TVO.org daily: Tuesday, May 12

Ontario braces for largest-ever deficit
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 12, 2020
A limited number of MPPs will gather at Queen’s Park today to vote on whether to extend the state of emergency until June 2. (Chris Young/CP)

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following


Legislature to debate state of emergency

A limited number of MPPs will gather at Queen’s Park today to vote on whether to extend the state of emergency until June 2. The measure is expected to pass — however, former Tory MPP Randy Hillier plans to vote against the measure, denying the government unanimous consent and forcing a debate. “I fundamentally believe that the legislative assembly and representative democracy should now take part in the determination of public policy in this province,” said the representative for Lanark–Frontenac–Kingston. Hillier was expelled from the Progressive Conservative caucus in March 2019.

The opposition parties will also have their first chance at question period since early March. Moving forward, the legislature will sit twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from May 19 until at least June 3.

Budget watchdog predicts $41 billion deficit

The Financial Accountability Office released a report Monday which predicts a 9 per cent decline in Ontario’s economy — the largest annual decline on record. The report projects the provincial deficit for 2020-21 will quadruple from the previous year to a record $41 billion. This would push Ontario’s net debt-to-GDP ratio to a record 49.7 per cent, up almost 10 percentage points.

Ford’s daughters come over for Mother’s Day

Two of Doug Ford’s daughters came over for a visit on Mother’s Day — an apparent violation of public health guidelines. In response, NDP leader Andrea Horwath accused Ford of sending “mixed messages.”

The premier’s office issued a statement saying “we continue to rely on Ontarians to use their best judgment when interacting with individuals from outside their household, e.g., staying six feet apart, ensuring people are symptom free, and continuing to practise proper hygiene."

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 Monday’s edition.


Watch now

The Agenda: COVID-19 anti-vaxxers

On Saturdays at Queen’s Park, you can often find a small but noisy cluster of anti-lockdown protesters — among them, COVID-19 vaccine deniers who are hoping to amplify their message. The Agenda discusses anti-vaxxers with Timothy Caulfield, author of The Vaccine Picture; Jennifer Reich, author of Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines; and Samantha Hill, president of the Ontario Medical Association.

Digging for Britain: WWII Special

The team searches for Second World War artifacts and joins marine archaeologists raising a sunken dive-bomber.


Listen now

#onpoli: Ontario’s largest deficit ever

The financial accountability office has projected that the province’s deficit could balloon to $41 billion — the largest in Ontario history. Hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath discuss what this means for the financial future of the province.
 
Also on Monday, Premier Doug Ford revealed that two of his daughters had come over for a visit — breaking with public-health recommendations. Paikin and McGrath discuss mixed messages coming out of Queen's Park. 


Read now

COVID-19 shines a light on hidden homelessness

In Chatham-Kent, shelters are trying to accommodate the hidden homeless — people who would normally couch-surf or stay with family and friends. Southwestern Ontario reporter Mary Baxter examines the region’s struggles. “‘From February to March, the homeless count there went from below 90 to more than 200,’ says April Rietdyk, Chatham-Kent’s general manager of health and family services,” Baxter writes. “Rietdyk suspects that physical-distancing rules limiting gatherings to fewer than five people are what triggered the surge.”

The urban-rural divide heats up during COVID-19

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With the long weekend approaching, many Ontarians are deciding what do to about their cottage. Steve Paikin examines the growing divide between urbanites looking to escape the city and permanent cottage-country residents worried about health-care capacity and food supplies. “Well, the issue is, what if the virus comes upon you suddenly, and you have to rely on the very finite resources of rural Ontario’s health-care system? What if you run out of food or supplies sooner than you think?” Paikin writes. “We’ve heard plenty of stories about the difficulties the supply chains in more remote areas are facing.”


Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Ontario’s economic outlook

Ontario’s financial accountability office released its spring economic outlook, which projects the province's largest-ever deficit. The Agenda welcomes Peter Weltman, the province’s financial accountability officer, to discuss the economic impact of COVID-19.

10 p.m. — Michael Mosley vs. The Superbugs

With bacterial infections becoming more resistant to antibiotics, Michael Mosley goes in search of resistance hunters — scientists developing and testing new treatments. Can these pioneers save us from superbugs?

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