My colleagues and I are calling on the Government to create an all-party select committee on the economic recovery from COVID-19. The non-partisan select committee, in which no party would have a majority, would hear from all stakeholders including businesses, organized labour, municipalities, non-profit organizations, environmental NGOs and community groups, and everyday Ontarians, about the challenges they face as Ontario deals with the fall-out from COVID-19 and the phased re-opening of the province’s economy.
The Ontario government announced that Ontario Health has developed a framework that takes an “equitable, measured and responsible approach” to resuming surgeries and procedures. Hospitals will be required to follow strict criteria for resuming procedures, with an initial focus on cancer and cardiac care. According to the framework, hospitals will need to ensure 15% capacity remains for any surge in COVID-19 cases and a rolling 30-day supply of personal protection equipment.
To free up bed capacity, Ontario hospitals have cancelled 52,700 elective surgeries since March 15 and are delaying an additional 12,200 surgeries each week that operating rooms remain idle. You can read the government’s news release here.
The Prime Minister announced that an agreement for the wage top-up for essential workers has been reached between the federal government and with all provinces and territories, with the federal government covering 75 percent of the cost of the program, or $3 billion, and the provinces and territories covering the remaining $1 billion.
Trudeau noted that it is up to each province and territory to determine which professions will qualify for the top-up. You can read the official news release here.
The pandemic pay will come directly from the employer and employers are not being asked to apply, rather employers that do qualify will be contacted by May 15th. You can find more information on that here.
Our party continues to call on the provincial government to expand the pandemic pay list to include anyone that is risking their health and safety and to make the pay retroactive to the start of the State of Emergency.
Windsor has 674 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of today with 57 deaths.