Ontario launches independent Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission
Findings will help protect residents and staff from future outbreaks
Our government today launched an independent commission into COVID-19 and long-term care. Three commissioners will investigate how COVID-19 spread within
long-term care homes, how residents, staff, and families were impacted, and the adequacy of measures taken by the province and other parties to prevent, isolate and contain the virus. MPP Daryl Kramp said the Commission findings will be important to everybody in the province.
“We all want to know what happened at the affected long-term care homes,” said Kramp. “And we all
want to make sure everything possible is done so that it can’t happen again.” The LTC commission will provide the government with guidance on how to better protect long-term care home residents and staff from any future outbreaks.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford and Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. "As Premier, I made a commitment to our long-term care residents and their families that there would be accountability and justice in the broken system we inherited," said Premier Ford. "Today, we are delivering on that promise by moving forward with a transparent, independent review of our long-term care system. We will do whatever it takes to ensure every senior in the province has a safe and
comfortable place to call home."
Three commissioners have been appointed for the expertise and experience they bring to addressing the commission's mandate:
- Associate Chief Justice Frank N. Marrocco (Chair) ― appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in 2005 and holds a distinguished career practising criminal and civil litigation law spanning 33 years.
- Angela Coke ― served as a former senior executive of the Ontario Public Service where she spent more than 27 years committed to the transformation of government operations, consumer protection reform, and the development of a strong professional public service.
- Dr. Jack Kitts ― served as President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital from February 2002 until his retirement in June 2020. He is known nationally for his focus and expertise in patient experience, performance measurement and physician engagement.
This independent commission has the power to conduct an investigation, including compellingpersons to give or produce evidence, issuing summons, and holding public meetings. The commission's findings are delivered within the timeframes set out by the Minister of Long-Term Care in the Terms of Reference, allowing investigations to be completed in months, rather than years. The commissioners are expected to deliver their final report by April 2021.
"The people of Ontario deserve a timely, transparent and non-partisan investigation," said Minister Fullerton. "That is why our government is launching this independent commission to help us identify ways to prevent the future spread of disease in Ontario's long-term care homes. I look forward to receiving their report and recommendations to make Ontario's long-term care homes a better place for our most vulnerable seniors to live and receive the care they deserve."
While the work of the commissioners is underway, Ontario will continue to move forward with system improvements, including implementing the recommendations of the Public Inquiry into Long-Term Care Homes, acting on essential learnings from COVID-19, and supporting the accelerated development of new, modern long-term care beds.
The Ontario government has committed to investing a historic $1.75 billion to create new and redevelop existing long-term care beds. The province is also updating design standards to include air conditioning for any new and renovated homes, beginning immediately.
The Ontario government recently announced a new funding model, to make it more attractive for operators to build long-term care homes and bring aging homes up to modern design standards — providing seniors with the quality care they deserve.
Nearly 78,000 Ontario residents currently live in 626 long-term care homes across the province.
More than 38,000 people are on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed (as of March 2020).
Previous public inquiries, such as the Public Inquiry into Long-Term Care Homes, took two years to
In 2003, the Ontario government appointed an independent commission to investigate the
introduction and spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) under the Health Protection
and Promotion Act. The commission interviewed 600 people and held six days of public hearings.
Ontario takes steps to improve child welfare system; new focus is on prevention and early intervention to keep families together
Wednesday, July 29, 2020 — The Ontario government’s plan to modernize the child welfare
system, released today, was welcomed by MPP Daryl Kramp.
“The launch of this strategy to re-design the child welfare system is a clear signal our government
is committed to making changes to better support children, youth, families and communities,” said
Kramp. “These changes will make a real difference in the lives of many Ontarians.”
The strategy focuses on strengthening families and communities through prevention, early
intervention and seeking more permanent homes for children and youth in care when they cannot
stay in their own homes or communities.
“Children and youth in care experience significantly worse outcomes than those in a family setting,
such as lower graduation rates, a higher risk of homelessness and more involvement with the
justice system,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues.
“That is why we are transforming the child welfare system, to ensure more families stay together
and children and youth in care have the supports they need to be safe, succeed, and thrive as they
transition from care to adulthood.”
The strategy to redesign the child welfare system has five pillars that focus on:
Strengthening family well-being through community-based prevention services that keep
children safe in family-based settings;
Improving the quality of residential care provided to children and youth;
Promoting the development of stable and lifelong connections and supports for youth, with a
focus on education and employment opportunities;
Improving the adoption experience and focusing on family-based options over group care where
Creating a more efficient and effective child welfare system that is financially sustainable.
The new child welfare strategy was developed with input from youth, families, caregivers, First
Nations, Inuit and Métis partners, lawyers, community organizations, frontline workers and child
welfare sector leaders. They participated in over 100 engagement sessions over the past year and
provided over 3,000 responses to an online survey.
“We are committed to taking the time to get this right and keep children and youth at the heart of
everything we do,” said Minister Dunlop. “Their safety, well-being and future success is of utmost
More than 12,000 children and youth are in the care of children’s aid societies in Ontario. This
includes children and youth in kinship care, foster care and group care placements.
$4B Safe Restart agreement supports municipalities and transit and provides new funding for many priority programs in Ontario
The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is
providing up to $4 billion in urgently needed one-time assistance to Ontario's 444 municipalities.
The historic agreement was welcomed by MPP Daryl Kramp.
“Municipalities have been working hard to deliver services while cutting costs wherever they can,”
said Kramp. “But the fall-out from the pandemic has put them in a tough situation. This money will
make a big difference locally.”
The funding will help local governments maintain critical services people rely on every day,
including public transit, over the next six to eight months. Details on specific allocations will be
provided in the coming weeks. This funding is part of the province's made-in-Ontario plan for
renewal, growth and economic recovery.
The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and
Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and
Housing, and Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation.
"By working together, we have united the country in the face of the immense challenges brought on
by COVID-19 and secured a historic deal with the federal government to ensure a strong recovery
for Ontario and for Canada," said Premier Ford. "I want to thank Ontario's 444 local leaders who
supported us through our negotiations with the federal government and through each stage of
The agreement includes $777 million from the federal government and $1.22 billion from the
province in support for municipalities.
"Ontario's municipalities are the backbone of our great province," said Minister Clark. "Our
government is committed to working hand in hand with our municipal partners to help them emerge
stronger and enable them to lead economic recovery in every community."
The Safe Restart Agreement will help ensure a strong and safe recovery for Ontario through
investments in testing, contact tracing and data management; health care capacity and mental
health; protecting vulnerable populations, including people experiencing homelessness and seniors
in long-term care facilities; securing personal protective equipment (PPE); child care for returning
workers; and support for municipalities and public transit systems.
Pleased to announce a completely redesigned funding model that will spur the development of much needed long-term care homes. This plan with help small operators in rural communities navigate the high cost of development.
Happy Canada Day
Today we celebrate the creation of Canada 153 years ago. And we did something else in 1867, we gave the name Ontario to our province. Yes, also on July 1st, Canada West became Ontario. So, July 1st is a double birthday for the people of our province.
Canada Day is a day to reflect on how very blessed we are to live in a free independent country. We are blessed locally with our family values and community ties.
This year we have all faced great challenges, our strength, honour and convictions have brought us through.
It's time to embrace our past, look forward to our future with optimism as we enter the second half of 2020.
Although we may be celebrating differently this year…..we certainly have much to celebrate.
From my family to yours, Happy Canada Day.
Motion to Extend Emergency Order
I’m honoured today to have the opportunity to speak on the Motion by the Government House Leader to further extend the Declaration of Emergency first declared on March 17th in response to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
Definition of Emergency – Emergency is a sudden unforeseen crisis (usually involving danger) that requires immediate action.
That was Ontario Regulation 50/20.
The Declaration was no paper tiger. It has given real powers to government to do the best for the people, under circumstances none of us ever wanted to contemplate.
In a few minutes I will get to the real difference these powers have made.
But let’s look at these powers.
These Emergency powers have allowed the Government of Ontario to move swiftly on multiple fronts and in powers given to our Health Units and municipalities, even as it temporarily overrides some of the decision-making powers residing in other tiers.
The Ontario Government took Covid-19 seriously from the start and set up the Covid-19 Command Table headed by Helen Angus, Deputy Minister of Health in January. The Command Table, which also includes Dr. David Williams, was further expanded at the start of March.
The Command Table advises the Premier and his Cabinet every step of the way.
Now, everyone is told or taught at some point in their lives that giving more powers to government is a one-way street – they won’t be given back.
The Government has used the March 17th declaration to both take away and then to give back.
In both situations using the advice of health experts and data analysis.
For example, the March 17th broad closure of establishments was revoked on June 12th with Ontario Regulation 264/20 and replaced with qualified openings with safety protocols in place.
Another example. The limitation on the size of social gatherings, originally set at 5 on the advice of the Command Table, was doubled to 10 on June 12th.
And we all know that the Staged re-opening of Ontario has been implemented in full consultation with the Command Table. Expert advice has been heard and acted upon, in both closing and re-opening the Province.
And since the March 17th Declaration, the extensions to the Declaration have each been for modest periods that allow implementation, and careful reflection upon the course taken to that date.
I remind the Legislature that the previous extensions to this Declaration have been for 14 days, then 28 days at the peak of new cases in Ontario on April 14th, then 21 days, then another 28 days on June 2nd, taking it to June 30th.
This Motion seeks to extend it by a further 15 days.
This careful approach has followed the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act’s wording that:
- all actions must be evaluated to limit their intrusiveness,
- only apply to the areas where necessary, hence the opportunity to account for regional differences, and,
- will be in effect only for as long as is necessary.
And that is why we are here today.
The Government did not throw a six-month blanket over the province back in March, hoping to smother Covid-19. Instead, it has matched the Declaration period to the Command Table’s views of the emergency level being addressed.
And that’s why it is good news that the ask in this extension is for only 15 days.
It’s another positive sign that we can start emerging from the toughest restrictions of the Emergency Declaration.
Yes, our collective war in Ontario against Covid-19 is being won. And that’s on all of us, for we have all listened and tried to become experts on infection control, at home, at work, and as we travel between our homes and our work.
Successes don’t come merely by words on paper. They come from team effort, from professionalism in applied health and ethics, from insight and oversight.
And they come connected to the efforts of all 14.5 million Ontarians across our province.
During this pandemic I’d like to pay tribute to the health professionals across Ontario and in particular those in my Eastern Ontario riding.
Dr. Kieran Moore and his team in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit have been heralded for their work in suppressing Covid-19, to make it one of the healthiest parts of the province.
Indeed, as of this morning I am advised, there have been no Covid-19 cases among patients in the 27 retirement and long-term care facilities covered by this health unit.
That took a lot of individuals working with great diligence. My hat is off to them.
Dr. Moore, I am advised, used all the inspectors at his command to ensure health care facilities were as safe as possible as early as possible.
The results have shown the value of his “health first” attitude. Bureaucracy in KFL&A didn’t get in the way, it paved the way for success.
Dr. Moore previously served Hastings, the other County in my riding, as interim medical officer of health a few years back. So he knows the whole area very well.
Hastings County is now served by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Piotr Oglaza and his team. They, too, have worked with the broader community in these trying times and the Covid-19 numbers in Hastings are also below the provincial average despite the risks associated with re-patriating Canadians for quarantine at CFB Trenton in which they played a key role.
Hospitals in Kingston, Bancroft, Belleville, Napanee and Quinte West have worked tirelessly to keep Covid-19 out of our communities with testing and serious health protocols.
These hospitals and all their working parts – the people from these communities who perform all the vital hospital functions – have worked hard to keep at-risk patients separate from the potentially Covid-19 afflicted and take care of prior patients who would be most at-risk.
They and their staffs at all corners deserve great respect for their efforts and successes.
Many signs and symbols have popped up and been displayed on houses, stores and billboards thanking this front line of the medical brigades. Our communities ‘get it’, and fortunately few of them have ‘got it’.
Tools and the toolbox
The emergency declaration gave all of our health professionals, civic politicians and provincial Cabinet Ministers the tools and the toolbox they needed, allowing decisions to be made rapidly and on the fly.
The Legislature didn’t need to re-convene on a moment’s notice, because they had the tools they needed at that moment. And this allowed proper due diligence to look down the road and evaluate and re-evaluate essential services and make decisions such as what the staged re-openings should look like.
The emergency declaration isn’t taken lightly – it is the most powerful tool in the Government’s toolbox.
And it is a tool the Government has wielded with care, and with the hope that it can abandon that need sooner rather than later.
The fact that the Emergency Powers were put in place to save lives, seems to be missed by some speaking today. They see it as a political football, one that can be exploited. And they are trying to do so.
This misses entirely the great efforts of our front-line personnel to save lives, of our truck drivers to deliver food and other necessities, of store personnel to put themselves on the line.
This misses entirely the lessons learned through this pandemic. And the false conclusions presented are a demeaning of all of us who have done so much to keep ourselves and our families healthy.
The public knows now how well our immune systems operate daily, fending off suffering and death as we breathe in what now sounds like a witch’s brew of toxins and infectants. Yet, until the corona virus trio appeared we didn’t all see the high stakes because public health has come so far in the past century.
Fortunately, our health pros have been aware and kept our political leaders aware of the big, lurking risks. That’s why we had the Emergency Powers Act ready to use when needed.
As it says in Section 7 of the Act, it’s there “to promote the public good by protecting the health, safety and welfare of the people of Ontario.”
And the Emergency Powers Act has been applied that way, following the careful guidance of the best public health experts in our province. And the best data and data modelling of those who have devoted and dedicated their lives to saving our lives and those of our loved ones.
These powers have been in place for years, ready to be used when needed.
Governments of every stripe have their fingerprints on them. They were not pulled out of a dusty secret safe in the Whitney Block next door.
The Premier and Cabinet members have been available and talking to the public and the media every day. They have responded decisively when presented with new information. The Premier has used his own truck to deliver Personal Protective Equipment.
The Health Units are local because they know and monitor local health every day and year, not just in this year of a Covid-19 world pandemic.
All of our municipalities have official roles on our local health units. I’m fortunate to have 19 municipalities in my riding and the elected and professional officials who serve the health units and connect them to the people deserve great credit for their efforts to make the right local decisions at the time that works best. None of these decisions are easy – there’s no rear-view mirror on how it was done before.
This is new ground for everyone except the top experts who have modelled this in readiness. And that’s why our Premier talks about Ontario’s population of 14.5 million and the tremendous collective effort displayed by all.
In Loyalist Township, in L&A, named for the founding United Empire Loyalists who in 1784 established Upper Canada which became Canada West and then Ontario in 1867, Mayor Ric Bresee led the municipal efforts.
In Faraday Township, in Hastings, it was Reeve Dennis Purcell who presided over meetings that determined the local closures and openings.
In Stone Mills, in L&A, Reeve Eric Smith has shown his dedication to the people he serves.
All in Hastings, the Town of Bancroft, led by Mayor Paul Jenkins, the Town of Deseronto, led by Mayor Dan Johnston, and the Municipalities of Tweed with Mayor Jo-Anne Albert, Centre Hastings with Mayor Tom Deline, and Madoc and its Reeve Loyde Blackburn have all been very engaged in their successful community responses.
Greater Napanee Mayor and L&A County Warden Marg Isbester has been active and her leadership has been well-noted.
In the North, Hastings Highlands Mayor Vic Bodnar, Municipality of Marmora & Lake Mayor Jan O’Neill and Township of Limerick Reeve Carl Stefanski have all been in contact with my offices regularly during this pandemic.
In northern L&A Henry Hogg Reeve of the
Township of Addington Highlands has worked to represent his citizens.
From the Township of Wollaston, in Hastings, Reeve Barbara Shaw has been helpful to me and to her area. The same has been true in the Township of Tyendinaga where Hastings Warden and Reeve Rick Phillips has been very active.
None of these municipal elected officials knew the important roles they would perform this year. And all have been torn, as have we all, between the need for safety and the need to not destroy decades and centuries-old businesses.
This is the tension between freedom and safety, the challenge of all civilizations to date. It is real, and these people are among those toiling in the background, conferencing by Zoom and telephone, and directing municipal employees to do safely the things which need to be done.
We’d all like to snap our fingers and have everything return to normal, but a responsible Government knows there is no magic bean or potion that can make that so.
Our Government’s steady hands on the tiller have steered us closer to shore but we’re not there yet. Our professionals just need the time to keep the new case numbers dropping, the recovery numbers rising and the other numbers improving.
This 15-day extension will make sure they have that time. It’s the least we in this Chamber can do to keep the numbers going in the right direction.
My vote will be clear and it is to support the professionals who are saving our brothers, mothers, sisters and fathers, our neighbours, our friends, our heroes from yesteryear and tomorrow. My vote is not for hypocrisy.
I call on others to join me in a virtual hug for everyone who has done so much.
Our government made a promise to parents that we would update the math curriculum so students can improve their grades and develop the skills they need for the future.
We are focusing on getting back to basics with our four-year math strategy, including introducing our brand new elementary math curriculum, to make sure our students succeed.
To support Ontarians, DriveTest centres are reopening on June 22 for G1 & M1 knowledge tests. Customers will be served according to their birth month. Plan your visit at DriveTest.ca before you go. #planahead
Ontario Completes Widening of Highway 401 in Kingston
Expansion from four to six lanes will improve safety, better connect communities and support economic growth
KINGSTON — June 18, 2020 — Today, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, announced completion of the widening of Highway 401 from four to six lanes, from west of the Cataraqui River Bridge to Highway 15 in Kingston. This highway expansion will better connect communities, ensure the safe and reliable movement of essential goods, and support economic development in the region.
“Investing in critical highway infrastructure is a key part of our plan to support local communities, drive economic growth, create jobs and keep families safe,” said Minister Mulroney. “The completion of this project will reduce congestion and enhance safety along this vital commercial corridor.”
“The increase in lanes on Highway 401 is great news for Kingston and families across our entire region,” said Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. “The Highway 401 and Highway 15 interchange provides access to the Canadian Forces Base, as well as many businesses and distribution centres located at the east-end of Kingston. It’s an essential part of our province’s supply chain and serves as a major access point to the City of Kingston for commercial, recreational and local traffic.”
“Almost 60,000 vehicles travel this stretch of highway every single day,” said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington. “The new Cataraqui River Bridge, located over the Historic World Heritage Rideau Canal, and the one additional lane in each direction, will help traffic move safely along this important stretch of Highway 401, long the busiest highway in North America.”
- Approximately 60,000 vehicles travel this section of Highway 401 every day.
Ontario Government supports Belleville ICU expansion,
provides increased annual funding for Quinte Health Care
BELLEVILLE—June 10, 2020 – The Ontario Government is building critical health-care capacity in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties through investments of close to $14 million in Quinte Health Care (QHC) for its hospitals in Picton, Trenton, Belleville and Bancroft.
Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, announced today the Province is providing a 6.1% increase in operating funding for QHC. This reflects the annualization of a $5-million increase announced in 2019/2020 as part of a top-up fund to support small- and medium-sized hospitals, plus an additional investment of $4,661,555 in 2020/2021.
The government will also invest $4.3 million in one-time capital funding to increase capacity in Belleville General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit to 18 beds from the current 14. Expansion construction is to begin this summer.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of having modern, functional hospital facilities with sufficient capacity to meet any eventuality,” said Smith. “Today, we’re delivering on our promise to rebuild our health-care system with tangible commitments to support the front lines of care.”
“These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures,” said Kramp. “That is why our government is investing millions in hospitals to ensure their ongoing readiness. This includes funding for up to 1,000 acute care beds, 500 critical care beds, and assessment centres. Our goal is clear. We are going to protect the health of Ontarians.”
Stuart Wright, the Chairman of QHC’s board of directors, had long advocated for the Province to address funding inequities affecting multi-site hospitals. He expressed satisfaction the government has listened.
“MPPs Todd Smith and Daryl Kramp made a commitment last October that the one-time funding dollars announced at that time would be a bridge that leads to the eventual right-sizing of QHC’s annual base funding,” Wright said. “Today, our local MPP partners have fulfilled that commitment, putting our hospital funding levels on par with other hospitals in Ontario. Thank you for seeing the inequity and taking the actions needed to correct this long-standing challenge.”
Mary Clare Egberts, QHC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said the Intensive Care Unit upgrade will benefit patients not just from Belleville, but across the region.
“I am exceedingly grateful for the support needed from the province to move ahead with expanding the regional Intensive Care Unit, located at Belleville General Hospital,” Egberts said. “Expanding the unit is integral to meeting the increased patient care needs of the sickest patients in the areas served by all four QHC hospitals. This will allow our team of dedicated staff and physicians the appropriate space required for extending safe, quality patient care for acutely ill patients.”
Both announcements are reflective of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, released March 25. At that time, the government committed to an additional $935 million in new investments for Ontario hospitals; $594 million will support hospitals in meeting current and future demand for regular services – a three-per-cent increase from 2019-2020. And $341 million was committed to ongoing readiness to treat an increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19
Short-term Rentals Given Green Light to Re-open Friday, June 5th
Announcement will quickly kick-start summer cottage season
June 4, 2020 —
“This is a critical, positive decision for the economy of Hastings-Lennox and Addington and the livelihoods of thousands of people and businesses which depend on renting summer accommodations and serving renters with provisions and outfitting amenities,” said Kramp, who has strongly advocated for the sector.
“We have all worked hard in this area to suppress Covid-19 and been successful doing so. There have been many personal sacrifices to get us to this safe point where we can welcome our traditional tourist traffic and regular seasonal visitors back to our water-filled great outdoors.”
The Government continues to build on the gradual, staged approach outlined in A Framework for Re-opening our Province, A Plan to Restart Ontario: Stage 1, by easing restrictions based on the latest medical advice. This follows re-opening of provincial parks for day use, the reintroduction of backcountry camping at provincial parks and the re-opening of marinas and golf courses.
“Many local people rely on the rental of these properties to provide all of or supplement their incomes,” said MPP Kramp, “Owners will need to consult health and safety guidelines related to the tourism and hospitality sector when considering how they can re-open their doors to guests.”
Operators and guests need to practice physical distancing, wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge, and wash hands frequently. Health will remain the top priority as the Government proceeds cautiously and in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Importance of Agri-Food Sector and Consumer Goods
- The agri-food sector and the contributions of its workers are critical to ensuring the province’s consumer goods supply chain remains strong.
- We have been taking action to support our supply chains during this time, including working with stakeholders to reinforce public health protocols, making investments to increase operational capacity and helping to address labour challenges.
- To support our farming and food-processing sector in delivering the essential service it provides, we’re enhancing training and educational safeguards in these workplaces, related to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
- We’re doing even more to address challenges our front-line workers face that may inhibit their ability to do their key work functions.
- By working together to keep our food supply chain strong, we continue to demonstrate our true Ontario spirit to support one another and keep essential goods on the shelves during this unprecedented time
The Ontario government is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that would be provided is more than $900 million, helping to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen their doors when the emergency measures are lifted.
Details of the new program were announced today by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care.
"The vast majority of Ontario's small businesses and landlords are struggling during this extraordinary public health emergency," said Premier Ford. "That's why we are doing everything we can to support them through these tough economic times, so they can hit the ground running when we are in a position to open up the provincial economy. I want to thank the federal government for partnering with us to help our small businesses and commercial landlords. I look forward to working together to also provide much-needed support to residential renters ahead of May 1."
The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. To receive the loan, property owners will be required to reduce the rental costs of small business tenants for April to June 2020 by at least 75 per cent and commit to a moratorium on evictions for three months.
Partnering with the federal government on the OCECRA builds on the provincial government's approach to supporting business during COVID-19. As part of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the government has implemented a series of cash flow supports amounting to $10 billion to help support jobs and the economy, including:
- Doubling the Employer Health Tax exemption for 2020, cutting taxes by $355 million, benefiting roughly 57,000 employers;
- Eliminating penalties and interest to businesses who miss filing or remittance deadlines for various provincially administered taxes for five months starting April 1, 2020, providing up to $6 billion in cashflow for about 100,000 Ontario businesses;
- Postponing the planned property tax reassessment for 2021, providing stability for Ontario's property taxpayers;
- Deferring the upcoming quarterly (June 30) remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, providing municipalities with the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals of over $1.8 billion to local residents and businesses;
- Implementing the new Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit for businesses that make eligible capital investments in designated regions of the province where employment growth has significantly lagged behind below the provincial average.
Ontario has also suspended time-of-use electricity rates for eligible small businesses, as well as residential and farm time-of-use customers, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour, for 24 hours per day, seven days a week for 45 days, for all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. By switching to a fixed off-peak rate, time-of-use customers will see rate reductions of over 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates.
"To help stop the spread of COVID-19, businesses have closed their doors and employees have stayed home and that has been working, but it has also created significant financial hardship," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "By subsidizing rent payments, reducing taxes, extending deadlines, and eliminating penalties and interest, we're helping to ensure businesses can start up quickly when the time is right."
The Ontario government has also worked with the federal government to develop the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank. This program will help businesses meet cash flow requirements through guaranteed loans.
"Ontario's small and medium-sized businesses are vital to our economy and include some of the hardest-working people in the world who have rolled up their sleeves to support our frontline healthcare workers, and beat this virus," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "This package of supports will help them get through these difficult days and resume normal operations as soon as possible."
"In the months ahead, small businesses will be critical to Ontario's economic recovery. Together with our federal partners, we are ensuring we support our small businesses today, so that they can continue to create opportunities for hardworking Ontario families tomorrow," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "With rents coming due, it's extremely important that the federal government move quickly to implement this program and get small businesses and property owners the support they urgently need."
- The Province’s $241 million investment in OCECRA is part of the $17 billion Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
- The government has retroactively, to January 1, 2020, raised the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption to $1 million from $490,000 for 2020, providing additional EHT relief of up to $9,945 per eligible employer.
- Starting January 1, 2020, Ontario reduced the small business Corporate Income Tax rate from 3.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent.
- Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses
- See how your organization can help fight COVID-19.
- Information and advice to help your business navigate the economy during COVID-19.
- Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
- Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
Pandemic Pay in the Broader Public Sector. This is a payment increase that would provide four dollars per hour worked on top of existing hourly wages, regardless of the qualified employees’ hourly wage. In addition, employees working over 100 hours per month would receive lump sum payments of $250 per month. Both of these payments would be in effect for 16 weeks. Those eligible to receive the payment would be frontline staff working in long-term care homes, retirement homes, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions and youth justice facilities, those providing home and community care and some staff in hospitals.
Visit the government's webpage for the latest and most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Ontario. It’s updated every day at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m
Our Government is providing temporary emergency relief to support households and businesses impacted by #COVID19. As of 12:00 a.m. today, households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged off-peak rates 24/7 for 45 days.
Companies have actively offered to join the fight against COVID-19 and help protect the health and well-being of people across the province.
This initiative will remove barriers allowing Ontario’s manufacturing sector to redeploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment like ventilators, masks and swabs.
Does your business have the ideas and products that will meet the evolving challenges of #COVID19? Find out how you can help on Ontario Together: www.ontario.ca/ontariotogether
The Hastings-Lennox & Addington Constituency Offices
Daryl Kramp's Constituency Offices are open to provide assistance when dealing with all Provincial Agencies, Boards, Commissions, and Ministries.
If you need help or are seeking information on provincial matters, please don't hesitate to contact our office at 343-600-3310.
Together we can make a difference.
EORN high-speed internet and cellular service receives
Province of Ontario green light for $71M funding
MPP Kramp hails jobs and municipal / provincial cooperation
Ontario announces funding for 6 infrastructure projects in H-L&A MPP Daryl Kramp hails local investments as “ready to go”
Bridge replacement north of Tweed, 3 major road projects, Newburgh street drainage among important
projects ready to put ‘shovels in the ground’
Tweed – May 10, 2019 – MPP Daryl Kramp (Hastings-Lennox and Addington) welcomes today’s 5- project
announcement from Monte MacNaughton, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure, at the site of the
now-closed bridge over the Skootamatta River on Hawkins Bay Road, which will be replaced.
“This infrastructure investment in our riding will help a lot of people as it replaces this
important bridge, rehabilitates roads across our riding and fixes a long-delayed road drainage
problem in Newburgh,” said Kramp, flanked by the Skootamatta River and Minister MacNaughton, just
off Highway 37 north of Tweed. “It’s now up to the federal Government to pay their agreed-upon
share so we can get people working.”
The 5 projects in H-L&A riding are among the first 49 projects in a 10-year, $30-billion
infrastructure program known as the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Program
funding combines federal, provincial and other partner contributions for critical local and
infrastructure projects. The program will soon support public transit, roads and bridges, and other
crucial social infrastructure such as culture and recreation projects across the entire province.
The first 49 projects are worth a combined $78 million.
Pleased to host a great group of students from Stirling Public School
MTO Eastern Region -
2019 Construction projects along Highway 401 to Kingston
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