Chris Glover MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update July 8

Published on July 8, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

On Thursday, I am hosting “From Support to Action” with Black and Indigenous leaders to find out how we as a community can pool our resources to fight for an end to racism and move toward real reconciliation. See the Anti-Racism Town Hall below.

While there will be many ups and downs, one sign that our physical distancing actions are saving lives is that Ontario saw zero reported deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, for the first time since March. Please wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain physical distancing. These simple actions are saving lives.

On Tuesday, I attended a meeting about homelessness hosted by Homes First, which runs shelters in our area, and provides outreach to the encampments. In the conversation, Homes First staff, City workers, the police and community members described the work they are doing to support those who are homeless and to reduce the impact on surrounding communities. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for the frontline work they are doing. In the midst of the current heat wave, and with many city fountains and washrooms closed, just providing water to people in encampments is saving lives.

We should not be dealing with a homelessness crisis in the middle of a pandemic. I support the work of Homelessness Critic, MPP Berns-McGown who is asking for the provincial government to reverse the $160 million cut to housing, to reinstate the goal of ending homelessness in Ontario and to declare a state of emergency on homelessness to free up funds to provide housing. Sign our petition here.

In December 2019, the Ontario Legislature unanimously voted for Official Opposition MPP Percy Hatfield’s motion to create an Ontario Poet Laureate position in honour of Gord Downie, the late lead singer of The Tragically Hip. If you have a nominee in mind, please click here.

Stay safe,


Anti-Racism Town Hall

Join me on Thursday, July 9 for this important discussion.

Click on this link to join the meeting: megaphone.site/live/mpp-glover-anti-racism-town-hall


Latest Developments

Emergency Orders:

  • The Ontario government introduced proposed legislation The Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 to enable the extension of some pandemic emergency orders over the next year. Premier Ford said the legislation would allow the government to extend or amend some emergency orders a month at a time, with the law itself expiring a year after it’s passed. He denied the Official Opposition accusations of government overreach during the COVID-19 crisis.

Masks:

  • Starting yesterday in Toronto, anyone above the age of two without a medical condition that prevents them from doing so must wear some sort of facial covering in an indoor public setting. This includes stores, public buildings, food outlets, community centres and houses of worship. Masks or face coverings are now mandatory when travelling on the TTC.
  • About 40 protesters boarded a TTC subway car without masks on, saying cities should not be making their use mandatory.
  • The Premier has refused to make masks mandatory on GO, even though Toronto has made masks mandatory on the TTC and in enclosed public places.

Reopening Ontario:

  • The Ontario government has announced a made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery. This plan includes measures that would make it easier and faster to build provincial highways, major transit infrastructure projects and quality, affordable housing, while ensuring there are meaningful opportunities for community consultation and input. As part of the government's plan, the province is proposing to accelerate key provincial highway construction and priority transit projects by establishing an exemption from the Hearing of Necessity process. As part of this plan, the government would also enter into new commercial agreements with partners to build transit-oriented communities.
  • The Ontario government is investing $3 million to provide free online health and safety training for the first time. These virtual courses will make it easier for job seekers and workers to get essential qualifications, while practising physical distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19. In addition, worker and employer members of Joint Health and Safety Committees can now use video conferencing to take training in real-time with qualified instructors from training providers approved by Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer.
  • Official Opposition Education critic Marit Stiles and Child Care critic Doly Begum say the Ontario government’s instructions for schools’ reopening post-COVID are vague, leaving parents and educators anxious and unsure of what to expect. The Official Opposition wants the government to implement an action plan that includes guaranteed access to job-protected leave for parents until school and child care fully resume.
  • Physical distancing was impossible to maintain in often-overbooked courtrooms across Ontario on Monday, lawyers said as some provincial court proceedings resumed after shuttering for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Toronto defence lawyer Daniel Brown, who serves as vice-president of the Criminal Lawyers' Association, said the partial reopening was mired in confusion and chaos. The Ministry of the Attorney General has advised that it is not satisfied that all of the necessary health and safety measures are in place at courts in College Park (Toronto) and Guelph to allow in-person proceedings to resume as of July 6, 2020.
  • A new Canada-wide challenge is calling on the design community to generate ideas for responsible, sustainable and resilient design solutions for hard-hit main streets that can be implemented during COVID-19 recovery and post-pandemic. Submissions will be shared online in a free, open-access Main Street Design Playbook to be released on October 5. Find more information here.

Bill 184 Protest:

  • Hundreds of people gathered at Queen’s Park yesterday to protest Bill 184. Protesters later made their way to the condo of Mayor John Tory. Bill 184 will enable landlords to evict tenants who have not been able to pay rent during the pandemic and creates a way for landlords to evict without a Landlord and Tenant Board hearing. The Official Opposition believes this will make it harder for tenants to keep a roof over their head – especially when so many have fallen behind on rent during the pandemic.

Bill 171 Passes:

  • The Building Transit Faster Act, 2020, was passed yesterday in the Ontario legislature. The legislation, once in force, enables the province to expedite the process of building Ontario's four priority transit projects: the all-new Ontario Line, the Yonge North Subway Extension to Markham and Richmond Hill, the improved three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension to Pearson airport.

Elevator Safety:

  • The Ontario government is launching consultations in an effort to improve elevator safety, performance, and availability in multi-storey buildings. The province is seeking input on proposed regulatory changes under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000. These new rules would help to ensure that elevators are well-maintained and meet updated safety requirements. The government is working with the TSSA to enhance elevator safety and availability, and help consumers, including those with accessibility needs to make more informed choices as homebuyers and renters. Ontarians can share their input online until August 4, 2020.

Construction Noise:

  • Last week, Councillors Joe Cressy and Kristyn Wong-Tam requested that the Province rescind the provincial regulation overriding Toronto’s Construction Noise By-Law. The Garment District Neighbourhood Association (GDNA), along with 13 other downtown resident associations, asked that this regulation be rescinded. The expansion of hours has had a profound effect on residents. Already anxious about COVID-19, stressed about employment/income insecurities, and spending endless hours sheltering in place, this ongoing noise adds an additional stressor without any perceptible benefit. Click on this link to sign our petition.

CEAP Energy Bill Assistance:

  • The Government of Ontario is making $9 million available to support residential customers struggling to pay their energy bills because of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) provides a one-time, on-bill credit to eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Electricity and natural gas utilities and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs) will begin accepting applications for CEAP on July 13, 2020, delivering the program in accordance with rules laid out by the OEB. CEAP funding is limited, with utilities and USMPs expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. Please note, submitting an application does not guarantee funding. To apply for CEAP funding, customers should contact their utility or USMP directly. For more information, including eligibility requirements and on-bill credit amounts, visit oeb.ca/ceap.

Student Support:

  • The Ontario government announced yesterday that it will soon join the rest of Canada by doing away with academic streaming in high schools. Streaming refers to the practise that asks students to choose between pursuing academic or applied courses. Critics argue streaming disproportionately funnels Black and other racialized students into applied streams, limiting their future prospects and entrenching inequity into the education system. Education Minister Stephen Lecce did not reveal details of the plan to scrap streaming, as well as an accompanying proposal to end school suspensions for students in junior kindergarten to Grade 3, but said the moves are necessary to address long-standing imbalances.
  • The Government of Canada has created the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), a program that will provide thousands of qualified post-secondary students with learning and volunteer opportunities to address relevant COVID-19 challenges at Canadian not-for-profit schools during summer 2020. Students participating will be eligible to apply for a grant, which will provide up to $5,000 to be used towards post-secondary education costs. The grant is based on the number of validated volunteer hours completed between June 15 and September 15, 2020. Student volunteers receiving the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) ($1,250 monthly) are also eligible to apply for a CSSG.

Seniors’ Support:

Homelessness:

  • The Ontario government is providing municipalities and urban Indigenous community partners with an additional $150 million to continue to protect vulnerable people from COVID-19. This funding will flow to local municipal service managers and urban Indigenous program administrators through the Social Services Relief Fund. Official Opposition critic for Poverty and Homelessness Rima Berns-McGown said the province’s announcement falls woefully short of what municipalities need to protect the vulnerable. Shelters are not an answer to homelessness in the middle of a pandemic. Sign our petition here.
  • Toronto’s homeless advocates have relaunched a lawsuit against the city over unsafe shelter conditions. In a notice of motion filed Friday, a coalition of public-interest groups alleges that the city has failed to follow a settlement agreement meant to ensure physical distancing standards within the shelter system. The lawsuit, first launched earlier this year, alleges the city put people’s lives at risk amid the pandemic by not following public health distancing recommendations.
  • All City of Toronto community centres have now been returned for community use after helping with the COVID-19 response. Last week, the City finished moving about 200 homeless residents staying in temporary sites in vacant community centres into hotels.

Ontario’s First Poet Laureate:

  • Nominations for Ontario’s first Poet Laureate are now being accepted until September 15, 2020. Introduced by Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield, the Poet Laureate of Ontario Act (in Memory of Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip) was passed unanimously in the Legislature in December 2019. The Poet Laureate will report to the Speaker as an officer of the Assembly for a two-year term. Responsibilities include writing poetry, promoting art and literacy in the province, celebrating Ontario and its people and raising the profile of Ontario poets. Following the acceptance of nominations, a selection panel will prepare a short list of the nominees by December and announce a chosen nominee by February 2021. For more information, visit ola.org/poet-laureate.

 Migrant Farmworkers:

  • The Windsor-Essex region communities of Leamington and Kingsville - the last in Ontario held back from entering Stage 2 of reopening due to outbreaks among migrant workers - will enter Stage 2 today. The Premier has been all over the map in his response to the ongoing migrant worker crisis, with no clear plan to protect workers. The Official Opposition has been pushing the government to give migrant workers proper sick pay and safe accommodation.
  • Migrant workers and other non-permanent residents took to the streets in cities across Canada on Saturday calling on Ottawa to grant them greater rights and protections. “Our people are literally starving. People are dying, not even to grow food, but to grow flowers and grapes for wine. Domestic workers are trapped in homes by employers who won't let them out because migrants are seen as carriers of disease,” said Syed Hussan, executive director of Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, one of the groups that organized the protests. The demonstrations took place in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax in front of offices of members of Parliament, including the office of federal Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino in Toronto.
  • Thirty workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at a mushroom farm in Vaughan.
  • The Ministry of Labour confirmed Ontario is investigating 17 temporary recruitment agencies after health officials warned that agencies that move workers from farm to farm could be contributing to COVID-19 outbreaks.

City News:

Construction & Road Closures:

  • Beginning, Monday, July 6th to Friday, July 10th, Metrolinx East Track enhancement work crews will be in the south corridor at Lower Jarvis Street, overnight from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am. Two poles, one on the west and the other on the east side of the Jarvis Street bridge, and concrete foundation on the east side of the bridge must be removed to clear the vicinity for south-side bridge extension. The south-side extensions at both Lower Jarvis and Lower Sherbourne Streets will accommodate future tracks, E7 and E8 servicing the Don/Wilson Yard facility expansion. This work can be disruptive to nearby residents and can expect noise in the area caused by construction equipment. If you have any questions, call: 416-202-6911 or email TorontoWest@metrolinx.com. We encourage all residents to subscribe to the weekly eBulletin by clicking the link below: https://metrolinx.us4.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=e3e2dcbefa63d1ca424de38bb&id=d003ab5b57
  • To advance the Ontario Line project, Metrolinx will be evaluating the underground conditions of the area where the subway will be built. On Adelaide Place, work is scheduled to start July 10 between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, Monday to Friday for up to three weeks. What to expect:
    • Some lane closures will be required in these areas. 
    • Work equipment may be left on-site until work is completed.
    • 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.
  • GO Expansion construction along the Lakeshore West corridor will continue July 11th to July 18th. This work will take place overnight from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. What to expect:
    • Cable containment from Spadina to York Streets.

This work can be disruptive to nearby residents and can expect noise in the area caused by construction equipment. If you have any questions, call: 416-202-6911 or email TorontoWest@metrolinx.com.

  • The City of Toronto is planning to deliver a number of construction projects on Bathurst Street between Fort York Boulevard and Dundas Street West in 2020. The projects include:
    • Bridge rehabilitation between Fort York Boulevard and Front Street West (May to December 2020)
    • Watermain replacement between Front Street West and Queen Street West (June to November 2020)
    • TTC track replacement between Wolseley Street and Dundas Street West (September to October 2020)

Due to the nature of the work taking place on the bridge, Bathurst Street will be CLOSED to ALL vehicles between Front Street West and Fort York Boulevard. This closure will take place from mid-May to December 2020.

 


Facts and Figures

ONTARIO

Cases: 

As of 4:00 pm July 6: 

 

Tuesday July 7

Cases

36,060

NEW

112 – 0.3% increase

Deaths

2,691 (+2)

Recovered

31,603 (87.6%)

Tests completed in the previous 24 hours

15,112

Backlog – waiting to be processed

12,625

Total tests completed

1,559,529

% Positivity

0.8% (-0.1%)

 

Hospital:

  • Hospitalized: 131 (+13)
  • ICU: 34 (-2)
  • Ventilated: 24 (+3)

 

Chief Medical Officer of Health:

  • 53.3% of cases are female
  • 35.3% are aged 60+
  • 6,088 (+9) healthcare workers total have tested positive (16.9% of total cases)

 

Congregate Settings Summary:

 

Resident Cases

Resident Deaths

Staff Cases

Staff Deaths

Active Outbreaks

Cumulative Outbreaks

Long Term Care Homes

5,516 (+2)

1,717 (=)

2,327 (+1)

7 (=)

46 (+2)

371 (+3)

  • Retirement Homes: 14 (=) active outbreaks, and 153 (=) outbreaks in total
  • Hospitals: 6 (=) active outbreaks, and 94 (=) outbreaks in total