NDP Calling For Substantial Help For Small Businesses – Full COVID-19 Update

NDP Calling For Substantial Help For Small Businesses – Full COVID-19 Update

The Ontario Official Opposition is calling on the provincial government to provide $2.2-billion dollars in additional funding to help struggling businesses survive the long, painful COVID-19 lockdown. The NDP says that includes an additional $1.7-billion dollars for a third round of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which provides up to $20,000n dollars to help businesses stay open. The New Democrats are also proposing a new one-thousand-dollar tax credit for families visiting qualifying tourism businesses in Ontario, including restaurants, hotels, outfitters and attractions. Party leader Andrea Horwath says personal care and service-based businesses also need targeted support, with weeks to go before they are allowed to re-open.

Alberta Will Be Fully Reopened Around Canada Day:

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the province will soon start lifting some public health restrictions and the Calgary Stampede will be able to go ahead. He says the government’s “open for summer” plan is possible because Albertans have managed to flatten a spike in COVID-19 cases and are getting vaccinated. Kenney says movie theatres, libraries and gyms will be allowed to open and restaurants will be able to offer indoor dining as of mid-June.

Ontario Won’t Make LTC Targets:

Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says in a new report the province will not meet its goal of 15,000 new long-term care beds by 2024. The Financial Accountability Office also says Ontario will need more than its goal of 30,000 new beds in 10 years. The FAO says the province will need to hire 17,000 personal support workers and more than 12,000 nurses to increase average daily direct care per resident to four hours per day. The financial watchdog projects spending on long-term care will increase to $10.6 billion per year by 2030 from $4.4 billion per year based on its programs and commitments.

Report Concludes Early Federal Pandemic Efforts Succeeded Despite Being Very Unprepared:

A new audit says the federal government was able to get desperately needed medical equipment to provinces and territories, despite long-standing supply issues. Auditor General Karen Hogan says before COVID-19, the Public Health Agency of Canada ignored multiple warnings that its national stockpile wasn’t being properly managed. Despite the lack of preparation, Hogan said quick action as the pandemic began meant Ottawa did manage to supply the provinces with much-needed equipment.

Here is the government response:

Manitoba Hospital-Transfer Patient To Ontario Dies:

A Manitoba COVID-19 patient being transferred to a hospital in Ontario has died. Shared Health says the patient became unstable prior to takeoff earlier this week and was immediately returned to the health facility. The patient died the following day. In the legislature, Opposition N-D-P Leader Wab Kinew says the government has put lives at risk by moving people. Manitoba has had to start sending some of its COVID-19 patients in intensive care to other provinces because of bed shortages.

Vaccination Update:

More than half of all people in Canada have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as the country edges closer to lifting anti-pandemic restrictions. In all, 20-million people have had a shot — close to two-thirds of those aged 12 and older. Canada is now among the top five countries in the world for the percentage of population with at least one dose. But it lags well behind the US and other countries when it comes to the number of fully vaccinated people.

Canada Numbers:

Canadian health officials reported 2,600 new confirmed COVID-19 infections Wednesday, along with nearly 45,000 active cases and 38 new deaths. Of the regions still considered hotspots, Ontario reported just under 1,100 new cases. Quebec continued its downward trend with 308 new infections, while Alberta had 390, and Manitoba logged 312. Nova Scotia reported another 37 new cases, New Brunswick had 10, and Newfoundland and Labrador added four. Nunavut was the only territory reporting new cases Wednesday, with seven.

Ontario Numbers:

There were 1,095 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario yesterday and 23 more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says there were 257 new cases in Toronto, 215 in Peel Region, 123 new cases in Durham Region and 101 in York Region. Hospitalization numbers continued to improve. There were 20 less in Ontario ICU and 29 less on a ventilator. 2,371 more cases were marked as resolved. The province said more than 135,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Tuesday’s report for a total of more than 8.3 million doses.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Waterloo Region Public Health had some good numbers again yesterday. There were only 32 new COVID-19 cases in the Region, there were no new deaths, and hospitalizations dropped by another three patients to a total of 28. The number of active cases was down by forty-nine to 381.  One of the cases was confirmed as the variant first discovered in India.

There were just 2 new cases yesterday in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit. The number of active cases dropped down to 221.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: Doug Ford via Twitter

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