Gilles Bisson MPP Timmins

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Bulletin: May 4

Published on May 4, 2020

Here are today’s new developments:

  • Canada’s Health Minister is stressing to Canadians that the pandemic is not over, despite the fact some provinces are beginning to cautiously ease restrictions. Canada’s COVID-19 caseload today exceeded 60,000, she warned, and people mustn't slack on social distancing measures.   
  • Canada’s’ chief public health officer said the country’s new normal, post-pandemic, will have to include that working while sick is no longer acceptable, a norm she said governments and workplaces will have to support--In Ontario, the Ford government came to power and immediately rolled back labour laws by cancelling paid sick days. 
  • As Ontario eased restrictions on certain outdoor-based businesses today, garden centre operators are criticizing how the Ford government handled  measures pertaining to their industry – the Official Opposition has been calling on the Ford government to establish a clear, robust plan for reopening the economy and keeping workers safe. 

Here are some concerns the Official Opposition is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:

  • The Official Opposition is calling for a package of supports to ensure agribusinesses and rural economies in Ontario can weather the storm of COVID-19, noting that the the provincial government has left the farming industry and rural communities to fend for themselves.
  • As Ontario contemplates reopening the economy, the Official Opposition is calling on the government’s Labour Minister to strengthen protections for workers who refuse to do unsafe work -- as reported by the Toronto Star, over 200 workers fearful of contracting COVID-19 at their workplace filed work refusals, yet the Ministry of Labour has not upheld a single one.  
  • The Official Opposition is reiterating its call for Premier Doug Ford to take urgent actions to protect Ontarians with disabilities and ensure they get through the pandemic safely, including a plan to conduct in-home testing for people with disabilities, and ensuring home care workers have proper PPE--so far, the government has been silent on the issue.