September 24th Weekly Update

Published on September 24, 2021

 

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Dear Neighbour, 
 
With public health and health care indicators stable and proof of vaccination now in effect, the government, based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously easing capacity limits for select indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required.

Effective September 25, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits will be increased in many of the indoor settings where proof of vaccination is required. Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres; sporting events; concerts, theatres and cinemas; racing venues (e.g., horse racing); and commercial and film television productions with studio audiences will be increased to up to 50 per cent capacity or 10,000 people (whichever is less) for indoor events.

For certain outdoor event venues where patrons stand, capacity limits will increase to up to 75 per cent capacity or 15,000 people (whichever is less). For certain outdoor event venues where patrons are seated, capacity limits will be increased to up to 75 per cent capacity or 30,000 people (whichever is less). This is in recognition of the fact that the risk of transmission is lower because of reduced mobility around the venue. In addition, proof of vaccination will now be required in outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more to help keep these venues safe for patrons.

The success of Ontario’s vaccine rollout, which has resulted in one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, continues to protect Ontarians against COVID-19, including the Delta variant, which remains dominant in the province.

The Ontario government is investing $182.6 million this year to support critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance in 133 hospitals and 63 community health service providers across the province, including $50 million for COVID-19 related and other urgent projects at hospitals. This funding, provided through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund and the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund, will ensure that Ontarians can continue to access the care they need in safe, comfortable environments and that the province’s health care system is prepared to respond to any scenario as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.

Of this funding, $2.20 million will go to Baycrest Health Sciences right here in our riding! Also, Sunnybrook Health Sciences which is highly used by residents in our riding will also receive $8.075 million. 

The government continues to make record investments to support world-class hospitals across the province and ensure the health care system is prepared to respond to any scenario. In March 2021, the government committed up to $696.6 million in funding to help cover historic working funds deficits and strengthen the financial stability of hospitals across the province.

Today, Ontario released the 2020-21 Public Accounts, which confirm that the government made record investments in healthcare and other vital frontline services to protect the health, safety and well-being of Ontarians in the fight against COVID-19. 

The Public Accounts show that government program spending rose by $16.7 billion compared to 2019-20, the largest year-over-year dollar increase on record, in order to ensure we had all the resources ready to fight the pandemic. Critical investments include increases of $5.8 billion in the health sector and $1.1 billion in the education sector over the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Building on the investments made in the 2019-20 fiscal year, the 2020-21 Public Accounts outlines $19.1 billion of additional investments Ontario made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These investments created real and measurable results for the people of Ontario, including:

  • Over $3 billion in urgent and unprecedented support to over 110,000 small businesses
  • Over $3 billion in provincial contributions to support 444 municipalities and 110 transit systems across the province help relieve financial pressures created by the pandemic and ensure that people who need to get around, including our frontline workers, have safe and reliable transit service
  • Over $1.6 billion in temporary resources available for the 2020-21 school year to support the safe reopening and operation of over 4,800 schools
  • $1.5 billion to support Ontario’s 627 long‐term care homes during the COVID‐19 pandemic, including funding for infection prevention and containment measures, staffing supports and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • $879 million to support the province’s COVID-19 testing and contact tracing strategy
  • $703 million to add over 3,100 hospital beds to create capacity and be ready to respond to any scenario
The Public Accounts reports a 2020-21 deficit of $16.4 billion — $22.1 billion lower than the 2020 Budget projection. This result reflects stronger revenue growth led by higher than anticipated corporate and personal income tax revenues due in part to the overwhelming COVID-19 supports provided by all levels of government.
 
Ontario is now providing coverage for Trikafta, the latest and most effective treatment option for cystic fibrosis to become available, under its publicly-funded drug program to give patients more access to lifechanging treatments for cystic fibrosis. I have heard from a number of my constituents about how important it is for them to have this life-changing treatment. I am glad that our government took action and made this effective and important treatment available to Ontarians who need it the most. 
To protect our health-care system as the province confronts the Delta-driven fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, this week, Ontario began requiring patrons to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access certain businesses and settings. The Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act provides information for businesses and organizations implementing this requirement.

Need to print your vaccine certificate but don’t have a computer or access to a printer? Here’s what you can do: Call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to request a copy be sent by mail and or visit your local library or ask a trusted friend to help you print a copy. Toronto Public Library is offering free printing for all those who need to print their vaccine certificates! We are also always happy to help at our office. 

If you have yet to get vaccinated, it's not too late! You can walk-in at a number of pharmacies across Toronto. Find a list here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations

Additionally, part of the City of Toronto #ShopAndVax Campaign, the following vaccine clinics will pop-up this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. and offer first and second COVID-19 vaccines doses including here in our riding at Yorkdale Mall! 

See below the clinics: 

  • CF Fairview Mall – 1800 Sheppard Ave E.
  • CF Sherway Gardens – 25 The West Mall
  • CF Shops at Don Mills – 1090 Don Mills Rd.
  • CF Toronto Eaton Centre – 220 Yonge St.
  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre – 3401 Dufferin St.

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