The federal government will provide eight extra weeks of benefits for people whose jobs or earnings have vanished because of COVID19. It comes with the requirement that people must look for work and take a job when it’s reasonable to do so. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will continue to pay out $500-dollars a week — but now for up to 24-weeks, instead of 16. Applicants who signed up in April are set to max out their payment period early next month. The Employment Minister says workers with child or elder-care responsibilities, or those with COVID19 symptoms, may be unable to work but could keep their CERB access.
Confidence Vote Today:
Prime Minister Trudeau’s government faces a confidence vote today, but there’s little chance his minority Liberal government will fall. Trudeau secured the support of the NDP for the massive COVID19 spending bill, after meeting a demand to extend the two-thousand-dollar-a-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit for another eight weeks. A spokeswoman for the New Democrats confirmed they would vote in favour of the supplementary spending estimates — some $87-billion dollars in planned, primarily pandemic-related, government spending.
The pressure is working!
Because of our pressure the PM announced today an openness to extending CERB
But that’s not good enough. The Liberal government often says the right things but then doesn’t follow through
Let’s keep the pressure going
Text yes to 604 227 0096 pic.twitter.com/A4nFH3WjPl
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) June 16, 2020
Border Closure Extended:
The 30-day ban on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border has been extended for a third time. Prime Minister Trudeau says discretionary travel like vacations and shopping trips will be prohibited at least until July 21st. Essential workers, trade shipments and temporary foreign workers are still allowed to cross the border. Fear of a second wave of COVID19 is mounting in the U.S., as newly re-opened states begin to see increases in infections and hospitalizations.
Here is Prime Minister Trudeau’s news conference from yesterday:
Yesterday Ontario reported just 184 new COVID-19 cases. Again, most of the new ones were in Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex; the only three areas not allowed to move on to Stage 2 of reopening this week. Of the 32,554 cases in the province, 27,431 have recovered and there have been 2,538 deaths.
Wearing Masks in Stores:
Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province will be leaving it up to retailers to decide whether to force people in their stores to wear masks. Elliot made the comment when asked about an outbreak of COVID19 at a Home Depot location in Richmond Hill. A Home Depot Canada spokesperson says 14 associates at the store have tested positive for the virus and are currently “in quarantine.” York Region Public Health says it believes the risk to the public is low but anyone with close interactions with staff between May 30th and June 9th should watch for symptoms.
We're providing employers with a new workplace guide, which will help them develop a safety plan to better protect Ontarians as more people get back to work. The new guide is supported by 121 existing workplace resources available to help protect workers. https://t.co/0LJ9sIAGHR pic.twitter.com/igt9ujA8Pj
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) June 16, 2020
Insurance Relief is Not Enough:
Insurance companies have provided $685-million dollars in relief to Ontario drivers during the COVID19 pandemic, but the province’s finance minister says more should be done. The regulatory body says about 70 per cent of policy holders are receiving some form of relief, with an average savings of $150 dollars. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority says the relief amounts to about five per cent of the total annual premiums Ontario drivers pay. Finance Minister Rod Phillips says he will look at the companies not supporting their customers and will publicly name them if necessary.
1/3 My message to insurance companies has been clear: provide relief that reflects the financial hardships your customers are facing b/c of #COVID19. On April 15 we removed a barrier that prevented companies from providing drivers the relief they deserve:https://t.co/QUmjpxskdH
— Rod Phillips (@RodPhillips01) June 16, 2020
Premier Ford is urging farmers and migrant workers to co-operate with a voluntary COVID19 testing program aimed at containing outbreaks in the Windsor-Essex regionFord says the province can’t force workers to take the tests, but the reception to the program has been positive. He says 724 workers have been tested so far — but there are as many as 8,000 migrant workers in the region and 20,000 across the province each year Some people are calling for mandatory testing to track the virus on farms after dozens of migrant workers in Windsor-Essex tested positive and two died.
Here is Premier Ford’s news conference from yesterday:
Charged Under the Quarantine Act:
The OPP say two men have been charged under the Quarantine Act for failing to self-isolate after they returned to Fort Frances from the United States. Police say a 62-year-old man and a 19-year-old man with dual Canadian-American citizenship returned to northwestern Ontario on June 1st. The OPP says it began investigating with Canada Border Services and Public Health when the men were seen getting into a boat during the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period. They face a charge under the Quarantine Act that carries a fine of $1,000 dollars plus a $135 victim surcharge fee.
Equifax Canada says average consumer non-mortgage debt fell nearly 0.5 per cent in Canada in the first quarter. The credit rating agency says it was the first decline in more than a decade. Equifax says the drop to $23,386 reflected a significant drop in consumer spending in March as the economy shut down due to the pandemic. But the Canadian debt delinquency rate increased to 1.22 per cent, up almost nine per cent from the first quarter of 2019.
Here in Ontario, we have the brightest minds and hardest workers.
Let’s support local business, industry, and tourism by exploring and spending in our own backyard. pic.twitter.com/2TllNj8g2H
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) June 16, 2020
Air Canada Slowly Rebounding:
Air Canada’s chief financial officer says the airline is starting to see some improvement in domestic bookings. But Michael Rousseau says international travel will only improve when governments start to lift travel restrictions. Rousseau tells investors that he expects domestic business trips to pick up as early as September, followed by international leisure and business travel –though the lucrative summer European market is passing the company by this year.
Trudeau Open to Hosting The NHL:
Prime Minister Trudeau says as long as local health authorities give the okay, the federal government is open to an NHL – Canadian hub city. As it looks to return to action after suspending play, the NHL is considering having 24 teams operating out of two hubs. Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver are among the 10 potential cities, but the league says that’s only if players aren’t subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine currently in effect at the border.
The Grand River Conservation authority has begun reopening more of it’s facilities. Most parks are now open from 8am until 9pm daily with gatehouses open until 6pm. Beaches and washrooms are also open in day use areas and memberships are again available for purchase. Full details are on their website.
The GRCA has reopened more amenities including gatehouses, beaches and some washrooms at most of our conservation areas.
— grandriverca (@grandriverca) June 16, 2020
Waterloo Region Numbers:
Yesterday Public Health only had 8 new COVID19 cases to report in the Region for a total of 1,218. Thanks to a high “resolved rate”, only 93 of them are active at the moment. The death toll is still at 115. There hasn’t been a death in the area since June 3rd. In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, there was only 1 new case reported yesterday.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot