May 28th 2020 | Weekly Update

Published on May 28, 2020

As the Province of Ontario continues to gradually reopen for business, so has the Ontario Legislature. Since mid-May, we have been meeting at Queen's Park twice a week, with a reduced number of members in the chamber to respect physical distancing.

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Dear Neighbour,

As the Province of Ontario continues to gradually reopen for business, so has the Ontario Legislature. Since mid-May, we have been meeting at Queen's Park twice a week, with a reduced number of members in the chamber to respect physical distancing. These limited sittings are planned to continue through June and July, giving us an opportunity to continue moving forward with important legislative measures, both COVID and non-COVID related. 

During one of these sittings this past Tuesday, my first private member's bill, the Defibrillator Registration and Public Access Act, passed third reading, receiving unanimous support across party lines, and will now become law. Once proclaimed, the bill will establish a defibrillator registry  that can be integrated with 911 operators in Ontario, ensuring people will be able to quickly and easily locate the nearest one during a sudden cardiac arrest. You can read more details on my website.

Third Reading of Bill 141 - May 26th, 2020

In recent weeks, a number of constituents have reached out with questions about the licensing process for retail cannabis stores. This is an independent process managed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. The AGCO’s focus is on ensuring the safe, responsible and lawful sale of cannabis, consistent with the legislation enacted by the provincial government. 

Each application is subject to a mandatory 15-day public notice period, with all applications posted on the AGCO website and at the proposed retail location. Submissions about an application can be made by a resident of the municipality in which the proposed store is located, or by the municipality itself. 

All submissions must be made through the AGCO website and be based on the three listed public interest considerations: protecting public health and safety, protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis, and preventing illicit activities in relation to cannabis.

To ensure the independence and impartiality of the licensing process, I can not directly intervene on any particular application currently before the AGCO. However, my office has and will continue to assist residents in making submissions to the AGCO during the public notice period. 

For more information on the licensing process, please visit the AGCO website at https://www.agco.ca/cannabis/general-information
Since my last email message, Ontario has significantly expanded testing for COVID-19 in the community. If you’re worried you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it, you should get tested – even if you don’t have any symptoms. Anyone can now get a test if they want one.

Some assessment centres may require you to book an appointment first or have certain restrictions (for example, some are unable to test young children). For more information and to find a local assessment centre, please visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations/. Nearby assessment centre locations include Sunnybrook Hospital, North York General Hospital - Branson Site, and Humber River Hospital - Finch Site. 

The health and safety of all Ontarians continues to be our top priority. And this is especially true in our long-term care sector. Over the past few days, you've likely heard about a recent report from the Canadian Armed Forces about the conditions in five homes across the province.

On April 22, the Ontario Government formally requested assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces to support five long-term care homes that were in critical need. Assistance was requested for these homes because they were among the hardest hit in Ontario and facing significant staffing challenges. 

Their report recognizes the devastating reality of the challenges within the homes, and has not been taken lightly by the government. Four of these homes are subject to Mandatory Management Orders from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, appointing local hospitals to temporarily manage the day-to-day operations of the homes for the next 90-days.

Ontario will also be launching a non-partisan Independent Commission into Ontario's long-term care system in July. The process will include public hearings and interviews from witnesses, similar to the 2003 Independent Commission into SARS. The report and its recommendations will be released to the public. 

Deadline: June 10th, 2020

My drawing contest is still on and I love seeing the drawings coming in! Continue to sending them via email robin.martinco@pc.ola.org or mail them into my Constituency Office. They will all be displayed on my Drawing Contest Submission Window. Every participant will receive a Letter of Appreciation from me. 

Although my constituency office remains closed to walk-ins, my staff and I are working remotely and remain available to answer your inquiries via phone or email. Please contact us if you are in need of assistance - we are here to support you and appreciate your patience as it may take us longer than normal to get back to you.

 
Sincerely,
Robin Martin, MPP
Eglinton-Lawrence

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

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use Ontario’s interactive self-assessment tool to help determine how to seek further care: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment 

If you’re worried you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it, you should get tested – even if you don’t have any symptoms. For more information, visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-assessment-centres

I've launched a dedicated website which provides a one-stop resource detailing programs to support individuals and businesses from the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be updated frequently as new information becomes available: http://covidsupports.robinmartinmpp.ca

 
       HIGHLIGHTS      
    PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT   
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information from the Government of Ontario visit ontario.ca/coronavirus
 
     HIGHLIGHTS     
    FEDERAL GOVERNMENT   
  • Applications for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program are now open. 
  • The Federal Government announced a hotline for small business owners with pressing financial needs. These individuals can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).
  • The Department of National Defence (DND) announced on May 26th the first of a series of calls for innovations aimed at addressing some of the key challenges Canada is facing. With an initial commitment of $15M, the first three challenges focus on:
    - Viable and effective processes and methods for safely and rapidly decontaminating enclosed work environments (e.g., buildings and modes of transportation) containing sensitive equipment;
    - Innovative material and designs to aid in decontamination of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), operational clothing and equipment for personnel responding to events involving biological hazards; and
    - Data gathering solutions to support the early detection and community-based monitoring of outbreaks of contagious diseases.
  • The Federal Government is currently developing measures for the next installment of the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP) Action Plan to support strong firms — like those that are the starting points for supply chains for medical equipment, clean technologies, manufacturing and defense — to build on Canada’s position as a global mining power.
 
     HIGHLIGHTS     
    MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT   
  • As of May 25th, select library drop boxes have been opened to accept the return of library items and on Monday June 1st, all remaining accessible branches will open to accept returns.
  • Toronto Public Health has partnered with the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario to hire more local registered nurses to support contact tracing and case management during COVID-19.
  • Toronto Public Health has released a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood breakdown of COVID-19 cases, which can be viewed on their website at: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/
 

DIGITAL ACTIVITY BOOK FOR KIDS 

 
Download my recently released Activity Book for kids. I know how hard it is to keep your kids busy at this time - so I hope this book will provide them a bit of fun, while keeping them busy! Click on the photo to direct you to the Activity Book! 
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