Dear Kitchener Centre constituents,
The Federal Government has announced a package of supports for people in this crisis, the summary is pasted below. More details will be needed but it appears to address some of the income insecurity and small business supports that people have been asking for. The official NDP response is also below.
The legislature is resuming on Thursday, March 19 at 1 PM for a very short session to pass bills related to allowing for sick leave under provincial law and regarding municipal council quorum.
The government will introduce two pieces of legislation:
1. Amendments to the Municipal Act and the City of Toronto Act to allow city councils and school boards to meet electronically, and to suspend municipal noise by-laws to allow heavy trucks to stock grocery stores and pharmacies overnight.
2. Amendments to the Employment Standards Act to provide job protection provisions for workers who need to miss work as a result of COVID-19 and ban the requirement of doctors notes for COVID-19.
The bills are not public yet so there is not much to report back yet.
For reasons of social distancing only a small number of MPP’s will be allowed in the building for the debate. For the most part, Toronto MPPs will be part of this "skeleton crew". You should be able to watch live on the Legislative Channel, 129, or livestream at https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/video
Because of the Coronavirus legislative business is being changed. Three bills that were about to have public hearings have had those hearings suspended.
We will be sure to update you as soon as more information becomes available.
Be well and please take care of each other,
Federal stimulus summary:
- $27 billion in direct support to workers and businesses
- $55 billion for liquidity for businesses and households through tax deferrals
- Total $82 billion - 3% of Canada's GDP.
- The payments from the Emergency Care Benefit will average about $450 a week, being paid bi-weekly, starting around April 1.
- Application will be online; no medical test to prove eligibility
- 14 weeks of payments - that puts end to support by late June 2020
- Emergency COVID Self Benefit will act as a catch all for anyone to whom the above does not apply
- Similar to the Emergency Care Benefit but details are not yet available
- Will include self-employment and sole proprietorship businesses
- Wage subsidy grants to small businesses for three months equal to 10% of workers salaries.
- If you owe after you file your taxes, you have until August 2020 to make payment
- 12 million Canadians eligible:
- Parents getting top up of Canada Child Benefit $300 per child
- Low-income Canadians will receive increased GST credit for $400 for single adults; $600 for couples; $150 for every additional child
- 6-month student loan repayment deferral
GENDER BASED VIOLENCE:
- Boosting funding for shelters for those who cannot remain at home
- 200 million to shelters nation-wide for materials and equipment
FIRST NATIONS AND METIS:
- "Indigenous Community Support fund" (no details yet)
- Farmers getting “Farm Credit Canada” boost; no details
- Other business sectors receiving access to Export Development Canada; details to come in further days
Horwath welcomes federal funds, urges Ontario to step up with direct funding to help families
NDP will support legislation Thursday, but says it falls well short
QUEEN’S PARK — Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, released the following statement on Wednesday:
"Thursday afternoon, the Legislative Assembly will reconvene to deal with emergency legislation for workers who need to miss work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NDP supports the job protection provision, and the ban on required doctor’s notes. We will vote in favour of the bills, and we will provide the consent needed to pass them in one day. But they fall well short of what is needed.
The NDP has been pushing for leave from work to be paid, not unpaid, along with other measures. The government refused to accept the NDP’s suggestions or amendments to this legislation — things we’ve long been calling for — but we won’t give up on getting people the help they need.
Ultimately, the measures being agreed to can only be seen as a small first step.
These small changes simply cannot be the only help this government gives to families, small and medium-sized businesses, and community-based organizations and charities, who are all growing increasingly concerned — and rightfully so.
Today’s announcement by the federal government of an $82-billion support package for Canadians is welcome relief. But it took too long to arrive, is too slow to flow, and it’s simply not enough money. It’s time for the Ontario government to step up and do its part by providing direct funding to protect families from missing meals or rent and mortgage payments, protect the most vulnerable people and organizations that support them, and prevent small businesses from going under.
We are all in this together, and we will get through it together."