WHAT TO KNOW
Global COVID-19 cases have reached 52,774,574, up from 49,479,380 at 3:30 p.m. on November 6, 2020. Canada now reports 282,577 cases, up from 253,178 cases of COVID-19 on November 6. Ontario reports 91,180 cases, up from 81,693 cases on November 6.
The Province reports 1,396 (1.6%) new cases since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 76,238 have been resolved (83.6%) and there have been 3,312 deaths (3.6%). The province has now completed 5,556,879 tests and reports 44,507 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.
A province-by-province breakdown of Canada’s COVID-19 case count can be found here.
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announced the details of an investment of $1.5 billion in the Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs) with provinces and territories. This investment will help Canadians in underrepresented groups and those in sectors that have been hardest hit by the pandemic – such as construction, transportation, and hospitality – quickly access supports to re-enter the workforce. It could include skills training, on-the-job training, employer-sponsored training, financial assistance and benefits, employment counselling and services, and job opportunities. More information here.
Advanced manufacturing is a cornerstone of Canada’s economy, producing goods for domestic and international markets while supporting well-paying jobs for Canadians across the country. Today, Maninder Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton East, announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $2.5 million to support the scale-up of Woodlore International Inc. (Woodlore), a family-owned manufacturer of commercial grade office furniture and storage units, and other products for the healthcare, education and hospitality sectors. More information here.
On November 12, Member of Parliament for Parkdale–High Park, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $750,000 for Parkdale Centre for Innovation (Parkdale), a not-for-profit incubator and accelerator focused on inclusion and equity, to expand its entrepreneurship programming. More information here.
Despite promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates on the horizon worldwide, experts say Canada needs to overcome major hurdles before it can develop rollout strategies to get the right shot into Canadians’ arms. News that Pfizer’s vaccine candidate has shown promising preliminary results in Phase 3 clinical trials made headlines this week, but specific data on which volunteers benefited from the trial, which could inform rollout plans, has yet to be released. Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country needs ‘a very sophisticated’ rollout plan that will require ‘high degrees of logistical support.’ But determining which Canadians should get a vaccine first is extremely challenging without more details. Since those most at risk of severe illness and transmission of COVID-19 is still in question, Canada might need to develop several contingency plans. More information here.
On November 10, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, alongside Tony Van Bynen, Member of Parliament for Newmarket–Aurora, and Helena Jaczek, Member of Parliament for Markham–Stouffville, visited local businesses in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, that are successfully growing their businesses internationally amid COVID-19. During the visits, Minister Ng highlighted the newly revamped CanExport program, which will provide Canadian businesses—including women and Indigenous entrepreneurs—with up to $75,000 in funding to expand their e-commerce presence, attend virtual trade shows, and navigate COVID-19-related trade barriers. More information here.
Protecting our health during the COVID-19 pandemic, also means taking steps to keep our air clean. On November 10, the Government of Canada finalized national regulations that will reduce pollution from petroleum and petrochemical facilities across the country, including in Sarnia, Mississauga, Montréal, Burnaby, Prince George, Saint John, and many communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan. More information here.
The Government of Canada announced on November 10, an agreement with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) to purchase 7.6 million rapid, point-of-care, SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests for use on the BD Veritor™ Plus System and up to 2,172 analyzers. The Public Health Agency of Canada will deploy these tests to provinces and territories to support them in ramping up COVID-19 testing. More information here.
On November 10, the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, took part in a virtual town hall with the Mississauga Board of Trade. During the town hall, the Minister highlighted the government’s commitment to continue to support businesses and individuals through this pandemic through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and, in the long term, the plan for economic recovery as outlined in the recent Speech from the Throne. More information here.
In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, the Government of Canada announced on November 6, that the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service’s CanExport SMEs program is pivoting to better support small- and medium-sized businesses by covering some of the costs associated with developing and expanding their e-commerce presence, attending virtual trade shows and other business-to-business events and, help them to navigate new COVID-19-related trade barriers. More information here.
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Public Health Measures Table, the Ontario government is taking immediate action to respond to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and is updating the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, by lowering the thresholds for each level in the framework. These necessary updates will help limit the spread of COVID-19 while keeping schools open, maintaining health system capacity, protecting the province’s most vulnerable, and avoiding broader lockdowns. More information here.
The Ontario government is investing $350,000 in Integrated Packaging Films through the Ontario Together Fund to help the company create new jobs and increase the production of PET film by 49 per cent, contributing to the production of almost four million more face shields per month to help keep front line workers safe during the second wave of COVID-19. More information here.
In an effort to support the provincial economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario has introduced changes to legislation that would support the distribution of local food and other agricultural products by enabling the Ontario Food Terminal to increase the range of products it sells. This is part of the province’s Main Street Recovery Plan, announced on October 7, 2020, to continue helping businesses rebuild, reinvest and create good jobs. More information here.
The Ontario government is investing an additional $761 million to build and renovate 74 long-term care homes across the province, creating close to 11,000 safe, modern spaces sooner for residents to call home. Further, Ontario is seeking individuals interested in new opportunities – specifically those who are unemployed or have been displaced from the retail and hospitality industries or administrative roles to re-enter the workforce and make a difference by helping seniors living in long-term care homes. This is part of the Ontario Workforce Reserve for Senior Support, a new program focused on recruiting, training and deploying individuals as Resident Support Aides (RSA) to work at homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.
The Ontario government is investing $500 million over four years to make public sector services more customer-focused, and more efficient and cost effective. The funding is flowing through the Ontario Onwards Acceleration Fund to support modernization projects such as making government services more digitally accessible, reducing red tape and simplifying policies, and improving government purchasing to save both time and money. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. More information here.
The Ontario government is proposing to give municipalities the flexibility to target property tax relief to small businesses. The province is also considering matching these reductions, which would provide small businesses with as much as $385 million in municipal and provincial property tax relief. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. More information here.
On November 9, The Ontario government announced it 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. More information here.
Ontario is providing more than $600,000 to the Office of the Worker Adviser (OWA) and Office of the Employer Adviser (OEA) to help make it easier for workers and small businesses to navigate the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s (WSIB) compensation system. More information here.
Prior to today’s announcement by the Provincial government, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health announced a number of public health measures to be introduced when the City of Toronto is moved by the Province of Ontario into the provincial COVID-19 response framework on November 14. Dr. de Villa’s recommendations come as the city sees its COVID-19 numbers going in the wrong direction. Beyond her recommendation that Toronto be moved into the Red – Control category in the provincial framework, Dr. de Villa introduced a number of directives to help reduce the spread of the virus in our community. More information here.
The City of Toronto has formed a COVID-19 Immunization Task Force as part of its pandemic response and recovery efforts. While it is not yet clear when a safe and effective vaccine will be available, this Task Force will ensure that the City is ready to play its role in helping Torontonians get vaccinated. This Task Force will be led by Chief Matthew Pegg in his role as the City’s COVID-19 Incident Commander and will use the COVID-19 incident management system that the City has developed. More information here.
The City of Toronto announced a partnership model with Toronto’s Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that rapidly connects the expertise in HEIs to the City’s research needs. This new model allows the City to put forward research priorities to Toronto’s HEIs, who source multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional teams of faculty and student experts to help address important and urgent research needs. The current pilot focuses on eight research projects that support the City’s COVID-19 recovery. More information here.
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