Here are today’s new developments:
- Toronto now has a two-metre physical distancing law with fines of up to $5,000 possible. Brampton has the same rule with fines ranging from $500 to $10,000
- Prime Minister Trudeau held call with Canada’s premiers this afternoon, to discuss coordinating efforts to fight COVID-19 – namely, the need to obtain crucial medical supplies to meet an expected surge of the virus.
- After calls from the NDP to support frontline workers with 24/7 free mental health resources, the Ontario government said it will expand online mental health services as Ontarians endure the COVID-19 crisis.
- The government said a change could be on the way to shrink the list of essential businesses allowed to stay open. Andrea Horwath sent Doug Ford a letter on that yesterday. More news to come.
- I joined Deputy Mayor Ana Bailao and MP Julie Dzerowicz on a conference call to discuss COVID-19’s impact on our community and to share information about what each level of government is doing to combat the virus.
Here are some concerns the NDP is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath called on the Ontario government to intervene and prevent city staff lay-offs around the province by funding municipalities to keep staff on the payroll – this call comes as Windsor looks at laying off 500 city workers.
- Horwath is asking the Ford government to follow in the footsteps of provinces like British Columbia and Alberta, and release the province’s infection modelling numbers.
“If everyone had a clearer picture of what lays ahead if they do stay home — and what lays ahead if they don’t — I think we’d see folks take physical distancing even more seriously,” said Horwath.
Here are some things we’re hearing from our community members:
Here in Davenport I’m hearing lots of concern about people failing to keep their distance. While getting a bit of exercise is okay, everyone has to do their part to avoid creating crowds or coming into contact with others. Whether you’re using the West Toronto Rail Path, walking through a park or just down the street, be mindful of others and stay two-metres away at all times.
I’m also hearing concerns from freelance, contract and cultural workers that may not be eligible for the federal emergency benefits. It’s something I’ve raised with our MP and, on the provincial side, I will keep pushing for direct income subsidies for all Ontarians impacted by COVID-19.
While we keep our physical distance from one another, neighbourhoods across Davenport are finding creative ways to stay connected. On Havelock Street, there's a scavenger hunt underway (you take a photo of each sighting & send it to the organizer)and in the Caledonia/McRoberts area, they have a Neighbourhood Window Walk... each day neighbours decorate their windows with a different theme (April 1 is jokes! March 23 was animals!)
What is your neighbourhood doing to keep everyone's spirits up? Send me a note by email at MStiles-CO@ndp.on.ca or tag me on social media and we’ll help share some of the fun ways we’re getting through this tough time.
Thanks to everyone who reached out to me with their ideas, thoughts and concerns about the pandemic response. I am reading everything you send and we are getting back as quickly as we can.
Thanks and take care,
Marit Stiles, MPP