National Newswatch

Ontario to swap original brand-name drugs with cheaper ‘biosimilar’ drugs for seniors, people on social assistance

Dec 21 2022 — Rob Ferguson — Ontario is moving more seniors and people on social assistance from original brand-name drugs for conditions like inflammatory bowel disease to cheaper “biosimilar” drugs despite concerns the switch could throw some patients off track. Health Minister Sylvia Jones announced the change for Ontario Drug Benefit plan recipients Tuesday, saying biosimilars are “safe and effective” alternatives […]

Ontario will give second shots of AstraZeneca vaccine: source

May 19 2021 — Rob Ferguson — Ontario is poised to proceed with second doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the use of which was put on hold last week over concerns about an increase in rare blood clots after first shots, the Star has learned. An announcement is coming “within days,” a senior government source said as thousands of doses are […]

Everyone should stay home, Ontario’s top doctor says, and self-isolate if you’re over 70

Mar 30 2020 — Rob Ferguson — There’s strict new advice to stay home and self-isolate for Ontarians with compromised immune systems, underlying health conditions and anyone over the age of 70 to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19. Chief medical officer Dr. David Williams said Monday he is “strongly recommending” people in those circumstances do not go out except for essential […]

Ford dodges questions on controversial climate-change comments from his energy board appointee

Dec 3 2019 — Rob Ferguson — Premier Doug Ford brushed aside controversial climate-change comments from his appointee heading the board of Ontario’s electricity agency as opposition parties said the evasion shows the government doesn’t take the problem of global warming seriously. The New Democrats zeroed in Tuesday on Joe Oliver, a Conservative and former federal finance minister who is now chair […]

‘Canada will benefit from climate change’: comments from Ford appointee draw fire

Dec 3 2019 — Rob Ferguson — The agency that operates Ontario’s electricity system is distancing itself from controversial climate-change comments made by its chair, Joe Oliver, a former federal finance minister appointed to the board last spring by Premier Doug Ford’s government. Concerns about how seriously the environmental challenge is viewed by the province grew Monday as opposition parties — who […]

Ontario government tight-lipped on severance for fired senior bureaucrat

Jul 5 2019 — Rob Ferguson — The Ontario government is keeping mum on how much severance Peter Fenwick will get after being fired as the province’s first “strategic transformation adviser” the same day the Star uncovered his two-decade business relationship with Premier Doug Ford’s former chief of staff. Fenwick, who started the job last November, was paid more than the premier, […]

‘No indication’ that Doug Ford influenced OPP firing, ethics watchdog says

May 7 2019 — Rob Ferguson — Ontario’s integrity commissioner is citing “insufficient grounds” to investigate an NDP allegation that Premier Doug Ford violated ethics legislation by approving the firing of OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair. New Democrat MPP Kevin Yarde charged in March that Ford breached the Members’ Integrity Act by using his office to influence the decision to terminate Blair, […]