June 2021 Newsletter

2021 June Newsletter

Stan Cho

July 2, 2021

I have great news! As of Monday June 28, anyone 18 or older who received a first dose of Moderna or Pfizer can book an appointment for their second dose ahead of schedule through the provincial booking system and call centre (1-833-943-3900).

The other great news is that we can continue to gradually re-open the economy. As of Wednesday, June 30th, the following changes have been implemented as we move to Stage 2 ahead of schedule:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 5 people;
  • Essential and other select retail permitted at 50 per cent capacity;
  • Non-essential retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
  • Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times, and at 25 per cent capacity and other restrictions;
  • Outdoor dining with up to 6 people per table, with exceptions for larger households and other restrictions;
  • Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 25 per cent capacity of the particular room;
  • Outdoor fitness classes limited to the number of people who can maintain 3 metres of physical distance;
  • Outdoor sports without contact or modified to avoid contact, with no specified limit on number of people or teams participating,
  • Overnight camps for children operating consistent with the safety guidelines from  the Chief Medical Officer of Health;
  • Outdoor sport facilities with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
  • Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas, with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
  • Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways, with spectators permitted at 25 per cent capacity;
  • Outdoor fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals, permitted at 25 per cent capacity

I also wanted to share with you some exciting news! On June 18th, Premier Ford asked me to sit at the Cabinet table as Associate Minister of Transportation! 

I am honoured and excited to take on this new role.  I am passionate about transit and made a commitment during the election to work hard to get Torontonians moving.

From our promise to build subways, including the exciting new Ontario Line, to investments in roads and busses, our government is committed to building the necessary transit that is long overdue in the province. Just last week, I was proud to join the Premier and others to help break ground on the Scarborough subway extension as part of the largest subway expansion in Canadian history.  This project will bring better, more reliable transit for the people of Toronto and this is just the start!

Here are some recent updates:

Modernizing Grade Nine Math

Great news! We recently announced the release of a new Grade 9 math course, as part of our government’s four-year mathematics strategy to ensure all students can build the skills and confidence they need to succeed and excel. The new curriculum, which will be taught this coming September, is intended to equip students with real-life application and valuable learning opportunities that will support their success in the workforce, including:  

  • mandatory new learning on coding, data literacy, mathematical modelling and an emphasis on financial literacy.
  • ending the practice of streaming Grade 9 students into applied and academic courses, a practice that has in the past disadvantaged some students.

The government also announced additional funding to support math education – including the largest expansion of summer learning, tutoring, and additional resources to train and equip educators.

To improve education outcomes for Black students and break down systemic barriers, our government has allocated $4.37M. This includes $1.4M announced recently.

Ontario Further Eases Long-Term Care Home Restrictions

In line with the move to Step Two of our government’s Roadmap to Re-open, we are making additional changes to enhance long-term care home resident quality of life. The changes will take effect Wednesday, July 7th, 2021.

This is great news! It is important for residents to be able to engage in physical activity and take part in activities that bring them joy, comfort and dignity while remaining safe.

Do you need help getting to a COVID-19 vaccination site?

Recently, our government announced $3.7million in partnership with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) to help people with disabilities, including seniors with mobility issues, get to and from vaccination sites. This initiative provides vulnerable Ontarians with an accessible transportation option to get their shot and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have a vaccine appointment booked for the date of transportation;  
  • Be a person with a disability within the meaning of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
  • Have limited or no access to safe and accessible transportation or face barriers to getting to/from a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. 

Eligible individuals can make an appointment through:

  • Caredove – an accessible, online user-friendly referral platform that provides Ontarians with access to up-to-date information about services in their community, including transportation, based on postal code. Persons who cannot locate a local CSS transportation program through Caredove will be automatically re-routed to Canadian Red Cross Society staff.
  • 211 Ontario – It provides a gateway to community, social, non-clinical health and related government services 24/7 in 150+ languages.

Ontario Strengthening Protections for Buyers and Owners of New Homes

On July 1st, our government reached the next milestone to rebuild consumer confidence in the new home sector and overhaul Ontario’s New Home Warranty and Protection Program.

A new Code of Ethics, simplified warranty and protections claims process for defects in new homes, and a mediation process for homeowners who dispute a warranty claim assessment will hold licensed builders and vendors of new homes to standard of work and professionalism that reflects the best of Ontario’s homebuilding industry.

We will be providing the Home Construction Regulatory Authority with a new discipline committee and an appeals committee process to hold bad actors accountable.

We will also be enhancing Tarion’s dispute resolution and new home warranty and protection claims processes to:

  • Support a simplified claims process that is easier for consumers
  • Improve transparency by requiring Tarion to provide claimants with expert opinions when it issues a warranty assessment report and
  • Enable homeowners who dispute Tarion’s assessment of their warranty claim to request that Tarion participate in mediation

We all benefit when we raise the bar for quality new home construction in Ontario and make it easier for buyers and owners to get what they paid for.

Ontario Adding Mental Health Workers to OPP Communications Centres

On June 30th, our government announced that we are investing $8.4 million over three years in a new Ontario Provincial Police Crisis Call Diversion Program. This program will help police offer the most appropriate response to calls from individuals experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, which may include diversion to appropriate mental health services.

Specifically, the program consists of a professional mental health and addictions crisis worker who will be embedded into each of the OPP Provincial Communications Centres. Once assigned to the call, the crisis worker can assist individuals experiencing a crisis by providing resources and tools, offering referrals and helping them navigate the mental health system for help. Alternatively, the crisis worker can also provide support and assist in preliminary de-escalation when a call has been assigned to a police officer.

Ways to get vaccinated

The virus and new variants of the virus remain a real threat, so please continue to follow all public health guidelines.