E-newsletter- April 23, 2020
I hope you are well and staying safe.
I would like to extend my best wishes to Muslims in Etobicoke-Lakeshore as you begin observing this month-long journey of fasting, prayer, and personal reflection. Ramadan Mubarak!
We are facing a critical moment in the fight against COVID-19 and we must continue to do everything in our power to keep everyone safe and healthy and prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. Thank you for doing your part, even if your part is staying home.
We are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with our English Public Secondary Teachers’ Union – achieving our goal to provide certainty to Ontario students, parents and teachers. During this entire process, our aim was to ensure our young people receive the best education we can offer, so they can develop the skills they need to succeed in the classroom and in the jobs of the future.
We will remain focused on the government’s dual priority of keeping students safe while ensuring the continuity of education. Moreover, we remain determined to continuously strengthen teacher-led learning and virtual learning for the benefit of our students, and we continue to look to our educators to rise to the challenge and deliver quality education to every child, wherever they may live.
This is the last remaining agreement reached by the government preceded by ETFO, AEFO, OCEW, and three ratified agreements with CUPE, EWAO, and OECTA. With the tentative agreement signed with the OSSTF, our government has successfully negotiated deals with all Ontario education sector unions.
My constituency office staff are available for phone calls 416-259-2249 and emails [email protected]. We are here to support you as information is changing daily, even hourly.
Please look after yourselves, best wishes for good health and patience as we navigate these unprecedented times.
Christine Hogarth, MPP
For the latest information, please visit:
Telehealth: 1-866-797-0000 and https://covid-19.ontario.ca/
Stay home except for essential reasons, such as:
- Access health care services;
- Shop for groceries (please shop alone, if you are able);
- Pick-up medication at the pharmacy;
- Walk pets or get exercise; and
- Support vulnerable community members.
The Ontario government released updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows that the enhanced public health measures, including staying home and physically distancing from each other, are working to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. However, the Chief Medical Officer of Health says emergency measures must remain in place to continue reducing the number of cases and deaths.
Thank you for doing your part! To read a copy of the report visit here.
LONG TERM CARE HOMES - COVID-19 Action Plan for Protecting Long-Term Care Homes.
The government is using every tool and resource at its disposal to fortify the iron ring of protection around our seniors and our most vulnerable to slow the spread of COVID-19, including a laser focus on those homes experiencing outbreaks in need of urgent support.
Since the action plan was announced, the government has worked quickly to provide support and focussed efforts on the ground to support the long term care homes, ramping up testing, deploying teams from hospitals, public health and home care to support infection control and prevention, putting long-term care homes in need of urgent support under the trusteeship of hospitals where possible, and growing our heroic health care workforce.
The modelling we released on Monday show two stories: due to our collective efforts we are flattening the curve but we are also in the midst of a crisis in our long-term care homes.
Since the beginning of this crisis, there has been tremendous partnership between all three levels of government. The federal government has offered resources for support and personnel from Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces. This support will provide staffing relief so staff can focus on the care of residents and will help with the coordination and logistics of medical care, infection prevention and control, and day to day operations.
As we have always said, every option is on the table and we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to protecting our most vulnerable. Our frontline heroes are working around the clock and they need our support. We want them to know, further help is coming.
The province is investing $11 million to help deliver meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need.
We are working with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) to launch a new Ontario Community Support Program to expand existing Meals on Wheels services to reach low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions across Ontario. The program will also develop the capacity of community organizations and others to help deliver medication and other essentials.
To identify a Meals on Wheels provider, to request service or to volunteer, please visit https://www.ontariocommunitysupport.ca/. Those without Internet access or who require service in a language other than English or French, can dial 211 or 1-877-330-3213 (toll free). TTY service is also available by calling 1-888-340-1001.
EMPLOYMENT IN AGRI-FOOD SECTOR
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to support the agri-food sector to keep supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during COVID-19.
The targeted intake began accepting applications on April 17, 2020. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available. For more information about this targeted application intake or to obtain a program guidebook, email: [email protected] or call: 1-877-424-1300.
RAPID RESERCH FUNDING
The Ontario government is investing $20 million in research and innovation funding to develop tools and resources to combat COVID-19 and other infectious diseases through the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.
We are calling on all of the province’s world-class research institutions, postsecondary institutions, industry and non-profit scientific partners to take action in the development of innovative solutions to track and defeat this virus. Submit your ideas now until April 24. Visit Ontario Together. Working together, our government will leverage the talent and knowledge within our province and overcome the unique challenges we are facing today.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
CMHA Ontario has 30 local branches who are part of a community based mental health sector which serves approximately 500,000 Ontarians annually.
Mental health and addictions concerns are among the many challenges Ontarians are currently facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. CMHA Ontario branches remain ready to serve the public and will continue to provide in-person, phone-based or online / web conferencing supports and programs during the pandemic.
For additional information for mental health and addiction services in your community, please click here.
We are in extraordinary times and people are experiencing extraordinary financial pressures. Our message to insurance companies has been clear: they should provide relief that reflects the significant financial hardships their customers are facing due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Insurance companies have indicated the regulation preventing rebates was a barrier to providing relief to their customers. That barrier has now been removed so insurance companies can step up and do the right thing for people and families in Ontario by helping ease the financial pressures created by the COVID-19 outbreak.
We’ve heard from people across Ontario that they are driving less, as they practice social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As a result, there are less vehicles on the road and fewer traffic accidents. The change allows insurers to provide rebates that reflect the reduced risk environment. The government will continue to work with regulators to identify new opportunities and monitor how the auto insurance sector is responding to the challenges people are facing, in a way that reflects the current reality.
211’s telephone helpline and website provide a gateway to community, social, non-clinical health and related government services. Its online service can help find priority services available in your area more easily, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in more than 150 languages.
Thank you to the hard working veterinarians who continue to provide care to Ontario’s animals during COVID-19. Our pets are helping us get through this difficult time. Thank you for keeping our best friends healthy!
Thank you to Humber College and Global Medic who are working together to deliver 330,000 lbs. of food to food banks across Toronto!