COVID-19 - May 19 Update

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing Victoria Day holiday weekend.

I am pleased to let you know that the City was able to announce that City crews have begun to re-open dog off-leash areas. The City has been working over the long weekend to be able to re-open the dog-off-leash areas as quickly as possible consistent with the changes to provincial restrictions. If you do take your dog to the dog off-leash area, please remember to maintain proper physical distancing.

I want to thank the many people who have taken time to write to me with their suggestions for the ActiveTO program. We have had many submissions and our team looks forward to working with the community to implement changes to keep our pedestrians and cyclists safe and provide them with the space they need to physically distance. City crews expect to complete Phase 1 of this program by the end of the week and then shift their attention to additional, community provided suggestions. We are actively in discussions about further enhancements to the Quiet Streets initiative and hope to have additional information to share soon.

Some have written to our team expressing concerns around street cleaning. While street cleaning crews are out, they are operating at 50% capacity, as many staff have been redeployed to help with the City’s essential services during this emergency period. I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding this year as crews continue to work to keep our streets clean. If there is a particular hotspot or persistent issue, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

Provincially, Premier Ford and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced that schools will not be re-opening for this school year. All students who were on track to graduate from secondary school before the initial school closure order was made in March will be able to graduate, and all students will receive report cards. Later this summer, the government will announce a plan to strengthen learning and safety protocols to enable students and staff to return to in-class instruction for the 2020-21 school year. In addition, a gradual reopening of child care is expected to begin when the province is ready to transition to Stage 2 based on public health criteria, which will include robust safety protocols to protect Ontario's youngest learners and education staff.

Federally, Prime Minister Trudeau announced an important expansion of the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account. Now, sole proprietors, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned businesses that pay employees through dividends, will qualify for the loan program.

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.

My driver's licence needs to be renewed by next week. How do I do that?
Driver's licences, health cards, etc. are all issued by the provincial government through Service Ontario. Due to the Covid-19 public health emergency, the province has extended the expiry dates of all of these products so you do not have to renew as of right now. The province will make an announcement when this process re-starts. More details are available at the link below.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/serviceontario-centre-closures#section-1

My passport is expiring soon, can I renew it as I want to travel in the summer?
Until further notice, you won't be able to get a passport processed at Service Canada locations. Passports can still be renewed or issued under very specific circumstances until the emergency is over. More details are available on the passport website maintained by the Government of Canada below.
https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/passport.html

Local Updates

Aangen Cleaning Services
A wonderful not-for-profit social enterprise based in our community has expanded their operations to begin offering cleaning services at a modest fee for businesses to help their employees and customers stay safe. To book your initial appointment, please call 647.323.2787 or email catarina@aangen.com.

Dosa Mahal is Back on Bloor!
Last year, I was working with many of you to support Dosa Mahal through difficulties they were having with their landlord after a fire on site. The outpouring of support was inspiring and showed just how important they are to the Bloordale community. I am happy to share that they have found a new home at 1285 Bloor Street West and are taking orders.

Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto dog off-leash areas open today
The City of Toronto has opened its more than 70 dog off-leash areas following the Provincial Government's amendments to their order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that once again permits the use of dog off-leash areas.

City's Transfer Stations re-open on weeknights for recycling, garbage and yard waste
Starting May 19 at 6 p.m. some Drop-off Depots (Transfer Stations) are reopening on weeknights for recycling, garbage and yard waste. Please limit depot visits, respect public health guidelines and check locations and hours of operation in advance.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
There are 8,866 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 263 cases since yesterday. Today’s increase in the reported number of local COVID-19 cases may be related to recent increases in laboratory testing. There are 416 cases in hospital, with 90 in ICU. In total, 6,616 cases are resolved, an increase of 123 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 690 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data 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.

Provincial

Health and Safety Top Priority as Schools Remain Closed
The Ontario Government is protecting the health and safety of students during the COVID-19 outbreak by keeping schools closed for the rest of this school year. This decision was made after consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, and medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children. At the same time, the government is planning for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year, the gradual reopening of child care, and the opening of summer day camps subject to the continuing progress in trends of key public health indicators.

Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to Keep People Safe
The Ontario Government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force until May 29, 2020. That includes the closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only, restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women's shelters. The government is also allowing drive-in religious gatherings.

Ontario Collaborates with Med-Tech Innovation Hub in the Fight Against COVID-19
The Ontario government is working with Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX), Canada's first industry-led hub for med-tech start-ups, to provide non-medical manufacturing companies free support as they retool to provide essential supplies and equipment to health care facilities during COVID-19.

Ontario Announces Independent Commission into Long-Term Care
Today, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, issued the statement linked above in response to the impact of COVID-19 in Ontario's long-term care homes.

Federal

Prime Minister announces expansion of support for workers and small businesses
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on.

Prime Minister announces support for the Canadian Red Cross
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced up to $100 million in funding to help the Red Cross meet increased demand due to COVID-19, and to support future floods and wildfire relief efforts.

Support for Community Organizations Helping Canadians
The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and the Community Foundations of Canada to disburse the $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund. These trusted partners will each post information on eligibility criteria and how to apply on their respective websites.

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