Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario
 

Dear Neighbour,

I hope that you enjoyed a safe and relaxing Labour Day weekend! 

I know that for many people in London West, the long weekend was marked by worry about the impending return to school and work. With COVID-19 cases on the rise again in Ontario, families are naturally very concerned, and have contacted me to express their frustration about the government's failure to invest the time, planning and funding necessary for a safe September. That's why my colleagues and I called for the Ontario Ombudsman to urgently review the safety of the province’s back-to-school plan, and make recommendations for any improvements that should be made.

As we face the uncertainty of the days and weeks ahead, I want to extend my gratitude to the education workers and school board officials who have been diligently planning and preparing for weeks to give students the best possible return to school under these extraordinary circumstances. Your dedication to our community is deeply appreciated. I also salute the early childhood educators and licensed child care centre operators, who have welcomed children back to their centres at full capacity since September 1, 2020, and for several weeks before with reduced numbers. 

Fall brings a return not only to school for students, but also a return to Queen's Park for MPPs as the legislature resumes on September 14, 2020. As always, I am honoured to be your voice at the provincial level. Please continue to share your suggestions and concerns with me. By working together, we can make Ontario a better, safer province for everyone. 

Stay safe and take care,

 

 

Become Ontario's First Poet Laureate

London artists may now apply to become the first Poet Laureate of Ontario!

In December 2019, the position of Poet Laureate of Ontario was created when the legislature passed an act introduced by my colleague and Windsor-Tecumseh MPP, Percy Hatfield, in memory of the late Gord Downie.

The Poet Laureate will serve for two years beginning February 2021 and will report to the Speaker as an officer of the Assembly. Responsibilities will include writing poetry, promoting art and literacy in the province, celebrating Ontario and its people and raising the profile of Ontario poets.

Applications are being accepted until September 15, 2020.

 

Around London

Virtual Labour Day Celebration

Many thanks to the London and District Labour Council for hosting a virtual Labour Day Celebration. Even though we could not be together for the traditional picnic in the park, we went online to celebrate the achievements and proud history of the labour movement in London and across Canada. COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of workers on so many fronts - from the healthcare workers who put their own safety at risk, to the essential workers who kept us functioning from the day the pandemic was declared, to the migrant workers who are ensuring our food supply, to the racialized workers who have been disproportionately affected by the virus, to the women workers who were the first and hardest hit. We are fortunate to have strong labour and community leaders who understand the importance of fighting for decent wages and working conditions, paid sick days, and the health and safety protections that all Ontario workers deserve. 

Andrea Horwath Visit to London

I was pleased to join MPPs Armstrong and Kernaghan in welcoming Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath to meet with London parents and educators to discuss a safe return to school, and with London business leaders to share ideas about a sustainable path forward for local businesses.

You can learn more about her visit in the following local news coverage:


Apply to Represent London West at Daughters of the Vote!

Daughters of the Vote is an ambitious initiative by Equal Voice that engages participants in learning about Canada’s political institutions and the women and men who serve in them – so they are equipped and inspired to become involved in politics and take action in their local communities in the years and decades to come. 

Equal Voice invites young women and gender-diverse youth who were born between 1993 and 2001 to apply for the program. It will take place March 5 - 8, 2021, and will be held entirely online. One delegate from every federal riding in Canada will be chosen to represent their community and vision for Canada at the event. The deadline to apply is October 1, 2020.

Please visit the Daughters of the Vote website for more information.


Green Project Grant

Green Economy London's Green Project Grant is back for 2020.  The organization will give five $1,000 incentives to members to help them make sustainability changes at their facilities.  Check out the Green Economy London website to see what kinds of projects are eligible and how to apply. The deadline to submit an application is September 30, 2020!

 

COVID-19 Developments

Provincial Government Updates

COVID-19 Cases in Schools and Child Care Centres

A webpage has been created to report COVID-19 cases in schools and child care centres. This page will be updated every week day with the most up-to-date COVID-19 information available, including a summary of cases in schools and licensed child care centres and agencies.The launch of the site on Sepetmber 11, 2020 revealed an alarming 56 recorded COVID-19 cases in child care.


Long-Term Care and Retirement Home Absences

The province has announced that long-term care and retirement home residents can once again leave their residences for day trips and temporary overnight absences. Residents on day trips will be required to follow public health guidelines such as wearing a mask and physical distancing while out of the home, and will be screened on their return.

 

Residents who are absent overnight will be required to self-isolate for 14 days when they return. Overnight absences will be at the discretion of the home, based on risk. If a request is denied, the rationale must be communicated in writing.


Essential Visitors

The province is updating the visitor policy for long-term care homes to clarify guidance about visits from caregivers, and to help all homes welcome caregivers as of September 9, 2020.

A supplementary guidance document for retirement homes will take effect on September 15, and similarly clarifies essential visits in those facilities.


Visiting Congregate Care

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services has also updated its policies on essential, non-essential and designated visitors, as well as temporary absences, for families of children living in residential settings.


Temporary Layoff Extension

The province is extending the period during which workers who have been laid off as a result of COVID are not considered to have been terminated. Under Ontario labour laws, employees who are temporarily laid off for more than 13 weeks are deemed terminated and entitled to severance pay. The new regulation applies to workers temporarily laid off between March 1, 2020 and January 2, 2021 due to COVID-19.   


DriveTest Services

More driver testing services have resumed. Ontarians can now book class G road tests and access all classes of driver testing services at DriveTest centres across Ontario.


Apprenticeships Certifications

The province has reopened all 24 provincial centres for apprenticeship and trade-related certifications. Apprentices and skilled tradespeople can now book their final exams at their local apprenticeship office.

 

London Updates

Recreational Facilities Reopening

The City of London will be reopening select community centres and arenas throughout the fall to accommodate recreation programming.

  • City arenas will begin to open gradually at the end of September, with public skating starting in late October. 
  • Some community centres will be gradually reopening in October with free, structured, pre-registered modified programming. Participants can register for these programs one week in advance of a program.
  • Aquatics program schedules are listed and registration is now open at london.ca/playyourway beginning Friday, August 28. 

You can find more details, including opening dates for individual centres on the City of London website.

 

Federal Government Updates

Supreme Court to Resume In-person Hearings
The Supreme Court of Canada will begin conducting hearings in person on September 22, while continuing to also conduct some hearings by video conference. In addition, the pandemic-related suspension of deadlines for civil legal proceedings such as bankruptcy or divorce cases will expire September 13. More info on the Supreme Court of Canada website.


Travel Restrictions Extended

The federal government is extending travel restrictions by one month until September 30 to limit the spread of COVID-19. Existing restrictions on international travel will continue, and Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are returning home to Canada will continue to be subject to strict quarantine measures.

CEBA and BCAP Deadlines Extended

The application deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is extended from August 31 to October 31. The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) application deadline is extended to June 2021.

CECRA Extended

The federal government announced that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses will be extended by another month to include September. Current CECRA application deadlines will also be extended to accommodate this extension.

 

New Resources

Contact Tracing Pocket Journal
The Ontario Medical Association's Pocket Journal is an easy pencil-and-paper way to track your contacts every day, and is ideal for people who can’t use the COVID Alert app. It is available in multiple languages on the OMA website.

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.
 
 
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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