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 Federal Government is extending the CERB program until the end of the summer. At the same time the Canada – U.S. Border will remain closed to all but essential traffic until at least July 31st. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced both decisions at his briefing today on his Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Canada Emergency Relief Benefit pays eligible recipients $2,000 a month if they have lost all or most of their income because of the pandemic. So far, 8 Million Canadians have applied for the benefit since it was created in March. The cost to the Government so far has been $43 Billion. The Prime Minister said at least 3 Million Canadians still need the CERB for basic support.
- There are political implications to today’s announcement. Tomorrow the house will vote on the government’s spending estimates and the minority Liberals need the support of at least one opposition party to vote with them to pass the estimates. The New Democrats have made extending the CERB program a condition of their support. It now appears the estimates will pass. Although they won’t admit it, none of the parties want an election and all will be glad one will be averted.
- The federal government is “comfortable” with a Canadian city being one of two “hub cities” the NHL could use to resume play later this summer. The league wants to choose two cities, one in the Eastern Conference and one in the West to be hubs where all the teams in the conference would play games in the playoffs. The games would be played without fans in the stands but would have television coverage. All the players would essentially be quarantined. For a Canadian city to be selected, the Federal Government would have to adjust the requirement that people coming into Canada have to self isolate for fourteen days before undertaking doing anything — including playing hockey.
- We are expecting fierce competition from all Canadian NHL cities, as none of them have experienced late round playoff hockey in many years. In fact, the NHL was surprised when they were told that Ottawa had shown interest in being a hub city because many had forgotten that they had a team altogether. Go Leafs Go!
- The province announced they are providing employers with a new general workplace guide, which will help them develop a safety plan to better protect workers, customers and clients. The new downloadable toolkit offers tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces as the province enters into Phase 2 of its reopening plan.
- Earlier today the province introduced proposed changes to the growth plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe as well as a revised Land Needs Assessment methodology. The proposed changes will be posted for public feedback on the Environmental Registry of Ontario and the Regulatory Registry for 45 days.
- The government also announced more than $2.3 million in seven broadband projects that will support rural and Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario.
- There were 184 new COVID-19 cases reported today, bringing the cumulative total in Ontario to 32,554. This also marks the fourth time in five days where Ontario is reporting fewer than 200 cases.
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario