It’s hard to believe that we are more than half-way through the summer. Many parents in our community currently face the difficult decision whether to send our children back to school or opt for online learning. As a parent, I sympathize. This is a very difficult decision. We all want the best for our children and every family has different considerations in their decision making. I encourage everyone in our community to be kind to one another, especially in making these difficult decisions. More details are provided below with links to the plans the four local school boards released this week.
Lastly, I’d like to remind everyone that COVID-19 is still circulating within our community and we must continue to take the necessary precautions to reduce the spread of the virus. Following the guidelines provided by health officials is the best way to keep the transmission minimal. There is only so much that we can control through the pandemic, following the guidelines and being kind to one another are among the things we can control.
Kanata North Updates
- Local Kanata North founders of Menstrottawa have partnered with the Kanata Food Cupboard to provide students with menstrual products as part of the Back to School Program. Please consider donating feminine products by emailing me directly at Jenna.Sudds@ottawa.ca.
- Congratulations to local company AusculSciences for their success in securing the Government of Canada as their first customer for their new COVID-19 innovation: their touchless stethoscope system. I have no doubt that their latest innovation will protect the health and safety of frontline health workers now and many years into the future. I am so proud of AusculSciences and all Kanata North companies that continue to innovate and support healthy outcomes and the economic recovery of our city and country.
- The blasting for Richardson Ridge phase 4 is expected to last 3-5 more weeks. I know this has been frustrating for many that live in the area and I have been working with city staff and Regional Group to share your concerns. You can find more details regarding the blasting on my website.
- I have been working with Ottawa Public Health regarding masks in common areas of multi-unit dwellings. Last week, OPH sent a letter to multi-unit dwellings to strongly encourage that they create policies that make masks in common spaces mandatory to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmissions in areas where it might be difficult to always maintain a 2-metre distance. I encourage you all to wear a mask when you are in close proximity to others who are not in your social bubble.
- Join Councillors Gower and Hubley, Leading Ladies Canada and me on August 18 at 7 p.m. for the Let’s Move Forward: Anti-Racism in the Our Community online forum. Black women from Kanata and Stittsville will be discussing their experience with racial inequalities in our community and discuss ways we can move forward. Optional registration can be found here.
City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health Updates (OPH)
Here are the latest updates from the City of Ottawa and OPH:
- Today, OPH reported 10 new cases and no new deaths. This brings the cumulative total of 2,679 cases and 264 deaths.
- Last week, the city moved into Phase 2 of Our Reopening Plan, opening museums, revenue service counters, the municipal election office, fitness centres, indoor rentals, the financial needs testing program, and more. Over the next several weeks, more services are expected to gradually and safely resume. The city is closely monitoring the situation and working with OPH to implement preventative measures to keep residents and staff safe.
- Last month, the federal government announced an investment of more than $19 billion to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies. Following this announcement, Premier Ford shared that the Province of Ontario, in partnership with the Government of Canada, is providing up to $4 billion in urgently needed one-time assistance to Ontario municipalities.
- This week the Province announced that in Phase 1 of this funding program, the City of Ottawa will be receiving $75 million from the Transit Safe Restart Funding and $49 million to support our COVID-19 operating costs and pressures. The total investment of $124 million, will significantly support the City of Ottawa’s 2020 projected fiscal shortfall of $192 million, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- I know this week has been challenging for parents. Deciding whether to send your children back to school or keep them home is a difficult decision for many families. In response to the province announcing the reopening schools in September, the school boards in Ottawa have released their back to school plans. All four boards have shared their safety protocols and provided families with the option for remote learning or in-class. OPH is working closely with all boards to implement provincial guidance to support infection prevention and control in schools, including, reducing class and cohort sizes, keeping cases low in the community overall, screening of students and staff to allow for people who are ill to stay home, using masks, distancing practices, adapting schedules and student flow, and maintaining good hand hygiene. You can find details on the plans on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Ottawa Catholic School Board, Ecole Catholique Centre-Est, and Conseil des ecoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario websites.
- To support parents sending their children back to school, the city will be restarting their Before and After School programs on Thursday, September 3. Registration opens online on August 24 at 9 p.m. and the program guide will be online on Friday, August 21. Prior to the start of the program, parents will receive a Before and After School Parent Handbook with additional information on expectations and protocols. The COVID-modified activities will include creative physical-distancing games, sports, and arts and crafts. Quiet homework time will also be provided.
- Please be aware that OPH has confirmed the presence of West Nile in mosquitoes in Ottawa. Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites by:
- Applying a Health Canada-approved mosquito repellent containing DEET or icaridin to exposed skin and clothing.
- Protecting yourself especially between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, and at all times in or near shady, bushy, or wooded areas.
- Wearing light-coloured, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing, including long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks to protect exposed skin.
- Making sure all windows and doors in your home have screens that are in good condition.
- Reducing standing water sites around your home, such as bird baths, toys, flowerpot saucers, swimming pool covers, old tires, wheelbarrows, buckets and cans – anything that can hold water for seven days or longer.
- Keeping all openings to rain barrels covered with screen mesh at all times.
Here are the latest updates from the Ontario government:
- In partnership with the federal government, the provincial government is providing $234.6 million in funding to keep children and staff safe in childcare settings. This funding will support enhanced cleaning costs as well as health and safety requirements set out to support the reopening of licensed childcare and early years programs.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Ontario government has been committed to protecting the health and economic well-being of the people of Ontario. These investments bring the government’s COVID-19 response action plan to a projected $30 billion, up from $17 billion announced in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 on March 25, 2020. Additional investments in the fight against COVID-19, including:
- An increase of $4.4 billion for a total of $7.7 billion to provide ongoing support for health care to build hospital capacity, prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes, ramp up testing and purchase personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies.
- An increase of $7.3 billion for a total of $11.0 billion to support people and jobs, which supports investments in a temporary pandemic pay for more than 375,000 eligible frontline workers totaling over $1.5 billion, $4 billion in targeted funding to help municipal partners and transit agencies to continue to deliver critical services, and temporary immediate relief for residential, farm, small business, industrial and commercial electricity consumers.
- The Ontario government is now projecting a deficit of $38.5 billion in 2020-21, which incorporates the most up to date economic information and additional supports for the pandemic recovery period and the safe restart framework. Private-sector forecasts, on average, project that Ontario’s real GDP will decline by 6.6 per cent in 2020, down significantly from when the March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update was finalized.
Here are the latest updates from the Canadian government:
- Given that Canada’s farmers and agri-food producers have had many challenges through the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government announced support to help agri-food manufacturers in southern Ontario create jobs and increase production. FedDev Ontario provided investment of more than $2.5 million to support the scale-up and growth of two leading food manufacturers in southern Ontario: Florentina Foods and Terra Cotta Foods Ltd.
- Earlier this week, the Minister of National Revenue announced that an updated and improved Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy online calculator has been launched. This will help small and large employers alike prepare to apply for the next period of the CEWS program, which will open for applications on August 17. The CEWS calculator can be found on the CRA’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy web page, which includes detailed information to help employers understand how the CEWS can support their employees and operations, who is eligible to apply, and how claim periods are structured.
- Dr. Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, shared that there are significantly fewer new cases of COVID-19 being reported daily compared to the beginning of the outbreak. Case counts peaked in late April and early May. COVID-19 transmission has increased recently with the opening of economic and social spaces. Fortunately, the number of new deaths reported daily has remained low following a steep decline from the peak in early May when close to 200 deaths were reported daily.
- Last week, the Canadian government announced a $1.3 million investment to FPInnovations for a COVID-19 response project to develop a biodegradable, sustainable filter for single-use face masks made from local, and eco-friendly solutions. FPInnovations will develop the filters using sustainable and biodegradable material made from Canadian forest fibres. Canadian pulp and paper mills will manufacture this product and provide an opportunity to diversify the forest sector’s revenue opportunities.
Take care Kanata North.
Please reach out should you need anything.