Here are today’s new developments:
- Canadian public health officials released new modelling numbers today, which show Canada is making progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19, though thousands more cases, and deaths, are expected by early next month, and Canadians are urged to continue physical distancing measures.
- While the increase in new cases slow down, Canada’s forecasted COVID-19 fatality is higher than was initially predicted due to widespread outbreaks in long-term care and seniors’ homes. -- the Official Opposition has been calling on the Ontario government to do far more to protect seniors and long-term care workers.
- With rent due May 1, commercial property landlords and tenants have expressed confusion and doubt about Canada’s commercial rent assistance program, saying details on eligibility and the extent to which they might stand to benefit are scarce -- the Official Opposition has been urging the Ford government to give businesses desperately-needed rent relief and other supports.
- Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office released its preliminary review of the virus’s impact on hospital capacity – the findings include that pre-pandemic, Ontario had a low number of hospital beds and high occupancy rate compared to similar jurisdictions, and that Ontario’s testing target is lagging.
- A report out by Toronto’s University Health Network finds that an estimated 35 people may have died during the COVID-19 pandemic because their cardiac surgeries were postponed.
Here are some concerns the Official Opposition is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- Andrea Horwath joined workers across the country in marking today's National Day of Mourning -- the Official Opposition will be tabling a bill championed by Labour critic for Workplace Health and Safety Wayne Gates, to ensure that all essential workers have presumptive WSIB coverage for COVID-19 during the pandemic.
- The Official Opposition continued to urge the Ford government to launch a strategy to protect seniors and long-term care workers in the battle against COVID-19--the proposal includes an order for Public Health to take over management of long-term care homes where seniors aren't properly protected, plus mandating what homes must communicate to residents and their families.
- The Official Opposition issued a much-needed reality check to Ontario's flawed rent relief program, which many in the province's business community are expressing serious concerns about.
- Andrea Horwath is asking the province to cover the full cost of take-home cancer drugs for people that need them, an ask the Official Opposition has long pushed for, but which has taken on increased urgency during the pandemic, when many Ontarians have had their in-hospital cancer treatments put on hold.