August 2020 E-Newsletter

Published on August 14, 2020

Message from the Desk of your MPP

Dear Neighbours,

As we enjoy the beautiful summer weather and share laughs with our loved ones by staying in, we welcome the wonderful news of Peel entering Stage 3. This is no small feat! For the first time in months, Mississauga has reported zero new cases and together, we are continuing to flatten the curve. I would like to commend the efforts of our brave and dedicated front-line workers, who have been working tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of our community while putting their own lives on the line. I would also like to thank those of you who have adjusted to the new normal, practiced social distancing, and protected yourselves and others by wearing masks.

While we step outside, visit our favourite restaurants, retail stores and businesses, I encourage you to shop local and support Ontario businesses and products. Many local manufacturers and small businesses have continued to support the community by providing PPE supplies, food products, and essential goods during COVID-19, while some have temporarily closed their doors to prioritize public safety. It is now our turn to give back to them and aid in their recovery. Now more than ever, it is vital that we take pride in the excellent quality products that are being made in our province, by our community members, and help revive our economy.

Even though we are unable to travel to our favourite vacation spots this year, now is also the perfect opportunity to explore our own cities and the destinations within them. Join me in the Ontario Parks 30X30 challenge by spending at least 30 minutes outdoors for each day in August. Grab your family and friends within your social circle, and connect to nature to improve your physical and mental well-being. Stay healthy and safe!

Stay 2 meters apart, close by heart.

 

Sincerely,

 


COVID-19 Update

  • On July 31, the Region of Peel entered Stage 3 of Reopening.

    • Gathering limits have increased to a maximum of 50 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors, with physical distancing in place between people that are not from the same household.

    • More restrictions have been loosened and nearly all businesses and public spaces can reopen as long as they follow the public health advice and workplace safety guidance necessary to keep everyone safe.

    • The following businesses and activities are not permitted in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
      • Amusement parks and water parks
      • Buffet-style food services
      • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements
      • Overnight stays at camps for children
      • Private karaoke rooms
      • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports
      • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
      • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.

  • From August 4 onwards, road testing for class G2 and all motorcycle licenses have resumed and the number of locations offering commercial driver road tests has expanded. 

  • Starting September 1, licensed child-care centres across the province can open at full capacity. 

    • EarlyON Child and Family Centres will be permitted to reopen with in-person programming along with before and after school programs.
    • They will be allowed to operate with standard ratios and maximum group size requirements.
    • Strict health and safety protocols will remain in place to keep as child care staff will be required to wear masks, frequent cleaning of child centres, contact tracing through attendance records, and social distancing and hygiene measures will be enforced.
    • The provincial government, in partnership with the federal government is providing $234.6 million in funding to support enhanced cleaning costs and additional health and safety requirements. 

  •  Through a new pilot program, truck drivers in Ontario delivering essential goods across the border now have access to voluntary COVID-19 testing on a first-come, first serve basis at Drive Check clinics where there is high volume truck traffic.

  • The government has initiated an independent commission about COVID-19 and long-term care homes. The commission will investigate the following:

    • How COVID-19 spread within long-term care homes
    • The way in which residents, staff, and families were impacted
    • The adequacy of measures taken by the province and other parties to prevent, isolate and contain the virus.
       

Queen's Park Update

  • On July 15, Ontario announced a $1.75 billion investment in the building of additional long-term care homes, with new and redeveloped beds, air conditioning and private or semi-private rooms. 

  • On July 8, The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act was introduced to restart jobs and development, strengthen communities, and create a path to a strong economic recovery. Employment in Ontario increased by 150,700 in July. This follows gains of 377,900 jobs – 66,200 of them manufacturing – in the month of June.

  • The province has partnered with the federal government to launch the $57-million Digital Main Street initiative. The initiative is aiding up to 22,900 small businesses to create, launch and enhance their online presence and expand their reach to new customers in and beyond Ontario. Click here to apply. 

  • The Ontario government is expanding the Risk Management Program by $50 million for a total of $150 million annually beginning in 2020. This funding will support farmers with unforeseen challenges such as fluctuating market prices, extreme weather events like flooding or drought, and disease.

  • Over the next two years, Ontario is investing $1.6 million to create a new Safer and Vital Communities Grant to provide support to community-based initiatives focusing on anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Applications for the grant are open from July 22 to September 16. Contact SafetyPlanning@ontario.ca to receive an application package. 

  • The province will be investing $6 million over the next three years to reduce crime and builder safer communities. The Proceeds of Crime Front-Line Policing Grant will be made available to 16 police services across the province to implement 21 crime prevention and community safety initiatives that help fight gun and gang violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence and harassment.

  • The Ontario government is investing $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to provide grants to help eligible non-profit organizations, including food banks, child and youth programs and Royal Canadian Legion branches, recover from COVID-19 and continue the delivery of vital programming in their communities. Applications for The Resilient Communities Fund are open until September 2 and December 2 of this year. Click here for more details. 
 

Safe Reopening of Schools in September

 

- Elementary schools (Kindergarten to Grade 8) will open across the province, with in-class instruction five days a week.

- Secondary schools will reopen with a normal daily schedule, five days a week and follow an adapted model of part-time attendance with a class size of up to 15 students alternating between attending in-person and online classes.

- Students from grade 4-12 and school staff with be required to wear face masks.

- Parents will have the option to enroll their children in online classes, allowing them to determine whether they feel safe with their children returning to school.

 - The Ministry is providing $300 million in funding to support the safe reopening of schools, including funding for masks , additional teaching positions, more public health nurses, custodians and cleaning supplies. 

  

 

 

 

Funding for Peel Schools

  • The government will be investing $500 million to build 30 new schools, permanent additions to 15 existing facilities and support 25,000 student spaces. Through this funding, the government will be modernizing schools, the curriculum and the delivery of learning to ensure student success. 

    • generate 900 new licensed child-care spaces to ensure that families have access to child-care facilities.

    • provide students within classrooms with high-speed internet, accessible ramps, elevators and air-conditioning.

    • deliver high-speed Internet to all schools in Ontario, with all high schools having access to broadband by September 2020, and all elementary schools having access by September 2021.

  • From the total funding amount, $15 million will go towards the construction of a new school in Mississauga, Elm Drive Public Elementary School, to accommodate 650 students, including the construction of 73 child care spaces and 1 EarlyON room. 

  •  Money will also go towards the expansion of St. Gregory Catholic Elementary School and St. Valentine Catholic Elementary School in our riding. 

 


 

Ontario Made

The government has partnered with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters for the Ontario Made program, whose goal is to help support Ontario businesses by making it easy and accessible for consumers to identify, access, and purchase local products. As part of this initiative, an Ontario Made logo has been created that manufacturers will be able to use to inform their customers about locally made products and promote their visibility. Additionally, a SupportOntarioMade.ca website has been launched that allows consumers and supply chain partners to connect with local manufacturers on a singular platform. The Ontario Made program will encourage people to support local businesses and help accelerate our economic recovery process. If you are a local business, you can register here to use the Ontario Made logo on your products. 

Toronto Micro Electronics Inc. is an excellent example of a local, Ontario Made manufacturer that is the backbone of our province. Located right here in our riding of Mississauga-Malton, TME is a computer design and manufacturing company that has switched to designing and producing supplies of PPE such as face shields for people working on the frontline. On July 21, the Premier and I had the opportunity to visit their location in Mississauga and see first-hand the wonderful work that is being done by their entire team.

 


Shop Local, Support Small Businesses

I had the pleasure of visiting local food suppliers and restaurants in Mississauga-Malton, who are continuing to operate and are working tirelessly to provide delicious food products to the public during COVID-19. Check out these local, small businesses and their delicious creations next time you’re out and about!

Mom's Best Gourmet Foods

Mom's Best Gourmet Foods is a commercial bakery, which specializes in biscotti, taralli, fruit cakes and a variety of specialty baked products. 

 

McCormick Canada

McCormick Canada supplies food products to supermarkets, food manufacturers, and businesses in the food service industry. They are the largest spice, dry sauce, seasonings, extract and specialty foods operator in the country. 

 

Lahori Chaska & Biryani Corner 

I visited Lahori Chaska & Biryani Corner for their grand opening this past month. They offer a variety of Pakistani street food for customers to enjoy. 

Scali's Quality Meats 

 

Located right by our office, Scali's offers fancy veal and gourmet meat products and has also donated their food supplies to organizations combatting hunger. 


Read my Monthly Mississauga News Column 

 

 

 

 

Connecting Virtually

Townhall for the Reopening of Driving Schools

On August 7, we hosted a virtual townhall with multiple driving schools and instructors within Peel Region to discuss what health and safety protocols will be required to ensure their safe reopening in the future. Driving schools had the opportunity to provide their feedback and concerns to the Minister of Transportation and the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, who were also a part of the conversation. The discussion focused on the importance of PPE equipment to resume in-car training, creating clear and strict safety guidelines to ensure the safety of both students and instructors and consulting with public health units prior to the reopening of driving schools.

Townhall for the Health and Safety Protocols for Exhibitions

 

On July 29, I had the opportunity to host a virtual roundtable and was joined by the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development to discuss the future of health and safety protocols for exhibitions. The roundtable provided for valuable insights from many businesses about the steps they can take to reopen safely. All businesses appraised the safety of their suppliers, customers, and employees above all else. Contact tracing, safe processes for parking as well as entering and leaving, and social distancing based on capacity size were discussed.

 

 


Monthly Initiatives     

Meet Janice Lowe, a teacher at Ascension of Our Lord Secondary School, who has started a bike share program known as The GLE Movement. Through this initiative and with the help of other students, Janice has donated over 60 bikes to youth who have not had an opportunity to own one. This is an effort to improve both their physical and mental well-being during COVID-19. I was honoured to have attended the Summer Soul Cycle event where Janice and her team gave away bikes to kids at Malton Community Centre. 

 


Stay Safe, Stay Alert      

Download the COVID Alert app today, to get notified when you're in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. The app also allows you tell nearby app users if you test positive for COVID-19, without sharing any personal information. It is a free, accessible app which keeps you, your loved ones and our entire community safe and it is proudly Ontario Made!