I hope everyone was able to enjoy their weekend and the outdoors and greenspaces in our community. This week is National Nursing Week, and I want to take a moment to say thank you to all the nurses who are part of the frontline heroes. Our nurses are making a big difference in our community, like Geneviève Mosher who is featured in this story. Thank you!
This update covers all the COVID-19 related information you should know to start your week. It is important to remember that even though we have made some progress in flattening the curve, we must do more. It’s crucial that we continue to follow OPH guidance, practice physical distancing, and consider wearing a cloth mask.
Kanata North Update:
- I’m reminding Kanata North residents that, starting today, while traffic is low, Herzberg Rd. from Legget to Carling will be temporarily closed to work on the sewer trunk. Crews will be working over night from May 12 to 14.
- Our community is seeing a high demand for hand sanitizer, and I know that many are searching for locations to purchase some. Last week, I shared two locations where I saw hand sanitizer for sale. Since then, many residents have reached out to inform me of other stores that have hand sanitizer in stock. You can find the full list on my website. Please note that inventory is subject to change.
- Are you looking for fun STEM programs for kids? Wize Computing Academy offers online, instructor–led, student-centred, project-based STEM learning to children aged 6-13. Courses and more information can be found here.
- The University of Ottawa’s Kanata North Campus will be hosting a Research Funding Information session on Thursday, May 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help companies access talent and solutions. This virtual session will allow companies to learn more about the available grants and funding programs for research, including COVID-19. Partners NSERC, OCE, Innovation Canada, IRAP, and Mitacs will present and be available to answer questions on how companies can access research funding to better position themselves to succeed during COVID-19 and beyond. You can register here.
- Shout out a meal for Healthcare Heroes in Ottawa: McNally Gervan LLP, in partnership with Pi·Rho Grill, has created an initiative to provide delicious, healthy, and nourishing food to Ottawa’s frontline healthcare heroes. 100% of funds raised go to Pi·Rho Grill to prepare meals for Ottawa healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. You can donate here.
City of Ottawa/Ottawa Public Health Update:
Here are the latest updates from the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health (OPH):
- Today, OPH announced 23 cases and tragically 10 deaths. This means there are now 1,676 cases and a total of 171 deaths in Ottawa. This is a strong reminder that we must continue to follow the guidelines provided by OPH, including:
- Wash your hand regularly.
- Practice physical distancing.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow, rather than your hands.
- Stay home if you are feeling ill.
- Mayor Watson will be hosting another virtual town hall to discuss the city’s response to COVID-19 on May 14th at 3 p.m. You can watch on the City of Ottawa’s Youtube channel, on RogersTV Cable 22, or on rogerstv.com. Call in to 613-233-1979 (passcode 5490123#) during the discussion with your questions for the panel.
- Today, the Park Ambassador Program launched to further assist residents in understanding the restrictions when visiting city parks. Red vested or green shirt city staff will continue to be at approximately 40 different sites for a few hours each in the coming weeks. The staff will be located at a combination of the large parks that have been gathering places (Britannia, Petrie, Andrew Haydon, etc.) as well as local district parks and neighbourhood parks.
- As restrictions are eased and services offered changed, the best place to get up to date information regarding city facilities and services is the city’s website.
The Ontario government shared the following updates:
- Starting today, the Ontario Government opened the first 520 provincial parks and conservation reserves for limited day-use access. The remaining 115 parks will open May 15. This will allow residents to walk, hike, and cycle through the parks. Day visitors will also be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month. At this time, camping and other activities are not permitted at any provincial park or conservation reserve. All buildings and facilities including washrooms, water taps, campgrounds, backcountry campsites, roofed accommodations, playgrounds, and beaches continue to be closed. All residents are reminded to respect physical distancing while in public.
- Today, the Ontario Government is allowing more retail stores with a street entrance to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Over the weekend, garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores began offering in-store purchasing. All retailers should follow available safety guidelines in order to protect staff, consumers, and the general public during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- To ensure the supply of food and to protect employees, the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $2.25 million in provincially licensed meat processing plants. The first stream of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), will provide funding to implement COVID-19 health and safety measures in provincially licensed meat plants, including purchasing additional personal protective equipment, redesigning workstations, supporting employees who require mandatory isolation, and work-site mobility and transportation. Applications to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will be accepted starting May 12 with an expedited approval process. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.
- The Ontario government will allow available school board employees to be voluntarily redeployed to congregate care settings during the COVID-19 pandemic, including hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, and women’s shelters. Many of these congregate care settings need staff such as custodial and maintenance workers.
- Students are encouraged to celebrate their hard work this year at a later date, when it is safe to do so. The Minister of Education announced that due to COVID-19, celebrations may have to be postponed, but encouraged boards to reschedule these events based on input from local medical officers of health. In some cases, this might mean facilitating graduation ceremonies and proms during the summer or fall when it is safe to do so.
- The Ontario Government announced that they will ensure that licensed childcare, as well as EarlyON and Family Centres will be protected through the COVID-19 outbreak. The plan is focused on protecting childcare spaces for parents with a time-limited approach that includes:
- Support for fixed operating costs for eligible childcare and EarlyON Centres, while providers are prohibited from charging parent fees while the Emergency Order is in effect.
- Direct and rapid funding delivery through municipal service managers for centres that currently receive funding.
- Straightforward application process for childcare centres that do not currently receive provincial funding by allowing them to apply directly to the Ministry of Education.
- Direction that all childcare centres will be required to maximize all available support under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, including staffing costs retroactively to March 15, 2020, in addition to federal-provincial rental subsidy supports.
- Red tape reduction and cost savings by waiving all childcare licensing applications, renewals and revision fees.
- Automatic extension of childcare licenses set to expire during the emergency period.
- Protecting existing base funding for licensed home childcare agencies, and regular funding and wage enhancement grant funding for licensed home childcare providers who have remained active during the emergency closure.
The Canadian government shared these updates:
- Today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced new measures to support middle class jobs so businesses can keep their workers on the payroll and weather this pandemic. The Government of Canada will:
- Establish a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. This support will help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible.
- Expand the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs. Support for mid-market businesses will include loans of up to $60 million per company and guarantees of up to $80 million. Through the BCAP, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with private sector lenders to support access to capital for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.
- Continue to provide financing to businesses through Farm Credit Canada, the BDC, and EDC through the Canada Account. This will ensure the government is able to respond to a wide range of financing needs, including for some large employers facing higher risks, with stricter terms in order to adequately protect taxpayers.
I hope you are all staying well throughout these difficult times. Please reach out if you need anything.