Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario

Dear Neighbour,

The people of London West have been doing an amazing job to slow the spread of COVID-19, and for that, I thank each and every one of you.

Earlier this week, the Ontario government delivered its fiscal update and new financial measures to support Ontarians through the COVID-19 crisis. While the Official Opposition supported the changes, we are concerned that the package is missing the help that people need most. The biggest gap is the lack of immediate funding for families who are worried about rent and mortgage payments coming due next week and credit card bills piling up, as well as small business owners who are counting the days they can keep their heads above water, and hoping that commercial landlords will agree to defer lease payments.

That's why we are urging the provincial government to put money in the hands of people who need it, so that they can follow public health advice and keep their families safe and their businesses alive. Now is not the time for half-measures. People and small businesses should have access to the emergency funds they need, so we can weather this storm and get through it together.

As always, I want to express my deepest appreciation to all the frontline workers - health care workers, grocery store clerks, pharmacists, paramedics, transit drivers, emergency shelter staff, and so many others - who are working around the clock to keep us safe. You are all heroes, and we owe you a huge debt of gratitude!

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact my office. Although we are closed to in-person meetings, staff remain available to help by phone (519-657-3120) and email (psattler-co@ndp.on.ca). 

Take care,

Please Note: Telephone networks are being pushed to their limits and at times they are failing or unreliable. If you call my office or any government number, and the call does not connect, please keep trying!
 

Reliable Sources of Information

ontario.ca/coronavirus - Find information about COVID-19 symptoms, how to protect yourself, and an information sheet that is available in multiple languages. You can also use the Ministry of Health's interactive online assessment tool if you think you may have symptoms of COVID-19.
 

Middlesex-London Health Unit - Find local information about COVID-19 and what is being done locally to prevent and prepare for a potential outbreak in London, and information about assessing your own symptoms. You can also find updates regarding local health care response and procedure changes at London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care.
 

london.ca/covid-19 - Updates on city services and programming impacted by COVID-19.
 

Canada.ca/coronavirus - Information from the Public Health Agency of Canada, and updates on the national response, travel advice and preparedness.
 

travel.gc.ca - Important travel updates regarding Coronavirus around the world.

 

Helpful Resources

School Mental Health Ontario

A resource on how to support student mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, including information and tools for parents.
 

CBC - Coronavirus London Updates

Local advisories and updates, as well as a listing of what's closed or cancelled, and what remains open in London.
 

BounceBack

A free skill-building program managed by CMHA designed to help adults and youth over 15 manage mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry.
 

LifeSpin Community Resources

LifeSpin is maintaining a list of resources and programs that are available to Londoners, especially those living in poverty, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

Children's Resources

The Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies has compiled a list of COVID-19 specific resources for children, youth, and families.
 

TVDBS Learn at Home

A working list of 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 (PBO)

Providing free legal assistance to low-income Ontarians for their everyday legal problems via the Free Legal Advice Hotline, and have resources to help answer legal questions related to COVID-19 shut-downs. Dial 1-855-255-7256 Monday – Friday from 9:30 am – 11:30 am and 1:00 – 3:30 pm.
 

 

COVID-19 Government Updates

The response to COVID-19 is evolving rapidly, so please refer to linked sources and official websites for the most up-to-date information.


New Practices in Long-Term Care

In addition to an earlier restriction on visits to long-term care homes, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health has issued a new directive that restricts residents from leaving a home for short visits with family and friends. Instead, residents who want to go outside will be able to remain on the home's property and maintain safe social distancing from any family and friends who visit them.

The Minister of Health has also provided long-term care homes with more ability to re-deploy or reschedule staff, and to bring in temporary staff or volunteers, in order to meet the needs of residents.

 

New Financial Support for Families

Families can access a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs. This intended to help pay for the extra costs associated with school and daycare closures during the COVID-19 outbreak. Stay tuned for details on how to access this funding.  

The province will also double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.

 

OSAP Relief

Individuals with Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loans will not be required to make payments from March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020, and interest will not accrue during that period.

 

Reporting Concerns About COVID-19 Orders

The City of London, Middlesex-London Health Unit, the City of London By-Law Enforcement & Corporate Security and the London Police Service have launched a new email and phone line for residents to report concerns about businesses or individuals not following COVID-19 orders. COVIDOrderConcerns@london.ca will be monitored  24/7.  519-661-4660 will be monitored between 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.

 

City of London Property Tax and Water

The City of London will waive interest and penalties for late or missed property tax instalments and water and wastewater payments for 60 days starting March 25.

 

Small Business Support

Businesses in Ontario can defer WSIB payments until August 31, 2020. All businesses are eligible, and no action is required to take advantage of this option.

Beginning April 1, 2020, penalties and interest will not be charged to businesses that miss any filing or payment deadline for select provincially-administered taxes. Existing debts from before the relief period will continue to accrue interest.

The federal government announced new support for businesses, including an expanded wage subsidy program, and giving banks the ability to offer $40,000 loans to small businesses at no interest, with a portion forgivable.

 

COVID Kindness

#Cheer4HealthWorkers

Across Ontario, every evening at 7:30pm people are getting outside, maintaining safe physical distancing and making noise to cheer on the millions of health providers, social service and other essential workers who are tackling COVID-19 on our behalf. Londoners are also showing our gratitude by displaying blue hearts in their windows. However you choose to express yourself, please join in to let our health care workers know how much they are appreciated!

Helping Those in Need in our Community
The United Way's COVID-19 community response fund Local Love in a Global Crisis will help support London's most pressing human care needs as we battle the coronavirus outbreak. Funds raised will keep local programs and services running should staff and volunteers need to self-isolate or fall ill. Funds will also be used to scale up the most critical programs, or extend their reach across the city. 
 

Fanshawe College Students on the Frontlines
The College of Respiratory Therapists has granted early licensing to 43 Fanshawe College Respiratory Therapy students who were weeks away from graduating before campuses were closed due to COVID-19. These skilled professionals will soon be deployed to help treat patients with breathing or pulmonary conditions.
 

Personal Protective Equipment
There is an ongoing shortage of PPE in Ontario, and a call out for help and donations to get necessary supplies to organizations that urgently need them.

CommunitySOS.org helps those who need supplies get connected to those who have supplies, can make supplies, or are doing a PPE drive. Shout to Londoner Tarek Loubani who has been 3D printing masks and listed his Glia Project on the site!

If you are in London, you can also
  • donate masks, gloves, and other PPE to the hospital (contact Hospital Supply at HMMSCOVID19@hmms.on.ca)
  • donate to the local network of medical clinics (email janet.dang@thamesvalleyfht.ca)
  • volunteer to sew masks (contact Kathleen@solescience.ca)
  • volunteer to sew gowns (email melia2010@meds.uwo.ca)
 

Neighbours Supporting Neighbours
Londoners are offering each help and support through groups like Caremongering London, the London Volunteer Task Force (for non-contact volunteer grocery delivery), Med Students for Healthcare Workers (providing childcare and errands for healthcare workers), and Support London Businesses (a listing of local businesses). 
 

Join the Fight Against COVID-19 

The Ontario Together website was launched to help businesses and their employees work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. Businesses and organizations who can supply emergency equipment and innovative solutions are invited to submit proposals.  

The government is also seeking to hire experienced health care providers who may be retired or working part-time to help support provincial efforts to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Apply here

Sent on