Salt of the earth
Premier Doug Ford was asked why he still refused to name the farm that saw 190 workers test positive for the coronavirus, and whether the public has a right to know.
"Well, there's a lot of farms just on the brink right now. And I don't want to hurt any business. I don't want to hurt any farmers, [it’s] no fault of their own," said the premier, who has spoken to the owner of the farm in question.
"These poor farmers, they aren’t trying to take advantage of anyone, they're beside themselves. And I'm not about to throw a hard-working farmer underneath the bus for nothing that he's done wrong, he's trying. We just need the co-operation of the workers as well," he implored.
"We want to protect you," he added in a direct appeal to migrant workers, many of whom have avoided testing. "We don't want to hurt you. So there's no reason to hide. You know, just let the medical professionals do their job, and we'll get back and up and running again, you'll be able to get back to work. The farmers will be able to move forward with their businesses."
Another reporter asked about what the reluctance of migrant workers to get tested says about the precarity of their work, and whether that's unacceptable.
"You know, we're Canada, we aren't in some third-world nation that you have to run from the authorities," the premier responded. "The rules apply to them like they apply to any worker in Ontario, they're protected. They're protected under labour laws, we’re there to protect them, not to throw them underneath the bus," said Ford, who added that it's critical to get the harvest picked and out into stores.
The Toronto Blue Jays are coming back up north.
Canada's lone Major League Baseball franchise will see its players practicing in the Rogers Centre pending special governmental approval to hold a spring training-style camp at the large downtown facility.
We're coming home 💙
Our Summer Training Camp will be held at Rogers Centre! pic.twitter.com/OPKIjVPUl9
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 2, 2020
The MLB season has not started in 2020, as the league shut down due to the pandemic before the regular season kicked off. After reportedly contentious discussions with the players' union, MLB announced an abbreviated 60-game schedule that will begin on July 23 and end in late September. Regular seasons are typically 162 games long for the league.
Precautions will be taken to ensure health and safety, including having players live in the hotel attached to the Rogers Centre.
The MLB approach differs from the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. The NBA has opted for a model that sees all of its players located in one closed site, rather that in their respective cities. Similarly, the NHL appears poised to name two hub cities in a comparable approach, with early reports suggesting Edmonton and Toronto are leading contenders for the spots.
Failure to launch
July 2 was supposed to be the big launch date for the new contact tracing app developed by Shopify volunteers, but it wasn't available in app stores near you today.
Asked about why it's not ready, Ford said there have been some snags in getting some provinces onboard, and that the problem is not on Ontario's end. "I know the feds want to bring it right across the country, they're working on that. But Ontario is ready. So we'll wait for the feds to launch this, and we support them. I think they just have to get some other provinces on side right now, but we're good."
He elaborated on the issue later on in his press conference. "I understand there's a little problem of giving other provinces the right to communicate with Apple and, I believe, it's Microsoft. I could be wrong on that, but [to] just be able to communicate with the providers." He later corrected himself, "I apologize, it’s Apple and Google, not Apple and Microsoft. I’m not much of a techie," said the premier, who is more of a BlackBerry guy.