Good evening Kanata North neighbours,
I hope everyone is feeling healthy and staying safe. These uncertain times can be tough, but it is great to see the adaptability of so many. From businesses, to family life, and recreation it is amazing to see you adapting to these difficult times. I applaud you and encourage you to keep finding more ways to adapt to this new normal.
Kanata North Update
- Tomorrow, Friday March 27 at 10 a.m., I will be hosting Civics with Councillor Sudds, an online interactive civics class for students. I will be discussing all things City Hall and City of Ottawa. There may even be a special guest joining me! Join me on Facebook Live for fun facts, history, and a peak at the day in the life of Kanata North’s City Councillor.
- The Kanata Food Cupboard needs your help. During these difficult times more families are leaning on the food cupboard for food assistance. You can donate funds online or non-perishables at local grocery stores or at their warehouse at 340 Legget Drive, Door #46 (Mondays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.).
- I love seeing your #KickCovidtotheCurb posts! From enjoying the outdoors, to spring cleaning, to trying new recipes, you all seem to be keeping busy. Continue sharing to inspire your neighbours. We are all in this together.
- Curious why the parking lot is full at Nordion on March Road? Nordion produces Cobalt-60, which can be used to sterilize medical equipment. They serve more than 180 million people around the world each year and are right in our community. Nordion is essential during COVID-19. Thank you to all the employees who are supporting the health care system throughout this pandemic.
- Kanata North is a strong community. When you need help, we are here. Please continue to reach out or sign up for assistance if you are in isolation. Your neighbours are ready to assist with groceries, medication pickup or walking your pet.
Ottawa Public Health Update
- As always, Ottawa Public Health is the best resource for all COVID-19 updates. Please continue to use their website to stay informed and to stay safe.
- Today, there are 51 cases of COVID-19 and this number will continue to rise.
- Ottawa Public Health is urging everyone to practice physical distancing. More information on physical distancing for you and your family can be found on their website.
- Our efforts are needed as a community. The actions you take will affect not only you but your loved ones and our community’s most vulnerable residents. While we appreciate that people are thinking of their loved ones, now is not the time to visit them in person. Luckily, we have technology available, which enables us to communicate in other creative ways like video chats and group phone calls.
- Physical distancing by all is IMPERATIVE to limit transmission in the community. This must be done to protect older adults, vulnerable populations, and outbreaks in institutions. We want to do everything we can to flatten the curve. This means that we want to slow down transmission of the virus and reduce the number of cases in the community that happen at the same time. Not doing so will put a strain on our health care system. Here are some ways that you and your family can practice physical distancing:
- Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home where possible.
- Avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives. Use the telephone, video chats or social media to stay connected unless the visit is absolutely necessary.
- Avoid all non-essential trips outside your home.
- Keep the windows down if you have to go into the community for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare.
- Cancel group gatherings and limit your contact to those within your home.
- Hold virtual meetings or get-togethers.
- Spend time outside and in settings where people can maintain a two-metre (six feet) distance from each other.
- Take precautions to maintain distance in shared spaces in multi-unit dwellings.
- Avoid crowded elevators (wait for an empty one if you can).
- Avoid using the mail room or laundry room at the same time as other residents (keep to a small number at a time to maintain distance).
- Physical distancing does not mean emotional distancing. Check in with others by phone or other technology. Check in with yourself. It’s ok not to be ok. Please know that help is available, and we encourage you to reach out to the Distress Centre of Ottawa to connect with someone at 613-238-3311 if needed. Here’s more information on available resources.
- Many people are returning home from March Break or winter travel and will need groceries and essential items. All returning travellers now have a legal obligation to self-isolate for 14 days. This means that groceries and essential items should be picked up by a family member or friend, or through on-line ordering options. Visit our website for further guidance on self-isolation. Ottawa Public Health has been working with the Ottawa International Airport to ensure this is being communicated clearly to returning travellers.
- You also need to self-isolate if you live with, provided care for, or spent extensive time with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, OR is suspected to have COVID-19, OR who has respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) that started within 14 days of travel outside of Canada.
City of Ottawa Update
- Many local shops are struggling through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the City of Ottawa has launched a #BuyLocal Campaign to support small businesses. You can help by buying a gift card for future use, shopping online or by getting takeout.
- Please note that all park amenities are closed. You can still walk past parks, but you should not be using any of the amenities. Staff will be installing signage.
Provincial Government Update
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government announced that they will provide an additional $3.3 billion to support health care workers and increase health care capacity. The funding will go towards increasing the number of assessments centres, adding more acute care and critical care beds, improve testing and provide more protective equipment for frontline workers.
- The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on businesses brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province.
- Additionally, the WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month deferral period. There will be no negative consequences for businesses who defer premium reporting and payments. The WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.
Federal Government Update
- The Federal Government has announced a 14–day mandatory quarantine for all Canadians returning home from abroad. They have implemented the Quarantine Act to keep all Canadians safe. If you do not comply with these instructions, you could face serious fines and even prison time.
- Yesterday, Parliament passed a bill approving $107 billion to support people and businesses. As a result, they have launched the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which will provide $2,000 a month, for up to 4 months, to people who are not getting paid as a result of COVID-19. This will replace the two benefits we announced last week, to make it even simpler for you to get help. An application portal will launch as quickly as possible, and people should start receiving money within 10 days of applying.
- As part of this plan, the Federal Government will also be boosting the Canada Child Benefit for families in May.
- The Federal Government will be supplementing the GST Credit, which is sent to low-income Canadians every few months. They’ve also put a six-month, interest-free moratorium on their Canada Student Loans. You can find more information on what else we’re doing and how to access these benefits at canada.ca.
Lastly, I’d like to sign off tonight with a sincere thank you to everyone who has reached out these last few weeks. It is an honour to serve as your Councillor, and in these difficult times I am working hard to ensure that you have accurate and reliable information at your fingertips.
Take care everyone. Please reach out if you need anything.