TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford says a $14 billion federal financial aid offer to all of Canada’s provinces and territories isn’t enough.

Ford says Ontario’s costs alone to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic are estimated to be $23 billion.

The premier called the federal offer — received in a conference call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday — a good start to talks.

He also says more details are coming next week about the province’s second stage of reopening, including how child-care centres will be allowed to resume operations.

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Ford says he does not believe the province is moving too slowly to restart the economy, and it must remain cautious to prevent spread of the virus.

Ontario is reporting 344 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 15 more deaths.

That brings the total number of cases in the province to 29,747, including 2,372 deaths and 23,583 cases that have been resolved.

Ontario completed 22,730 tests in the previous day, the second day in a row the province achieved its goal of 20,000 per day.

The province says another 12,247 tests are still under investigation.

Meanwhile, Ontario lifted restrictions on short-term rentals Friday.

Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli said the facilities were able to resume operations as of 12:01 a.m.

Lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums and bed-and-breakfast rentals are all included in the reopening.

Ontario’s tourism minister said Thursday the sector had been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa MacLeod pledged more government support but also urged Ontarians to support local businesses and take “staycations.”

She said the province may not see its visitor levels return to 2019 levels until 2024.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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