Rest assured that I will be advocating for income supports for post-secondary students, parents whose children are at home, vulnerable workers, and small businesses.
The Ontario Government has:
• stated their intention to remove the requirement for doctors' notes for workers who are calling in sick
• begun working on emergency measures legislation and we expect that some of us will be called back to pass it
• started to prepare a Mini Budget so that schools, hospitals and other public sector agencies can begin to plan for the next fiscal year.
We need more than this, however. In the context of this crisis, we are advocating with the provincial government to provide financial supports:
• Protecting people from losing a pay cheque, or being expected to get by on inadequate Employment Insurance or Ontario Works payments alone, as a result of taking COVID-19 precautions or because of the illness
• Guaranteeing that no one can be punished in any way for missing a rent or mortgage payment
• Financial support for Ontarians not covered by Employment Insurance — especially those working in the gig economy
• Immediate financial support for small and medium-sized businesses so they can continue to pay employees without becoming insolvent
• Specific supports for vulnerable people, including seniors and those receiving OW and ODSP support, so they can access the groceries and medications they need to self-isolate if need be
The precautions people are taking because of COVID-19 are leading to greater needs among the vulnerable in our communities. Our office is reaching out to food banks, community centres, shelters and respite centres to find out what their needs are. We will then reach out to community members and ask people to help our most vulnerable neighbours.
As per the latest recommendations from Ontario Public Service, my staff will be working from home until April 3, 2020.
We will continue to serve the community:
Updates are available daily on the following websites:
Information from Toronto Public Health on local cases, how to protect yourself and where to seek further medical support.
Information from Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
Find out how to protect yourself, what to do if you’re sick and how to recognize possible symptoms. Updated twice daily in 30 languages.
Information from the Government of Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada
Updates on the national response, travel advice and preparedness.
Important travel advisories and restrictions related to COVID-19, from the Government of Canada.
For medical advice
Contact Telehealth Ontario for free, confidential service. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Information is available in multiple languages.
If you have recently travelled
If you have travelled from Hubei Province (China), Iran or Italy within the last 14 days or have had close contact with a person ill with COVID-19, please self-isolate and contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 within 24 hours of arriving in Toronto. Information about self-isolation is available here.
If you have travelled from anywhere else outside Canada, please monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough or difficulty breathing) for 14 days after you arrive back in Canada. If you develop symptoms, self-isolate and contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Canadians are also advised to avoid all cruise-ship travel.
Toronto Public Health Hotline
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
(closed on statutory holidays)
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Translation is available in many languages.
School closures, travel, and social distancing
In addition to classes, all childcare centres located inside TDSB schools will also be closed and all TDSB Extended Day Programs will be cancelled from March 14 through to April 5, 2020.
In addition to classes, all in-school TCDSB daycares to be closed during the school closure.
CS Viamonde (French Public)
Awaiting information on childcare, latest news here:
CSC Mon Avenir (French Catholique)
All classes and childcare spaces closed until April 5.
On March 12, the Minister of Education announced that all publicly-funded schools will be close for two weeks following March Break, meaning schools will remained closed until April 3.
The University of Toronto has cancelled all in-person undergraduate courses, as well as research-stream masters and doctoral courses, across its three campuses from Monday, March 16 to April 3.
York University announced that it will suspend all face-to-face instruction and moving courses to online formats beginning Monday, March 16.
George Brown and Centennial College have also announced that they are suspending in-person classes and be delivering education online.
As of March 13, Ontario’s chief medical officer Dr. David Williams says to “avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada” and the “immediate suspension” of all gatherings over 250 people.
Some public health officials have recommended that transit users attempt to take public transit during off-peak times, if possible.
As of March 13, the Legislature is set to resume operations on Monday, March 23. However, yesterday all parties approved an emergency measure to potentially suspend operations, if the crisis worsens.
The Leader of the Opposition Andrea Horwath met with Premier Ford and other party leaders on March 11 for an update on the province’s response, and has called for the provincial government to release details of their plans with Ontarians.
The Ontario NDP has also been advocating for stronger protections for workers, by calling for the government to reinstate paid sick leave and to halt the requirement of sick notes.