/Evening Brief: More businesses in Ontario permitted to re-open

Evening Brief: More businesses in Ontario permitted to re-open

Ford also announced on Wednesday that the province’s flawed double-blue licence plates will be scrapped.

“I’m not putting any more resources to this,” the premier told reporters.

The Toronto Star reports.

In Canada

Ford also said on Wednesday that he was rejecting a request from one of the province’s local medical officers of health for more autonomy, in terms of gradually lifting the restrictions in place to manage and contain COVID-19.

“The answer is no,” Ford said in his daily press conference, when asked by iPolitics about the letter sent to him by Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington medical officer Kieran Moore — which was signed, jointly, by the warden of Lennox and Addington, the warden of Frontenac, and the mayor of Kingston.

Victoria Gibson explains.

Federal ministers faced questions from opposition MPs on Wednesday on all parts of Ottawa’s COVID-19 response during a weekly in-person gathering in the House of Commons, including on eligibility requirements for Canadian businesses to access federal support.

Jolson Lim has the details.

Ontario removed a hurdle for doctors making trips to the province’s long-term care homes to diagnose patients for COVID-19 by promising to compensate them as they would at a hospital.

The Ontario Medical Association told members in one of its special coronavirus email updates that doctors deployed to test patients for COVID-19 at long-term care homes will now be paid the same amount they would receive for conducting testing at COVID-19 assessment centres.

Charlie Pinkerton has more.

Opposition MPs say the federal government’s announcement of a $252 million aid package for the agriculture sector falls short of addressing the needs of financially hurting cattle and hog producers.

In a teleconference meeting of the House agriculture committee Tuesday night, MPs pressed for more help for the sector, saying the funding isn’t enough to sustain these producers and that the program relies heavily on farmers increasing their borrowing capacity. They also noted that nearly half of the aid is rehashed from existing agriculture funding.

Rachel Emmanuel reports.

The Trudeau government has made another multimillion-dollar investment into the development of the F-35 stealth fighter jet, even as it considers a new extension to the $19-billion competition to replace Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s. Canada made the annual F-35 payment to the U.S. military last week, spending US$70.1 million to remain one of nine partner countries in the project.

The Canadian Press has the details.

Two federal opposition party leaders say Ottawa should simply let the country’s struggling oil and gas industry wither and die.

Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May says governments around the world should use the pandemic as an opportunity to reorganize the energy mix and find other jobs for Albertans working in the sector. Meanwhile, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said Alberta’s “tar sands” are “condemned” and federal funds should be directed at supporting renewable energy sources instead.

CBC News has more.

Just over 71 per cent of businesses owned by women, Indigenous people, visible minorities, immigrants and persons with disabilities have reported a high drop in demand, reports a new survey — six per cent higher than the national average.

The joint online survey by Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on business conditions during COVID-19, conducted from April 3 to 24 and reaching representatives from more than 12,600 businesses, also found that nearly 35 per cent of these businesses experienced a 50 per cent or more decrease in revenue, compared to the national average of 26.2 per cent.

Marco Vigliotti explains.

Process Nerd: Virtual House sittings could turn into beta test for new parliamentary practices

The Sprout: Agriculture industry says new federal support doesn’t cut it

The Drilldown: Feds site reclamation program receives 20,000 applications in roughly 4 days

In Other Headlines

Can Canada ‘restart’ its economy when the ones earning the least face the highest risk? (CBC News)

Political leaders have seen approval ratings surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, poll finds (Toronto Star)

Conservative campaigns weave tangled webs of allegations as race intensifies (Canadian Press)


The European Union is backing calls for a timely review of the international response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the World Health Organization’s performance, according to the draft of a resolution for ministers to debate at the WHO. (Reuters)

As Europe and the U.S. loosen their lockdowns against the coronavirus, health experts are expressing growing dread over what they say is an all-but-certain second wave of deaths and infections that could force governments to clamp back down in a drawn-out, two-steps-forward-one-step-back process. (Associated Press)

Hundreds of Indian police have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days, raising alarm among an over-stretched force as it attempts to enforce the world’s largest lockdown to contain the pandemic. (Reuters)

An American mercenary captured after a bungled attempt to topple Nicolás Maduro has claimed he was on a mission to seize control of Venezuela’s main airport in order to abduct its authoritarian leader – and he alleged that was acting under the command of Donald Trump. (The Guardian)

As Washington and Beijing trade barbs over the coronavirus pandemic, a longer-term struggle between the two Pacific powers is at a turning point, as the United States rolls out new weapons and strategy in a bid to close a wide missile gap with China. (Reuters)

The fight against tuberculosis could be set back by more than five years due to the coronavirus pandemic, risking an additional 1.4 million TB deaths and 6.3 million infections by 2025, a new report says. (AP)

Poland’s presidential election is scheduled to take place in four days, but nobody can say yet whether it will happen or not. (AP)

The Kicker

Wendy’s restaurants in the United States are wondering where’s the beef.

According to CNN, the fast food chain says some menu items are now unavailable, while one analyst estimated nearly one in fives of its restaurants are out of beef due to supply chain disruptions. The analyst said part of the shortage may be due to Wendy’s commitment to always fresh, never frozen beef.

Have a good night!