Please see below the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Prime Minister Trudeau returned to provide a news conference in front of Rideau Cottage to signify that we are all going out to need to stay home to fight the surge of COVID 19 cases. He made a few minor economic announcements:
- The applications for current federal wage subsidy can still be submitted by employers if they have significant drop in revenues because of the pandemic but keep their employees on their payroll. The program runs until the end of June 2021.
- Applications for the new Federal rent subsidy for businesses will be accepted beginning next Monday, November 23rd. The new subsidy will pay up to 65 per cent of a business’s rent if revenues are reduced because of the pandemic, and an additional 25 per cent if the business is closed because of a provincial lockdown. The subsidy will be paid directly to the tenant. The previous commercial rent subsidy was paid to landlords who had to apply for it, and it had little uptake.
- Today, Premier Doug Ford announced additional measures for the following regions effective Monday, November 23rd at 12:01AM:
- Lockdown: Peel and Toronto (28 day minimum).
- Red-Control: Durham Region Health Department; and Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services.
- Orange-Restrict: Huron Perth Public Health; Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit; Southwestern Public Health; and Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
- Yellow-Protect: Chatham-Kent Public Health; Eastern Ontario Health Unit; Grey Bruce Health Unit; Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health; Peterborough Public Health; and Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
- The lockdown level includes:
- No indoor private gatherings
- All bars and restaurants will be shut down (except for takeout or drive-thru)
- All personal care services (including barbers and salons) shut down
- All casinos, gaming halls shut down
- Non-essential stores and malls closed (except for curb-side pickup)
- Religious services (including weddings, funerals and religious services): limited to 10 people indoors and outdoors
- Schools and childcare centres will remain open
- Supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, physician offices, dentists, hardware stores, LCBO, Beer Store, all permitted to stay open at 50% capacity limits.
- The Premier also doubled the government’s previous business support fund of $300M to $600M, and asked the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice to establish a set fine to be attached to any ticket issued for violating a Section 22 order relating to COVID-19 made by a local medical officer of health.
- The Premier was asked if the government will announce guidelines for holiday gatherings like Quebec just did. The Premier said they will be rolling that out over the next few days.
- The Premier was asked what these changes would do to prevent large private gatherings. The Premier said they are hoping people are now listening to the guidelines and that the fines will act as a deterrent.
- The Premier was asked how long these restrictions will last and why kids can still go to school but not have friends over. Dr. Williams said it is tough, but what we need to do. In school, kids are using masks and following protocols. The Premier said we will have to see how things go over the next four weeks.
- The Premier was asked what will happen if people travel to regions outside of their own to visit shops and places of worship, and if travel restrictions were considered. The Premier said this was discussed in depth, but at the end of the day, this was the advice of the health table. Dr. Williams said they are asking people not to travel outside of their region unless it is an essential visit, but there is no formal travel restriction in place at this time.
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario
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