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Ontario premier wants to take 'surgical approach' to next group of shutdowns in hot spots – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he wants to take a “surgical approach” to shutdowns in the province’s COVID-19 hot spots when deciding if regions need to remain in a modified Stage 2.

“We need to take a surgical approach,” Ford said, while making an announcement in Barrie, Ont. on Thursday. “I’ve always said this, some regions are very large geographical areas.”

Ford wouldn’t say whether Toronto, Peel Region, Ottawa or York Region would be moved back into Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan. All four regions were placed into a modified Stage 2 for 28 days because of their rising infection rate. 

The modified Stage 2 forces indoor dining to close, as well as movie theatres and gyms.

The 28-day period expires for Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa on Nov. 7, while York Region is a week later.

Ford used Peel Region as an example of why he thinks a surgical approach needs to be taken, saying while Mississauga and Brampton have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, Caledon has not seen numbers spike at the same rates.

“Caledon, they’re complaining because the numbers are escalating in other regions,” Ford said. 

Ford said he’s “working with all the mayors and all the different regions” to decide on what restrictions will be lifted or kept in place when the 28-day period ends.

“We’re working on coming up with a safe plan with collaboration with all the local mayors and local health teams and then we’ll make a decision before this 28 days runs out.”

“The good news is we are seeing a little bit of a decline,” Ford said about COVID-19 cases in Ontario. “But make no mistake about it … do not let your guard down. It happened before and it just spiked up.”

Ford’s comment on the decline in cases comes as Ontario’s seven-day rolling average hit 899, which is a record high since the pandemic began.

Ontario’s four COVID-19 hot spots continue to have the highest number of COVID-19 infections.

Of the new cases reported on Thursday, 420 were in Toronto, 169 were in Peel Region, 95 were in York Region and 58 were in Ottawa.

Province launches ‘Ontario Made Consumer Directory’

Meanwhile, the Ontario government announced on Thursday that it has launched a new directory to make it easier for people to shop and support local businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian Manufactures and Exporters (CME), with the support of the Ontario government, launched the “Ontario Made Consumer Directory.”

Ford said that promoting Ontario-made products will help support “good-paying jobs” in the future. 

People can find made-in-Ontario products on the government’s new website SupportOntarioMade.ca

“I’m proud to support this new CME campaign to encourage Ontarians to look for the ‘Ontario Made’ label when shopping,” Ford said. 

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Tesla whistleblower Martin Tripp ordered to pay $400,000 to settle hacking case – The Verge

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Martin Tripp, the former Tesla worker who has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle with CEO Elon Musk for over two years, was ordered to pay his former employer $400,000 after admitting to leaking confidential information to a reporter.

The settlement is intended to bring an end to one of the more sordid stories at Tesla, in which Tripp, a former process technician, locked horns with the billionaire CEO over allegations that Tesla was wasting a “jaw-dropping” amount of raw material as it ramped up production of the Model 3 sedan.

Musk later accused Tripp of “sabotage” and personally ordered investigators to hack Tripp’s phone and spy on his messages. Tesla even misled local police about a potential mass shooting by Tripp at the company’s Nevada factory.

But in the end, Tripp came out on the losing side. The payment is part of a proposed settlement to a lawsuit filed by Tesla in 2018 alleging that Tripp hacked the electric car company’s system and transferred “gigabytes” of data to third parties. As part of the agreement, Tripp admitted to violating laws related to trade secrets and computer crimes when he told a Business Insider reporter that Tesla was wasting a significant amount of raw materials during production of its Model 3.

Tripp also agreed to pay $25,000 to Tesla for continuing to reveal information about the company, despite being ordered to stop by a judge. Tripp had been publishing a large number of documents and videos online, including many under a confidentiality order in the case. In August, Tripp fired his lawyers and set about representing himself in the case. It was also revealed that a Tesla short seller, The Funicular Fund, was financing Tripp’s legal defense.

Earlier this year, a judge dismissed Tripp’s defamation case against Tesla, in which the former technician accused the company of spreading false rumors about him. After Tripp filed for whistleblower status with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk emailed a reporter at The Guardian telling them a tipster had contacted Tesla to say that Tripp might “come back and shoot people,” at the Nevada Gigafactory. The local sheriff determined the threat was not real, but Tesla issued a press release, which was picked up by several media outlets.

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Canada's economy bounced back at record 40% pace in third quarter — but GDP still below pre-COVID level – CBC.ca

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Statistics Canada said Tuesday the economy grew at a record annualized pace of 40.5 per cent in the third quarter as businesses came out of COVID-19 lockdowns.

The previous record for quarterly growth in real gross domestic product was 13.2 per cent in the first quarter of 1965, the agency said.

As historic as the rebound was, it fell short of expectations.

Financial data firm Refinitiv said the average economist estimate was for an annualized growth rate of 47.6 per cent for the quarter.

The rebound over July, August and September was a sharp turnaround from the preceding three-month stretch, which saw a record drop.

Driving the rebound were the further rolling back of public health restrictions that allowed businesses to reopen.

Statistics Canada also said there was a substantial increase in the housing market owing to low interest rates, as well as household spending on goods like cars.

GDP still lower than it was in February

Despite the overall increase, the national statistics office said real gross domestic product still remains shy of where it was before the pandemic.

The third quarter ended with the fifth consecutive monthly increase in real GDP after the steepest monthly drops on record in March and April when widespread lockdowns were instituted to slow the spread of COVID-19.

September saw a 0.8 per cent increase in real GDP, Statistics Canada said, a slight slowing from the 0.9 per cent recorded in August.

The agency also provided a preliminary estimate for October’s figures, saying early indicators point to a 0.2 per cent increase in the month. The figure will be finalized at the end of this month.

“The fourth quarter of 2020 is still beginning with some growth, though less than we had anticipated,” CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes wrote in a note.

“Looking ahead, the economy faces a December with harsh restrictions that will likely see another contraction in economic activity.”

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Statistics Canada says economy grew at a record pace in Q3 – CityNews Toronto

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Statistics Canada says the economy grew at a record annualized pace of 40.5 per cent in the third quarter as businesses came out of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate was for an annualized growth rate of 47.6 per cent for the quarter.

The rebound over July, August and September was a sharp turnaround from the preceding three-month stretch saw a record drop.

Driving the bounce-back were the further rolling back of public health restrictions that allowed businesses to reopen.

Statistics Canada also says there was a substantial increase in the housing market owing to low interest rates and household spending on goods like cars.

Despite the overall increase, the national statistics office says real gross domestic product still remains shy of where it was before the pandemic.

More to come

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