RECENT NEWS: James Barry Responds to Decision of Provincial Government to Deem Construction as Essential
Read the letter here: IBEW Response to Ontario Govt Re: Construction Workplaces as Essential Workplaces
UPDATE: April 30 6:53:12 PM
Message from Executive Secretary Treasurer, James Barry:
Below is the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The House of Commons has passed the Federal Government’s $9 Billion aid package for post-secondary students affected by COVID-19. It will become law tomorrow after it is passed by the Senate and receives Royal Assent.
- The latest expenditure brings the total Federal spending to counter the pandemic to approximately $146 Billion. The Parliamentary Budget Office has now reported that the emergency spending, coupled with the economic contraction triggered by the shut down of the economy to counter COVID-19 and the simultaneous crash of oil prices means the Federal Deficit is now projected to reach a record $252 Billion dollars. That would be approximately 49 per cent of Canada’ Gross Domestic Product.
- In the fiscal update last fall before the pandemic, the budget deficit was projected to be around $25 Billion and around 30 per cent of Canada’s GDP.
- At his briefing today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Government is aware of the impact of the pandemic spending on the Government’s financial outlook. But he said the priority remains to help people and companies come through the crisis. If that is successful he said economic recovery will quickly follow and the Government will then turn to getting finances back in order.
- Today, the provincial government released safety guidelines for companies working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector. The guidelines will help outline how companies should operate when the economy re-opens. The guidelines recommended actions to ensure physical distancing, including installing plexiglass barriers and revamping HVAC systems. The Premier added that Ontario is “on the path to re-opening the economy”.
- Minister McNaughton also announced that 58 new inspectors from OCOT and TSSA are being brought into the Ministry of Labour to communicate guidelines or enforce emergency measures.
- Minister Elliott was asked when the government will re-open elective surgeries. She said that the government is currently putting a process in place to start elective surgeries as soon as possible. The Minister said that they will prioritize cardiac, cancer and some orthopedic surgeries. The Minister also said that the beds that were opened at the beginning of the pandemic will remain open for the foreseeable future.
- The Premier was asked about putting a moratorium on commercial evictions. The Premier did not commit, but said that he will look at specific cases. He added that the program the government put forward is a good deal, and the province invested $900 million in the joint Fed/Prov program.
- The Premier also responded to a question about the new federal policy banning window visits at long-term care homes. He said that it is “ridiculous” and that the federal government needs to “rethink it”.
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario