Please see below the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Today in his media appearance, the Prime Minister urged premiers not to loosen restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 because of economic pressures. “I would hope that no leader in our country is easing public-health vigilance because they feel pressure not to shut down businesses or slow down our economy,” said Trudeau, calling on Premiers and Mayors “to please do the right thing—act now to protect public health.” There has been a significant rise in cases nationwide, and the PM delivers this message as a way to support local public health directives and reinforce restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- The Minister of Public Services and Procurement and the Minister of Health announced that the federal government has signed an agreement with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) to purchase 7.6 million rapid, point-of-care, SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests for use on the BD Veritor™ Plus System and up to 2,172 analyzers.
- Today the Premier was joined by Mayor Tory, and a number of provincial officials to highlight the province’s proposal to give municipalities the flexibility to target property tax relief for small businesses. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. The province is also considering matching these reductions, which would provide small businesses with as much as $385 million in municipal and provincial property tax relief.
- Ontario reported 1,388 cases of COVID-19 today, with a record 533 in Toronto. Niagara also saw it’s highest case count since the pandemic began, with 63 cases.
- The city of Toronto announced new restrictions today that go over and above the provincial red control category in the framework. Dr. de Villa noted that the city now has a positivity rate of 5.9%. Indoor dining, meeting and event spaces, casinos, indoor exercise will also remain closed. Dr. de Villa also recommended that all social gatherings and close contacts to those that you live with. This is effectively suggesting that Torontonians do not engage in any non-essential activities outside of their homes.
- In the Q&A, the Premier was asked if he would follow Manitoba in going into a province wide lockdown or impose a lockdown in the GTA, should the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise at record levels. The Premier said that any decisions that are made that impact Toronto, are done in consultation with the Mayor. He reiterated that he would continue to heed the advice of the health table, and that he would not hesitate to do what needs to be done to keep Ontarians safe. Mayor Tory said that the added measures he introduced today were based on the recently announced provincial framework, and done in consultation with the province.
- When asked to respond to Prime Minister Trudeau’s comment that he hopes provinces aren’t reducing safety measures at this time, the Premier said that the province isn’t easing restrictions and that the framework is a useful tool to help people understand what restrictions apply to them depending on which region or municipality they are in. He also called on the federal to come to the table with more money for small businesses and to get already promised relief funding flowing faster.
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario
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