E-newsletter- June 12, 2020
Earlier this week, we were pleased to announce that we are taking next steps in reopening our province.
First, we will ease the following restrictions as of today, Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.:
- the limit on social gatherings, which will increase from five to ten people;
- reopening all places of worship, so as long as there are physical distancing measures in place and attendance is limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity; and,
- reopening child-care centres, with strict safety and operational requirements in place.
Second, we are taking the first steps in reuniting families and loved ones by moving forward with a cautious restart of visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, group homes and other congregate living settings that are not currently experiencing an outbreak, starting next week.
I know that being separated from family and loved ones has been incredibly difficult over the past few months and hopefully these steps will bring some relief.
I know we are all eager for things to get back to normal. That means having a responsible plan, taking the best scientific advice and working together with our partners. It means moving cautiously but decisively, while recognizing the situation is different in different regions across the province.
ONTARIO LIFTING 30-DAY SUPPLY LIMIT ON PRESCRIPTIONS
Great news! With the supply of many drugs and medications having stabilized in the province, the Ontario government is lifting the recommended 30-day supply limit for dispensing the Ontario Drug Benefit program medications. Effective June 15, 2020, program recipients can return to filling up to 100-day supply at a time from their pharmacy or dispensing physician, when appropriate. Ontario Drug Benefit recipients' co-payments will return to their previous amounts. To read more about this announcement, please click here.
PARK LAWN GO STATION UPDATE
Since being elected two years ago I have advocated for a GO Station at Park Lawn, while maintaining the existing station at Mimico. I am pleased to share with you all that yesterday Metrolinx released an updated business case that makes the case for a new GO Station at Park Lawn. This is a positive step towards delivering transit relief for the people of Etobicoke-Lakeshore. We are one step closer to making this a reality. For a copy of the business case visit: Metrolinx.
FRAMEWORK OF REOPENING THE ECONOMY
Every region in Ontario has experienced the COVID-19 outbreak differently. Our government's regional approach reflects the unique realities of different communities in Ontario, recognizing that many areas of the province have seen fewer cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks. By grouping regions of the province by local public health units (PHUs), the government’s decision will be based on the public health criteria outlined in the framework being met locally, including virus spread and containment along with the health system and incidence-tracking capacity.
PROTECTING OUR BUSINESSES
We’ve asked time and again for landlords to take advantage of the commercial rent assistance program and work with their tenants. But we are still seeing commercial evictions including small, family-run businesses. This is unacceptable, and we will protect these businesses.
Commercial tenants who can pay their rent must do so. Landlords should work with their tenants to come to an agreement and use the joint program we have set up with the federal government. The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance requires tenants and landlords to work collaboratively by both paying 25 percent, while the government covers the rest. We have to work together to overcome COVID-19. That’s true for protecting public health and for protecting our economy. To learn more about this announcement, please click here.
CHILD CARE CENTRES AND DAY CAMPS
We are reopening child care centres to support the next stage of the province's reopening framework. The plan was developed in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and medical experts. For more information, please visit: Child Care
We know the integral role child care plays in the restart of our economy, especially when it comes to enabling parents to return to work. But parents must have confidence in the child care system at this very difficult time. By imposing specific public health requirements, we are signaling our firm commitment to keeping our children, staff, and our families safe. Some parents may decide to not use their existing child care operator. We are protecting those parents and their pocketbooks, by ensuring that they will not lose their spot or be charged during this period.
Summer day camp programs across the province are getting ready to open. Strict health and safety guidelines were developed by the Ministry of Health in partnership with public health, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and municipalities, and distributed to local public health teams earlier this month. At this time, overnight camps are not permitted to operate in the summer of 2020.
Some additional resources include;
- Health and Safety Guidance During COVID-19 For Employers of Child Care Centres
- Support for Families
- Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak ― Child Care Re-Opening
ONTARIO UNVEILS A PLAN TO REOPEN POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION
The Ontario government has developed a plan for the gradual and safe resumption of in-person instruction at postsecondary institutions across the province for the summer term. The plan was developed in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Starting in July 2020, limited in-person education and training may restart for students who were not able to graduate due to COVID-19 closures. For more information, please visit: Postsecondary Education.
BEACHES AND CAMPSITES TO OPEN AT ONTARIO PARKS
As the province regionally enters Stage 2, more facilities and services at Ontario Parks will open in certain regions. Starting today, beaches in Ontario Parks will begin to open as maintenance and water testing are completed.
On June 15, campers enrolled in this year’s Ontario Parks’ Seasonal Campsite Program will now have access to their sites at the majority of participating parks.
Beginning the week of June 22, Ontario Parks will start opening campgrounds, providing washrooms, drinking water and opening trailer sanitation stations. We also plan to slowly reopen roofed accommodations, park store and rental operations, visitor centers, playgrounds and sports fields as we are able to do so. Facilities such as showers, laundry, group camping, picnic shelter rentals and swimming pools will remain closed for the season. Safety measures will be implemented in high use parks at select times to address overcrowding and to promote physical distancing.
We are counting on people to be responsible when enjoying our parks, and continue to follow all of the public health advice, including physical distancing, wearing a face-covering when physical distancing is a challenge, washing hands frequently and thoroughly, and if you are worried you may have COVID-19, get tested.
Please continue to visit OntarioParks.com and Ontario Parks social media channels to check the status of your local provincial park.
PUBLIC SAFETY GUIDANCE AND THE TTC
Our government, in consultation with public health and transit officials, has produced a guidance document specifically designed for public transit agencies. The guidance document provides consistent information that transit agencies can use to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 so commuters can feel confident taking transit.
As the province begins to reopen we must do everything we can to protect those planning to take a train, bus or streetcar. We want everyone who takes transit to feel safe. For more information, please visit: Transit Guidance
ONTARIO AND CANADA HELP SMALL BUSINESSES GO DIGITAL
Ontario's small businesses are vital to our communities and critical to our economic health and wellbeing. COVID-19 has presented significant challenges for Ontario's small business community, but it has also highlighted the potential for new opportunities. The online marketplace unlocks a world of commercial activity ready and waiting for "Made in Ontario" goods and services. Our joint provincial-federal program will help small businesses establish, run, and grow their operations online.
By helping to expand their reach and maximize their potential, we are helping to create new opportunities and expand markets for Ontario businesses.
For more information, please visit: Go Digital.
My constituency office staff and I are available by telephone 416-259-2249 and by email Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns. You can also visit my COVID-19 support link: https://www.covidsupports.ca/mpphogarth/ and my Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ChristineHogarthEL/ for the latest in COVID19 news and support.
Christine Hogarth, MPP