LINDSAY— This year, the Ontario government is investing $19,125.00 in Closed-Circuit
Television (CCTV) systems to help the City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service better
detect, investigate and prevent criminal activity at Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton Housing
Corporation (KLH) properties.
The Ontario CCTV Grant, announced in August 2020, is providing police services with a
total of $6 million over three years to expand CCTV systems in their communities and
improve public safety.
“Improving the technology available to CKL police supports the local fight against crime
and ensures our residents and staff at KLH Housing properties can feel safe as we
recover from the impacts of COVID-19 without fear of crime,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for
Haliburton- Kawartha Lakes- Brock.
The CCTV grant will permit increased surveillance of KLH Housing facilities in order to
assist in the detection, identification and apprehension of violent offenders while
increasing the safety and security of all KLH Housing residents.
“KLH Housing Corp would like to thank the province for this funding,” said Hope Lee,
CEO of KLH Housing Corporation. “This funding will allow for the purchase and
installation of new CCTV cameras in the common areas of KLH properties in Lindsay
that do not currently have any camera coverage and enhance coverage at facilities that
currently have limited coverage. This will permit increased surveillance of KLH Housing
facilities and increase the safety and security of residents.”
“We know that CCTV cameras are an effective tool to deter criminal activity and provide
important evidence in solving crimes when they occur,” commented Mark Mitchell, Chief
of Kawatha Lakes Police Service. “Working collaboratively with KLH Housing, we
looked at the need in Housing properties that did not have existing CCTV as well as
enhancements that were needed to bolster existing coverage in other properties. As we
move forward, we will work closely with residents to make sure their voice is heard and
these tools are utilized to help them feel safe.”
The CCTV grant builds on the province's approximate $106 million investment to
combat gun and gang violence, with the support of the federal government, through
Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy.
“By strengthening CCTV surveillance systems across the province, Ontario’s police
services will be better equipped to prevent criminal activity, identify and apprehend
offenders,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “This expansion will support the local
fight against guns and gangs while deterring other crimes such as drug and human
trafficking, street racing and stunt driving. The use of CCTV cameras will also help hold
criminals accountable by providing important visual evidence to support investigations
and the prosecution process.”
The new Support for Learners program will provide direct one-time payments to help offset additional learning costs, whether their children attend school in person, online or a mix of both. Funds can assist with additional education expenses during COVID-19, such as workbooks, school supplies, technology and developmental resources. The funding also assists with additional childcare costs, whether the child is in child care or at home. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.
The program was launched today by Premier Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, at the Civic Centre Resource Library in Vaughan.
"During this very difficult period, our parents have been the unsung heroes in the fight against COVID-19, whether it's screening their child before school or assisting them with remote learning," said Premier Ford. "Parents have been there for us, and our government will continue to be there for them. That's why we're providing additional payments to help families with some of the costs of learning and childcare as we battle the second wave of COVID-19."
"COVID-19 has imposed many costs on families in this province, which is why we are again providing financial support directly in the pockets of working parents," said Minister Lecce. "Our priority remains keeping schools safe and open, and supporting families every step of the way through this incredible challenge."
"Whether kids are attending school online, in-person, or a mix of both, every parent in Ontario is feeling the strain of COVID-19," said Minister Phillips, "We have heard from parents that new expenses to support their kid's education in this COVID-19 era are straining their pocketbooks. This $380 million investment in families builds on the $378 million provided to parents during the first wave of COVID-19. So, for example, an Ontario family with three children, including one with special needs, would receive $1,300 this year to help cover the costs of an accessible workspace and technology to enable learning online. This is money well spent."
Parents or guardians residing in Ontario can complete one application per child to receive a one-time payment of:
The government is committed to expanding support for those who need it most. Support for Learners is available to parents if their child is attending a publicly funded, private, First Nation operated or federally operated school (either in-person or online), is homeschooled, is enrolled in child care, or is at home.
This investment is in addition to the initial $378 million investment the government provided in Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19, released in March, which assisted parents while Ontario schools and childcare centres were closed during the first wave of the COVID‑19 pandemic. Taken together, the Support for Families and Support for Learners programs provide significant pocketbook relief for parents with at-home learning costs and child care.
Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover is the next phase of a comprehensive action plan to respond to the serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
- Ontario's Action Plan sets out a total of $45 billion in support, over three years, to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.
- The 2020 Budget lays out the the government’s actions to support people and jobs by putting in place $2.4 billion in additional supports. In addition to the $380 million funding for the Support for Learners program, this $2.4 billion includes other targeted supports for seniors, youth, families, and workers.
- The government is building on earlier relief to provide a total of $13.5 billion in direct support for families, workers and employers, in addition to $11.3 billion in cash flow support.
- Support for Learners builds on previous programs that have provided direct support to families. Since the start of the pandemic, the Ministry of Education has allocated $758 million to families.
- As part of the commitment to keep students safe, the government made available $1.3 billion to support the safe reopening of schools - the most robust and comprehensive plan in the country. This includes $381 million from the federal government’s Safe Return to Class Fund.
Ontario Provides Over $15 Million in Funding Allocations to Municipalities in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock
The Ontario government is delivering on its commitment to maintain the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) program envelope and structure for 2021.
Municipalities in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock will receive $15,671,800 in funding allocations to provide them with flexibility to address the needs of their communities, based on their own local priorities. The OMPF is the Province's main general assistance grant, that supports 389 municipalities, with a special emphasis on northern and rural communities.
“The OMPF is an important source of revenue for municipalities in HKLB and our government will continue to support the economic recovery through this local, stable, and adaptable funding,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.
This more than $15.6 million in funding is in addition to the over $8 million in provincial assistance for the first round of emergency funding under the Safe Restart Agreement which was provided to local communities across Haliburton-Kawartha Lake-Brock in response to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Local municipal funding is as follows:
Algonquin Highlands Township
Cavan Monaghan Township
Dysart et al
City of Kawartha Lakes
Minden Hills Township
"Our government recognizes the importance of certainty and stability for municipalities, particularly in these challenging times,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. “Our government will continue to work together with municipal governments to build a strong foundation for Ontario’s long-term economic recovery, and to improve the quality of life for the people across the province.”
The 2021 OMPF will provide a $5 million enhancement to further support northern and rural municipalities. This includes a $3 million increase to the Northern and Rural Fiscal Circumstances Grant to further support northern and rural municipalities with challenging fiscal circumstances and a $2 million increase to the Rural Communities Grant to further support rural municipalities with the highest levels of farmland.
Maintaining the existing funding envelope and structure of the OMPF program for 2021 fulfils a commitment made by Premier Doug Ford during the Association of Municipalities of Ontario's annual conference in August 2020.
- The OMPF recognizes the challenges of northern and rural municipalities, while targeting funding to those with more challenging fiscal circumstances. The program also supports areas with limited property assessment; and assists municipalities that are adjusting to year-over-year funding changes.
- The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is providing up to $4 billion in one-time assistance to Ontario’s municipalities and transit systems as part of the Safe Restart Agreement.
December 01, 2020
LINDSAY — The Ontario government is announcing the approval of a new Ontario Health Team in Kawartha Lakes. Ontario Health Teams are a new way of delivering care that brings together health care providers and organizations to work as one coordinated team to improve patient outcomes. This new collaborative model is helping the province respond more quickly and effectively to COVID-19 and end hallway health care.
“This is exciting news for our local health partners and community members,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton- Kawartha Lakes- Brock. “The new Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health Team will focus on preventative health measures and providing more virtual and digital health tools contributing to more patient-focused care and reduced wait times.”
The lead members of the Kawartha Lakes Ontario Health Team include:
Ross Memorial Hospital (co-lead)
Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes (co-lead)
Patient, Client, Family and Caregiver Partners
The Corporation of the City of Kawartha Lakes
City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team
City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Organization
Kawartha North Family Health Team
Through an Ontario Health Team, patients will experience easier transitions from one provider to another, including, for example, between hospitals, home care providers or long-term care homes, with one patient story, one patient record and one care plan. As Ontario Health Teams mature, patients and families will also have access to 24/7 navigation and care coordination services. This includes enabling the further expansion of virtual care for patients through dedicated funding to maintain access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While still in its early stages, Ontario Health Teams are already breaking down long-standing barriers to better connect care for both patients and our frontline heroes and have demonstrated remarkable responsiveness to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
The strong partnerships and integrated care established by Ontario Health Teams and Ontario Health have helped better position the province to respond quickly and effectively to COVID-19. This includes supporting long-term care homes, simplifying the purchase of personal protective equipment, helping establish assessment centers, launching virtual urgent care initiatives, and expanding remote patient monitoring programs to support COVID-19 patients and other vulnerable populations.
Ontario Health Teams will help maintain hospital capacity by coordinating programs that link hospitals, primary care, home and community care services, long-term care homes, congregate settings, and other services, as well as supporting virtual care, online appointment booking and patients’ digital access to their health information. It will also support the participation of patients, families and caregivers in Ontario Health Team’s planning, decision-making and expanding the involvement of primary care and family medicine.
The Ontario government will continue working with its health care partners to establish Ontario Health Teams across the province and ensure everyone is supported by a team.
- An Ontario Health Team is responsible for delivering care for their patients, understanding their health care history, easing their transition from one provider to another, directly connecting them to the different types of care they need and providing 24/7 help in navigating the health care system.
- Ontario is investing approximately $28 million to directly support the 42 teams in fiscal year 2020-2021.
- Under an Ontario Health Team, Ontarians can be confident that they can continue to contact their health care providers as they always have, to access the health care they need. The Ontario government will continue working with its health care partners until Ontario Health Teams are fully established across the province and everyone is supported by a team.
Details were provided ahead of the release of Ontario's 2020 Budget by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure and MPP for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, and Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board, at the local Haliburton County Public Library in Minden Hills.
"By providing high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved communities like Minden Hills, we will create good jobs, unlock new opportunities for businesses and people, and improve the quality of life for individuals and families," said Premier Ford. "With the world online these days, if we are going to attract more investment to Ontario and compete in this highly competitive global marketplace, we need every part of our province connected with high-speed Internet."
The investment announced today doubles funding for the Improving Connectivity in Ontario (ICON) program, bringing the new total to $300 million. This program now has the potential to leverage more than $900 million in total partner funding to improve connectivity in areas of need across Ontario. As part of Ontario's broadband and cellular action plan, ICON is one of several provincial initiatives underway to improve connectivity across Northern, Eastern and Southwestern Ontario.
"Tomorrow, I'll introduce Ontario's 2020 Budget, the next phase of Ontario's Action Plan," said Minister Phillips. "The first pillar of this action plan is Protect, making good on Premier Ford's commitment to do whatever it takes to get through the pandemic. The second pillar is Support, because we know COVID-19 has brought severe challenges and economic difficulties to families and employers across the province. The third pillar is Recover and includes today's historic investment in broadband. Though initiatives like this our government is laying the foundation for a strong economic recovery and a successful future."
Over 1.4 million people in Ontario do not have broadband or cellular access, and as many as 12 per cent of households in Ontario, mostly in rural, remote or Northern areas, are underserved or unserved from the perspective of broadband, according to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) data.
"This investment will connect even more residents in communities across Ontario to faster, more reliable Internet and cell service," said Minister Scott. "Today's commitment to connect more people to reliable broadband and cellular service ― along with many others we've made ― will make it easier for more people to work and learn from home, run their businesses and connect with others."
In October, the province released Ontario Onwards: Ontario's COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government. Improving access to broadband and cellular service is one of the initial projects. Through Ontario Onwards, the province will help make government services more efficient and the lives of people and businesses better. Today's announcement is another example of the government's commitment to making Ontario the world's leading digital jurisdiction.
"Improving Access to Broadband and Cellular Services is a signature project of the Ontario Onwards Action Plan to make vital programs and services more convenient, more reliable, and more accessible," said Minister Bethlenfalvy. "At present, 1.4 million Ontarians lack access to broadband services that meet the CRTC's minimum service standards, many in rural and northern areas. Today, we are ensuring more people and businesses can have safe and secure online access to the programs and services many of us already enjoy."
Building on Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the province's $30 billion response to the pandemic, the government remains committed to making available the necessary resources to protect people's health, and support people and employers. Ontario will release the 2020 Budget and the next phase of Ontario's Action Plan on November 5, 2020.
- ICON was launched in July 2020. The program leverages partner funding by inviting applicants like telecom companies, municipal governments, First Nation communities, and non-profits, to submit innovative proposals and lend their investment, expertise and experience to improve connectivity in communities across Ontario. The province funds a portion of each approved project.
- Over the past several months, Ontario has partnered with the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) to invest $71 million in a $213 million project to improve access to cellular service and mobile broadband in Eastern Ontario.
- The province is investing in the $190 million Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project to bring high-speed broadband to 50,000 more homes and businesses across Southwestern Ontario. In the past few months, SWIFT Inc. has awarded contracts to bring high-speed Internet to thousands of residents in Lambton, Wellington, Norfolk, Oxford, Dufferin, Essex and Caledon. More contracts are expected in the coming months.
- Ontario has invested in initiatives to improve connectivity in Northern Ontario, including broadband projects through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and the Next Generation Network Program.
- Access to broadband is a core component of the province’s Learn at Home plan. Reliable Internet, particularly in rural and regional areas, is essential to supporting students’ success in school. The provincial government recently called on the federal government to take immediate action to improve Internet connectivity for Ontario students.
- Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government includes more than 30 projects that will improve the way people and businesses interact with government, saving them both time and money.
LINDSAY ― The Ontario government is providing $116.5 million to create up to 766 more beds at 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province to help reduce surgical backlogs and improve access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay will be receiving more than $1.1 million in funding to help alleviate hospital capacity pressures and reduce wait times. Over $900,000 of this investment will be used to fund a new 12-bed Geriatric Behaviour Reactivation Unit providing a local solution to stabilize patients while they wait to be transferred to long-term care. The remainder of the funding will used towards an additional bed in the Intensive Care Unit.
“I am thrilled to announce this funding for our local hospital,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton- Kawartha Lakes- Brock. “COVID-19 has presented new challenges for our hospitals and this investment will help people in our community receive the care they deserve right here in Lindsay.”
The new beds announced today are in addition to the previously announced investment included in Ontario’s fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19.
“Our government is making the necessary investments to quickly and effectively increase hospital capacity and reduce wait times for patients and families,” said Minister Elliott. “This additional investment will ensure our health care system is able to respond to future waves of COVID-19 and help patients waiting for surgeries and other procedures get the care they need, faster.”
The government is providing $2.8 billion for the COVID-19 fall preparedness plan. It focuses on addressing surges in COVID-19 cases and reducing health service backlogs by:
- Extending hours for additional priority surgeries and diagnostic imaging;
- Helping up to 850 alternate level of care patients access proper care in a home or community setting to help free up hospital capacity;
- Expanding digital health and virtual services, which provide alternatives to in-person care that limit the transmission of COVID-19, while maintaining access to care;
- Improving access to mental health and addictions services and supports; and
- Increasing home and community care service by adding 484,000 nursing and therapy visits and 1.4 million personal support worker hours.
The province continues to work with its health sector partners and Ontario Health to develop an integrated health system capacity plan in response to COVID-19 that will help ensure hospitals can continue to provide care for COVID-19 patients and treat patients who have been waiting for surgeries and tests. The province will continue to monitor and assess the health system’s needs and address any challenges hospitals may face.
“This funding will support us in providing safe and highly specialized care for geriatric patients with dementia and related responsive behaviours; and allow us to expand our critical care capacity to 9 ICU beds,” says Kelly Isfan, President and CEO, Ross Memorial Hospital, “We are grateful for this investment in our community.”
Building on Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the province’s $30 billion response to the pandemic, the government remains committed to providing necessary resources to protect people’s health and support people, families, workers and business owners. Ontario will release its 2020 Budget and the next phase of Ontario’s Action Plan on November 5, 2020.
- The Ontario government has provided over $700,000 to Ross Memorial Hospital for capital projects through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund as well as a five per cent increase of over $3.7 million in annualized funding.
- Ontario previously invested $741 million to help clear the backlog of surgeries and build more capacity in the health care system to effectively manage surges and outbreaks in COVID-19 cases.
- The Ontario government also released A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, a comprehensive framework to help hospitals assess their readiness and begin planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures, while maintaining their ability to respond to COVID-19 and the flu season.
- For additional protection, the Ontario government is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smart phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.November 03, 2020
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock Municipalities to Benefit from Ontario’s COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock Municipalities to Benefit from Ontario’s COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream
November 2, 2020
The Ontario government is providing up to $1.05 billion in combined federal-provincial funding through the new COVID-19 Resilience infrastructure stream to build or renovate health and safety related projects in long-term care, education and municipalities. The funding is part of the federal government's Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and reinforces the commitment of both the federal and provincial governments to protect the health and well-being of individuals and families during the pandemic.
“I am very excited to announce this local funding for key infrastructure projects in HKLB,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton- Kawartha Lakes- Brock. This funding gives our municipalities the ability to continue to adapt to new challenges brought on by COVID-19 while stimulating their local economies with a variety of eligible community projects.”
Municipalities in HKLB are eligible for the following amounts under the COVID-19 Resilience infrastructure stream:
Municipality and/or Regional Government
Dysart et al
Eligible projects will fall under four main categories:
- Community, recreation, health and education renovations (e.g. retrofits, repairs or upgrades to long-term care homes, publicly funded schools and co-located childcare centre facilities, recreation centres or shelters);
- COVID-19 response infrastructure (e.g. heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, new builds or renovations to enable physical distancing);
- Active transportation (e.g. parks, trails); and
- Disaster mitigation, adaptation, or remediation (e.g. flood mitigation).
"Getting shovels in the ground on new infrastructure projects across the province will be a critical component of our path to long-term economic recovery," said Premier Ford.
"Not only will this investment help communities build the necessary infrastructure to keep Ontarians safe and healthy, but these projects will create hundreds of local construction jobs and support local businesses and suppliers. It's a win-win for the home team."
The COVID-19 Resilience stream will deliver:
- Up to $700 million for education-related projects to be nominated and administered by the Ministry of Education;
- An allocation-based program that will deliver $250 million to municipalities to address critical local infrastructure needs, including $6.5 million that will be directed toward Indigenous and on-reserve education, through the Ministry of Infrastructure in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Indigenous Affairs; and
- Up to $100 million for long-term care projects to be identified and administered by the Ministry of Long-Term Care.
Eligible projects must begin by September 30, 2021 and be completed by December 31, 2021. Additional details about the COVID-19 Resilience stream and intake opening dates will be available for municipalities to submit projects in the days and weeks ahead.
- The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) is a 10-year, $30-billion federal, provincial and municipal program that provides funding to improve public transit; community, culture and recreation; green; and rural and northern community infrastructure. Ontario is investing $10.2 billion in this program.
- To date, Ontario has nominated 760 projects to the federal government under ICIP, of which more than 390 have been approved.
- The federal COVID-19 Resilience streamhas been adapted from ICIP to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. This ICIP stream, delivered through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories, has been designed to help add flexibilities, expand project eligibility and accelerate approvals.
- The COVID-19 Resilience stream will be 80% cost-shared by the federal government and 20% cost-shared by the Province for public infrastructure ― further reinforcing the support being provided to build and renovate health and safety-related projects in long-term care, education and municipalities.
- The Ministry of Education is also investing $1.4 billion in renewal funding, which continues to meet the funding level recommended by the Auditor General of Ontario to preserve the condition of Ontario’s school facilities.
LINDSAY– Ontario is providing municipalities and Indigenous community partners with more than $241 million to help protect the province’s most vulnerable from COVID-19, including those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Today, MPP Laurie Scott announced that the City of Kawartha Lakes will receive $1,750,249 as part of Phase 2 of the Social Services Relief Fund to expand and renovate A Place Called Home in Lindsay. The renovation includes building a new 19 bed shelter along with 5 new affordable housing units, one 4-bedroom house and four 1-bedroom apartments.
“Investing in important housing projects like this is critical to help protect our most vulnerable citizens from COVID-19,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock “We’re working closely with our community partners to ensure they have the resources and space to help keep people safe during these difficult and unprecedented times.”
“The pandemic has effected everyone, especially our most vulnerable. This funding will help ensure those experiencing homelessness in our community have a safe place to find shelter,” said Hope Lee, Manager, Human Services (Housing). “We thank the province for making this investment in our community. Not only will it assist A Place Called Home to provide a 19-bed emergency shelter that meets public health requirements, it will also create 5 additional units of permanent affordable housing.”
“This funding represents stability and increased safety for both our staff and residents,” said David Tilley, Interim Executive Director of A Place Called Home. “For the past 6 months, we have been assisting clients through local motels as our current shelter is unable to accommodate the demands created by the pandemic. This investment will create a strong foundation and provide a launching pad that will result in a new purpose-built shelter and better service to the homeless of the City and County. Our agency is extremely thankful to both the Province and Municipality for their ongoing support.”
The provincial funding is part of the government’s $510 million investment to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people. “We know that our municipal and Indigenous partners are facing extraordinary challenges, which is why these significant investments are so important,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark. “Our investments are helping to build longer term solutions as well as meet ongoing, immediate needs related to COVID-19.”
- In March, Ontario launched the Social Services Relief Fund with an initial $148 million investmentto help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. In July, an additional $150 million was committed to help improve shelters and create opportunities for longer-term housing. In August, Ontario committed another $212 million in funding, bringing the government’s assistance to service managers and Indigenous program administrators to $510 million.
- Ontario’s service managers and Indigenous program administrators help provide shelter or housing for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, victims of domestic violence, and members of Indigenous communities who are in need.
- In September, the Ontario government passed the Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, which freezes rent in 2021 for the vast majority of Ontario’s 1.7 million renters in both rent-controlled and non-rent-controlled residential units.
TORONTO — Today, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued the following statement detailing public health advice for Halloween this year:
"As Ontarians begin to prepare for Halloween this year, I'd like to remind everyone to take extra precautions to ensure you are keeping yourself and your families safe.
Given the high transmission of COVID-19 in the modified Stage 2 public health unit regions of Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region, traditional door-to-door trick or treating is not recommended and people should consider alternative ways to celebrate. This can include, but is not limited to:
- Encouraging kids to dress up and participate in virtual activities and parties;
- Organizing a Halloween candy hunt with people living in their own household;
- Carving pumpkins;
- Having a movie night or sharing scary stories; and
- Decorating front lawns.
It is recommended that you also check with your local municipality or public health unit for any additional advice or restrictions that may be in place. It is also critical that families not travel outside of their neighbourhood to celebrate Halloween.
To have a safe and happy Halloween, Ontarians should follow some simple steps:
- Avoid gatherings with people outside of your household;
- Stay home if you are feeling ill, even if you have mild symptoms, or if you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19;
- If you live outside the modified Stage 2 public health unit regions and are going to go out to trick or treat:
- Only go out with members of your household;
- Only trick or treat outside;
- Both trick or treaters and people handing out candy should wear a face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering and should not be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breathe;
- Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps and remember to line up two metres apart if waiting. Avoid high-touch surfaces and objects;
- Whether collecting or handing out treats, wash your hands often and thoroughly, or use hand sanitizer; and
- Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab and consider using tongs or other similar tools to hand out treats.
I would also like to remind everyone that we are in a second wave of COVID-19. There have been increases in cases in many areas across the province, and the percentage of people tested who get a positive result is going up.
The severity of this second wave is in our hands. Through our collective efforts, we can change the outcome of this new outbreak. That is why it remains critical to continue following these important actions everyday in order to protect your health and stop the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Limit trips outside of home, except for essential purposes such as work where it is not possible to work from home, school, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and outdoor healthy physical activity;
- Stay home if you feel ill or have symptoms even if they are mild;
- Maintain physical distancing of at least two metres with those outside your household;
- Wear a face covering indoors in workplaces, businesses and facilities, and wear one outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained or if wearing one is required;
- Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly;
- Follow social gathering and organized public event limits;
- Download the COVID Alert mobile app;
- If you are concerned you were exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms, take the online COVID-19 self-assessment; and
- Get tested if you have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, or if you have been advised of exposure by your local public health unit or through COVID Alert. Visit Ontario.ca/covidtest to find the nearest testing location."
TORONTO — The Ontario government is continuing to help businesses rebuild, reinvest and create good jobs across the province. Today, Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, announced Ontario's Main Street Recovery Plan and intends to introduce the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020, proposed legislation that would support small businesses and modernize rules to allow them to innovate and meet the challenges of today. If passed, the act will remove hurdles faced by small businesses and allow them to pursue new opportunities — while maintaining or enhancing protections for public health, safety and the environment.
The plan includes:
- A one-time grant of up to $1,000 for eligible main street small businesses — in retail, food and accommodations, and other service sectors — with two to nine employees to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Ontario's Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network, which links 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres across the province as places where small businesses can access tailored advice and information on local, provincial and federal programs;
- Digital Main Street Squads to help small businesses grow online;
- Mental health supports for families, frontline workers, young people, children, and Indigenous communities;
- Ontario's Small Business Recovery Webpage to provide single window access to small business supports.
"Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario's economy, and our government will always be in their corner. Through more than 100 virtual roundtables and discussions with small business owners, their employees, local leaders and economists from all over Ontario, I've heard directly about the extraordinary sacrifices small businesses have made to keep their employees safe, their customers confident, and their communities strong," said Minister Sarkaria. "Our government is standing with main street businesses, and we remain committed to their recovery and renewed success. We are determined to support them through this pandemic and beyond."
The plan's regulatory and legislative changes, if passed, will:
- Commit to exploring options to permanently allow licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order before the existing regulation expires;
- Permanently allow 24/7 deliveries to businesses that include retail stores, restaurants, and distribution facilities;
- Support the distribution of local food and food products by increasing the range of products sold at the Ontario Food Terminal;
- Enable Community Net Metering demonstration projects to help support local communities to develop innovative community projects like net-zero or community micro-grids;
- Modernize the Assistive Devices Program;
- Support Ontario's Taxi and Limousine Industry by increasing fines for illegal operators.
"Small business owners and entrepreneurs have overcome significant challenges and made extraordinary sacrifices to continue contributing to our communities through these unprecedented times," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for Digital and Data Transformation. "Providing new, easy-to-use and innovative tools, like our Small Business Recovery Webpage, will give them the information they need to reopen safely and rebuild better in one central location. It's another way we're building a smarter government."
"Ontario's small businesses were hit hard by COVID-19, but they were the among the first to step up and demonstrate the best of the Ontario Spirit by bringing forward their innovative ideas and solutions in our time of need," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "Building on the steps we took at the outset of the pandemic to provide urgent economic relief to struggling small businesses, Ontario's Main Street Recovery Plan will help get more and more small businesses back on their feet as we continue down the path to economic recovery together."
- The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory provides businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers.
- Ontario is helping businesses overcome the unique challenges created by this pandemic with 50 temporary regulatory changes made to help them adapt and about 400 more roadblocks being explored.
- The $50-million Ontario Together Fund is helping businesses retool their operations to produce PPE and develop technology-driven solutions and services for businesses to reopen safely.
- The Ontario government reduced the small business Corporate Income Tax rate by 8.7%, starting on January 1, 2020. This will deliver up to $1,500 in annual savings to more than 275,000 businesses.
- Ontario’s new COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act is laying the foundation to restart jobs and development, strengthen communities, and create opportunity for people in every region of the province.
- Learn more about Rebuilding Main Street.
- Visit the new Small Business Recovery webpage for up-to-date information, programs and resources at ontario.ca/smallbusiness.
- Find out how your small business can go digital with the help of Digital Main Street.
- Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
- Check out SupportOntarioMade.ca to help boost local businesses and manufacturers.
- Find out how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19.