Students from low-income families to receive iPads

Ontario announced it’s stepping up the province’s at-home learning program by providing tools to students from low-income families.

The provincial government formed a partnership with Rogers and Apple, and will be distributing iPads with free wireless data plans to students “who need it most,” Lecce said Friday.

With the help of technology, Lecce said “students are able to see their classmates, interface with their teacher, get that mentorship and support, and get through the curriculum to graduate.”

Ontario’s virtual at-home learning program, which launched April 6, primarily uses online-learning.

“I hope this gives you some peace of mind that your students will have the tools they need to continue learning,” Ford said Friday.

Publicly-funded schools have been closed since March 14 on a ministerial order from Lecce. Private schools were also closed a few days later as part of the province’s emergency declaration, but that order has also been extended.

Schools were initially set to re-open on April 6, but both Premier Doug Ford and Lecce conceded that the closures would need to be prolonged as the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario continues to increase.

The government recently switched to online classes to continue course work amid the closures.

Cannabis sales way up

Ontario’s cannabis distributor has seen online orders triple since COVID-19 started sweeping the country and prevention measures were implemented.

The Ontario Cannabis Store says almost a third of orders are coming from new customers.

The OCS says it received between 2,500-3,500 orders before March 9, but in the weeks after mass adoption of physical distancing, those orders doubled to 5,000 and then doubled again, topping out at 13,000 in one particular week.

In a bid to continue squeezing out the illegal market and keep up with the demand, the distributor has staffed up, lowered prices on more than 240 cannabis products and launched free shipping during COVID-19 to make legal options more accessible.


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