Oakville North-Burlington Update – December 22nd, 2020“The number of daily cases continue to rise putting our hospitals and long-term care homes at risk, we need to stop the spread of this deadly virus. That’s why, on the advice of Dr. Williams and other health experts, we are taking the difficult but necessary decision to shutdown the province and ask people to stay home. Nothing is more important right now than the health and safety of all Ontarians.” – Premier Doug Ford
Ontario Imposing Province Wide Shutdown to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown. Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Provincewide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
This Provincewide Shutdown will put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures similar to those in other jurisdictions while helping stop the trend of high COVID-19 transmission in communities, preserve health system capacity, safeguard vulnerable populations and those who care for them, and save lives.
Measures include, but are not limited to:Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.Prohibiting in-person shopping in most retail settings – curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.Restricting indoor access to shopping malls – patrons may only go to a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only), essential retail stores that are permitted to be open (e.g. pharmacy, grocery store), or, subject to physical distancing and face covering requirements, to the food court for takeout purchases. Shopping malls may also establish outdoor designated pickup areas.Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take out, drive-through, and delivery only.On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, all Ontarians are advised to stay home as much as possible with trips outside the home limited to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, or supporting vulnerable community members. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.
The current COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused when the Provincewide Shutdown comes into effect. The impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated throughout the 14 days in Northern Ontario and 28 days in Southern Ontario to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will assess and apply lessons learned thus far to the COVID-19 Response Framework to ensure appropriate and effective measures are in place to protect the health of Ontarians and enable economic recovery after the Provincewide Shutdown ends. This will include an assessment of how a revised approach for the safe reopening of retail may be operationalized, according to the latest available evidence.
The government is also providing $12.5 million to implement a High Priority Communities Strategy to contain the virus in high-risk communities. The strategy will take a tailored, community-based approach to fund community agencies in 15 priority communities in the York, Peel, Durham, Ottawa, and Toronto regions. The funding will also allow for the hiring of community ambassadors to make people aware of available services and assistance, for coordination of increased testing opportunities and for the arrangement of wraparound supports for those who are COVID-positive. Additional funding of $42 million will also be available to establish isolation centres. 
The government is working to limit the transmission of COVID-19 in workplaces by supporting essential businesses in doing whatever is necessary to keep workers safe. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is leading a multi-ministry COVID-19 Safety Team. The team will partner with local authorities to carry out additional enforcement blitzes in sectors where they are needed most.
 
Timeline for Province Shutdown
The current COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused when the Provincewide Shutdown comes into effect. The impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated throughout the 14 days in Northern Ontario and 28 days in Southern Ontario to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health will assess and apply lessons learned thus far to the COVID-19 Response Framework to ensure appropriate and effective measures are in place to protect the health of Ontarians and enable economic recovery after the Provincewide Shutdown ends. This will include an assessment of how a revised approach for the safe reopening of retail will occur, according to the latest available evidence.
Supports in High-Risk Communities and Ministry of Labour Safety Team
The government is also providing $12.5 million to implement a High Priority Communities Strategy to contain the virus in high-risk communities. The strategy will take a tailored, community-based approach to fund community agencies in 15 priority communities in the York, Peel, Durham, Ottawa, and Toronto regions. The funding will also allow for the hiring of community ambassadors to make people aware of available services and assistance, for coordination of increased testing opportunities and for the arrangement of wraparound supports for those who are COVID-positive. Additional funding of $42 million will also be available to establish isolation centres. 
The government is working to limit the transmission of COVID-19 in workplaces by supporting essential businesses in doing whatever is necessary to keep workers safe. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is leading a multi-ministry COVID-19 Safety Team. The team will partner with local authorities to carry out additional enforcement blitzes in sectors where they are needed most.
New School Protocols
While transmission in schools remains low, all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools are to move to teacher-led remote learning when students return from the winter break on January 4, 2021. This action is being taken in support of the Government’s broader efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Schools located in the following Public Health Unit regions can resume in-person instruction on January 11, 2021 for both elementary and secondary students:The District of Algoma Health UnitNorth Bay Parry Sound District Health UnitNorthwestern Health UnitPorcupine Health UnitSudbury and District Health UnitThunder Bay District Health UnitTimiskaming Health UnitFor schools in all other Public Health Unit regions, elementary school students are planned to be able to return to in-person learning on January 11, 2021, and secondary school students will continue learning remotely until January 25, 2021, at which point they may resume in-person learning. During this period, child care centres, authorized recreational and skill building programs and home-based child care services will remain open. From January 4-8, 2021, when elementary students move to remote learning, before and after school programs will be closed and emergency child care for health care and frontline workers will be provided. As part of the government’s efforts to protect the most vulnerable, boards will be required to make provisions for continued in-person support for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning for whom remote learning is challenging.
Child Care Will Remain Open
During this period, child care centres, authorized recreational and skill building programs and home-based child care services will remain open. From January 4 to 8, 2021, when elementary students move to remote learning, before and after school programs will be closed and emergency child care for health care and frontline workers will be provided.
As part of the government’s efforts to protect the most vulnerable, school boards will be required to make provisions for continued in-person support for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning for whom remote learning is challenging.
The New Ontario Small Business Support Grant
The government recognizes that small businesses impacted by these necessary public health measures will require additional support so they can continue serving their communities and employing people in Ontario once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. That is why the government is announcing the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to eligible small business owners to help navigate this challenging period.
Small businesses required to close or restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for this one-time grant. Each small business will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business. For example, some businesses will need support paying employee wages or rent, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.
Eligible small businesses include those that:Are required to close or significantly restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020;Have less than 100 employees at the enterprise level; andHave experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with dollar for dollar funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown. The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20 per cent when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This time period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.
Essential businesses that are allowed to remain open will not be eligible for this grant. More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant is available here. Further details, including how to apply, will be announced in January 2021.
Businesses that are impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown will also be eligible for the property tax and energy cost rebates. In November, the government launched a program to provide rebates to offset fixed costs such as property tax and energy bills for businesses that are required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures. These Ontario Small Business Support Grant rebates will continue to be available for businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown and earlier restrictions. Business can apply for the rebates here.
Additional Supports for Business
Businesses that are impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown will also be eligible for the property tax and energy cost rebates. In November, the government launched a program to provide rebates to offset fixed costs such as property tax and energy bills for businesses that are required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures. These Ontario Small Business Support Grant rebates will continue to be available for businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown and earlier restrictions. Business can apply for the rebates here.
To receive assistance for the purchasing of Personal Protective Equipment, businesses can apply to the Main Street Relief Grant. This grant will provide up to $1000 for PPE costs to eligible small businesses across Ontario with 2 to 9 employees. Business can apply here.
The province is also making it easier for families and businesses to get the support they need to help pay their energy bills through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Any residential, small business, or registered charity customer with an overdue electricity or natural gas bill will now be eligible to apply. A residential customer can receive up to $750 to help cover their electricity bill and an additional $750 for their natural gas bill. Small businesses can receive up to $1500 for each. Newly eligible customers can apply for these enhanced benefits through their local utility, starting in January 2021.
Health Canada Continues COVID Vaccine Rollout
The COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force continues to meet regularly and advise the government on the most effective way to deploy the initial deliveries of vaccines. After a successful pilot with the initial shipment of Pfizer vaccines and more doses on the way, Ontario has expanded the number of hospital sites able to administer the vaccine to 19 hospitals across different regions in the province experiencing the highest rates of COVID-19 infection. Since this vaccine cannot be transferred beyond the initial delivery location at this time, vaccinations will continue to be administered to health care workers in high-risk settings first, such as long-term care homes and hospitals, followed by the other priority populations Ontario has identified.
 
The following 17 hospital sites (including Halton Healthcare in our community) will be receiving the vaccine in addition to UHN and The Ottawa Hospital:Windsor Regional HospitalLondon Health Sciences CentreGrand River HospitalHalton HealthcareHamilton Health SciencesWilliam Osler Health SystemTrillium Health PartnersSouthlake Regional Health CentreMackenzie HealthHumber River HospitalSunnybrook Health Sciences CentreMichael Garron HospitalUnity Health TorontoScarborough Health NetworkLakeridge HealthRoyal Victoria Regional Health CentreThunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre 
The Ontario government is expecting to receive doses of the Moderna vaccine, which once approved by Health Canada, will allow the expansion of vaccinations to long-term care homes in the lockdown areas, followed by retirement homes, public health units, other congregate care settings for seniors, and remote Indigenous communities.
 
Ontario’s focus will be on protecting our most vulnerable in our communities. We will continue to monitor the emerging scientific evidence from clinical trials and from Health Canada approvals, and we are hopeful that more groups will become eligible for the vaccines as more science and data becomes available.
 
Vaccine supply will continue to steadily increase and as we receive more shipments, we will be able to expand the group of people eligible to receive the vaccine. We will work to ensure that the supplies of vaccines our province has are distributed in an equitable and timely manner. We will get through this together.
Ontario Provides Support at Home Programs for FamiliesThe provincial government has announced new initiatives to support Ontarians at home during the provincewide shutdown. Our government is providing new financial support for families during the COVID-19 second wave by expanding the Support for Learners program to include all secondary school students. Starting in January 2021, all secondary school students will be eligible under an expanded Support for Learners program. Parents will receive a one-time payment of $200 to help with education expenses. Support will be available for those who attend a public or private school or are home schooled. Application instructions will be available on the Support for Learners web page starting in January. Applications will remain open for the Support for Learners program for children or youth aged 0 to 12, or 0 to 21 with special needs.Additionally, starting January 1, 2021, our government will hold electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents-per-kilowatt-hour for all time-of-use and tiered customers. This low rate will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for a 28-day period. The off-peak price will automatically be applied to bills of all residential, small business and farm customers.

Illegitimate (SPAM) Phone Calls – Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Please note – We are aware that some of the residents of Oakville North – Burlington have been getting illegitimate phone calls from a private group who claim to be funded by the Government of Ontario to conduct an Energy Efficiency Rebate Program. In Ontario all electricity rebates are offered by the Independent Electricity System Operator and they do not make outbound calls.
Please do not answer these phone calls. This group has been asking for private information and is not at all affiliated with the Government of Ontario.
Tuesday, January 28th – Coronavirus UpdateFriday, March 13 – COVID-19 Coronavirus UpdateWednesday, March 18 – COVID-19 Coronavirus UpdateFriday, March 20 – Learn at Home Portal Launched for Ontario StudentsWednesday, March 25 – Ontario’s Action PlanFriday, March 28 – Joint ONB COVID-19 UpdateMonday, March 30 – Ontario Support for Small Business and Combating Price GougingWednesday, April 1 – School and Child Care Closures ExtendedFriday, April 3 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateThursday, April 9 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, April 17 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, April 24 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, May 1 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, May 8 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, May 15 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, May 22 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, May 29 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, June 5 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, June 12 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateMonday, June 15 – Ontario Opens More Businesses and Services in Halton RegionFriday, June 19 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, June 26 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateWednesday, July 1 – Canada DayFriday, July 10 – Summer NewsletterFriday, July 17 – Summer NewsletterFriday, July 24 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, July 31 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, August 7 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, August 14 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, August 21 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, August 28 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, September 4 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, September 11 – Oakville North- Burlington News and Events Friday, September 18 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, September 25 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, October 02 – Oakville North- Burlington News and EventsFriday, October 09 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, October 16 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, October 23 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, October 30 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, November 6- Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsSaturday, November 7, Special Edition: Ontario Budget 2020Friday.November 13, Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, November 20, Oakville North-Burlington News and Events Friday, November27, Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday December 04, Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, December 11, Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, December 18, Oakvile North-Burlington News and Events