The numbers are in and the June 27 Miracle was able to collect more than two million pounds of food to support those in need in our community. Enough food was collected to feed approximately 28,000 families for an entire year! Great job Windsor-Essex, and thank you again to the organizers, volunteers, and everyone who donated!
There were 6 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for Windsor-Essex today, with one being a farm worker, two from community spread, and two were health-care workers. One of the healthcare workers works in Michigan. The total number of cases for our region now is 1,678 and no new deaths.
We have been getting calls from constituents who are complaining about the long waits for COVID-19 testing at the Ouellette Ave. testing site, with wait times of at least two and a half hours have been reported. We have brought these concerns to the attention of the hospital administration, and they advise that they will be announcing extended hours and that they have expanded areas where people can wait away from the heat. We have also heard from constituents that the wait times at the testing site in Leamington are significantly shorter and for those that need to be tested, may consider driving out to Leamington to that testing site.
It was announced today that Windsor and Tecumseh will receive funding for public transit and active transportation infrastructure. Included in this investment is the purchase of 19 buses to replace 16 buses that have exceeded their useful life, the construction and rehabilitation of sidewalks, pathways and bike lanes throughout the city, and a new three kilometre multi-purpose pathway in Tecumseh that will link the Tecumseh Hamlet to the Tecumseh Transit Service. You can read more details here.
The City of Windsor announced today that they expect about a $30 million shortfall for their budget because of COVID-19. Mayor Dilkens is calling on the provincial and federal governments to provide funding to help municipalities. Our caucus has echoed the call for the provincial government to step up with emergency operating relief funding for municipalities.
Our party is concerned that new legislation introduced today by the provincial government may give Premier Ford unlimited power without accountability. The bill, if passed, would lift the Provincial Declaration of Emergency while maintaining existing orders put into place to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation will not allow the provincial government to add any new emergency orders, only to remove or amend them. The COVID-19 public health crisis has required the use of extraordinary powers under the Emergency Management Act. By design, these powers are time-limited and subject to checks and balances. The removal of these accountability measures may serve a political interest but do not serve the public interest. You can read more about the proposed legislation here.
Please continue to practice social distancing whenever possible, wear a face covering in public, and wash your hands often.