E-newsletter- June 19, 2020
Happy Father’s day to all the dad’s in Etobicoke-Lakeshore! I hope you enjoy your weekend with family and (a few) friends!
- On June 20 and 21, families can enjoy free fishing, which is a great way to spend some quality time together outdoors.
- Street closures are in effect, please check the City of Toronto website or ActiveTO to help you plan your route and avoid the traffic.
- Next week will be Ontario Craft Beer Week. Did you know that Etobicoke-Lakeshore is home to numerous craft breweries? #ShopLocal and help out a small business in our area. Please visit: https://www.southetobicokebrewers.com/our-team.
This week we marked three months since enacting a provincial Declaration of Emergency to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians from the threat of COVID-19. Since then, our government has made extraordinary progress to shore up our health care capacity, build up our PPE stockpiles with Ontario-made supplies, and put an iron ring of protection around our seniors and most vulnerable populations.
Thanks to the collective efforts of our heroic frontline workers, volunteers, businesses, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the 14.5 million people who call this province home, 31 regions may now proceed to Stage 2 of our Framework for Reopening the Province, helping more businesses to reopen and getting more people back to work. We are confident all of Ontario will move forward into the next stages of our reopening and onto economic recovery. Although Toronto and Etobicoke, remain in Stage 1, we celebrate our progress as a province and ensure readiness for the future. Stay tuned.
Our frontline health care workers stepped up, thousand of businesses stepped up and 14.5 million people have gone above and beyond during this time. Some examples of this include:
- 4,300 people put up their hand to help our seniors
- Hundreds of businesses retooled their operations to make critical medical supplies and equipment. Thanks to their help, we’ve secured over 10,000 ventilators for our stockpile, 123 million masks, 4 million face shields, 173 million surgical gloves, and 21 million gowns.
In three short months, our government has acted quickly to provide relief to families and businesses. Some examples of relief include:
- Our government immediately developed a $200-million-dollar social services relief fund to support food banks, shelters, and those most in need.
- We put money back in the pockets of 1.5 million families by providing a one-time payment of $200 per child.
- We gave people a break on their hydro bills, by providing a fixed, off-peak electricity rate 24/7 for families, small businesses, and farms.
- We helped businesses stay afloat with a $10 billion relief package, including tax deferrals and WSIB premium relief.
- We worked with our federal partners to set up a $900-million-dollar commercial rent relief program to help small businesses through difficult times.
Here are a few highlights from this week
CASE AND CONTACT MANAGEMENT
As the province safely and gradually reopens, the Ontario government is enhancing case and contact management to quickly test, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 to stop the spread of the virus and prepare for any potential future waves.
These additional measures include a comprehensive case and contact management strategy, Protecting Ontarians through Enhanced Case and Contact Management, and in partnership with the federal government, a new made-in-Ontario national app.
Ontario’s new strategy will:
- Launch COVID-19 exposure notification app
- Ensure cases and contacts are identified, reached quickly & followed-up with for 14 days
- Provide 1,700 more staff for Public Health units
- Improve technology with a new system
For more information, please visit: Case and Contact Management
Our government is providing additional educational content for students and teachers impacted by school closures. The government partnered with the Ontario Science Centre and Science North to produce made-in-Ontario videos and learning on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects for K-12. Resources are available on the Ontario Science Centre and Science North websites with new material released weekly.
Our government also announced that we are making a $25 million investment in mental health and to purchase over 35,000 devices (computers and tablets) for students. These new resources will help ensure students can return to school with the confidence and the tools they need to succeed. This funding represents the highest amount the Ministry of Education has ever dedicated to these two areas through the Grants for Student Needs (GSN). For more information, please visit: Investing in Students.
MADE IN ONTARIO SOLUTIONS
We took steps to help the province become self-sufficient in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by providing the CSA Group Testing and Certification Inc. with $526,200 from Ontario
Together funds to increase capacity for testing and certifying PPE. CSA Group tests and certifies products to ensure they comply with safety, environmental and operational requirements.
EASING RESTRICTIONS FOR WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS
Eased restrictions on weddings and funerals, allowing indoor ceremonies to have 30% of the venue capacity. Outdoor ceremonies will be allowed to have a maximum attendance of 50 people. Attendees must practice physical distancing at the ceremony with everyone outside their social circle. For wedding or funeral receptions, the number allowed to attend remains capped at 10 people.
OPENED UP SOCIAL CIRCLES
We are encouraging everyone to form social circles of up to 10 people, including those already in your household. The social circle is people that you can touch and do not have to practice social distancing with. You should continue to practice social distancing with everyone outside your circle.
For tips on how to form your circle, please visit: Tips
For more information on social circles, please visit: Social Circles
STUDENT NUTRITION PROGRAM
We have invested $1 million to improve access to healthy meals and snacks for school-age children during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Student Nutrition Program has evolved to include meal delivery, grocery gift cards or farm vouchers, food boxes, meal kits, and support for food banks. For more information, please visit: Student Nutrition
DRIVE TEST CENTRES
As Ontario prepares to reopen more businesses and services, it is critical that supports are in place so people can return to work. Drive Test centres will begin serving customers based on when they were born to reduce crowding, support new requirements for physical distancing, health checks and enhanced sanitation. People with birthdays between January to June will be allowed to visit a centre the first week of reopening, and people with birthdays between July to December will have access to Drive Test services the following week. Access to Drive Test services will continue to alternate weekly until full services are restored. For more information, please visit: Drive Test Centers.
DEBATED IN THE LEGISLATURE THIS WEEK
- Bill 159, Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020;
- Bill 184, Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, 2020;
- Bill 156, Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020; and
- Bill 171, Building Transit Faster Act, 2020.
My constituency office staff and I are available by telephone 416-259-2249 and by email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Christine Hogarth, MPP