Today, thanks to the strong work of all Ontarians, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health the Ontario government announced it is moving the province into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen, effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021.
In order to enter Step Three of the Roadmap, Ontario needed to have vaccinated 70 to 80 per cent of individuals 18 years of age or older with one dose and 25 per cent with two doses for at least two weeks, ensuring a stronger level of protection against COVID-19.
Step Three of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:
Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions;
Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing;
Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect;
Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space. Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less;
Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less);
Essential and non-essential retail with with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors;
Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at:
up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)
up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less).
Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; and
Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).
The province will remain in Step Three of the Roadmap for at least 21 days and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their eligible population aged 12 and over fully vaccinated. Other key public health and health care indicators must also continue to remain stable. Upon meeting these thresholds, the vast majority of public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings and limits for social gatherings, will be lifted. Only a small number of measures will remain in place, including the requirement for passive screening, such as posting a sign, and businesses requiring a safety plan.
I was very honoured to announce alongside the Minister of Education and MPP Martow that the Ontario government is investing in a plan to counter rising antisemitism in Canadian schools and communities. According to Statistics Canada, the number of police-reported incidents in Canada targeting the Jewish population in 2019 was 296, the largest number of any religious group.
As part of the Safe Return to Class fund, the Ontario government is providing the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies with $327,000 to support two summer learning programs:
The ‘Unpacking Intolerance: Equity and Diversity Training for Educators’ program, which will provide professional development sessions to help educators learn about dismantling systems of oppression and antisemitism in homes, schools and communities.
The ‘Tour for Humanity Virtual Summer Camp,’ which will help students learn about human rights, dealing with injustice, and encourage ideas for creating positive change.
Antisemitism has no place in our society and I am eager to see the positive outcomes that this new program will provide.
In December 2020, the Legislative Assembly passed my Private Member's Motion 122, which called on the Government to mandate a collaborative approach for school boards, community police services and other partners to develop and adopt an Anti-Human Trafficking Protocol.
This week, the Ontario government released a new policy framework, the first of its kind in Canada, as part of its strategy for school boards to protect students from the heinous crime of sex-trafficking. With the goal of keeping children and youth safe from sexual exploitation, this new strategy and framework recognizes the critical role schools can play in combatting sex-trafficking. Sadly, the majority of police reported trafficking in Canada takes place in Ontario.
The new effort outlines actions school boards must take to help protect students, including:
Raising awareness and understanding of sex trafficking, including the urgency and complexity of combating sex trafficking.
Supporting procedures for students who are at risk or being sex trafficked, or who may be grooming and recruiting other students.
Training school board employees, educators and administrators and other school staff.
Establishing approaches to support accountability and evaluation.
The announcement builds on the leading efforts the Ontario government is making to protect students from human trafficking and sexual exploitation through raising awareness, including:
Learning related to sex trafficking in the elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum. With this mandatory learning, students develop the skills to help protect themselves against human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Funding the development of online educator resources and classroom resources focused on the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and youth.
Developing Ontario’s Human Trafficking Digital Education Tool: The Trap, and Speak Out: Stop Sex Trafficking, an Indigenous-focused awareness campaign.
These are important steps to help combat this disgusting crime.
My constituency office is open for appointments only. In efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we encourage you to continue to contact us at (416) 781-2395 or email [email protected]. We remain ready to assist.