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
Please read the letter I sent last week to Minister Lisa Thompson regarding Service Ontario concerns.
Remember that the government of Ontario has said that your driver’s license, health card and license sticker will not expire during the state of emergency.
Most services are available online.
You do not need to go to a Service Ontario location for these items at this time.
For more information, please visit:
New as of May 25
ODSP members can contact new centralized number to request emergency benefits for May and June (1-888-444-2412)
Thousands of people are generously giving their time and resources to make and deliver food, run errands, and check in on those who are self-isolating.
Today’s update was provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.
On April 9, the government announced it was investing $100,000 in its partnership with SPARK Ontario to support the province’s first bilingual volunteer hub connecting volunteers with community organizations that support vulnerable Ontarians. To date, the response has been tremendous:
- Over 54,000 users have visited the SPARK Ontario website to learn how they can volunteer;
- Over 3,500 civic-minded Ontarians have signed up on the site to volunteer, and over 3,100 have contacted community organizations regarding a volunteer opportunity; and
- 141 community organizations have registered for volunteer matching and more than 100 COVID-19-related volunteer opportunities have been posted online.
Today, volunteers are supporting seniors, people with disabilities and others in need as they stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak with food delivery, shopping for supplies, running errands, providing remote mental health and crisis support, and tutoring kids.Volunteers are also mentoring seniors on technology to ensure they are connected online, as well as providing mental health support to both seniors and people with disabilities by writing letters and poems.
The government has partnered with the Older Adults Centres Association of Ontario to help implement the Seniors Centres Without Walls model of programming, where isolated seniors can participate in group programs over the phone. As of April 30, 2020, 35 programs have begun running in their communities.
Through the new Ontario Community Support Program, the province is working with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) and their large volunteer base to increase Meals on Wheels food deliveries and deliver essential supplies to isolated, low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions. More than 500 meal referrals and nearly 2,000 essential supply referrals have been made since the program launched in mid-April.
Southlake Regional Health Centre will temporarily manage River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton and Humber River Hospital will temporarily manage Downsview Long Term Care in North York. The orders may be extended beyond the 90 days, if necessary.
Despite receiving hospital support for weeks, these homes have been unable to contain the spread of COVID-19. By taking these steps the government is enabling a rigorous management structure to help contain the spread of the disease and assist in returning these homes to normal operations.
The Ministry of Long-Term Care will continue to make decisions on which long-term care homes may require additional management support on a case-by-case basis. The province is working with its health partners in addressing challenges in the long-term care sector by involving hospitals in deploying Infection Prevention and Control teams to homes, continued staff and resident testing, addressing personal protective equipment supply issues, and redeploying hospital staff to help with critical staffing shortages in long-term care homes.
Canadian families and small businesses across the country are feeling the impacts of COVID-19. That’s why the Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to protect jobs and businesses, and give property owners support so they can help small business tenants make it through these difficult times.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that applications are now being accepted for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses.
Over the course of the program, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75 per cent for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June, for their small business tenants. CECRA will cover 50 per cent of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25 per cent and the property owner forgiving at least 25 per cent.
Applying for CECRA makes financial sense for property owners, as their success depends on the success of their tenants. If a tenant declares bankruptcy and is evicted, the property owner receives zero rental income and faces additional costs while they search for new tenants. With this program, property owners will continue to receive income, and small business tenants will receive the help they need to recover and come back after the pandemic.
CECRA is another measure announced by the Government of Canada to provide important relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship, and help keep Canadians on the payroll.
Hotline to provide small businesses in need with financial planning advice amid COVID-19 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)
Small businesses have been facing unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to do so as they take steps toward reopening. To help them get through this crisis, the Government of Canada has introduced a wide range of supports to help businesses retain their employees, keep their costs low and pay their operating expenses.
The smallest businesses may face the additional challenge of accessing tailored financial planning advice to help them survive this difficult period.
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced that the Government of Canada will support the launch of a four-week hotline service called the Business Resilience Service. This service will help entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of financial planning advice, particularly those who may not have access to an accountant. The service will also be open to not-for-profit organizations and charities.
The hotline is a national, bilingual service operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As of today, small business owners with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).
Business advisors—125 members of Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA Canada)—will be available to provide customized financial guidance to the smallest business owners in the most urgent need and help them make the best decisions for their business as they navigate this crisis. Advisors can answer questions about tax regulations and the implications of COVID-19, inform business owners about government support programs that best fit their unique circumstances, and provide strategic financial planning for their road to recovery.
Every step of the way through this crisis, the government will continue to support Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs—especially vulnerable businesses in dire need of help.
A special note from VISTAS – our Alta Vista community newspaper is BACK IN PRINT, after a month of hiatus (an effort to support our volunteer distribution team’s safety and commitment to follow Stay at Home directives). While we are excited to be back on track with our final paper before the summer months, we acknowledge that some places of business who usually have papers for pickup are still not open. We’d like to remind our readers that VISTAS is also posted online each month at vistas-news.ca in addition to paper copies. Our June issue will be hot off the press and on the website on Friday, May 29.