Good evening everyone,
In Windsor-Essex today, there are 27 new COVID-19 cases. Among these cases, fourteen of them are from community transmission, one is a local healthcare worker, eight are from the agri-farm sector, and the remaining four are under investigation. This brings the total amount of cases to 2,044 cases. Over the past couple of days, we have seen an increase in the number of community cases, so I want to stress how important it is to remain diligent in following the measures set out by our public health experts. Please continue to practice physical distancing, wearing a mask in public, and washing your hands frequently. We have to continue to work together to stop the spread.
Due to the influx of patients seeking COVID-19 testing, local health officials are reminding patients that they can view the results of their test online. If a person tests positive, they will be contacted by the Hospital or Health Unit as soon as possible. You will require your OHIP number to check your results online, and you can check them here: https://covid19results.ehealthontario.ca:4443/agree.
The Government has ended the legislative sittings for the summer as of yesterday, and the Legislature will resume on September 14th, unless the Government calls it back for urgent sittings. Our caucus as the Official Opposition believes the entire sitting was a lost opportunity to help people make it through COVID-19. We could have used this session to make seniors safer in long-term care, including adding more workers for every shift, and making their jobs full-time and better paid. There should be a plan in place to get kids back to school and child care safely. We also could have used this time to put financial help in place for small local businesses that are struggling under the weight of rent and safe re-opening costs for things such as personal protective equipment and plexiglass barriers. We hoped to launch a preparedness review to make sure we’re ready to cope with a second wave of COVID-19 – from mask stockpiles, to a plan to maintain scheduled surgeries. Instead, the Government used this session help make it easier for landlords to evict their tenants (Bill 184), helped big developers by allowing them to skirt environmental protections – and violating the Environmental Bill of Rights in order to do that (Bill 197), and handing themselves unprecedented and undemocratic powers to make rules in secret behind closed doors (Bill 195).
MPP Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain) tabled a motion in the Ontario legislature Tuesday that requests that the government immediately implement a COVID-19 plan to meet the needs of children with special needs and their families with a sector wide strategy for reopening. The plan should include the following: Emergency respite services for families, with equitable access for Northern and rural communities; Increased funding and shortened wait times for Special Services at Home (SSAH) reimbursements; Fast-tracked development of the needs-based Ontario Autism Program; Proactive and regular communication with families by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, which has been mostly silent throughout the pandemic; Resources for schools and additional education assistant support this fall; and Personal protective equipment (PPE) for support workers.
The Honourable Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, made her last official appearance in the Legislature yesterday. As her appointment comes to an end, she will remain in the position until a replacement is found. She did a wonderful job...she came to Windsor-Essex on her very first Canada Day for a swearing-in ceremony for new Canadians and the Canada Day parade. We will miss her!