Today in Windsor-Essex, there were 10 new cases of COVID-19, and the Health Unit does not currently have further information on where those cases came from and they remain under investigation. This brings the local total of cases up to 2,742, with 77 active cases. Ontario reported 746 additional cases of COVID-19 today, as compared to 807 reported yesterday, 649 reported on Sunday, and 809 reported on Saturday. The province’s positivity rate currently stands at 2.3 percent, and the number of hospitalizations is on an upward trend.
After a long time advocating for constituents, we are seeing a number of the privatized Service Ontario outlets re-opening, although with restricted hours. The Annie St (off of Tecumseh Rd E) Service Ontario (Privatized) continues with reduced hours as before. The Dougall Road Service Ontario remains open with reduced hours (although for a bit longer hours than the Annie St outlet). The Service Ontario in Essex (Privatized) is open Monday to Friday, 12-4. There are still some discrepancies on what Service Ontario Offices are open, and we are following up on these. For example, we were advised that the Service Ontario in Leamington was re-opened, but the Ministry website still shows it as closed. We have enquired of the Ministry and will clarify the hours for the various Service Ontario outlets once we have it. It is best that you contact the Service Ontario before attending just to make sure that the hours published on the Ministry website is accurate.
We are getting a significant number of calls regarding delays in processing applications for Confirmation of Citizenship, and we have brought this to the attention of the office of MP Kusmierczyk. We appreciate that the delays could affect your ability to access provincial programs and benefits. While we continue to advocate on behalf of constituents, we encourage constituents waiting on Immigration or Citizenship documents to contact their local MP Offices. My Federal counterpart, MP Irek Kusmierczyk, can be reached at 519-979-2707 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, feel free to contact our office if you have trouble accessing provincial programs as a result of these delays and my staff will see if there are ways to address the issues while you wait for the required citizenship/immigration documents.
We have also been receiving a lot of enquiries about the completion of the forms to allow extended family members to come to Canada. To obtain the required forms, please visit https://www.canada.ca/.../visitors/immediate-family.html. There had been some problems with the forms on the government website and they have recently been updated. Please note that most of my staff is limited to commissioning forms which are of a provincial nature, and because these forms are related to federal programs, most of my staff cannot commission these forms. I have only one staff person who has a wider ability to commission forms, regardless of whether the forms are federal or provincial. While we have attempted in the past to accommodate constituents from both the ridings of Windsor-West and Essex, with federal and provincial forms, as well as the constituents of Windsor-Tecumseh with Federal forms, we have made the difficult decision that we will not be commissioning or assisting with Federal forms in the future. You will have to contact the respective Federal MPs to make the appropriate arrangements for assistance with federal programs and forms. My office continues to be available to assist constituents of Windsor-Tecumseh with Provincial programs and forms, and where necessary, constituents of the riding of Windsor-West with respect to commissioning provincial forms. Non-commissioning enquiries should continue to be directed to the local MPP representing your area. You should also be aware that we have made a policy decision that our office will no longer commission forms exempting someone from immunization for medical reasons or due to conscience or religious belief. Service Ontario also does not commission these forms. You will have to contact a lawyer about having these forms commissioned.
Our caucus believes it is time for the government to come clean about readiness for COVID-19 in Ontario’s long-term care homes, in light of news that the Red Cross has been dispatched to seven Ottawa-area long-term care homes. After weeks of insisting that long-term care facilities were ready for a second wave of COVID-19, the government is once again scrambling to contain outbreaks. This is a total failure and the Premier needs to tell us today: what homes are at risk and what are they doing to prepare?
At a time when people need relief from monthly costs, the Government is hiking electricity prices again — dragging Ontario’s high electricity bills further in the wrong direction. The 1.97 per cent increase comes into effect Nov. 1, along with a return to the much-maligned time of use pricing, and adds an option for a tiered system. Instead of tinkering with the billing model while hiking prices, Ontario needs an overhaul of the system to actually lower the price of electricity. During the pandemic, Ontarians need more relief, not higher hydro bills.
The provincial and federal governments announced funding of $11.6 million for a revamp of the Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program to help the agricultural industry reduce the spread of COVID-19 on farms. The fund will cover 50 percent of the cost of safety measures and the applicant will cover the remaining 50 percent of the cost. To learn more, click here: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/eng.../about/agrifoodprogram.htm.
The Province announced $1.4 million of funding for Mississauga-based Microbix Biosystems to expand production of COVID-19 testing supplies. To learn more about the announcement, click here: https://news.ontario.ca/.../ontario-increases-production....
Dr. Tam, Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has said that trick or treating will likely be permitted, as long as parents and kids maintain physical distancing outside, have hand sanitizer available, and stick to pre-packaged treats. However, it is best for parents to follow the local public health guidelines for their respective areas. More tips for a safe Halloween will be uploaded to the Public Health Agency of Canada website in the near future.
Please continue to listen to public health experts and wash your hands frequently, practice physical distancing of 2 metres apart, and wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible and where otherwise required.