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Dear Neighbour, 

In response to a doubling in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, the real and looming threat of the collapse of the province's hospital system and alarming risks posed to long-term care homes as a result of high COVID-19 transmission rates, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, has declared a second provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA).

Effective yesterday, January 14th at 12:01 a.m., the Ontario Government issued a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely.

Additionally, and based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, schools in Toronto and four other public health units (PHUs) will not return to in-person instruction until February 10, 2021. Child care centres for non-school aged children will remain open. In areas where in-person elementary learning is suspended, emergency child care will continue for eligible families in regions subject to school closures, as identified by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people's mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings for these purposes, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives. 

The Ontario government has opened applications for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The grant, first announced in December, provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict their operations due to the Provincewide Shutdown. The tightened restrictions were put in place to help stop the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in Ontario.

Small businesses required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for a one-time grant and use this funding in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business needs. For example, some businesses could need support paying employee wages, while others could need support with their rent.

Eligible small businesses include those that:

  • Were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26.
  • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level.
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019. New businesses established since April 2019 will also be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria.

Businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown are also eligible for additional supports, including the government's program to provide rebates to offset fixed costs such as property tax and energy bills. These rebates will continue to be available for businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown and earlier restrictions.

More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and other rebates is available on Ontario.ca/COVIDsupport.

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and in adherence to the Stay-At-Home Order, my constituency office remains closed for in-person visits. My constituency staff and I will be working remotely at this time. We remain ready to assist. You can continue to contact us at (416) 781-2395 or email robin.martin@pc.ola.org.
 
Stay safe, stay healthy, 
Robin Martin, MPP
Eglinton-Lawrence
 
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