Chris Glover MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Government of Ontario

Latest Developments

Toronto ACORN Tenants Information Session

  • Toronto ACORN is holding a tenants rights information session this Friday, August 14th, 2020 at 6:30 pm and another session on Thursday, August 20th, 2020 at 6:30 pm.
  • They will be covering details around rights/protections related to rent, evictions and maintenance/repairs, and rights in regards to air conditioners. They will have time for questions and will have a discussion after each section. 
  • Those who are interested can RSVP by emailing GTAinfo@ACORNcanada.org or by calling 416-461-9233
  • For more information, here is an event posting on Facebook for the 14th: https://www.facebook.com/events/293808275054230/
  • For more information, here is an event posting on Facebook for the 20th:  https://www.facebook.com/events/636005227038511/

Toronto Moving to Stage 3:

  • The Ontario Government announced the City of Toronto and Peel Region will move into Stage 3 on Friday, July 31st at 12:01 am. 
    • For more information on Stage 3 specifications, click here
    • The Opposition echoed the call from GTA Mayors to implement six safety measures to ensure a safe transition to Stage 3:
      • Requiring customers of indoor food and drink establishments to be seated at all times unless walking in or out, going to the washroom or paying the bill. The present requirement applies only while people are actually eating or drinking.
      • Requiring restaurant and bar operators to keep a customer log with a name and contact information along with the date, check in and check out times, and table number for 30 days. Right now, this is only a Toronto Public Health recommendation not a provincial requirement.
      • Implementing additional capacity restrictions for food and drink establishments that limit occupancy to ensure that physical distancing can be easily maintained by all patrons. Right now, there is no cap provided distancing can be maintained.
      • Implementing early closure times for food and drink establishments for at least an initial period of time, similar to what has been done in Quebec.
      • Requiring establishments to implement COVID-19 screening protocols for staff, such as completion of a screening questionnaire, prior to the commencement of their shifts.
      • Outlining clear mandatory face covering requirements for staff and patrons of bars and restaurants in the amended Stage 3 order.

Reopening Ontario:

  • The Opposition has stated the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program has failed in assisting small businesses and has asked the Ontario Government to provide direct rent relief to businesses.
  • According to a July 29, 2020 report by the Daily Bread Food Bank, there were 6,100 new clients utilizing their services in June. The Opposition highlighted this issue stating these figures shine a light on the gaps in the system.
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit region will remain in Stage 2. The Opposition stated Windsor/Essex’s status remaining in Stage 2 is a result of the Government’s actions.
  • Ontario municipalities will share up to $4 billion from the $19-billion fund the federal government and provinces pledged last week to help municipalities, which are short millions due to the pandemic. The Opposition says municipalities need support from the Provincial Government over the long-term to avoid service cuts, and that many are still reeling from deep cuts made to municipalities two years ago, including to public health, ambulance services and child care.

Face Masks in Condos & Schools:

  • Toronto City Council passed a bylaw making masks mandatory in common areas in apartment and condo buildings.
  • Ontario implemented a mandate that students from grades 4 through 12 must wear non-medical face masks or cloth face coverings upon return to school in the fall.
  • As a reminder, facial coverings have been mandatory in all indoor public spaces in the City of Toronto, and onboard all TTC and Metrolinx vehicles. Please respect and follow public health guidelines when entering businesses and other public areas where physical distancing is difficult.

Construction Noise:

  • Two weeks ago, twelve Official Opposition MPPs in Toronto including myself and the Municipal Affairs Critic signed off on a letter demanding that the Province rescind the provincial regulation overriding Toronto’s Construction Noise By-Law and allowing extended hours of construction noise. Click on this link to see the letter. This follows the City Council motion and letter from 14 neighbourhood associations in Toronto which made the same request. Despite concerted efforts by 42 Resident’s Associations, Toronto’s City Council and Ontario’s Official Opposition, calls for this regulation to be rescinded have gone unheeded. 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 for residents. Click on this link to sign our petition.

Reopening Schools:

  • The provincial government announced on July 30th elementary school students will be attending class full time in the fall. Secondary school students in 24 “designated boards” will attend school on alternating days, in cohorts of 15. The Education Critic stated sending kids back to overcrowded classrooms places them at risk. The Opposition proposed hiring more teachers, education staff and custodians ensuring students return to smaller, safer classes. Read our full response here. I have been advocating for the Government to provide enough funding to ensure proper cleaning and PPE is available, not to mention the fact that they’ve ignored a $700 million repair backlog at the Toronto District School Board. 
  • A group of experts from across Ontario have come together to develop updated considerations for a safe school reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The living document, Updated COVID-19: Guidance for School Reopening, published July 29, 2020, builds on the initial set of recommendations put forward by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Unity Health Toronto, with input from experts from a wide range of disciplines across the province. You can watch the virtual press conference here.

Daycares and Child Welfare:

  • The maximum number of kids allowed in child care cohorts in the province has been raised from 10 to 15. The Provincial Government stated child care has already been back to 91% capacity, but journalists, experts, parents and the Opposition pointed to figures showing less than half of Ontario daycares have reopened.
  • The Ontario government released its plan today stating they are modernizing the child welfare system. The Opposition pointed out the government fails to provide funding or plan to transform child welfare in Ontario.

Financial Accountability Office Report

  • The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) released its annual report on July 28th, 2020. According to the report, the Ontario Government was $466 million under budget in the health sector which includes $49 million under budget for public health programs, $65 million under budget for hospitals, long-term care homes and community programs, and $314 million under budget for hospital infrastructure projects. The Official Opposition has been pushing the Ontario Government to provide more funding to improve the health and long-term care sector, where problems have only become more exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Long-Term Care Update:

  • The Ontario government launched its independent commission into COVID-19 and long-term care. The three commissioners are Associate Chief Justice Frank N. Marrocco (Chair); Angela Coke, former senior executive of the Ontario Public Service; and Dr. Jack Kitts, former President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital. The commissioners are expected to deliver their final report by April 2021. The Opposition stated the Premier’s commission doesn’t offer immediate action or long-term change for long-term care. The Opposition also called for a public inquiry. A statement from July 29, 2020 from the commissioners, says they have a “clear mandate to investigate how and why COVID-19 spread in long-term care homes,” and to consider further areas for the government to “take action”.
  • My colleague, MPP for Windsor West, Lisa Gretzky, tabled a motion in the Legislature last week urging the Ford government to implement a COVID-19 Essential Caregiver Strategy, which, if passed, would give residents in long-term care, group homes and all congregate care settings the right to fully access their essential caregivers and support persons while giving congregate settings the resources they need to safely implement access. I agree completely and support Lisa’s motion.

City of Toronto News:

  • Residents of the Jane and Finch Community, the City Councillor, and Opposition MPP for Humber River—Black Creek, Tom Rakocevic asked the Ontario Government and Metrolinx to honour the terms between the Jane and Finch Community and Metrolinx to transfer a 32-metre parcel of Finch West Light Rail Transit land to the community. The land was slated to become a community hub but Metrolinx reneged and is planning to sell the land at market price. 
  • City of Toronto staff presented a report to City Council to address the experienced and anticipated financial impacts of the pandemic and proposed options for mitigation. City Council voted to adopt the report’s recommendations, including $513.7 million in mitigation strategies through anticipated cost savings from workforce restraints, spending constraints and cost avoidance.

Federal News:

  • Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued a statement on COVID-19.
  • European airline and airport executives urged the Canadian government this week to allow a safe "restoration of travel" between Canada and Europe. In a letter dated July 27, top executives of nearly a dozen European airlines and airports, warned that “since many EU (European Union) countries and Switzerland require reciprocity to re-establish access, Canada’s continued entry restriction and quarantine requirements are becoming problematic.” The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also asked the federal government to replace quarantine restrictions with multi-pronged measures, including testing, to reduce transmission from travel. “We urge the Canadian government to remove the blanket travel restrictions to travelers from countries whose successful control of COVID-19 has significantly reduced risk to Canada,” said IATA Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac on Wednesday.

Construction & Road Closures:

  • To advance the Ontario Line project, Metrolinx will be evaluating the underground conditions of the area where the subway will be built. Night drilling work on Adelaide Street West (at Adelaide Place), and on Queen Street West (at Augusta Avenue and Spadina Avenue), is scheduled to start July 23 between 9:00 pm and 5:00 am, Monday to Saturday, 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.
  • The City of Toronto will rehabilitate a section of a 112-year-old Cross Harbour Tunnel located below Lake Ontario from Muggs Island to the John Street Pumping Station (JSPS). The tunnel is a large pipe that carries cold water from the Island Water Treatment Plant to the JSPS and supplies water to Enwave for deep lake water cooling. Work above ground will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, with work after hours and on weekends as required. There will be road and sidewalk restrictions on Lake Shore Blvd. north of the Rees Street parking lot. Sidewalks will remain open on the north side of Lake Shore Blvd. between Lower Spadina and Rees Street. This project will take about 10 months to complete and will abide by noise by-laws. For more information, call 416-392-8210 or email mae.lee@toronto.ca.
  • GO Expansion continues to improve, update, and modernize our infrastructure. There will be ongoing construction along the West Union Station Rail Corridor. This work will take place over the course of one week starting on Saturday, August 1 until Saturday, August 8, overnight from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m from Bathurst St to York St. The work may be disruptive to nearby residents so the equipment at the worksite will be equipped with white noise backup alarms to limit the amount of noise.