Support Through and Beyond the COVID-19 PandemicPublished on April 16, 2020
The April MPP column in Community Voice
Echoing the words of the Premier of Ontario: “We will get through this together.” Nobody could have imagined how the COVID-19 pandemic would disrupt our way of life. As your provincial representative, I will ensure the people and businesses of Kanata-Carleton get the Ontario Government support they need through and beyond the pandemic.
The Province has been proactive throughout the crisis. Twice a day, seven days a week, the Ontario Government has been giving updates on its actions at ontario.ca/coronavirus. It provided Ontarians with an interactive assessment tool so people could test themselves before they needed to consider venturing to a COVID-19 assessment centre.
Working with the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario, health officials and his Cabinet, the Premier has not hesitated to put in place measures that best support Ontarians and their health. Ontario was one of the first provinces to enact a State of Emergency, create an Essential Workplaces List, and suspend public schools. The Premier was the first to order health officials to share their modeling and projections, information that is driving health and economic decisions in the Province. Individuals and families deserve full transparency and should know the details.
The Province is providing support programs to help those financially strapped:
- Ontarians get relief on their electricity with the off-peak electricity rate (10.1 cent/kWh) applied for all hours of the day.
- $300 million Support for Families relief initiative to provide parents with immediate, direct payments of $200 for each child aged 0 to 12, or $250 for children 21 years old or younger with special needs.
- New protections for people who rent, providing tenants with a grace period on monthly rent payments and not allowing lock-out or threat of eviction.
- The Premier is clear: no price gouging, and Ontario has established a program to enforce this.
The Province is partnering with the business community to work through this crisis:
- A toll-free line provides support and answers questions about how emergency measures impact business -- 1-888-444-3659.
- An Ontario Together website has been set up to inform businesses on how to redeploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment.
- A $50 million Ontario Together Fund is set to support businesses, organizations and community initiatives in the fight against the virus and in supporting front line workers.
My MPP Community Office is here to assist and answer questions about support and relief. Contact us by phone or email. It will be weeks before we are together at a neighbourhood bbq, kids’ sporting contest, or community association event. But, I am looking forward to a time when we will be enjoying community gatherings, and able to reflect on how we managed through this together.