Davenport Friends and Neighbours,
Here are today’s new developments in the fight against COVID-19.
- Canadians can start applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) on April 6. The benefit provides about $2,000/month to Canadians who have lost work or wages during the pandemic.
- Ontario's chief medical officer of health stressed that anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is suspected of having it, and/or lives with someone who has COVID-19 or may have it, must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days.
- In Toronto, the City announced stronger measures as part of a 12-week plan to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Here are some of the issues our NDP caucus is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- Andrea Horwath wrote a letter to the premier asking him to reconsider what businesses are “essential” – especially in the construction industry.
- Andrea Horwath and the NDP today urged the Ontario government to step up support for health care workers, who desperately need better protection and more resources.
The NDP's six-point package of solutions include a call to:
- Issue an emergency order to ensure health care workers can have personal protective equipment (PPE), and legally protect the right for workers to determine whether they require equipment like masks in any given scenario.
- Issue an emergency order to require all organizations to donate PPE not being used
- Hike Personal Support Worker (PSW) pay to $22, and aggressively ramp up efforts to get staff into home care or long-term care homes, as well as a retention fund for PSWs. (Many have left the field due to chronic underpaying and understaffing).
- Invest $5 million to provide health care workers with round-the-clock emergency mental health supports
- Scale up child care centres for health care workers and locate them near hospitals, assessment centres and other health care facilities
- Cancel all parking fees at hospitals and other health care facilities
Here are some things I'm hearing from our community members:
- Some folks continue to receive eviction notices or threats of eviction. (The NDP has called for an 80% rent support, and a legal ban on evictions and threats of evictions during the pandemic). You can find a copy of the Court Order suspending residential evictions here.
- There continues to be confusion about which businesses can operate right now, and how. Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659 or email at: EssentialWorkplacesSupport.MHSTCI@ontario.ca.
- The government's announcement yesterday about at-home learning supports and requirements has raised a number of questions. I wrote to the Minister of Education today to share those concerns. Read the letter here.
I want to know how you’re doing and what you’re concerned about. Email me at MStiles-CO@ndp.on.ca and we'll do our best to share what information we can with you.