Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Among the feedback I heard from many of you was the need for yard waste collection. With many people passing the time by tidying up lawns and gardens, many bags have been sitting on the curb. I spoke to the General Manager of Solid Waste Management this week, and today the announcement was made that theCity will resume yard waste pickup for two weeks starting Monday, April 6th until Friday, April 17th. Please take yard waste out to the curb by 7AM on your regular collection day during that period. Click here for more details.
The federal government has announced that Canadians who are unable to work due to COVID-19 will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)as of April 6. This benefit provides a payment of $2,000 for a 4-week period (equivalent to $500 a week) for up to 16 weeks. Due to the anticipated high volume of applications, the day of the week that you should apply depends on the month of your birthday. To find out who can apply and when to do it, please click here.
The Ontario Government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close as of Saturday, April 4th at 11:59 PM. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact. Find an updated list of essential businesses in Ontario here.
Price gouging has become an unfortunate by-product of this pandemic. Popular items that residents are purchasing such as hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes are becoming harder to find, and some retailers are taking advantage of the situation by significantly increasing the price of these products on their shelves. The government of Ontario has created this online form where you can report any instances of price gouging and protect everyone from being exploited for the products they need in response to COVID-19.
Supports are available for individuals who are struggling to cope with this new reality. A great reference to connect you to community support resources is 211central.ca (or call 211 or text 21166). For those having difficulties mentally and emotionally handling this pandemic, the Institute for Advancements in Mental Health is also offering confidential counselling online and by telephone at 1-855-449-9949 or www.iamentalhealth.ca. My office also remains open to assist you by phone or email.
In case you’re looking for something fun to tune into while at home, local York South—Weston resident and musician Donovan LeNabat is holding almost-daily live performances for everyone’s enjoyment. The streams can be viewed in this Facebook group.
Once again, I encourage you to regularly check the City’s COVID-19 website for all of the most up-to-date information and resources. I wish you all a wonderful weekend. Please do your best to stay inside!
For the latest updates from the Federal Government, please click here.
For the latest updates from the Province of Ontario, please click here.
Here's the key information you need to know today:
City of Toronto addressing financial impacts of COVID-19
The City has assembled a COVID-19 financial impact working group to focus on the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as well stabilization and rebuilding efforts. The City is continuing to evaluate its workforce requirements and service levels. Many staff who are not in essential or critical roles are being redeployed to other areas to help the City continue delivering essential, critical, and priority services during this time.
Additionally, work being led by the Mayor's Economic Support and Recovery Task Force, is focused on Toronto’s economic success in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and is looking at rebuilding efforts after the city transitions into the recovery phase. Information about the City's response to COVID-19 is available at https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/.
Spring recreation, arts and museum program cancelations and refunds
Based on the advice of the Medical Officer of Health, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, spring recreation, arts and museum programs are being cancelled. Refunds will be automatically processed for cancelled programs as well as permits for community recreation facilities and parks. Residents can contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns about recreation or email@example.com arts and museums.
Enforcement of physical distancing in parks and public squares
In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, the City has implemented a new bylaw imposing a two-metre physical distancing rule in all City parks and public squares. Those who fail to follow this rule can receive a $1,000 ticket – the maximum set fine available. Officers could issue higher tickets that would be subject to the courts, where fines could go up to $5,000 upon conviction.
Yard waste pick-up resumes for two weeks
Yard waste pick-up resumes for two weeks, from Monday, April 6 to Friday, April 17. Place bags out before 7 a.m. on your scheduled collection day and please leave them out until they are collected. For health and safety reasons, please use bags and not open containers. More information is available on the City’s website.