COVID-19 - June 8 Update

For the past few months, our City, province, country and indeed the whole world has been living through a very difficult time. So much of what we were used to came to a stop. As governments quickly moved to meet the challenges of COVID-19, we saw a sharp increase in announcements and actions being taken to assist people during the pandemic. Throughout this period, I have stayed in touch with you daily through e-mail. With the situation changing and we move towards the recovery period the need for daily updates has diminished. In order to continue providing you with the information you need, I will now be providing my updates twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. For urgent matters and questions, my office remains available to assist you.

I would like to extend my appreciation to Toronto Chief of Police Mark Saunders, who today announced he will retire from his position as of July 31. While we are in the midst of an important conversation about the future of policing in our City, mirroring similar conversations happening around the world, it is also important to recognize those who serve us every day. Chief Saunders has worked hard to bring our community together and to modernize policing in Toronto. You can watch Chief Saunders’ remarks here.

As announced last week, the provincial government has indicated that it will be moving forward with Stage 2 of reopening in a regionally sensitive way. On Friday, June 12, they will allow for social gatherings of up to 10 people across the province. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30% of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers. As this reopening is taking a regional approach, we will see lesser impacted communities outside of the GTA being permitted to operate outdoor dine-in services and personal care services, with the City of Toronto following suit on June 19 provided no further issues arise. While we are all eager to get our haircut (you’re not alone!), it is important that we acknowledge that our City has been impacted to a higher degree than other communities across the province, and public health must come first.

To end on a positive note, the province announced that they will put a moratorium on commercial evictions. We unfortunately are all too familiar with businesses in our community who have been facing unreasonable evictions during this pandemic. Last week I shared letters I wrote to the federal and provincial Ministers of Finance to advocate for better protections for our commercial tenants. I am pleased that the pressure from communities across the Toronto have been successful in their advocacy.

Our office continues to work to serve you remotely. If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca or by phone at 416.392.7012.

In community,

Ana

Questions from the Community!

Each day, we are working to answer important questions from our community. To keep you all informed, we will feature some of these questions each newsletter. Have a question you think would be good to share? Reach out to us at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca.

Are we allowed to go to the dentist now for regular dental work?
Yes, dentists are now allowed to start providing dental care to patients including non-essential and elective dental treatment. Appropriate public health safety is required including physical distancing protocols and personal protective equipment. This change also included a number of other health care services. The links below provide further information.
https://www.rcdso.org/en-ca/patients-general-public/covid-19--novel-coronavirus-for-patients
https://www.ontario .ca/page/reopening-ontario-whats-each-stage#s-4

I've heard of the provincial plans regarding a re-opening strategy. Does the City have its own plans?
Yes, in fact the City has been working on its recovery strategy for some time now. The Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild has been established for this purpose. The City is working all the time with various businesses, stakeholders, organizations and individuals as it prepares to re-open. The City maintains a webpage with details on its recovery strategy and the link is pasted below.
https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/recovery-rebuild/

Local Updates

Community Workers Week
This week has been proclaimed at Community Workers Week, where we recognize and give thanks to our front-line workers in our social services. Toronto has more than 14,000 community-based not-for-profits that employ more than 200,000 people. They are the people we turn to when we need help the most, with housing, food and mental health supports to name but a few. The City and United Way are working with 211 and more than 400 Toronto agencies in a newly created Community Coordination Plan, to ensure low-income and vulnerable residents continue to have access to essential services. Please join me in giving thanks!

Pam’s Roti Update
Thanks to our amazing community, Pam’s Roti will continue serving customers from its Bloor Street West location following today's provincial announcement. I am appreciate that the provincial government has banned commercial evictions, so communities do not have to go to these lengths simply to support their amazing local businesses.

SafewaysTO
SafewaysTO is a great interactive map created collaboratively to keep you informed on how to move safely in the city, and to show us how we can continue to grow and improve. I encourage you to check it out: https://google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=130RHfyHAVdbBYqnn35v_UoRn_nCKNkG6&ll=43.62207638927572%2C-79.29203191738348&z=11

Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto and United Way Greater Toronto honour COVID-19 community workers
The City of Toronto and United Way Greater Toronto are profiling the incredible work that frontline community workers are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic through a City proclamation and social media profiles spotlighting worker contributions.

The week of June 8 to 12 has been proclaimed as Community Workers Week by Mayor John Tory. Community worker profiles will be posted and shared on City of Toronto and United Way Greater Toronto social media channels. Recently, the Toronto Sign has frequently been lit blue this will continue to honour frontline workers.

City of Toronto planning for restart of City services and reopening of economy
The City of Toronto has, since April, been hard at work planning for the eventual restart of City services and the reopening of the economy. Last month, under the leadership of Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the City’s Office of Emergency Management, the Emergency Operations Centre created a “restart roadmap” to help guide the restarting of City operations and to support businesses in their safe reopening. Today’s announcement by the Province of Ontario, outlining the next phase of provincial reopening plans, supports the work the City has completed to date.

City to open 14 Emergency Cooling Centres during Heat Warnings
Environment and Climate Change Canada issues a Heat Warning when it forecasts two or more consecutive days with daytime maximum temperatures of 31°C or warmer, together with minimum nighttime temperatures of 20°C or warmer, or when there is a forecast of two or more consecutive days with humidex values expected to reach 40 or higher.

Provincial

Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen in the Coming Days
Today, the Ontario government announced that it is getting more people back to work and more recreational activities open by moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province.

Ontario Proposing Temporary Ban on Commercial Evictions
The Ontario government announced today that it intends to take action to protect commercial tenants from being locked out or having their assets seized by their landlords due to the negative impacts of COVID-19. 

Federal

Changes to travel restrictions for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents
The Canada Border Services Agency is announcing that as of June 8, 2020 23:59 EDT, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.

Foreign nationals who are admitted into Canada pursuant to this exemption must quarantine for 14 days.

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