Government of Ontario

Gilles Bisson

MPP Timmins

Stay in the loop

last updated: August 20, 2020 at 11 am

Disclaimer: Please note that this situation is constantly evolving. As all levels of government coordinate their response, please stay informed about prevention measures and advisories issued by public health officials. 


The government announced that it will ease restrictions in certain areas of the province, including the Porcupine Health Unit area beginning Friday, July 17, 2020. The limit on indoor social gatherings will be increased to 50 people and 100 people for outdoor gatherings, both subject to social distancing of 2 meters with those outside of your social circle. Additional businesses and services will be able to open, with proper health and safety measures in place. For more information of Stage 3 of reopening, click here.

For business opening guidelines, please visit the Porcupine Health Unit website.



Updates are available daily on the following websites:

Please visit the Porcupine Health Unit website for information on local cases, how to protect yourself and where to seek further medical support.

Information from Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Find out how to protect yourself, what to do if you're sick and how to recognize possible symptoms. Updated twice daily.

Information from the Government of Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Updates on the national response, travel advice and preparedness.

Important travel advisories and restrictions related to COVID-19, from the Government of Canada. 


For Medical Advice

If you think you have 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or you have been in close contact with someone who as it, use the self-assessment tool to help determine if you need to seek further care.

IMPORTANT: International travellers must self-isolate for 14 days, as recommended by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health. 

Telehealth Ontario

For medical advice, you may contact Telehealth Ontario, a free, confidential service. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Telephone: 1-866-797-0000


Porcupine Health Unit

A COVID-19 Assessment Centre is open in Timmins. The screening is by appointment only. A referral is required by your doctor, public health or Telehealth.

Call the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181 or your health care provider to be assessed for a referral. 


Support for Individuals

Click here for a list of supports, such as Employment Insurance and Canada Emergency Response Benefit, for individuals through the federal government.

The Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) will be topped up for eligible low-income seniors beginning April 2020 for a period of six months. Click here for more information. 

The provincial government, in partnership with the federal government, is providing six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for student borrowers. Click here to learn more about this temporary deferral.

Mortgage relief: The six major banks have stated they would considered easing mortgage payments on a case by case basis. It is recommended that you call your bank to see what can be done.


Ontario Funding for Families 

While schools and child care centres are closed, parents can apply for direct funding to offset the cost of buying materials to support their children’s learning, while they practice self-isolation and physical distancing.

Eligible parents will receive a one-time per child payment of:

  • $200 for children aged 0 to 12
  • $250 for children or youth aged 0 to 21 with special needs



Hydro Relief

Hydro One has launched a Pandemic Relief Fund to offer customers who are experiencing hardship paying their bills due to COVID-19 the opportunity to qualify for relief. The fund applies to residential, seasonal and small business customers. If you are experiencing hardship, please contact Hydro One at 1-888-664-9376. For more information, click here.


Please note that as this is a constantly evolving situation, that this may not be a comprehensive list. For more information on provincial supports, please click here.


COVID-19 Business Information

List of Essential Businesses

Toll-free hotline for businesses who have questions about the province's recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health: 1-888-444-3659


On March 25, 2020, the Ontario government announced a five-month relief period for Ontario businesses who are unable to file or remit select provincial taxes on time, due to the special circumstances caused by COVID-19 in Ontario.

The provincial taxes included in the relief period are:

  • Employer Health Tax
  • Tobacco Tax
  • Fuel Tax
  • Gas Tax
  • Beer, Whine and Spirits Tax
  • Mining Tax
  • Insurance Premium Tax
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement
  • Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts and Benefit Plans
  • Race Tracks Tax

For more information, please call 1-866-668-8297 or click here.

Hydro Relief

Hydro One has launched a Pandemic Relief Fund to offer customers who are experiencing hardship paying their bills due to COVID-19 the opportunity to qualify for relief. The fund applies to residential, seasonal and small business customers. If you are experiencing hardship, please contact Hydro One at 1-888-664-9376. For more information, click here.


The Timmins Chamber has compiled a list of useful resources for business. You can visit their website at

Do you need COVID-19 supplies such as signage, PPE, and cleaning supplies? The Timmins Chamber has compiled a list of local businesses that have what you may need. Click here.


Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is a special one-time relief fund established by the Government of Canada to support businesses, organizations and communities economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is designed to mitigate financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations to allow them to continue their operations, avoid layoffs or bankruptcy. There is no security position required. The new fund offers interest-free loans of normally up to $250,000 with no payments until December 31, 2022 to cover 100 percent of liquidity needs for six months (from March 15 to September 15, 2020). Please note that priority will be given to applicants who have not received financial support from other federal programs (e.g. CEWS, CEBA, BCAP); however, if you have received support from these programs and can still demonstrate the need for incremental support, you may be considered eligible.

If you are experiencing liquidity challenges, apply now to the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund as we are processing applications quickly.  Contact Tallia Damini at 705-266-5620 to discuss the program details. In the meantime, please visit the FedNor website for additional information and to review eligibility criteria.


Can your business or organization help?

The Ontario government is welcoming help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support our response to COVID-19.

Please tell the government what you have in terms of medical products (ventilators, swabs, masks and eye protection), as well as any solutions or ideas that you may have. You can submit your information online here: or you can call 1-888-777-0554.


The latest on the issues

November 25, 2020

Bisson fights for minimum wage for exempt residential building workers

QUEEN’S PARK – An NDP bill to allow residential superintendents, janitors and caretakers to earn minimum wage has passed second reading at the Ontario Legislature. More
October 23, 2020

Official Opposition plan will provide better care for seniors in Northeastern Ontario

TIMMINS - KAPUSKASING — MPPs Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk-James Bay) and Gilles Bisson (Timmins) said that the government’s days of shortchanging seniors care must come to an end. More
August 25, 2020

Committee to rubber-stamp Premier’s secret deals is a sham

QUEEN’S PARK — The Select Committee on Emergency Management Oversight met for the first time Monday and Official Opposition House Leader Gilles Bisson is demanding the committee’s rules be changed.   More