Queen’s Park Update
By Jim McDonell
MPP Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry
Over the past few months, my staff and I have had many conversations with businesses and constituents over the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Many have lost all or a significant portion of their income and are trying to navigate the array of provincial and federal support programs. We have put together a summary of all the programs, broken out by individual, family, student, and business categories at: http://www.covidsupports.ca/jimmcdonell/.
Our Government has been working with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and medical experts to evaluate the vast amount of research data that is streaming in from all parts of the world to put in place the measures required to slow the spread of this virus. So far, we have been successful in flattening the curve, providing us time to expand our health care capacity to handle the increased demand. It has not been easy, and I want to thank all of you for your cooperation.
These successes are allowing the province to move ahead with its plan to reopen the economy, with details at www.ontario.ca/Reopen. Stage 1, which we initiated a couple of weeks ago, opened many services and businesses with restrictions necessary to control the spread of this virus. Our provincial command table has been evaluating the results of these changes to develop our strategy moving forward. Our office, along with other MPPs across the province, has been consulting with our constituents and businesses to provide local information back to the ministries to aid in the development of the next steps in our return to the “new normal.” For businesses and organizations that we have been unable to contact, you can help us by completing my business survey that can be found on my website at www.JimMcDonellMPP.ca/COVID-19-information.
Our medical experts are working hard to develop better testing and are making progress towards the eventual solution of a vaccine. The road is not straight, and there is still lots to learn. We need everyone to continue following the guidelines to ensure we move through this pandemic as quickly as possible and with the least negative impact as possible.
During this crisis, your local Member of Parliament, Eric Duncan, and I, will continue to host virtual live townhall-style video conferences, as it has been a great tool to communicate with hundreds of local residents. It has also been an ideal opportunity to meet with and listen to you, something I miss doing face-to-face while we continue to practice physical distancing and safe practices. We will continue to invite interesting experts to help answer your questions. You can find information on these upcoming meetings on our websites and Facebook pages.
Finally, I want to remind everyone not to let your guard down. Protect yourself and your family. Please practise physical distancing or wearing a face mask when distancing is not practical, wash your hands frequently, and stay at home, especially if you do not feel well. Up-to-date guidelines are available at www.ontario.ca/COVID-19. Our office continues to be available at 613-933-6513 or email at email@example.com.