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Hello <<First Name>>, 

I have heard from many of you who have been feeling insecure and concerned about their finances as a result of the pandemic. The Official Opposition has been urging the government to provide support for those who cannot access the benefits of Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Too many of you have been falling through the cracks and wondering how it will be possible to make this month's rent or mortgage payment. We will continue to press the issue at Queens Park. It's important that the province play their part in providing the stimulus required to keep the economy going through these tough times.

Yesterday, the federal government announced some measures aimed at including a broader range of people in the CERB benefit. Some of the individuals that can now apply are:
  • Workers who are earning up to $1,000 a month, (such as contract or gig economy workers)
  • Seasonal workers who are unable to find work due to COVID-19.
  • Unemployed individuals who have exhausted EI benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020
This is a positive step in the right direction that I hope will be of use to some of those that have worries about how they fit in. You can apply for the CERB benefit HERE.

The Federal Government has also announced an expansion of eligibility for small business loans. The $40,000 in interest-free government-backed loans has expanded to businesses with payrolls worth between $20,000 and $1.5 million. Learn more about this program HERE. They are also looking to provide resources to help business afford commercial leases, and are looking to work with the provinces to make that happen. We have asked the Ontario Government to take measures to keep Main Street afloat, including a 75% commercial rent subsidy up to $10,000. We will continue to advocate for more support for our local businesses and will encourage cooperation with the federal government on this front.

Yesterday, we also learned the troubling news that only 9 of Ontario's 626 Long-term care homes received resident quality inspections (RQIs). Our seniors have worked so hard and contribute so much to the fabric of our community. We need to do a better job of caring for them now, and into the future. We will continue to press for more action to protect those most vulnerable, such as those outlined in the press release below.

Please scroll down for local news, events, and resources available to you on a variety of issues, including legal advice, and more online programming from agencies in our community.

As always, my office is here to help. Please call at 416-243-7984, or email us at fhassan-co@ndp.on.ca.

Take care, stay home, and wash your hands.

Best Regards,



Faisal Hassan
Member of Provincial Parliament
York South - Weston
 
News Release 
 

Ford must close huge gaps he opened in care home protection

Province needs a plan to manage residential care homes in dire situations

QUEEN’S PARK —  After weeks of COVID-19 sweeping through vulnerable group living facilities, the Ford government is choosing to build dangerous gaps into its new protective orders, leaving seniors and adults with disabilities at greater risk. Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, wants those problems fixed today — alongside a plan to take over management of facilities where residents aren’t protected.

  • Retirement homes, supportive housing and assisted living residences — including homes like Participation House — are excluded
  • Temp agency staff, who frequently work in long-term care homes, are exempt from a new rule banning workers from working in multiple homes
  • The rules don’t come into effect for a full week, despite the wildfire of infections potentially at a peak this week

“Ford is leaving dangerous loopholes big enough for COVID-19 fires to sweep through,” said Horwath. “Every senior in care and every adult living with a disability is a person who matters, and they deserve better. It should never have come to this.

Horwath said Ontario should follow British Columbia’s lead in developing criteria for when Public Health will take over management of individual long-term care homes and other group housing for vulnerable people.

“The government has done too little, far too late to protect seniors in care and adults with disabilities in group living situations. It’s beyond time for the government to step up with a plan to take direct management of homes where residents aren’t protected enough.”

Horwath has been calling for an overhaul of long-term care in Ontario for years, and now says once the COVID-19 crisis has passed, it will be up to Queen’s Park to ensure Ontario never goes back to the patchwork of privatized, underfunded and poorly-regulated seniors care.

In March, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer took over control of staffing at some care homes in that province for six months, a measure designed to protect residents and ensure employees are guaranteed better pay, full-time hours, and are restricted to working at just one location. At that time, B.C. had outbreaks in about 19 long-term care homes. Ontario has close to 100 long-term care homes with outbreaks, in addition to outbreaks in other types of group living facilities for vulnerable people.

Community News:

The amazing Frontlines Toronto is offering an array of virtual programming including online tutoring, cooking classes, and so much more! Visit their website to learn more, or register for upcoming events HERE.
The bravery of our medical workers in the wake of this pandemic deserves all of our support, and Islamic Relief Canada has been delivering masks to local hospitals & clinics. To support more hospitals and clinics, donate through this link: islamicrelief.ca/covid19

Some sad news to report. This weekend will see the last printed version of the York Neighbourhood Voice. It has been an important source of local news. Content and reporting will still be available online, but many will miss having this valuable resource on their front steps every week.
Join our leader, Andrea Horwath, as she speaks with the National Council of Canadian Muslims on the topic of supporting communities during COVID-19 and beyond. This event is taking place via Facebook Live, and you can register at www.facebook.com/nccmuslims.
“We do need to do everything possible to protect seniors in long-term care. From the beginning of this pandemic, we should have restricted workers to one long-term care or group living facility each, and mandated higher wages and scheduling practices that would allow them to do that." - Andrea Horwath

Seniors have spent their lifetimes helping build our province, now we must ensure they have the support and protection they need during these difficult times.
Andrea Horwath and the NDP believe the province should mandate a three-month 50 per cent discount to auto insurance, and ensure that drivers can defer their reduced payments until after the pandemic if they’ve lost income as a result of COVID-19.

Instead of providing the discount that drivers need now, the Ford government has chosen to simply give auto insurance corporations the option of refunding drivers at an unspecified future date. This just isn’t good enough.

 
If you have questions about legal issues arising from COVID-19. You can find the legal information you need Through CLEO’s Steps to Justice website at https://stepstojustice.ca/covid-19
Time-of-Use Hydro Spike

Millions of Ontarians are doing their part by staying at home to protect the most vulnerable in our province. Hiking their bills for daytime electricity use punishes them for doing that.

The government should cancel Time of Use pricing until after the end of the pandemic, and work on making electricity bills more affordable, not more expensive. Learn more from our press release HERE.

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Copyright © 2020 Member of Provincial Parliament - York South-Weston, All rights reserved.


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