Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson is pleased the provincial government has taken several extraordinary steps to help people and businesses during the unprecedented challenges created from the outbreak of COVID-19.
“The government’s action plan, announced during Finance Minister Rod Phillips’ March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update on March 25, is a first step in its response to COVID-19 and includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs. It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.”
The steps include removing the time of use rates for hydro – freezing it at its lowest rate of 10.1 cents per kilowatt hour 24/7 for 45 days as of March 24.
The province has also created a $200 million fund to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people.
The government will be providing municipalities and organizations that administer social services with funding to support them in their response to the ongoing challenges. The funding will help municipalities and social service providers such as shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities and non-profits continue to deliver their critical services, hire additional staff, and find ways to promote social distancing and self-isolation to keep clients safe and healthy. Ontario’s municipal service managers will determine local needs and distribute the funding, ensuring clients are receiving the support they need.
The funding will also help individuals who do not qualify for emergency financial supports under federal programs. The government is putting in place an expanded Emergency Assistance program administered through Ontario Works (OW) to cover these individuals’ needs such as food, rent, informal childcare, and services. There will also be discretionary benefits available to those who already receive social assistance.
Individuals can apply online at Ontario.ca/community
“We are in unprecedented territory. We have never seen a threat like the COVID-19,” Thompson said. “That is why it is paramount that we protect the health and safety of all Ontarians.”
Thompson praised local Huron-Bruce health officials, and first responders as well as municipal leaders for their steadfast dedication. “And, words will never be able to convey my appreciation for the work done by our doctors, nurses, PSWs and everyone working in the health industry as well as police, fire and EMS men and women. You have all been incredible given the efforts to manage the current situation and in preparation for what may transpire in the weeks to come.” She also thanked pharmacists and their staff and those working to keep store shelves stocked. “Everyone is doing their part to help us get through this pandemic,” she said.
But the MPP also recognized the efforts of residents in Huron-Bruce. “We all need to be taking this outbreak seriously and we are taking the proper steps to help reduce the spread. The evidence thus far in the low numbers of people with the virus in Huron and Bruce Counties, so please keep following the advice of social distancing and self-isolating,” Thompson said. “We will get through this, we will embrace the Ontario spirit and we will get through it together.”