April 15 COVID-19 Update
Today Justin Trudeau announced changes to CERB benefits and additional support for long-term care facilities. The Provincial Government has also increased measures to assist long-term care facilities.
To better serve our members we are striving to only send you new information not found in previous emails, with member updates and further links at the bottom. We hope this will make it easier to stay up-to-date with the most recent information.
This morning Justin Trudeau announced that the Federal Government will be relaxing the criteria for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to include more individuals in need. If you make $1000 per month or less you will now qualify for benefits. CERB benefits will also be available to seasonal workers who are currently out of work as well as individuals whose EI benefits have run out since January 1, 2020.
The Prime Minister also announced measures to further support seniors and vulnerable citizens in long-term care homes. The Government will be topping up the pay of essential workers, including those working in care facilities, who are currently earning less than $2500 per month. He also announced that domestic companies are beginning deliveries of key materials critical for COVID-19 testing, which will aid the fight against the spread in care facilities.
Parks Canada announced today that they have extended their closure of national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas until at least May 31. They will not be taking new reservations for this period and existing reservations will be automatically cancelled and refunded in full. For complete details you can read their full news release.
Today Doug Ford announced a plan to provide increased support and resources to Ontario’s long-term care facilities. He announced increases in testing and shipments of PPE for workers. He said the Province has created COVID-19 “SWAT” teams using experts from hospitals to provide further support to these facilities. He also announced that last night the Province enacted an Emergency Order prohibiting long-term care staff from working in more than 1 facility. To all long-term care facility staff Ford said, “Thank you. You are the heroes in this crisis.”
Yesterday the Provincial government approved a bill extending all Emergency Orders for an additional 28 days. These measures include the closing of non-essential businesses, restrictions on public gatherings and the closure of recreation facilities. For more details you can read the Government’s official news release.
The District of Muskoka is offering free seniors programs for anyone 55 and over. The Wise Without Walls program includes phone in programming every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon from 1:20-3:00 pm. They also offer fitness programs in a print from home or video format. Visit the District website for full details of the programs offered.
The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber in Commerce is partnering with the Huntsville BIA and the Town of Huntsville on the Save Summer campaign. Created as a means to inform, mobilize and encourage our community, the campaign has created a Facebook page to engage and entertain. Starting tonight you can tune into Facebook for live events every night at 7:00 pm. Local businesses are encouraged to share tips, tricks or entertainment segments to be included in the campaign.
Parry Sound – Muskoka MPP Norm Miller released a statement today through Huntsville Doppler. In it he thanks the majority of residents for their efforts to isolate and practice physical distancing, but expresses disappointment with the minority who are still not following the advice of medical professionals. You can read the complete statement on Huntsville Doppler’s website.
Today the Town of Huntsville issued a media update about short-term accommodation rentals. The Town has issued a letter to providers of short-term accommodations explaining that, under the Province’s Emergency Measures, there are restrictions on booking after April 4, 2020. You can read the complete letter online.
Business & Tourism Report
Our Minister of Parliament Scott Aitchison is hosting a Business Roundtable Meeting with Federal, Provincial and Municipal leaders. Joining him will be MPP Norm Miller, Huntsville Mayor Karin Terziano and Terry Glover, Mayor of Lake of Bays. This will be a Zoom meeting taking place tomorrow, Thursday April 16, at 11:15 am. Area businesses are encouraged to attend to discuss concerns, ideas and questions regarding COVID-19 and its effect on local business. Please pre-register and follow this Zoom Meeting link to attend: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83370172933
Staples Huntsville is open for curbside pickup 7 days a week between 12pm and 5pm. Orders must be placed online at Staples.ca or staplescopyandprint.ca. Customers must choose the “Buy Online Pickup In Store” option as the store is unable to take payment in store.
Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm is open daily 10am-4pm for “Porch Pick Up” only. Please call ahead at 705-787-9787 to place a maple syrup or maple product order. Orders can be paid by e-tranfer or credit card and the order is left outside on the porch. Freshly made maple syrups are available in both “Amber” and “Dark”.
Tall Trees Muskoka Restaurant is offering the opportunity to pre-purchase a three course dinner for two for $32.95 plus tax, per person, with several menu options to choose from. Purchase between April 4 – May 31 and use from their re-open date to October 1 (dates may change depending upon re-open date). Call the office at 705-789-9769 with payment information and they will store your dinner coupon for you until you choose to join them. They would also like to remind everyone that gift certificates are also available at this time.
Muskoka Seniors is pleased to advise that the Frozen Meals on Wheels service is now available. There will be a staff member in their office on Mondays and Tuesdays only to support this program. Call the office at 705-789-6676 to register or for more details.
Provide us with your business updates so we can feature them daily and get your information out to other members. Other important updates can be found on our COVID-19 Information page. Send us your information to this email address: [email protected] or call us directly at 705-789-4771.
In this time we need to work together as much as possible to enable Huntsville and Lake of Bays to weather this situation and to position ourselves as the tourism leader once we are able to re-open our businesses and services to the public. If you have questions or need help finding the appropriate resources to assist you or your business, please reach out to us at the following address: [email protected]
From all of us at the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce team we urge you to stay safe and promise to do everything in our power to assist you in this difficult time.