Ontario continues to see rising numbers of COVID-19 cases among migrant farmer workers, days after the provincial government allowed asymptomatic workers who tested positive to continue working if they maintain physical distancing from those who tested negative.
Based on The Globe and Mail’s count, Ontario now has more than 800 confirmed cases among migrant farm workers and they are largely concentrated in the Windsor area. Three Mexican workers — Bonifacio Eugenio Romero, 31, Rogelio Munoz Santos, 24, and Juan Lopez Chaparro, 55 — have died.
When the province announced its new guidelines last week, worker advocates and health experts quickly criticized them as prioritizing labour demands over worker’s health and well-being. Canada’s top public health official is now seeking to evaluate the guidelines, adding that a federal infection-prevention expert is also on the ground to offer advice and support to migrant workers.
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Alberta to spend billions in recovery, diversification plan
As the provincial economy is battered by the pandemic and low oil prices, Alberta is set to reveal its multibillion-dollar economic recovery plan today. In particular, this will touch on mainly short-term investments on infrastructure – including more than $500-million on eight or nine projects – and some general overview about long-term plans.
More specific long-term diversification plans touching on logistics hubs, agriculture, technology and rare mineral development are coming in the next few weeks.
Ontario to overhaul regulations for tow truck industry
A Globe investigation published in February exposes a deadly tow truck turf war that has been taking place in the Greater Toronto Area, where at least four men with ties to the industry have been killed since December, 2018. This violence is taking place as companies compete for collision towing, a lucrative segment in the industry.
In response, the Ontario government will be announcing today details of a new task force that aims to overhaul the industry and introduce regulatory changes as early as the fall.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Volunteer Canada declined to work for WE Charity: Volunteer Canada’s CEO said the organization has declined an offer to work for WE Charity in delivering the $912-million Canada Student Service Grant. But instead of being a criticism against WE Charity, the decision stemmed from concerns about the program’s blurring the line between volunteer work and paid work. The grant essentially allows student volunteers to receive $10 an hour, which does not meet the minimum wage in any provinces.
The government’s decision to hand the administration of the grant to WE Charity has also prompted accusations of cronyism against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau because of their close ties.
More charges against former prominent Toronto neurologist: Toronto police has laid additional charges against Allan Gordon for sexually assaulting his patients over 14 years, including 14 counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual assault with a weapon. He had already received five charges of sexual assault in December, 2019, following a Globe investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against his patients.
Canada defying international human rights obligations: According to a new Human Rights Watch report, at least 47 Canadians – eight men, 13 women and 26 children – with alleged ties to the Islamic State are detained in Kurdish-run camps and prisons in northeast Syria. The report says Canada is breaching its international human rights obligations by failing to assist these citizens and calls for their repatriation.
Global stocks plunge, oil slides on virus surge: World shares hit two-week lows and oil fell nearly 2 per cent on Monday as the relentless spread of the coronavirus curbed optimism on the global economy, prompting investors to take shelter in safe-haven bonds and gold. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.15 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.47 per cent and 0.15 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei was down 2.30 per cent. New York futures were mostly weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 73.22 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
Dear Donald: Thanks for the new immigration wall. Love, Canada
Editorial: “If American firms are unable to hire the best and bring them to the U.S., that will benefit their Canadian competitors. It may also motivate some U.S. firms to get around immigration restrictions by offshoring operations to Canada.”
Canada must wait for the U.S. to control its first wave before our economy can fully recover
John Ibbitson: “The Canadian economy remains heavily dependent on trade with the United States. The longer it takes the American economy to recover from the lockdowns, the longer it will take the Canadian economy as well.”
We deserve details on Champagne’s Chinese bank ties
Rita Trichur: “As a minister of the Crown, Mr. Champagne should expect scrutiny of his finances. His intentions are irrelevant when it comes to matters of national security. That’s exactly what this controversy was all about and why he still needs to get down to the nitty-gritty.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Non-traditional training equipment to make your home gym more like a real gym
Working out seems like a good way to maintain health and sanity during the pandemic. But if you’re living in a small space or lack a dedicated training space and essential tools, the idea of building a home gym can seem daunting. Fear not – here is some non-traditional training equipment that will raise your home workout experience.
MOMENT IN TIME: June 29, 1975
For more than 100 years, photographers and photo librarians have preserved an extraordinary collection of 20th-century news photography for The Globe and Mail. Every Monday, The Globe features one of these images. This month, we’re celebrating cycling.
It was a different time – no safety gear or parental supervision in sight. On this summer day in 1975, 11-year-old Wayne Kowalczyk was leading the way while two other children, 9 and 15, waited their turn. Globe and Mail photographer John McNeill described their spot in Scarborough, then its own city on Toronto’s eastern flank, as “a magnet to kids with bikes when there is no school … when authority is not looking they have a ball, chasing each other over the dunes.” The world feels very different now, with COVID-19 putting a kibosh on most organized group activities for months. Kids’ camps and youth team sports may not be an option and children may be chafing as the pandemic-related lockdowns drag into the hottest months of the year, but bored kids with access to a bike can always bomb down the nearest hill. Oliver Moore