April 29 COVID-19 Update


Today Justin Trudeau spoke about the Canada Emergency Student Benefit and Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce announced the expansion of emergency childcare to include additional frontline workers.
This week we will be sending you emails on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the latest federal, provincial and local news as well as updates from member businesses. You can also access the latest up-to-date info on our COVID-19 Update page on our website.

Federal Government

Today Justin Trudeau spoke about the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. The $9 billion plan will provide several supports for post-secondary students and new graduates. The principle means of support will provide students who do not qualify for the CERB with $1,250 per month for the months of May through August. Trudeau said: “We’ve been working with the opposition parties on legislation that will get this help to young people as quickly as possible. I’ll be heading to Parliament shortly, where we will introduce a bill to put the Canada Emergency Student Benefit in place.” You can get more details about benefits for students in the Department of Finance’s background document.
Yesterday the Public Health Agency of Canada released new COVID-19 data and modelling projections. Highlights include:
  1. There are approximately 47,327 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 14,856 in Ontario and 24,107 in Quebec.
  2. There have been approximately 2,617 deaths, which represents 5.5% of total cases.
  3. Individuals over the age of 60 account for approximately 95% of deaths and 66% of hospitalizations across the nation.
  4. Epidemic growth has levelled off in some provinces, while Ontario and Quebec are showing signs of flattening the curve.
  5. Modelling shows there will likely be 53,196 – 66,835 cases in Canada by May 5 with 3,277 – 3,883 deaths by the same date.
You can view the full report online.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford and Provincial Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the expansion of the list of essential workers who qualify to receive free childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional frontline workers who can now access emergency childcare services include:
  • Workers in grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Truck drivers (driver’s licence Class A and Class D)
  • Workers in the food supply chain, including food processing
  • Workers in retirement homes
  • Auxiliary workers in health care settings, including cooks and cleaning staff in hospitals and long-term care homes
  • Interpreters and intervenors who support people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel
  • Provincial officers and onsite staff in Ontario courts
  • Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence staff working in Ontario
  • Additional workers supporting public safety and correctional services
To accommodate more children, 37 additional childcare centres have been approved and will be re-opening soon. Minister Lecce says safety in these childcare centres is of vital importance. No site can exceed more than 50 people, sites are rigorously cleaned and disinfected daily and every single child and adult is screened upon arrival.
The Ontario government has launched the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the pandemic. Businesses that are working to retool their operations to produce health related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of social distancing can submit any potential roadblocks they are facing to the website. The province says it is prepared to allow temporary changes to provincial rules in order to remove barriers that are hindering business. You can read the full news release online.

Local News

Our Minister of Parliament Scott Aitchison has released a video “riding report” to talk about federal issues and how they impact us locally. You can view the video on the Your TV website.
Digital Main Street has released a newsletter with digital news, ideas and tips for businesses, including information on their upcoming webinars. You can read the full newsletter for more details.
The District of Muskoka has announced that the Ridout Transfer Station in Dorset will be re-opening Thursday April 30. The station will resume normal operating hours. You can read the full news release online.
The Township of Lake of Bays has developed an interactive Lake of Bays open for business map. The map provides information on businesses in the region including hours of operation and changes to services such as curbside delivery and products being currently offered. You can find the interactive map online to research your favourite Lake of Bays business.
On May 2 a Stay At Home Gala will be hosted online for Muskoka. This virtual gala will be part of a national program with participants being entertained by both national and local guest entertainers and musicians. The purchase and delivery of a four course dinner option is available as part of the event. The gala will raise money for the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, South Muskoka Hospital Foundation, Muskoka Women’s Shelters and Services and Muskoka Food Security Programs. You can find out more and sign up for the gala on their official gala webpage.

Business & Tourism Report

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is offering a pre-recorded webinar tomorrow, Thursday April 30, titled “How to get through the crisis with an online strategy.” BDC experts will speak about what to expect from the economy in the coming months, how to review your business strategy and how to leverage e-commerce. You can watch this webinar anytime during the day tomorrow by registering online.
Workplace Safety and Prevention Services has updated their list of COVID-19 resources to help businesses and workers stay safe during the pandemic. Among other resources, the webpage has a series of checklists businesses can use, including a pandemic recovery-return to business checklist. You can view all of their resources online.
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) is offering free 2020 memberships to all tourism businesses and stakeholders. Those seeking new membership are asked to email them at the following address: [email protected]

Member Updates

ProActive Rehab is now offering its services through a virtual, video-based tele-rehab platform. They are able to meet with clients and complete assessments and treatments while clients remain at home. You can call them at 705-788-1480 or visit their website for more info and to book appointments.
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.

Further Updates

Moving Forward

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.

Chamber of Commerce members can expect the best!

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