Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario
 
Dear Neighbour,

To all who are celebrating Easter and Passover, please accept my best wishes for a peaceful, joyous and quiet weekend of faith and reflection. As Christians look forward with hope to the joy of Easter Sunday, and Jewish families commemorate the faith and freedom of the Jewish people, the messages of these religious observances could not be more relevant. We are one community and we will get through this together. Sincere thanks to all who are practicing physical distancing to keep each other safe.

The Official Opposition continues to identify gaps the actions necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and propose solutions for the government. For example, Ontario has yet to mandate that long-term care workers limit their work to one home. Many PSWs hold multiple jobs to make ends meet, which is why the NDP's proposal for saving lives in long-term care includes immediately raising salaries for PSWs and RPNs to a minimum of $22/hour. We also called on the government to fund accommodation costs for frontline health workers afraid to go home after their shifts each day because of a loved one at home who is immunocompromised. 

In light of grim unemployment numbers and reports of floundering small and medium-sized businesses, the NDP continues to call on the provincial government to provide more direct support for small and medium-sized business overhead, such as a subsidy for commercial lease costs, and a remote work set-up fund to help employers keep staff on the payroll.

We also know that Ontarians with disabilities and their families are anxious about their health and ability to pay their bills during the pandemic. Ontario's policy of clawing back supports like EI from a person's ODSP cheque means families who qualify for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will see their ODSP support wiped out. The NDP is calling on the government to stop Ontario's clawback policy. 

Finally, I have heard from several London West constituents about their auto insurance payments. With Ontarians driving far less and accidents fewer and farther between, the NDP is calling on the government to give Ontarians a 50 per cent break on auto insurance for three months.  
 
As always, if you have any questions or need assistance, please contact my office. My staff and I are working from home but remain fully 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!
 
 

COVID-19 Government Updates

Emergency Orders Extended to April 23, 2020 

To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of people across the province, the Ontario government has extended emergency orders that have been put in place to-date until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging.

In addition, new measures have been introduced to address surge capacity in retirement homes, restrict recreational camping on Crown land, and allow the repurposing of existing buildings and temporary structures.

 

Testing Capacity Increased

A new COVID-19 testing strategy will proactively test several priority groups, including hospital patients, residents of long-term care and retirement homes, health care workers, caregivers and care providers, emergency services personnel, those living in homeless shelters, prisons and group homes, and other specific vulnerable populations. The government indicated that it expects to double the number of tests processed each day to 8,000 by April 15, 2020 and 14,000 by April 29, 2020.

 

Suspension of Child Care Fees

An emergency order was issued to prevent child care operators from charging fees where care is not being provided while also ensuring that child care spaces are protected. Licensed child care facilities, with the exception of those accommodating health care and other frontline workers, were ordered closed to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep the children and child care staff safe. The order also means that parents cannot lose their child care space because they are not paying fees during this period. 

 

Ontario Launches Online Volunteer Hub

The SPARK Ontario bilingual volunteer hub allows volunteer organizations to post volunteer opportunities available in their communities at www.sparkontario.ca. Ontarians interested in volunteering are encouraged to check the website for local volunteer opportunities, such as helping to deliver food or medicines, run errands or check-up on seniors and the most vulnerable by phone or email. 

 
The response to COVID-19 is evolving rapidly, so please refer to linked sources and official websites for the most up-to-date information.
 
The need for blood remains strong in Canada. Book an appointment today at blood.ca, through the GiveBlood app or by calling 1-888-2-DONATE. Due to COVID-19, Canadian Blood Services is taking measures to protect donors, including not accepting walk-ins. Please book an appointment to donate.
 

COVID-19 in London

Connect with Local Businesses

The London Free Press is compiling a list of businesses that are staying open to serve our community.

 

Junior Achievement SWO Online Programs for Youth

Junior Achievement Southwestern Ontario has launched a series of self-directed online programs available to local students.

 
 

Neighbours Supporting Neighbours
 

Londoners are offering each other help and support through a variety of initiatives:

 

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

If you need to find access to mental health support, food services, financial assistance or more, dial 2-1-1. Their community navigators are available any time day or night, and can provide help in more than 150 languages. To find support specific to COVID-19, you can also visit www.211covid19.ca.

Rogers TV London Daily Media Updates - Catch up on the latest COVID-19 developments at Rogers TV London, through virtual media briefings from City of London Mayor Ed Holder and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie. 

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.

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.