Changes continue to be announced under the lockdown by the Ontario government. And yesterday the Grey Bruce Health Unit announced we are at a critical threshold of COVID19 cases and requested people to close down for 48 hours in an attempt to manage the rise in numbers. This is in addition to the Stay-At-Home order.
- The closure of schools after the April school break, closures of before and after school care. Daycares will remain open.
- Health unit staff are shutting down the COVID-19 information line in order to free up resources to follow-up with contacts who may have been exposed.
- The large vaccine clinic scheduled for Saturday has been closed. The vaccine clinics for the remainder of this week will continue, but consideration is being given to closing next week’s clinics in order to minimize the risk of people gathering as well as allowing public health staff to be redeployed.
- Everyone across Grey Bruce needs to consider themselves a carrier for the next 48 hours until the Health Unit reaches all cases and their contacts. It is a priority that everyone stay at home except for essential travel.
- Individuals who are symptomatic are asked to attend assessment clinics: https://bit.ly/2ZNbYls
Four County Labour Market Planning Board has released a new Precarious Employment Report 2021. Some key findings concerning the prevalence of precarious employment in the four county area are as follows:
- Between 2010 and 2019, the four county region had a greater proportion of part-time workers than the Ontario average;
- Long-term (60+ months) part-time employment with the same employer is more prevalent in the four county region than it is on average across Ontario;
- The number of individuals and families living in low income situations varies in each of the four counties, with Grey County having the greatest incidence of low income families and individuals;
- The incidence of low income couple families ranges from 6.2% in Grey County to 4.9% in Perth County, considerably lower than 10.6% in Ontario;
- The incidence of low income lone parent families ranges from 33.3% in Grey County to 24.5% in Perth County, compared to 32.2% in Ontario;
- The incidence of low income non-family persons (individuals) ranges from 29.6% in Grey County to 23.4% in Perth County, compared to 34.7% in Ontario.
COMMUNITY SERVICES SUPPORTS
As part of the Government of Canada’s pre-budget consultations, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, National Association of Friendship Centres, United Way Centraide Canada, YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada have come together to call on the federal government for the establishment of a Community Services COVID-19 Relief Fund.
- The 2021 federal budget will be tabled on April 19, but there is still time to advocate for the vulnerable people we serve. Please use this tool to quickly and easily send a letter directly to Prime Minister Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Freeland, Minister Hussen, MP Ben Lobb and/or MP Alex Ruff calling on the federal government to support charities and nonprofits in Budget 2021.
A lot of partners are working to ensure that vulnerable populations are able to access opportunities to be vaccinated.
- Maad’ookiing Mshkiki/Sharing Medicine put out this conversation about vaccine hesitancy from a culturally informed and safe perspective: First Nations, Inuit and Metis Perspectives and knowledge sharing on COVID19 Vaccines.
- Please contact Shannon Marchand at SOAHAC for a booking for any Indigenous People to get vaccinated (519-376-5508 ex. 2045).
- YMCA Housing has been actively supporting clinics for people being sheltered.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced just how foundational medicare is. Many Canadians forgo routine care because they can’t afford it, leaving small problems to fester and grow. Our current system not only stresses our individual wallets, it also puts additional strain on our health-care system.
- 1 in 3 Canadians lack dental care insurance.
- 55% of Grey Bruce adults have no dental care insurance.
As we recover from the effects of the pandemic, we must strengthen oral health care.
- Residential eviction ban has been announced under the stay-at-home order but with no detailed directives.
- The first time the province introduced a stay-at-home order, back in January, an eviction enforcement ban was implemented and sheriffs could not actively enforce evictions for a period of 28 days.
- But the virtual eviction hearings that had been taking place at record speed at the Landlord Tenant Board were allowed to continue despite the ban, and it appears this time around is no different.
- According to the latest rental evictions moratorium order, the ban once again only applies to enforcement, meaning landlords can still seek eviction orders, virtual eviction hearings at the LTB will still be held and tenants will presumably be removed from their homes as soon as the moratorium is lifted.
- The Town of South Bruce Peninsula reminded residents that short-term rentals are banned in Ontario during the stay-at-home order except for those who have no other available housing.
- North Bruce Peninsula Municipality has released its Recommendations on Short Term Accommodations in October 2020. A Special Council meeting on March 22nd spoke to whether the municipality would consider regulation of short term accommodations at this time or not. They have agreed to hold more public consultations.
- Housing challenges remain for many seasonal workers living and working on the Bruce Peninsula. SPARKS Initiative Report and other articles.
- And we are seeing housing challenges for people released from prison who require an address to go to or face more time in jail.
- M’Wikwedong Indigenous Housing Support Program has had a lot of people struggling with the stigma of homelessness as well as individuals unsure if they are experiencing housing insecurity. These are especially difficult times and there is NO shame in a lack of housing stability. Please share out these infographics to create more awareness on what is Indigenous Homelessness?
- We saw a spike in the use of community food programs in December but we have remained steady from January to March 2021. April numbers are not yet calculated. (https://www.foodbrucegrey.com/public-dashboards)
- 12 out of 18 Community Meal Programs reported a total of 152,952 meals by the end of March 2021. An average of 380 meals/day.
- 17 out of 22 Food Banks reported 135,596 kilograms of food distributed to 8,955 households (17,333 people).
- Eat Local Grey Bruce is now offering free memberships under their Solidarity Model Fund. For every 40 memberships purchased, Eat Local will donate one free membership to the Solidarity Model Fund. This includes yearly membership renewals.
- Disconnection ban: Effective immediately, the OEB is prohibiting electricity distributors from issuing disconnection notices to residential customers for the duration of the provincewide stay-at-home measures that took effect on April 8, 2021. Please visit https://www.oeb.ca for more information.
- COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP): this program is currently closed right now but it is anticipated that the Ontario government will provide more funding.
- You must apply for CEAP through your utility or USMP (Unit Sub-Metering Program – suite meter). Contact your utility or USMP directly as each may have a unique approach for application in-take.
- Residential electricity and gas customers are now eligible for CEAP if they meet the following criteria:
- The customer has an account with an electricity distributor, a USMP or a natural gas distributor. Only the customer who is the account holder can submit an application for CEAP.
- The customer has overdue amounts owing on the day they apply from one or more electricity or gas bills since March 17, 2020.
- Eligible customers may qualify for CEAP credits for the electricity or natural gas charges that are overdue on the date of their application for CEAP, up to a maximum of $750.
- SCAM ALERT: A home visit is not required to qualify for CEAP. The Ontario Electricity Board (OEB) does not phone consumers offering rebates, nor do we ever schedule home visits.
- Bag Tag Requirements: while many municipalities/towns/cities waived these under the last lockdown we have only seen an announcement from Georgian Bluffs.
- Sobey’s has announced they will reinstate pandemic pay – a “lockdown bonus” for its frontline workers.
- Sobey’s will be paying a COVID19 bonus to its front line workers under this lockdown.
Stay well, Jill