News

Ontario Taking Further Action to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

ORONTO — In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health, and other health experts, the province is moving certain public health unit regions to new levels in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, which includes moving Toronto and Peel into Lockdown. These necessary measures are being taken to limit community transmission of COVID-19 in order to keep schools open, safeguard health system capacity, and protect the province’s most vulnerable populations.

 

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“With the numbers rising rapidly in certain regions, we have to make the tough, but necessary decisions now to protect our hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and every person in this province,” said Premier Ford. “We cannot afford a province-wide lockdown, so we are taking preventative action today by moving Toronto and Peel into Lockdown level restrictions and other regions into higher levels of restrictions. We need to take decisive action to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”

Over the past week, some regions under the Red-Control level have continued to see worsening trends in key indicators, despite having a range of public health measures and restrictions in place since early October. Based on the latest data, the government intends to move Peel Public Health and Toronto Public Health into Lockdown effective Monday, November 23, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. This action is being taken to help stop the spread of COVID-19, while prioritizing the continued opening of schools, child care centres and other key services to the fullest extent possible.

Measures under Lockdown include, but are not limited to:

  • Schools, before and after school programs, and child care will remain open;
  • Post-secondary schools open for virtual learning with some limited exceptions for training that can only be provided in-person, such as clinical training or training related to a trade;
  • No indoor organized public events or social gatherings except with members of the same household. Individuals who live alone, including seniors, may consider having exclusive, close contact with one other person;
  • Outdoor organized public events or social gatherings limited to a maximum of 10 people;
  • Wedding services, funeral services and religious services, rites or ceremonies where physical distancing can be maintained can have up to 10 people indoors or 10 people outdoors;
  • Retail permitted to be open for curbside pick-up or delivery only, with certain exceptions such as for supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, discount and big box retailers selling groceries, beer, wine and liquor stores, safety supply stores, and convenience stores, which will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity;
  • Restaurants, bars, and food and drink establishments will only be able to provide takeout, drive-through and delivery. Indoor and outdoor dining services are prohibited;
  • Personal care services closed;
  • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments closed; and
  • Indoor sports and recreational facilities, including pools, closed with limited exceptions.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to provide advice to the government using criteria, including:

  • Epidemiological indicators such as the number and rate of COVID-19 cases and test positivity;
  • Health system capacity indicators including hospital and Intensive Care Unit capacity, access to ventilators and ongoing availability of personal protective equipment;
  • Public health sector capacity, including the number of COVID-19 cases and contacts being reached by local public health officials within one day; and
  • Ongoing testing of suspected COVID-19 cases, especially of vulnerable populations, to detect new outbreaks quickly.

Click here to read the full media release.

City of Brampton secures substantial federal funding towards Downtown Brampton Flood Protection Project

​BRAMPTON, ON (November 18, 2020) – Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, joined area MPs and Members of City Council, to announce that the City of Brampton will receive more than $38 million towards flood mitigation in downtown Brampton, moving the City one step closer to realizing its Riverwalk project.

The City’s application Downtown Brampton Flood Protection Project has been approved by the Government of Canada. This approval comes following the successful review of the project under the terms and conditions of the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF).

Key elements of this project will aim to widen a 600 metre concrete channel through downtown Brampton, replace bridges and raise roadways. The current channel, built in 1952, will be widened and deepened to increase Etobicoke Creek capacity levels, bridges in the project area will be replaced with larger span structures and higher roadways will prevent flooding into urban areas.

Federal funding of the project from the DMAF will be up to 40 per cent of the total eligible project costs, to a maximum federal contribution of $38,852,397.

Riverwalk is a transformational initiative that will unlock the economic potential of downtown Brampton. In September 2020, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks gave approval to the Downtown Brampton Flood Protection Environment Assessment, which identified an engineering solution to reduce the existing flooding risk in the area and to help address the provincial planning restrictions currently in place.

A complementary open space plan for Riverwalk is also currently being developed. The Riverwalk Area Urban Design Master Plan is an open space master plan that will develop concepts for the aesthetic treatment of the flood infrastructure, the open space system along the valley, integration of active transportation network, environment and economic sustainability, public health issues and programming, and implementation of the overall vision for Riverwalk.

About Riverwalk
Downtown Brampton lies within the Etobicoke Creek floodplain. Provincial policies around hazard management have so far restricted the type and amount of development that can occur there today. Riverwalk is a two-part solution to removing the flood risks and creating a new, open urban space that will help revitalize Brampton’s downtown and make it healthy, sustainable and resilient.

With the removal of the existing flood risk and the future removal of restrictions on planning and development in downtown Brampton, the Riverwalk envisions a remade Etobicoke Creek through the area, surrounded by public spaces and parks connected by the Etobicoke Creek valley corridor and a trail system. It is expected to unlock 3.6 million square feet of residential, commercial and retail space in the downtown, creating more than 23,000 jobs and a $1.4 billion impact on the GDP.

For more information on Riverwalk visit www.brampton.ca/riverwalk

Click here to read the full media release.

Ontario Providing Additional Public Health Support for Peel Region

TORONTO — The Ontario government is taking immediate action to enhance the local public health response to COVID-19 in Peel Region by expanding access to testing as well as increasing case and contact management and hospital capacity. These additional supports are part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, which includes an additional investment of $572 million in Ontario’s hospitals to help offset the costs of COVID-19, including testing, assessment centres, laboratory and medical equipment, and personal protective equipment.

Details were provided today by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and MPP for Brampton South.

“We are working across government and alongside our partners in health care and public health to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Peel Region,” said Minister Elliott. “Our government is focusing public health resources where they are needed the most to protect the individuals, families and workers in Peel Region.”

The seven-day indicators of public health trends in several communities in Peel Region, such as Brampton, support the decision to move the region to the Red – Control level. The Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel issued additional public health measures on Saturday, November 7. Local medical officers of health have the ability to tailor restrictions in their communities based on regional circumstances and needs.

In response to the increased need for local COVID-19 testing, Ontario is providing more sites and innovative options such as:

  • Establishing three new community-based testing centres in Brampton by Tuesday, November 10 at Snelgrove Community Centre, Gore Meadows Community Centre and Greenbriar Community Centre;
  • Implementing mobile testing sites, including at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Peel Dufferin Mobile Health Clinic in Brampton, to respond to an increase in localized demand for tests within the community and to provide access to testing in communities where travel is a barrier to getting tested;
  • Opening limited walk-in availability at assessment centres for those who can’t book an appointment online or by phone; and
  • Implementing up to 7 pharmacies or specimen collection centres in partnership with LifeLabs, Dynacare and Alpha over the next two weeks.

Ontario is also exploring opportunities to engage with community leaders to help promote awareness of the importance of COVID-19 testing and to develop culturally and linguistically sensitive targeted communications to encourage testing in the region.

Additional case and contact management support will be allocated to Peel Regional Health Unit. This includes:

  • Up to 70 case and contact management staff have started onboarding to support Peel Region directly.
  • Ten public health units across the province with lower case counts are now assisting Peel Region with case investigation.

To support hospital capacity pressures and the continuation of surgeries and procedures, Ontario is investing $42 million for up to 234 new beds at three hospitals and their alternate health facilities in Peel Region. This includes:

  • William Osler Health System receiving up to 87 total patient beds with 41 beds at Osler’s Brampton Civic Hospital and 46 beds at Osler’s Etobicoke General Hospital.
  • Trillium Health Partners receiving up to 141 total patient beds with 99 beds at Mississauga Hospital, 36 acute beds at Queensway Health Centre and 6 beds at Credit Valley Hospital.
  • Headwaters Healthcare receiving up to 6 total patient beds.

To continue to protect the most vulnerable, only essential visitors, including up to one caregiver per resident, have been allowed in long-term care homes in Peel Region since October 7. Anyone planning a visit to a long-term care home in Peel Region, or any other region, is advised to contact the home in advance to get information on the home’s visitor policy and any restrictions. A complete list of homes affected by visitor restrictions is posted online and updated as the areas with higher community spread change.

Click here to read the full press release.