Here are today’s new developments
- Canada’s deficit is expected to top $252 billion this year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Canadian restaurant owners are among the many businesses struggling to stay afloat right now, with some predicting that the ongoing stress and uncertainty will lead to closures even after restrictions are lifted -- the NDP has been calling for a major commercial rent relief program, and has echoed calls from business owners who say the federal government’s rent relief program — which Doug Ford believes is enough — is not good enough.
- Ontario has announced new guidelines for businesses across different sectors to prepare for opening up when restrictions ease— the NDP’s Labour critic for Workplace Health and Safety, Wayne Gates, says that giving businesses guidelines, as opposed to clear rules, is dangerous, and will put lives at risk.
- Despite Doug Ford’s insistence that the province has enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, reports out of long-term care facilities indicate that workers aren’t given the PPE they need, and PSWs may continue to face pressure from employers to work without proper protections. The union representing the second PSW to die of COVID-19 in Ontario, Arlene Reid, said PPE protocols and government directives have “insufficiently protected PSWs” in home care, long-term care and hospital settings -- The NDP has been calling for a new strategy to protect residents and staff in long-term care.
Here are some concerns the NDP is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- The NDP is calling out Doug Ford's continued failure to mandate auto insurance companies to lower their rates during the pandemic, pointing out that all auto insurance rates in Ontario are approved by the provincial government -- the NDP has been calling on Ford to mandate a three-month, 50 per cent discount to auto insurance.
"If the Ford government wanted to give drivers a break, they could do it today. Instead, Ford continues to let insurers take drivers for a ride," said NDP Auto Insurance critic Tom Rakocevic.
- Andrea Horwath is calling on the Ford government to announce emergency financial support for colleges and universities, as Mohawk College anticipates having to make $50 million in cuts as a result of COVID-19.
- Doug Ford continues to move the goalposts to lower Ontario's target for increasing COVID-19 tests--a key factor in safely reopening the economy - -the NDP's "fact check" shows that the government has failed consistently to meet its own lowered targets.
Here are some things we’re hearing from our community members:
- With rent due tomorrow, commercial tenants are worried about being able to keep the lights on. The NDP has renewed its call for Ford to provide desperately-needed commercial rent relief.
- Many residential tenants are unable to pay rent this month, and are terrified of being evicted -- the NDP has been calling for an 80 per cent rent subsidy for tenants, plus a legislated ban on evictions.