Teresa Armstrong MPP, London-Fanshawe

Government of Ontario

Week of April 10th - COVID-19 update

Published on April 10, 2020

We're all coming to the end of yet another week social distancing and self-isolation. These weeks have been long and tumultuous and I want to say thank you to all of you for doing your part. 

This hasn’t been easy. And as we go into a weekend that’s usually filled with family and friends, I want you to know that I’m thinking about you.  

As always, I want to say thank you to our frontline workers, whether you’re a paramedic or a postal worker, a truck driver or a PSW, a nurse or a grocery store clerk, a transit worker or cleaning staff, and those working in shelters, hospitals, factories, kitchens and farms, we appreciate your work in keeping us safe and sustained. 

There are also so many of you that are volunteering your time and your efforts from home - know that your work is also appreciated. You are a light that shines bright, especially in a time like this. 

Take care, 


Here is a round up of the news and updates this week:

  • Canada’s emergency wage subsidy — criticized by small business owners for not giving help to a wide enough range of employers — will expand its eligibility criteria.

  • Criteria will also broaden for businesses applying to the Canada Summer Jobs program. 

  • Reports that Ontario is severely lagging in the number of COVID-19 tests it does daily have raised alarm bells amongst health experts— while the province's labs can accommodate 13,000 tests per day, Ontario has only been doing about 3,500. My colleagues and I want testing dramatically increased, including regular testing for all health care workers, first responders and seniors in long-term care.

  • Wearing a homemade or makeshift mask (as opposed to an N95 mask, reserved for frontline health workers) could be a good idea when in close contact with others, like at the grocery store or on transit, Canada's top doctor said today — this shouldn't replace social distancing and frequent hand-washing, and Canadians should continue staying home unless absolutely necessary. 

Provincial portals you might find helpful:

  • The province launched an online portal to match skilled health care workers currently not employed in the system with employers. 

  • The province has created an agri-food jobs portal.

  • The provincial government's emergency child benefit application is online as of today. Eligible parents will receive a one-time per child payment of: $200 for children aged 0 to 12, $250 for children or youth aged 0 to 21 with special needs. Learn more and apply here.

Here’s what my colleagues and I have been calling for this week:

  • We have a plan to keep small and medium-sized businesses afloat, with greater supports for companies, charities and community-based nonprofits. See more about our Save Main Street proposal here.

  • We are calling for auto insurance prices to give everyone a 50% discount for three months and that insurance companies offer a deferral for those experiencing income loss due to COVID-19. 

  • See our list of recommendations for Ontario to better protect and support seniors during COVID-19.

What I’ve been hearing from you:

  • Ontarians with disabilities and their families are anxious about their health and ability to pay their bills during the pandemic. Ontario's policy of clawing back supports like EI from a person's ODSP cheque means families who qualify for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will see their ODSP support wiped out. My colleagues and I are calling for that to stop

  • Families with relatives in long-term care may be grappling with the decision to remove their loved one from care. 


Links and resources

LifeSpin put together this list of resources for folks in London. 

The Ontario Government has created a centralized COVID-19 page which can be found here.

Middlesex-London Health Unit has opened two COVID-19 screening centres. For more on that and other public health information visit Middlesex-London Health Unit’s page here.

If you are interested in up-to-date information regarding Ontario Government announcements and programs I recommend monitoring the Ontario Newsroom.