COVID-19 April 17 update

  • Community Update

Update from your Member of Provincial Parliament regarding COVID-19.

As another week of pandemic ends, I hope that you are doing well. Each passing week brings us closer to the end of the crisis, as long as we continue to do the right things, even if it is sometimes difficult.Please know that my team members and I are available for you. To listen to you, to guide you and to help you if you need it. Do not hesitate to contact us.

I want to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic frontline workers for ensuring that our essential needs are met. Your work is very much appreciated. Stay safe.

I also want to convey my heartfelt compassion if you have lost a loved one or if you are worried about the health of closed ones. Courage.

Our work over the past weeks

The Liberal caucus and I have been working in collaboration and in consultation with experts to advocate for what needs to be done for Ontarians in this time of need. Together we urged the government to act and provide a number of relief measures for Ontarians. Here are a few measures that have been put in place following our interventions. The dates we requested the measure and the date it was accepted by the Ford Government are indicated to demonstrate the efficiency of our interventions.

– Allow restaurants to temporarily sell alcohol with take-out and delivery.   Requested on March 21st, accepted on March 26th.

– Institute a suspension of times of use electricity pricing, so citizens pay off-   peak charges 24-hours a day. Requested on March 21st, accepted on March 24th.

– Launch a 1-800 number where Ontarians can get answers regarding the list of essential businesses. Requested on March 24th, accepted on March 25th.

– Allow foreign-trained healthcare professionals to work and   contribute. Requested on March 30th, accepted April 7th.

No energy disconnection

On March 19, 2020, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) extended the winter ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment for residential customers to July 31, 2020. Low-volume, small business customers (those who pay time-of-use or tiered electricity prices) will now also be protected by the ban during this period.

Visit oeb.ca for the latest updates from the Ontario Energy Board on measures it’s taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Protecting Ontarians and our Seniors

This week the state of emergency was extended until May 12th. Schools will not be reopening on May 4th and we need to continue practicing social distancing for weeks to come.

Over the last several weeks, it has become increasingly clear that those living in Long-Term Care, retirement and group homes, among our most vulnerable, have been disproportionally impacted by the spread COVID-19.

For 3 weeks, the province has been at 50% of lab testing capacity. That’s tens of thousands of tests that could have been used in Long-Term Care homes, retirement and group homes to help manage the spread.

The Ontario government has been too slow to limit the movement of staff between multiple homes, especially given that we have known for weeks about the considerable risk of asymptomatic spread.

We are calling on the Ontario government and appropriate Ministers to take these additional actions immediately:

  1. Close the loophole allowing temp agencies to send workers into multiple homes
  2. Ensure all frontline healthcare workers have access to the PPE they need to stay safe
  3. Enhance wages of frontline workers in Long-Term care, group and retirement homes including PSWs/DSWS to stabilize the workforce

Reinforcement of the message regarding the importance of social distancing

When going out in public, including grocery stores, keep two metres away from others.

Government services and help for citizens

Municipal services:

Provincial services:

Federal services:

Let’s help our food banks

Food banks need our help more than ever. If you are able to contribute please use the following link to make a difference in our community for those in need: 
https://www.ottawafoodbank.ca/

Alert

If you get a text message saying you received a deposit for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit – it’s a scam! Don’t reply and don’t click on the link.

We are all in this together.
 
Lucille Collard, MPP
Ottawa-Vanier