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 14, 8:36:14 AM
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.
- On Monday, the Federal government unveiled a $50 Million program to support Temporary Foreign Workers coming to Canada and the Canadians in the Agri-Food and Fish Processing industries that employ them.
- Like anyone else coming to Canada, the temporary workers will have to spend fourteen days in quarantine before taking up their jobs picking fruits and vegetables or processing sea food. The Federal Government will pay employers $1,500 per worker to help with the costs of housing, feeding and supporting these workers for the two weeks before they can begin their jobs.
- The Federal Government also released guidelines to try to stem the number of COVID-19 deaths of elderly Canadians living in long term care facilities.
- Long term care facilities are the responsibly of Provincial Governments however, the Federal government released the guidelines because while it varies by province, close to half the deaths from COVID-19 have been of elderly residents living in long term care.
- The federal government recommendations:
- Restrict volunteers and visitors to long term facilities.
- Increasing testing of staff and patients.
- Increased cleaning.
- Staff only work in one long term facility.
- Resident take their meals alone as part of increased social distancing.
- The Federal Government has approved a COVID-19 test developed by an Ottawa firm named Spartan. This test is small, portable and gives results in about half an hour. Officials said Ottawa hopes to buy all of the company’ s production, or about 40,000 units a month. Priority for these tests will be in remote areas and the elderly.
- The Prime Minister will reconvene daily update press conferences on April 14, 2020
- Over the last five days, more than 13 million surgical and procedural masks, 200,000 N95 respirator masks, and 38 ventilators have been delivered to Ontario’s pandemic stockpile warehouses.
- Ontario is providing same-day deliveries to hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and other facilities to support essential workers in all settings and ensuring supplies and equipment are expedited to those most in need. This includes shipments this past weekend of 6.5 million surgical and procedural masks to over 650 providers across the province to protect our frontline workers, patients and residents.
- On Saturday, Alberta committed to send Ontario 250,000 N95 masks, 2.5 million surgical masks, 15 million surgical gloves, 87,000 safety goggles, and 50 ventilators.
- Premier Doug Ford said “I also want to take this opportunity to thank Premier Jason Kenney and the people of Alberta for making a generous donation of critical medical supplies and equipment in the fight against COVID-19. By standing united in adversity, Team Canada will stop this virus in its tracks.”
- The Premier confirmed that the legislature will reconvene on April 14, 2020 to pass further emergency legislation. He mentioned that they will be looking at several different pieces of legislation as it relates to extending the Emergency Act, Municipal Housing and Education/Child Care.
- When asked if schools closures will extend past May 5th the Premier advised that it is still too early to tell and will take the advice of the Chief Medical Officer.
- The Premier along with the Minister of Health confirmed that they are doing absolutely everything possible to protect those in long term care facilities. They are using all resources available, providing supplies, increasing testing and restricting who can enter a long-term care facility.
- When questioned about what is still lagging for Ontario to get to 15,000 tests per day, the Premier advised that they have the equipment and they have everything in place and that it is going to take time but ensured Ontarians that he will not lose focus on getting these testing numbers up.
- The Minister of Finance has advised that the economic recovery for the Province can and potentially will happen at different times, in different places, even in different sectors. He confirmed that the government will work with health officials to ensure that opening up the economy and getting people back to work will be done in a safe and responsible manner.
- Ontario is making it easier for businesses to work with government by developing a smarter procurement system that will save taxpayer money, drive office efficiencies and help small- and medium-sized businesses tap into new opportunities in government procurement.
- The Minister of Health has advised that the government has received thousands of applications through the Workforce matching portal and are currently reviewing the qualifications to get applicants certified so they can start working in the various areas where they are most needed.
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario