COVID-19 - April 16 Update

Today marked the first day of City Hall Live, a partnership between the City of Toronto and the Unison Benevolent Fund to support artists in Toronto. Each weekday the City will feature a new artist at noon. Be sure to tune in tomorrow to watch Zeca Polina at the above link.

To support our much loved main street businesses, the City has announced an expansion of the Digital Main Street program, tripling its funding. Working with the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) and other community partners, the program has helped small businesses with everything from websites and social media, to launching e-commerce platforms and using data to drive new business opportunities.

The province has added 1,035 acute care beds and 1,492 critical care beds and taken steps to ensure hospitals have the staff available to care for any sudden surge in patients. Hospitals across the province have taken steps to make more beds available for COVID-19 patients in every region.

The Prime Minister has announced that the Federal Government will expand the Canadian Emergency Business Account by allowing more smaller and larger businesses to qualify. With the change, businesses that spent $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 will now be eligible to access the CEBA. Previously, it was between $50,000 and $1 million. They will also be introducing the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance to help small businesses cover rent for the months of April, May, and June.

These measures are an important lifeline for many businesses in our City.

In community,

Ana

Local Updates

City of Toronto to continue yard waste collection for another two weeks
The City of Toronto will continue yard waste collection for another two weeks from April 20 to May 1 to accommodate residents. The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended in March as part of the City’s COVID-19 response to ensure adequate staffing levels to continue the core collection of garbage, blue bins (recycling) and green bins (organics).

Toronto.ca/COVID19
The Toronto COVID-19 website has a wealth of relevant information on the pandemic, the actions the City is taking and the impact it is having on the City. To make it more accessible and useful, it has been redesigned.

Fairbank Village – Open Business Map
Fairbank Village has created this helpful map to show you which businesses are operating in the neighbourhood.

Know of a similar map for your community? Share it with us at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca for us to feature!

Davenport Helps (Need Support? ) (Want to Help?)
There was a great article on two of our neighbours, Gabrielle and James, who created Davenport Helps to assist vulnerable people in our community. I wanted to thank them both and everyone who has volunteered for all their hard work.

Recent Announcements

Municipal

Toronto Public Health launches new data system to enhance local COVID-19 response
Today, Toronto Public Health launched a new technology solution to enhance case and contact tracing work. Case and contact tracing is a critical component of Toronto Public Health's (TPH) COVID-19 response and work to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

City of Toronto expands Digital Main Street program to help local businesses during COVID-19 pandemic
Today, Mayor John Tory announced the expansion of the Digital Main Street program to help local businesses develop or expand their online services during this unprecedented time.

City of Toronto continues to protect staff, residents in its long-term care homes
The City of Toronto operates just 10 of the more than 80 long-term care homes in Toronto. To assist staff in their decision to work for City long-term care homes, Senior Services and Long Term Care Toronto has offered additional hours (up to full-time hours) for part-time staff, and posted an 18 week schedule. Today, SSLTC staff working in one of the 10 long-term care homes will be asked to confirm their decision to work solely for the City.

City of Toronto's City Hall Live performances move online to support artists during COVID-19 pandemic
To help support Toronto artists and lift the spirits of residents during this outbreak, the City of Toronto, in partnership with Unison Benevolent Fund, is moving its City Hall Live performance program online.

Provincial

Ontario Significantly Expands Hospital Capacity to Prepare for Any COVID-19 Outbreak Scenario
Acting on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health care professionals, the Ontario government has significantly expanded hospital capacity in preparation for any COVID-19 outbreak scenario. The province has added 1,035 acute care beds and 1,492 critical care beds and taken steps to ensure hospitals have the staff available to care for a sudden surge in patients.

Ontario Enables Auto Insurance Companies to Provide Driver Rebates During COVID-19
The Ontario government is enabling auto insurance companies to provide temporary insurance premium rebates to drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province has amended a regulation under the Insurance Act to help ease the financial pressure on working people and families during this public health crisis.

Federal

COVID-19 Guidance for High-Risk and Essential Workplaces
To help high-risk occupations and essential services and industries work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed a series of pandemic guidance tip sheets and made them available for free on their website.

Government announces relief for federally regulated pension plan sponsors
To help address these issues, Finance Minister Bill Morneau today announced that the government will provide immediate, temporary relief to sponsors of federally regulated, defined benefit pension plans. This relief will be in the form of a moratorium, through the remainder of 2020, on solvency payment requirements for defined benefit plans.

PM Trudeau unveils new business rent assistance, loosened loan qualifications
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a new rent assistance program for businesses, and plans to loosen the criteria needed for small- and medium-sized companies to qualify for a loan.

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