As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times, I would like to share the following new developments from today:
- Canadians out of work due to COVID-19 can finally apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), amid criticism that this benefit doesn't cover enough workers. The program is expected to be adjusted in the coming days.
- Wearing a homemade or makeshift mask (as opposed to an N95 mask, reserved for frontline health workers) could be a good idea when in close contact with others, like at the grocery store or on transit, Canada's top doctor said today--this shouldn't replace social distancing and frequent hand-washing, and Canadians should continue staying home unless absolutely necessary.
- Despite assurances from the Ford government that more protective masks for health care workers are on their way, today Ford said Ontario is in danger of running out of masks and other personal protective equipment by next week (the Official Opposition has been calling for Ontario to step up support for health care workers regarding issues like PPEs). Trump's directive to ban U.S. exports of N95 masks reportedly caused the blockage of three or four million masks bound for Canada from supplier 3M, though Ford said he's heard 500,000 of those masks are still on their way.
Here are some concerns the Official Opposition is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- Andrea Horwath launched the Official Opposition's Save Main Street proposal Sunday, a plan to keep small and medium-sized businesses afloat, with greater supports for companies, charities and community-based nonprofits.
- The Official Opposition is calling on the Ford government to cancel and cover the prescription drug co-payments required of seniors during the COVID-19 crisis.
“No senior in Ontario should have to skip their pills or skimp on food as a result of the pandemic,” said Horwath. “But if seniors have to pay for each prescription each month, some of them will be forced to make difficult choices."
Here are some things we’re hearing from our community members:
- While most Ontarians are working hard to flatten the curve by staying home, we’re still hearing concerns that non-essential gatherings and work continues.
- Email me to let me know how you’re doing, what you’re concerned about: firstname.lastname@example.org