The legislature has adjourned but the work continues

Published on July 27, 2020

The Ontario legislature has adjourned until September 14 after an unprecedented session that saw cross-partisan collaboration in the fight against COVID-19

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Dear Neighbour,

The Ontario legislature has adjourned until September 14 after an unprecedented session that saw cross-partisan collaboration in the fight against COVID-19. The people of this province expected us to work together and we reached across party lines to quickly introduce and pass critical legislation. Eighteen bills were passed with one-third of the bills having unanimous consent from all parties. 

I am excited to return to my duties in my constituency office where I will be available to meet with constituents virtually, as well as spending some time reconnecting with businesses and organizations across Eglinton-Lawrence. 
Hate crimes have been on the rise and it is saddening to see how individuals demonize and discriminate against others on the basis of race, religion and/or gender. Our government has zero tolerance towards hate crimes in Ontario. Over the last number of weeks communities across our province and country, and around the world, have come together to speak up against the injustice, intolerance, and discrimination they continue to experience.

This week, the Ontario Government announced an investment of $1.7 milion over the next two years to combat hate crime within our province. The funding will be available to not-for-profit organizations and First Nation Band Councils through the Safer and Vital Communities (SVC) Grant.

Effective solutions to tackle hate crimes and all forms of hate, racism and discrimination cannot come from government alone and the Safer and Vital Communities grant will allow community-based organizations to be full partners in the fight against hate in Ontario.

This week, the province passed Bill 195, An Act to Enact the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

Many health experts anticipate further outbreaks in the fall simply because more people will be inside in groups together. With the passing of this bill, the government will have the necessary flexibility to address the ongoing risks of COVID-19, while discontinuing many of the extraordinary powers afforded to the government under a State of Emergency. 

Throughout the pandemic, all of the emergency orders put in place to protect public health in Ontario have been made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). This act was designed to deal with short term emergency events and did not anticipate situations requiring additional resources and supports over an extended period of time, such as the one COVID-19 presents. 

Rather than continuing to use the broad emergency order powers under the EMCPA, Bill 195 maintains only those powers necessary to manage the continuing public health threat. Specifically, Bill 195 allows the government to amend or extend existing emergency orders only, but not to issue new ones.  It also provides for regular reporting to a committee of the legislature, at which the Premier or his designate will be questioned by MPPs from all parties. 
In addition, the government passed Bill 197 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020. 

It's indisputable that COVID-19 has impacted everyone and Ontario's economy.  It is vital to get Ontarians back to work. 

Bill 197 will stimulate Ontario's Economic Recovery by facilitating the creation of jobs and generating development, and by getting key infrastructure projects built faster. It will also strengthen communities by ensuring municipalities are equipped with the tools they need to continue to provide critical services, along with protecting consumers, modernizing services, improving the education system and removing social and economic barriers for young people.
My constituency office has reopened with limited staff on an appointment only basis. If we are able to address your inquiry through a phone call, email, or a Zoom meeting, we continue to ask that you do not attend the office in person to protect both your safety and ours. 

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 robin.martin@pc.ola.org. Stay safe! 
 
Until next week,
Robin Martin, MPP
Eglinton-Lawrence

(416) 781-2395 - robin.martin@pc.ola.org
 
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