystia Freeland said the government has to carry a deficit to weather the recession but added the spending won’t last forever: “Whether on Bay Street or Main Street, there are no blank cheques, and there are no free lunches."
Communications issues. New election laws. How is government working during the second wave of COVID-19? The Agenda welcomes Heidi Tworek, associate professor of international history and public policy at the University of British Columbia; Colin Furness, infection control epidemiologist at the University of Toronto; Amanda Galbraith, principal at Navigator; and Matt Gurney, editor at the National Post, to discuss.
Since the earliest days of the railways, great innovators have pushed for faster trains— and they can now reach once-inconceivable speeds. Explore the development of mighty steam locomotives, supersonic rocket sleds, and hovering trains.
A recent letter from two Halton politicians suggests that the premier’s “trust us — we know best” approach is losing its appeal. “What we’re seeing this week is normal politics reasserting itself in the pandemic,” writes columnist John Michael McGrath. “The ‘trust us — we know best’ act from the premier’s office has started to wear thin even for MPPs who sit in the government benches at Queen’s Park.”
To get fresh produce, Sheshegwaning First Nation turned to a technology initially developed for growing food in space. But is it a real solution for food insecurity?
Tonight on TVO
8 p.m. — The Agenda: Agent Sonya
The Agenda welcomes author Ben Macintyre to discuss the greatest female spy in history. His new book is Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy.
10 p.m. — Waiting for the Sun
This documentary follows children in Beijing's Sun Village, an orphanage for youngsters whose parents are on death row. The children come from different backgrounds but share a longing for their imprisoned parents — and rely on new friends to help them along.