COVID-19 - April 15 Update

Since the beginning of this public health emergency, all governments and community organizations have worked tirelessly to support our communities. Every day there are new announcements and initiatives.  I know this can be challenging to follow. I have created this resource which includes a comprehensive list of government and community supports and resources to help you find the support you need. If there is anything you feel should be added, please let us know at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca.

At the City, we shared two important announcements. The first is to urge drivers to slow down on our roads. While the City has seen a dramatic drop in traffic volumes, Toronto Police report that from March 15 to March 31, there was a 35% increase in speeding tickets and an almost 200 per cent increase in stunt driving compared to the same period last year. Starting this week, officers from the Toronto Police Service’s Vision Zero Enforcement Team will begin rotating in daily shifts across the city and patrol for motorists who are speeding or stunt driving.

In addition, the City has launched DonateTO to make it easier for those who can give to do so. Residents, business and academic institutions have already reached out to the City asking how they can help support Toronto's front-line efforts. Over the past few weeks donations valued at more than $1.5 million have been received. This new tool will assist those wishing to donate.

The Federal Government announced changes to the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, expanding eligibility to people earning up to $1,000 a month, seasonal workers who have exhausted all of their Employment Insurance benefits (EI) over the winter months and other workers who were on EI and are not able to find work due to public health emergency. The Federal Government also announced that it will top-up wages for any low-income essential workers who earn less than $2,500 per month.

In community,

Ana

Local Updates

Support The Stop (Donate)
The Stop continues to provide food to those most in need in our community. Today, they have shared that every dollar donated will be matched by the Sprott Foundation. This means your $25 investment will give them $50 dollars to purchase nutritious, whole foods to support vulnerable people in our community. Please consider donating if you can.

Support Safe Haven (Donate)
The Safehaven Project for Community Living puts exceptional service at the heart of all its programming, advocacy and initiatives. Safehaven’s clients are children with complex care needs, which can include a combination of multiple chronic conditions, functional and cognitive impairments, mental health challenges and social vulnerability.

With National Volunteer Week just around the corner, there are many opportunities to support Safehaven in fun and flexible ways while respecting social distancing expectations. For more information on supporting Safehaven, contact Ashley Pettifer at APettifer@safehaven.to.

Local Business Maps
Want to know which businesses are open in your community? Several Business Improvement Associations have created these helpful maps.

Support 211
211 is an amazing resource connecting people across the GTA with food services, housing assistance, mental health and other supports in response to COVID-19. They want to make sure that they are working with the most up-to-date date information for every organization and the programs and services they are offering. If you operate an organization or have collected similar data, please consider sharing it with them at covidupdates@211ontario.ca.

Islamic Relief Canada
I want to give a big thank you to our friends at Islamic Relief Canada who have been hard at work gathering personal protective equipment to deliver to hospitals across Toronto. Their efforts have provided over 7,000 masks to hospital staff. Thank you for your efforts.

Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto launches new DonateTO: COVID-19 portal to support pandemic relief efforts, More than $1.5 million of goods and services already donated
The City of Toronto is working hard to support everyone impacted by COVID-19 and there are many ways the community can support the relief efforts, including donations of personal protective equipment, other goods and services, food and financial gifts. All donations help the City, in coordination with our community partners to enhance much needed services and supports, especially for the most vulnerable and those who support them.

City of Toronto urges drivers to obey rules of the road
The City of Toronto is urging drivers to slow down, stay alert and obey the rules of the road to save lives, keep streets safe and accessible, prevent traffic-related collisions and reduce the strain on the city’s healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Toronto begins sweeping streets this week as part of spring cleanup

This week, street sweepers will be busy cleaning up dirt and debris from Toronto’s streets to help keep roadways clean and safe.

Provincial

Ontario Ramping Up Protection for Long-Term Care Residents
 In order to better protect the most vulnerable and stop the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes, the Ontario Government has developed an action plan with key measures to be implemented immediately. In addition, the province has issued a new emergency order restricting long-term care staff from working in more than one long-term care home, retirement home or health care setting. These measures are being taken on the advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Federal

Expanding access to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and proposing a new wage boost for essential workers
To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, the government is announcing changes to the eligibility rules. With today's announcement, the Government of Canada will work with provinces and territories through a new transfer to cost-share a temporary top up to the salaries of low-income essential workers that the provinces and territories have deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19.

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