Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

COVID Update: Monday, April 20

Published on April 20, 2020

Here are today’s new developments:  

  • Canada’s House of Commons resumed today, with the federal Conservatives blocking an agreement reached by the other parties for sittings of Parliament to be limited while the pandemic continues. 
  • Ontario appears to have avoided the worst-case pandemic scenario, with new projections suggesting the province saw the community spread of COVID-19 peak earlier than anticipated, which health officials attribute to vigilant social distancing measures — officials stressed that these measures must be continued for Ontario to eventually ease up and re-open the economy.
  • The projections are far less promising when it comes to the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario’s long-term care homes and other congregate settings, where the curve continues its upswing. 

Here are some concerns we are working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:

  • With long-term care and other group home settings the epicentre of the pandemic, we called on the government to intervene with a host of measures, including taking over the management of long-term care homes most at risk, mandating that all workers limit to one facility—including temp agency workers—and raising wages for workers to $22 an hour. 

Here are some things we’re hearing from our community members:

  • Ontario drivers say they need immediate relief on their auto insurance premiums, something the Ford government's approach falls far short of.
  • People are raising concerns about the state of long-term care and seniors homes before COVID-19 — a problem we have been raising for years.
  • Ongoing concerns about small businesses that are failing, with some facing eviction — through no fault of their own — because there is no provincial support in place for expenses like commercial rent.