The Pandemic: Week 10 news in brief

Friday May 22nd, a.m. headlines

The prime minister will be under pressure today to detail how the federal government will help provinces scale up their COVID-19 testing capacities.

Every summer a lot of kids look forward to camp, but not this summer, Camp operators say the provincial government had no choice but to close overnight camps.

The NDP MP representing Nunuvut, says the coronavirus pandemic has proven to everyone that jobs typically viewed as less essential than others before the pandemic, are deserving of a living wage. Mumilaaq Qaqqaq says the pandemic has also put a spotlight on other gaps for Indigenous peoples, for students, for seniors, and elders.

Openings!

Tickets go on sale at 11 this morning for the Toronto Zoo’s first ever drive through experience. And Hudson’s Bay reopens today from noon to 5.

More outdoor space for pedestrians

Another three major road closures are planned this weekend to provide Torontonians with more space to physically distance while outdoors. The eastbound lanes of Lake Shore Boulevard East will be closed from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue. Eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard West from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. And The eastbound Gardner Expressway off-ramp to Lake Shore at Park Lawn will will also be off limits.

Thursday May 21st a.m. headlines

As Ontario begins loosening its COVID-19 lockdown measures, the calls grow for an urgent expansion of its testing for the novel coronavirus.

Picnic shelters, soccer and multi-use outdoor fields, baseball diamonds, and basketball courts will be open by the weekend.

A little help for students

Ontario will be deferring student loan payments and holding interest until the end of September. Interest will also no longer be accrued on top of their loan throughout this time period.

Your phone can tell you if you have COVID-19

Apple and Google have released smartphone technology, that will let you know if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

Riding the TTC? Wear a mask

The TTC is asking riders to wear facemasks.

Indigenous

More help for off-reserve Indigenous People during the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be announced today. The latest round of funding would be on top of the earlier announced 305-million-dollar Indigenous Community Support Fund. It will be aimed at assisting off-reserve organizations, such as the Congress of Aboriginal People and the National Association of Friendship Centres

Wednesday May 20th a.m. headlines

The federal government is expected to unveil today more details of its promised loan program for large corporations and commercial rent relief for small- and mid-sized businesses.

Premier Doug Ford will make another announcement at Queen’s Park today at one o’clock; one day after the province began the first phase of its reopening plan. He hasn’t indicated what he’ll announce but he’ll be joined by Health Minister Christine Elliott and Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney.

The warm weather might prompt you to go to the Toronto Islands, but Toronto Mayor John Tory says it will be a while before they reopen to visitors. He says plans to reopen will be complicated by Transport Canada rules, which currently require ferries to operate at half capacity due to social distancing rules.

York University says most of its classes will be online this fall.

Indigenous

The Canada Energy Regulator is looking for Indigenous people to join a new advisory committee. The Regulator is responsible for reviewing energy project proposals and oversight of existing pipelines and transmission lines. Members will play “a key advisory role” to the regulator’s board of directors. The regulator’s first approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was quashed by the Federal Court of Appeal based on inadequate consultation with First Nations.

Tuesday May 18th a.m. headlines

Life starts to get back to normal today. Customers can shop inside stores with street entrances. Home cleaning, pet grooming services, and all construction can resume, with physical distancing and other safety measures of course.

At one this afternoon, Education Minister Stephen Lecce will announce what the plan is for the rest of the school year.

Toronto readers should be able to grab a new book in the next 10 days or so. Mayor John Tory says the city’s chief librarian is working on a plan to get things up and running again.

The Toronto Zoo is moving forward with its plan for a drive through safari like experience. Starting May 23rd you can drive through. Tickets go on sale on this Friday at 11.

Indigenous

A health researcher studying COVID-19 as part of a national immunity task force hopes the pandemic elevates concern for persistent health issues, such as inadequate housing, for Indigenous people in Canada. Dr. Carrie Bourassa says an Indigenous advisory circle will soon be announced for a two-year project to engage First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in studies about how the virus has spread and who is immune.

Oil revenues have plunged for many Indigenous communities in Western Canada. Oil production fell to about 800 barrels per day at the beginning of this yea, even less with the pandemic.

Sports

The NHL is looking at “probably eight or nine different places” that can accommodate “a dozen or so teams in one location” as it explores options for resuming the season. Commissioner Gary Bettman says the NHL would need to resolve border and quarantine issues.

Horse racing is coming back. The Queens Plate will be run at Woodbine Racetrack on September 12th. The Kentucky Derby is set for September 5th

 

 

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