TORONTO – Ontario Will Not Be Content With “Bad Deal” On Billions Of Financial Aid To Municipalities, Premier Doug Ford Said Wednesday As The Gap Between The Province And The Federal Government about municipal funding seemed to be growing.
Ford said Wednesday that he is engaged in active talks with Ottawa to secure funding for cash-strapped municipalities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayors said earlier this week that an aid program from the two senior levels of government was needed to prevent tax increases and cutbacks in services.
The Prime Minister has said that he is not prepared to settle for the current federal offer, which he says is short of more than $ 1 billion to meet the needs of Ontario communities.
“If I agreed, municipalities would not be very happy with the amount the federal government is currently offering,” said Ford.
Meanwhile, the Ford government has introduced a new omnibus bill that the Premier says will help the province’s economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill – dubbed An Act to foster economic recovery from COVID-19 – proposes to amend 20 existing laws that govern schools, municipalities and the justice system in the province.
Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark said that if passed, the bill would speed up environmental assessments, provide new protections for consumers and help fight unemployment.
Clark said the bill would also create an economic agency to help attract more international investment to the province.
The bill also includes measures announced this week by Minister of Education Stephen Lecce to end suspensions for kindergarten to grade 3 students.
NDP House Leader Peggy Sattler said the bill was an abuse of government power under the province’s current state of emergency.
Liberal House Leader John Fraser has denounced that things like changing the way justices of the peace are appointed have nothing to do with recovery from the pandemic.
The government was also scheduled to table a motion Wednesday to extend the province’s state of emergency until July 24.
The current state of emergency declared at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic will expire on July 15.
Ford’s office has said the government wants to extend the measure to ensure there is no gap between the end of this state of emergency and a new bill extending the measures emergency services.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones introduced this bill, saying that the province will need to keep certain emergency measures in place in the coming months.
On Wednesday, Ontario reported 118 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 2,700.
The total number of cases now stands at 36,178, of which 31,805 are classified as resolved.
The province also reported 202 new cases resolved and performed more than 22,832 COVID-19 tests in the past 24 hours.
The number of people hospitalized for the virus, those in intensive care and those on ventilators has decreased slightly.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said 30 of the province’s 34 public health units have reported five or fewer new cases, and 18 have not reported any.
Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press
Video: Coronavirus: Quebec hardens the tone towards bars (Le Devoir)
- Coronavirus: Who will enforce the compulsory wearing of masks in public transport?
The wearing of the mask will be mandatory in public transportation in Quebec as of July 13, but the transportation companies do not know how they will go about enforcing the instruction. “Our members will not play the mask police” – Daniel Leroux, acting president of the STM transport union, which represents bus drivers. “You should know that a driver has no coercive power other than stopping his bus […] As for the inspectors, there are not enough of them to be deployed on all the buses. ” – Valérie Plante Until July 27, users will benefit from a grace period. After this date, passengers aged 12 and over who present themselves without a mask will not be able to board buses or the metro. While they welcome the government’s decision on the mask, the transportation companies do not yet know how the new rules will apply. The Société de transport de Montréal (STM), the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) as well as those of Longueuil and Laval are awaiting the publication of the ministerial order before disclosing the terms and conditions to this effect. The government does not provide for fines for passengers who do not wear the mask. Valérie Plante believes that the compulsory wearing of a face cover in public transport was necessary given the low adoption of the mask among users. Since June 15, the mask is mandatory in the OC Transpo network in Ottawa. It is the first Canadian city to move forward with this measure. The transport company has decided that it will not limit access to its network to users without masks and that it will not issue statements of offense to recalcitrants. The Toronto Transit Commission also made it mandatory to wear the mask effective July 2. Only children under two years of age and people with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask will be exempt. But it will not refuse access to the metro and buses to users who do not have their faces covered.
- Coronavirus: young drug addicts left to their own devices
Since the pandemic, requests for admission to adolescent drug treatment centers have plummeted. And it is not because young people have stopped using, but because the usual safety nets have practically all disappeared since March. “Since the schools closed, we have been unable to reach young people” – Guillaume Potvin, head of the adolescent program at the Portage center in the Laurentians. Since mid-March, Le Portage has no longer received referrals from its usual partners, namely schools, hospitals, youth centers and other community organizations. In telework mode, workers who generally raise the red flag are no longer able to do so. Compared to last year, Le Portage saw its admission requests decrease by 63% for French-speaking adolescent customers and by 87% for English-speaking adolescent customers since March. Among adults, the decline is 38%. “We need families, parents, grandparents. Call us ! Even if it doesn’t result in an admission, even if it’s just to ask questions. – Seychelle Harding of the Le Portage center David Laplante, director general of the Le Grand Chemin center, believes that it is rather for network stakeholders to organize themselves to reach young people despite the pandemic. In adolescents, it is important to intervene as soon as possible to avoid an escalation in consumption, he recalls.
- Heat wave and pandemic: consumption of drinking water explodes
The recent heat wave and the continuing pandemic have exploded the consumption of drinking water in Quebec, forcing many municipalities to impose water consumption restrictions. We can expect other similar episodes during the summer. And the capacity of cities to treat water concerns experts more than supply. During the heat wave, several municipalities, including Quebec, Longueuil, Laval and certain areas of Montreal, asked their citizens to reduce their water consumption by prohibiting the filling of swimming pools and watering the lawn, among others. The level of the St. Lawrence River remains high, so supply is assured. Rather, it is the decrease in reserves and the drop in pressure in the network that cause concern in Laval and Longueuil, for example. “It was really in a critical situation. It was the first time that the agglomeration of Longueuil decreed watering bans for its entire territory. – Fanie St-Pierre, spokesperson for the City of Longueuil The heat wave combined with the increase in telework during the pandemic also explains the high consumption of water in the residential sector (kitchen, showers, dishes, watering vegetable gardens and lawns , cleaning cars and parking lots, etc.) “We invest a lot in our flowers and our lawns, but we must remember that lawns can remain dormant for up to four to six weeks. -Mathieu Laneuville, Deputy Director General of the Environment Network Quebecers are among the largest consumers of water in Canada. The recovery of rainwater could meet the need for water for watering gardens and washing cars, but it is still not widely used in Quebec.