March 26th 2020 | COVID19 UPDATE

Published on March 26, 2020

Following recommendations from public health to practice social and physical distancing, my constituency office remains closed at this time.

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Constituency Office Operations
Following recommendations from public health to practice social and physical distancing, my constituency office remains closed at this time. My staff and I are working remotely and remain available to answer your inquiries via phone or email. We appreciate your patience as it may take us longer than normal to get back to you.
Do you have symptoms of: 
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Runny Nose
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia in Lungs (severe cases)
Have you been exposed to incoming travellers or been to public spaces? Symptoms make take up to 14 days to show. You may not even know you have COVID-19 because they're similar to the cold/flu. 

If you feel any of the above, reduce your contact with everyone and self-isolate. Immediately contact Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000,

For questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 please call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600.
Click here for the latest information on COVID-19 at Ontario.ca/coronavirus

         PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT        

Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 

The Ontario Government was scheduled to release its annual budget on March 25th,  2020. Due to the recent events, the government postponed the annual budget – instead providing the March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update to better meet the needs of Ontarians during these unprecedented times. The government announced an overall $17 billion investment to combat COVID-19:

Highlights included are:   
• $3.3 billion additional funding in healthcare
• $3.7 billion in direct support for people and jobs
• Up to $10 billion available to ensure that businesses have cash flow during this difficult time
• $2.1 billion in new initiatives to respond to COVID-19 outbreak
• $341 million for additional acute care and critical care beds
• Doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment to low-income seniors for six months

The government is investing over $75 million to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) and investing over $240 million to provide additional capacity in Long-Term Care homes.
Click here to read more about Ontario's Action Plan
 
Hydro Relief for Individuals, Families, and Small Businesses 

To support Ontarians through the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, the Government of Ontario is providing immediate electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms paying time-of-use (TOU) rates.

For a 45-day period starting March 24, 2020, the government is suspending time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour.

This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. By switching to a fixed off-peak rate, time-of-use customers will see rate reductions of over 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates.

This change will be automatically reflected on your electricity bill - you do not need to take any action. 

 
Ontario Together
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Ontario government has reached out to businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the governments response to COVID-19. Do you think you can help?
Click here to visit Ontario Together
 
Mandatory Closure of Non-Essential Services
In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Ontario has ordered all non-essential services to close as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59pm. If you have questions about how this order affects your business, please call 1-888-444-3659. You can also view the full list of businesses and services permitted to remain open below: 
Click here to see the list of Essential Services
 
Learn at Home
The Ministry of Education launched the Learn at Home initiative that will provide a educational resources for families and students via a new online portal while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Learn at Home is a program for all students, providing a high-quality, made-in Ontario math and literacy resources created by Ontario-certified educators both in English and French. 
Click here to visit Learn at Home
 
Update on Driver, Vehicle, and Health Card Services

Ontario is extending the validity of government driver, vehicle and carrier products and services, as well as health cards, that expired on or after March 1, 2020. These will continue to remain valid and legal past the expiry until further notice. This is in an effort to help keep people safe, reduce the need for in-person visits to ServiceOntario and try to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, if you are required to submit a medical or vision report to the Ministry of Transportation, we are extending your due date by 60 days or more.

Based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, all full-time DriveTest Centres and part-time Travel Point locations have been closed. Driver’s licence applicants will NOT lose test fees as a result of these closures. The current “Fail to Keep Appointment” penalty will also be waived.

Click here for more information from ServiceOntario
 
Protecting the Most Vulnerable

The Ontario Government is providing $200 million to social services to support their response for COVID-19. This funding will be provided through municipalities and organizations to administer. This funding will support shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities, and non-profits in order for them to continue to deliver their critical services and hire additional staff all while finding ways to promote physical distancing and self-isolation to keep clients sage and healthy.
Click here for more information about the $200 million investment
 

           FEDERAL GOVERNMENT          

Mandatory Isolation for 14 Days
T
he Federal Government has invoked the Quarantine Act, which now mandates all travelers who have returned from abroad to mandatory 14 day self-isolation. Upon return, border officials will be taking contact information of everyone entering the country – monitoring mandatory isolation.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Yesterday; the Prime Minister introduced a new plan to replace the earlier two announced assistance plans. The federal government will provide $2,000 for the next four months to support all those who have lost their source of income due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  

For more information and how to apply visit:
Click here to learn more about CERB

         MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT         

State of Emergency - Toronto
Mayor John Tory has declared Toronto to be in a state of emergency. This allows the city to respond quickly to the pandemic. 

Property Tax – Toronto
The City of Toronto has given residents a 60 day extension to pay 2019 property taxes. For those who have paid with post-dated cheques – these cheques will be also subject to the extension. That said – payments for April 1st will be cashed June 1st; payments due May 1st will be cashed July 2nd.

Toronto Hydro
All Hydro disconnection will be suspended in the City of Toronto

Closure of City Parks
All City Parks and amenities will be closed starting today including:

• Playgrounds;
• Sports fields, including soccer multi-use fields and baseball diamonds;
• Basketball courts;
• Tennis and Pickle-ball courts;
• Off-leash dog parks and trails;
• Skateboard and BMX Parks;
• Picnic areas and park shelters;
• Community Gardens;
• Frisbee, golf locations and outdoor fitness equipment in City Parks;
• Outdoor exercise equipment and other park amenities, and
• Parking lots attached to the parks.

Structures will be in place to prevent the entrance to these amenities. Violation of this order may be subject to fines.  
 
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Copyright ©  2020
Robin Martin MPP, Eglinton-Lawrence
All rights reserved.



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