Here are today’s new developments:
- Today, Canada’s chief public health officer announced she is now officially recommending that Canadians wear non-medical face masks when keeping two metres apart from others isn't possible. Justin Trudeau says he personally will wear a mask to protect himself and others on Parliament Hill when he can't physically distance. Public health advice on non-surgical mask wearing as a protective measure against the spread of COVID-19 has varied across regions. Ontario's Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney today recommended that people wear face coverings on public transit.
- As workplaces open up, health and safety guidelines for public transit agencies will be released soon - the Official Opposition has called for the government to give businesses clear, enforceable rules, rather than recommended guidelines, to ensure lives aren’t put at risk.
- Women in Canada are both contracting and dying from COVID-19 in higher numbers than men, counter to trends seen in other countries – possible explanations include that, in Ontario and Quebec, more than 80 per cent of personal support workers and nurses in long-term care are women – Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath has repeatedly urged the Ford government to step up supports for long-term care staff, and has spoken out about women bearing the brunt of the economic pain dished out by COVID-19.
- Ontario will soon decide if summer day camps can open in July and August.
- After the Ford government announced that the school school year won’t resume in person, Official Opposition Education critic Marit Stiles stressed that the government must fill the gap left by child care centres remaining closed as more parents return to work.
Here are some concerns the Official Opposition is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- A horrific situation at a for-profit retirement home in Hamilton prompted MPP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, Sandy Shaw, to ask the Ford government during Wednesday’s question period if it would take action to ensure private, for-profit corporations do not continue to hurt seniors.
- During question period Wednesday, Andrea Horwath asked Premier Ford if he's placing corporate interests ahead of those of vulnerable seniors. Since the start of the pandemic, the big three for-profit long-term care corporations have hired close allies of Doug Ford to protect their financial interests through lobbying.
- Andrea Horwath called the Ford government blocking a motion yesterday for a find-and-fix public inquiry into Ontario’s long-term care system “unconscionable.” The inquiry that the Ford government opposed would have included examining the role of long-term care homes run by for-profit corporations.