September 17th Weekly Update

Published on September 17, 2020


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Dear Neighbour, 

Today, the Ontario Government announced new limits on social gatherings - 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50); or 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100) in the City of Toronto, the Region of Peel and in Ottawa. These new limits apply to the number of people attending unmonitored social gatherings and organized public events in the three regions experiencing higher rates of transmission of COVID-19. This includes functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas. This amended order will come into effect on September 18 at 12:01am.
This weekend also marks Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year and one of the High Holidays. To all who will be celebrating, I wish you a happy and sweet new year - Shanah Tovah Umetukah!

I know many of my constituents have contacted my office in regards to the impacts of today's announcement on religious worship, and particularly on the high holidays. At this point in time, restrictions on places of worship remain unchanged. The place of worship is responsible for ensuring all existing health and safety guidelines are followed, including physical distancing as required by Ontario Regulation 364/20. However, social events associated with a religious rite or ceremony may be subject to the new gathering limits.

After a busy summer in my constituency office, I've returned to Queen's Park as the legislature has returned its sittings. The government's fall legislative agenda will build on the work undertaken over the summer, focusing on job creation, skills training, attracting investment, strengthening communities, and fortifying the front lines of the province's health care system. 

Priorities for the upcoming session include:

→ Investing in Ontario's health care system to ensure the province is prepared for a potential second wave of COVID-19 and for any future public health challenges;
→ Building Ontario's production capacity for personal protective equipment, ventilators and other medical gear so the province never has to rely on any other jurisdiction again for these critical supplies;
→ Protecting families and those most vulnerable and helping them get back on their feet as the province reopens;
→ Helping young people and workers receive the skills training they need to join the modern workforce and contribute to the recovery of the province;
→ Accelerating the construction of critical highway, transit and broadband infrastructure projects to create jobs and boost the local economies of communities across Ontario;
→ Providing relief to Mainstreet Ontario and small business owners so they can recover from the impact of COVID-19 faster and get back to the work of building their business; and
→ Expanding manufacturing by creating the conditions to bring investment and jobs to the province and world-class, Ontario-made products to consumers around the world.
Today, the Ontario government introduced the Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act that would, if passed, freeze rent in 2021 for most rent-controlled and non-rent-controlled residential units. The bill would provide the vast majority of Ontario's tenants with financial relief as the province continues down the path of renewal, growth and economic recovery.

The Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act also proposes to change the Commercial Tenancies Act to extend the temporary ban on evictions for commercial tenants. The ban was initially in place from May 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020, to align with the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This temporary ban would continue to apply to businesses that are eligible for federal-provincial rent assistance through the CECRA for small businesses, but their landlord chose not to apply for the program. The ban will protect small businesses from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19.
This week, the Ontario government announced an investment of $175 million to address critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance in 129 hospitals across the province, including $50 million for COVID-19 related and other urgent projects. As part of that announcement, on Tuesday, I joined MPPs Stan Cho and Vincent Ke to announce a $2.5 million investment to help with critical upgrades to North York General Hospital. 
My second children's drawing contest continues and I have already received some drawings! All drawings will be displayed once again in my constituency office, with some displayed in my 2021 Calendar!

You can submit original drawings by mail at 2882 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario, M6B 3S6. Please ensure that the contact information including the address and the artist's first name is sent in the mail.

The deadline to submit drawings is November 15th, 2020. 
This week is Smile Cookie Week across Tim Hortons chains in Canada. Your full purchase of a Smile Cookie will be donated to local charities. Take the time, buy a cookie and by way of it support local charities! I know I have and will continue to do so #SmileCookie. 

My constituency office continues to be open by appointment only. If you are in need of any assistance, you can make an appointment by calling my constituency office at (416) 781-2395 or email me at [email protected].
Stay safe, stay healthy, 
Robin Martin, MPP

(416) 781-2395 - [email protected]
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