Here are today’s new developments:
- The federal government is anticipating a whopping deficit this year, reaching $343 billion, as a result of COVID-19.
- The government introduced an omnibus bill today that, while billed as a COVID-19 recovery bill, makes numerous changes to legislation but, as Andrea Horwath stressed, does nothing to help families, long-term care homes, small businesses, schools, day cares, First Nations and municipalities devastated by the pandemic.
- Two Toronto school trustees are urging the Ford government to craft a school reopening plan that actually works for families, specifically working parents. The Official Opposition has been demanding that the government make specific commitments to better support parents and educators as schools reopen. These include hiring more teachers and education workers and funding to stabilize the child care sector.
Here are some concerns the Official Opposition is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- Despite Ford’s claims that he didn’t know some long-term care homes lack air conditioning in residents' rooms, Andrea Horwath emphasized that the Official Opposition has been calling for minimum AC requirements in long-term care since at least 2006, and that the Official Opposition has been bringing the matter to Ford’s attention since 2018. Horwath called on Ford to pass legislation today to require air conditioning in all long-term care residents’ rooms.
- Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo tabled a private member’s bill to establish a first-ever Senior’s Advocate for Ontario, to act as an independent voice for seniors and family members who act as caregivers.
- The Official Opposition critic for Community and Social Services Lisa Gretzky said Ford’s plan to end pandemic top-up payments for people receiving Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW) will hurt the province’s most vulnerable.
- Official Opposition critic for Persons with Disabilities Joel Harden asked Ford to release a concrete plan to ensure that the learning needs of students with disabilities are supported when school opens this fall.
- Algoma-Manitoulin Official Opposition MPP Michael Mantha took a local PSW’s fight for pandemic pay straight to Doug Ford during today’s question period.
- Oshawa Official Opposition MPP Jennifer French called on Ford to start serving seniors in Ontario, rather than the interests of for-profit long-term care companies. She cited a media report that said Treasury Board president Peter Bethlenfalvy reportedly denied funding requests to protect seniors from COVID-19 even as a tragedy developed in his own community at Pickering’s Orchard Villa.