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Oakville North-Burlington Update – January 8th, 2021
 
“The number one priority is long term care. It’s always long-term care. We’ve put out a challenge. We said that we’re looking for the 21st, our target is the 18th, that would be great. But we will have every long-term care patient and worker that wants to get vaccinated, vaccinated by the latest January 21st. And then we’re going to move right across the province. The four areas that we’re focusing on are the hot areas…Toronto, Peel, York, Windsor-Essex. That’s our focus.
…We’re going to continue moving forward. I have all the confidence in the world in our team. And I say our team, everyone from the hospitals, the PHUs, to our task force table, to the general, the ministers. I’ve seen this rollout before and I have seen what happens. Once we start rolling, just move aside, because we are going to lead North America once again.” – Premier Doug FordOntario Extends Teacher-Led Online Learning Until January 25

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate throughout the province, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is extending certain measures to keep students, education staff, and residents across Ontario safe.  
The Chief Medical Officer of Health has released new data showing that there is a high level of COVID-19 transmission in many parts of the province, with over half of the regions in Ontario reporting a rate of over 100 cases per 100,000 people. The provincial positivity rate is also high at 7%, well above the 2.5%-3% provincial threshold, with some regions as high as 13.9%.  
On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, we are: extending the shutdown in Northern Ontario until at least January 23, 2021, aligning with the shutdown period in Southern Ontario. extending the closure of in-person learning in publicly funded and private schools in response to increasing community transmission, in-person learning for elementary school students in the 27 Southern Ontario public health regions will be deferred to January 25, 2021, which aligns with the planned return of in-person learning for secondary school students in these regions.  allowing the 7 Northern Ontario public health regions to proceed with returning to in-person learning for elementary students and secondary students on January 11, 2021.  
To support Ontario families during this time, our government is also announcing several new measures:investing up to $10 million in immediate and new mental health supports, including an immediate increase of $1-million in Kids Help Phone. Minister Lecce has directed the creation of a mandatory mental health module for all students during this period, designed by Student Mental Health Ontario.  investing an additional $80 million to school boards for more technological devices, such as laptops, tablets, and connectivity solutions, to further support remote learning. expanding eligibility for the free emergency child care program for a broader number of frontline health and safety workers. Ontario Continues to Support Businesses, Workers and Families during COVID-19
 
Despite overall employment falling by 11,900 in December, 16,400 manufacturing jobs were created, and employment in manufacturing is now 29,600 above pre-COVID levels. In the last seven months, Ontario has regained 893,300 jobs. As of January 8th, 29,600 more men and women are working in the manufacturing sector then before the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the Provincewide shutdown is intended to keep people safe, the Ontario Government is aware that people across Ontario continue to struggle during this challenging period. To address this Ontario is providing significant support to businesses, workers and families as we continue to plan for our economic recovery and the future.

Ontario’s Job-Protected Leave 
Employees have the right to take this leave if they are not performing the duties of their position because of various COVID-19 related reasons, including caring for a child that is sick, isolating or whose school is closed. Sick notes are no longer required.
https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-standards-act-0/infectious-disease-emergency-leave

Canada’s Paid Sickness Benefit (Paid Sick Days)
On July 16, 2020 Premier Ford joined our federal and provincial partners in signing a historic $19 billion Safe Restart Agreement, which includes a $1.1-billion investment to cover the cost of 10 days of paid sick leave due to COVID-19.
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit/crsb-who-apply.html 
 
Canada’s Income Support for Parents (Pay for parents who stay home with kids)
This gives income support to those unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. Households can receive $500 a week for up to 26 weeks. 
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-caregiving-benefit.html
 Ontario Accelerates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Long-Term Care Homes in Priority RegionsThe Ontario government is continuing the rollout of Phase One of its vaccine implementation plan by ensuring that all residents, health care workers and essential caregivers at long-term care homes in the priority regions of Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex receive a COVID-19 vaccination by January 21, 2021. The province is investing an additional $398 million during the second wave to reduce the risk of the virus from entering long-term care homes from the community. This new investment brings Ontario’s total funding to protect long-term care homes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to $1.38 billion.
Ontario Launches New Testing Program at Pearson AirportThe Ontario government has announced the launch of a new border testing pilot program at Toronto Pearson International Airport for eligible international travellers returning to Ontario to help quickly identify and stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province. Beginning January 6, the province, in partnership with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, will offer free and voluntary COVID-19 testing for international travellers arriving and staying in the province for at least 14 days.Ontario’s New Residential Condominium Buyers’ Guide
 The Government of Ontario has required the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) to launch a new, plain-language Residential Condominium Buyers’ Guide to help condo buyers make informed purchasing decisions. As of January 1, 2021, developers across the province are required to provide purchasers of new or pre-construction residential condos with a copy of the guide and the current disclosure statement. Condo purchasers will now have the information they need to make the right decision for themselves and their families.
The new guide will include up-to-date information on a variety of aspects of condo ownership, such as:The condo purchasing processMoving into a pre-construction residential condo unitCondo living and governanceResources for resolving issues with condo living   Species at Risk Stewardship Program
 
Ontario has announced that it is investing up to $4.5 million in 2021-22 to help protect and recover plants and animals that are in danger of disappearing in the province. The funding will be provided to non-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and other groups through the Species at Risk Stewardship Program for on-the-ground projects that help preserve species at risk and their habitats. Over 80 projects were approved for funding in 2020-21.Ontario Government Expanding Truck Rest Areas Across ProvinceThe Ontario government is improving 14 truck rest areas and building 10 new rest areas to support the province’s trucking sector. This is part of the province’s five-year plan to keep Ontario’s roads and highways among the safest in North America. The province is also proactively partnering with ONroute to educate the public about the signs of human trafficking and raise awareness about the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline. IS THERE  A PHONE NUMBER OR LINK FOR THISOntario Helps Forestry Sector Businesses Offset the Costs of COVID-19

The Ontario government is investing $5.3 million, provided through the federal Forest Sector Safety Measures Fund, to help small and medium sized forest sector businesses offset the cost of COVID-19 safety measures. The funding will be used for initiatives such as setting up sanitizing stations, providing enhanced cleaning, additional worker training, measures to increase physical distancing, and to purchase personal protective equipment.Tamil Heritage Month

Happy Tamil Heritage Month to the Tamil Community celebrating in Oakville North – Burlington and across Ontario! Thank you for all you do to make our province vibrant and successful!.Orthodox Christians Celebrate Christmas this Week 
This week Armenian, Coptic, Russian, Romanian, Serbian and Others celebrated Christmas according to the Eastern Orthodox Calendar. Even though this year’s celebration was different, it has never been more important to be grateful for the gift of family and to help those who need our support. I hope you had a blessed and safe Christmas celebration. And we look forward to 2021 with renewed hope.
 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.