COVID-19 - May 6 Update

I am looking forward to connecting with you and our neighbours tomorrow (May 7th) at 7PM for my Facebook Live event. I hope you can join us to ask your questions. To participate, be sure to follow me on Facebook (@AnaBailaoTO).

I have always enjoyed working with you as we make our community safer for all of us through active transportation and traffic calming projects. Through this pandemic, I have heard from many of you about making our community even safer. To help achieve this, today we have announced ActiveTO, our City's program to support people walking, cycling and taking transit. We are moving this forward quickly, taking advantage of reduced traffic to make sure measures are in place when the City is back to normal. These measures include creating quieter streets, utilizing major streets for active transportation and expanding our cycling network. I am happy we are moving forward with a plan that gives people the space they need. Further details on this plan will be released next week.

This week, the City will be opening a second recovery program for people experiencing homelessness, and enhanced PPE measures will be in place across the shelter system. The new downtown site has a capacity for up to 250 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. This program is a unique integrated model for shelter and health care, servicing people who are homeless in a way that is safe, provides a wide range of supports and maintains the dignity of the individuals receiving care.

Continuing to prepare for recovery, the Ontario government announced further details and timelines for select stores. This week, garden centres will be opening on Friday, hardware stores on Saturday and retail stores will be allowed curbside pick-ups on Monday. I encourage everyone to stay at home as much as possible, but if you do need to go out to make some purchases, I urge you to consider visiting a small business in our community to do so.

As we begin to see the longer-term impact of COVID-19, we get a clearer picture of the challenges we will face in recovery. In these moments, we see the benefits of the policy decisions we have made. We have seen 7.5 million Canadians receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, a program that has helped shield our friends and families who have been impacted by COVID-19 from more severe challenges. We have also learned that 110,000 businesses have submitted requests under the wage subsidy program, with over half a million having already received an emergency loan under the Canada Emergency Business Account. At the national level, we have seen the spread slowing, reduced to a 3% daily increase, which means a doubling of cases in approximately 20 days.

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.

Is there any assistance for people with pets who are having challenges caring for their pets at this time?
Yes, there is assistance for those facing financial challenges who are trying to care for their pets. The organization, PetSmart Charities of Canada, is funding a program that Toronto Animal Services will be providing to low income households. Additional details here.

During the pandemic, should children still be alternating between parents?
Yes, it is recommended that regular parenting time should continue and that parents should follow custody schedules unless there is a situation where someone is self-isolating or under quarantine. Additional details here.

Local Updates

Essential Service Map
There are a number of supports in our communities, but it may be difficult at times to find what you are looking for in terms of assistance. To make this process easier, the City has created this interactive map, which includes services including testing centres and food banks.

Sistering Found Its Artist!
Congratulations to Sistering for finding a artist who will be lending their talents to brighten up their building façade. Through a partnership with Hektor Projects, they have selected the talented @isabellagvella. They are looking for community input on what kind of positive messaging the artist can incorporate into their work.

Please share your ideas by contacting Sistering!

Congratulations Isabella and Sistering, I am looking forward to seeing the work!

West Queen West Speaking about Curbside Pick Up
I want to thank the West Queen West BIA for participating on the CBC panel earlier today to share their views on retail curbside pick-up

Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto launches ActiveTO plan ahead of COVID-19 restart and recovery
Today, Mayor John Tory announced the new ActiveTO program being developed by Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services to provide more space for people walking and cycling as well as transit riders to allow for better physical distancing as part of the city's restart and recovery.

City of Toronto and partners open second COVID-19 recovery site for homeless
As part of the City of Toronto's comprehensive three tier response to COVID-19 for people experiencing homelessness, a second recovery program will open this week and enhanced PPE measures will be in place across the shelter system.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
As of this afternoon, there are 6,665 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 6,019 confirmed cases and 646 probable cases. There are 391 cases hospitalized, with 99 in intensive care units. We continue to see COVID-19 deaths; to date, 504 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19. 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

Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction During COVID-19
The Ontario government is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores. The business owners should review the health and safety guidelines developed by the province and its health and safety association partners.

Ontario Extends Electricity Rate Relief During COVID-19
The Ontario government is extending emergency electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This electricity rate relief, initially provided for a 45-day period starting on March 24, 2020, has been extended by an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The rate relief is intended to be in place for an additional 24 days.

Ontario Funds Innovative Company to Help Fight COVID-19
The Ontario government is providing Virox Technologies Inc. with $850,000 from the Ontario Together Fund to help the local manufacturer double its production of disinfectants and create jobs. The investment will assist in keeping people, frontline workers and communities safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. Virox is the first manufacturer to receive money from the Ontario Together Fund.

Federal

Competition Bureau cracking down on deceptive marketing claims about COVID-19 prevention or treatment
The Competition Bureau is warning all businesses against making false or misleading claims that their products and services can prevent, treat or cure COVID-19.

The Bureau is actively monitoring the marketplace and taking action to stop potentially deceptive claims that could give Canadians a false impression that products or services can treat COVID-19 infections or protect against the coronavirus.

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