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Oakville North-Burlington Update – April 30th, 2021“Our government has long advocated for the federal government to enhance the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit program to better protect the people of Ontario, especially our tireless essential workers. It is a tremendously positive step that the federal government has signaled their willingness to continue discussions on the CRSB. Now we can fix the outstanding gap in the federal program so workers can get immediate support and can stay home when needed.” – Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Monte McNaughtonOntario Introducing Paid COVID-19 Sick Leave

Supporting hard working families is a priority of the Ontario government – people should not have to choose between their careers and their health. In response to COVID-19 the Ontario Government is filling the gap that exists in the federal government program the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) by providing funding to double payments to Ontario residents, adding an additional $500 per week to eligible individuals for a total of $1000 per week.
On Thursday, April 29th, 2021, our government introduced the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act that, if passed, would make Ontario the only province with three paid days at regular pay for those who miss work because of COVID-19. To ensure that small businesses are not further burdened during this challenging time, our government will reimburse employers up to $200 per day for each employee. It will be retroactive to April 19, 2021 until Sept. 25, 2021 when the federal program expires.If workers need time off to get vaccinated, they will get paidIf workers need to recover from COVID, they will get paidIf workers need to stay home because of a sick child, or have mental health challenges due to COVID, they will get paidWith the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, this means a total of 23 paid sick days. This builds on the existing provincial supports such as Job Protected Leave and Access to Isolation Facilities which our government passed and will be the most comprehensive sick leave in Canada.
To learn more visit http://www.ontario.ca/COVIDworkerbenefit or call: 1-888-999-2248.Ontario Legislature Passes Budget Bill to Protect Health and Jobs
 This week, the Ontario Legislature passed the 2021 Ontario Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy – our government’s next step in our promise to do whatever it takes to protect people’s health and jobs during this crisis.
Ontario’s COVID-19 action plan now totals $51 billion over four years, including:$16.3 billion to protect people’s health$22.3 billion to protect the economy$11.3 billion in deferrals and other cash flow supports.The 2021 Budget protects people’s health by getting people vaccinated and investing in hospitals and long-term care. It also also builds on the significant supports for families, workers, employers and the most vulnerable that have been made available since the beginning of the pandemic.
 Vaccine Update – Oakville North-Burlington

Starting Monday, May 3, Halton residents who are 50 years of age and older (born in or before 1971) who cannot work from home will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments directly with Halton Public Health.

On April 29, the Ontario Government expanded expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include child care workers in licenced child care settings across Ontario. 

Some other essential workers and a number of other groups are currently eligible as well. Find out if you are in one of these groups at https://www.halton.ca/For-Residents/Immunizations-Preventable-Disease/Diseases-Infections/New-Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccines/Who-is-currently-eligible-in-Halton#03

As of Thursday April 29th, over five million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Ontario and it is expected that we would have vaccinated 40% Ontarians by the end of April.

You can book at https://www.halton.ca/For-Residents/New-Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccines/COVID-19-Vaccination-Clinics#book. Currently, all those over 60 can make an appointment for a vaccination at the above link.

People over 40 can make an appointment at many local pharmacies. Find a local pharmacy here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations
 Ontario Helps Train More Personal Support Workers
The Ontario government will be providing $86 million to help train up to 8,000 personal support workers (PSWs) through private career colleges and district school boards. This investment is part of the government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan and is yet another way the province is collaborating with key partners to improve the care and quality of life of people living in long-term care.
Eligible students in private career colleges can receive up to $13,235 to cover the costs of tuition, books and other mandatory fees, as well as a stipend for a clinical work placement. To be eligible for financial support, students must start their PSW training at a participating private career college between May 1 and July 31, 2021. Interested students can apply to one of Ontario’s private career colleges at ontario.ca/page/private-career-colleges.Ontario Maximizing Critical Care Capacity to Support Hospitals
In response to the recent and rapid rise in hospitalizations, ICU admissions and the threat to the province’s critical care capacity, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is taking further action to ensure hospital beds are available for COVID-19 patients in need of urgent care. To do so, the province is amending O. Reg. 272/21 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) to ensure patients receive quality care in the most appropriate setting during the third wave of the pandemic, driven by variants of concern.
This temporary emergency order will provide hospitals with the flexibility to transfer patients whose doctors have determined no longer require hospital care to long-term care or retirement homes without obtaining the consent of the patient or, where the patient is incapable, their substitute decision maker. The amended order can only be used during major surge events where the demand for critical care threatens to overwhelm a hospital and compromise care.Ontario Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Health Workforce Accountability and Enhance Data-Driven COVID-19 Response
This week the Ontario government introduced legislation that, if passed, will help strengthen Ontario’s health care workforce and support the delivery of high-quality care by regulating personal support workers, physician assistants and behaviour analysts. This legislation would also enhance the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by promoting the timely reporting of COVID-19 vaccine data to the Ministry of Health. The proposed legislation is part of the government’s commitment to build a more connected, patient-centred health care system.Ontario Strengthens Intellectual Property Expertise
The Ontario government is supporting nearly 900 postsecondary student internships to help businesses, start-ups and new entrepreneurial companies grow and protect “Ontario made” innovations, ideas and products. This includes a pilot project that will help ensure companies build solid strategies for developing and protecting intellectual property.Ontario Introduces Legislation to Take Action Against Dangerous Driving 

The Ontario Government is taking strong action to protect road users against unsafe and aggressive driving with the introduction of the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act, 2021, also known as the MOMS Act. The proposed legislation will introduce new measures to combat high-risk driving and improve road safety, including longer driver’s licence suspensions and longer vehicle impoundment periods for drivers who engage in stunt driving, street racing and aggressive driving.
If passed by the legislature, the MOMS Act would also introduce measures to protect vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and highway workers, improve truck safety and strengthen the province’s oversight of the towing sector by creating the Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021. This Act would require tow operators, tow truck drivers and vehicle storage operators to be certified and set new standards for customer protection and roadside behaviours, including penalties for non-compliance.
 Effie in the Community
I attended Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton’s Virtual Wish Upon a STARdust Gala. The gala celebrated the resilience and accomplishments of youth in care in our community and featured musical performances, a silent auction, and a special message from youth of Halton.I rose in the Ontario Legislature to speak about the joint investment of $3.7 million by the Ontario government and federal government for 32 schools in our community of Oakville North-Burlington. This investment is great news for our community and will allow for our kids to stay safe while continuing to learn.
Please click here to watch the videoI participated in a virtual event hosted by the Provincial Building & Construction Trades Council of Ontario with Minister Monte McNaughton to mark the National Day of Mourning in Canada and honour workers who were injured, became ill or tragically died on the job. Let us Mourn for the Dead, and Fight for the Living.Volunteers play a vital role in our society and never more so than during the last year. Oakville Meals on Wheels has been in our community for 45 years and its volunteers deliver nutritious hot meals every day to seniors and people with disabilities. This week, I rose in the Ontario Legislature to recognize these dedicated volunteers who go above and beyond making a difference in people’s lives and truly represent the Ontario Spirit.
Please click here to watch the videoTo everyone in our Orthodox Christian community, on this Holy Good Friday, may the Lord’s blessing be with you and your families and keep you safe. Wishing all Orthodox Christians in our community and across Ontario and the world, a Blessed Good Friday. May it be safe and peaceful.Sikh Heritage Month
Happy Sikh Heritage Month to everyone in our Sikh community here in Oakville North-Burlington and across Ontario. During the month of April, we celebrate the history, culture and accomplishments of Sikh Ontarians who have worked to build our province for over 100 years. To all of my friends in the Sikh community, I am proud to join you in marking this important celebration.Oakville North-Burlington Spirit Awards
In recent months, I have been proud to honour a number of volunteers who have contributed to our community during the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you for your community spirit. If you would like to nominate a member of our community who has gone above and beyond to contribute to the community during the pandemic, please contact my office and let me know.