Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario
 

Dear Neighbour,

Many thanks to everyone in our community for observing public health guidelines to stop the spread of Covid-19. It is encouraging that the Middlesex-London Health Unit reported just five new cases this past week, and evidence that our preventative measures are working. As we resume more of our usual activities, it is more important than ever that we continue to practice physical distancing, wash hands frequently, stay home when sick, and wear a mask.

This week, the government introduced a new COVID-19 recovery bill, even though critics say it has little to do with the pandemic and offers no assistance for families, long-term care homes, small businesses, schools, child care centres, First Nations and municipalities - all of whom are still reeling from the pandemic. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) sent an open letter to all Ontario MPPs urging them to vote against the bill, saying that it poses "a significant threat to democratic oversight." I will not be supporting this deeply flawed and unnecessary legislation.

As Londoners seek relief from this week's heat wave, it is troubling to know that many seniors are suffering in long-term care homes without air conditioning, and where basic fans increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. My colleagues and I have been sounding the alarm on the need for air conditioning in long-term care homes since at least 2006, urging the government to introduce minimum air conditioning requirements. We stand ready to help the government immediately pass an emergency bill to keep our loved ones comfortable and safe.

Air conditioning is just one of the many improvements sorely needed in our long-term care homes. You can find my statement about family caregivers below, and watch my colleague Laura Mae Lindo, MPP for Kitchener Centre, discuss her bill to create a Seniors' Advocate for Ontario. This would establish, for the very first time in our province, a fully independent and empowered voice for seniors and family caregivers. 

Lastly, I want to congratulate City Symposium for bringing together five local Black leaders this week for a discussion on confronting anti-Black racism. Hundreds of Londoners attended virtually, but if you missed it, you can still watch the video and dive into their valuable list of follow up resources. Let's keep doing this important work together!

Stay safe and be well,

 

 

Families Need a Plan for Fall

I have heard from many families in London West that they are deeply concerned by a memo sent by the government to Ontario school boards to plan for a back-to-school model with alternating daily or weekly school attendance, and the rest of the time learning from home.

I raised your concerns in the legislature this week, asking the Minister of Education what he expects parents to do when their school-aged children are not at school. The already insufficient number of childcare spaces have been significantly reduced to accommodate COVID-19 safety provisions. Some parents are worried they may have to quit their jobs or take unpaid leaves in order to care for children.

This is simply not a plan that makes sense for Ontarians. Instead, we need to line up more teachers, more education workers and more classroom spaces so that as many students as possible can safely go back to school full-time. It is more clear than ever that this government must reverse its plans to make classes sizes larger and cut thousands of teachers and education worker positions over the course of four years.

In addition, we must prioritize childcare for younger children by giving early childhood educators the support they need to safely reopen, and by stabilizing funding for childcare centres.

Please let me know what your family will need to return to school and work this fall. You can email me at psattler-co@ndp.on.ca or call my community office at 519-657-3120.

 

Around London

Supporting Nurses Against Bill 124

I am proud to stand with local nurses to speak in support of nurses' right to bargain collectively and to be compensated fairly for the critical work they do. From the day the COVID-19 crisis was declared, Ontarians have seen Registered Nurses on the frontlines of the fight against the virus, even in the face of ongoing challenges. This government must demonstrate respect for nurses, and repeal Bill 124.
 
 

Engineering Scholarship

Professional Engineers Ontario is offering a scholarship for the school term beginning the fall of 2020.  Applications will be accepted until Friday, August 7, 2020 from London Chapter Grade 12 students who will be attending an Engineering faculty at an Ontario university accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).  Get more information online.

 

COVID-19 Developments

Provincial Government Updates

Emergency Orders Extended to July 22
The Government of Ontario has extended all emergency orders currently in force that were made under s.7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 22, 2020. 
 



COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program
The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) provides support to residential customers struggling to pay their energy bills because of the COVID-19 emergency. CEAP provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.

There will be an application webform available on www.londonhydro.com on Monday, July 13, 2020. Customers will be able to complete the form directly online, print the form for completion and mail in, or contact London Hydro customer service at 519-661-5503 to have an agent complete the form on the customer's behalf with the customer on the line.

 

London Updates

Updated Mandatory Masks Orders
On Monday, July 20, orders from the Middlesex-London Health Unit requiring masks in certain public spaces will come into effect. 

The orders require that masks or face coverings be worn by

  • all customers, employees, volunteers, and contractors entering businesses that offer personal care services, which includes all services relating to the hair or body, such as hair salons and barbershops, manicure and pedicure salons, aesthetician services, piercing services, tanning salons, spas and tattoo studios 
     
  • all riders and operators on public transit, including paratransit, and commercial vehicles for hire including taxis, limousines, buses, or rideshare vehicles.

The orders also require that owners of affected organizations know and adhere to the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s COVID-19 Public Health Principles for Public Spaces. Businesses offering personal care services will also be required to provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer at all entrances and exits.

MLHU continues to strongly recommend the use of masks or face coverings in any indoor public space, and anywhere else where two metre physical distancing is not able to be maintained. 

 
 

Downtown Changes to Support Economic Recovery
To support local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and construction, the City is offering free municipal parking in London’s core throughout the summer. each vehicle will be eligible to receive two hours of free parking per day at all municipal on-street parking meters and municipal lots in London’s core, using the promotional code ‘B2B20’ on the HonkMobile app.

In addition, the speed limit on Dundas Street, from Ridout to Wellington Streets, has been lowered to 30 kilometres per hour. This four block stretch is the area of Dundas Place, London’s first flexible street. The speed limit is being reduced to 30 kilometres per hour to further support the shared use of the street, improve road safety, and support visitors to Dundas Place regardless of how they choose to travel.

 

Federal Government Updates

One-time OAS, GIS Payments
Seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), or Allowances should have received an additional one-time, tax-free payment this week. Seniors who live outside of Canada may receive the payment later.
 



Service Canada Reopening
Service Canada Centres are gradually re-opening some locations for key services such as Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security, Social Insurance Numbers and Passports for critical travel. Due to physical distancing, space is limited. You can request an appointment by filling out the service request form.

 

New Resources

Ontario Made
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has launched an Ontario Made program that will will promote and help consumers identify, access and purchase goods that are made across the province. The program includes a new Ontario Made logo that manufacturers can use to identify made-in-Ontario products, and a new website and digital newsletter to help consumers find products made in the province.

Manufacturers can register their products now at SupportOntarioMade.ca to be included in the program. Consumers and retailers can sign up to receive updates at the program unfolds.

The response to COVID-19 is evolving rapidly, so please refer to linked sources and the following websites for the most up-to-date information: 
Canada.ca/coronavirus 

You can also find a range of helpful resources on my website at peggysattler.ca/covid19resources.
 

At Queen's Park

For years, chronic understaffing at long-term care homes has forced family members to fill gaps in care. After being shut out of seniors’ care homes by the COVID-19 lockdown, family caregivers are worried about their loved ones’ declining health and frustrated by new rules for visiting. Families deserve long-term care visitation guidelines that keep residents, staff and visitors safe, and that also recognize family caregivers as essential to the health and wellbeing of residents.
Without access to childcare, it will be difficult – if not impossible – for many parents to return to work, especially if schooling is only offered part-time. The dire shortage of childcare spaces, and the prospect of having to arrange care on “off” school days, is creating huge stress for families. I’ve heard from some London West parents who will be forced to take leaves of absence or even quit their jobs. Ford’s complete lack of childcare plan is a nightmare for families and will do nothing to help Ontario’s economy recover from COVID-19.
 
 
Community Office
240 Commissioners Rd W, Unit 106
London, ON N6J 1Y1
Tel: 519-657-3120
Queen's Park Office
Room 359, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A5
Tel: 416-325-6908
Email: psattler-qp@ndp.on.ca
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