Dear neighbour,

As you may have heard, this morning Premier Ford declared a state of emergency. I support this move as it will allow the government to use all possible powers and dedicated funding to support healthcare workers and respond swiftly to COVID-19.

Over the last several days, my office has been receiving many emails from constituents particularly tenants, families with childcare needs, gig workers, those in the arts sector, retail and service industry workers, health care workers, seniors etc. about COVID-19 and its impact. I completely understand the uncertainty and worry people are feeling. We are extracting issues from all the emails and raising them with the government on how we need to address what people are facing. The top concern I’m hearing is the loss of income and consequences of it. People are calling on both the federal and provincial governments to do better to protect people financially.

On Thursday, the Legislature will reconvene to pass emergency legislation. While the provincial government has agreed to provide some job security and prevent employers from requiring sick notes during this pandemic, it falls well short of what people need now.  

As such we are calling on the government to add additional measures to the emergency legislation. 

The top unaddressed concerns include:

  • Protecting people from losing a paycheque, or being expected to get by on inadequate Employment Insurance or Ontario Works payments alone, as a result of taking COVID-19 precautions or because of the illness
  • Guaranteeing that no one can be punished in any way for missing a rent or mortgage payment
  • Financial support for Ontarians not covered by Employment Insurance — especially those working in the gig economy
  • Immediate financial support for small and medium-sized businesses so they can continue to pay employees without becoming insolvent
  • Specific supports for vulnerable people, including seniors and those receiving OW and ODSP support, so they can access the groceries and medications they need to self-isolate if need be

As part of my effort to ensure information and updates are being publicized effectively, you will find below a summary of the announcement today from Premier Ford. 

Thank you to everyone for practicing social distancing and doing your part to flatten the curve. 

I want to end with heartfelt thanks to the all workers on the frontlines of this public health emergency and for all they are doing to keep us safe. 

Wash your hands. Stay home, if you can. Be kind. We are all in this together. 


Bhutila Karpoche,
MPP for Parkdale—High Park
Summary of the Ontario Government's 
Announcement about the state of emergency

The state of emergency gives the government emergency powers for a period of 14 days. At this time, they are using these powers to do the following:

The immediate closure of the following as well as a prohibition on any gathering of 50 people or more 

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
  • All public libraries;
  • All private schools as defined in the Education Act;
  • All licensed child care centres;
  • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
  • All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and
  • Concert venues.

The first phase of the response package just announced includes the following: 

  • 300M relief package
  • 75 more critical beds coming online
  • 500 post-acute care beds coming online
  • 25 more assessment centres
  • Purchasing more personal protective equipment
  • Funding to backfill 1000 nurses, 1000 PSWs
  • Funding for 50 physicians for northern, remote and First Nations communities

The funding is broken down as follows:  

  • $100 million for increased capacity in hospitals to assist with the effective treatment of COVID-19 patients both in critical care and medicine beds.
  • $50 million for more testing and screening through public health, including additional funding to support extraordinary costs incurred to monitor, detect and contain COVID-19 in the province. This includes contact tracing, increased laboratory testing capacity and home testing.
  • $50 million to further protect frontline workers, first responders and patients by increasing the supply of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies and equipment to protect them.
  • $25 million to support frontline workers working in COVID-19 assessment centres, including the creation of a new fund to provide respite care, child care services and other supports as they are needed.
  • $50 million for long-term care homes to support 24/7 screening, additional staffing to support infection control and additional supplies.
  • $20 million for residential facilities in developmental services, gender-based services and protective care for children and youth to support additional staffing, respite for caregivers impacted by school closures, personal protective equipment and supplies and transportation costs to minimize client exposure and to support social distancing, as well as additional cleaning costs.
  • $5 million to protect seniors in retirement homes through increased infection control and active screening procedures.
  • $4 million for Indigenous communities to support transportation costs for health care professionals and the distribution of critical supplies.

What is NOT happening: 

  • Public transit will not be shut down
  • Office buildings and manufacturing will not be closed
  • Grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies will not be closed

Additional news: 

  • The Solicitor General announced last night that no new eviction orders will be issued until further notice in Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Sheriff’s offices have been asked to postpone any scheduled enforcement of eviction orders currently set for this week.
Community Office

2849 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M6P 1Y6
Tel: 416-763-5630
Fax: 416-763-5640

Queen's Park Office

Room 204, North Wing, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park, Toronto. ON M7A 1A8
Tel: 416-325-3017

Copyright © 2019 MPP Bhutila Karpoche, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
2849 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M6P 1Y6

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