November 5th Weekly Update

Published on November 05, 2021

 

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Dear Neighbour, 

Yesterday, the Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy released the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build OntarioThe plan lays out how the government will build the foundation for Ontario’s recovery and prosperity by getting shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure, attracting increased investment, and restoring leadership in auto manufacturing and other industries. The plan also protects Ontario’s progress against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights include:

  • To strengthen the health and long-term care workforce, Ontario is investing $342 million, beginning in 2021–22, to add over 5,000 new and upskilled registered nurses and registered practical nurses as well as 8,000 personal support workers. In addition, Ontario is investing $57.6 million, beginning in 2022–23, to hire 225 nurse practitioners in the long-term care sector.
  • To help hospitalized patients continue their recovery and rehabilitation at home, where they are most comfortable, the Province is investing an additional $548.5 million over three years to expand home and community care. This funding would support up to 28,000 post-acute surgical patients and 21,000 patients with complex health conditions every year.
  • To support the mental health and well-being of health and long-term care workers across the province, the government is investing $12.4 million over two years starting in 2021–22 to continue rapid access to existing and expanded mental health and addictions supports.
  • To ensure long-term care resident safety, the government is providing an additional $72.3 million over three years to increase enforcement capacity including doubling the number of inspectors across the province by 2022–23. This will make Ontario’s inspector to long-term care homes ratio the highest in Canada.
As part of the 2021 Fall Economic Statement, the Ontario government will introduce legislation that, if passed, would raise the general minimum wage from $14.35 to $15.00 per hour effective January 1, 2022. Students under 18, homeworkers and hunting, fishing and wilderness guides would also see an increase in their special minimum wage rates.

Under the proposed changes, the special minimum wage rate for liquor servers would also be eliminated and they would be entitled to the general minimum wage. Liquor servers have previously received below the general minimum wage, based on the belief customer tipping can make up the difference. However, many of these workers have increasingly seen their tips pooled and redistributed among many staff, making it harder for them to make ends meet. If the legislation is passed, liquor servers would be treated more fairly and see an unprecedented 19.5 per cent increase in their minimum hourly wage, as it changes from $12.55 per hour to the harmonized $15 per hour minimum wage.
This week, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced that it will be expanding eligibility for booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to additional groups of high-risk individuals starting November 6, 2021, providing them with an extra layer of protection against the Delta variant. Over the coming months, Ontario is also prepared to gradually roll out booster doses to all Ontarians aged 12 and over.

Based on the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and in alignment with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s (NACI) recent recommendation, the province will begin offering booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the following vulnerable populations if at least six months have passed since their last dose:

  • Individuals aged 70 and over (born in 1951 or earlier);
  • Health care workers and designated essential caregivers in congregate settings (including long-term care home and retirement home staff and designated caregivers);
  • Individuals who received a complete series of a viral vector vaccine (two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the Janssen vaccine); and
  • First Nation, Inuit and Métis adults and their non-Indigenous household members.

Starting on Saturday, November 6 at 8:00 a.m., eligible individuals will be able to book their booster dose appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, select pharmacies, and primary care settings. Locations and timing for booster doses may vary by public health unit based on local planning and considerations.

My constituency office is open Monday to Friday from 10AM to 4PM. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to drop by. We encourage you to continue to contact us at (416) 781-2395 or email [email protected]. We remain ready to assist.

 
Stay safe, 
Robin Martin, MPP
Eglinton-Lawrence
 
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information from the Government of Ontario visit ontario.ca/coronavirus
 
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Authorized by the CFO for the Eglinton-Lawrence PC Association