Ford Wants To Know Why Charges Aren’t Being Laid Against People Who Fail To Quarantine – Full COVID19 Update

Premier Ford is accusing the federal government of failing to enforce 14-day quarantine orders for most people arriving in Ontario from outside Canada. Ford says he’s frustrated because Ontario police checks found 622 people who violated quarantine orders imposed in late March — but no federal charges have been laid. Data from the Public Health Agency of Canada lists zero arrests for ignoring a quarantine order, one summons to appear in court and 42 police-issued tickets. Ford calls the quarantine system broken but provincial Solicitor General Sylvia Jones also says police should say why they aren’t issuing more tickets.

Ford May Ask Surgeons to Work a Few Weekends Until the Surgery Backlog is Caught-up:

Premier Ford says asking surgeons to works on weekends is among the options being considered to address a massive backlog of surgeries. Ford estimates about 180,000 procedures were postponed earlier this year to free up hospital space for possible COVID19 patients. Modelling research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has estimated it will take at least a year and a half to clear that waiting list. The premier says his government has money to address the issue, but did not disclose an amount.

Ford Nervous About Halloween But Says it’s Too Soon to Make Any Decisions:

Premier Ford says the idea of children going door-to-door for Halloween this year makes him nervous. Ford says he’ll want to discuss the issue with the province’s health experts but says he’d prefer parents keep their kids home instead of going trick or treating. He says he’s concerned because it’s difficult to say where the daily COVID19 case count will be by the end of next month. Ontario has seen a steady increase in COVID19 cases in recent weeks.

Ontario Numbers:

Ontario’s COVID19 cases jumped again yesterday with 170 new cases reported and one new death.

Back-to-School delay in Toronto:

The largest school board in the province is further delaying the start of classes in many high schools. The Toronto District School Board says issues around staffing and timetables mean most students will now return to school on September 17th. Students in special education schools and intensive support programs at secondary schools will return to class on Tuesday. The board says it will contact families directly if there are further delays.

Toronto Wants Help for Downtown Businesses:

Toronto Mayor John Tory is asking the federal and provincial governments to do more to help downtown businesses across the country. Tory says businesses in Toronto and beyond are still struggling as once busy downtown areas remain deserted amid public health restrictions and a huge spike in remote work. Tory put his request in letters to Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips and his federal counterpart Chrystia Freeland. He’s asking Ottawa to launch a review into reviving main streets and downtown cores, and requesting the province defer property taxes to help businesses like hotels and restaurants.

Assault at a Hamilton COVID Assessment Centre:

A Hamilton man is facing a criminal charge after allegedly assaulting a staff member at a local COVID19 assessment centre. Hamilton police allege the man became irate while at the centre and through a cup at the employee. Police say she was covered in the cup’s contents, but offered no other details. The man is facing one count of assault with a weapon.

The Feds Are Spending Big Money in Ontario:

Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says the federal government is paying 97 per cent of the cost of direct support measures in the province in response to the COVID19 pandemic. The Financial Accountability Office says Ottawa and Ontario are providing a net total of $105.6-billion dollars through 126 measures. More than $93-billion will benefit individuals and businesses, with about $4-billion each allocated to health care and municipalities, and $1.3-billion for schools and child care. Ontario is also getting a net total of $76.9-billion dollars in federal and provincial liquidity measures.

Trudeau Agrees to First Minister’s Meeting:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to hold a virtual first ministers meeting on federal health care transfers to the provinces and territories. Plans for the talk follow a meeting between Quebec’s Francois Legault and Ontario’s Doug Ford. The pair issued a joint call for a significant increase in the funding Ottawa sends them to help cover mushrooming health care costs. Ottawa has already committed to transferring $19-billion-dollars to the provinces to soften the impact of COVID19, including some $10-billion for health-related expenses.

Quebec Imposes Stricter Penalties:

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says people can face fines starting Saturday if they don’t wear a face covering in indoor public spaces. Legault says tightened public health rules will be focused on so-called yellow zones in the province — including four regions outside of Montreal that have recently seen an increase in COVID cases. Yellow means “early warning” under Quebec’s new four-level, colour-coded COVID19 alert system. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says its members are pleased the responsibility for enforcing mask-use will now be shared.

Alberta Shelters:

An Alberta doctor is worried the province’s homeless shelters won’t have enough space to keep everyone safe once the cold weather hits. Doctor Richard Musto is a retired public health officer who has been volunteering to help Calgary’s most vulnerable citizens during the COVID19 pandemic. He says it’s crucial to ensure two metres of spacing between beds, even when there isn’t an outbreak. The province has committed 48-million-dollars to support shelters and community organizations through the winter, but details remain scarce.

BOC Warning About Jobs:

The governor of the Bank of Canada is warning that the slower rebound from COVID19 facing women, youth and low-wage workers could pose a threat to a broader economic recovery. Tiff Macklem’s speech to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce says women and young people are more likely now to be permanently laid off. Macklem says the central bank is doing everything it can to support growth and get people back to work.

US Unemployment Numbers:

Some 884,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week as the labour market’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis stalled once again, new data show.  That means a seasonally adjusted total of 60.1 million initial jobless claims have flooded unemployment offices during the COVID19 pandemic — a number larger than the entire population of South Africa.  Last week’s filings were unchanged from the prior week’s revised total of 884,000 as businesses tried to recover from virus-related lockdowns that led to record job losses in April, yesterday’s US Department of Labor figures showed.

US Democrats Block Latest Stimulus Bill:

Yesterday, Senate Democrats blocked a coronavirus stimulus bill that included funds for people left unemployed by the pandemic.  In a party-line vote, Democrats withheld the 60 votes needed to consider the bill, continuing months-long gridlock ahead of Election Day. Republican leaders said the bill included widely supported bipartisan ideas, but Democrats argued it didn’t do enough.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said it was “a rather pointless vote on the latest highly partisan Republican emaciated COVID relief bill.”

US Teacher Deaths:

At least four teachers in three states have died after bouts with the coronavirus since the dawn of the new school year, including a 28-year-old third-grade teacher in South Carolina.  One of the teachers is believed to have become infected at a church meeting, while two others were already self-quarantining or in hospital before students and staff returned to the classroom.   It is not known how the other teachers became infected.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Yesterday was the single biggest daily spike in COVID19 cases in the region in weeks. Waterloo Region Public Health reported nine new cases. There are still zero people hospitalized and 37 cases are active currently. In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph there was an increase there too. They added 3 new cases added yesterday. There are now 16 active cases and still zero people hospitalized.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

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Posted in COVID19, News
Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan