COVID-19 Updates:

  • Community Update

If you are a recipient of Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)  you may be eligible for extra funding for May, June, and July 2020.

Ontario will provide a new Extended Emergency Benefit for OW and ODSP recipients.

This is a flat-rate monthly benefit of $100 for single individuals and $200 for families. It is meant to cover extra COVID-related costs such as the cost of Personal Protective Equipment required for medical visits, cleaning supplies, food delivery, or travel.

Recipients who received emergency discretionary benefits in March or April will receive the Extended Emergency Benefit automatically. All other recipients need to request this benefit from their caseworkers. 1

Most people who receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will not be eligible for the Extended Emergency Benefit. There are some exceptions:

  • If you are under 18 years old
  • If you are over 18 and in secondary school full-time (at least 17.5 hours a week of classes and/or 3 credits a semester or 6 credits a year)
  • If you are in post-secondary school full-time (at least 60% of a regular course load, or 40% for those with a permanent disability)

Are you worried that your employer is not following the rules?

If you work in any of the followin:

  • A bank
  • Air transportation, including airlines and airports
  • Telephone, cable, or television services
  • Marine shipping or ports
  • Rail or road transportation across provincial borders
  • Other federally regulated work

If yes, you are likely covered by the federal labour code.

You can get more information online or by calling 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232)

If you work for another kind of employer, you should be covered by provincial rules.

You can get more information online or by calling the toll-free number for Ontario: 1-800-531-5551

Housing

The City has directed social and affordable housing providers to be flexible, exercise discretion, and work with tenants.

The City has no power to direct private landlords. But it has urged all property owners to find ways to help tenants to stay in their homes and to proactively communicate with tenants about available options.

The City’s Housing Stabilization Fund provides Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program recipients with a one-time payment for emergency housing needs. To apply, speak to your caseworker.

If you are in danger of losing your housing because you are behind in your rent and you are not receiving Ontario Works or ODSP, contact the Toronto Rent Bank for help.

The Toronto Rent Bank program provides a one-time, interest-free loan to low-income households who are

  • behind in their rent or
  • need help with first and last month’s rent. 

The application is simple and can be completed on the phone. There is no credit check, and repayments can be deferred for 12 months.

Call 416-397-7368 (RENT).

If you are having trouble paying rent because you’ve lost income due to the pandemic, federal and provincial financial supports are available.

The Province has suspended evictions during the crisisIt is not approving new eviction applications or enforcing evictions. Cases where there is an urgent danger may be dealt with by a telephone hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board, which could result in an eviction order.

If you get an eviction notice:

  • You do not have to leave your apartment. You can only be forced out if your landlord has an Order from the Landlord and Tenant Board AND special permission from the Superior Court. Read the notice carefully. 
  • Call the Landlord and Tenant Board to find out if your landlord has applied for an urgent hearing: 1-888-332-3234
  • Email or call your MPP’s office. As your provincial representative, your MPP will have the most up-to-date information on your rights under the Residential Tenancies Act. 
  • Get legal help. Community legal clinics give advice to tenants. Find the one in your community at www.legalaid.on.ca/legal-clinics/ or call 416-979-1446

Ontario Helps Manufacturers Ramp Up Production of Personal Protective Equipment

The Ontario government continues investing in local manufacturers in order to keep frontline workers and communities safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. More innovative businesses are receiving financial support today through the Ontario Together Fund to re-tool their processes and increase their capacity to make personal protective equipment (PPE).

The three new companies receiving support are:

Southmedic — Southmedic is a Barrie, Ontario based medical device manufacturer that distributes to more than 60 countries around the world. The province is providing $1.8 million to help the company reengineer and retool its current production, and purchase new moulding equipment. With this new equipment, the company will double its output of oxygen masks, triple its output of ETCO2 masks, which are specialty masks used to monitor breathing prior to ventilator use, and quadruple its output of eye and face shields to help meet the province’s need for PPE. The funding will also allow the company to reorganize its production facility to allow for physical distancing.

Sterling Industries — Sterling Industries is a Concord, Ontario based contract manufacturer and assembler of medical devices and sub-components. The province is providing $1,023,325, which will allow the company to increase its output of face shields from 200,000 per week to more than a million per week. This increased capacity will help Sterling Industries deliver 10 million face shields to Ontario Health more quickly.

SRB Technologies — SRB Technologies is a Pembroke, Ontario based producer of self-powered emergency lighting and self-powered exit signs. The province is providing $59,889 to help the company convert a portion of its production from emergency lighting solutions for the nuclear, aerospace, construction and defence sectors to manufacturing medical-grade face shields, which will be supplied to regional hospitals and long-term care facilities.

“Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Ontario businesses have shown incredible collaboration, resilience and determination to tackle this crisis,” said Minister Fedeli. “Many of our innovators have stepped up to help produce much needed medical supplies. Now that we’re in the first stage of restarting our economy, I encourage all businesses to keep innovating and review our provincial safety guidelines in order to protect their employees in this new environment.”

On April 1, 2020, the government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal and help businesses retool their operations. All submissions received through the portal are being reviewed and prioritized to focus on solutions that can respond to where the need is greatest and what can be implemented quickly.

In March, the government launched the Ontario Together web portal, appealing to Ontario’s manufacturers, entrepreneurs and innovators to provide essential supplies and equipment to support frontline workers in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.