As of Friday, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre has been mobilized for 150 days, working with Toronto Public Health and other City divisions to slow the spread of the virus, keep the community safe and help the city recover and rebuild.
We continue to make great progress. For the first time yesterday, all of Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard indicators are green indicating they meet the established goal. This is great news and is the result of the collaborative hard work of many health system partners and residents like you.
With ongoing uncertainty around going back to school and a potential second wave of cases, Toronto Public Health continues to closely monitor local COVID-19 data and reminds residents to remain vigilant and keep following public health measures required to limit opportunities for virus spread.
As many areas of our lives return to our pre-COVID routines, we can’t lose sight of the fact that for many the recovery has not come. We know that poor, racialized people have been disproportionately infected by COVID-19 directly, but are also facing the brunt of the social and unemployment crisis.
I am very concerned for residents who continue to rely on the Government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for income. As this program winds down, I will be watching closely to make sure that those who have not been able to return to work are not left without support. In Ontario, in the wake of Bill 184, the consequences for people if they cannot pay their rent is dire, as thousands of people already face eviction.
Yesterday, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion, announced that when individuals begin transitioning off of the CERB back to Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits at the end of this month, a minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% will be applied temporarily for all EI economic regions across Canada, and will offer a minimum entitlement of 26 weeks of benefits. In Ontario, where the current unemployment rate is 11.3%, EI benefits will be calculated at 13.1%, allowing for wider eligibility.
The Canadian government outlined that additional steps will be revealed in the coming weeks in order to help citizens transition from the CERB to the EI system. As more information is released my office and I will continue to keep you updated.
Additionally, yesterday the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released a second interim report in their inquiry into racial profiling and discrimination, analyzing Toronto Police Service data from 2013 to 2017. The report reconfirmed what Black residents of Toronto have been saying for years - Black people are more likely than others to be arrested, charged, or have force used against them during interactions with Toronto police.
The Toronto Police Services released their own report today, with over 80 recommendations for police service reforms, compiling feedback and directions from City Council, the public Town Halls and the Police Service Boards’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel (ARAP) and the Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Panel (MHAAP) among others. This report is lengthy and will require close analysis from City Council and the Police Services Board, and members of the public to see if the recommendations adequately and immediately address the deep injustices highlighted by the OHRC’s report.
Residents will have an opportunity to speak to the report at next week’s police service board meeting on August 18, 2020. To request to speak, please fill out the form here.
As a city, we must do more than proclaim that Black Lives Matter. We must develop and implement policies that end the systemic oppression of Black people. We do that by addressing poverty, and ensuring everyone has a safe and dignified place to live. We do it by providing recreation spaces for youth and meaningful access to employment. And we do it by bolding re-imagining institutions like policing, by reallocating our funding priorities away from reactive and punitive enforcement.
Thank you for your resilience, it is an honour to represent you.
The YWCA serves over 300 communities across Canada, and has continued working hard over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have seen the disproportionate and devastating impact on women, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people through this ongoing health and economic crisis.
Recently, they’ve launched A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada: Making the Economy Work for Everyone, an 8-point Plan that provides a roadmap for post-pandemic recovery with a commitment to intersectional gender equity at the core. The Plan can be viewed in full at www.feministrecovery.ca. This is the only nationally-focused Feminist Economic Recovery Plan in the world whose recommendations can be applied to many orders of government.
The 8 pillars of the Plan include:
- Intersectionality: Understanding Power
- Addressing Root Causes of Systemic Racism
- Care Work is Essential Work
- Investing in Good Jobs
- Fighting the Shadow Pandemic
- Bolstering Small Businesses
- Strengthening Infrastructure for Recovery
- Diverse Voices in Decisions
As the City of Toronto moves forward in our Recovery and Response efforts, we must ensure we examine our own plans through an equity lens, ensuring that no one is left behind. Thank you for doing this hard work, and continuing the fight for equity.
COVID-19: Ongoing Tips to Reduce Virus Spread
As we begin to ease our public health measures, we will all be living a new normal. Our commitment must be to continue minimizing the impact of COVID-19, especially on our most vulnerable residents, while reducing negative social, economic and broader health impacts on our community. In the coming months what this means for our residents is:
- Continuing to work remotely, wherever possible;
- Maintaining physical distance from people outside our household or social circle/bubble;
- Avoiding crowds and congregations in closed indoor settings;
- Wearing a cloth mask or face covering in any indoor, enclosed public spaces or where physical distancing is difficult to maintain; and
- Staying home whenever we are sick for any reason.
When you are unable to keep a six feet/two-metre distance from others, wear a mask or face covering. This includes when you are:
- In any indoor, enclosed public space;
- In elevators, common areas, waiting rooms or shopping;
- Using transit, taxi or rideshare services; and
- Sick and going to a medical appointment.
Be respectful of others who choose not to wear a mask. Some health conditions make it hard to breathe when wearing a face covering.
How to Create a Safe Social Circles
As we continue our shared fight against COVID-19, you can now establish a family or social circle of no more than 10 people who can interact with one another without physical distancing. Social circles are a way to safely expand the number of people with whom you can come in close contact. Think of your social circle as the people you can hug and touch, or those who can become part of your daily and weekly routines.
There are 15,532 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 18 today. There are 69 people hospitalized. In total, 14,108 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 14 since yesterday. To date, there have been 1,163 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. For the first time today, all of Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard indicators are green indicating they meet the established goal. This good news is the result of the collaborative hard work of many health system partners. Toronto Public Health continues to closely monitor local COVID-19 data and reminds residents to remain vigilant and keep following public health measures required to limit opportunities for virus spread. COVID-19 case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform
Mayor John Tory Announces $2 million Partnership with the Slaight Family Foundation and Advance to Support Black Professionals in Toronto’s Music Industry
Mayor John Tory announced a $2 million partnership between the City of Toronto, the Slaight Family Foundation and Advance, Canada’s Black Music Business Collective, to support the entry, retention, and advancement of Black professionals in Toronto’s music industry.
The investment of $6 million over three years will be made available through the Ontario CCTV Grant, a new program designed to further support police services in their efforts to enhance public safety and hold offenders accountable as part of Ontario's Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy.
Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, launched an updated and improved Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy online calculator. It will help small and large employers alike prepare to apply for the next period of the CEWS program, which will open for applications on August 17, 2020.
Government of Canada Temporarily Sets a Minimum Unemployment Rate for the Employment Insurance Program
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion, announced that effective August 9, 2020 a minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% will be applied temporarily for all EI economic regions across Canada.
COVID-19 Information and Resources
Now is the time to stay informed through credible sources, and to follow the advice of our public health professionals. Together we can limit the spread of COVID-19.
Phone lines for telehealth, TPH and 311 continue to experience very high volumes. Please help keep the phones lines open for people who are sick by visiting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 website for up-to-date information and resources: toronto.ca/covid-19
Call if you develop symptoms!
Toronto Public Health Hotline
8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Call if you have questions about COVID-19.
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489
Call if you have questions about City services, or to report people
Support for People Living with Homelessness
If you see someone living with homelessness and in need of support you can call Streets to Homes at 416-338-4766. For mental health support, the Gerstein Crisis Centre is a valuable 24-hours a day, seven days a week service in our community and they have crisis workers on standby at 416-929-5200. More resources, including additional how to report information, are available on my website at kristynwongtam.ca.
If you or someone else is confronted with life-threatening danger, please call 911 immediately. Alternatively, the Toronto Police request that online reports be submitted at torontopolice.on.ca/core or to torontopolice.on.ca/community-complaints. You can also call their non-emergency line at 416-808-2222. In the past, by diligently reporting criminal activity, residents were able to see our community policing and other service levels increase. You can do your part: see it, report it.