Over the weekend, the provincial government issued new emergency orders to prohibit gatherings of more than five people in order to further restrict the spread of COVID-19.
Today, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, issued his starkest warning yet, and I want to share what he said with you:
“The lives of many Ontarians, especially our community's most vulnerable citizens, are in your hands and will depend on your actions over the coming days and weeks."
"I strongly recommend you and other members of your household stay home except for essential reasons, such as to: "
Access health care services;
Shop for groceries;
Pick-up medication at the pharmacy;
Walk pets when required; and
Support vulnerable community members with meeting the above needs.
"To the fullest extent possible, you should also limit the number of these essential trips. However, when you are out in public you must adhere to physical distancing by reducing your exposure to other people outside of your household by keeping two metres from other people.”
Dr. Williams is also strongly recommending that individuals over 70 years of age self-isolate. This means only leaving home or seeing other people for essential reasons. Where possible, you should seek services over the phone or internet or ask for help from friends, family or neighbours with essential errands. This also applies to individuals who have compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions.
I know this is extremely difficult for many of us, and that many in our community have no choice but to work outside the home from day to day. That’s precisely why it is so important that everyone else follow these directions carefully and consistently.
Official Opposition lays out rent-subsidy plan to help people get through COVID-19
Today, Official Opposition NDP leader Andrea Horwath outlined a plan to help people make it to the other side of the COVID-19 crisis without the crushing debt of months of unpaid rent behind them. We’re calling on the Ford government to deliver:
A provincially-funded rent subsidy of 80 per cent of a household’s rent, up to $2,500 a month, for each of the next four months, for anyone qualifying for the federal emergency benefit. The money would be paid to the tenant. The same should be payable to small and medium-sized businesses to defray lease costs.
A legislated provincial moratorium on evictions, lockouts or disconnections of tenants for the next four months, backed by law. The legislation should include commercial leases for small and medium-sized businesses.
A six-month rent freeze, meaning no increases until at least September 2020.
We are also calling for a federal moratorium on mortgage foreclosures.
Federal Emergency Response and Benefits
For information on the federal government’s announced supports for Canadians during COVID-19, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and wage subsidies for small and medium businesses, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
For details on the CERB and other individual supports, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#unable_work_new_canada_emergency_response_benefit
IMPORTANT NOTE: While we await the application for the CERB, please ensure you have registered for direct deposit, via the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html
211 Supports during COVID-19
If you need to find access to mental health support, food services, financial assistance or more, dial 2-1-1 - anytime day or night. Their community navigators can help you find the supports you need. More information: www.211oncovid19.ca
We’re here to help
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me with any concerns. We have a small team and are fielding many, many questions at the moment, but we will do whatever we can to assist:
(416) 535-3158 or MStiles-CO@ndp.on.ca
Thank you all for everything you’re doing to look out for one another.
Take good care,
Marit Stiles, MPP