July 9th, 2020 | Weekly Update

Published on July 09, 2020

Today, the Ministry of Education announced the end of streamlining students in Grade 9 into applied and academic courses. This is amongst the many other bold new changes to the education system will help break down barriers for Black, Indigenous and racialized students and provide all students with an equal opportunity to succeed.

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Dear Neighbour,

It has been a busy week at Queen's Park and here in Eglinton-Lawrence.

Yesterday Bill 175 - the Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act - passed third reading to become law. As Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health, I have been involved in moving this legislation forward as part of our government's plan to build a a new model of integrated public health care delivery for all Ontarians.  

While nothing will immediately change for patients receiving home and community care services, over time delivery of those services will move from the siloed and bureaucratic Local Health Integration Networks to trusted health care providers that already exist in our health care system. This will facilitate better transitions between primary care, acute care, and home care, and better patient outcomes. 

I'm also extremely proud to note that this change will eliminate service maximums for home care patients, which have existed since the current Home and Community Care Services Act came into effect in 1994. There is still lots of work to be done to make this vision a reality, but we have taken some important steps forward this week. 

In addition, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing issued a Ministerial Zoning Order yesterday for the City of Toronto, enabling the rapid expansion of outdoor patios in support of the city's CafeTO program. This order was requested by city council and will go a long way in supporting our local economic recovery. 
Today, the Ministry of Education announced the end of streamlining students in Grade 9 into applied and academic courses. This is amongst the many other bold new changes to the education system will help break down barriers for Black, Indigenous and racialized students and provide all students with an equal opportunity to succeed.
 
These changes include: eliminating discretionary suspensions for students, strengthening sanctions for teachers who engage in behaviour of a racist nature, and providing teachers with additional anti-racism and anti-discrimination training.
In recent weeks, I've received many calls regarding the validity of  red and white health cards. As you may be aware, the Ontario Government had planned to phase out these health cards by July 1, 2020, with every one needing to make the switch to a photo health card. 

However, in order to avoid unnecessary visits to ServiceOntario centres at this time, the Ontario Government has extended the validity of the red and white health cards, as well as many other products scheduled to expire on or after March 1, 2020 including photo health cards, drivers licences, and vehicle validation stickers until further notice. ServiceOntario will notify you directly once services return to normal. For more information, click here.
This week, the Ontario Government introduced two important pieces of legislation to facilitate the province's economic recovery into Stage 3 and beyond. 

The Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, if passed, would give the province the necessary flexibility to address the ongoing risks and effects of COVID-19. This proposed legislation would ensure select measures can remain in place to address the threat of the virus once the provincial declaration of emergency has ended.

This would include the ability to extend and amend certain existing orders, such as those related to workplace rules or practices, restrictions on gatherings and events, and compliance with public health advice. However, the government would no longer have the ability to create new orders. The ability to extend or amend orders under the legislation would automatically cease after one year unless extended by the legislature. 

The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, lays the foundation to restart jobs and development, strengthen communities, and create opportunity for people in every region of the province. If passed, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act will:
  • Restart jobs and development to get Ontario's economic engine roaring again by getting key infrastructure projects built faster, attracting more jobs and investment, and cutting red tape to help businesses adapt to the new environment.
  • Strengthen communities by ensuring municipalities are equipped with the tools they need to continue to provide the critical services people rely on every day, including allowing municipalities and their local boards to continue to choose to hold meetings electronically at any time and putting in place a new community benefits charge to help municipalities pay for the infrastructure and services needed for growing communities.
  • Create opportunity for people as they recover their lives and livelihoods by protecting consumers, modernizing services, improving the education system and removing the social and economic barriers that stand in the way of success for young people.
My constituency office has reopened with limited staff on an appointment only basis for services that cannot be delivered virtually. If we are able to address your inquiry through a phone call, email, or 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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