The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced one new death and eight new cases of COVID-19 in the region. Of the new cases, three are travel related, one is the result of close contact with someone with the virus, and four remain under investigation. There are now 2,569 confirmed cases in our region, 2,413 cases resolved, and 76 deaths.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said they will be updating their face covering order next week to ensure consistency as some local municipalities have approved their own mask bylaws. The new order is not expected to be significantly different than what is in place currently.
With land-border restrictions between Canada and the U.S. slated to end on September 21, Mayor Dilkens has called for a renewal of the restrictions on a month-to-month basis, while Sarnia’s Mayor Mike Bradley wants to see the restrictions extended to the end of the year.
A independent Financial Accountability Office report on federal and provincial COVID-19 measures released today has revealed that the provincial government is sitting on $6.7 billion in money they promised to use to fight COVID-19. That money could be used to stop the spread of the virus — from ensuring kids are safer in schools to getting hospitals ready for a second wave — but they are choosing to horde it to help their bottom line, instead. The $6.7 billion in remaining unallocated provincial funds includes $3.5 billion in cash transfers from the federal government. Because Ontario isn’t spending the money it promised to, COVID-19 spending for Ontarians has, so far, been 97 per cent provided by the federal government and just three per cent by the provincial government. The provincial government’s refusal to get aid money out the door is a troubling signal that this government seems to be returning to its agenda of squeezing and cutting services that matter.
I was pleased to attend the announcement by governments of Canada and Ontario that are investing over $5.5 million in two critically needed new affordable housing developments to give people at risk of homelessness in Windsor and Kingsville a stable place to live. The Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation is building Ontario's largest "passive house" complex at 3100 Meadowbrook Lane. The new 145-unit building for individuals, small families and seniors will be barrier-free and include 46 accessible units. While we welcome the announcement, our caucus continues to call on the government to fund more affordable housing. We are in a housing crisis across this province and there are not enough affordable housing units in for everyone in need. 145 units barely scratch the surface of the 5,000+ waiting list in Windsor. This announcement was joined with the announcement of a new supportive housing complex with four units is also being built for youth with intellectual disabilities. The project will provide affordable and accessible housing in an established residential neighborhood that is close to amenities, with supports provided by Community Living Essex County.
Today, the Government of Ontario announced they are allocating an additional $14.75 million to expand access to mental health and addiction services. The additional funding will help community-based mental health and addictions programs meet increasing service demands, including:
- $7 million to safely expand in-person mental health and addictions services to bridge current gaps brought on by COVID-19, including community-based services, congregate living and supportive housing;
- $4.75 million to support culturally safe services for Indigenous communities, with a focus on children and youth; and
- $3 million to expand virtual and online services including addictions supports, Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) and an online peer support community for mental health.
The Ontario government also announced an additional $2.9 million for eight research projects that aim to support Ontario's response to COVID-19. These projects will focus on a wide variety of areas such as supporting the mental health and well-being of families and children, assessing the long-term health effects of COVID-19, the development of an app to better manage patient care and an evaluation of the effectiveness of wearing masks to block the virus
Single ice pads have been open at the WFCU Centre and Capri Pizzeria Recreation Complex in south Windsor, but the City of Windsor has announced that due to high demand, five of the city’s nine ice rinks will be put into operation by Saturday September 19.
Please continue to practice social distancing, wear your face mask or face covering in public, and wash your hands often.