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COVID-19 Update: October 26

October 26, 2020

Please see below the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal:

  • The federal government did not provide an update today.

Provincial:

  • Today the Premier alongside of the Finance Minister confirmed that they will release the government’s 2020 Budget on Thursday, November 5, 2020. 
  • The Premier made it clear that the budget will focus on protecting the health and safety of the people during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing much-needed supports to families, workers, and employers, and laying the foundation for future growth, renewal and economic recovery.

“To start us down the road to recovery, we need a healthy workforce. That’s why we have put the health and safety of every Ontarian first during this pandemic,” said Premier Ford. “Getting people back to work, creating more jobs and attracting investment are also important priorities for our government. The upcoming Budget will strike a balance that will focus on continuing to protect everyone’s health and safety, while creating the right conditions for our economic recovery.”

  • The Minister of Finance also advised today that the budget will provide a three-year outlook that will build on the government’s $30 billion response to COVID-19.  He further advised that the government will also get back on the traditional budget calendar with another multi-year update by the end of March 2021. They will also outline a plan to return Ontario to a fiscally sustainable path.
  • Today the government further committed to providing small businesses in modified Stage 2 areas with up to $300 million to cover costs associated with property taxes, electricity and natural gas bills.

QUESTIONS:

  • Today’s hot topic included many questions about whether Halton and Durham Region would be moved into modified Stage 2 and if the open letter from elected officials had an effect on the government not making a decision today. The Premier advised that Halton is in a unique situation where the different levels of government and health officials are not in agreement. He encouraged Mayor Burton and MPP McKenna to write letters to voice their opinions.  The Premier reiterated that the letter did not have an effect on the provinces decision to not move Halton into a modified Stage 2.     
  • When answering questions about if the province’s strategy regarding shutdowns is working the Health Minister advised that there are a consistent set of issues that are taken in to consideration when making these decisions and outlined; capacity in ICU, capacity in hospitals, LTC staffing, along with measuring the economic impact and other collateral issues like mental health.  She further advised that the increase in numbers that we are seeing today are the impacts of Thanksgiving wherein increased community transmission happened and also mentioned that in a lot of regions numbers are going down.
  • In regards to the media reporting on a picture posted by MPP Oosterhoff where he was seen with a large group not wearing a mask, the Premier advised that the action was not appropriate and noted that the MPP had made a mistake and that the said MPP has apologized and he felt confident that the MPP would not make the same mistake again.
  • An OPP cruiser got attacked in Caledonia this past weekend by protestors to which the Premier advised that it was an unfortunate event and that he has a zero tolerance for violence and those involved should be held accountable. 
  • Before closing out questions today the Finance Minister spoke about Ontario’s resiliency being due to a very purposeful approach during Covid-19 and that the approach is paying off. He reiterated the importance of keeping a balance of health and safety together with economic recovery is key to the future success of the province.

James Barry
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario

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