Chris Glover MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update June 25

Published on June 25, 2020

Dear Neighbours,

Congratulations to all of the students who are graduating! Students have told me about the challenges you’ve faced moving to online learning this year and the uncertainty of next year. You are graduating in the middle of a global pandemic. Your graduation, in spite of the challenges you face, is an accomplishment that no generation has faced for 100 years. I have recorded graduation messages for grade 6 and grade 12 students to extend my congratulations to you.

After three long months, we are now entering Stage 2 of reopening in Toronto. I for one am looking forward to getting a haircut! But we are not out of the woods yet. To avoid a resurgence, we need to maintain physical distancing and limit our social bubbles to 10. I hosted a “Support Chinatown” meeting where MPP Jessica Bell and representatives from Toronto’s BIAs provided valuable information for small business owners and the Chinatown community. The full video is available here

The Ontario government has extended the provincial Declaration of Emergency until July 15, 2020. The Premier has said that he hopes this is the final extension.

The homelessness crisis continues to grow in our community as are the impacts not only on those who are homeless, but on all of us. The crisis will only continue to grow until we get all three levels of government to comm

it to supporting the city’s plan to provide real housing for everyone. We need to advocate together!

June is Indigenous History Month and I urge you to learn more about Ontario’s Indigenous heritage. The National Film Board has a collection of films by Indigenous filmmakers and here are 20 Canadian books for kids and teens to read for National Indigenous History Month by First Nations, Metis and Inuit authors. 

Pride Weekend is also coming up, so check out the virtual Pride events below! Join me at a virtual watch party for the Toronto Pride Parade! 

Have a good weekend and Happy Pride!


Latest Developments

Homelessness:

  • I continue to hear concern from residents about homeless encampments in city parks and neighbourhoods. The City of Toronto has had a homelessness crisis for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the issue as people have lost income and shelters have been full. Today, Doug Ford said in a Toronto Star article that those experiencing homelessness can’t camp in city parks and need to go to shelters, but many shelters are full and people don’t want to go there. Earlier this week, seven city shelters reported COVID-19 outbreaks, with between three and 48 cases per facility. 
  • I held a press conference on this issue with the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association, calling on the Province to restore $161 million in funding that has been cut from the Ministry of Housing budget. The City of Toronto found a new hotel site creating new capacity to offer some individuals private hotel rooms, but this program would need to be modelled on a large scale to house everyone living in tents in Toronto’s parks. The fact is, tents, shelters and hotel rooms are all temporary, ineffective solutions. The real solution is for the Province to provide more funding for affordable housing with more social support programs.

Support for Low-Income People:

Stage 2 Reopening:

  • Toronto entered Stage 2 of reopening yesterday. This means the safe restart of some services and businesses including restaurants and bars with patios, personal care services, shopping malls and select recreational spaces such as splash pads and pools.

Schools Reopening:

  • The Education Minister has “directed” school boards to begin the academic year with a mix of in-person and remote instruction but will allow for “regional variance” beginning in October. School boards will be asked to prepare three scenarios for the fall, ranging from online learning only, to a full resumption of in-class instruction. The Education Minister “directed” boards to at least start with an “adapted model,” wherein students would attend in-person classes on alternating days or weeks and be “cohorted” into groups of no more than 15.
  • The Ontario government released the province's new math curriculum for elementary students. Education critic MPP Marit Stiles said it’s irresponsible to introduce a new math curriculum at a time when teachers and parents are increasingly burdened.
  • Canada has launched the Student Service Grant for students to participate in COVID-19 relief efforts.

Long-Term Care: 

  • A new report finds that the percentage of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths occurring in long-term care facilities is roughly double the average of those in other OECD countries. Prime Minister Trudeau said provinces have failed to support seniors. The Premier has long been ignoring families’ pleas for help in long-term care and refusing to allow a public judicial interview into long-term care homes’ failure to protect seniors during the pandemic. Although COVID-19 outbreaks are down in Ontario long-term care homes, residents and staff continue to catch the virus.
  • Ontario’s Long-Term Care Minister tweeted that visitors to long-term care homes “must verbally attest that they have had a negative COVID-19 test within 14 days prior to their visit”. Health officials said that families visiting loved ones in nursing homes don’t have to show proof they have tested negative for COVID-19. A clarification came Wednesday from Ontario’s chief coroner, Dr. Dirk Huyer, who has taken on responsibilities for the provincial testing regime that requires anyone visiting a long-term-care resident to have been checked and cleared in the previous two weeks.
  • The Official Opposition says the Premier owes an explanation to grieving families in light of allegations that his government received and rejected two proposals by his government’s Long-Term Care Minister to increase funding to long-term care just as the pandemic was starting.

Business Update:

  • The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) released a new report assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on labour markets in Ontario’s major cities. Province-wide, employment fell by 64,500 jobs in May, adding to much larger job losses posted in March and April. Since the pandemic began in March, Ontario has experienced the sharpest pace of job loss among all the Canadian provinces.
  • The Ontario government is providing up to $10 million to Indigenous-owned small and medium sized businesses. Loans of up to $50,000 will be available to businesses that are either ineligible for, or unable to access, existing federal and provincial COVID-19 response initiatives for small businesses. The funding is being delivered through the Support for People and Jobs Fund.
  • The Ontario government launched the 2020-21 edition of the Francophone Community Grants Program to support Ontario's francophone businesses and community organizations, as well as those that serve French-speaking Ontarians.
  • The City of Toronto has provided an update on preparations to oversee the safe restart of some services and partial reopening of many businesses.
  • Online registration is now open for CaféTO, a program that will allow restaurant and bar owners to open patios, expand them, and access additional space for physical distancing. These measures will make it easier for restaurant and bar owners to generate business revenue during the summer months ahead.
  • The City of Toronto’s Economic and Culture Recovery Advisory Group has been launched and will provide objective advice to help establish how the City can best support businesses and culture organizations to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and the resulting recession.

Hydro: 

  • A reminder that Time-of-Use (TOU) price for electricity used at all hours of the day and every day of the week is set at 12.8 cents/kWh from June 1 until October 31, 2020. This change in price does not affect customers on tiered pricing. I continue to call on the Province to make condo common areas eligible for the Ontario hydro rebate.

Landlords:

  • A landlords’ protest is being planned at Queen's Park tomorrow. Landlords are complaining that evictions have been halted and that residential landlords haven't received sufficient financial support from the government. 

 City News:

Construction, Road Closures & Service Changes:

  • GO Expansion construction along the Lakeshore West corridor will continue June 27th and will be ongoing until July 4th. This work will take place overnight from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. What to expect:
    • Completing a retaining wall from Spadina to York Streets.
    • Completing caisson (signal tower) work 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.
  • As part of the Ontario Line project, Metrolinx will be evaluating the underground conditions on Queen Street near Bay Street. Work is scheduled to start June 24 and will occur between 9:00 pm and 5:00 am, Sunday to Friday for up to 10 days. What to expect:
    • Some lane closures will be required in these areas. 
    • Some traffic delays are expected. Every effort will be made to minimize disruptions.
    • Work equipment may be left on-site until work is completed.
    • If you have any questions, call 416-202-5100 or email OntarioLine@metrolinx.com.
  • Metrolinx has announced service and platform changes for Union Station trains. We encourage you to visit gotransit.com for the most up-to-date information.

Bills and Consultations:

  • The Government has said that Bill 171, Transit Bill 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 are being 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, Housing Omnibus Bill, 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 are being 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

  • Art Gallery of Ontario will be reopening its doors on July 2nd to members and annual pass holders who book timed-entry tickets in advance. Members can book tickets starting June 25 and annual pass holders can book starting June 26. Memberships can be purchased online, or those ages 25 and under can sign up for free. The AGO will be open every Thursday to Sunday, from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. Visit www.AGO.ca for more information.
  • 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. Here are some events:
    • Trans March: Friday, June 26, 1-3pm, Zoom code: 958 0735 7490 (Zoom account required to log in)
    • Dyke March: Saturday, June 27, 11am-12:30pm, Zoom code: 959 6539 9273 (Zoom account required to log in)
    • Blockorama - Curated by Blackness Yes! The largest and longest-running stage at Pride Toronto. Blockorama has a vibrant history that spotlights and features local black performers. Sunday, June 28, 8pm-late and will be streamed on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/pridetoronto
  • “Feel the Love”: Listen to the song or watch the video for this song written by a Toronto entrepreneur hoping to lift the spirits of the community during COVID-19.
  • Immersive Van Gogh: Experience the world’s first drive-in art exhibit where you can actually drive into the gallery, park your car and experience the show from inside your vehicle. The exhibit was re-imagined in response to COVID-19.
  • Plant it Forward: You are invited to participate in a living work of art! The south side of St. James Park on King Street is getting two new seating installations! The first parklet “Plant it Forward” was installed on Father’s Day. The second parklet “Swing Stage” will be installed soon. Both have planter gardens that need tending over the summer. Contact the Friends of St. James Park to sign up to be a neighbourhood caretaker to nurture these gardens: fsjptoronto@gmail.com
  • 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.

#covidkindness

Thank you to local musician Deryck Roche of Level2 Music Productions who has produced “How Bout a Round of Applause” a song written and dedicated to our frontline workers. It can be heard on YouTube @ https://youtu.be/UYQQSV5gbc8. The aim is to raise funds for more PPE masks and additional equipment to fight COVID19. The fundraiser information can be found here.

 


Facts and Figures

ONTARIO

Cases: 

As of 4:00 pm June 23:

 

Wednesday June 24

Cases

34,016

NEW

163 – 0.5% increase

Deaths

2,631 (+12)

Recovered

29,336 (86.2%)

Tests completed in the previous 24 hours

23,207

Backlog – waiting to be processed

21,398

Total tests completed

1,236,023

% Positivity

1.3% (-0.5%)

 

Hospital:

  •   Hospitalized: 278 (-10)
  •   ICU: 73 (-2)
  •   Ventilated: 48 (-6)

 

Chief Medical Officer of Health: 

  •       53.7% of cases are female
  •       36.3% are aged 60+
  •       5,859 (+44) healthcare workers total have tested positive (17.2% of total cases)

 

Congregate Settings Summary: 

 

Resident Cases

Resident Deaths

Staff Cases

Staff Deaths

Active Outbreaks

Cumulative Outbreaks

Long Term Care Homes

5,427 (+35)

1,683 (+19)

2,244 (+39)

5 (-1)

73 (-4)

355 (+2)

Retirement Homes: 17 (-1) active outbreaks, and 153 (=) outbreaks in total.

Hospitals: 4 (=) active outbreaks, and 90 (=) outbreaks in total.