COVID-19 is something that we are all going to have to face together. Our primary concern is the health and safety of Ontarians.
We hope you are staying safe and healthy.
Thank you to all the province’s essential services workers and those on the front-line. You step up everyday to ensure individuals, families and seniors have what they need to stay safe and healthy.
Thank you to everyone else who is staying home and practicing physical distancing.
It is important to listen to the advice of Public Health experts:
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Practice social-distancing
- Stay home if you’re not feeling well
- If you are concerned or suspect you have the virus, call
Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000 or
Ottawa Public Health: 613-580-6744
New as of May 15
Today, the Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government’s reopening framework. The workplaces opening as part this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services.
The government also announced additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early as Saturday May 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, as key public health indicators continue to show progress.
The details were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
As soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020:
- Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
- Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
- Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
- Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.
The government’s responsible and measured approach to reopening will allow business owners and service provider’s time to ensure workplaces are safe for staff, consumers and the general public. Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, Ontario’s first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will include:
- Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.
- Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
- Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
- Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
- Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
- Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling; in-person services, in addition to virtual services, delivered by health professionals; and scheduled surgeries, all based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The government and health and safety associations have released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. As new sectors of the economy begin to reopen, additional resources will be made available to help protect the safety of workers and the general public.
To support business-owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, the government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.
The government continues to prioritize the needs of patients, frontline health care workers and first responders when it comes to having critical equipment and supplies to protect themselves during the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses are encouraged to access only the PPE they need to keep their employees and customers safe.
To ensure that these first actions to reopen the province are a success, the public should continue to adhere to public health measures, including practising physical distancing or wearing a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible, as well as regular handwashing and staying home when ill. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when certain public health restrictions, including adjustments to social gatherings can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support Canadians and protect jobs during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) helps businesses keep employees on the payroll and encourages employers to re-hire workers previously laid off, and better positions businesses to bounce back following the crisis.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau today announced that the Government of Canada will extend the CEWS by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020. Extending the program will give workers greater confidence that they will continue to get the support they need during these difficult times. The Government will consult with key business and labour representatives over the next month on potential adjustments to the program to incent jobs and growth, including the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold. Any potential changes following the consultation will have as key objectives to maximize employment, ensure the CEWS reflects the immediate needs of businesses, and support the post-crisis economic recovery.
In addition, Minister Morneau also announced the approval of regulations to extend eligibility for the CEWS to ensure that it continues to support those employers and workers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and protects the jobs Canadians depend on. These regulations extend eligibility for the CEWS to the following groups:
- Partnerships that are up to 50-per-cent owned by non-eligible members;
- Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business, as well as partnerships where the partners are Indigenous governments and eligible employers;
- Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations;
- Registered Journalism Organizations; and
- Non-public colleges and schools, including institutions that offer specialized services, such as arts schools, driving schools, language schools or flight schools.
The Government also intends to propose legislative amendments to ensure that the CEWS continues to meet its objectives. These proposed amendments would:
- Provide flexibility for employers of existing employees who were not regularly employed in early 2020, such as seasonal employees;
- Ensure that the CEWS applies appropriately to corporations formed on the amalgamation of two predecessor corporations and
- Better align the treatment of trusts and corporations for the purpose of determining CEWS eligibility.
The CEWS is a key measure in the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, a comprehensive plan to help ensure that Canadians can pay for essentials like mortgages, rent and groceries, and to help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty. Since its introduction, the wage subsidy has helped nearly 2 million Canadians keep or return to their jobs.
The government continues to assess and respond to the impact of COVID-19, and stands ready to take additional actions as needed to stabilize the economy and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
A strong workforce includes good job opportunities for youth. That is why the Government is working with employers across the country during this unprecedented time to make sure that young Canadians stay connected to the job market with safe and secure summer employment opportunities.
Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, kicked off the hiring period for Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) 2020. Starting today, thousands of opportunities are being posted to the Job Bank website for jobs available across the country. Thousands more will be posted over the coming weeks and months, with a target of approximately 70,000 placements.
Temporary changes to CSJ were announced by the Prime Minister on April 8, 2020 that were aimed at helping young people who are struggling to find summer work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The flexibilities introduced this year include allowing employers to offer part-time positions, and an extension of the hiring period to the end of February 2021.
In the current COVID-19 economic climate, this year CSJ job placements will respond to both local and national priorities within the not-for-profit, small business and public sectors as well as jobs supporting the delivery of critical service in their community. Job placements could range from tele mental health support lines for youth, to delivering remote education services, to job placements in community services that focus on delivering supports to vulnerable populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All youth are encouraged to search for CSJ-funded jobs in their communities by visiting jobbank.gc.ca or by downloading the free Job Bank app. Job seekers should keep checking Job Bank for updates on placements available in their communities, including Canada Emergency Student Benefit applicants who are able to work and are required to verify that they are looking for work as part of the eligibility process.
From life-saving cancer treatments to clean technologies that protect our environment, thousands of research staff in Canada are driving discoveries and innovations that support our well-being and our economy. When we need them the most, many members of Canada’s academic research community have been forced to temporarily suspend their work due to COVID-19. To ensure they can keep their jobs, safeguard their research, and continue their important work after this crisis, the Government of Canada is stepping up to support them.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced $450 million in funding to help Canada’s academic research community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The investment will:
- Provide wage supports to universities and health research institutes, so they can retain research staff who are funded from industry or philanthropic sources and are unable to access some of the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. This would apply even if their work has been temporarily suspended. The government will provide up to 75 per cent per individual, with a maximum of $847 per week.
- Support universities and health research institutes to maintain essential research-related activities during the crisis, and to ramp back up to full research operations once physical distancing measures are lifted. This will cover up to 75 per cent of total eligible costs, and will support activities such as the safe storage of dangerous substances, and restarting data sets that were interrupted during the pandemic.
This investment is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which has helped protect Canadian jobs, and committed billions in support to Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the pandemic. It will help sustain Canada’s research excellence and protect our research talent, in support of the COVID-19 response and the post-pandemic economic recovery.
With the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend and the warmer weather ahead, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding all travellers that the travel restrictions announced in March are still in place at all of Canada’s international border crossings.
The Government of Canada introduced these border measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, including the restriction of all non-essential travel into Canada.
All travel of an optional or discretionary nature, including tourism, recreation and entertainment, is covered by these measures across all ports of entry in all modes of transportation – land, marine, air and rail.
With the travel restrictions still in place, foreign nationals, including United States (U.S.) citizens, will not be allowed to enter Canada if they attempt to come for any of the following examples of discretionary (non-essential) travel:
- opening or checking on a cottage or seasonal home;
- boating across the border;
- fishing or hunting;
- attending a party or celebration;
- visiting family, friends, partners or a girlfriend, boyfriend or fiancé(e);
- driving in transit for the purpose of taking a shortcut through Canada to get to a U.S. destination faster;
- picking up a pet; and,
The CBSA is also reminding boaters that crossing the border for recreation or tourism purposes is currently prohibited. Boaters should visit the CBSA website for more information.
All travellers entering Canada, including foreign national boaters who drop anchor in Canadian waters, must report to the CBSA. Failing to report is a serious offence, subject to potential penalty, seizure action, loss of trusted traveller program membership, and prosecution under the Customs Act or Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
With Safe Boating Awareness Week upon us, the Ottawa Police Marine, Dive and Trails (MDT) Unit wishes to provide its top 5 boating safety tips to ensure everyone is operating their vessel in a safe manner.
The MDT team will be on our waterways during the long May weekend and remind boaters to:
- Wear your Lifejacket – Over 80% of Canadians who drown while boating were not wearing their lifejacket or not wearing it properly. There are so many choices for lifejackets / personal floatation devices on the market now, it is easy to pick one that suits your ‘boating style’ that you are comfortable wearing all the time, when you are on the water.
- Boat Sober – Be mindful that the use of prescription drugs, alcohol, illicit drugs or cannabis – all intoxicants – can be both dangerous and illegal. In some provinces, including Ontario, being convicted of Impaired operation if a water vessel will also affect your automobile license.
- Be Prepared, You and Your Boat – Make sure you and your boat are up to your planned on-water activities. That means you are knowledgeable about your upcoming trip, your boat is properly equipped with the required and good to have safety equipment, the weather is suitable for the voyage, you have sufficient fuel and you have filed a trip plan. Consider that by boating and not jeopardizing your safety and that or other boaters, you will not be putting pressure on rescue/medical resources during the pandemic.
- Take a Boating Course – If you are operating a powered recreational vessel, you should have your Pleasure Craft Operator Card or some other proof of competency. But that is just as a start, so consider taking some advanced courses. If your boating preference tends towards paddle, consider some on water training, when available.
- Be Aware of Cold-Water Risks – Cold water can severely impact your ability to swim or even just stay afloat. Even the best swimmers will feel the effects of a sudden cold-water immersion. No matter your swimming ability, your best chance of surviving an accidental cold-water immersion is to wear your lifejacket!
For more information on Safe Boating Awareness Week, May 16-22, 2020, please visit https://csbc.ca/en/safe-boating-awareness-week
Ontario has created a new self-assessment tool
If you think you have 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care. Visit here.
If you require help in Ottawa South, please visit our website for Community links and contacts.