TORONTO — Today, Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement reflecting on the province's response to an unprecedented international public health crisis:
"Three months ago, our government made the difficult, but necessary decision to enact a provincial Declaration of Emergency in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, closing down non-essential businesses and limiting organized public events and social gatherings. It marked the beginning of one of the darkest periods in our province's history.
Our government, joined by thousands of frontline health care workers, volunteers, businesses, and the 14.5 million people who call this province home, rallied immediately to stop the spread of COVID-19. The collective call to action was inspiring, but as we all know, it has been a long and difficult road with losses far greater than anyone could have imagined.
I am proud and grateful for how everyone from every corner of the province has gone above and beyond in the face of this global crisis.
Since the first sign of the outbreak, we have been laser-focused on supporting our frontline workers and building the capacity that our health care system needed to respond to this threat. Thanks to the diligent work of our hospitals and their top-notch staff, Ontario now has a total of 21,425 acute care beds and 3,276 critical care beds, 2,583 of which are equipped with ventilators. During the peak of the outbreak, the system freed up between 5,000 and 6,000 acute care beds, and had preparedness plans in place to go up to 11,000 acute care beds if needed.
Within weeks, we built a network of over 30 laboratories to ramp up our testing capacity, starting at about 3,000 per day in March to reaching over 20,000 a day in recent weeks. Ontario now leads the country in testing capacity. Public health units have also increased their capacity to conduct rapid case and contact tracing, respond to outbreaks, and support local response efforts.
We have been tireless in our efforts to ensure frontline workers have the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to carry out their heroic work in hospitals, long-term care homes and other care settings. We mobilized the manufacturing might of Ontario to make the PPE we need here at home and to showcase "Ontario Made" as the gold standard worldwide for quality medical supplies and equipment. Through the Ontario Together portal, thousands of leads on emergency supplies have resulted in more than $610 million in purchases of critical equipment, including 10,040 ventilators, 123 million masks, four million face shields, 173 million surgical gloves, and 21 million gowns.
To fortify the iron ring of protection around our seniors, we have provided our long-term care homes with $243 million in emergency funding to hire staff, purchase supplies, and increase capacity. Thanks to our hospital partners, rapid response teams are working with 150 of our long-term care homes across the province to support infection protection and control and staffing needs. We are also incredibly grateful to our brave men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces who have been deployed to provide critical support in seven of our long-term care homes.
Above all, the people of this province have shown the true Ontario spirit with countless individuals volunteering in their communities and caring for those in need. Thanks to our partnership with Spark Ontario, over 4,300 volunteers have signed up to help people affected by COVID-19. Thousands of volunteers, including retired nurses and medical students, put up their hand to manage the phone lines at Telehealth Ontario and assist with case management and contact tracing. Through Ontario's Health Workforce Matching Portal, over 24,400 volunteers have asked to be matched with organizations in need of help, including our long-term care homes.
As we work to find a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, we must remain ready for any scenario. I will continue to press the federal government to provide the necessary long-term and sustained funding commitment that will ensure Ontario has the strong health care system and the strong economic recovery it deserves. Our province alone faces up to $23 billion in additional cost pressures related to health care, protecting our most vulnerable seniors, and supporting our municipal partners in delivering critical services. Ottawa must come to the table with serious commitments to funding support.
I want to thank each and every person in Ontario for their collective efforts during this unprecedented time. As we gradually reopen our economy, we will continue to support Ontario families and businesses, so they can get back on their feet quickly and get back to work safely. These are the challenges that define a province and its people. While tough times still lie ahead of us, if we stick together and keep looking out for each other, we will come back stronger than ever before."
- Learn more about Stage 2 of reopening Ontario.
- Learn more about A Framework for Reopening our Province.
- Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
- Visit Ontario’s COVID-19 website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from the virus.
WOODSTOCK — The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $10 million in emergency assistance for beef and hog farmers. The funding will help cover the increased costs of feeding market ready cattle and hogs due to COVID-19 related processing delays, while redirecting surplus pork products to help those in need. This program will help ensure the country's food supply chain will remain strong and ready to recover as the economy gradually and safely reopens.
The beef cattle set-aside program will provide beef farmers with up to $5 million in support. Farmers can claim $2 per head of cattle per day to help pay for additional maintenance costs should they have to keep their market-ready animals on their farms for extended periods of time.
The hog sector support program will also provide hog farmers with up to $5 million to help cover additional maintenance costs. Ontario is also providing up to $1.5 million to process and package surplus pork for food banks, to provide those in need with fresh, locally produced pork products. This will assist the pork processing industry with managing capacity while helping those in need.
"We are grateful to our hardworking farmers who are providing Canadians with safe and healthy meat products," said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "This investment is another way we are supporting the agricultural sector to ensure a stable meat supply and keep high-quality and affordable Canadian meat products on our grocery store shelves and kitchen tables."
"During consultations with the pork and beef sectors, the need for emergency support to help them maintain their operations during COVID-19 was clear," said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "We understand the challenges that our farmers are facing and we are working with our commodity organizations to address their priorities and help our farmers manage through these unprecedented times."
Both the beef cattle set-aside and hog sector support programs are being offered through AgriRecovery initiatives, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The provincial contributions are part of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
"Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 provided $17 billion in relief, including additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance and Chair of Ontario's Jobs and Recovery Committee. "Throughout the pandemic, farmers have continued playing their vital role feeding the province and supporting our economy. We know these are challenging times for our farmers so we are stepping up to help cover some of the increased costs they are facing."
"I would like to thank Minister Hardeman, Minister Bibeau and our federal and provincial governments for their investment into the creation of a beef cattle set-aside program for Ontario," said Beef Farmers of Ontario President Rob Lipsett. "This will be an important tool to have available to help manage potential disruptions within our processing sector. Having this safeguard in place, if it is ultimately needed, is critically important."
"Ontario Pork appreciates the continued dialogue with the government during this world-wide crisis," said Eric Schwindt, Chair, Ontario Pork. "The announced program is an important first step in helping family pork farms to navigate this stressful situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors.
- The province is significantly expanding the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program and committing up to $15 million to enhance health and safety measures on farms and in food processing facilities. The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program provides cost-share funding for farmers to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and implement workplace modifications and other measures.
- The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has also partnered with the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) to provide agri-food businesses, organizations and associations with educational resources, tools and consulting services to help them implement COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Additional details about businesses that may qualify can be found on the WSPS website.
- During the COVID-19 emergency, Foodland Ontario has promoted local foods of all kinds, including lamb and veal, to help consumers choose and buy local, and to market the important sectors that bring food to Ontarians’ tables.
TORONTO — The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This extension will be in effect until June 30, 2020 to ensure the government continues to have the necessary tools to safely and gradually reopen the province, while continuing to support frontline health care workers and protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19.
"Extending these emergency orders gives our frontline health care providers the necessary flexibility to rapidly respond to urgent needs and protect our most vulnerable," said Premier Ford. "Even though we're seeing decreasing infection rates with increased testing levels, we can't let our guard down just yet. We need to keep these emergency measures in place to support our frontline heroes and we must all continue following the public health advice, so we can reopen more of the province safely and gradually."
While current emergency orders will remain in place until the end of the month, the government will continue to review each one on an ongoing, case-by-case basis to determine when and if they can safely be adjusted or lifted, as part of the province's framework to safely reopen the province.
Over the past week, the government announced 31 public health unit regions across the province may proceed to Stage 2 of its Framework for Reopening the Province. This will allow additional businesses and services to reopen and more people to return to work.
In addition, larger social gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed in all parts of the province, and people are encouraged to create or join a social circle. Social circles are different from social gatherings. Social gatherings of people from outside your household are limited to 10 people. A social circle is voluntary, but if adopted should include all household members, and can include family and friends outside the household up to a maximum of 10 people in the social circle, who can interact and come into close contact with one another without physical distancing. To learn how to create a social circle, please see the step-by-step guide.
To help stop the spread, people should continue to follow public health guidelines, including practising physical distancing, wearing a face covering where physical distancing is a challenge and washing their hands thoroughly and frequently. Anyone who is worried they may have COVID-19, or who may have been exposed to the virus, is encouraged to go for testing.
- The Government of Ontario declared a provincial emergency on March 17, 2020 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The declaration of emergency was extended and is currently in effect until June 30, 2020.
- Learn more about A Framework for Reopening our Province.
- See how your organization can help fight COVID-19.
- Information and advice to help your business navigate the economy during COVID-19.
- Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing more than $500 million over five years to transform correctional facilities across the province. This funding will help ensure the safety and security of frontline staff.
This major investment will support the hiring of more than 500 new staff to help address challenges within the correctional system such as mental health and addiction issues. The additional funding will also be used to modernize outdated infrastructure to address overcrowding and to improve services.
"Our government heard from corrections staff across the province about the challenges they face each and every day," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. "These investments will create a better, safer environment for our hard-working frontline staff and will help strengthen Ontario's corrections system."
Hiring additional staff will also help ensure the government is complying with its obligations regarding the use of segregation within correctional facilities. The modernization of outdated infrastructure, including building additional day rooms and making modifications to yard space, will allow the province to provide more effective programming space.
"We have been clear in our support for corrections staff and we are determined to continue providing needed resources to these men and women who are always there when they are needed most," said Solicitor General Jones.
Recent government action to support correctional staff includes:
- Stepping up measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario's correctional system
- A redesigned training program for corrections officers
- Improving health care delivery in the correctional system
TORONTO — The Ontario Government is investing up to $46 million over the next five years to increase community-based and Indigenous-specific supports for child and youth victims of sex trafficking. The Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund and the Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund will prioritize early intervention and increased protection for victims of sexual exploitation and dedicated survivor supports.
“Over the last year, we heard from our frontline agencies, survivors and Indigenous communities and organizations that there is a critical need to increase available supports for children and youth affected by sex trafficking,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “Our goal is to build a more comprehensive network of anti-human trafficking services across Ontario, so more victims have access to the supports they need.”
Funding will be available to partners and agencies and focus on areas such as:
- Trauma-informed programming developed and delivered by survivor-led organizations,
- Dedicated services for victims under age 18, including residential placements and treatment, peer mentoring, as well as education and employment training programs;
- Culturally-appropriate, Indigenous-designed supports for First Nations, Inuit and Métis victims, families and communities;
- Targeted supports for sexually exploited boys, individuals with developmental disabilities, LGBTQ2S individuals, and racialized and newcomer populations;
- Specialized programs for children and youth involved in or transitioning out of child welfare or the youth justice system.
“Human trafficking isn’t just an enforcement issue — it’s a vicious and violent crime that preys on our most vulnerable, robbing them of their health, safety and dignity,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “By investing in intervention and specialized services for young people, we can reduce the threat of exploitation and protect those most at risk. These programs are vital components of Ontario’s comprehensive plan to combat human trafficking, bring traffickers to justice and end this heinous crime.”
Announced in March 2020, Ontario’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy will invest $307 million over the next five years on a comprehensive plan to raise awareness of the issue, protect victims and intervene early, support survivors and hold offenders accountable. The strategy reflects valuable input from survivors of human trafficking, Indigenous communities and organizations, law enforcement and frontline service providers.
Applications to the Community Supports Fund and Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund will be accepted until 5 p.m. on July 30, 2020.
- Approximately two-thirds of police-reported human trafficking violations in Canada occur in Ontario.
- Over 70 per cent of known human trafficking victims identified by police are under the age of 25 and 26 per cent are under 18.
- The average age of recruitment into sex trafficking is 13 years old.
- Young women and girls are particularly at risk, especially those from Indigenous communities and children and youth in care, though boys, men and people who are LGBTQ2S are also targeted.
TORONTO ― The Ontario government is providing more flexibility on the number of attendees permitted at indoor and outdoor wedding and funeral ceremonies, in recognition of the importance of being with loved ones during the moments that matter most.
Based on positive public health trends the government is extending the number of people allowed to attend an indoor wedding or funeral ceremony to a maximum of 30 per cent capacity of the ceremony venue.
Wedding and funeral ceremonies taking place outdoors will be limited to 50 attendees. For both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, those attending must follow proper health and safety advice, including practising physical distancing from people who are not from the same household or their established 10-person social circle.
"With recent progress to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are able to ease restrictions on these special ceremonies," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "We have taken deliberate steps to increase testing and increase our ability to track and contain this virus. As we loosen these measures, I strongly urge everyone to remain careful and cautious as we are all still at risk."
The changes came into effect on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. The maximum number of people allowed to attend indoor or outdoor wedding and funeral receptions remains at 10 people. As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves in Ontario, further direction will be provided on capacity restrictions for weddings and funerals going forward.
- Learn more about Stage 2 of reopening Ontario
- Learn more about A Framework for Reopening our Province
- Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19
- Visit Ontario’s COVID-19 website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from the virus.
TORONTO — With the supply of many drugs and medications having stabilized in the province, the Ontario government is lifting the recommended 30-day supply limit for dispensing Ontario Drug Benefit program medications. Effective June 15, 2020, program recipients can return to filling up to 100-day supply at a time from their pharmacy or dispensing physician, when appropriate.
"The restriction on the supply of medications was critical to prevent drug shortages due to increased demand and stockpiling at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "With the supply of medications stabilizing, people can safely go back to getting their regular prescriptions filled. This will be much more convenient for people, especially for our seniors and vulnerable citizens."
Ontario Drug Benefit recipients' co-payments will return to their previous amounts. People are encouraged to buy the medications they need in reasonable quantities. This will help ensure that everyone can get their prescriptions filled as we continue to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. The province will continue to monitor the situation to ensure there are no disruptions to the drug supply chain in the future.
- In March 2020, to ensure there was an adequate supply of medications in the province during COVID-19, pharmacists and physicians were asked to dispense 30-days or less of medication at a time for Ontario Drug Benefit recipients, with some exceptions.
- By taking this action, the government helped ensure Ontarians were able to access the medications they need during this unprecedented time.
Ontario to Resume Family Visits in Long-Term Care Homes, Retirement Homes, and Other Residential Care Settings
TORONTO — In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government announced the gradual resumption of visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other residential care settings.
Family and friends will be allowed access to these settings beginning June 18, 2020. Long-term care homes will allow outdoor visits of one person per resident each week at a minimum. Retirement homes will resume indoor and outdoor visits in designated areas or resident suites when physical distancing can be maintained. Other residential care settings will be able to allow outdoor visits of two people at time. Physical distancing will be required for all visits. This approach will ensure the health and safety of residents, staff and visitors.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, and Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.
"Thanks to the hard work of our frontline workers and the collective efforts of everyone in stopping the spread, we can now allow families to reunite with their loved ones safely and in person with strict public health measures to protect residents, visitors and staff," said Premier Ford. "But I ask everyone to be cautious and act responsibly as the battle to contain COVID-19 is not over and the risk to our loved ones still remains."
Visits will resume next Thursday, one week after the release of visitor guidelines. They will be subject to strict health and safety protocols, including requiring visitors to pass active screening every time they visit, confirming with staff that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks, and complying with the infection prevention and control protocols. This includes bringing and wearing a face covering during visits.
Additionally, long-term care and retirement homes, as well as other residential care settings, must meet the following conditions before they welcome visitors:
- Homes must not be in outbreak;
- Homes must have an established process for communicating visitor protocol and the associated safety procedures; and
- Homes must maintain the highest infection prevention and control standards.
For retirement homes, visitor admissions will vary from home to home depending upon their individual circumstances.
"We know the visitor restrictions have been tough on residents, as families and loved ones play an important role in providing care and emotional support to residents. We are confident these visits can occur safely," said Minister Fullerton. "With the possible spread of COVID-19 in our long-term care homes still being a real threat, people will need to follow strict health and safety protocols in order to protect our most vulnerable."
"Seniors living in retirement homes have been doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19," said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. "Our government appreciates their cooperation and we are happy they will soon be able to enjoy visits with family and friends while continuing to stay safe."
Other residential care settings will also be allowed visitors under similar rules. These residential care settings include homes serving people with developmental disabilities, shelters for survivors of gender-based violence, and children's residential settings.
"We are all looking forward to the day when we can once again see family and friends, and spend time together," said Minister Smith. "Today is an important first step in reconnecting loved ones who have been separated all spring."
As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves in Ontario, the direction on visits at long-term care homes, retirement homes and residential settings will continually be updated keeping the safety and emotional wellbeing of residents and staff at the forefront.
Visits have been restricted since mid-March, with only essential visitors permitted to enter long-term care and retirement homes.
- In the event of an outbreak at an individual home or residential care setting, non-essential visits will again be restricted. If a second wave of COVID-19 occurs, the government will revert to restricting visitors at all homes and residential care settings to protect residents and staff.
- These public health restrictions for long-term care homes, retirement homes, and residential settings are meant to provide meaningful and equitable access to visits for all residents, while considering the staffing and space capacity available to the home to maintain safety of residents, staff and visitors.
- The government recently announced the launch of an independent, non-partisan commission into Ontario's long-term care system beginning in July 2020. Details of the commission are now being finalized, including the terms of reference, membership, leadership of the commission and reporting timelines.
- Testing of long-term care and retirement home residents and staff for COVID-19 has been completed, or is in the process of being completed, with additional rounds of testing currently underway.
- Resuming Visits in Long-Term Care Homes
- Reopening Retirement Homes
- Resuming Visits in Congregate Living Settings
- Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
- The COVID-19 Action Plan: Long-Term Care Homes outlines the steps that the government is taking to protect residents and staff in long-term care homes.
- Emergency information and orders.
- Ontario Taking Action on Key Recommendations from Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System.
- For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
As part of that funding, $594 million will support hospitals as they meet current and future demands for regular services. This represents an overall increase in funding to the hospital sector of approximately three per cent.
"This investment provides a five per cent increase of over $3.7 million in funding for Ross Memorial Hospital and a two per cent increase of more than $199,000 for Haliburton Highlands Health Services Corporation,” said MPP Laurie Scott.
“I’m delighted to announce this increase in annualized funding for our local hospitals,” continued MPP Scott. “This investment helps to solidify the care our community deserves.”
"We are grateful for the Ontario government's funding increase, which will support us in providing the care our community needs, as well as enabling our continued response to the pandemic," said Kelly Isfan, President and CEO, Ross Memorial Hospital
The hospital investment takes into consideration incremental growth to support flexibility, annualizing 2019/20 in-year investments, and ensuring all publicly funded hospitals receive an increase of no less than one per cent.
Our government recognizes the long-standing funding inequities for both small and medium-sized hospitals. To provide continued financial stability and relief, we have annualized the $68 million investment from 2019/20 for both small and medium sized hospitals as part of this funding.
Our goal has been clear. We are going to protect the health of Ontarians. Our government’s action plan will help us continue building a sustainable and connected health care system and equip hospitals to tackle COVID‑19.
TORONTO — The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is helping small businesses reach more customers through the Digital Main Street platform. It is a $57-million program which will help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students.
The new program was unveiled today by Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, joined by Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
"Ontario's small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and their recovery is critical to Ontario's recovery," said Minister Sarkaria. "As thousands of small businesses across the province closed their doors and halted business during the COVID-19 outbreak, many struggled to shift sales or services online. I am very pleased, that together with Minister Joly and our federal partners, we are providing small businesses with the tools they need to recover, and flourish, as Ontario reopens."
Through the $57-million contribution to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:
- shopHERE powered by Google will leverage Ontario's strengths by hiring highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves. The core goal will be to help small businesses compete and grow, in a world that is increasingly online, and help them recover as quickly as possible following COVID-19.
- Digital Main Street Grant will help main street small businesses be digitally more effective. Through a $2,500 grant administered by the Ontario BIA Association, small businesses will be able to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. Municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) can apply for a Digital Service Squad grant, which will allow them to establish teams to provide personalized, one-on-one support.
- Future-Proofing Main Street will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that helps existing main-street firms adapt to changes in their sector and thrive in the new economy. By leveraging teams of digital marketing professionals and talented students, these firms will be able to create new online business models, develop and implement digital and e-commerce marketing strategies, and maximize digital tools, platforms and content.
In addition, the Recovery Activation Program, operated through the Toronto Region Board of Trade, will help businesses grow and digitize their operations with custom consulting sessions, online resource sharing, learning webcasts and business planning. As a result of the investment announced today, the program will be offered province-wide and at no cost to businesses.
"As local economies across Ontario reopen, we're focused on ensuring that our main streets don't just survive, but thrive," said Mélanie Joly, Canada's Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario."These businesses are the backbone of our economy, a source of local jobs - and local pride. Thanks to the expanded Digital Main Street platform, they'll be able to expand their offerings and take advantage of more and more people shopping online. Our message to Ontario's small businesses and those whose livelihoods rely on them is clear: we're working with you to support good jobs and help our economy come back stronger than ever."
"The global marketplace is rapidly changing, and in order to compete and succeed Ontario must adapt," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "By using innovative tools and technologies, Digital Main Street will help our businesses in expanding their reach to meet new markets and adjust to the new realities of doing business during the pandemic and into the next phase of economic recovery."
About 60 percent of Ontario's small enterprises have a website, and only seven percent have an online payment solution. Digitally, Canadian businesses are estimated to be two years behind their U.S. counterparts.
In response, the Ontario government is providing significant support to small business. Along with the Digital Main Street platform, the province is investing an additional $150 million in rural broadband which will help open the digital road for many Ontario small businesses. In addition, the province has proposed a ban on commercial evictions to help businesses that have been impacted by restrictions due to COVID-19.
- The Ontario Government reduced the small business Corporate Income Tax rate by 8.7 percent starting January 1, 2020. This will deliver up to $1,500 in annual savings to more than 275,000 businesses.
- Ontario’s Small Business Success Strategy, launched prior to COVID-19, identified the need for small businesses across the province to build or enhance their online presence to remain competitive and expand their markets. The 2020 pandemic has further reinforced the need for Ontario small businesses to embrace digital tools, including having online storefronts and expanding them.
- To further support small businesses with physical storefronts impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, Ontario is Proposing a Temporary Ban on Commercial Evictions.
- The planned expansion of these Digital Main Street programs, including ShopHERE powered by Google and the Future-Proofing Main Street program, are the next evolution in efforts to help businesses embrace digital tools that began with the City of Toronto. Through the leadership of Mayor John Tory and the City of Toronto, the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) pioneered the creation of Digital Main Street and laid the foundation for it to be expanded and scaled-up to serve businesses across the province.
- The expansion of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas’ (TABIA) Digital Main Street platform and program is delivered by the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) with the financial support of the provincial and federal governments.
- shopHERE is a Digital Main Street program operated by TABIA. TABIA will also support the delivery of the Future-Proofing Main Street program, along with Communitech and Invest Ottawa.
- The Recovery Activation Program is operated by the Toronto Region Board of Trade.
- For more information on the Digital Main Street, go to: digitalmainstreet.ca/ontario
- Visit Ontario.ca/reopen for more information on economic reopening
- Learn more about A Framework for Reopening our Province: Stage 1
- Find more Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace
- Tell us about the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak
- See how Ontario is Improving Broadband and Cell Service for Rural Communities