Chris Glover MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update June 11

Published on June 11, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

Feliz Dia de Portugal! During the pandemic, it was not possible to have the Portugal Day Parade and other festivities, but there were a few small ceremonies that were televised and broadcast online. At a small ceremony at Camões Square, Manuel DaCosta told me about the great Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões. I have now started reading his masterpiece Os Lusíadas (in translation). The experience is a reminder that the beauty of living in a country that celebrates our diversity is not just that we retain our cultures for our children and grandchildren, but that we can all experience and learn from each others’ heritage.  

We have heard from many people having trouble paying rent and receiving eviction notices during the pandemic. Four bills are being rushed through the Ontario legislature, one of which (Bill 184) would make it easier to evict tenants. There is also great concern that when the moratorium on evictions is lifted, a large number of people may be left homeless.  I am holding a Renter’s Q&A Session on Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 pm. Joining me are MPP Suze Morrison, Melissa Jean-Baptiste, a lawyer at Kensington-Bellwoods Legal Services, and Karen Andrews from the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario. See the flyer below. 

The government has the Legislature sitting through June and July to rush through four bills. Each is an omnibus bill with multiple sections on widely variant issues. A brief description is below.

Renaming Dundas Street? A debate has erupted in the city about renaming Dundas street, which is named after Henry Dundas who delayed the abolition of slavery in the British Empire by 15 years, a delay that cost tens of thousands of lives. Removing his name isn't about rewriting shameful history — we can't do that. It's about creating a city that reflects our shared repugnance of anti-black racism and its long history.

We’ve been receiving positive feedback about the newsletters. I want to acknowledge Nancy, Pranav, Alex, and Alden who often work late into the evening to assemble and send them out. We have decided to send them once a week with smaller updates on days when there is something urgent to report. It’s good to know they are read. If you have some feedback or suggestions on how to make them better, please send us an email. 

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out the Luminato and Pride events in “Things to do” below. 

Stay safe and Viva Portugal!


Help for Renters

Join the meeting by clicking on this link: https://megaphone.site/live/glover-tenants


Homelessness

There is good news regarding the homeless encampments in Little Norway Park and Stadium Road Park. City staff worked this morning to transport everyone from the homeless encampments to hotels. 

While this is good news in the short term, the Provincial Government needs to step up and provide the City of Toronto more funding to respond to the homelessness crisis in our area. Despite receiving more federal funding for housing solutions ($42 million from the National Housing Strategy and $40 million to address the pandemic’s impact on homelessness), the Ontario’s Ministry of Housing reduced spending on housing supports by $161 million in 2019-2020, cutting shelter funding and reducing rent supplements. 

Last week, I participated in a press conference organized by the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association to ask for the provincial government to live up to its funding obligations. I will continue to call for more funding to be allocated to housing solutions for the City of Toronto. See an article on the press conference here and a petition you can sign to support the homeless here.

A coalition of activist groups wants to hear if Toronto is failing to do what it should for homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have set up a website that allows anonymous reports. The City of Toronto last month agreed to implement physical-distancing standards and other measures in its shelters.


Latest Developments

Reopening Ontario’s Economy:

  • Tomorrow, Friday, June 12, the Ontario government is moving ahead with Stage 2 of re-opening the province on a regional basis. However, Toronto, Durham, Halton, Peel, York, Haldimand-Norfolk, Hamilton, Niagara, and Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 1. At the beginning of each week, the government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of the remaining regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week. The Official Opposition says a safe and gradual reopening of businesses must include paid sick days for workers. 
  • Also effective Friday, June 12, the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30% of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.

Cannabis Applications:

  • In 2018, the provincial government passed legislation that allowed for private companies to sell cannabis under license of the Alcohol and Gaming Corporation of Ontario (AGCO). There are currently 127 AGCO for cannabis retailers in Toronto - see the list here. To receive a license, the retailer must post a placard at the proposed site for 15 days, during which community members can challenge the license application with the AGCO registrar. The grounds on which a registrar could refuse a license are: 
  1.   Protecting public health and safety;
  2.   Protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis;
  3.   Preventing illicit activities about cannabis.

Ontario’s College and Universities Update:

  • Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities announced that some in-person training at post-secondary institutions will restart in July for students requiring a practicum or lab work to graduate. This announcement has left many questions unanswered, and that post-secondary institutions hit hard by COVID-19 will need financial support - something the current government has refused to provide. While this is a relief for some students who will now be able to complete their degrees, this post-secondary update failed to address the many problems faced by Ontario college and university students, faculty and staff, leaving students and institutions with too many unanswered questions.

Childcare and Foster Homes:

  • The Ontario government announced its plan to reopen childcare centres across the province to support the next stage of the province's reopening framework. Effective immediately, staff can re-enter childcare facilities and begin preparation for reopening. When these operators have met all the strict and stringent guidelines for reopening, they will be permitted to reopen.
  • The Ontario Government has been allowing Ontario foster homes to be inspected over the phone, increase in size and require less documentation, like health records, for more than a month according to documents obtained by APTN News. The amendments to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act went into effect May 8 and will remain in place while the province is in a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Official Opposition and advocates for children are concerned this creates a lack of effective oversight.

Camps:

  • The government is now enabling summer day camp programs across the province to reopen this summer. Health and safety guidelines were developed by the Ministry of Health in partnership with public health, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and municipalities, and distributed to local public health teams earlier this month. 
  • The City of Toronto will begin to offer summer camps across the city starting on July 13 as part of its CampTO initiative, following the Province of Ontario announcement that summer day camps can operate during the Province’s Stage 2 reopening.
  • The Ontario Camps Association says most day camps have decided not to run this summer “given the risks and the government and public health guidelines” and that is concerned about a proliferation in less formal ‘camps’ arising as substitutes.

Long-Term Care Visitors: 

  • Today, the Ontario government announced a plan to allow visitors back into long-term care homes beginning June 18. 
  • Bill 175, the Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, which went to Committee, will further enable the privatization of home care and remove the existing provisions of public control and accountability. Stakeholders are interested in appearing before the Committee can email comm-legisassembly@ola.org or call 416-325-3509. The deadline to request to appear is Tuesday, June 9, 6:00 pm. The deadline for written submissions is Wednesday, June 17, 6:00 pm. Hearings will be held:
    • Monday, June 15 – 10:00 am - 12:00 pm AND 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    • Tuesday, June 16 – 9:00 am - 10:15 am AND 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    • Wednesday, June 17 – 9:00 am - 10:15 am AND 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Masks:

  • The City of Toronto has announced today that face masks will be mandatory for TTC riders as an increased safety precaution due to the pandemic as of July 2.
  • A group of doctors, dentists, scientists, nurses, and other health professionals released an open letter addressed to Patty Hajdu, Christine Elliott, Dr. Theresa Tam and Dr. David Williams calling on Ontario to make masks mandatory in indoor spaces as Ontario.

Business Supports:

Beaches and Campsites Open in Provincial Parks:

 CERB Bill:

City News & Road Closures:

  • This map shows installed temporary parking pick-up zones, curb lane pedestrian zones, and sidewalk widenings which are part of the City’s CurbTO program as well as quiet streets and weekend road closures which are part of the ActiveTO program.
  • GO expansion construction along the Lakeshore West corridor will continue June 13th and will be ongoing until June 20th. This work will take place overnight from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. What to expect:

Completing an access pad from Spadina to York Streets

Completing a retaining wall from Spadina to York Streets

Completing caisson work (signal tower construction) from Spadina to York Streets

Cable containment from Bathurst to York Streets

Maintenance work between Bathurst and 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 will be reconstructing Perry Lane located at the rear of 651 Queen St. W. from Bathurst Street to Richmond St. W. The repairs will take place from June 8-12, 2020 (subject to weather conditions).

Bills and Consultations: 

  • Bill 156, the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, has been sent to the Committee for General Government for public hearings throughout this week. The bill is commonly known as the “Ag gag” law which refers to efforts to conceal animal cruelty. While the stated intention is to protect Ontario’s biosecurity and increase fines for trespassing laws on farms, it also significantly limits whistleblowers and investigative journalists from exposing illegal practices at animal facilities. 
  • Bill 159, the Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act allows the appointment of new members of the board to Tarion, the corporation created by the province in 1976 to perform crucial regulatory functions in the home-building industry. Tarion has been the subject of two government investigations in the past three years that raised concerns that the authority favoured the construction industry over consumers. If you are interested in appearing before the Committee, you should email comm-generalgov@ola.org or call 416.325.3509. The deadline to request to appear before the Committee is Thursday, June 18 at 10:00 am and the deadline to submit a written submission is Wednesday, June 24 at 6 pm. Hearings will be held on: 
    • Tuesday, June 23 – 9:00-10:15 am AND 1:00-6:00 pm
    • Wednesday, June 24 – 9:00-10:15 am AND 1:00-6:00 pm
  • Bill 161, the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act appears to unilaterally cancel all legal aid clinics’ funding arrangements, radically change Legal Aid Ontario’s mandate by removing the terms “low income and access to justice”, and make it more difficult for Ontarians to move forward with a class action lawsuit, such as the one filed during the Walkerton water crisis. If you are interested in submitting a written submission, you can contact the Committee for Justice Policy at comm-justicepolicy@ola.org. The deadline to submit a written submission is Friday, June 12th at 6 pm and hearings are being held this week: 
    • Wednesday, June 10 – 10:00 am - 12:00 pm AND 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    • Thursday, June 11 – 10:00 am - 12:00 pm AND 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    • Friday, June 12 – 10:00 am - 12:00 pm AND 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • The Government has said that Bill 171, the Building Transit Faster Act will speed up the Ontario Line construction as they assign it to the Social Policy Committee. However, this bill also makes it easier for the Government to enter into P3 partnerships. If you are interested in appearing before the Committee, you should email comm-socialpolicy@ola.org or call 416-325-3506. The deadline to request to appear is Thursday, June 18 at 10:00 am and the deadline for written submissions is Friday, June 26 at 6:00 pm. Hearings will be held:
    • Wednesday, June 24 – 9:00-10:15 am AND 1:00-6:00 pm
    • Thursday, June 25 – 10:00 am-12:00 pm AND 1:00-6:00 pm
    • Friday, June 26 – 10:00 am-12:00 pm AND 1:00-6:00 pm
  • Bill 184, Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, which has been sent to the Committee for Social Policy, prevents tenants from bringing up issues like their landlord failing to make repairs to their unit during hearings for non-payment of rent, and skips straight from repayment agreement for back rent to an eviction order without any hearing for the tenant if they miss a payment. In the legislature, we are asking for a ban on disconnections and lockouts, and a freeze on rent increases. During the pandemic we have received many emails from tenants in our riding who continue to receive notices of eviction and rent increases. If you are interested in appearing before the Committee, you can email comm-socialpolicy@ola.org or call 416-325-3506. The deadline to request to appear is Thursday, June 18, 10:00 am and the deadline for written submissions is Friday, June 26, 6:00 pm. Hearings will be held:
  • Wednesday, June 24 – 9:00-10:15 am AND 1:00-6:00 pm
  • Thursday, June 25 – 10:00 am-12:00 pm AND 1:00-6:00 pm
  • Friday, June 26 – 10:00 am-12:00 pm AND 1:00-6:00 pm

Opportunity for the Culture & Heritage Sector to speak to Government:

  • Ontario’s Finance Committee is reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on our economy and are holding public consultations for different sectors to share their experience and financial impact. The Committee will hold public hearings on the Culture & Heritage sector (likely by videoconference), and the deadline to request to appear is Thursday, June 18th at 5 pm. To request to make an oral presentation or written submission, register at ola.org/en/apply-committees. Please contact my office if you have any questions. 

STEPS TO APPLY FOR ORAL OR WRITTEN SUBMISSION: 

  1. Go to: ola.org/en/apply-committees
  2. Select ‘Yes’ for Do you know the bill title or business (e.g., pre-budget consultations) you'd like to speak or submit written material about?  
  3. Select: “Study of the recommendation relating to the Economic and Fiscal Update and the impact of COVID-19 crisis on certain sectors of the economy 
  4. Select: whether you want to send you want to appear for oral presentation OR submit a written feedback  
  5. Select CULTURE and HERITAGE
  6. Then continue with required information

Border Restrictions:

  • On Monday, the Federal Government announced a limited exemption to measures at our international border, allowing immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to enter Canada. Previously, immediate family members could only enter for essential purposes. Anyone entering Canada will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days. An immediate family member refers to a person's:
  1. spouse or common-law partner;
  2. dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or a dependent child of the person's spouse or common-law partner
  3. parent or step-parent or the parent or step-parent of the person's spouse or common-law partner;
  4. guardian or tutor.

Fun Things To Do

  • Luminato Festival Toronto begins this evening and runs for three days of free, virtual programming, bringing more than 70 artists together with audiences from across Canada and around the world. Be sure to join the festival for a weekend of world premiers, theatre, music, film, intense conversations, late-night DJs, burlesque, and more, streaming on luminatofestival.com.

 

  • Pride Toronto is presenting the first-ever Virtual Pride which provides an opportunity to use technology as a platform to showcase the many talents of the diverse LGBT2Q+ community members in new and exciting ways.

#covidkindness

I want to acknowledge the great work of the Muslim Association of Canada and the Toronto Masjid. Per provincial order, the Toronto Masjid is reopening this Friday for Jumma prayer. Please RSVP here and bring your prayer mat and mask. 

  • The Masjid is also getting involved in our community by organizing a food share program that supports local businesses and provides meals to seniors and the homeless. Please click here to either donate to the food share program or sign up to receive meals. 
  • Masjid Toronto and the Muslim Association of Canada have also created a Connect Hub which provides online resources for kids, families, and business owners. The online resources range from fun, positive articles to lift your spirits, to health/nutrition and business guidance as well as spiritual Islamic resources.



Facts and Figures

ONTARIO

Cases: 

 

As of 4:00 pm June 9: 

 

Wednesday, June 10

Cases

31,314

NEW

251 – 0.7% increase

Deaths

2,464 (+14)

Recovered

25,380 (81.0%)

Tests completed in the previous 24 hours

19,941

Backlog – waiting to be processed

13,897

Total tests completed

900,339

 

*If you would like to see graphs indicating trends in the data over time, these are available to view using Ontario Public Health’s COVID-19 data tool

Hospital:

  •   Hospitalized: 580 (-20)
  •   ICU: 118 (+2)
  •   Ventilated: 86 (-2)

Chief Medical Officer of Health:

  •   54.3% of cases are female
  •   37.6% are aged 60+
  •   67.4% are in the GTA
  •   5,187 (+49) healthcare workers total have tested positive (16.6% of total cases)

Congregate Settings Summary:

 

Resident / Patient Cases

Resident / Patient Deaths

Staff Cases

Staff Deaths

Active Outbreaks

Cumulative Outbreaks

Long Term Care Homes

5,294 (+20)

 

1,591 (+6)

 

1,963 (+15)

5 (=)

75 (-3)

312 (=)

Retirement Homes

820 (=)

 

171 (=)

424 (=)

0 (=)

32 (-3)

149 (=)

Hospitals

435 (+14)

94 (+1)

454 (+5)

0 (=)

4 (-3)

86 (=)


Mutual Aid

    • Asian Unification Project: Targets Asian people who are disabled, immunocompromised, or 50+. Individuals can request grocery delivery or errand running. 
    • The Bright Spot: An online community where older adults can shine, offering everything from exercise classes and small online group discussions to trivia nights and mindfulness tutorials – all free of charge. Offered by the YMCA of Greater Toronto.
    • Canadian Muslim Response Network: Anyone in need across Toronto can request emergency kits including non-perishable food items, and essential hygiene and cleaning products.
    • Canadian Cancer Society Information Helpline: For people with cancer, caregivers, families and friends, and healthcare professionals. 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934) CancerConnection.ca is an online community where people with cancer and their loved ones can share their experiences and build supportive relationships. Webinars on COVID-19 for cancer patients providing expert input on some central issues affecting people living with cancer and their caregivers.
    • CareMongering-TO: Community Response to COVID19. Can request or offer aid (including grocery delivery and other resources) by posting in the Facebook group, filling in a Google form (to offer aid), or filling in a spreadsheet (to request aid).
    • COVIDTO GlideApp: An all-in-one community resource that is updated by volunteers
    • Diabetes Canada offers webinars with information about government supports and how people with diabetes can access care during the pandemic. Materials are offered in the following languages: Punjabi; Cantonese; Italian; Urdu
    • DonateTO: The City launched this online portal, making it easy for businesses and residents to make direct donations of products, services, and funds in support of the City’s relief efforts.
    • Friendly Neighbour Hotline (UHN Open Lab): Toronto seniors who live in low-income housing can request grocery and supply aid. Torontonians can volunteer after a vetting process and online training. 1-855-581-9580 (Hotline Phone Number)
    • GDNA Help/Give Forum: Community residents can ask for help and other residents can offer assistance. 
    • Good Neighbour Project: GTA-wide, Facebook-based network of community members willing to assist with supply and grocery delivery to those with disabilities, compromised immune systems, accessibility barriers, and the elderly. Requests for aid can be made by calling the helpline (647-873-2230) or sending an email.
    • Queen West Resilience Gardens and Recipe Books: With the many challenges brought on by COVID-19, the Queen West BIA has created Resilience Gardens and Recipe Books for households to grow some food at home. Sign up for your FREE kit.
    • ShopHERE: Connects volunteers in Toronto’s technology sector with business owners who need e-commerce training and support in digital marketing and shipping. Tech companies and professionals who’d like to offer guidance can sign up online. To qualify for the program, a business must have fewer than 10 employees, or fewer than 25 employees if a restaurant or bar; pay commercial property taxes; and not be a chain or franchise. Eligible businesses and artists must be located in the City of Toronto.
    • Spark Ontario is a free, bilingual online platform that connects not-for-profit organizations with potential volunteers.
    • The 519 (Community Centre serving the LGBTQ2S community): Free takeaway meals, 7 days a week 1 pm and 4 pm, Monday to Friday 12:30 pm, 12:30 pm Saturday and Sunday. Location: In front of the Fabarnak Cafe, 519 Church St.
    • Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre: Bagged meals available for pick-up only at the side door. Weekdays: Breakfast: 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Lunch: 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM; Dinner: 3:15 PM - 3:45 PM. Weekends: Breakfast: 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Lunch: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Sunday 12-12:30). Location: 439 Dundas St. E. at Parliament
    • West Neighbourhood House: Help with grocery and pharmacy pickup, friendly calls, social support, information and referral, and other needs emerging in the community. Sign up to volunteer or request help at westnh.org/help. Email mutualaid@westnh.org or call 416-532-4828.
    • The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) is creating engaging and informative webinars for the non-profit sector to adapt to the changing world in light of COVID-19. All registered participants will receive a recording of the webinar and slide deck. Please contact melanie@theonn.ca if you have questions.