Here are today’s new developments
- Canada’s deficit is expected to top $252 billion this year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Canadian restaurant owners are among the many businesses struggling to stay afloat right now, with some predicting that the ongoing stress and uncertainty will lead to closures even after restrictions are lifted -- the Official Opposition has been calling for a major commercial rent relief program, and has echoed calls from business owners who say the federal government’s rent relief program — which Premier Doug Ford believes is enough — is not good enough.
- Ontario has announced new guidelines for businesses across different sectors to prepare for opening up when restrictions ease— the Official Opposition’s Labour critic for Workplace Health and Safety, Wayne Gates, says that giving businesses guidelines, as opposed to clear rules, is dangerous, and will put lives at risk.
- Despite Premier Doug Ford’s insistence that the province has enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, reports out of long-term care facilities indicate that workers aren’t given the PPE they need, and PSWs may continue to face pressure from employers to work without proper protections. The union representing the second PSW to die of COVID-19 in Ontario, Arlene Reid, said PPE protocols and government directives have “insufficiently protected PSWs” in home care, long-term care and hospital settings -- The Official Opposition has been calling for a new strategy to protect residents and staff in long-term care.
Here are some concerns the Official Opposition is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- The Official Opposition is calling out Premier Doug Ford's continued failure to mandate auto insurance companies to lower their rates during the pandemic, pointing out that all auto insurance rates in Ontario are approved by the provincial government -- the Official Opposition has been calling on Premier Ford to mandate a three-month, 50 per cent discount to auto insurance.
- Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on Premier Ford and his government to announce emergency financial support for colleges and universities, as Mohawk College anticipates having to make $50 million in cuts as a result of COVID-19.
- Premier Doug Ford continues to move the goalposts to lower Ontario's target for increasing COVID-19 tests--a key factor in safely reopening the economy -- the Offical Opposition's "fact check" shows that the government has failed consistently to meet its own lowered targets.