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Updates on COVID-19 from the City of Burlington


Welcome to the Mayor Meed Ward’s standing page dedicated to COVID-19 updates from the City of Burlington and our public health professionals and experts.

This page will be updated has often as new information is available and released.

On Saturday, March 21, 2020, Mayor Meed Ward declared a state of emergency for the City of Burlington.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at

If you have questions about what the state of emergency means, please head to the COVID-19 FAQ page ( – this page is continually updated with new questions as we encounter them from the public.

The City of Burlington also has a dedicated page for Q-and-As from COVID-19 Public Town Halls, please click the link.

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, please visit Halton Region Public Health’s website at for further instructions about diagnosis and testing.

The Province of Ontario has an online self-assessment tool for anyone experiencing some symptoms but are unsure, please click the link to access it.

Click this link for what Physical (Social) Distancing Means and how best to employ it: Physical (Social) Distancing Infographic.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

The City of Burlington has a dedicated COVID-19 webpage on resources for residents and non-profit organizations at

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to


Questions about summer activities? (Please click the link)

Friday, May 29, 2020:

  • FAQs about summer activities
  • COVID-19 Update: Burlington City Council Approves Virtual Statutory Public Meetings
  • COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #8 Highlights
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM spoke about yesterday’s call with premiers. – Readout
      • They  discussed the collaborative efforts by federal, provincial, and territorial partners to combat the pandemic and protect the health, safety, and economic well-being of all Canadians. They also discussed the recent reports by the Canadian Armed Forces on long-term care facilities in Ontario and Quebec, and agreed to take action to improve care for seniors.
      • First Ministers were briefed on the work being done by the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, which will coordinate country-wide blood test surveys to tell us how widely the virus has spread in Canada and provide reliable estimates of potential immunity and vulnerabilities in Canadian populations.
      • The PM also discussed the 10 paid sick days for Canadians. “No one should have to choose between taking a day off and putting food on the table.”
      • He discussed how the federal government is working with each jurisdiction, including on border measures and a collaborative national approach to testing and contact tracing.
      • The PM talked about the importance in being able to identify and isolate the virus. Some provinces have already reached out for assistance on contract tracing.
      • The PM announced $650 million of funding to provide critical support to Indigenous families and communities during this crisis. – Media Release
      • The funding includes:
        1. $285.1 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities.
        2. $270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to address increased demand on the program,
        3. $44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters, which will help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence.
      • The PM also announced that cruise ships will not be allowed in Canadian waters until Oct. 31, 2020.
    • Question Period:
      • On the limited response to the wage subsidy program – the PM stated that this program will become more important as the economy reopens and that is why it was extended.
      • The Federal government continues to work with airlines.
      • Regarding the situation in long term care homes and keeping soldiers in long term care homes in Quebec longer – “The Federal government will be there to support the provinces as they work to regain control of long term care homes.” The armed forces are there to protect Canadians, but “soldiers in our nursing homes is not a long term solution.”
      • The PM was pressed for details on what specific actions the Federal government would take to support provinces with long term care homes. Long term care homes are under provincial  jurisdiction. The Federal government will be there to help support the provinces manage the long term care situation. “there are a range of needs/situations across Canada.” “We will be there depending on what the Province’s need, (in the immediate term, short term and the long term). The government will provide more money and more resources.
      • Members of the Liberal caucus have spoken about  national guidelines for long term care homes. Members of caucus are very concerned about the care of seniors. Important conversations need to
      • take place about the care of seniors in Canada.
      • Operational discussions are taking place about Premier Legault’s request to keep the armed forces in Quebec longer.
      • The federal government’s current focus is on the “emergency situation” that is taking place in long term care homes.
      • Regarding the 10 paid sick days. Premiers are concerned about any additional burdens on employers. “The federal government would assume the responsibility for most of the support.”
      • The PM is discussing slight exception to the US border crossing with Premiers. These exception would facilitate family reunification.
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The province unveiled the details of it’s new testing strategy, which is aimed at hotspots and essential workplace – Media Release
      • Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, released the next phase of the province’s COVID-19 testing plan, Protecting Ontarians Through Enhanced Testing, which includes three branches of testing
        1. Assessment Centre Testing: expanding who gets tested to now include asymptomatic individuals concerned about exposure and continued routine symptomatic testing at assessment centres.
        2. Targeted Campaigns: detecting and containing cases by expanding asymptomatic surveillance for vulnerable populations, including in long-term care homes and other shared living spaces like shelters and group homes, as well as targeted testing of workplaces in priority sectors which work with priority populations and where it may be difficult to physically distance.
        3. Outbreak Management: testing to ensure rapid and agile response capacity for outbreak management, including in specific neighbourhoods and regions or at hospitals, institutions and workplaces.
      • To help enable increased access to routine symptomatic testing, people will no longer need a referral to go to any of the more than 130 assessment centres across Ontario.
      • “Ramping up testing will mean more cases”
      • Now that we have a better picture of what each region is facing “I am now comfortable at looking for a regional approach in Stage 2 of the reopening”
      • Officials are now looking at a regional model for reopening. “I am not prepared on taking unnecessary risks.”
      • Minister Elliott “We have entered the post-peak phase” of the pandemic
      • The Province has 2,000 contract tracers in place
    • Question Period:
      • Premier was asked about his change of heart to regional opening. He says it is because of the increased testing.
      • Premier is supportive about the exceptions to the US/Canada border for reuniting families
      • Will a formal apology becoming for families of long term care patients? “My heart breaks.” I apologize to them every day.
      • Premier “there’s no lightbulb that goes off in my head,” says when asked why he’s changing course after saying yesterday he was not in favour of regional openings.
      • With regional opens how do you stop someone from Toronto from going to London to get a haircut? Dr. Williams says he would hope Ontarians would respect each other.
      • Dr. Williams said that a clear definition of region must be determined so the public understands. “Most cases are focused on the GTA. In other regions, no cases for 2-3 weeks in a row. So we’re looking at how to organize that.
      • How does the regional approach impact the stage 2 reopening? Minister Elliott we need to thoroughly examine the impact of reopening stage 1. The regionalization is separate issue.
    • Other announcements:
      • Ontario commercial landlords can apply for urgent rent assistance through Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businessesMedia Release
        1. All commercial landlords in Ontario can now apply for rental assistance to help their small business tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative will keep more small businesses in operation and more people employed as the province gradually and safely restarts the economy.
        2. The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, has launched the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The province is committing $241 million to the program, which will provide more than $900 million in support for small businesses across Ontario during this difficult time
        3. To find out how much rent support you may be eligible for, visit

Thursday, May 28, 2020:

  • Burlington Council Unanimously Approves Resolution Encouraging Participation in Ontario-Canada COVID-19 Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program
  • Council Unanimously Endorses Declaration to Ensure Viability of Transit during and after COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Multi-use Path Safety and Etiquette:
      • A reminder to both pedestrians and cyclists to follow proper etiquette and safety practices when using a shared pathway.
      • Do’s:
        1. Keep right except to pass;
        2. Warn others when approaching or passing;
        3. Faster trail users yield to slower traffic;
        4. Use lights at night; and
        5. Clean-up after your pet.
      • Don’ts:
        1. Operation of motorized vehicles is prohibited, including e-bikes;
        2. Do not exceed the 15 km/h speed limit;
        3. No pets off leash; No alcoholic beverages;
        4. No littering; and
        5. No smoking.
      • Please always maintain a distance of 2m/6ft between you and others.
    • The Prime Minister did not hold a COVID-19 briefing today, he is attending a virtual UN session on financing solutions related to COVID-19.
      • United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, and the Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, will convene world leaders and international organizations today in a joint initiative to sharpen and accelerate our global response to the significant economic and human impacts of COVID-19, and advance concrete solutions to the development emergency. – Media Release
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The focus of today’s briefing was once again long term care homes.
      • To further protect seniors and staff in long-term care homes, the Ontario government announced today that it is extending the mandate of the Incident Management System Long-Term Care Table. This table is composed of health care professionals who make immediate decisions to deal with issues related to staffing levels, infection management and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak. – Media Release
    • Question Period:
      • Premier was asked again today about why he isn’t considering a regional approach to reopening the economy. He is following the advice of the medical professionals. While, he doesn’t disagree, he will continue to follow the medical officer of health’s advice.
      • He was asked if he was considering postponing transit projects. He said no. Infrastructure funding comes up every week on the calls with the PM and he will raise it again today.
      • On the question of long term car bureaucracy and whether it needs a shakeup? “That’s going to come p and people will be held accountable. The system’s been broken for decades. There’s changes that need to be done.”
      • Unions had refused to send inspectors into long term care homes. “I’ve been taking bullets up here every day for the union.”
      • The Province used every measure and every tool available to them to provide assistance to the homes.
      • As Premier why weren’t you able to intervene when the inspectors refused to enter the homes? “We took plenty of action”, we called in the military, we asked for volunteers, the hospitals went in. “We threw everything we had at them.”
      • On moving to stage 2. Minister Elliott said, “another week at least must go by before we considering moving to Stage 2.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2020:

  • June 4 Tele-Town Hall will Focus on what Summer in Burlington will look like amid COVID-19
  • Burlington Redesigns its Services to keep City Staff and Residents safe as the Province Eases some COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Maintaining the Bonds of Friendship Across the Globe Amid COVID-19
  • Ontario Extending Emergency Orders to June 9 During COVID-19 Outbreak
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • Tomorrow during his meeting with the Premiers the PM will speak about what is going on long term care homes
      • As provinces and territories reopen and workers go back to work they will no longer need the CERB. The wage subsidy will be there to help employers help pay people.
    • Question Period:
      • In Canada we need to ensure we are doing a better job caring for seniors. While this is a Provincial responsibility we are there to help, respecting their jurisdiction. We need have a conversation about the long term as well as what is happening now.
      • Is it time for a federal inquiry into long term care homes? Our responsibility is to improve things in the context of COVID we need to have conversations about how we care for elders across the country, respecting Provincial responsibilities.
      • What is  the Federal government’s immediate plan to deal with the crisis in long term care homes? The immediate plan is to send the military in to assist. The Federal government is there to support the Provincial governments in the delivery of care.
      • What specifically with the federal government going to do to support Province’s with the issues in long-term care homes?  We need to do things right now and we are, there will be a need for a bigger conversation moving forward.
      • We need to work together to care for our elders, but the situations vary across the country. Canadians expect us to do better by our elders.
      • How long will the Military be deployed in Ontario and Quebec? We will need to see improvements in the homes before the military is pulled out. Discussions with the Provinces is how we will move beyond the Military support in long term care homes. Having the military in long term care homes is not a permanent solution.
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The Premier announced that effective immediately the Province will be taking over five long term care home: Orchard Villa in Pickering, Eatonville Care in Etobicoke, Altamont Care in Scarborough, Hawthorne Place in North York and Camilla Care in Mississauga.
      • Inspectors will also be dispatched to these homes and will be on site for two weeks to ensure that the homes come to compliance
      • Rigorous inspections will begin in 13 other homes
      • Problems are isolated
      • An independent commission into long term care is being expedited and will begin in July – it will be open and transparent
      • We need the PM’s help to fix this problem, we can’t do it on our own.
    • Question Period:
      • Asked if the independent commission will have the authority to investigate the Province and call the Premier as a witness? Yes, the commission will be fully transparent and the Premier will be a witness.
      • The Premier was asked if he will fire his Minister of Long Term Care? “No, she is one of the most knowledgeable people we have down here at Queen’s Park, regardless of the party. I count my blessings that I have her and Minister Elliott as ministers.”
      • The Premier won’t hesitate to pull licenses if he has to.
    • Other announcements:
      • Ontario Extending Emergency Orders During COVID-19 OutbreakMedia Release
        1. The Province announced that all emergency set to expire on May 29 have been extended until June 9
        2. Current emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery.
        3. Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules remain in place for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters

Tuesday, May 26, 2020:

    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM announced that Ontario and Quebec have both requested that the deployment of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) be extended (no date was given)
      • The CAF soldiers in Ontario have made some “disturbing observations” about what is happening in long term car homes in Ontario. Their report has been shared with Premier Ford.
      • The federal government has been actively working on obtaining PPE. 40 flights have arrived in Canada carrying more gowns, masks, etc., which has been distributed across the country.
      • The federal government has signed a contract with GM to produce 10 million face masks. This will mean jobs in the Oshawa plant.
      • The PM announced that he and Andrew Holness of Canada and Jamaica, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a special high-level meeting on May 28 to advance concrete solutions to the development emergency caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. – Media Release
    • Question Period:
      • There were several questions about the CAF report on Ontario long term care homes. The report has been shared with the Province of Ontario. The PM and Premier spoke about it this morning. It will be the focus of Premier Ford’s briefing today at 1:30 p.m. The report will be made public then. (a technical briefing on the findings of the report will take place at 12:30 p.m.)
      • The PM said the observations in the report were “deeply disturbing. We need to do a better job taking care of our seniors.” He pledged support to the Province of Ontario.
      • The situation has existed long before the pandemic.
      • CAF soldiers have been working in these five homes: Orchard Villa in Pickering, Altamont Care in Scarborough, Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke, Hawthorne Place in North York, Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor in Brampton.
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • Today’s briefing was on the findings revealed in the Canadian Armed Forces report on the conditions in the five long term cares home they have be deployed to. – Media Release
      • The report was “heartbreaking” what it contained was “horrific”. “It is shocking that this can happen in Canada.”
      • Reading the report “was the hardest thing I have had to do as Premier”
      • “Please pray for these residents and their families”
      • The report will be made public. “As hard as it may be you need to know what I know.”
      • The CAF mission has been extended for another 30 days.
      • An investigation has begun and there may be criminal charges. There will be accountability and justice for these families
      • Since the arrival of the CAF there have been improvements in these homes
      • Independent commission into provincial long term care homes will begin in September
      • Four out of the five homes are for profit
    • Question Period:
      • Steps that have been taken since receiving the report – 1. We have stabilized the situation, 2. Must be transparent with the public and share the findings, 3. Corrective actions must be put in place immediately. Premier – “It is my job to fix a system that has been broken for decades.”
      • Why not a full public inquiry? “Not ruling anything out after reading the report”
      • Did you fail seniors? “I don’t feel our government failed seniors. We saved lives” by moving to repair the issues that came up “We are going to make sure we fix this situation – no matter what it takes”
      • Is it time for the Province to take over long term care homes and integrate them with public health? “everything is on the table. If that’s what we have to do then we will.”
      • We will fix the problem with the help of the Federal government
      • Minister Fullerton – “COVID-19 tipped the homes with issues over the edge” “Canadians cannot tolerate this – all levels of government must come together” to fix the problems
      • Premier – we cannot financially sustain a publicly funded system
      • While there were “massive issues” in these five homes, “it would be unfair to paint all homes with the same brush”
      • Why weren’t these issues identified before, during inspections? The CAF were on site 24/7 and were able to see the cracks in the system, with no fears of losing their jobs for reporting problems.
      • There are 626 long term care homes in the Province and many are providing excellent care.
      • The Premier was asked why he wasn’t revealing the public health hotspots, when he said “he wanted the public to know what he knows.” Minister Elliott – revealing the exact locations of the hotspots “would be stigmatizing for the residents and businesses in those communities. We must balance the public’s right to know with the stigmatizing effect of making the hotspots public.”

Monday, May 25, 2020:

  • Province Expands COVID-19 Testing to Include People who are Asymptomatic
  • Burlington Task Force Update – Week 7: Restaurants and Hospital Capacity Discussions
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM announced that applications are now being accepted for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. – Media Release
      • To landlords the PM said “Please apply.” To tenants – “there are programs in place to help you pay your rent.”
      • Launching a new phone line today with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Canadian Business Resilience Network – CBRN) – the Resilience Service – 1-866-989-1080.
      • The PM also announced that the government will be working with the Provinces and Territories to provide 10 paid sick days/year. This would ensure “that workers do not have to choose between putting food on their table and going to work when they are sick.” In the very early stages, no details are available about who would pay – Federal government, provinces/territories/employers
      • This idea was raised by BC Premier Horgan to combat the expected second wave of COVID-19 in the fall.
    • Question Period:
      • There were many questions today about the Liberal Party specifically taking advantage of the wage subsidy program to pay its employees. The PM did not answer this question directly instead he said – “the program is meant to keep employees connected with their workplaces. It is available to businesses and charities.” It will help our economy come back strong.
      • The PM was asked for clarity and details about the paid sick leave program. “If someone starts to show symptoms of COVID or the Flu – they shouldn’t have to go work when they are sick.” “The mechanisms of the program won’t be easy.”
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The Premier commended the volunteers and businesses that have stepped up to support the community. – Media Release
      • The response to the SPARK Ontario program has been great with more than 6,500 Ontarians offering to deliver food, run errands and connect with seniors and people with disabilities during COVID-19
      • Ontario’s volunteers and small businesses are rising to the challenge and helping seniors and other vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak. Thousands of people are generously giving their time and resources to make and deliver food, run errands, and check in on those who are self-isolating.
      • The Province is launching a campaign to recognize businesses that have gone above and beyond in their communities – Big Hearts Campaign. No details yet.
    • Question Period:
      • Premier was asked about the gathering at Trinity Bellwoods Park over the weekend. Premier “I’m disappointed to say the least with everyone who showed up at Trinity Bellwoods Park.  Why don’t you do us all a favour and go and get tested.”
      • When asked about rolling things back – The Premier will not “punish the rest of the Province” for the reckless behavior of a group of people
      • When asked about a regional approach to reopening, he will not take a two tiered approach to reopening.
      • When asked about the increasing numbers – Minister Elliott stated that the increase is linked to Mother’s Day weekend. People didn’t respect social distancing and they gathered in groups of more than five.
      • If you have symptoms, or have been in a large group and are worried – go get tested.
      • Regarding testing – over the coming days the details of the Province’s “robust” testing plan will be announced. It will target communities that have been identified as “hotspots (parts of Peel Region, parts of Toronto, Windsor Essex)” as well as large employers
      • The Premier was asked again today if he would implement a moratorium on evictions. The commercial rent relief program starts this week. To landlords “they won’t like the consequences if they don’t sign up.” He begged landlords to sign up for the program
      • There was talk of increasing the gathering size to groups of more than five. Minister Elliot- “given the numbers of people coming down with COVID-19 and the Trinity Bellwoods gatherings, Dr. Williams is reluctant to move forward with that. We have to see the numbers come down first.”
    • Other announcements made today:
      • Hospitals Assume Management of Two Long-Term Care HomesMedia Release
        1. The Ministry of Long-Term Care has issued Mandatory Management Orders appointing local hospitals to temporarily manage two long-term care homes for 90 days. Southlake Regional Health Centre will temporarily manage River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton and Humber River Hospital will temporarily manage Downsview Long Term Care in North York.
        2. Despite receiving hospital support for weeks, these homes have been unable to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Friday, May 22, 2020:

  • Street Sweeping in Burlington to Begin May 25
  • Halton Region Medical Officer of Health Issues Class Order Defining when to Self-Isolate and who is Considered a Close Contact
    • Federal News:
      • Guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada on non-medical masks and face coverings – Link
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM and Deputy PM held their tenth First Ministers’ call yesterday with the premiers about the COVID-19 pandemic.- Readout
      • First Ministers reiterated the importance of working collaboratively to keep Canadians safe while gradually restarting their economies.
      • They discussed an approach based on increased testing capacity, timely and complete contact tracing, and data and information sharing. This approach will help ensure that all regions of the country are testing at a sufficient level, and reinforce testing with effective contact tracing and data sharing in order to contain future outbreaks.
      • Today the PM talked about what needs to happen to safely reopen the economy.
        1. Testing capacity needs to increase
        2. Need to accelerate our ability to do contract tracing across the country
        3. Data must be shared between provinces and territories
      • “This is the next phase of our collaboration across the country.” The Federal government is prepared to support, facilitate and fund this work across the country. Provinces just need to ask for the help.
      • In order for Canadians to be able to move across the country more freely, as we reopen the economy, “we need to be able to quickly detect and isolate new cases.”
      • A new tool is available on, that will assist Canadians in identifying which support programs they may qualify for.
    • Question Period:
      • The PM was asked if contact tracing will involve the use of an APP? At this time Federally we have the ability to conduct 60,000 test daily. They have been talking to the Provinces about their needs regarding both testing and contract tracing. Currently assisting Ontario with contract using by using Federal employees and Stats Canada staff.
      • He was asked if Ottawa would impose a Federal APP that all Canadians would have to use? The Federal government is working with Apple and Google on the development of an APP. There have been issues with some APPs that when installed drain phone batteries. The Federal government will “recommend strongly to Canadians an APP.”  One APP that all Canadians use will make contract tracing across the country seamless.
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • Today the Premier announced new programs focused on hospitality workers and apprentices – Media Release
      • As the economy gradually reopens, the Ontario government is helping people affected by COVID-19 get back to work. The province is investing in Ontario’s first Virtual Action Centre, an online counselling and training portal, to support laid off and unemployed hospitality workers, and is helping apprentices by providing grants to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools
      • The government is providing an Ontario Tools Grant of $2.5 million in 2020-21 and $7.5 million in 2021-22 and ongoing. This will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers. The funding amounts will be distributed as follows:
        1. $1,000 for those in motive power sector trades;
        2. $600 for those in construction and industrial sector trades;
        3. $400 for those in service sector trades.
      • To be eligible for the new grant, apprentices must have:
        1. completed level 1 training on or after April 1, 2020;
        2. an active registered training agreement; and
        3. been registered as an apprentice for at least 12 months.
      • The government is also investing nearly $2 million to open a Virtual Action Centre in partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75.
    • Question Period:
      • Asked about the testing of children? Permission would need to be provided by parents before it happens in schools and daycare centres, but it could happen by properly trained health care workers.
      • The Premier was asked if businesses could deny access to patrons if they are not wearing masks, even though they have not been declared mandatory? Premier said “any business can refuse entry to anyone (who doesn’t wear a mask). It just protects everyone. If you have one, please wear it.”
      • Testing will be done again in long term care homes.

Thursday, May 21, 2020:

  • Burlington Moving Forward with City Service Redesign Strategy After Council Approval at Special Meeting
  • City Monitoring Gypsy Moth Populations and Tree Health
  • Regional Council Calling on Province to Postpone, not Cancel Courthouse in Halton
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM announced $75 million in new funding for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve. – Media Release
      • This additional funding will support more community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations including food security, mental health support services, and sanitation and protective equipment.
      • It could also help with other needs, such as support for Elders, transportation, and educational materials for Indigenous children and youth. Funding for projects will start rolling out in the coming weeks.
      • The PM urged employers and property owners to take advantage of the support programs the government has in place – the wage subsidy program and the commercial rent subsidy program
      • When physical distancing is not possible the PM reminded Canadians of Dr. Tam’s recommendation to wear a mask.
      • “Wash your hands, stay at home and wear a mask if necessary”
    • Question Period:
      • How are we preparing for a possible second wave? The federal government has stepped up to assist Provinces and Territories with testing and contact tracing. “We must be ready to act quickly, so we don’t have to move back to confinement.”
      • We realize that the airline industry has been hard hit by the pandemic. Canadians are also out of pocket for airline tickets. The government will be having conversations with the airline industry.
      • Asked about a national testing strategy. The PM will continue to discuss scaling up testing with Premiers (especially in Ontario and Quebec). “The federal government will be there.”
      • BC Premier has called for a national policy on paid sick leave –“ had good conversations with the provinces on how they can best support people on issues like paid sick leave, child care, long term care.”
      • Will the PM insist that Canadians who paid for airline tickets get their money back? “working with all concerned parties to find a solution.”
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • Today the Province announced the recipients of the First Phase of Research Projects to Fight COVID-19 – Media Release
      • The Ontario government is funding 15 high-quality and promising proposals that were submitted in response to a recent call for proposals for the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.
    • Question Period:
      • The Province continues to lag behind in testing, how can Ontarians feel safe going back to work? “I want to see truckers, taxi drivers, automotive and food processing workers tested. He also wants a long term care workers to be tested again. He is pushing the table as hard as he can. “ I will be like an 800 pound gorilla on their backs, I want to see these numbers increased.”
      • He wants to see random testing on asymptomatic people test
      • The numbers of cases have gone up over the past few days. Premier  is watching the numbers closely and is prepared to roll things back if necessary – he is relying on medical advice.
      • Premier said he wants to see Service Ontario locations open.
      • He was asked again about putting a moratorium on evictions. He wants to wait and see how landlords will respond to the commercial rent subsidy program.
      • Asked about why the numbers are going up. Too soon to link the increases to the reopening that has started. Minister Elliott said next week will be a better indicator of any correlations
      • Will student and teacher testing be part of the child care and school reopening? “Yes it will” To give people confidence in the reopening we have to do testing.  “I’m obsessed with the testing…cause I want to see the testing.”
      • What would be the criteria to revert back the opening? The criteria is: we need fewer positive test results, adequate hospital capacity, contract tracing in 90% of cases within 24 hours and testing volumes need to increase. This will help determine whether we move to stage 2, hold in stage 1 or roll back stage 1 openings.
      • Question about the direction being given to colleges and universities regarding whether to go totally online in the fall. Minister Romano – We’re hoping of the best and preparing for the worst. A hybrid model is being looked at. We want to maximize virtual course delivery. But where labs and learning in person is necessary, a proposal for how this can happen is being developed.
      • Premier was asked about weddings. The Premier said “I wouldn’t want anyone to cancel their special day. But they are just going to have to go with the program”

Wednesday, May 20, 2020:

  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM announced that the Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program application portal will open on May 25.
      • The program offers forgivable loans to landlords to reduce rent, by 75%, paid by tenants.
      • The Federal/Provincial governments will pay 50%, landlords will pay 25% and tenant will pay 25%, Details are available at
      • Resources for businesses are listed on the COVID -19 page. Link
    • Question Period:
      • Is there consideration being given to making the wearing of masks mandatory in Canada? The Public Health Agency of Canada will be making an announcement on this issue later today. The best way to prevent transmission is to stay 2 metres apart, in situations where you cannot do this then wearing a mask is advisable.
      • The PM was asked about what the sitting of Parliament will look like in the coming months? Difficult to be clear at this point as things continue to change. It will also depend on what legislation needs to be considered.
      • He encouraged landlords to participate in the commercial rent subsidy program.
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The Premier said that the Province is watching trends very carefully now that Stage 1 has been launched.
      • “If things are going in the wrong direction, we are prepared to roll things back.”
      • Premier stressed that we must continue to be vigilant – stay at home, stay 2 metres apart, continue to work from home if possible.
      • Social gathering guidance remains in place,
      • People taking public transit, returning to work or going out shopping are being urged to continue to adhere to public health advice as the best line of defence against COVID-19. – Media Release
      • To assist the public, the Ministry of Health today released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible, along with additional safety measures for provincial transit agencies.
      • Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts are recommending that individuals wear a face covering where physical distancing is not possible, such as on public transit or in a small grocery store or pharmacy.
      • To assist provincial transit agencies in protecting transit staff and riders in this new environment, the Ministry of Health is also recommending the following measures be put in place:
        1. Physical distancing of at least two metres by admitting fewer passengers and using physical markers between seats;
        2. The use of face coverings, particularly when physical distancing is not feasible;
        3. Ensuring the availability of alcohol-based hand rub upon entering and exiting the vehicle;
        4. Implementing engineering controls like plexiglass windows between drivers and passengers; and
        5. Enhanced cleaning, particularly of high-touch surfaces.
      • The Province is working on clear set of guidelines for transit agencies.
    • Question Period:
      • Has a target been set when the Province might roll things back? A target has not been set, but the Premier said he “would be watching the numbers like a hawk”
      • Why is wearing a mask being recommended now? With the opening of the economy there are situations where people cannot maintain the physical distancing guidelines of being 2 metres apart.
      • Premier was asked again about funding for transit agencies? “We need the federal government’s support. We are in conversation with them now.”
      • More clarification on days camps in July and August was requested. Premier was not able to provide any specifics. “Very, very strict protocols will be in place.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2020:

  • Parking Lots and Leash-Free Dog Areas Re-Opening in Burlington
  • Following Provincial and Public Health Directives, City of Burlington to Cancel Summer Recreation Programs
  • Ontario Extends All Emergency Orders to May 29 to Keep People Safe: Some Outdoor Recreational Amenities Reopening with Restrictions
  • Provincial Government Announces Independent Commission into Long-Term Care
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM announced that the Canada-US border will remain closed until June 21. Travel is limited to essential workers only.
      • To date there has been a low response to the wage subsidy program.
      • The PM announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. – Media Release
      • This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on.
      • The changes to the CEBA will allow more Canadian small businesses to access interest free loans that will help cover operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced, due to the pandemic.
      • The program will now be available to more businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.
  • Provincial Government Update:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • Premier and Minister Lecce announced that schools (public and private) will not reopen. – Media Release
      • All students will receive their report cards
      • Overnight camps will remain closed
      • Summer day camps, with strict health measures, can be open in July and August. Local medical health officials will need to provide approvals.
      • Summer learning program will be scaled up
      • New protocols and standards will be introduced for the 2020-21 school year. They will be announced before the end of June.
      • Child care centres will be part of the Stage 2 reopening
    • Question Period:
      • What plans will be looked at for the reopening of schools? Full plan will be unveiled before the end of June
      • Premier was asked why a blanket approach was taken to schools, when some communities have few cases? “I’m just not going to chance it for a few weeks.”
      • There were questions about the commercial rent subsidy program. It has been delayed. Premier urged landlords to “step up” he is “trying to avoid bringing the hammer down on landlords.”
      • His message to landlords – “Don’t force my hand.”
    • Today the Province extended all emergency orders currently in force until May 29, 2020. (Media Release) This includes:
      • the closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only,
      • restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and
      • staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters.
      • The government is also allowing drive-in religious gatherings
      • The government is permitting the reopening of some outdoor recreational amenities, including:
        1. outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields,
        2. off-leash dog areas, and
        3. outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in parks and recreational areas, effective as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
      • Outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, fitness equipment, public swimming pools, splash pads and similar outdoor water facilities will remain closed until later stages of the province’s reopening plan.
    • Other announcements:
      • Ontario Announces Independent Commission into Long-Term Care – Statement from Minister Fullerton
        1. An independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system will begin September.
        2. Over the next several months, the Province will be finalizing details of the commission including the terms of reference, membership, leadership of the commission and reporting timelines.

Friday, May 15, 2020:

  • City of Burlington Parks, Marina and Sport Update: What’s now open and closed for public use
  • COVID-19 Task Force May 15 Meeting Highlights
  • Tyandaga Golf Course Re-opening with New Safety Precautions and Guest Expectations
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM announced $450 million in funding to help Canada’s academic research community. (Media Release) The investment will:
        1. Wage supports to universities and health research institutes, so they can retain research staff who are funded from industry or philanthropic sources and are unable to access some of the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. This would apply even if their work has been temporarily suspended. The government will provide up to 75 per cent per individual, with a maximum of $847 per week.
        2. Support for universities and health research institutes to maintain essential research-related activities during the crisis, and to ramp back up to full research operations once physical distancing measures are lifted. This will cover up to 75 per cent of total eligible costs, and will support activities such as the safe storage of dangerous substances, and restarting data sets that were interrupted during the pandemic.
      • The PM also announced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would be extended until the end of August. This program was intended to keep people connected with their jobs.
      • As plans begin to reopen the economy the PM urged employers to bring back their staff.
      • Today kicks off the start of summer job hiring –
      • The application process begins today for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit
    • Question Period:
      • The PM was asked about contact tracing and its importance to reopening the economy. He said that it was discussed at the First Ministers meeting last night. As the economy reopens and people begin to travel throughout the country it is important that “we work together.” The federal government is prepared to work with the Provinces and Territories on testing and contact tracing.
    • First Ministers Meeting – Readout
      • The PM and Deputy PM held their ninth First Ministers’ call with the premiers about the COVID-19 pandemic
      • They discussed the tremendous importance of testing and contact tracing for any successful restart of the economy, and how the federal government can support provinces and territories in this regard.
      • The PM highlighted ongoing close collaboration with the United States and committed to keeping premiers informed on border measures.
      • First Ministers agreed on the need to maintain strong public health measures at the border, in particular as economies start to gradually restart
      • The PM raised the importance of municipalities in the gradual reopening across the country.
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • No new announcements were made today
      • Once again encouraged people to only buy what they need when they are shopping
    • Question Period:
      • With the reopening announced yesterday parents are concerned about no schools or child care. Minister Lecce will have an announcement on Tuesday regarding schools and child care.
      • How is it possible for services like house cleaning and baby sitting to take place and still maintain physical distancing? The Premier did not provide answer other than “do your best to social distance.”
      • When asked about mall retailers not being able to reopen next week, the Premier said “this pandemic has meant lots of unfairness”
      • He urged people to use common sense over the long weekend and maintain social distancing.
      • He was asked again today about why he has not issued a moratorium on commercial evictions. He continued to urge landlords to take advantage of the commercial rent subsidy program. “I can’t stand vicious landlords.”
      • If babysitters and house cleaners can come into people’s homes, why can’t family members? He said that when visiting family stay on the porch and maintain social distancing. There will be an announcement next week regarding the gathering size.
      • He was asked about GTA mayors’ (Crombie and Tory) concerns about reopening. He said “no one’s putting a gun to anyone’s head to open before they are ready. If the businesses don’t want to open up, don’t open.” He did also say that if businesses in Mississauga don’t open people from Mississauga will go somewhere else to shop.
      • “We got into this together and we’re going to get out of it together.” “Why don’t we all work together.”
      • Urged people to stay in their own Province.

Thursday, May 14, 2020:

  • Victoria Day Long Weekend in Burlington Amid COVID-19
  • LUMCO Mayors urge Provincial and Federal COVID-19 Relief for Municipalities
  • Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen: Additional seasonal, recreational, retail and household businesses must follow public health guidelines
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM announced a new Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Veteran’s will be established at McMaster University. The Focus will be on research, training and education.
      • The PM also announced up to $469.4 million in new measures to support Canada’s fish harvesters, who are economically impacted by the pandemic but cannot access existing federal measures. – Media Release
      • This investment builds on the $62.5 million for the new Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund announced last month to help Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector.
      • The program will include:
        1. The Fish Harvester Benefit – will cover 75% of losses ups to $10, 000 for anyone expecting a 25% drop in income
        2. The Fish Harvester Grant – non-repayable support of up to $10,000 to self-employed fish harvesters with a valid fishing licence. Size of the non-repayable support will vary depending on the level of fish harvesters’ historic revenue.
        3. Changes to Employment Insurance (EI) that would allow self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons to access EI benefits on the basis of insurable earnings from previous seasons (winter and summer claims).
      • On June 1 some national parks and historic sites will partially reopen – outdoor trails and greenspace where physical distancing is possible. No mention of which parks at this time.
      • Also as of June 1 new boating regulations will be in place – no pleasure craft in Northern Coastal waters.
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • As soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020:
        1. Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
        2. Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
        3. Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
        4. Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.
      • Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, Ontario’s first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will include:
        1. Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.
        2. Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
        3. Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
        4. Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
        5. All construction to resume and essential workplace limits lifted
        6. Libraries for pick-up or delivery
        7. Professional and amateur sport activity for individual/single competitors, including training and competition conducted by a recognized Provincial Sport Organization, National Sport Organization, or recognized national Provincial training centres (e.g., Canadian Sport Institute Ontario) with return to play protocols in place and no spectators, except for an accompanying guardian for a person under the age of 18 years.
        8. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played under physical distancing measures. This includes:
          1. Water sports on lakes and outdoor bodies of water
          2. Racquet sports such as tennis, ping pong, badminton
          3. Animal-related sports such as dog racing, agility, horse racing
          4. Other sports such as: track and field, car and motorcycle racing, figure skating, fencing, rock climbing, gymnastics, etc.
        9. Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children’s Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person.
        10. Swimming pools will remain closed. As a result, water-based sports competitions are excluded if not conducted on lakes or outdoor bodies of water.
      • The government and health and safety associations have released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing
      • Media Release
      • Detailed list of stage 1 openings
      • The Province is also launching a workplace PPE supplier directory to assist businesses as they reopen – Link
      • The Province will be making announcements next week on schools and gathering sizes.
    • Question Period:
      • Even through we are reopening we still need to be vigilant
      • Physical distancing guidelines remain in place
      • It was stressed that businesses should reopen only when they are ready.
      • The Premier was asked that on Tuesday it will be okay to go shopping but it’s not okay to see your family? “Just hang in there a little bit longer.” Minister Elliott also commented that the command table has been working on this issue as well as when people can gather for religious ceremonies.
      • There was a question about whether job protections, that were implemented in March, will remain in place throughout all stages of the reopening – they will.
      • Premier was asked about Dr. Williams comment earlier in the week about the Province not being ready to reopen. Premier “if the numbers change we will have to react”
      • Restaurants will have to remain closed for now.
    • Today’s other announcements:
      • The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2.25 million to help farmers better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy food products for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak. – Media Release
      • Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the federal and provincial governments are launching the second intake of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program to help farmers enhance health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The funding will be used for initiatives like purchasing personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and redesigning workstations
      • Today’s announcement is in addition to the $2.25 million investment announced last week to help provincially-licensed meat processors implement COVID-19 health and safety measures.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020:

  • Halton Mayors Write to Province After Decision to Cancel Construction of Halton Region Consolidated Courthouse
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The applications for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit will be accepted starting on Friday. The website is expected to go live today.
    • Question Period:
      • The PM was asked again today if the Federal government would support transit agencies. His comment was the operation of transit is a provincial and municipal responsibility. “Public transit is important in getting people back to work” He also said that many people will continue to work from home and need to physical distance. “We will work the Provinces to support them in their area of jurisdiction”
      • Regarding no Federal budget or economic statement –“Budgets project what’s happening in the next 12 months, right now we’re having trouble forecasting the next 12 weeks.” “We have been open and transparent, but our focus is on what is happening now.” “We want to put our efforts to where they are most useful.”
      • Regarding the reopening of the Canada/US border. Conversations with the US are “ongoing”, we need to be “confident we can keep Canadians safe.” The PM doesn’t want Canada to be re-exposed to the virus through international travel.
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The Premier and Minister Lecce announced today that a framework was developed and endorsed by the Ontario government, trustees’ associations, and almost all of the provincial union representatives that will allow the temporary voluntary redeployment of education sector employees, while ensuring they maintain their employment status with their school boards. – Media Release
      • Starting later this week, subject to a local agreement of the framework, eligible education sector staff who volunteer will be able to register through an online portal and to be matched with congregate settings that are facing staffing shortages.
      • Positions available may include custodial, maintenance, food preparation, children and youth service workers, social workers, and educational assistants. Training and appropriate safety equipment will be provided to redeployed staff.
      • Volunteers who are redeployed will be eligible for Ontario’s temporary pandemic premium and emergency child care.
    • Question Period:
      • After the redeployment announcement Minister Lecce was asked if we could assume this meant schools will not reopen in June. Minister Lecce said, the redeployment is voluntary and does not indicate one way or the other whether schools are going to reopen again in June.
      • Asked about reports saying that tomorrow’s announcement would be that marinas, golf courses, etc. would be reopening. Premier “we asking people to get ready, we aren’t at stage 1 quite yet.
      • After saying yesterday that we would be in Stage 1 tomorrow, the Premier back tracked today. He said that guidelines are being developed and “we are not announcing the we are in Stage 1 on Thursday, We’ll be providing details about Stage 1 on Thursday.”
      • Dr. Williams said yesterday that we have not yet met the threshold for Stage 1. Who makes the call on when we reopen things? Premier – “we listen to the advice of the Health Table”
      • He was asked about a bailout for the TTC “they will need our support and we will be there – but we need the federal government to support us. It’s too big a ticket. We will be at the table for municipalities, but we can’t do it alone.” He will be raising this issue at the First Ministers meeting this week.
      • Asked whether Ontarians would be directed to wear face masks when out in public. Minister Elliot referred to comments from Dr. Williams who said that when physical distancing is not possible, like on public transit, wearing a face mask is recommended.
      • Premier wants to keep the Canada/US border closed.
      • Update on schools will be coming early next week. Minister Lecce is consulting with the Chief Medical Officer as well as experts at Sick Kids Hospital. Next week’s announcement will include a decision for June and the plans for summer learning.
    • Today’s other announcements:
      • The Ontario government has adopted an emergency order allowing the province to issue a mandatory management order for a long-term care home struggling to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak. – Media Release
      • This order would support the use of rapid, immediate and effective management alternatives to protect residents and staff within a home.
      • The manager could be any person, including a corporation or a hospital.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020:

  • Volunteer Staff from Joseph Brant Hospital Supporting Long-Term Care Expanding care during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Province Announcement: Declaration of Emergency Extended to June 2 While Ontario Gradually Reopens the Economy: New legislation will allow for more virtual or remote transactions during COVID-19
  • Halton Region to receive funding for vulnerable populations through COVID-19 Community Response Fund, an FCM and CMAF partnership
  • Ontario Marks the First Provincial Day of Action on Litter: A Reminder that Everyone Can Play a Role in Maintaining a Cleaner, Healthier Ontario
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM announced a series of additional measures to help seniors and provide them with greater financial security in this time of crisis. – Media Release. These measures include:
        1. A one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). This measure would give a total of $500 to individuals who are eligible to receive both the OAS and the GIS, and will help them cover increased costs caused by COVID-19.
        2. Expanding the New Horizons for Seniors Program with an additional investment of $20 million to support organizations that offer community-based projects that reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network.
        3. Temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed. This will ensure that the most vulnerable seniors continue to receive their benefits when they need them the most. To avoid an interruption in benefits, seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020.
      • These payments will be automatic – seniors do not have to apply.
    • Question Period:
      • The PM was asked about the reopening of the border with the US (the closure is in place until May 21). He said that we must be careful about restarting any international travel. What we have been doing is preventing the spread of the virus amongst Canadians. “We must continue to be vigilant.” Reopening the border will have an impact on our ability control the transmission and spread. He said that he would have more to say on the closure of the Canada/US border.
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The provincial state of emergency was extended until June 2.
      • On Thursday there will be an announcement regarding reopening more “low risk workplaces and seasonal businesses.” We will be moving into Stage 1 (opening select workplaces that can meet current public health guidelines, allowing essential gatherings of a limited number of people, opening some outdoor spaces, continued protections for vulnerable populations) of the three reopening stages.
      • Link to the Provincial reopening framework
      • MPPs in all ridings are being asked to hold consultations that will assist with the reopening
      • Minister Phillips spoke about an outline survey the Province has posted to gather comments regarding the economic impacts that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having on business and the community. Survey
    • Question Period:
      • Minister Elliot was asked why the pandemic pay was not provided to all front line care providers? They are still considering adding other groups to the list. Money will flow to the hospitals once the list of employees has been confirmed.
      • The order that states that groups of no more than 5 can gather expires on May 19, has any consideration been given to expanding the number of people that can gather? Moving from 5 to 10 people is “the Chief Medical Officer’s call. We will have more to say on Thursday.”
      • The Premier was asked about dog groomers and trailer owners. No comment on dog groomers. Regarding trailer owners, the Premier has been getting calls from campers who have trailers saying that it’s not fair that cottagers can go north, but trailer owners can’t go to their trailers. “We’ll have some positive news about this shortly. It’s about fairness.”
    • Other announcements:
      • Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and Andrea Khanjin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks released statement today regarding the first Provincial Day of Action on Litter – statement
      • Today is a day when all Ontarians can raise awareness and take action to reduce litter and waste at home and in our communities.
      • When the time is right, the government will work with communities and their partners to organize litter clean-up days across the province. “We know that Ontarians are eager to return outdoors, and this will be a great opportunity to reconnect with nature.”
      • There are actions all of us can still take to put litter in its proper place while staying at home and physically distancing. Today, and every day individuals and families can reduce, prevent or divert waste, in the following ways:
        1. Choosing products with less packaging and replace single-use food wraps with reusable storage containers.
        2. Becoming experts in what goes in the green bin and blue box.
        3. For anything that does belong in the trash, such as disposable gloves and masks, making sure garbage bags are properly tied or sealed, to keep our neighbourhoods clean and safe.

Monday, May 11, 2020:

  • Ontario Announces Provincial Parks & Conservation Reserves Open to Walking, Hiking and Biking
  • LUMCO Big City Mayors Talk Post-COVID Recovery with Federal and Provincial Ministers
  • Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #5 — Action Items & Highlights
  • Ontario Retail Stores Open for Curbside Pickup and Delivery: Health and safety guidelines in place to protect workers and customers
  • 20+ Municipalities and partners come together to form GTA economic development alliance to support economic recovery across Ontario
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • The Prime Minister, announced new measures to support businesses so they can keep their workers on the payroll and get through the pandemic. – Media release
    • The government will offer support to those businesses affected by COVID-19 based on a number of conditions. To help protect Canadian middle class jobs, and safeguard our economy, 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. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible.
      • Use key guiding principles in providing support through the LEEFF, including:
        1. Protection of taxpayers and workers: Companies seeking support must demonstrate how they intend to preserve employment and maintain investment activities. Recipients will need to commit to respect collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions. The LEEFF program will require strict limits to dividends, share buy-backs, and executive pay. In considering a company’s eligibility to assistance under the LEEFF program, an assessment may be made of its employment, tax, and economic activity in Canada, as well as its international organizational structure and financing arrangements. The program will not be available to companies that have been convicted of tax evasion. In addition, recipient companies would be required to commit to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports consistent with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, including how their future operations will support environmental sustainability and national climate goals.
        2. Fairness: To ensure support across the Canadian economy, the financing is intended to be applicable to all eligible sectors in a consistent manner.
        3. Timeliness: To ensure timely support, the LEEFF program will apply a standard set of economic terms and conditions.
    • 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, including 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.
    • The funding will be available to all sectors in all provinces and territories.
    • This funding is not a fix to pre-existing insolvencies.
    • The PM urged, “ that as we look to reopening, let caution and medical advice be your guide.” “When in doubt stay home”
    • The funding announced today is to support employees not senior executives
    • The federal government “will be there to support provinces in their reopening.”
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • Today the Premier talked about more people returning to work across the province. As of today retail stores with a street entrance can offer curbside pickup and delivery. – Media Release
      • Over the weekend, garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores began offering in-store purchasing reopened.
      • All retailers should follow available safety guidelines in order to protect staff, consumers and the general public during the COVID-19 outbreak.
      • In addition, provincial parks and conservation reserves will begin opening today with limited access (see release in weekend announcements)
      • To start, recreational activities will be restricted to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching. People will be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month.
    • Question Period:
      • The Premier was asked about expanding family bubbles. The Premier said that on the weekend his two daughters, that do not live with him, came over without their spouses. He said that in terms of visiting family –“Use your best judgment. I get people want to see their parents. Immediate family should be okay.”
      • Regarding funding for municipalities – “We are waiting to see what comes out from the federal government. We are prepared to work shoulder to shoulder with the federal government.”
      • With businesses reopening parents need access to child care, what is being done? The Premier said there would be announcement coming next week on child care and schools.
    • Today’s releases/statements:
      • The Ontario government is providing $30 million to build a safer and more reliable transportation system that will help keep goods moving and better connect communities across the province. – Media Release
        1. The 2020-21 Connecting Links program will support 24 municipalities across the province to help them build, repair or replace municipal roads and bridges that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community or to a border crossing.
        2. Burlington is NOT eligible for this funding.
      • Statement by Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, encouraging school boards to proceed with celebrations of student achievement subject to health and safety limitations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
        1. He is encouraging boards to reschedule graduation ceremonies based on input from local medical officers of health. In some cases, this might mean holding graduation ceremonies and proms during the summer or fall when it is safe to do so. – Statement
      • Weekend announcements:
      • The province announced provincial parks and conservation reserves would reopen with for limited day-use access. The first areas will open on Monday May 11, 2020, with the remaining areas opening on Friday May 15, 2020.  – Media release, Electronic Press Kit
        1. At this time, recreational activities will be limited to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching. Day visitors will also be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month.
      • The Ontario government approved an emergency order that would enable 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.  – Media Release
        1. Many of these congregate care settings are in need of staff such as custodial and maintenance workers.
      • The Province unveiled a plan that, together with federal and municipal partnership, provides supports to licensed child care providers to ensure they remain sustainable and ready to open when parents return to work. – Media Release
        1. Objectives of the plan: saving parents money by prohibiting child care providers from charging families during the closure period. And protecting child care spaces across our province, so families can re-enter the workforce with confidence that local centres will be accessible and safe.

Friday, May 8, 2020:

  • Burlington’s City-wide Burn Ban Lifted, Effective Immediately
  • Mayor’s Message: When Ontario Announces Orders for Re-opening, Burlington will be Ready
  • Halton Region: Information & FAQs about COVID-19 testing_May 7
  • Ontario Supports Job Creators as People Start Returning to Work: Government continues to prepare for the next stages of reopening the economy
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • PM announced an extension to the wage subsidy program beyond June. More details will be coming next week.
      • A new Industry strategy council has been formed to look at how the pandemic is impacting specific sectors and how to support them.
    • Questions Period:
      • The PM was asked about how the federal government would support transit authorities as they are important to reopening the economy. He agreed that they are an essential part of reopening the economy. He said that regarding the operations of transit – that is a provincial and municipal responsibility. He did say that the federal government is happy to be a partner.
      • Women and young people have been hit particularly hard by this crisis. The federal government has put measures in place to help but he admitted that when it comes to women “there is always more to do”
      • The government is looking at how to provide more and secure child care spaces, which is an important aspect of getting people back to work.
    • Highlights from the First Ministers meeting held yesterdayReadout
      • First Ministers discussed efforts to ensure an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for workers, and steps they are taking to gradually restart the economy, as guided by the principles, criteria, and measures identified in their joint statement on April 28.
      • In particular, First Ministers acknowledged the importance of ensuring sufficient public health capacity to test, trace, and isolate all cases of COVID-19
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • Today the Premier, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, highlighted the ongoing preparations for reopening the economy, including the work of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. – Media Release
      • No new openings were announced.
    • Question Period:
      • Premier was asked if Toronto becomes a hub for the NHL how can he assure the community that the testing of athletes, coaches etc. will not impact the public testing? The Premier said that sports leagues (NHL, NBA) will be paying for their own tests. He did say that any players/coaches etc. coming into the province from out of the country will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
      • Now that professional sports teams’ practice facilities will be reopening what does this mean for recreational sports? He said that “he has to listen to the Chief Medical Officer of Health.” He did not provide a clear answer for this question. He was also asked about tennis and golf specifically, he said that he would take this question back for an answer.
      • Regarding the potential of cross-provincial spread. He told people to “stay in their Province.” He does not support reopening the border with the US. When it does open he wants airport screening “ramped up.”
    • Today’s other announcements:
      • Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, issued a statement in response to Ontario permitting professional sport training facilities to reopen. – Statement
      • Beginning today in Ontario, professional sport training facilities will be permitted to reopen, provided their respective sports leagues have established health and safety protocols in response to COVID-19
      • The Province announced funding for two supportive housing projects:
        1. over $2.2 million in Kingston. Ontario’s investment will go towards new supportive housing units planned for the Kingston Home Base Supportive Housing Project at Princess Street United Church on Albert Street. The existing church will be incorporated into a new fully accessible building that will include transitional housing with supports, a job skills centre, an event and performing arts facility, as well as the One Roof, Kingston Youth Services Hub.– Media Release
        2. $1.5 million in Muskoka.  The new units will be located in the Town of Bracebridge and will feature space for support service agencies that offer programs for homeless, disadvantaged youth and youth at risk of homelessness. – Media Release

Thursday, May 7, 2020:

  • Ontario Releases Plan to Resume Scheduled Surgeries and Procedures: Hospitals must continue to maintain capacity to respond to COVID-19
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The PM announced that all provinces and territories have confirmed, or are in the process of confirming, plans to cost share wage top-ups for their essential workers. – Media Release
      • The Government of Canada will provide up to $3 billion in support to an increase in the wages of low-income essential workers, the provinces and territories will contribute a total of $1 billion.
      • Each province or territory will determine which workers would be eligible for support, and how much support they will receive.
      • PM: “if you are risking your health to keep this country moving and you are making minimum wage – you deserve to be making more money”
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The Premier announced today that a comprehensive framework has been developed to help hospitals assess their readiness and begin planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures, while maintaining capacity to respond to COVID-19. – Media Release
      • Timelines will vary from hospital to hospital and be conditional on approval by regional oversight tables involved with planning and coordinating Ontario’s response to COVID-19.
      • The framework, A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, contains clear criteria that must be met before hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries, including ensuring that the hospital and its region have the following:
        1. A stable number of COVID-19 cases;
        2. A stable supply of personal protective equipment;
        3. A stable supply of medications;
        4. An adequate capacity of inpatient and intensive care unit beds;
        5. An adequate capacity of health human resources; and
        6. The availability of post-acute care outside the hospital that would be required to support patients after discharge.
    • Question Period:
      • After his conversation with cottage area mayors. Premier Ford said that “if you have to go to your cottage to check on things, respect the rules.” This is not “your typical Victoria Day weekend.” “Bring your own supplies. Follow the rules.”
      • The Premier’s advice regarding Mother’s Day – “Use common sense. People over 70 should self-isolate for their own health. I’m going to leave it up to families. Twenty people over to the house isn’t a good idea at all.”
      • He was asked about the 2 week staggering of openings. How can the impacts of openings be measured if several things are opened at once. – Premier “We have to do things based on medical advice and thinking about the Province as a whole.”

Wednesday, May 6, 2020:

  • The Province announced extending the temporary emergency hydro rate relief to May 31 for families, residents, farms and small businesses who pay Time of Use (TOU) electricity rates. Burlington Hydro customers will continue to be charged the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents. Province Media Release.
  • Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction During COVID-19: Retailers to follow health and safety guidelines
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The Premier announced that as Friday May 8, garden centres and nurseries can open. As of May 9, at 12:01 p.m., hardware and safety supply stores will be able to open. On May 11, 12:01 p.m. retail stores with a street entrance can provide curbside pickup. All public health measures remain in place – physical distancing, proper hand hygiene. – Media Release
      • Construction of multi-unit residential buildings can start as can essential demolition work.
      • Oakville based Virox technologies is the successful recipient of the Ontario Together Fund. They have retooled their operation to make disinfectant wipes.
      • The Ontario government is extending emergency electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020.
      • Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
      • The Province is also extending all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 19, 2020. The full list is  included in the media release. Here are some orders that are extended:
        1. Closure of Establishments
        2. Prohibiting Organized Public Events, Certain Gatherings
        3. Closure of Outdoor Recreational Amenities
    • Question Period:
      • The Premier was asked about when restaurants could reopen. He said hopefully, “sooner rather than later”
      • Premier said he is not ready to put any more resources towards the redesign of the Province’s license plates.
      • Today’s testing numbers were down again.  “People expect me to push the system. It’s not personal.”
      • Quebec is now allowing visitation to long term care homes where there is no outbreak. The Premier is not prepared to consider this for Ontario at this time.
      • Some municipalities (Kingston) have asked for more autonomy regarding reopening. This will not happen. The Province will determine what opens when.
    • Other Provincial News
      • The Province will be abandoning its redesign of license plates. It will go back to issuing the white plates, with the “Yours to discover” slogan.
      • The LCBO is expanding hours the hours for 360 stores from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, from reduced hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      • The Ontario Court of Justice will not be returning to full operations on May 29, 2020.  No trials or preliminary inquiries will be conducted until July 6, 2020 at the earliest, unless a judge seized with a continuing matter orders otherwise. This applies to criminal, family and Provincial Offences Act matters. – Link
      • The Court will soon provide a detailed notice to the profession and to the public about all proceedings in the Ontario of Justice.  The Court is also working closely with its justice partners, including the Ministry of the Attorney General, to adopt technology that will increase participants’ ability to access the Court’s services using remote means, such as by the electronic filing of court material, remote scheduling processes, and remote hearings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020:

  • Burlington Marking Netherlands Liberation Day From Home Amid COVID-19
  • Halton Region Special Council Meeting Called for May 13
  • Toronto Star article: The workplace you return to won’t be the one you left — five experts describe what post-pandemic offices, shops and restaurants will look like
  • Globe and Mail Opinion Column by Andre Picard: It is time for a new mantra: Go outside, but do not congregate
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • The Prime Minister announced $252 M in support for food and agriculture sectors:
      • $77M to food processors for worker safety and capacity expansion
      • $125M  Agri Recovery for beef and pork producers to adjust to market – cattle and hog farmers will be paid to keep their livestock on their farms longer credit line improvement for dairy producers
      • $50M surplus food purchase program – the federal government will purchase surplus production from farmers and distribute to those in need (farmers will be paid and people will be helped)
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Ontario Expands Virtual Mental Health Services During COVID-19 With Free Internet-Based Programs
    • Highlights from today’s briefing:
      • The Province announced that they will be expanding virtual mental health services to help thousands of Ontarians experiencing anxiety and depression, including frontline health care workers, during the COVID-19 outbreak.
      • The Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) programs were developed in partnership with MindBeacon and Morneau Shepell and will be provided at no out-of-pocket costs to Ontarians across the province. – Media Release
    • Question Period:
      • The Premier was asked again about people being able to visit their cottages. “There is no (Provincial) order and there won’t be one” telling people not to travel to their cottages. “We have to give a bit leniency, not just the hammer.” “Be prepared people will be going to their cottages on the May long weekend.”
      • He went on further to say that he believes people will bring their own food and stay at their cottages.
      • He was asked if he thought it was unfair that cottage owners would be allowed to enjoy the outdoors while apartment dwellers were told to stay indoors. He said it was unfair, and that everyone will be allowed to go outdoors during the May long weekend.
      • There has been no directive from the Province regarding online learning at colleges and universities for September.
      • There will be an announcement later this week regarding extending the hydro rate subsidy program.
      • The testing numbers show a drop today. The Premier said “there are some medical officers that aren’t performing.” “They need to start picking up their socks and do more testing” After the pandemic the Province will look at the Alberta model for Public Health, which is centralized.

Monday, May 4, 2020:

  • Team Burlington launches the Burlington Economic Recovery Network
  • Burlington Launches Emergency Preparedness Week and National Youth Week: Building Resiliency
  • Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #4 — Action Items & Highlights
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Today’s briefing:
      • The Prime Minister, today joined other global leaders to launch the Coronavirus Global Response. This online pledging event aims to initially raise more than $8 billion (USD) to help researchers and innovators develop solutions to test, treat, and protect people, and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
      • To date, the Federal government has announced investments of over $850 million (CAD) that support this fundraising target. – Media Release
    • Question Period:
      • The PM was asked about whether the Federal government would be tabling a budget or an economic statement. The PM said, “ normally a budget presents an projection of what’s going to happen in the coming year and the actions that we’re going to take as a government – but we’re in a period of tremendous uncertainty as to what’s going to happen in the next week.”
      • A June budget has not been ruled out.
      • He was also asked about financial aid for the airline industry. The aid packages the government has released are available to employers large and small, but some industries have been particularly hard hit, like the airline industry, tourism sector and the energy sector. The government will be making announcements regarding sectorial specific funding support in the coming days or weeks.
      • He was asked about school openings and declined to comment as this was a “provincial decision.” As a parent he said that he would want to know how physical distancing was going to be maintained in the classroom and in the school yard.
    • Weekend Announcements:
      • Families receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will get $300 extra per child in May to help them deal with the added pressures of COVID-19. The so extended the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1, 2020. – Media Release
      • The Prime Minister, announced an investment of $240.5 million to develop, expand, and launch virtual care and mental health tools to support Canadians.
      • Working with provinces, territories, and stakeholders, this investment will be used to create digital platforms and applications, improve access to virtual mental health supports, and expand capacity to deliver health care virtually, including projects to reach vulnerable Canadians. These supports will also help ease the burden on our health care system. – Media Release
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Today’s briefing:
      • The Premier announced that the province’s daily testing rate has increased to 17,000 tests/day and that the province has now become a national leader in daily testing volumes per capita. – Media Release
      • The success in ramping up the testing means that “we’re getting close to opening parks and opening retail for curbside pickup”, but we can’t stop the health measures, “if we stay the course we will beat the virus.”
    • Question Period:
      • There was a question about having COVID free hospitals, that would enable the restart of elective surgeries. Minister Elliot said that this is something that was being considered and that a plan for moving forward was going to be released soon.
      • When asked about when people could begin to have small gatherings the Premier said that opportunity will come, hopefully “sooner rather than later”
      • Premier believes that “it’s unfair” that garden centres in big box stores and grocery stores can allow access to shoppers, while free standing garden centres cannot. He said there would be good news on this issue coming this week.
      • Premier was asked about cottage owners not being permitted to go to their cottages. He will be having a “heart to heart” conversation with mayors of cottage country communities this week about the issue. He said that if cottage owners are being told not to go their cottages then they ought to get a break on their property taxes. “There’s only so long I can hold the gates back from these people”
      • He also hinted that more good news would be announced before the May long weekend
      • He told retailers “to start to get ready”
      • Random community testing has started. During this week’s call with First Ministers and the PM, the Premier will be introducing a discussion on the launch of national plan for contact tracing.

Sunday, May 3, 2020:

Saturday, May 2, 2020:

Friday, May 1, 2020:

  • Questions About Drive-by Parades in Burlington? Some Guidelines from Public Health, Province and City
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • At today’s briefing the PM announced the ban of assault-style weapons. 1,500 models and variants of firearms will be banned by way of regulations. – Media Release
    • The PM and Deputy PM spoke with Premiers on Thursday evening.  – Readout
    • The PM updated premiers on the release of the recent federal modelling data. The collective measures being taken by Canadians is working, and leaders agreed that continued collaboration is needed to ensure all Canadians are safe and healthy, especially the most vulnerable.
    • First Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the joint statement on the shared public health approach to support restarting the economy. They spoke about the plans they are putting forward in each of their respective jurisdictions to restart the economy. First Ministers acknowledged the importance of doing this through a gradual and phased approach, based on the advice of public health experts.
    • All First Ministers reiterated the importance of a Team Canada effort in addressing the challenges of COVID-19.
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • The Premier announced that this list of businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m. (Media Release):
      • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
      • Lawn care and landscaping;
      • Additional essential construction projects that include:
        1. shipping and logistics;
        2. broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
        3. any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
        4. municipal projects;
        5. colleges and universities;
        6. child care centres;
        7. schools; and
        8. site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
      • Automatic and self-serve car washes;
      • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
      • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
      • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.

Thursday, April 30, 2020:

  • COVID-19 Update: Support Services, Continued Closures and Reminders for Burlington
  • City of Burlington Provides Information Related to Drive-by Parades and Processions
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • The focus of today’s Federal briefing was the crash of the Canadian Forces helicopter off the coast of Greece. There were six Canadians onboard, one person is dead and five are missing.
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Premier Ford expressed his condolences to the families impacted by the crash of the Canadian Forces helicopter.
    • The Province is on the right path to reopening the economy, “we are flattening the curve.” The Premier remains “laser focused on reopening things”
    • The Province released a set of safety guidelines today that will provide direction to those working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector.  – Media Release
    • These measures build on more than 60 guidelines developed by Ontario’s health and safety associations in response to COVID-19 for various sectors such as retail, health care, construction, transportation, police services, firefighters, and transit employees.
    • These new sector-specific guidelines feature recommended actions employers can begin to plan for as they prepare to adapt to the new reality during COVID-19, including:
      • Ways to ensure appropriate physical distancing, like eliminating pay-at-the-door options, holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times and using ground markings and barriers to manage traffic flow.
      • Changes to the workplace, like installing plexiglass barriers, increasing the air intake on building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to increase air flow, and using boot sanitizing trays.
      • Promoting proper workplace sanitation, providing personal protective equipment, substituting dry dusting with vacuuming, ensuring customer-facing staff are given hand sanitizer, providing a place to dispose of sanitizing wipes, and enforcing handwashing before and after breaks.
    • The backgrounder – Health and Safety Association Guidance Documents for Workplaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak contains all the links to the various guidelines that have been released
    • The Premier was asked about insurance companies not lowering their rates – he urged them “to lower their rates. People aren’t driving that much. Your risks are lower but you keep taking their cheques. Start lowering your rates.”
    • He was asked if Toronto should be separated from the rest of the Province when it comes to reopening. This topic is regularly discussed by cabinet. “There’s no border around the GTA. People will leave Toronto and the GTA and go to other parts of the province.”
    • There will be “good news coming very, very shortly for garden centres.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2020:

  • Burlington to Launch TelePALS, a Social Phone Service for Adults on May 1
  • Ontario’s Big City Mayors Join FCM in Calling for Emergency Funding for Municipalities
  • How to Spot an Email Phishing Scam
  • Burlington Keeps Current Development Charges to May 29 During COVID-19
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • The House of Commons is sitting today to vote on the $9 B student aid legislation
    • The Canadian Forces Snow Birds will be flying over communities across the country starting this weekend in Nova Scotia
    • The Prime Minister spoke with Premier Ford yesterday Readout
      • They agreed that continued collaboration between all governments will be key to defeating COVID-19 and progressively reopening the Canadian economy
      • They also agreed to continue discussions on other priorities, including manufacturing and procurement of personal protective equipment, supports for individuals, families and businesses, and investments in infrastructure.
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • The Province is further expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive free emergency child care during the COVID-19 outbreak. – Media Release
    • Those who will benefit include people who work in the food supply chain, retirement homes, grocery stores and pharmacies, and certain federal employees, including the military.
    • The Premier said Ontario will proceed “cautiously” on reopening the economy. “We’ll do it in trickle. We’ll have some good news in a little while.”
    • When asked if two classes of citizens was being created in the Province: public servants who keep their jobs and private sector employees who are being laid off – the Premier’s response was “It’s not like people have their feet up outside with a margarita in their hands. They’re working.”
    • When asked about people from other provinces coming to Ontario, the Premier said – “If you don’t live in Ontario – stay at home.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2020:

  • Statement from Burlington Mayor Meed Ward: Provincial Plan to Reopen Ontario
  • Burlington COVID-19 Community Resource Page Now Online
  • TEAM Burlington Gives Council Update on COVID-19 Impacts on Businesses
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Prime Minister’s Briefing Highlights
      • PM announced that the shared principles document will be released today
      • The document will outline the conditions that must be in place before we can reopen. The shared principles have been agreed upon by the provinces, territories and the federal government.
      • Chief Medical Officers of Health collaborated on the development of the shared principles.
      • Reopening will be “gradual, careful and guided by science”
      • “Controlling transmission is key”
      • In order to reopen the economy there must be the capacity in place to trace and track
      • Equipment and measures must be in place at workplaces to keep people safe
      • The Federal government’s priority for procurement of PPE has been for front line workers. They are acquiring “massive amounts of PPE”, domestic production is beginning and will be available soon.
      • PPE supplies will need to be available for workplaces as we look at reopening the economy.
      • Federal government will be supporting Provinces and Territories with their testing capacity, another important aspect of reopening, by procuring more swabs and reagents
      • Provinces must determine what amount of testing and what protocols need to be in placed based on the particular situation they are in
      • The Pan-Canadian modelling reflects the different realities across the country.
    • Public Health Canada’s Briefing on Updated ModellingSlide deck
      • updated modelling that predicts, between 53,196 to 66,835 cases by May 5 and between 3,277 to 3,883 deaths by May 5
      • Ontario and Quebec account for over 80% of Canada’s confirmed cases
      • If each person infects fewer than one person on average, the epidemic dies out – Today, stronger controls including physical distancing and self-isolation are helping to reduce the average number of people each case infects to just above 1
      • Outbreaks in long- term care and seniors’ homes where older medically vulnerable adults reside
        1. Driving recent epidemic growth in Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia currently
        2. Responsible for the majority (79%) of deaths country-wide
      • Canada’s epidemic growth is slowing. Although previously doubling every 3 days early in the epidemic, the number of cases in Canada is now doubling every 16 days.
      • Canada is making progress to slow the spread and bring the epidemic under control, thanks to the commitment of Canadians, who are following public health advice to protect themselves and others.
      • It is critically important that we maintain our current public health measures until we have achieved epidemic control for the first wave.
      • Relaxing controls too quickly could squander our collective efforts to date and put us at risk of future epidemic waves
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Premier’s Briefing Highlights
      • In follow-up to the yesterday’s announcement on the decision-making framework later this week the Province will be releasing “clear, sector specific labour guidelines, based on the best medical and scientific evidence that is available”
      • The Provincial government is launching a new website – COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the pandemic. – Media Release
      • The province is prepared to allow temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations in order to remove barriers that are hindering business and negatively impacting Ontario’s supply chain.
      • Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to the new website.
      • The Premier was asked about Quebec’s move to reopen schools in two weeks – “we do not want to put our kids at risk”
      • The Premier was asked about a bailout for restaurants. He talked about allowing restaurants to remain open for take out and delivery and also allowing the sale of wine and beer, along with the rent subsidy. He committed to speaking to the PM about this.

Monday, April 27, 2020:

  • Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville Form Halton Mayors Recovery Coordination Group
  • Team Burlington to Launch STAY HOME to Get Back to Business Campaign
  • Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #3 — Action Items & Highlights
  • Federal Government Updates:
    • Application process for the Canada Wage Subsidy program launched today. Almost 10,000 employers have already applied for the program.
    • Payments will begin as soon as May 7.
    • Employees can’t receive both the CERB and the wage subsidy.
    • The government has been working with the other parties to get support for the measures for students that were announced last week.
    • Parliament will sit virtually tomorrow and in person on Wednesday.
    • There were several questions to the PM regarding the shared guidelines for reopening the economy. Every province and territory has a different reality and reopening will look different across the country.
    • “It is very risky to start up regular activities too quickly.”
    • The shared guidelines would include items such as:
      • Must ensure that testing capacity is in place before reopening.
      • There must be an adequate supply of PPE in place before reopening
      • There must be medical capacity in place to handle a surge.
    • The list of shared guidelines will be released soon. “What’s in the guidelines is already informing the plans that have and will be released by the Provinces.
    • The collaboration between Ottawa and the Provinces and Territories is unprecedented
    • Provinces have the authority to reopen as they see fit, they do not need Federal approval. They “do have the responsibility to do what is right for their citizens”
    • No evidence to say that if you have had COVID-19 once you can’t get it again.
    • He was asked about funding for municipalities. “Municipalities are the responsibility of the Provinces,” but they are working with the Provinces to make sure that municipalities have the tools in place that they need.
  • Provincial Government Updates:
    • Ontario Unveils Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province — Premier and Ministers Commit to New Phased Approach for a Safe Restart and Recovery
      • Framework-for-reopening-our-province-en-2020-04-27
      • “This is roadmap, not a calendar.” The Premier also said the framework is how we will reopen NOT when we will reopen.
      • Four key guidelines that will be used to determine when to ease public health measures:
        1. Virus spread and containment – a consistent two-to-four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases;
        2. Health system capacity – Sufficient acute and critical care capacity, including access to ventilators and ongoing availability of personal protective equipment;
        3. Public Health capacity – Approximately 90 per cent of new COVID-19 contacts are being reached by local public health officials within one day, with guidance and direction to contain community spread;
        4. Incident tracking capacity – Ongoing testing of suspected COVID-19 cases, especially of vulnerable populations, to detect new outbreaks quickly.
      • Stage 1: For businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations, opening select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidance. Opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events. Hospitals would also begin to offer some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries, and other health care services.
      • Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces. Some larger public gatherings would be allowed, and more outdoor spaces would open.
      • Stage 3: Opening of all workplaces responsibly and further relaxing of restrictions on public gatherings.
      • The framework makes no mention of specific businesses and does not talk about schools.

Sunday, April 26, 2020:

Saturday, April 25, 2020:

Friday, April 24, 2020:

  • Burlington Increases Parking Fines During COVID-19
  • Federal Updates:
    • The PM announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.  Media release
      • The tenant will pay 25% of the rent, the landlord will absorb 25% of the rent and the Federal and Provincial governments will cover the remaining 50%, split 75% from the Federal government and 25% from the Province.
      • This will be for the months of April, May and June and will roll out in mid-May.
      • Businesses paying less than $50,000/month in rent are eligible.
      • Non-profits and charities are also eligible.
    • Conversations continue with the Provinces about reopening the economy, the state of long-term care homes and the topping up of pay for employees at long term care facilities
  • Provincial Updates:
    • The Premier and Minister Phillips announced the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). A program to assist business owners with rent payment.  – Media Release, see Backgrounder  for details of the program and how to apply.
    • Next week the Province will release the framework for reopening the Province.
    • The Premier urged people who are still working and can afford to pay their rent to do so.
    • The Premier will be asking the federal government for residential rent assistance program.
    • The CBC reported that these homes would be receiving the military assistance: Orchard Villa (Pickering), Altamont Care Community (Scarborough), Eatonville (Etobicoke), Hawthorne Place (North York), Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor (Brampton). Staffing was the major criteria used to determine which homes received the military assistance.
    • May 4 – Fiat Chrysler will be restarting production in Canada. The Premier has “full confidence in the companies that the health and wellbeing of employees will not be jeopardized”
    • The Province announced a joint Federal Provincial initiative to help the agri-food sector expand online, providing more opportunities for producers to grow their business and offer more food choices for families who are shopping from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding is being provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership).
      • The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products.
      • For More information about this targeted intake and the program guidelines can be found online at: or by calling: 1-877-424-1300.
      • Media Release
  • Other Updates:
    • Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) – Request to the Federal Government for Emergency funding for municipalities
    • News Articles on Reopening the economy
      • Toronto Star: As Ontario gears up to reopen, experts were asked which businesses will open first – Article
      • CBC News: Ford mused about ‘loosening’ restrictions in May, but getting Ontario back to normal not that simple – Article

Thursday, April 23, 2020:

  • Mayor’s Message: We’re With You Burlington
  • Burlington Invites Minister Phillips, Chair of Ontario Jobs & Recovery Committee to Virtual Business Forum
  • Ontario Delivers Action Plan to Increase Protection for Vulnerable People and Those Who Care for Them: Additional measures will help stop the spread of COVID-19
  • Federal Updates:
    • Today the PM announced a $1.1 B National Medical and Research Strategy. It will include funding for:
      • Research on vaccines
      • Clinical Trials
      • Expanding National Testing and Modelling – COVID-19 Immunity Task Force will be established, testing over 1M Canadians is part of this strategy
    • Ontario’s request for military aid has been approved
    • “What’s happening in our long-term care homes is not acceptable”
    • Sending the military to take care of our seniors is not a long term solution
    • “We are abandoning our greatest generation who built this country”
    • “COVID-19 has highlighted the failings in our system”
    • The PM was asked about the request from FCM for funding for municipalities. He said that they will continue to work with provinces on the issue of funding for municipalities and in some cases directly with municipalities. Ensuring Canadians get the services they need is important.
  • Provincial Updates:
    • Emergency orders extended to May 6, Media Release
      • This Emergency Order extension includes the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and limiting staff from working in more than one retirement home or long-term care home.
    • Premier announced a COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People – this is directed at group homes, homeless shelters, etc.
    • Minister Fullerton regarding what is being done at long-term care homes “We have used every tool available to us. And are looking for new ones.”
    • The Provincial and Federal portals were not able to provide enough resources to assist with the long-term care homes, therefore the military was called in to assist.
    • The Premier was asked about the opening of garden centres (impact on the Niagara growers), he said “ the government understands the situation these industries are in and they will be acting on it.” He said their will be an announcement in a day or two in this regard.
    • He was asked if the Province would be changing legislation to allow municipalities run a deficit – he again said that Minister Clark is working on this. The Province will be asking the Federal government for assistance for municipalities – “they have stepped up for everyone”
  • Other Updates:
    • Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced the plan to reopen Saskatchewan – Media Release
      • Phase One – Beginning May 4, 2020– reopening of medical services – dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, opticians, podiatry, occupational therapy and chiropractic treatment, as well as
        1. Low-risk outdoor recreational activities will be allowable with precautionary measures, including fishing and boat launches (May 4), golfing with physical distancing guidelines (May 15) and a fixed date (June 1) and clear guidelines for the operation of parks and campgrounds.
      • Phase Two – May 19, 2020 – re-opening of retail businesses (clothing stores, etc.) and select personal services (hair salons)
      • Phase Three  – Date To Be Determined – The third phase will be implemented following an evaluation of transmission patterns of COVID-19, and does not have a pre-determined date.  The third phase will include the re-opening of remaining personal services, along with the re-opening of restaurant-type facilities, gyms and fitness facilities, licensed establishments and childcare facilities.  Capacity limits will remain in some facilities, such as limits to 50 per cent of regular capacity for restaurants and licensed establishments.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020:

  • COVID-19’s Net Revenue Impact on Burlington to June 30 is $200K — and That’s Good News
  • Federal Updates:
    • Today’s announcement was on funding for post-secondary students and recent graduates.- $9 B. The government will be working with opposition parties to put this plan in place. Media Release
    • Funding includes:
      • Canada Emergency Student Benefit fund – $1250/Month or $1,750/month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities from May to August. This benefit is also available to student who may less than $1000/month.
      • 76,000 new summer jobs for students will be created. Details on what sectors the jobs will be in is coming.
      • For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.
    • To help students continue their studies in the fall, the government will:
      • double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
      • broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
      • enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
      • increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.
      • extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.
    • Measures for seniors are being developed and will be announced soon
    • PM was asked about why a universal benefit has not been provided – he indicated that not everyone needs help and that the government is trying to provide “as much help as possible to the people that need it”
    • The pandemic is rolling out differently in every province and the plans to open up provincial economies will be different, however the decision to open up the Canada/US border is a national one. The Canada/US border will remain closed across the country until May 21.
  • Provincial Updates:
    • The key message today was that the Province will be requesting assistance from the Federal Government. The Feds have offered resources that could include personnel and other supports from Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces. The Ontario government will be making a formal request to access this additional aid today. Media Release
    • This support would be deployed to five priority long-term care homes as part of the Province’s Action Plan.
    • When asked to name the five homes – the only response provided was “ the aid will go to the homes in the greatest need.” Toronto was mentioned.
    • The Premier said that Minister Lecce would be making an announcement soon that would provide parents, students and teachers “with certainty moving forward”
    • Before opening the economy the Premier said they would communicate with municipalities and the federal government.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020:

  • Burlington’s 3-Month Work Plan, Financial Impacts of COVID-19 Discussed at City Council
  • Council Approves Virtual Public Delegations at Meetings
  • Federal Updates:
    • PM announced $350 m for the Emergency Community Support Fund to provide assistance to charities and non-profits that support vulnerable communities – Media release
    • The investment will flow through national organizations that have the ability to get funds quickly to local organizations that serve vulnerable populations. It will support a variety of activities, such as:
      • Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications
      • Providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments
      • Scaling up help lines that provide information and support
      • Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits
      • Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response
      • Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet
    • The PM also announced that a calculator feature would be added to the CRA website that would help employers determine what they are eligible to receive through the Employer Wage Subsidy program would now – link to CRA website
    • Employers can apply for the subsidy as of Monday April 27
  • Provincial Updates:
    • The Premier announced $11 million to help deliver meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need and doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments for low income seniors
    • The province is working with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) to launch a new Ontario Community Support Program to expand existing Meals on Wheels services to reach low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions across Ontario.
    • Media Release

Monday, April 20, 2020:

  • COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #2 Highlights
  • Health Experts Say the COVID-19 Outbreak Has Likely Peaked in Ontario — Modelling shows physical distancing still needed to prevent further spread
  • COVID-19 Spring Update: Essential Services and Continued Closures in Burlington
  • Federal Updates:
    • The Prime Minister’s remarks today were focused on the shooting in Nova Scotia.
    • He asked the media not to use the name or photo of the shooter – “Do not give him the gift of infamy”
  • Provincial Updates:
    • Key highlights from the modelling update include:
      • The wave of new community spread cases of COVID-19 in Ontario appears to have peaked.
      • Outbreaks in long-term care and congregate settings continue to be a major concern. Concerted actions are underway to protect vulnerable people in these settings.Ontario is now trending toward a best case scenario rather than a worst case scenario and has significantly improved its standing as compared to March modelling.
      • The province has avoided a significant surge in cases. Total cumulative cases are forecast to be substantially lower than worst case or even moderate case scenarios projected by previous models.
      • While several hundred new cases are identified daily in Ontario, hospitals across the province have not been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 outbreak as a result of capacity planning and the public health measures currently in place. The rate of growth day-over-day is declining.
      • To further reduce the number of cases and deaths, it’s critical that Ontarians continue to adhere to public health measures, including staying home and practicing physical distancing if they must go out for essential reasons only.
      • The public health measures that have been put in place have been working.
      • Dr. Yaffi stated that the return to normal would be very gradual and must be done carefully.
      • When you reduce social distancing you will see the disease spread. We do not want to overwhelm the health care system – which we saw happen in places like Italy.
      • Data is collected by postal codes and lower income neighbourhoods are at a greater risk
      • Peak means we have suppressed the spread of the disease. T interventions are pushing down the number of infections.
      • Media Release, the slide deck from the briefing is available through the link at the bottom of the release.
    • Premier’s Briefing:
      • Premier expressed his condolences to the families in Nova Scotia.
      • The Premier referred to a framework for reopening the economy. There will be more on this in the coming days.
      • When asked about turning the economy back on, the Premier said “it would be a trickle first” with regular check-ins
      • He wants to give people hope, but we can’t jump ahead too fast.

Saturday, April 18, 2020:

  • Halton Region Public Health releases information on the number of cases and deaths within institutional settings, including long-term care homes and retirement homes.
  • Federal Updates:
    • The PM announced that the current measures regarding the Canada-US border will remain in place for another 30 days (closed to all non-essential travel).
    • $306M to help to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses. Media Release
    • Starting Monday any air passengers who are required to travel, must wear a non-medical mask.
    • The government and opposition parties are still in negotiations about how parliament should meet
    • The House is scheduled to reconvene on Monday. Having 338 MPs and their staff get on planes and fly to Ottawa “is obviously not a good idea in the current context”
  • Provincial Updates:
    • Premier confirmed that the updated public health modelling would be released on Monday. “We will see how far we have come and how far we have to go”
    • Any discussions about reopening will be based on medical advice. “Reopening the economy will be a very difficult decision.”
    • The Ontario government is investing $20 M to advance medical research and develop tools and resources to combat COVID-19 and other infectious diseases through the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.
    • The government is calling on all of the province’s world-class research institutions, postsecondary institutions, and non-profit scientific partners to take action in the development of innovative solutions to track and defeat COVID-19.
    • Ontario researchers are encouraged to submit proposals through the new Ontario Together website. – Media Release
    • The Premier was asked what the Province would be doing to help cities like Toronto with their finances – “We will do whatever we can, to the best of our capacity. We don’t have a printing press, but we won’t leave a penny on the table.”
  • Municipal Updates:
    • Toronto will used a phased approach to reopen the City
      • The City of Toronto has started mapping out how to ease the restrictions and closures that are currently in place
      • It would be a phased approach once cases subside
    • Municipalities want Ottawa to put them at centre of post-pandemic recovery
      • Canadian municipalities are hoping to play a central role in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery by using an injection of federal spending to kickstart local infrastructure projects
        1. Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna has said she is seeking smaller “shovel ready” projects to access Ottawa’s $180-billion infrastructure plan — construction that, in theory, could be approved quickly and create immediate jobs.
      • A spokesperson for Minister McKenna said that Infrastructure Canada is already accelerating project funding approvals. Ahead of the summer construction season, most public infrastructure work has been deemed essential by the provinces.
      • Bill Karsten, President of FCM said municipalities need urgent “direct and predictable funding” from the federal government to cover operating losses. Some cities have already laid off workers and cancelled plans for seasonal hiring.
      • A spokesperson for McKenna said she is working on a plan for “how infrastructure can help kick-start the economy,” speaking to a variety of experts in Canada and abroad. However, she did not say whether Ottawa will offer a bailout to municipalities to cover the crisis period

Friday, April 17, 2020:

  • Burlington’s 3-month Work Plan, COVID-19 Financial Impacts to be Discussed at April 20 City Council Meeting
  • Burlington COVID-19 Wall of Inspiration —
  • Province of Ontario makes it easier to reassign staff where they are needed most
  • Federal Update:
    • The PM announced several new funding programs to help more Canadians get through this difficult time —  Media Release
      • $1.7 B to clean up abandoned wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia – this will create immediate jobs in the energy sectors in these provinces and also help achieve climate action goals
      • $750 M Emission Reduction Fund to help companies reduce pollution. This fund will protect jobs, limit pollution and increase competitiveness.
      • $962 M to Regional development agencies to support smaller employers in rural area
      • $270 M to the “Futureprenor and Industrial Research Assistance Program”
      • $500 M to Heritage Canada to assist the arts, culture and sports sector
    • Parliament is supposed to reconvene on Monday. The government is currently in negotiations with the other parties about how to proceed. Conservatives want Parliament to sit four times per week in Ottawa.
    • The PM’s preference is virtual meetings. Virtual meetings would allow MPs who are not within driving distance of Ottawa to continue to “have their voices heard,” without going against the measures that have been put in place regarding physical distancing and staying at home.
    • Last night the PM and Deputy PM spoke with Premiers. Link to Readout
    • They discussed ways to financially help low-income workers who provide essential services to Canadians and First Ministers agreed to work together to make this happen.
    • There was also discussion on the federal government’s intention to introduce a Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses, and other actions being taken by all orders of government to support Canadian businesses.
    • They also agreed on the urgent need to ensure long-term care facilities have the resources they need to protect the health and well-being of their residents and workers.
    • All First Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to addressing COVID-19 through a Team Canada effort. The Government of Canada is taking a whole-of-government, comprehensive, and coordinated approach to respond to COVID-19.
    • PM said today that Premiers agreed to the principle of co-ordination and that the same principles are being applied across the country with respect to physical distancing, staying at home and using medical guidance and data to inform decisions about the loosen of restrictions.
  • Provincial Update:
    • Provincial Government Briefing Highlights
      • The Premier and Minister Lecce announced that 21,000 iPads and tablets are being distributed to children/families in need to ensure that all students have access to the Provincial Learn at Home Program
      • Premier Lecce also announced that expansion of the list of individuals who have access to free childcare – Media Release
      • Updated modelling will be available on Monday
      • When asked when schools will reopen the Premier said “health and science will determine when schools will reopen.” Focus is to make sure “kids graduate”
      • Premier was asked if municipalities will be allowed to run deficits. He said that Minister Phillips and Clark are working with municipalities and that “We will do whatever it takes to support the people of Ontario” and that he is “zeroed in on the economy”
      • The Province issued emergency orders today that allow municipalities and District Social Service Administration Boards (DSSA) with the flexibility to offer reassignments to certain staff to where there is local need during the outbreak, including child care, by-law enforcement, and public health services.
      • Municipalities or DSSAs have to comply with all other provincial orders, as well as any guidance and safety standards prescribed by the Ontario government for COVID-19. They are also responsible for ensuring that any staff reassigned to the new duties have the required training and skills.
      • Link to media release
      • Link to letter from Minister Clark
    • Electricity Disconnection Ban Expanded
      • On March 19, 2020, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) extended the ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment for residential customers to July 31, 2020.  Now low-volume and small business customers (those who pay time-of-use or tiered electricity prices) will also be protected by the ban during this period.  OEB made this change to ensure the risk of loss of electricity service, on account of arrears, would not be an added source of uncertainty at this time.
    • The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep the nation’s supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the federal and provincial governments will provide support that will help people connect with job opportunities in the sector quickly. This program would help primary agriculture, food processing companies and grocery retail to recruit and train workers who are important to keeping the essential food supply chain functioning. – Media Release
    • Media release regarding the distribution of iPads and tablets to Ontario students
  • Municipal Updates:
      • Oakville puts stronger penalties in place for littering of masks and gloves – Article
      • City of Toronto – Financial Impact of COVID-19 – link / Media Release

Thursday, April 16, 2020:

  • Ontario Significantly Expands Hospital Capacity to Prepare for Any COVID-19 Outbreak Scenario: Province adds more than 2,000 acute care and critical care beds and enacts pandemic staffing plans
  • Federal Update:
    • Prime Minister Trudeau participated in a virtual G7 meeting. Countries are working together to: develop a vaccine, to expand treatment and testing, and ensure critical medical supplies get to the front lines. – “We must keep working together as partners”
    • He announced that Canada Emergency Business Account has expanded its criteria to include businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.. Since the launch of the CEBA on April 9, 2020, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses.
    • The federal government will introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. The program will provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program requires a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships.
    • The PM will be speaking with Premiers tonight.
    • When asked to comment on President Trump’s statement about opening up the Canada-U.S. border the PM said that Canada would not be lifting restrictions at the border with the U.S. for a significant time.
    • Media Release
  • Provincial Update:
    • Today’s briefing focused on the expansion of hospital capacity in preparation for a surge in cases as well as support to long-term care homes – Media Release
    • More than 9,000 people have been tested
    • Hospitals across the province have taken steps to make more beds available for COVID-19 patients throughout the province.
    • As a result, Ontario has a total of 20,354 acute care beds with a potential for an additional 4,205 more acute care beds by April 30, 2020.
    • Of the 3,504 critical care beds, 2,811 are now equipped with ventilators, up from 1,319 when the outbreak first started.
    • Minister Elliott referred to Joseph Brant Hospital’s Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) during her remarks.
    • Minister Fullerton recognized Personal Support Workers as “superheroes”
    • When the Premier was asked about opening the border to the US, he said the answer should be “No”
    • Premier will be speaking with the PM and cabinet about the rent relief program announced by the Federal government today
    • The Province is looking at cases on regional level and identifying “hotspots.” This data is being used to redeploy resources as well as directing communication efforts.
    • Modelling update should be available next week.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020:

  • Burlington Holds Another Successful Tele-Town Hall for Residents on COVID-19 Response & Supports
  • Joseph Brant Hospital Statement on Employee Testing in Response to Recent Media Reports
  • Federal Update:
    • The Prime Minister announced changes to the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) these people are now eligible:
      • Canadians making less than $1000/month or less;
      • Workers whose EI benefits have run out; and
      • Those who were expecting seasonal work, that won’t be available.
    • The Prime Minister will be speaking to Premiers tomorrow about a temporary top up to the pay of essential long term care workers and improving the conditions for both residents and employees in those facilities
    • Announcements regarding aid for post-secondary students and businesses worrying about commercial rents
    • The Federal government announced a new portal with mental health supports and resources available on and COVID-19 app (link to the Canada Self-Assessment tool and app –
    • The Prime Minister will be meeting with Premiers tomorrow.
    • The Prime Minister will also be participating in a G7 meeting tomorrow.
    • Reminded Canadians that it will still be  “weeks more” before we can begin to loosen restrictions. If we loosen restrictions too quickly we will be faced with another wave and everything we have done will have been for nothing.
    • Dr. Tam said there is some reason for cautious optimism. The number of case has gone from doubling every three days to doubling over 10 days.
  • Provincial Update:
    • Today’s briefing focused on the Province’s plan to address the needs of long term care homes
    • The Premier said the Province “is mobilizing every available resource to support long term care residents and homes” — Media Release
    • The Emergency Order regarding staff only working at one home is a temporary order and is in place for only 14 days
    • Employees who work at two homes will have to take a leave of absence from one of the homes they are working at
    • The Province will be working with the Federal government to address the wage situation for the impacted employees
    • Testing will be ramped up
    • COVID-19 “SWAT Teams” will be deployed to help homes manage outbreaks
    • The Provincial job matching portal as well as the federal site will be used to get staffing resources to the homes

Tuesday, April 14, 2020:

  • Federal Update:
    • The PM announced funding to support Northern communities – Media Release
    • More shipments of gloves and masks have come in and will be distributed to provinces and territories. Domestically made gowns and testing kits will start to be shipped next week.
    • New supports for commercial rent, students and essential workers will be announced soon
    • New measure under the Quarantine Act comes into effect at midnight tonight – Travelers returning to Canada who do not have a credible/adequate quarantine plan will be required to quarantine in a hotel
    • There were several questions regarding long term care homes and nursing homes – currently in discussions with Provinces to find ways to encourage and support workers (especially those who for financial reasons are working at more than one facility)
    • Regarding reopening the economy – “The reality is it will be weeks still”. “At one point we will be able to relax some of the measures that are in place, we will do this in co-operation with Provinces.”
    • Over 450,000 tests have been conducted in Canada
  • Provincial Update:
    • The Provincial Legislature sat today at 1 p.m.. The Premier was scheduled to do his briefing at 1:45 p.m. today.
    • The legislature will consider an omnibus bill of five pieces of legislation, affecting education, colleges and universities, municipal affairs and housing, and the ministry of the solicitor general.
    • Included in the proposed legislation is an extension to the ability for school boards to collect fees on new construction, suspend student loan payments for people borrowing money through OSAP, temporarily suspending planning decision timelines to allow municipalities to focus on public health, and allowing municipalities to extend their existing development charges policy for six months.
    • Bill 189, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020 received Royal Assent today – a PDF of the Bill is here (Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020). I will share the media release and additional details when they become available.
    • The state of emergency has been extended to May 12.
    • The Province will be issuing an Emergency Order, that starting this evening caregivers can only work at one long-term care home at a time.
    • “Hospital-based teams” will be dispatched to long term care and nursing homes
    • Schools will NOT be reopened on May 4 – this does not mean that the school year is cancelled. Minister Lecce will be speaking on this issue in the next few days.
    • Premier was asked about financial support for municipalities. Minister Phillips “We will be working with municipalities around the implications in this phase as well as addressing recovery.”

Monday, April 13, 2020:

  • COVID-19 Turned Burlington Upside Down in 3 days
  • Ontario Secures Critical Medical Equipment and Supplies: Same-Day Deliveries Made to Protect Patients and Frontline Workers from COVID-19
  • Provincial Updates:
    • In an effort to better detect, plan and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak the Province is developing a new health data platform called the Pandemic Threat Response (PANTHR). This new platform will hold secure health data that will allow researchers to better support health system planning and responsiveness, including the immediate need to analyze the current COVID-19 outbreak.
      • The platform is being developed In consultation with the Ontario Privacy Commissioner.
      • Better access to integrated data will improve modelling and research to determine how COVID-19 is evolving and will help frontline staff prepare
      • The information will also help with:
        1. Increasing detection of COVID-19;
        2. Discovering risk factors for vulnerable populations;
        3. Predicting when and where outbreaks may happen;
        4. Evaluating how preventative and treatment measures are working; and
        5. Identifying where to allocate equipment and other resources.
      • Media Release
    • MPPS are scheduled to be back at Queen’s Park on Tuesday for a brief sitting at 1 p.m.
    • Province has secured medical supplies, and is providing same-day deliveries to hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and other facilities to support essential workers in all settings and ensuring supplies and equipment are expedited to those most in need. Media release
    • The House will be sitting on Tuesday to extend the Emergency Act another 28 days and to pass two items from MMAH and three education/child care items. There will not be a decision about schools tomorrow.
    • Premier commented that his first concern is the economy. He understands that people are getting restless and “squirrelly” staying at home.
    • Minister Phillips indicated that we may see different sectors of the economy open up at different times. But, this will only be done when it is safe to do so, on the advice of medical officials.
    • Premier will have a date tomorrow when we will see revised modelling
    • “The Provincial numbers are looking good.” But, “we need to be cautious moving forward.”

Sunday, April 12, 2020:

  • Joseph Brant Hospital COVID-19 Outbreak on 2 Inpatient Units
  • Federal Updates:
    • The House of Commons adopted Bill C14 (the wage subsidy legislation) at all stages. It has now moved to the Senate.
  • Provincial Updates:
    • The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) provided the following information:
      • Temporary Health Care Structures for COVID-19
        1. On April 9th, an emergency order (Order under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act – Temporary Health or Residential Facilities) under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, provides relief from the Building Code to temporary health care structures being built for COVID-19 purposes.  These structures are not designed to meet the normal requirements for health care facilities (such as HVAC or oxygen gas lines).  However, they are needed as hospitals require new beds to care for those suffering from the pandemic as well as the other patients.
        2. Specifically, the structures will:
          1. not be subject to the Building Code,
          2. no building permit will be required,
          3. no zoning or site plans will be required.
        3. These structures would need to be designed by architects and approved by engineers.  Both these professions would have to sign off on the structures.  The Chief Building Official (CBO) will need to deem the building safe and regularly inspect for structural sufficiency in keeping with the original design.  We understand that CBOs have requested this approach and have been consulted by the Province in advance of this order.
        4. Discussion about the orderly dismantling of these structures during the recovery period is taking place and will unfold as the epidemic starts to subside.
        5. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be setting up webinars soon to take building officials and municipal staff though the order and answer questions.  More MMAH information about those sessions will be coming next week.
      • Construction Act Payment Suspension Revision
        1. The Province has revised one Construction Act section of a previous emergency order, O. Reg. 73/20 made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which suspended limitation periods and procedural time periods retroactive to March 16, 2020.  At the time of this update, O. Reg. 73/20 has not been revised to include this revision on the provincial e-Laws site.
        2. This emergency order has been amended to lift the suspension of limitation periods and procedural time periods under the Construction Act.  This will allow for the release of holdback payments to contractors and subcontractors in the normal course, helping to resolve a potentially significant cash flow problem as a result of the order for the construction industry.
        3. The suspension will be lifted on April 16, 2020, to give the industry time to prepare for these changes.  Once lifted, parties will have the same amount of time to meet a deadline that had been remaining before the suspension began on March 16, 2020.

Saturday, April 11, 2020:

  • Ontario Extends Emergency Orders until April 23
  • Ontario Public Health: COVID-19 Public Resources
  • Federal government update highlights:
    • Federal Government Introduces COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2 to Help Businesses Keep Canadians in their Jobs-  Media Release
    • The federal government has worked with the opposition parties on the legislation to pass the wage subsidy bill today.
    • It will be approximately 2-5 weeks before the wages subsidy dollars get to Canadians.
    • Five Parliamentary committees will now be meeting virtually
    • Andrew Scheer commented that the Opposition wants regular opportunities to ask questions of the government about their response to the crisis. “Parliament has a vital role to play now, we will get better results for Canadians”
    • The Federal Government introduced new guidelines for long-term care homes – link
    • Temporary foreign workers, important to the Canada agriculture industry and keeping the food supply chain going, will be allowed to enter Canada, but must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The RCMP is getting involved in the monitoring individuals who are in quarantine.
  • Provincial government update highlights:
    • This morning the Province extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging.  – Media Release
    • Yesterday afternoon the Province issued an Emergency Order that immediately prevents any child care operator from charging parent fees where care is not being provided.
    • The order also means that parents cannot lose their child care space because they are not paying fees during this period. This will help provide much needed relief for parents during the outbreak. – Media Release
    • The Premier recognized all the businesses and grassroots groups that have stepped up to provide and donate the supplies that are needed through the Ontario Together portal.
    • To date, the portal has received over 14,000 submissions offering to provide everything from hand sanitizer, to gowns and coveralls, to masks and face shields, to testing equipment and ventilators. – Media Release
    • Minister Lecce is reviewing the list of essential workers eligible to receive free child care and there may be adjustments made to list to add more workers including grocery workers
    • The Premier was asked about extended the date of school closures – he said it was premature to make a decision about schools now

Friday, April 10, 2020:

  • Ontario Significantly Expanding COVID-19 Testing — Enhanced testing strategy will help stop the spread of the virus
    • Mayor Meed Ward’s Take: “This is good news. I’m pleased the provincial government is investing resources in expanding COVID19 testing.”
  • Federal government update highlights:
    • Prime Minister’s Briefing:
      • Parliament will sit on Saturday to pass economic measures
      • The PM will do his briefing tomorrow from the House of Commons
      • No briefing from the PM on Sunday and Monday
      • The Emergency Measures Act was discussed with Premiers regarding the distribution of PPE supplies to Provinces and Territories ( the Act would allow the Federal government to distribute supplies to the provinces in greatest need)
      • CBC reports that Premiers are not in favour of using the Act.
      • The PM said that if Provincial Emergency Act are not enough to do what needs to be done “then and only then” would the Federal government look at enacted measures through the Emergency Act. His preference is not to use it
      • Testing for COVID-19 will keep getting better, which will be important especially as people star to gradually go back to work and restrictions start to be lifted
      • When asked about when some sectors of the economy could be opened – The PM said we are in the first phase of the virus.
      • Our economy has paused until we come through the first wave, which is the most serious.
      • We expect an end to the first wave this summer, if we continue to do things right – stay at home, stay 2 metres apart, only go out when you have to. This will help hospitals from being overwhelmed.
      • After we get through this first wave, we will be able to relax some of restrictions, some people may be able to go back to work, schools may be able to open again.
      • Moving forward new rules for coming together will have to be put in place.
      • Ongoing vigilance will be necessary until we have a vaccine.
  • Provincial government update highlights:
    • Ontario Premier’s briefing – Media Release
      • The Province announced that they will be ramping up testing.
      • The targets are:
        1. 8,000/day by April 15
        2. 12,000/day by April 22
        3. 14,000/day by April 29
        4. 16,000/day by May 6
      • The Province will be proactively testing priority groups:
        1. Hospital inpatients;
        2. Residents of long-term care and retirement homes;
        3. Health care workers, caregivers, care providers, paramedics, and first responders, including police and firefighters;
        4. Remote, isolated, rural and Indigenous communities;
        5. Other congregate living centres, including homeless shelters, prisons and group homes;
        6. Specific vulnerable populations, including patients undergoing chemotherapy or hemodialysis and requiring transplants, as well as pregnant persons, newborns and cross-border workers; and
        7. Other essential workers, as defined by provincial orders
        8. NB- Proactive means direction will come from health and safety officers
      • The Province is also updating the list of symptoms,  including a hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, loss of sense of smell or taste, diarrhea or nausea/vomiting For seniors these include: chills, delirium, falls, increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure. These updated symptoms are in addition to difficulty breathing, fever, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat and runny nose.
      • Premier does not believe in “police state,” everyone knows what they need to do – stay home.
      • Premier was asked about the Emergency Measures Act – no reason to impose it now. Premiers across the country are working co-operatively.
      • House will be sitting next week. Premier isn’t sure they can do virtual meetings.
    • In an interview on Newstalk 580 CFRA  Minister Lecce said the following about school closures:
      • “I suspect this week won’t be the week,” Lecce told Newstalk 580 CFRA “It is possible the Chief Medical Officer gives me that advice but I think it’s probably the week following that we’ll get into a better place where the data will become informative for us to make public policy decisions.” If closures are extended, Lecce said there are mitigating plans in place.

Thursday, April 9, 2020:

  • Burlington COVID-19 Task Force April 7 Meeting Highlights
  • Message from the Bruce Trail Conservancy: Please Avoid the Bruce Trail
  • Province of Ontario Connecting Volunteers to Community Organizations Supporting Seniors and People with Disabilities During COVID-19
  • Federal government update highlights:
    • Link to Dr. Tam’s presentation – COVID-19 in Canada: Using data and modelling to inform public health action
    • Federal Modelling Briefing
      • Canada’s cases have been doubling every 3-5 days, which according to Dr. Tam is a “comparatively good trajectory”
      • We have learned from what other countries have done and that allowed Canada to act earlier
      • The forecast is that by April 16 we could have between 22,580-31,850 cases, which could result in 500-700 deaths
      • It is essential that we quickly control the epidemic during the first wave – we need to stay the course
      • It is too early to know how close we are to the peak
      • The epidemic is not the same in all parts of the country, and decisions will be made base on local situations
      • The number of people each case is infecting is decreasing
      • Success is staying in the epidemic control scenario:
        1. This means we are aiming for the lowest possible infection rate to minimize illness and death and shorten the period of intense disease transmission in Canada.
        2. We recognize that even if we are successful, continued public health measures will be required over time to manage future waves including:
          1. Physical distancing
          2. Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
          3. Restrictions on international and domestic travel
          4. Case detection and isolation
          5. Quarantine of contacts and incoming travelers
      • Success is also preparedness of our health system, working with province and territories:
        1. Equipping hospitals to provide care for more severe cases
        2. Increasing bed and clinic capacity for COVID-19 patients
          1. Expanding health workforce
      • Success requires a whole country response
        1. Contact tracing is important to managing the spread
    • Prime Minister’s Briefing
      • COVID-19 arrived in Canada later than in other Countries
      • “this is our new normal until a vaccine is developed”
      • The peak will be in late spring with the end of the wave coming in the summer. We will see smaller outbreaks continue for months.
      • “We will have to be disciplined over the coming months – This will work.’
      • “Once we get through the first wave we can begin to open up the economy.”
      • He suggested that we will continue to have waves of shutdowns moving forward.
    • Dr. Tam –  “staycation for the nation” is the safest celebration
    • Unemployment numbers – 1 million jobs were lost in Canada in March. The unemployment rate went from 5.6% to 7.8%
  • Provincial government update highlights:
    • Provincial Briefing – Premier Ford’s remarks:
      • Last month 400,000 jobs were lost in Ontario
      • We are dealing with a “massive economic crisis”
      • Things will get worse before they get better
      • A new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee will be struck to get the economy back on track – Media Release
    • Minister of Finance Rod Phillips
      • Today’s job numbers underscore the impact of the virus
      • Following the health advice that is necessary comes at a cost
      • The job numbers demonstrate that we need plan for the future now
      • The membership of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee includes: Rod Phillips, Chair, Minister of Finance; Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade; Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board; Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation; Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health; Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs; John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry; Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure; Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries; Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services; Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development; and Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.
      • This team will get our economy moving again ― with a focus on job creation, opportunities for growth, and protecting our province from future threats.
      • The timing of the recovery phase will come from medical officials.
      • The sooner we contain this outbreak the sooner we can begin our recovery.
      • He has spoken with the auto insurance sector about changes in car insurance since so many Ontarians are not driving.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020:

  • Halton Region Offers Best Contacts for Some of Your COVID-19 FAQs
  • Federal government update highlights:
    • Prime Minister’s briefing:
      • Cabinet will be meeting this afternoon, the PM will attending in person
      • Announced changes to the wage subsidy program – companies previously had to show 30% less revenue than the same month last year. Companies will now have to show a 15% decline of revenue for the month of March and can choose January and February as reference point instead. Charities can choose to include or exclude government funding when calculating revenue loss
      • Seniors are going through a particularly difficult time and additional measures will be coming
      • 1.72 million applications have come in for the CERB program
      • Adjustments/refinements continue to be made to the program. PM acknowledged the program isn’t perfect, but it was important to get the funds out to Canadians quickly.
      • Changes to the summer employment program were announced. They include:
        1. an increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
        2. an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
        3. allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support essential services
        4. allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis
        5. Link to Media Release
      • This change to the summer employment program is just one measure to help students, the Federal government will be doing more.
      • The PM was asked we might restart the economy- He said “very carefully” “We are still in the phase where we must stay at home and social distance. To avoid spiking cases, we need to keep up the current measures.” The current measures need to be in place for many more weeks.
    • Not part of the PM’s briefing but FYI – Stats Canada reported a 241% increase in toilet paper sales in mid-March and a 38% increase in grocery sales as a whole was also reported during that time
  • Provincial government update highlights:
    • Premier’s briefing:
      • Premier acknowledged the strain that everyone is under due to the pandemic, especially front line workers
      • As of today 8,000 people have registered on the new Health Workforce Matching Portal, which launched yesterday
      • The construction of critical health care facilities will be accelerated
      • Job sites will be allowed to stay open longer, 24 hours a day, so projects like hospitals can be built
      • Ontario will temporarily limit local noise bylaws from applying to these types of essential construction activities beginning April 7, 2020.
      • Ontario is also making essential workplaces across the province safer during the COVID-19 pandemic by:
        1. Redeploying more than 30 employment standards officers to help businesses understand and comply with health and safety requirements;
        2. Working with health and safety associations to deploy up to 30 specialists to support employers and workers in the field;
        3. Issuing health and safety guidance notes to support specific sectors;
        4. Doubling the capacity of Ontario’s Health and Safety Call Centre from 25 to 50 phonelines;
        5. Providing job-protected leave under the Employment Standards Act for workers who need to self-isolate or care for a loved one because of COVID-19;
        6. Issuing a call to recently-retired inspectors who may be able and willing to return to their positions;
        7. Providing compliance assistance and enforcing the emergency orders issued under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act.
      • The Premier was very concerned about the number of tests that are being done in Ontario – the current number is “unacceptable.” “Everyone possible needs to be tested.” “We need to be doing 13,000 test every single day.” All front line workers, long term care and nursing home residents and employees need to be tested.
    • Link to today’s release:
    • Grocery stores will be closed on Friday and Sunday.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020:

  • Statement from Mayor Meed Ward: Burlington Approves New Physical Distancing Bylaw
  • Burlington’s COVID-19 Physical Distancing Bylaw FAQs
  • Statement from the Mayor: Burlington Approves Interim Property Tax Relief
  • Citywide Burn Ban in Effect as of April 13, 2020
  • Team Burlington’s Provincial & Federal Business Support Forum — listen to the recording of yesterday’s forum
  • Federal government update highlights:
    • Media release
    • Thousands of Canadian companies have come forward to retool their manufacturing plants to assist in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies
    • The Federal government is working with Canadian companies to produce 30,000 ventilators in Canada – “We must prepare for the worst, we hope we won’t need them in Canada”
    • Canada Goose and Stanfield’s are among the Canadian clothing companies that will be making gowns
    • Working hard to produce medical supplies we need here in Canada
    • Prime Minister will continue to work with US leaders to ensure shipments of medical supplies are not being held up at the border
    • Government of Canada is working on other solutions to give Canadians access to credit at lower rates
    • PM was asked if he supported people being fined for not social distancing. He said the best way to deal with this pandemic is to stay at home and social distance. He understands the municipalities and provinces have put measures in place to fine people who are not abiding by the rules. “We need to make sure that everyone is doing their part… we expect to us good judgement.”
  • Provincial government update highlights:
    • Ontario Calls on all Health Care Workers to Help Fight COVID-19
    • The province is launching a new online tool that will help match skilled frontline health care workers with employers in hospitals, clinics, and assessment centres.
    • The new Health Workforce Matching Portal will enable health care providers with a range of experience to join the province’s response to COVID-19. Those providers include retired or non-active health care professionals, internationally educated health care professionals, students, and volunteers with health care experience.
    • Employers and interested health care professionals can visit the portal here and create a profile.
    • Once registered, professionals can add their availability and employers can enter their request for support. Registrants will receive an email notification if matched.
    • The Premier spoke about the many Ontario companies that have stepped up to donate or produce the medical supplies needed by front line staff in Ontario.
    • He stressed the importance of being able to be self sufficient and not have to rely on other countries for medical supplies.
    • The Premier was asked about the Royal Ontario Museum – they have laid off staff and staff that are still working are taking a 20% cut in pay. Rod Phillips said that Provincial agencies have been asked to find ways to address revenue shortfalls due to current closures.
    • Premier Ford said that the Easter Bunny is considered an essential worker.

Monday, April 6, 2020:

  • City Hosting Second COVID-19 Tele-Town Hall: April 14 from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Burlington Launches COVID-19 Task Force
  • Council Receives COVID-19 Updates from Burlington Leadership Team
  • Federal government briefing highlights:
    • Applications started today for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), 240,000 Canadians have already successfully applied. To apply by phone or if you have questions call –  1-800-959-2019.
    • For those whose hours have been reduced to 10 hours or less or are making less then they would be under the CERB or are a student or a volunteer fire fighter – there will be a solution soon.
    • Major banks and some credit unions will be cutting their interest rates on credit cards.
    • The Prime Minister (PM) is working with the other parties to recall Parliament. The PM also indicated that they would be looking at how they might reconvene Parliament virtually.
    • The PM was asked about comments from Premier Ford about a shipment of masks being stopped at the U.S. border. PM says they continue to have discussions with the U.S. about the shipments – “we expect these shipments to be delivered.”
    • Dr. Tam said today that wearing a non-medical mask is an additional measure that people can take, when they are shopping or using public transit. The mask protects people from you. But she still urged everyone to stay home, wash their hands.
  • Provincial government updates:
    • The Province is providing one-time financial assistance during school and Child Care Closures – Media Release
      • The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs.
      • Families can complete a simple online application at Ontario’s Support for Families web page to access this financial support.
      • People with questions can call 1-888-444-3770
    • The Ontario government is deferring $15 million in property taxes for people and businesses in parts of Northern Ontario located outside of municipal boundaries – Media Release
    • Today Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General, issued a statement regarding new emergency measures to protect Ontario’s first responders and stop the spread of COVID-19 – Media Release
      • The Ontario government has made an emergency order that will allow police, firefighters and paramedics to obtain COVID-19 positive status information about individuals with whom they are coming into contact.
      • The information disclosed will be limited to an individual’s name, address, date of birth, and whether the individual has had a positive COVID-19 test result.
      • Strict protocols will be enforced to limit access to this information and will only be used to allow first responders to take appropriate safety precautions to protect themselves and the communities they serve.

Sunday, April 5, 2020:

  • Federal government highlights:
    • Starting tomorrow Canadians can sign ups for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit at
    • Canadians can expect their first payments by mail in 10 days, sooner if you register for direct deposit. There will be a staggered approach to applying, see below, so the system does not crash.
    • Canadians have been asking how they can help – the best thing they can do is follow public health recommendations
    • There will be volunteer opportunities with Health Canada for those with specialized skills.
    • There will be full time jobs for reservists.
    • The Federal government is looking at ways they can support young Canadians who rely on part time summer jobs that may not be available.
  • Provincial government highlights:
    • Province providing relief funding for residential service providers that support vulnerable populations – Media Release
      • The province is investing up to $40 million to support organizations that provide residential services for children and youth, people with developmental disabilities and emergency shelters for women and families fleeing domestic violence.
      • The COVID-19 Residential Relief Fund will cover costs such as additional staffing, residential respite for caregivers; personal protective equipment and supplies; initiatives to support physical distancing and transportation to minimize client exposure.

Saturday, April 4, 2020:

  • Mayor’s April 2020 Newsletter
  • Halton Region Update: How Do I…? listing of contacts and supports, click here — Halton Region_Contact Information_April 3_10am — for more.
  • Federal government briefing highlights:
    • At this time the federal government will not be releasing modelling data. “Regardless of the data that is used the measures that have been put in place is what is making a difference
    • The PM spoke about the measures that have been put in place to assist homeless shelters the victims of domestic abuse.
    • We have asked a lot of Canadians – to stay home, close their businesses and stay away from friends and family
    • He continued to urge Canadians to stay at home. “Physical distancing needs to be taken seriously – it will save lives.”
    • In the next 48 hours a shipment of millions of masks is expected.
    • The PM spoke about two activities for children:
      • On Sunday April 5, the PM and Dr. Tam will be doing a teleconference for children and youth. Prime Minister Trudeau and Dr. Tam will answer them in a video conference that will be available simultaneously on the CBC Kids News and MAJ platforms, and broadcast on CBC TV, CBC Gem and ICI TÉLÉ on Sunday, April 5th at 9am. CBC/Radio-Canada will make this video conference available to all broadcasters.
      • Canadian Astronaut Jeremy Hansen will answer questions on Sunday April 5 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Provincial government highlights:
  • Premier’s briefing:
    • Again today a Province wide alert will be issued, urging everyone, except essential workers to stay home.
    • “We collectively have the power to flatten the curve and save lives.”
  • The Province has launched a new web portal to help employers and Ontarians looking for work in the agri-food sector. Supermarkets need workers; people need jobs – Media Release
    • provides access to information on job opportunities and training resources in all parts of Ontario’s food supply chain – from grocery retailers to bakeries and cheese processing plants to opportunities on farms.
  • Ontario Protecting Seniors in Retirement Homes During COVID-19 Outbreak
    • The Province issued a temporary order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that will help retirement homes address emergency staffing needs as they respond to COVID-19. Under this order retirement homes will have more flexibility to recruit and reassign staff.
    • Retirement homes are also required to report any outbreak of COVID-19 to the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority, as well as the local medical officer of health.
    • To further safeguard the health of seniors living in retirement homes the Provincial government has also amended the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 requiring that all retirement homes follow the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s guidance and recommendations regarding infection control and prevention.
    • $20 million in additional funding has been provided to support increased infection control and active screening measures
  • Regulation on essential workplaces – Province of Ontario_closure-nonessential-business-2020-04-03_0
  • Statement from Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, on  tentative agreement with Ontario Council of Educational Workers (OCEW): Statement

Friday April 3, 2020:

  • All Burlington Parks to be Closed to Vehicular Access
  • Starting April 8, Metrolinx is reducing GO train & bus service levels in order to sustain a safe transit experience customers can rely on. For schedule changes click here.
  • Burlington Foundation launches $100,000 COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund to support local charities on the front-line helping those most vulnerable.
  • Province extends business closures and updates essential businesses list
  • Ontario Increasing Public Health Units’ Capacity to Stop COVID-19 — Province launches a new user-friendly online portal for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results.
  • Highlights from Ontario’s briefing on COVID-19 models:
    • No action: 6,000 deaths by the end of April
    • With current action: 1,600 deaths by the end of April
    • With stronger action: 250 deaths by the end of April
    • Over the course of the pandemic there could be 100,000 deaths with no measures, with measures we can expect 3,000  to 15,000 deaths
    • The full pandemic is expected to last 18 months to 2 years
    • If we “bear down hard” now we can get through this more quickly and the economy could also rebound more quickly
    • Immediate focus:
      • Enhanced capacity for case and contact tracing is underway.
      • Increased testing for COVID-19, with a focus on long-term care, retirements homes and other congregate settings.
    • Future measures:
      • Reduce the number and types of essential workplaces
      • Enhance the focus on enforcement and fines for non-compliance
      • Expand directions/guidance on physical distancing, including retail settings
      • Enhanced support for elderly, homeless and other vulnerable populations and communities.
      • Consider entry restrictions in some communities including First Nations.
      • Human resource management (movement of health care workers between settings)
      • Use of technology to reinforce self-isolation (alerts).
      • Additional public education and communication  (shelter in place with limited protections)
    • Every year in Ontario we lose 1,350 people to the normal seasonal flu. In a bad year we could lose 1,500. For COVID-19 it’s 10 times higher.
    • Dr. Donnelly “use of masks is best preserved for  those who need them most – front line health care workers”
  • Highlights from federal government briefing today:
    • The Canadian Government has signed an agreement with Amazon Canada do distribute critical equipment and supplies to provinces.
    • Food banks are facing unprecedented challenges – fewer volunteers, fewer donations and greater need. $100 M will go to meeting the urgent food needs of Canadians.
    • The $100 million investment is divided as follows:
      • $50 million to Food Banks Canada
      • $20 million divided evenly between Salvation Army, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, and Breakfast Club of Canada
      • $30 million for local-level organizations who serve people experiencing food insecurity
    • The GST credits and child benefits will be sent out in April instead of May, which was originally announced.
    • There were several questions from reporters to the PM about the order issued by President Trump to 3M to stop exporting masks. The PM said it would not be advantageous for the US or Americans to limit trade/exports between the US and other countries.
    • On Sunday the PM along with Dr. Tam will be doing a video conference for children and youth.
    • Media Release on Food Bank funding
    • Readout from First Ministers Meeting on April 2
      • They talked about the measures underway to ensure that Canadian health care workers have the necessary personal protective equipment and medical supplies they need.
      • The Prime Minister updated premiers on the Government’s commitment to invest $2 billion to purchase testing products, ventilators, and protective personal equipment. This funding includes bulk purchases with provinces and territories, as well as measures to help businesses scale-up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to produce products that will help in the fight against COVID-19.
      • First Ministers agreed on the need to continue working together, including sharing necessary information, to ensure that equipment is provided where and when it is needed.
      • First Ministers also discussed emergency actions taken by provinces and territories, including restrictions on non-essential travel between provinces, as well as between Canada and the United States, while ensuring that essential goods and supply chains are maintained.

Thursday, April 2, 2020:

  • Message From Your Mayor: Burlington, You Must Do More to Slow COVID-19 Spread
  • Halton Regional Police Service: Enforcement of Emergency Orders Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act
  • Federal government briefing today:
    • There will be a First Ministers conference call this evening with the Premiers. They will discuss data sharing and modeling as well as how they can continue to work together to keep people safe.
    • Medical supplies are being shipped to all Provinces. Hockey giant Bauer is producing protective face shields for first responders instead of hockey helmets.
    • Canadians urged to listen to doctors and medical experts.  “Make the right choices now.” We can “save lives together by staying apart.”
    • The federal government will continue to work with Provinces who have the powers to keep people at home. The Federal government will only step in if what is happening provincially isn’t working.
  • Provincial government briefing today:
    • The situation is extremely serious and the Province “will all have to make some very difficult decisions.”
    • Medical experts will be providing an update tomorrow with details on where we were, where we are and where we could be.
    • This information will help Ontarians make the best decisions for their families. The information “may not be easy to hear.”
    • Mental health was the focus of today’s briefing — “You are not alone, we are listening, we care. If you are struggling talk to someone.”
    • Premier Doug Ford was asked about when “he would pull the trigger” on a mandatory stay home order. He again said that nothing was off the table.
    • The list of essential services is being reviewed and we will hear about changes in the coming days.
    • Attorney General Doug Downey also announced emergency action to support victims of crime and protect front-line staff.
      • The Province is providing an emergency payment of more than $2.7 million to support services for victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes during the COVID-19 crisis. This additional one-time emergency payment will support more than 50 community agencies across Ontario, including victim crisis assistance organizations (VCAOs), Indigenous organizations and those based in rural areas, stay operational and accessible to victims during the public health crisis.
      • The funds will help front-line staff respond to challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis and enhance access to immediate supports for victims, including extended hotels stays, and transportation and meal vouchers available through the Victim Quick Response Program Plus (VQRP+).  – Media release
    • Minister of Health, Christine Elliot and Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney issued a joint statement regarding the Ontario trucking industry. They asked:
      • businesses who rely on truck drivers are expected to provide the necessary facilities for them. Everyone is being asked to do their part to make sure drivers can keep doing their jobs safely.
      • the Province is providing more safe places for truck drivers to stop and rest across the province. All 23 ONroute travel plazas will remain open for take-out, grab and go and drive-through services, including washrooms with enhanced cleaning. The Province is providing portable washrooms at 32 truck inspection stations so trucks have a place to stop and rest safely.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020:

Tuesday, March 31, 2020:

Monday, March 30, 2020:

Sunday, March 29, 2020:

Saturday, March 28, 2020:

  • Burlington Successfully Holds Tele-Town Hall on COVID-19 Response & Supports
  • Province to Buy Urgently Needed Critical Goods and Services and Deploy them to Where They are Needed the Most
  • Provincial government briefing:
    • Individuals and companies that are hoarding and/or selling of “necessary goods”, which include: masks, gloves, non-prescription medications, disinfecting wipes and cleaners and personal hygiene products (including toilet paper) at higher prices will be fined or could face jail time. Consumers can report an individual who is price gouging by filing a complaint at 1-800-889-9768 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, or by filing a report online.  See details in the release below.
    • The maximum gathering size will be lowered to 5. An order on this later today.
    • Minister Lecce will be making an announcement on Monday about parents having to pay for daycare when children are not attending. No mention of an announcement on the extension of school closures yet.
  • Ontario Prohibits Gatherings of More Than Five People with Strict Exceptions
  • Federal government briefing:
    • Starting Monday March 30 at noon, there will be new restrictions in place for domestic travel on federally regulated transportation (planes and trains). Anyone showing signs/symptoms of COVID-19 will be denied boarding. Provincial borders are not closed.
    • Canadians are encouraged to pre-register for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit program on the Canada Revenue Agency portal:
    • The Prime Minister once again encouraged people to continue to do what they have been doing – stay at home and continue to social distance:
      • 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.
      • Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
      • Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
      • Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements

Friday, March 27, 2020:

Thursday, March 26, 2020:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020:

  • Burlington Successfully Holds Virtual Special Council Meeting and Announces Modified Schedule for Transit Starting Sunday, March 29
  • Halton Region announces 15th confirmed positive case of COVID-19 experienced symptoms while travelling
  • Ontario announces toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  • Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19
    • $200 million in new funding to provide temporary emergency supports for people in financial need as well as funding to municipalities and other service providers to respond to local needs; for example, food banks, homeless shelters, churches and emergency services;
    • Deferring the upcoming quarterly (June 30) remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days. This will provide municipalities with the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals of over $1.8 billion to local residents and businesses; and
    • Working in conjunction with the government of Ontario, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will allow employers to defer payments for a period of six months. This will provide employers with $1.9 billion in financial relief.
    • The government will provide a $200 cheque per child up to 12 years old, and $250 for children with special needs, to offset additional costs associated with school and child care closures.
    • Increased funding to charities and non-profits by $148 million to recognize increased reliance on the institutions during the coronavirus.
    • Cutting business taxes by $355 million through a temporary increase to the Employment Health Tax exemption.
    • Doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System support for low-income seniors for six months.
    • As previously announced, providing six months of loan and interest accrual relief for post-secondary students.
    • $1.5 billion in electricity subsidies that were previously announced. The government is projected to fund $5.6 billion in hydro subsidies, an effective continuation of the previous Liberal government’s Fair Hydro Plan.
  • Federal Government Introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to Help Workers & Businesses, and Quarantine Measures Act
    • Quarantine Measures: 
      • All travellers returning to Canada — with the exception of what the federal government is calling “essential workers” — will have to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine as of midnight tonight.
      • Individuals who exhibit symptoms upon arrival in Canada will be forbidden, they will also be forbidden from using public transit to travel to their places self-isolation. Those travellers also will not be permitted to quarantine in a place where they can come into contact with vulnerable people. The Public Health Agency of Canada will make alternative arrangements for people in those circumstances.
      • More specific information on enforcement is coming later today.
    • Highlights of the programCanada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:
      • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures will also be eligible.
      • A temporary boost to Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering about $2 billion in extra support.
      • A new Emergency Support Benefit to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
      • A six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments.
      • A doubling of the homeless care program.
      • An extension of the tax filing deadline to June 1. There is also a policy change allowing taxpayers to defer until after Aug. 31 tax payments that are due after today and before September.
      • $305 million for a new Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

Monday, March 23, 2020:

Sunday, March 22, 2020:

Saturday, March 21, 2020:

Friday, March 20, 2020:

Thursday, March 19, 2020:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

Tuesday, March 17, 2020:

Monday, March 16, 2020:

Sunday, March 15, 2020:

Saturday, March 14, 2020:

Friday, March 13, 2020:

Thursday, March 12, 2020:

Wednesday, March 11, 2020:

Monday, March 2, 2020:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist.


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