Chris Glover MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update June 18

Published on June 18, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

Before the pandemic, we were facing both affordable housing and homelessness crises. The pandemic has magnified both issues. And while the provincial government has put a temporary moratorium on evictions, renters are still receiving eviction notices, creating the risk that many more people will lose their housing. View a recording of our Renters’ Q&A and town hall on YouTube.

As our economy reopens, it’s important that we support local businesses. Join us for our Chinatown Business Town Hall next Tuesday. We’re quite excited about this one. We’re test driving some new technology that will allow people to participate in the town hall in English, Mandarin or Cantonese. 

Our COVID-19 numbers are trending down. On Wednesday, we were down to 190 new cases over 24 hours, a 0.6% increase. The other number that indicates a good trend is that only 1.2% of the 24,000 tests that were done in the previous 24 hours came back positive. Genevieve Gee, a health strategist, says that anything below 3% positive tests indicates that it is safe to continue reopening the economy. She cautions, however, that we need to get ready for a second wave, probably in the fall. If we use the summer to get ready - to stockpile PPE, continue to ramp up testing and train contact tracers - then it should be possible to handle the next wave without going into lockdown.

Based on the numbers, the Ontario government is continuing to reopen the economy. Tomorrow, all of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, except for Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex, will move to Stage 2 of reopening. On Monday, the government will announce whether it’s possible for the GTHA, Peel and Windsor-Essex to move to Stage 2. The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders currently in force until June 30.

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of two members of our community. Connie Yang was an active member of the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association for many years. She chaired the SLNA Canada Day Committee for several years which I had the pleasure of attending. Marisa Piattelli served on Waterfront Toronto for 15 years in a number of roles, most recently as Chief Strategy Officer. All of us who live along the waterfront benefit everyday from the legacy of her work with innovative projects including the Bentway, Sugar Beach, the West Don Lands, the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and many more. I offer my sincerest condolences to both of their families.

Wishing all fathers and father figures a very Happy Father’s Day on Sunday!


Help for Renters

View a recording of our Renters’ Q&A and town hall on YouTube.


Support Chinatown

Join the meeting Tuesday, June 23, 11:00 am by clicking on this link: https://megaphone.site/live/glover-chinatown


Latest Developments

Stage 2 Reopening:

  • Ontario has reported fewer than 200 new cases of COVID-19 for the fourth day in a row, with the bulk of cases found in Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex, the regions yet to move into Stage 2 of reopening.
  • Restaurants, hair salons, shopping malls and many other businesses were given the green light to reopen in 24 of 34 public health units around the province last Friday as part of Stage 2. Regions with higher numbers of COVID-19 cases, including Toronto, Peel, and Windsor-Essex, will have to wait at least one more week before they can learn when they can reopen.
  • The Ontario government has provided a new general workplace guide, which will help employers develop a safety plan to better protect workers, customers and clients. The new downloadable toolkit offers tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Toronto Public Health has expanded the number of guidance documents available to help local businesses and community organizations to prepare for safe reopening when the city receives provincial approval for Stage 2 reopening.

Childcare Reopening:

  • Although childcare centres were permitted to reopen last Friday, both operators and parents are concerned with the lack of additional funding required to provide the extra health and safety measures to run childcare safely. Official Opposition critic of Early Learning and Childcare MPP Doly Begum said the current government's failure to support childcare centres in weathering the pandemic and safely reopening leaves the sector to face deficits, cut wages for Early Childhood Educators and potential staff lay-offs.

Schools Reopening:

Long-Term Care: 

  • Health Minister Christine Elliott announced that visits can resume in acute care settings. The memo states that existing visitor policies regarding essential visits should be revised accordingly to allow visits by family/caregivers and other types of visitors.
  • According to a CBC report, the Ontario Government is looking at protecting companies from COVID-19-related liability. There are already several lawsuits under way in Ontario. The Official Opposition wants the government to commit to a full, independent, public judicial inquiry so we can fix Ontario’s long broken long-term care system, instead of helping for-profit companies protect their bottom lines.

Small Business Supports:

  • Last night, the Ontario Government passed the Protecting Small Business Act, temporarily halting or reversing evictions of commercial tenants and protecting them from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19. The legislation only applies to businesses that qualify for the deeply flawed, very narrow Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for evictions from May 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020. The Official Opposition worked until the final moments to secure amendments to include all Ontario’s small- and medium-sized businesses. The Act does not extend protections back to the beginning of the pandemic, which excludes even more businesses, and may just encourage some landlords to backdate eviction notices.

Pandemic Pay:

Masks:

  • The Premier announced that Ontario won’t make it mandatory for people to wear masks in indoor establishments but will continue to “highly, highly recommend it”. Although he continues to believe that it is “critical” for people to wear masks as much as possible, he said that there are no plans to force retailers to require masks at this time.
  • The TTC announced yesterday that it is officially making masks mandatory for riders starting July 2. Riders will be required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings on all TTC vehicles, with the exception of people with medical conditions and children under two years old.

 Data and Testing:

CERB Extension and Border Closure:

 City News & Road Closures:

  • The City of Toronto issued an update on emergency food access during COVID-19.
  • 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.
  • SwimTO is a plan to help ensure that all Torontonians can safely access outdoor aquatic recreation and cool down during hot summer temperatures as the city begins to reopen. City staff are preparing now so that the City’s beaches, outdoor pools, wading pools, and splash pads can safely operate when the Province allows Toronto to enter Phase 2 of reopening. Lifeguards will return to six of Toronto’s swimming beaches on Monday, June 22.
  • The Redpath Waterfront Festival has decided to cancel the World’s Largest Rubber Duck this fall. The famous duck was scheduled to return to Toronto this September as part of the festival, which had been previously postponed from June.
  • GO Expansion construction along the Lakeshore West corridor will continue June 20th and will be ongoing until June 27th. This work will take place overnight from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. What to expect:
  • Completing an access pad from Bathurst to York Streets. 
  • Completing caisson work (signal tower construction) from Bathurst to York Streets.
  • Completing a retaining wall from Bathurst to York Streets.
  • Completing a retaining wall from Spadina to York Streets.
  • Doing cable containment from Bathurst 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.

Bills and Consultations: 

  • Bill 156, the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, was passed on June 17. 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. During committee hearings, several legal experts testified that as written, the bill would threaten the constitutional rights of workers, Indigenous people, journalists and the general public. The Official Opposition proposed amendments to Bill 156 that would have removed these unconstitutional provisions but the government members on the committee rejected our amendments. We believe Bill 156 will face a legal challenge, similar to how other ag-gag bills were received in the United States. Since the Ontario government refused to remove unconstitutional provisions from Bill 156, the Official Opposition and voted NO and opposed this bill at Third Reading.
  • 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 for written submissions 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
  • 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 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 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

Fun Things To Do

  • Arts@Home: Bringing Toronto’s arts sector together for you, delivered straight to your couch. Many of Toronto’s leading arts organizations are reaching beyond traditional practice to come together and freely share digital content that brings the arts into your home. 
  • Collision, the largest tech conference, has gone virtual and will run from June 23-25. The Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit is giving away 200 free tickets to Black youth (18-35 years) with high interest in technology to attend. To register for a free ticket, please click on the link and fill out the short survey. You will receive an email within a couple of days from collision with a unique code to access and download the app with further instructions.
  • Hot Docs Festival 2020 has gone online with 140 official selections. The majority of films are currently available until June 24th. Details available here.

 

  • 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.
  • St. Lawrence Farmers’ Market has reopened for the 2020 growing season until approximately November 14. The market has worked with the City’s CurbTO program to relocate the outdoor area onto Market Street between The Esplanade and Wilton Street to allow for physical distancing. Lineup areas for the indoor and outdoor farmers’ market will start on Market Street and both areas will operate every Saturday from 5:00 am to 3:00 pm. Customers are strongly encouraged to wear a non-medical mask or face covering while shopping at the market.
  • Storytime Under the Tree: The Friends of St. James Park and the Friends of Berczy Park are hosting this virtual event with the St. Lawrence Branch of the Toronto Public Library and other members of our neighbourhood. Join storyteller #1, Maranatha Kim reading Just Because by Mac Barnett and with illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault (appropriate for ages 3-6 years).

#covidkindness

Last Sunday, Chris Nadon, the treasurer of IATSE 58 joined our Community Care and Food Program and helped coordinate the pick-up and delivery of 200 meals to vulnerable and homeless residents in the riding. I want to thank Chris, President Justin Antheunis and all of the members who followed up by donating $2,000 to keep the program going!

  


Facts and Figures

ONTARIO

Cases: 

 

As of 4:00 pm June 16: 

 

Wednesday June 17

Cases

32,744

NEW

190 – 0.6% increase

Deaths

2,550 (+12)

Recovered

27,784 (84.9%)

Tests completed in the previous 24 hours

24,205

Backlog – waiting to be processed

21,635

Total tests completed

1,071,429

% Positivity

1.2% (-0.1%)

  

Hospital:

  •   Hospitalized: 383 (-30)
  •   ICU: 92 (-6)
  •   Ventilated: 65 (-5)

 

Chief Medical Officer of Health:

  •       54.0% of cases are female
  •       36.8% are aged 60+
  •       5,458 (+74) healthcare workers total have tested positive (16.7% of total cases)

 

Congregate Settings Summary: 

 

Resident / Patient Cases

Resident / Patient Deaths

Staff Cases

Staff Deaths

Active Outbreaks

Cumulative Outbreaks

Long Term Care Homes

5,359 (+2)

1,636 (+4)

2,097 (+37)

6 (=)

72 (-2)

335 (+1)

 

  •   Retirement Homes: 23 (-1) active outbreaks, and 151 (=) outbreaks in total.
  •   Hospitals: 2 (=) active outbreaks, and 87 (=) outbreaks in total.

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).
    • COVID-19 Resource Map: This tool has up-to-date service listings across Toronto, including food banks, meal delivery programs, community health services and more. Additional layers and details are being updated daily by 211 Toronto.
    • COVIDhelpTO: Helps frontline workers answer their clients’ most basic questions around financial and housing supports. Content in 14 languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Farsi, French, Gujarati, Korean, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
    • 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.