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Ontario surpasses COVID-19 testing target
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on May 05, 2020
Premier Doug Ford said yesterday that the province’s labs are “exceeding our target of 16,000 tests a day,” a goal it had hoped to reach by May 6. (iStock.com/Mladen Sladojevic)

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Province exceeds testing goals

Premier Doug Ford said yesterday that the province’s labs are “exceeding our target of 16,000 tests a day, a goal it had hoped to reach by May 6. “This important milestone provides a strong foundation for gradually reopening our economy and getting people back to work, while protecting the health and safety of all Ontarians," he said.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said that the province now ranks first among Canadian provinces when it comes to tests per capita, but that is based only on the most recent one-day total. The province’s daily report showed a slight dip, to 14,555 tests over the previous 24 hours.

Canada pledges support for international vaccine fund

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged $850 million to fund global COVID-19 research. The money will contribute to an international drive meant to raise at least $11.6 billion. The European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have also pledged funding; the United States has declined to participate.

Record-low Ontario prison population

The inmate population at Ontario's provincial prisons has decreased by about one-third since mid-March. As of April 21, the daily inmate count was 5,707 — the lowest since 1986. Ontario has been releasing low-risk prisoners to ease crowding and slow the spread of COVID-19.

TVO.org publishing regional updates

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


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#onpoli: Thoughts turn to cottage country

Hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath discuss the conflict between seasonal residents and cottage-country communities that are telling them to stay away because of COVID-19. For several weeks, the provincial government has been discouraging people from going to their cottages but Premier Doug Ford has signalled his attitude might be changing.


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Ontario’s COVID-19 cottage quandary

While a cottage may seem like the perfect place to practise physical distancing, seasonal residents are being asked to stay away from their summer homes. To discuss the effects of COVID-19 on Ontario’s cottage country, The Agenda welcomes Muskoka Lakes mayor Phil Harding; Terry Rees, executive director of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations; and Kim Krech, owner of Temagami Marina.

Digging for Britain: South

Find the connection between a lobster and an 8,000-year-old Neolithic underwater settlement as archeologists work in Britain’s south. In London's East End, Naoise Mac Sweeney visits a modern construction site that reveals the secrets of an Elizabethan playhouse.


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COVID-19 in cottage country: The tourism expert 

Columnist Matt Gurney speaks with Laurie Marcil, executive director of Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario, about the crisis in cottage-country tourism. “We already have labour shortages, so we don’t want to see our workers move on after a season of no work,” she says. “So, for our organization, our job is to try and help them by going to governments and saying, listen, we are a huge part of the local economy. We want these people in these businesses to be able to survive and help restart the economy in Ontario.” 

Here’s one plan for reopening the economy — and soon 

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Steve Paikin talks to Steven Salamon, a biotech portfolio manager, about how he would restart Ontario’s economy. “The Ontario government has, understandably, been focused on getting the ICU and long-term care situations under control,” Salamon says. “But when will we get a strong mask policy and an effective test, trace, and isolate system? All I care about is health, safety, reducing mortality, and getting the province moving again. To me, all these things are interdependent. Give citizens clear principles and trust them to do the right thing.”


Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: The economic fallout of the pandemic

The federal government has dedicated billions to the COVID-19 response — how will that affect the country’s finances? The Agenda welcomes former Ontario finance minister Janet Ecker and Craig Alexander, chief economist with Deloitte Canada.

10 p.m.— The Battle for Hong Kong

Experience the most intense clashes of Hong Kong’s 2019 pro-democracy protests from the front lines. In this film, five protesters make their case against what they see as increased influence from mainland China.

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