Weekly Update | July 30th, 2020

Published on July 30, 2020
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Dear Neighbour, 

Although we are now out of the State of Emergency, COVID-19 is still with us and as we endure this new norm it's important to follow the medical advice of health officials to stay safe and keep your loved ones and neighbours safe. This week the Ontario government announced a number of new initiatives - all while ensuring that Ontarians are kept safe in every way possible. 

Today, the Ontario Government released details of its plan to reopen schools safely in September. This plan follows the advice of the best public health experts available to the government, including Doctors at SickKids, the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID-19 Command Table to ensure the health and safety of the children and staff is never compromised.

Elementary schools (Kindergarten to Grade 8) will reopen province-wide, with in-class instruction five days a week. Secondary schools with lower risk will reopen with a normal daily schedule, five days a week, while most secondary schools will start the school year in an adapted model of part-time attendance with class cohorts of up to 15 students, alternating days between attending in-person and online. Students from Grade 4-12 and school staff will be required to wear masks whereas masks will be optional for younger learners.

Parents will continue to have the option to enroll their children in remote delivery, which respects their fundamental role in making the final determination of whether they feel safe sending their children back to school during the pandemic.

To support the implementation of these protocols, the government is providing over $300 million for things like additional personal protective equipments (PPE), additional staff where required to maintain the required social distance, additional custodial staff and cleaning supplies and public health nurses. To see further details of how this money is being allocated click here.
Tomorrow, Friday July 31st, 2020 at 12:01am, the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel will be moving into Stage 3 of the Framework to Reopen our Province. This is the result of the steady decline in COVID-19 positive cases across the province. Recently, we have seen daily provincial new case counts under 100, something we haven't seen since March 22nd.

In moving into Stage 3, the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel will join other 31 other local public health units that have had gathering limits raised up to a maximum of 50 people for indoor gatherings and up to a maximum of 100 people for outdoor gatherings.

All gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements. In addition, many other businesses and institutions are also able to open. Indoor dining is also permitted subject to health and safety guidelines. To see a full list of what can reopen in Stage 3 click here.

This week, the Province of Ontario announced a historic deal, with the support of the federal government, to assist all 444 municipalities. This funding will help local governments maintain the critical services people rely on every day, including public transit.

This historic agreement includes $777 million from the federal government and $1.22 billion from the province in support for municipalities. Through Ontario's leadership, separate public transit funding was also secured as part of the agreement, with an additional $2 billion in support to be funded equally between Ontario and the federal government - adding up to a combined $4 billion in support for Ontario's municipalities. 

This agreement is a great result for municipalities, for Ontario, and a great deal for Canada. Through this historic agreement, municipalities will have the support and flexibility they need to address budget shortfalls related to COVID-19, stop the spread of the virus, and chart a path to a strong recovery for their communities.  
 
This week, the Ontario Government and Metrolinx announced we are moving forward with the next steps in building the new Caledonia GO station, a new transit infrastructure project that will take place within our riding. This project will help stimulate job growth and economic recovery in our province while connecting residents with transit across the city and Ontario. 

The province has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to design and build the new Caledonia GO Station, which will directly connect the GO rail line which runs north to Barrie and south to Union Station with the future Eglinton-Crosstown Light Rail Transit (Crosstown) at Eglinton Avenue West and Caledonia Road, further improving public transit options for our community.

The contract will be awarded in Spring of 2021 with the GO station to be built by Spring 2023.

My constituency office is open with limited staff on an appointment only basis. 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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