Terence Kernaghan MPP, London North Centre

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Information for Constituents

There is a great deal of concern about COVID-19 coronavirus. This is an issue that is changing daily and hourly and I want to ensure you have accurate and up-to-date information.

COVID-19 Updates:

Community Updates:

  • LTC free transit from March 20 - April 5, board at rear doors (front for accessibility), self-screen for illness
  • Ontario has halted evictions and placed a moratorium on issuing new eviction notices for tenants
  • Canada has frozen student loan payments for six months
  • Drive test centres closed until further notice
    • those who currently have a driver’s license will not lose it
    • those with pending tests won’t lose test fees or have to pay a penalty
  • Health Cards, Driver Licenses, license plate validation, Ontario Photo Cards, & Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration - validity period extended 
  • Ontario closes all outdoor recreation amenities - sports fields, playgrounds, basketball & tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, beaches, skateboard & BMX parks, picnic areas, park shelters, outdoor exercise equipment, condo parks, & community gardens until April 13th. 
  • Ontario prohibits gatherings of more than five people, with exceptions
    • March 30th - does not apply to private households, child care centres for health care workers (as long as each centre has no more than 50 people), funerals may proceed with up to 10 people at one time

Great People Doing Great Things

What you can do:

Business/Economic Updates:

  • Canada Revenue Agency - filing deadline extended to June 1st, 2019 balances can be repaid until Aug. 31st, 2020
  • Hotline for small and medium-sized businesses: 1-888-234-2232
  • Canada's support for individuals, businesses, & economic plan can be found here
  • Ontario Together is asking for businesses & organizations to help supply personal protective equipment, (or 1-888-777-0554)
  • The government of Canada is also asking for businesses & organizations to help supply personal protective equipment
  • Small & Medium-sized businesses may qualify for COVID-19 loans, select "funding" in needs
  • List of Essential Workplaces as of 2020/03/25 (or as attachment if site continues crashing)
  • Questions about Ontario’s Essential services order? Call 1-888-444-3659
  • Ontario Budget 2020 Supports for Businesses
    • April 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020 - $6 Billion in Tax Deferrals - interest and penalty-free period for businesses to make payments on majority of provincially administered taxes
      • Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax, & Gas Tax
    • 1.8 Billion Education Property Tax Deferrals - 90 day deferral for payments from municipalities to school boards (no impact on school boards, Province to adjust payments)
    • 1.9 Billion Workplace Safety Expenses - WSIB payments deferred for 6 months
      • All employers covered by WSIB automatically eligible 
  • Canada announces (up to) 75% wage subsidy for big & small businesses, charities, and not-for-profits
    • Applicants must have at least 30% decline in revenue due to COVID-19
    • 75% of employees' wages - only for first $58,700 of salary = $847/week

Home Updates:

  • Emergency Child Care available for front line health care, police, fire, paramedics, and corrections workers
  • Learn at Home resources for parents & students 
  • Ontario Energy Board extending ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment (residential) to July 31st, 2020
  • Hydro rates lowered to 10.1 c/kWh throughout day, starting 2020/03/24, for 45 day
  • City of London waives interest and penalties for late or missed property tax instalments, water, & wastewater payments for 60 days starting March 25.
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit - for those unemployed due to COVID-19 & unable to access paid leave or other income support. Application details will be available through My CRA and My Service Canada, early April.
    • April 6th launch - to be sent to applicants 10 days after 
    • New benefit of $2,000/month for people unable to work due to COVID-19
  • Employment Insurance 
  • Student Loan Repayments cancelled until Sept. 30th, 2020
    • pre-authorized debit will be automatically stopped - you do not have to do anything
  • Public Schools closed to students until Monday, May 4th

COVID-19 Community Concerns:

If you are concerned about businesses or individuals not following COVID-19 orders, the City of London, MLHU, Bylaw Enforcement, and London Police have launched an email and phone line for residents to report their concerns:

Other Resources:

School Mental Health Ontario

  • Information and tools for parents to help support children's mental health

BounceBack

CMHA's free skill-building program to help adults and youth cope with depression and anxiety

Life*Spin Community Resources

List of resources and programs especially those living struggling to make ends meet

Children's Resources

COVID-19 specific resources for children, youth, and families

TVDSB Learn at Home

Online learning resources to support students and families, including links to external sites for all grades as well as a description of each resource.

Pro Bono Ontario

Free Legal Advice Hotline for low-income Ontarians & resources to help answer legal questions related to COVID-19

RENT SUBSIDY FOR TENANTS AND BUSINESSES

  • Andrea Horwath calls for 80% rent subsidy, up to $2500 per home, per month, for up to four months for anyone qualifying for federal emergency benefit
    • Same funds must also be made available to help small and medium-sized businesses
    • Legal ban on evictions, lockouts, and disconnections (including business tenants) for four months
    • Legal ban on threatening eviction, lockout, and disconnection
    • Six month rent freeze
  • Deferring rent could put tenants and private landlords into financial crisis. Rent subsidies will help folks weather the financial storm that COVID-19 has created

*All returning travellers must immediately self-isolate after March Break!

 

#Cheer4HealthWorkers

Every night at 7:30, people across Ontario are going outside & making noise to cheer on the millions of health providers, social service and other essential workers 

Londoners are also showing our gratitude by displaying blue hearts in their windows.


Be sure to thank our dedicated and tireless health care workers who are helping keep us healthy and safe as well as transit workers, grocery store clerks, and city workers. Recent events show us how much we depend on one another, in often quiet, yet fundamentally important ways.

The health of our community depends on all of us.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Prevention measures include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Stay home when you are ill
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Avoid shaking hands - try an "elbow bump" instead
  • Stay two metres away from others & avoid all non-essential gatherings of any size - Physical Distancing

We are all in this together!

Our team continues to serve the community, answering questions, and helping navigate services. If you come across issues that you believe need to be raised with the provincial government please let us know. We are trying to make sure that Ontario is looking after the problems people face as the situation develops. Our office cannot take in-person meetings at this time but please call (519) 432-7339 or email: TKernaghan-CO@ndp.on.ca 

Stay calm, stay healthy, and stay kind!

Terence