Jill Andrew MPP, Toronto–St. Paul's

Government of Ontario

COVID-19: Coronavirus Information

NOTE: My Constituency Office is Closed

My staff is currently working from home, but remain available to serve constituents of Toronto—St. Paul's by phone and email: 416-656-0943 OR JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca

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COVID-19 News and Information - Updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Here are today’s new developments:

Ontario municipalities will share up to $4 billion from the $19-billion fund the federal government and provinces pledged last week to help municipalities, which are short millions due to the pandemic - The NDP says municipalities need support from the Ford government over the long-term to avoid service cuts, and that many are still reeling from the deep cuts Doug Ford made to municipalities two years ago, including to public health, ambulance services and child care. 

The maximum number of kids allowed in child care cohorts in the province has been raised to 15 from 10. Doug Ford continues to claim that child care has already been back to 91 per cent capacity, but journalists, experts, parents and the NDP have all debunked that.

Solutions we’re pushing for:

Jeff Burch and  Jessica Bell say the funding announced by the Ford government for municipalities falls short of what's needed for municipalities to protect jobs and public services over the long-term. 

Here are today’s new developments:
 
Several unions are calling on the Ford government to get for-profit companies out of long-term care, in light of reports that homes run by for-profits have had worse outcomes amid the pandemic. The NDP has been pushing for the same.
 
Parents, teachers and school boards have expressed increasing frustration with the Ford government's failure to provide details on a safe reopening of schools, or funding to ensure schools can meet new health restrictions. The Education Minister is expected to make an announcement on the reopening next week. The NDP's emergency action plan for a safe return includes more funding for schools and child care and job-protected leave for parents.
 
Solutions we’re pushing for:
 
Doug Ford needs to come clean on a secret deal his government signed to contract out COVID-19 testing in Windsor-Essex. 
 
Monique Taylor and critic for Indigenous Relations Sol Mamakwa call for an emergency investigation into deaths of children in care since the pandemic began. 
 
Doly Begum and Education critic Marit Stiles urged Ford to reverse course on his pursuit of a hybrid back-to-school model they say will hurt children and families, and to open more child care spaces. 

Here are today’s new developments:

  • Ontario's COVID-19 case count today was 165 — still high, although a slight improvement over Tuesday’s count over 200. Just over half are people under age 40. 
  • The Ford government abruptly adjourned the Legislature for the remainder of the summer on Tuesday, after using its majority to ram through several controversial bills, including one that will make it easier for landlords to evict people despite the ongoing pandemic (Bill 184), and one that uses the pandemic as cover to give the Premier unchecked powers (Bill 195).

  
Solutions we’re pushing for:

Here are today’s new developments:

Seven additional regions in Ontario will proceed to Stage three of the province's reopening this week, with Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex regions remaining in Stage two. The province saw an uptick of new cases over the weekend, the bulk of them coming from Peel, Windsor-Essex and Toronto.

At his daily press conference, Doug Ford dismissed the need for an independent preparedness review to ensure the province is ready to handle a potential second wave of COVID-19 - an initiative proposed by Andrea Horwath. 

Toronto Mayor John Tory has urged the Ford government to implement stricter measures on bars and restaurants, which can resume indoor service once a region hits Stage three. At his press conference today, Ford indicated that he won't be implementing these measures . 

Despite claiming his government would launch a commission into Ontario's long-term care sector in July, Doug Ford has yet to announce any details - we have taken issue with the the Conservatives' proposed government-controlled commission, calling instead for a fully independent, find-and-fix judicial inquiry.

As the Ontario Medical Association warns that reopening bars indoors could be a risky move, there have been reports of a surge of cases among younger people in various parts of Canada.


Solutions we’re pushing for:

Andrea Horwath is calling on the government to assess Ontario's readiness for a second wave, rather than undertaking his eight-week vanity tour of the province.

In the wake of Ford announcing his government won't keep its promise to build 15,000 long-term care beds - itself a fraction of what's needed - we emphasized that the Ford Conservatives have built a paltry 34 long-term care beds. 

Lisa Gretzky, tabled a motion in the Legislature today urging the Ford government to implement a COVID-19 Essential Caregiver Strategy, which would recognize essential caregivers as more than visitors. 

We have issued a 'fact check' to a claim Ford made during today's question period, regarding a segment on CNN and Canada's response to the pandemic. 

Here are today’s new developments:

Many regions in Ontario entered Stage 3 of economic reopening today, meaning the majority of businesses will be allowed to reopen. Meanwhile, the Ontario Medical Association has asked the Ford government to reconsider allowing indoor bars to open, citing evidence from other jurisdictions showing "that the reopening of bars carries significant risk."

North York long-term care home Villa Colombo will be taken over by Humber River Hospital due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. For months, the we have been calling on the Ford government to take over all unsafe long-term care facilities, and criticizing the government for stepping in too late to curb outbreaks in long-term care. 

At his press conference today, held in the Waterloo region at a medical technology startup, Ford dodged a question about whether the federal funding package announced yesterday will cover Toronto's expected $1.35-billion shortfall. We have has been pushing the province to give emergency funding to municipalities to prevent service cuts and tax hikes.

Metrolinx is making face coverings mandatory on all GO Transit trains and buses, and on the UP Express.

Here are some concerns the we are working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:

The NDP is calling out Conservative MPP David Piccini for rejecting the NDP's plan to provide direct financial support to struggling small businesses

Here are today’s new developments:  
  • The Ford government says it will require all new and newly renovated long-term care homes to have air conditioning, and establish a fund to help retrofit older homes - Andrea Horwath said private long-term care homes should not receive public money for AC, but should be forced to reinvest their massive profits.
Solutions we’re working on:
  • Andrea Horwath and Joel Harden will host a telephone town hall on the problems facing Ottawa's long-term care sector this evening. 

 

Here are today’s new developments: 

Most of Ontario will move to Stage 3 of the province's economic reopening Friday, with businesses including bars, restaurants, movie theatres and gyms opening up. Toronto, York and Peel regions, Durham, Windsor-Essex, Haldimand-Norfolk and Lambton regions will remain in Stage Two.

Andrea Horwath said the move to Stage Three should include support from the Ford government to help fund the costs of businesses' reopening. We also called for more resources to public health. Horwath said problems with testing, contact tracing and isolation are holding some regions back – and failing to fix these issues could cause Ontario to take one step forward and two steps back.

Ontario reported 116 new cases of COVID-19 today, as the province prepares to ease further restrictions.  

Solutions we’re pushing for:

Andrea Horwath visited local businesses and officials in Kingsville, Leamington and Essex this weekend, calling for the Ford government to adopt the Save Main Street plan. 

During question period today, Horwath urged Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce to make classes smaller — so all students can return to school five days per week this fall — by hiring more teachers and educator workers, and funding extra spaces for children to learn.

Taras Natyshak criticized the Ford government for handing over COVID-19 testing in hotspots in Windsor-Essex to a private corporation with deep Conservative Party ties, making the testing approach less coordinated in the region.

MPPs from Northern Ontario said Ford must stop excluding Northern schools from reopening plans. 

MPP Monique Taylor called on Ford to put an end to excessive wait times for COVID-19, urging him to fix the broken testing system. 

Here are today’s new developments: 

Ontario announced a new program to promote locally-made products today, as the economy reopens. Meanwhile, critics say the Ford government's ostensible COVID-19 recovery bill has little to do with the pandemic . As Andrea Horwath has emphasized, the bill offers nothing to help families, long-term care homes, small businesses, schools, day cares, First Nations and municipalities - all of who are reeling from the pandemic. 

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) sent an open letter to all Ontario MPPs urging them to vote against Ford's so-called COVID-19 recovery bill - officially called the Reopening Ontario Act - saying the proposed legislation poses "a significant threat to democratic oversight."

Officials in Windsor-Essex called on the Ford government or the federal government to take the lead in tackling the ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks on farms in the region, citing concerns about confusion and duplicated efforts. When asked during his press conference today if his government is willing to take over the response, Ford's response was vague and non-committal. The NDP has been urging Ford to protect migrant workers, highlighting his government's total lack of a plan.

Solutions we’re pushing for:

MPP Sol Mamakwa sent a letter to Ontario's Education Minister asking for urgent support for Matawa First Nations emergency education response plan - the Ford government has failed to provide First Nations schools the funding needed to safely manage a return to school in September. 

MPP Jessica Bell says Ford's so-called COVID-19 recovery bill has nothing to do with COVID-19, and grants the Premier unprecedented power to seize land without a hearing. 

Here are today’s new developments:  

  • The federal government is anticipating a whopping deficit this year, reaching $343 billion, as a result of COVID-19. 
 
Solutions we’re pushing for: 
  • Despite Ford’s claims that he didn’t know some long-term care homes lack air conditioning in residents' rooms, Andrea Horwath emphasized that the we have been calling for minimum AC requirements in long-term care since at least 2006, and that the we have been bringing the matter to Ford’s attention since 2018. Horwath called on Ford to pass legislation today to require air conditioning in all long-term care residents’ rooms. 
  • Lisa Gretzky said Ford’s plan to end pandemic top-up payments for people receiving Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW) will hurt the province’s most vulnerable. 

Here are today’s new developments: 

  • The Windsor-Essex region communities of Leamington and Kingsville--the last in Ontario held back from entering Stage Two of reopening due to outbreaks among migrant workers--will enter Stage Two tomorrow. Ford has been all over the map in his response to the ongoing migrant worker crisis, with no clear plan to protect workers. We have been pushing the government to give migrant workers proper sick pay and safe accommodation.

 
Solutions we’re pushing for:

  • During question period today,  Andrea Horwath said Doug Ford allowing asymptomatic, COVID-19-positive migrant farm workers to continue working is inhumane, and criticized Ford's misleading claims that workers who self-isolate will still be paid. “The majority of workers will not be paid under the current system, which also fails to protect farmers from critical labour shortages,” Horwath said.
  • Marit Stiles and Doly Begum say the Ford government’s instructions for schools’ reopening post-COVID are vague, leaving parents and educators anxious and unsure of what to expect. We want the government to implement an action plan that includes guaranteed access to job-protected leave for parents until school and child care fully resume.  

Here are today’s new developments:  

 Migrant workers: 

 
Mandatory masks 

 Relief for municipalities 

Solutions we’re pushing for:
Andrea Horwath has begun laying the foundation for a better long-term care and home care system that truly supports and enables seniors, after a successful virtual summit last night.
 
The summit, which had over 3,000 viewers streaming from home, brought together participants from across Ontario – from advocates and family members to experts and frontline workers – to address the origins of the long-standing crisis in long-term care, how to stamp out COVID-19 hotspots in the short run, and how to overhaul the system to provide the highest quality care.

Here are today’s new developments: 

Solutions we’re pushing for:
  • Andrea Horwath will host a virtual summit Thursday to discuss transforming long-term care and home care; a critical step towards building the 2022 vision for a better life for Ontarians as they age.  Over 500 participants have registered for this historic summit.

Here are today’s new developments:  
 
Solutions we’re pushing for:
  • Horwath will host a live-streamed, virtual summit on a vision for transforming Ontario's long-term care sector on Thursday, July 2. The summit will bring together physicians, families, frontline care workers, policy leaders and advocates to address what long-term care could look like in Ontario. Watch the summit here.

Here are today’s new developments: 

 
Solutions we’re pushing for:

  • We hosted a Pride Cabaret Show last night, to celebrate Pride 2020. Terence Kernaghan  and I, introduced a line-up of 2SLGBTQIA+ performers in a celebration of queer art, culture and community - watch it here. 
  • Andrea Horwath will host a live-streamed, virtual summit on transforming Ontario's long-term care sector on Thursday, July 2. The summit will feature discussion with a long-term care expert and breakout discussion groups with a range of long-term care stakeholders.

News and Updates 

Here are today’s new developments: 

 
Solutions we’re pushing for:

Here are today’s new developments: 

  • Toronto and Peel Region can move into phase two of reopening as of Wednesday, Ford announced today. That leaves Windsor-Essex--where outbreaks among migrant workers on farms continue-- as the sole region in Ontario to remain in phase one – MPPs from Windsor-Essex said Ford’s failure to prevent or contain the outbreaks among migrant workers is unacceptable. They urged the local officer of health to provide details on advice given to Doug Ford, as well as why the necessary actions haven’t been taken. 

Solutions we’re pushing for:

Here are today’s new developments: 

  • Education Minister Stephen Lecce unveiled plans for what the upcoming school year will look like – sort of. The details provided include options for in-class learning, online learning or a medley of the two, with decisions left to local school boards. MPP Marit Stiles responded to the announcement, saying the plan lacks clarity, and leaves the heavy lifting to boards, without new funding to bolster the necessary adjustments and need for more staff. 

 Solutions we’re pushing for:

  • The government announced its per-student funding for the 2020-21 school year today, an amount MPP Marit Stiles called “pitiful,” as it amounts to just $250 more per student. Stiles said the amount won’t make up for Ford’s class-size hikes and course cuts last year, and fails to invest in what's needed for kids to catch up after months away from the classroom.

Here are today’s new developments: 

  •  Ontario has reported fewer than 200 new cases of COVID-19 for the fourth day in a row, with the bulk of cases found in Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex, the regions yet to move into Stage Two of reopening. 

 
Here are some concerns the NDP is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:

Here are today’s new developments: 
  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which is due to expire soon for many, will be extended. Details of what that will look expected out later this week. 
 
What I'm pushing for:

Here are today’s new developments: 

 
Solutions we’re pushing for:

Here are today’s new developments: 

  • COVID-19 cases among people in their 20s appear to be on the rise in Ontario, though the shift could be attributable to recently loosened criteria around who is eligible for testing. 
  • Premier Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott are awaiting test results for COVID-19. Minister Stephen Lecce said today that his test has come back negative after Ford, Elliott and Lecce all appeared together at Tuesday’s press conference at Queen's Park, but stayed away from Queen’s Park on Wednesday.
  • Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities announced that some in-person training at post-secondary institutions will restart in July for students requiring a practicum or lab work to graduate – Chris Glover, said the announcement has left many questions unanswered, and that post-secondary institutions hit hard by COVID-19 will need financial support - something the Ford government has refused to provide. 

 
Solutions I'm pushing for:

Here are today’s new developments: 

 
Solutions I'm  pushing for:


News and Updates 

Here are today’s new developments: 

 
Solutions we’re pushing for:
  • MPP Mike Mantha, said the Premier's misleading announcement, made earlier this week, for Broadband funding in the north was a re-announcement of funding pledged in 2019 — an amount the Ford government has still only invested a fraction of. “The re-announcement shows Ford is failing to invest in broadband during the pandemic, when families need it most,” Mantha said, calling for $1 billion to be invested in broadband, and for the government to deliver high-speed internet to rural and northern communities that need it now.

Here are today’s new developments: 

 

 Here are some concerns the I'm working on, and solutions I'm pushing for:

Here are today’s new developments: 

 

Solutions we’re pushing for:


Here are today’s new developments: 

Canada announces funding for Indigenous communities to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and brace for a potential second wave. 

Canada will look at possible family reunification for families separated by Canada-U.S. border closures.

Ontario says it is expanding its testing to include hot spots, certain workplaces and groups in congregate living setting. Ford refused set a new testing goal, and has failed for weeks to meet his own lowered targets. Firm timelines and transparent benchmarks are needed in order to open Ontario businesses safely.  I have spent weeks urging the Ford government to take ownership for its low testing numbers and expand its strategy beyond assessment centres, including with mobile testing that goes directly to people. 

Ford changed his tune on the prospect of Ontario using a regional approach to ease restrictions on the economy, as data shows the Greater Toronto Area accounts for 65.8 per cent of the province’s COVID-19 cases – Horwath has called on Ford to immediately deploy additional resources to hot spots, including testing snd contact tracing resources, PPE and financial supports.

 

Solutions we’re pushing for:

Horwath pressed the Ford government to give Ontarians a clearer timeline regarding the province’s expanded testing strategy, to include firm timelines and benchmarks that must be hit before more businesses are allowed to reopen. Amid weeks of abysmal testing numbers, I have urged the Ford government to keep workers and communities safe by setting and keeping to clear timelines.  

Yesterday, Andrea Horwath helped out with deliveries at the Ahmadiyya Youth Association’s “Neighborhood Helper” campaign.

Tomorrow morning, Horwath will hold a virtual roundtable on Facebook Live with education workers and parents, to discuss the challenges education workers, parents, students and teachers are facing during COVID-19. 

Here are today’s new developments: 

  • Canadian MPs are now taking part in sessions of the House of Commons both virtually and in-person, with regular Parliament replaced by meetings of a special committee mainly focused on COVID-19.
  • A day after the military reported atrocious conditions in five Ontario long-term care homes, Premier Doug Ford was notably absent from a sitting of the Ontario Legislature for the second day in a row. The government was questioned on claims it knew nothing about the harrowing conditions in long-term care facilities province-wide — despite incident reports, media reports, affidavits filed in legal cases and family members speaking out.

 

 

Solutions we’re pushing for:

  • In an op-ed published in today’s Ottawa Citizen, Andrea Horwath said the Ford government must stamp out COVID-19 hotspots by ramping up inspections and having a hospital or public health authority take over every unsafe long-term care facility.

“… stories of residents with horrific bedsores, unseen falls and recurring infections have continued — and time and time again, the government of the day has sent thoughts and prayers, but never help.” – Andrea Horwath

News and Updates 

Here are today’s new developments: 

 
 Solutions we’re pushing for: