E-newsletter- August 14, 2020
With your help Etobicoke-Lakeshore and the province are doing a terrific job in flattening the curve of COVID-19. We have reported fewer than 100 new cases every day this week. This, despite the fact that have opened up the economy, with restrictions and guidelines, so that people can return to work and school safely.
Deadlines for many government documents, such as marriage licences and driver’s licences have been extended and we have moved many Service Ontario services online so you can access them while social distancing! That means you can renew your health card or driver’s license in the comfort of your home whenever you want! Please visit Service Ontario to see what you can renew on-line.
VIRTUAL TOWN HALL WITH THE PREMIER! Have your say!
What: A virtual town hall with Premier Ford, Minister Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation and me.
When: Tuesday August 25, 2020
Time: 7pm – 8pm
How: If you wish to participate, send an e-mail to christinehogarthmpp.ca to register by Thursday August 20, 2020 at 12noon.
Here are a few highlights from the past two weeks:
GREATER ACCESS TO SPORTS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
Ontario is allowing greater access to indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities. This will provide the public with more access to health and wellness and support the sector in getting more employees back to work.
As Ontario safely reopens, we’re providing over $8 million to 66 provincial and multi-sport organizations through the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund – supporting the delivery of high-quality programming & competitions benefiting athletes, coaches & officials.
Ontario has released a sport and recreational guidance document to help facilities operate safely. Review the guidelines and learn more: https://www.ontario.ca/page/guidance-facilities-sports-and-recreational-fitness-activities-during-covid-19
SUPPORT FOR MUNICIPALITIES
This week, the province announced that municipalities will receive up to $1.6 billion as part of the first round of funding under the Safe Restart Agreement. Through the Safe Restart Agreement with the federal government, $695 million will help municipalities address operating pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic through the first round of emergency funding, and over $660 million will support transit systems – that’s great news for Etobicoke-Lakeshore as the City of Toronto will be receiving $549,771,332. The province is also providing an additional $212 million through the Social Services Relief Fund to help vulnerable people find shelter.
I encourage everyone to download the COVID Alert mobile app (I have and it was easy to do!) to protect yourself and your community. You will get a phone alert if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and let others know if you have tested positive without sharing any personal information. To download the app please visit here.
GOING BACK TO SCHOOL SEPTEMBER 8
We continue to build on our reopening plan endorsed by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health by investing more to keep kids and staff safe.
The government provided school boards flexibility to make additional investments to help schools across the province reopen safely in September and better protect students and staff. By allowing school boards to use their reserves for operating expenses, we enable them to have access to funding to ensure more physical distancing in classrooms and to allow boards to make adjustments based on local needs. The government will provide up to an additional $11 million in funding to support school re-opening plans, which is equivalent to 2 per cent. We are providing this one-time investment and enabling school boards to use their contingency funds to respond to this truly generational challenge.
Our Guide to Reopening Ontario’s Schools has committed over $500 million in funding to support a safe reopening of Ontario’s schools, which is part of the evolving layers of prevention the government is providing to students, parents, staff, and the communities they live and work in. The provincial guidelines provide a baseline and school boards are encouraged to adapt them to meet local needs and support students and families. They include:
- In-person classes for elementary school students five days per week for the 2020-2021 school year
- Masking for students in Grades 4-12
- Focus on cohorting and limiting student contacts
- Adapted secondary school delivery for designated boards
The Ministry of Education is working in partnership with school boards to deliver access to the fast, reliable and secure broadband internet connectivity needed to support modernized, digital learning in school. All secondary schools are on target to have access by September 2020, and elementary schools by September 2021. That means families who fell uncomfortable with in-person learning will have the option of on-line learning through the Learn at Home program which will provide online course content and digital tools.
Parents and guardians have until August 31, 2020 to apply for Support for Families. Under this program, parents or guardians of children between 0-12 years old, or up to 21 years old for children and youth with special needs, are eligible for a one-time payment, per child, to purchase educational materials to support learning at home.
Our plan for reopening safely is deliverable, and one that ensures that students can maximize their time in the classroom, being taught face to face by a teacher. For more details please visit: Guide to Reopening Schools, News Release, and Letters to parents.
INVESTING IN LONG-TERM CARE BEDS
On August 11, the province announced that a new long-term care home will go up at Humber River Hospital's Finch site within months. "Now, with our experience of COVID-19, it is more important than ever that we realize our government's vision to build a 21st century integrated long-term care system that provides our most vulnerable with safe, high-quality, resident-centred care and a dignified place to call home," Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton said.
SAFE RE-START AGREEMENT, CHILD CARE
In partnership with the federal government, we are providing $234.6 million in funding to keep children and staff safe in child care and early years settings. This funding is being provided to support enhanced cleaning costs and health and safety requirements set out to support the reopening of licensed child care centres and early years programs. This funding is in addition to the Ontario government’s continued commitment to stabilize the child care sector as many Ontarians return to work.
PROCEEDS OF CRIME FUND
Our government is investing more than $6 million over the next three years through the Proceeds of Crime Front-line Policing (POC-FLP) Grant to help combat crime and build safer communities.
The POC FLP Grant uses funds forfeited to the province during criminal prosecutions. This year, grant funding will be provided to 16 police services to implement 21 projects across the province in collaboration with their community partners to address one or more of the following key provincial priorities:
- Gun and gang violence
- Human trafficking
- Sexual violence and harassment
This investment builds on the Ontario’s province-wide strategy to fight gun and gang violence as well as its new comprehensive strategy to combat human trafficking.
ONTARIO PARKS – 30 X 30 CHALLENGE
The Ontario Government is encouraging people all across the province to join the Ontario Parks 30x30 Challenge and spend 30 minutes outside in nature every day for 30 days in the month of August to improve their health and well-being, as part of the Healthy Parks Healthy People movement.
Participants should continue to be responsible and follow public health advice, including practising physical distancing, when enjoying the outdoors.
To view our short video, please click here.
OUR FIRST QUARTER FINANCES
The Ontario government is continuing to support the province's recovery from COVID-19 over the long-term while delivering on its commitment to transparency and accountability with the release of 2020-21 First Quarter Finances and an update to Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. To protect the health and economic well-being of the people of Ontario, the government continues to invest and budget for further contingencies in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, including providing support to families, businesses, workers, municipalities, long-term care homes and those on the front-lines of the pandemic. These investments bring the government's COVID-19 response action plan to a projected $30 billion, up from $17 billion announced in Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 on March 25, 2020.
There are signs that Ontario’s economy has begun to recover. In June and July, Ontario’s employment increased by 528,600 net jobs and the unemployment rate decreased to 11.3 per cent, down from the peak of 13.6 per cent in May 2020. Home resales, manufacturing and retail sales have all increased since May after two consecutive months of decline.
To learn more, please click here.
We have made an investment of $6 million over three years to expand the coverage of closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, a key tool in the fight against guns and gangs and other criminal activity.
This investment will be made available through the Ontario CCTV Grant, a new program designed to ensure police have the additional resources necessary to keep their communities safe and hold criminals responsible which is the focus of Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy.
Starting today, all municipal and First Nations police services, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police, will be able to apply for funding for the first year of the CCTV Grant cycle (2020-2021). All applications must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday September 10, 2020.
The grant builds on the province’s approximate $106 million investment to combat gun and gang violence, with the support of the federal government, through the Ontario Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy. The program also complements the $14 million the province invested last December through the provincial priorities stream of the new Community Safety and Policing Grant, which addresses province-wide issues that include gun and gang violence, sexual violence and harassment, and human trafficking.
SUPPORT FOR OUR LOCAL LEGIONS
As we move forward with reopening the province, our government is proud to invest $83 million in 2020-21 through the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s new Resilient Communities Fund to offer support to Legion branches and non-profit organizations working to support communities across Ontario. Here are the instructions to apply: https://otf.ca/resilient-communities-fund.
SAFTEY INITIATIVES FOR GO TRANSIT USERS
This week I had the opportunity to tour GO Transit’s Willowbrook maintenance facility on Judson with Minister of Finance Rod Phillips and Associate Minister of Transportation Kinga Surma to see first hand all the added precautions Metrolinx has been taking to keep transit staff and riders safe. This includes safety dividers, floor markings, hand sanitizers and more. Your can ride GO Transit with confidence! Your safety is our priority.
NEWS ON TAKING YOUR DRIVER’S TEST
On August 4, 2020, the Ontario government and its service provider, DriveTest, will resume road testing for class G2, road testing for all motorcycle licences and expand commercial driver road tests to 42 locations across the province as part of the government’s gradual, staggered approach to resuming driver testing in Ontario.
UPDATE ON SUBWAY EXTENIONS AND EGLINTON CROSSTOWN
Ontario has shortlisted three teams each to advance tunnelling work on the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension projects part of the largest subway expansion in the province’s history. This is another milestone reached on our priority subway projects. Teams were shortlisted based on criteria identified in the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process that began in March 2020. Criteria included design and construction experience and the financial capacity to deliver a project of this size and complexity. These teams will be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the near future.
SUPPORT FOR BEIRUT
The Ontario government is providing $2 million to the Canadian Red Cross through the International Disaster Relief Program to help people and families affected by the tragic explosion that occurred in Beirut, Lebanon on August 4, 2020. This is one of the largest contributions the Ontario government has ever made towards an international humanitarian relief effort.
To review the announcement, please click here.
REPORT PRICE GOUGING
If you are aware of anyone charging higher-than usual prices for in-demand products, report it online or call Consumer Protection Ontario at 1-800-889-9768 Monday to Friday, between 8:30am and 5pm.
HAVE YOUR SAY: I would like to hear from you regarding your opinions on taking public transit. Please take a moment to answer a few questions at the following link: https://www.christinehogarthmpp.ca/transit_survey
Principal Lisa Tomeczek , MPP Christine Hogarth, Vice Principal Michael Connolly, Teresa Lubinski - TCDSB Trustee Ward 4
Today our Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce & I toured Bishop Allen Academy and spoke with the Principal, Vice Principal and Trustee on the schools needs. We also shared in a zoom call with parents asking questions about the return to school plan. Coffee Roasters is a friend and local business. I encourage everyone to stop by and shop local.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
August marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw during WW1. The battle is also known as the Miracle of the Vistula and resulted in a decisive Polish victory in 1920 during the Polish–Soviet War. Poland, on the verge of total defeat, repulsed and defeated the Red Army in what Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik leader, called "an enormous defeat" for his force. The battle was fought between the 12th and 25th of August, 1920. There are over 200,000 people of Polish descent living in Toronto, most of whom live in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. In fact there are more Polish decedents in Etobicoke-Lakeshore than any other ethnic group!
Saturday August 15th marks the 75th anniversary of V-J Day, the victory of the Allies against the Japanese, marking the end of World War 2.
If you would like to make an appointment, please call or e-mail my office:
416-259-2249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a wonderful weekend and remember:
Shop Local, Shop Safe, Shop with Confidence!
Support Local Business!
Christine Hogarth, MPP