Government of Ontario

Chris Glover

MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Stay in the loop

COVID-19 Latest Update

Published on January 22, 2021

Dear Neighbours,

We have just learned that the province has paused the demolition of the Foundry Buildings. This is a victory for Friends of the Foundry, a community group that has been working with MPP Suze Morrison, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, Councillor Joe Cressy, and my office.  The Foundry is a series of heritage designated factory buildings on Eastern Avenue. Last week, under instructions from the Ford government, demolition equipment rolled onto the provincially owned property and began demolition. Some sections of a wall have been demolished, but hopefully we can stop the demolition and those walls can be repaired. 

Just down the street from the Foundry, the Ontario government has begun a process to expropriate the First Parliament Site. The site near the east end of the riding was the site of Upper Canada’s (Ontario’s) first parliament built in 1797 and is currently owned by the City of Toronto, which has been making plans for the site since acquiring it in 2012. Expropriations are expedited by Bill 197. Passed last November, the bill takes away Ontario property owners’ right to a hearing of necessity. 

  

Our COVID-19 numbers show that the efforts you are making to stop the spread are working and we are avoiding the worst projections. But with new strains entering the picture, it is important to continue to follow the public health safety protocols. There is some confusion around what the stay-at-home order means. You are permitted to go out for essentials including work, groceries, dog walking and exercise. Details are below. 

  

Professional dog walkers have reached out to our office stating that they are being stopped by by-law officers because of the lack of clarity in the stay-at-home order. If you are a professional dog walker, you are permitted to work. My office can provide a letter that you can show to by-law officers. Please email cglover-co@ndp.on.ca

The Ontario NDP and I continue to advocate for clearer messaging within the stay-at-home order, more comprehensive financial support for tenants and small businesses, and more asymptomatic testing in workplaces and beyond. 

Ontario’s small businesses are suffering during this pandemic. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimates that more than 20% will not survive the pandemic. Our local businesses are much harder hit. With storefront rents from $10,000 to $40,000 per month, the government supports have not been enough to help them survive. A $20,000 grant with half forgivable was announced in early December, and it may finally be arriving. This will help, but our local businesses need more. Please #shoplocal and #supportsmallbusiness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive job losses and has greatly affected people’s income in Ontario. Graduates are feeling the enormous pressure of having a large loan, growing with interest each day and having no money to pay it. One of President Biden’s first executive orders was to extend a pause on student debt payments and interest. As the Opposition Critic for Colleges and Universities, this morning, I held a press conference asking for a similar pause for Ontario students to help them get through the pandemic. 

Thank you for all you are doing to keep us all safe!


Latest Developments

Stay-at-Home Order and Evictions Pause

The stay-at-home and residential evictions emergency orders include changes to the sector-specific restrictions for businesses and workplaces, including construction, which you can find here

There has been a great deal of confusion about what exactly the orders mean, and they have been criticized for having exemptions, contradictions, and vague instructions that leave it open for people to use their “best judgement”.

Please note: Toronto Police state that, under the new measures, they do not have authority to stop a car to check on compliance measures and individuals don’t have to tell officers why they are outside. Additionally, workers are not required to have proof from their employer that they are travelling to or from their workplace.

The government has introduced an emergency order under the authority of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act which places restrictions on the enforcement of residential evictions. The order outlines the following in Subsection 1:

  • No person shall attend at a residential premises for the purpose of enforcing any of the following:
    • 1. An order evicting a tenant under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.
    • 2. A writ of possession issued by the Superior Court of Justice removing a person from their place of residence.

Subsection 2 of the order outlines that the eviction enforcement moratorium does not apply if the Landlord and Tenant Board (for an eviction) or the Superior Court (for a writ of possession) requests that the sheriff expedite the enforcement of the order.

Note on the eviction moratorium: The government’s statement says that Subsection 2 is to accommodate “urgent situations”, however the requirement for urgency, or what constitutes an urgent situation, is not outlined in the order. This leaves giant loopholes that allow for the LTB to evict tenants at their own discretion. I have called for the eviction ban that fully protects tenants during this public health emergency -- one that includes eviction hearings, notices and orders. I will also continue to push for rent relief for tenants. 

If you are a tenant and your landlord has locked you out, or is threatening to lock you out, you can contact Ontario’s Rental Housing Enforcement Unit for help.

Vaccination Plan Update

The province released its plan to move to Phase Two of its vaccination plan. Phase One is expected to see approximately 1.5 million eligible people vaccinated. Vaccination of residents, staff and essential caregivers of long-term care homes has begun with the goal of having the first dose administered in all homes no later than February 15, 2021. The vaccination of all staff and residents in long-term care homes in four areas with the highest rates of transmission, Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor Essex, is expected to be completed by January 21, 2021.

Groups eligible to receive vaccines as part of Phase Two of the Ontario immunization program will include:

  • Older adults, beginning with those 80 years of age and older and decreasing in five-year increments over the course of the vaccine rollout;
  • Individuals living and working in high-risk congregate settings;
  • Frontline essential workers (e.g., first responders, teachers, food processing industry); and
  • Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers.

Phase Two is expected to be completed by the end of July 2021 and Phase Three for the general population is expected to begin August 2021, pending availability of vaccines.

Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on the Premier to take immediate action to save seniors, whose lives are on the line according to a new Science Table report showing Ford’s vaccine rollout choices are putting lives at risk.

New Vaughan Hospital to Support Pandemic

Mackenzie Health’s new Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital will temporarily be supporting the province's COVID-19 response when the new hospital is scheduled to open on February 7, 2021. The hospital will provide a total of 185 beds, including over 35 critical care beds and 150 general medicine beds, which will support patients from other hospitals and alleviate hospital capacity pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small Business Support Grant Open

Applications are open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The grant provides small businesses with funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown. Click here to apply.

MZO Bill 197 Feedback Requested

The Ontario government is inviting comments concerning changes to certain legislative provisions in the Planning Act now in force with the enactment of Bill 197, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020 that enable the Minister to address site plan matters and apply inclusionary zoning as part of a zoning order. There has been much discussion and outcry over the increased use of Minister’s Zoning Orders to override local planning bodies and conservation authorities in order to push projects through. MZOs had previously only been used rarely – and only in cases where the public good was a major consideration.

The recently enacted legislative changes to the Planning Act enhance the Minister’s authority for zoning orders across the province. This enhanced authority does not apply to lands within the Greenbelt Area. The enhanced authority allows the Minister to:

  • require affordable housing (inclusionary zoning),
  • remove municipal use of site plan control and require agreements between the municipality and development proponent (or landowner) concerning site plan matters, and;
  • make amendments to Minister’s Zoning Orders that use any of these enhanced authorities without first giving public notice.

Read the full explanation of the enhanced authority as part of Minister’s Zoning Orders. (Environment Registry of Ontario). Comments can be submitted here until January 30, 2021.

Metrolinx Cuts Transit Service

Starting January 23, Metrolinx is temporarily replacing select GO train service with buses and reducing service on UP Express. NDP MPP Jessica Bell (University—Rosedale), the Official Opposition NDP Transit critic, issued the following statement in response to this cut to transit service:

“Our essential workers who can’t work from home, including health care workers, PSWS and first responders, rely on public transit. They are going to work to help our province get through this crisis, and we need to do everything possible to keep them safe and prevent the virus spreading in our communities. With fewer trains and cars, we could see more overcrowding and more passengers huddled together inside stations waiting for services during the winter months, and that will only increase the risk of the virus spreading.”

Francophone Non-Profit Relief Fund

Starting January 25, francophone non-profit organizations can begin applying for financial assistance from the $1 million COVID-19 Relief Fund. The fund, which is being administered by the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario, will provide operational funding to eligible organizations to support them during the pandemic. Interested organizations should consult the AFO website at https://monassemblee.ca/fonds-secours-ontario/ to learn more.

Tuition Free for Foster Children

Are you a current or former foster kid? Did you always want to go to college or university but money got in the way? Child Welfare PAC Canada is working with any post-secondary partners in Canada who wish to increase social mobility for current and former foster kids. Visit the website for more information.


Facts and Figures

ONTARIO CASES

As of 4:00 pm January 20: 

 

Thursday January 21

Cases

247,564

NEW

2,632* – 1.1% increase

Deaths

5,614 (+46)

Recovered

215,887 (87.2%)

Tests completed in the previous 24 hours

70,256

Backlog – waiting to be processed

52,871

Total tests completed

9,124,841

% Positivity

4.3% (-0.6%)

*the technical issue at Toronto Public Health is now resolved, with 102 cases added to today’s total.

 

Hospital:

  •   Hospitalized: 1,533 (-65)
  •   ICU: 388 (-7)
  •   Ventilated: 293 (-3)

 

Vaccines:

As of 8:00 pm January 20:

  •   Daily doses: 15,899
  •   Total doses administered: 253,817
  •   Total vaccinations completed (both doses): 40,225

 

CMOH new info:

  •   50.6% of cases are female.
  •   Total Cases: 60+: 21.5%, 40-59: 28.8%, 20-39: 36.6%, under 20: 13.1%
  •   Of today’s 2,632 cases: 60+: 532, 40-59: 782, 20-39: 1,004, under 20: 314
  •   16,508 (+152) healthcare workers total have tested positive (6.7% of total cases)

 

Schools Summary:

Due to the current remote learning period, Public Health Ontario is publishing data for elementary and secondary schools in the following regions: District of Algoma Health Unit; North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit; Northwestern Health Unit; Porcupine Health Unit; Sudbury and District Health Unit; Thunder Bay District Health Unit; and Timiskaming Health Unit.

 

Number of new cases reported today

Number of cases reported in the last 14 days

Number of cases reported more than 14 days ago

Cumulative total (total number of cases reported)

Total Cases

2

12

7,312

7,324

Students

1

4

5,130

5,134

Staff

1

5

1,093

1,098

Not identified

0

3

1,089

1,092

Schools with a reported case: 7 (=) – 0.14% of schools in Ontario

Schools closed: 2 (=)

 

Congregate Settings Summary:

 

Resident Cases

Resident Deaths

Staff Cases

Staff Deaths

Active Outbreaks

Cumulative Outbreaks

Long Term Care Homes

13,647 (+98)

3,307 (+33)

5,430 (+55)

10 (=)

254 (-3)

1,099 (+6)

 

  •  Retirement Homes: 165 (-6) active outbreaks, and 629 (+6) outbreaks in total. 
  •  Hospitals: 91 (-1) active outbreaks, and 328 (+4) outbreaks in total. 
  •  Of today’s 2,632 cases: 897* are in Toronto; 412 in Peel; 245 in York Region; 162 in Ottawa; 118 in Waterloo Region; 92 in Windsor-Essex; 92 in Durham Region; 90 in Niagara Region; 70 in Simcoe-Muskoka; 76 in Middlesex-London; 69 in Hamilton; 52 in Halton Region; 49 in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph; 45 in Lambton; 32 in Eastern Region; 31 in Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge; 19 in Southwestern Region; 18 in Huron Perth; and 13 in Brant County.

*the technical issue at Toronto Public Health is now resolved, with 102 cases added to today’s total.


Construction & Road Closures

Investigative drilling work on Queen Street West at Peter Street begins January 5

To advance design concepts and other structural plans for the Ontario Line, Metrolinx will be using small drill rigs to gather information and evaluate underground conditions. Work is scheduled to start January 5, 2021 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. Weekly site visits will be conducted for at least three months once investigative drilling work activities are completed.

  • During construction hours, some lane reductions may be required, and some traffic delays are expected.
  • A paid duty police officer will be on-site for traffic control during field activities.
  • Work equipment may be left on-site until work is completed.
  • Residents and businesses near the work site can expect to hear noise caused by a drill rig, trucks and other construction equipment related to this work.

For more information, sign up for the newsletter at metrolinx.com/OntarioLine, email OntarioLine@metrolinx.com or call 416-202-5100.

 

Investigative drilling work adjacent to the rail corridor near Corktown Common begins January 11

To advance design concepts and other structural plans for the Ontario Line, Metrolinx will be using small drill rigs to gather information and evaluate underground conditions. Work is scheduled to start January 11, 2021 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and last for up to four weeks. Weekly site visits will be conducted for at least three months once investigative drilling work activities are completed.

  • Residents and businesses near the work site can expect to hear noise caused by a drill rig, trucks and other construction equipment related to this work. Periodic hammering noise can also be expected that lasts about two minutes and occurs every half an hour during work hours.
  • Work equipment may be left on-site until work is completed.
  • Pedestrian access will remain unimpeded.

For more information, sign up for the newsletter at metrolinx.com/OntarioLine, email OntarioLine@metrolinx.com or call 416-202-5100.

 

Ongoing construction along Union Station rail corridor

This work will take place from January 2021 to February 2021, overnight from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

  • Trough and Conduit construction will take place.
  • Retaining Wall construction from Spadina Avenue to York Street.
  • Bungalow Foundation construction from Spadina Avenue to York Street.
  • Cable containment from Bathurst Street to York Street.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email torontowest@metrolinx.com or call  416-202-6911.


Reaching Out

Birthday & Anniversary Greetings:

  • My office sends out congratulatory scrolls to people across the riding to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones! If you have a birthday coming up in the family and you would like to request a scroll, please email us at CGlover-CO@ndp.on.ca.

Calling Local Artists:

  • If you are a local artist, we would love to share your work with the community by publishing it in my newsletter and on this website. If you’re interested in sharing your art, please email us at CGlover-CO@ndp.on.ca. Art submitted must be accompanied by a short description (50 words or less). Thank you for sharing your work with us and our community. 

Mental Health Supports

Need immediate help?

  • If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health or substance use emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of your local hospital.  
  • If you are not sure if it is an emergency, or just need to talk through the situation, consider reaching out to:

General Mental Health and Well-Being Resources

Covid-19 Specific Resources:

Resources for Students

Resources for Caregivers