Here are today’s new developments:
- The Canadian government announced an aid package to help farmers and food processors navigate the pandemic – the amount falls far short of the $2.6-billion emergency fund requested by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.
- In response to a question from an Opposition MP during virtual question period, Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland said those who feel unsafe in their workplace due to COVID-19 won't be obliged to work-- In Ontario, the Official Opposition has been calling on the Ford government to strengthen protections for workers who refuse unsafe work, amid reports that the ministry has failed to uphold workplace refusals filed by over 200 people fearful of getting COVID-19 on the job.
- Today saw a steep drop in Ontario's COVID-19 testing numbers, and Premier Ford--who has continuously moved the goalposts on testing targets, then failed to meet them--kicking the blame to some of the province's regional public health units -- Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath criticized the premier's comments, noting Ford "determines how many public health units and labs we have, and how much funding they get, and he's the one that spent the last year battling these organizations to make cuts to them."
- A union that represents thousands of Ontario health care workers is calling on the provincial government and local police to launch a public inquiry and criminal investigations into COVID-19 deaths in long-term care-- the Official Opposition has been urging the premier to make significant changes to long-term care, to ensure residents and staff are better protected.
- Ontario will have virtual mental health services available for Ontarians experiencing anxiety and depression during the pandemic.
Here are some concerns the Official Opposition is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- The Official Opposition said today's shocking drop in testing numbers shows the Ford government is failing to ramp up testing to meet its new, lowered target, while using testing data to justify re-opening parts of the economy.
- 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.