COVID-19 - May 15 Update

The May (Victoria Day) long weekend has finally arrived and it is the traditional beginning of our summer here in Canada. This year's long weekend will look and feel much different than those we are used to but we are all encouraged to enjoy time with those who live with us and to safely enjoy the unofficial start of our summer. Over the weekend, the City is urging residents to continue following provincial orders and public health recommendations. By practicing physical distancing, avoiding group gatherings and limiting travel, we all can help stop the further spread of the virus and save lives. I know this has been a very challenging time for all of us but better days are ahead.

As we continue to work to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City has decided to extend the cancellation of City-led and City-permitted major festivals and events with attendance of more than 250 people through July 31, and those with attendance of 25,000 or more through August 31. Included in this cancellation are Salsa on St Clair and Big on Bloor, among others. To help these festivals through this period, the Mayor announced that the City will be repurposing grant funding. The City’s Cultural Festivals Recovery Program will provide financial and in-kind support to mitigate financial costs, assist organizers to meet payments for artists and suppliers, and to help them maintain operations so they can continue in the future. We all look forward to attending these amazing festivals again next year.

In addition, the City is cancelling all planned summer camps for 2020. Summer camps are a special time for children, which is why the City is developing an alternative program to get children safely back to camp, called CampTO. While the details are still being developed and provincial restrictions need to be amended, CampTO would provide children with a high-quality camp experience, inclusive of traditional camp activities, that incorporate public health measures designed to reduce the risk of virus spread. If permitted to operate by the province, CampTO will provide 5,300 camp spaces per week for children ages 6 to 12 representing approximately 50 per cent of the typical City of Toronto camp capacity.

As a reminder, the 60-day extension to property tax and utility payment deadline ends today. You can visit the City website for new due dates for the 2, 6 and 11-instalment plans, and what to do if you made your payments as scheduled.

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.

Our family has been spending a lot more time at home. Are there any tips about helping to reduce our energy use and therefore our Toronto Hydro bills?
Many families and individuals are of course having the same experience. With people safely remaining at home for long periods many residents are concerned about increased electricity costs. Toronto Hydro does maintain a web page with helpful information about how to reduce energy use and costs at this time and in fact over the course of the year under normal circumstances. The link to this information is below.
https://www.torontohydro.com/for-home/tips-and-resources

I have heard there has been in increase in fraudulent activity related to the Covid-19 situation. Where can we find information on this and how to protect ourselves?
Yes, the Toronto Police Service has warned people that there have been increased incidents of people trying to take advantage of the Covid-19 public health emergency to commit fraud. The Toronto Police Service has a link that provides information and advice as well as videos on how to stay safe.
http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/covid-19/

Local Updates

MixTO Festival!
The staff running MixTO have been busy looking at creative ways to transform their festival in 2020, and will have updates soon.

To help stay in touch, they have launched their new website and social media accounts for MixTO Festival! Be sure to follow them for updates, exciting upcoming announcements, and lots of special content created just for you!

For anyone who has already purchased tickets for the MixTO Block Party, please get in touch with them directly for refunds or future credits.

Select drop-off depots to reopen this weekend

Beginning this Saturday, May 16, three Drop-off Depots – Bermondsey, Ingram and Scarborough – will be reopened to the general public on Saturdays from 7 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. to drop-off of recycling, garbage, yard waste and household hazardous waste.

Beginning Tuesday, May 19, Bermondsey and Ingram Drop-off Depots will also be open to the general public on weeknights to drop-off of recycling, garbage, and yard waste (household hazardous waste will only be accepted on Saturdays).

Outside of the above, all other Drop-off Depots remain closed to the general public.

Information about fireworks over the long weekend

The City of Toronto has suspended issuing firework vendor’s permits and the sale of fireworks at this time.

Family fireworks may be discharged on your private property without a permit on Victoria Day. Family fireworks displays/discharges must still comply with the City of Toronto Fireworks by-law and the requirements to be aware of your surroundings and not discharge fireworks where they may be a nuisance, or pose a risk of fire or injury or damage to any person or property. Fireworks are not allowed to be discharged in City parks by members of the public.

Please contact 311 to report any illegal sale or possible misuse of fireworks.

Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto extends cancellation of permits for major festivals and launches recovery program for events
To slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Toronto is extending the cancellation of City-led and City-permitted major festivals and events with attendance of more than 250 people through July 31, and those with attendance of 25,000 or more through August 31. The resumption or cancellation of professional sporting events is not included in this decision.

To mitigate the impacts of these cancellations, Mayor John Tory announced today that the City will repurpose grant funding that was previously approved by City Council, in order to support festivals that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (More details)

Planned City of Toronto summer camps cancelled due to COVID-19, work underway for CampTO alternative
The City of Toronto is cancelling all planned 2020 summer camps and preparing an alternative program to get children safely back to camp through a new CampTO program. Details of the program are being developed and are dependent on the lifting of current provincial orders and recommendations from Toronto Public Health.

Tee times in high demand as City of Toronto golf courses open for 2020 season
Yesterday, the Province of Ontario announced amendments to an Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that permit the use of golf courses beginning this weekend. In response, the City of Toronto will open all five of its golf courses for the 2020 season starting Saturday.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
Toronto Public Health continues to see new infections in the city. There are 8,257 people infected with COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 160 since yesterday. There are also 6,034 people who have recovered from the virus, an increase of 183 since yesterday. Additional case status information can be found on the City’s reporting platform at toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto.

Federal

Extending eligibility for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Finance Minister Bill Morneau today announced that the Government of Canada will extend the CEWS by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020. Extending the program will give workers greater confidence that they will continue to get the support they need during these difficult times.

Canada Summer Jobs start rolling out to keep young people working during COVID-19
Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, kicked off the hiring period for Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) 2020. Starting today, thousands of opportunities are being posted to the Job Bank website for jobs available across the country. Thousands more will be posted over the coming weeks and months, with a target of approximately 70,000 placements.

Prime Minister announces support for research staff in Canada
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced $450 million in funding to help Canada’s academic research community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Benefits payments for eligible Canadians to continue until Fall 2020
Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue is announcing that benefit payments will continue for an additional three months for those who are not able to file their 2019 returns on time.

Update on Active COVID-19 Cases among Canadian Armed Forces Members serving in Long Term Care Facilities
Every day, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members risk their own health and safety to protect Canadians. In response to requests for assistance from Quebec and Ontario, the CAF is honored to be able to provide support to some of our most vulnerable populations. The CAF has approximately 1,400 personnel committed to 25 Long Term Care Facilities (LTCFs) in Quebec, and 275 members committed to 5 LTCFs in Ontario. Their dedication and expertise continue to make an impact in Canada's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, through Operation LASER.

As North American Safe Boating Awareness Week launches, Minister Garneau reminds boaters to respect COVID-19 safety measures
The May long weekend marks the unofficial start of the boating season in Canada. This year, keeping Canadians safe during the COVID-19 pandemic is the Government’s top priority. Recreational boaters will need to respect COVID-19 safety measures this season.

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