Ontario’s Stage 2 allows more businesses to open
June 22, 2020
By Bakers Journal
The Ontario government is allowing more businesses and services to open and getting more people back to work by moving the City of Toronto and Peel Region into Stage 2 on Wednesday, June 24.
This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local medical officers of health. The provincial government issued a statement that is based on “positive local trends of key public health indicators”, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to do rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.
“Today’s announcement is another sign that we continue to make steady progress,” said Premier Ford in a press release. “We have been working hand-in-hand with our municipal partners and local public health units to safely and gradually reopen the province. We will do everything we can to get our final region, Windsor-Essex, into Stage 2 as soon as possible. That’s why we are ramping up testing and inspections on Ontario’s farms to protect workers and keep our food supply chains strong and healthy.”
“Because of our collective efforts, we continue to make real and significant progress in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As a result, more regions have met the public health criteria to move into Stage 2 and reopen more services for the communities to enjoy. Just as importantly, these efforts to stop the spread have ensured that we aren’t seeing spikes in cases in those regions that have been open for well over a week now.”
- Continuing with proactive targeted testing for agri-food workers, including enhanced on-farm testing;
Conducting more than 200 Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development on-farm inspections and investigations;
- Starting new joint inspections of farms with federal authorities to review current working and living conditions of temporary foreign workers with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and local public health officials;
- Providing $15 million through the Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection program, which provides cost-share funding to improve employee and workplace health and safety on farms and in processing facilities. The funding can be used to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), put up physical barriers, make housing modifications, or provide alternate housing or other measures;
Translating COVID-19 health and safety guidance documents into Spanish and posting them on Ontario.ca/covidsafety.
- Additional resources, including webinars and helpful posters, are also available, and will help farmers and other agri-food employers provide safe and healthy workplaces;Providing specific funding to Workplace Safety and Prevention Services to deliver resources and consulting services to help farmers and other agri-food businesses provide safe workplaces; and
- Continuing to press the federal government to provide new funding to support priority sectors impacted by COVID-19, including the agricultural sector, as the province reopens and charts a path to economic recovery.
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