National Newswatch

Ford ready to act to curb ‘slow creep’ in COVID-19 cases in hard-hit regions

Sep 4 2020 — Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — A region west of Toronto comprising roughly three per cent of Ontario's population currently accounts for nearly half of the province's new COVID-19 diagnoses, Premier Doug Ford said Friday as he raised the prospect of rolling back reopening measures to contain the situation. The latest figures showed Peel Region, a long-standing hotspot for the novel […]

Glitches a virtual certainty as classes resume, but lessons to be learned

Aug 29 2020 — Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press — The technical glitches and occasional outages that will almost certainly be part of this year's virtual school experience in Ontario may also prove to be teachable moments for educators and students alike, according to various experts in the field. School boards, teachers and researchers say recent failures of key online learning platforms demonstrate the volatility […]

Federal government gives Ontario $381 million to help with back-to-school plan

Aug 26 2020 — Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Ontario's controversial back-to school plan received an infusion of cash from the federal government on Wednesday, with at least $381 million being added to what Premier Doug Ford has already earmarked for the upcoming return to class. The federal contribution met with widespread praise, but provincial opposition critics continued to take Ford to […]

Ford urges Ontarians to buy local in retaliation for U.S. aluminum tariffs

Aug 7 2020 — Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Ontario's premier dove into the simmering trade battle between Canada and the United States on Friday, slamming the American president for disloyalty while urging the province's residents to join the fight by supporting local industry. Doug Ford's comments came on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to reinstate 10-per-cent tariffs on aluminum […]

Ford pledges help for ‘overworked,’ ‘underpaid’ personal support workers

Aug 6 2020 — Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Ontario's overworked and underpaid personal support workers will soon be receiving government assistance, the province's premier said Thursday as he heaped praise on a group who have been on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 in long-term care homes. Doug Ford said recent conversations with PSWs at his mother-in-law's long-term care home in Toronto […]

Ontario government defends back-to-school plan despite contradictions

Aug 4 2020 — Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Ontario's premier stood by the province's back-to-school plans on Tuesday as federal officials offered up COVID-19-prevention guidelines that appeared to contradict those revealed by provincial officials last week. Doug Ford's comments came as Ontario's 72 publicly funded school boards worked on firming up their proposals to welcome students back to class. While most […]

Ontario scrapping birth alerts across the province starting in October

Jul 14 2020 — Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — A system that disproportionately targets racialized and Indigenous families by alerting authorities about the pending birth of children believed to be at risk will cease in Ontario later this year, the provincial government said Tuesday as it joined other Canadian jurisdictions doing away with the controversial practice. Jill Dunlop, Ontario's associate minister of […]

Ontario effort to scrap streaming begins with math courses in 2021: Lecce

Jul 9 2020 — Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Ontario's effort to scrap an educational practice that has historically discriminated against students from marginalized communities will get underway next fall, the province's education minister said Thursday. Stephen Lecce offered scant details about the plan, first announced earlier this week, to eliminate "streaming" for those entering high school. But he indicated the province's math curriculum […]

Canada’s chief medical officers plan some downtime after months of hard work

Jul 8 2020 — Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press — In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada's chief medical officers were hailed as the nation's rising stars. Their regular public briefings made them familiar faces and household names to thousands of Canadians, and their scientific expertise helped shape government policies that gradually flattened the domestic curve over the past four months. But how have Canada's top doctors coped […]