COVID-19 Update for March 20, 2020 – 1:00pm

March 20, 2020

Federal update on industry and innovation

At 12:00 p.m. today, following the Prime Minister’s remarks, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains provided more details on the plan to support industry.

To increase domestic capacity, the federal government is immediately accelerating the deployment of funds to the following programs:

  • Strategic Innovation Fund
  • National Research Council
  • Innovation Superclusters Initiative

Later today a portal will go live on the Department of Innovation, Science and Industry’s website that will allow companies to let government know they are working on or ready to support government’s efforts. Early information is available
here.

Online education program announced

At a 12:15 p.m. news conference, Ontario Premier Ford announced that the “Learn at Home” online educational portal is being
launched today to ensure students have access to math and literacy resources to mitigate the impact of the province-wide school closure.

This online program is for students from kindergarten to grade 12 and available in both English and French. In addition to these online resources, certified tutors available through TVO to assist students.

Premier Doug Ford appeared with Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. Minister Lecce said that no student will have their high school graduation compromised due to COVID-19.

He also noted that if schools remain closed past April 5, a second phase of Learn at Home will be launched to mitigate the impacts. All EQAO tests have been cancelled for this spring.

Premier Ford also provided an update on Ontario’s work in combating the virus, noting that 3,000 tests have been performed in the last 24 hours and 38 testing centres are now live across the province.

He hinted that later this afternoon his government would be announcing a support program to provide childcare resources for frontline healthcare workers and first responders. The Ontario cabinet is meeting later this afternoon.

The Enterprise Team

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