Ontario Government Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen in Niagara and other Regions of Province

Additional Seasonal, Retail and Household Businesses Must Follow Public Health Guidelines

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Posted May 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

With other ministers standing behind him, Ontario Premier Doug Ford continues to announce a slow re-opening of businesses and other venues across the province

BEAMSVILLE, Ontario – This Thursday, May 14th, the Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government’s reopening framework.

The workplaces opening as part this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services.

The government also announced additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early as Saturday May 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, as key public health indicators continue to show progress.

“During the last several weeks, the people of Ontario have been called on to make incredible sacrifices to help us stop the spread of COVID-19, including staying home from work, closing down businesses and going without a regular paycheque,” said Premier Doug Ford.

“However, we are reopening even more of our businesses beginning this long weekend. We are taking a cautious, balanced approach to our economic reopening, to protect the health and safety of everyone.”

Niagara West MPP and Ford government representative Sam Oosterhoff

“Thanks to the actions of millions of responsible Ontarians, and people here in Niagara West, we can begin slowly re-opening more of our economy, based on the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“This is the first stage of a multi-stage reopening and is a measured approach that will be monitored for the impact on cases.  I know the citizens of Ontario and Niagara want to be responsible and look out for each other, and this announcement today shows how far we have come.”

As soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020:

  *   Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.

  *   Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.

  *   Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.

  *   Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.

The government’s responsible and measured approach to reopening will allow business owners and service provider’s time to ensure workplaces are safe for staff, consumers and the general public.

Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, Ontario’s first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will include:

  *   Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.

  *   Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.

  *   Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.

  *   Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.

  *   Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.

  *   Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children’s Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person.

The government and health and safety associations have released more than ninety safety guidance documents<https://www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace?_ga=2.110131781.153378806.1589391520-1219670464.1566334573> to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. As new sectors of the economy begin to reopen, additional resources will be made available to help protect the safety of workers and the general public.

To support business-owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, the government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory<https://covid-19.ontario.ca/how-your-organization-can-help-fight-coronavirus/#find-ppe> has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.

“Ontario’s businesses stepped up at the outset of this crisis not only to keep their workers and customers safe, but to come forward with innovative ideas and solutions that represent the best of the Ontario Spirit,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

“This new website is truly a made-in-Ontario approach with Ontario businesses helping Ontario businesses.”

The government continues to prioritize the needs of patients, frontline health care workers and first responders when it comes to having critical equipment and supplies to protect themselves during the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses are encouraged to access only the PPE they need to keep their employees and customers safe.

Ontario’s Medical Health Chief, Dr. David Williams, will be closely monitoring situation as restructions are gradually loosened

To ensure that these first actions to reopen the province are a success, the public should continue to adhere to public health measures, including practicing physical distancing or wearing a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible, as well as regular handwashing and staying home when ill.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health will closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when certain public health restrictions, including adjustments to social gatherings can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.

Quick Facts

  *   The province will be providing an update on school closures and child care early next week.

  *   If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

  *   On April 30, 2020, the government, in partnership with Ontario’s Health and Safety Associations, released sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public in preparation for the gradual reopening of the economy. These contain recommendations and tips for employers on how to keep workers and customers safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  *   On April 27, 2020, the government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which unveiled the guiding principles to the safe, stage-by-stage reopening of businesses, services and public spaces in Ontario. This gradual reopening is part of the first stage of Phase 2: Restart in Ontario’s Framework for Reopening our Province.

  *   On March 25, 2020, the government launched Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID 19, a $17-billion package with funding targeted to protect the people of Ontario and support jobs, businesses and families as part of the government’s initial response to the pandemic.

  *   The new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee wants to hear directly from people and organizations from all regions and sectors to help inform the next phases of Ontario’s Action Plan in response to COVID-19. The survey, which is seeking feedback on the impacts of COVID-19 on personal finances, business supports and government relief measures, will be open until June 2020. Visit Ontario.ca/reopen<https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario-after-covid-19?_ga=2.182533094.153378806.1589391520-1219670464.1566334573> to learn how you can provide your input.

Additional Resources

  *   Learn more about Stage 1 of reopening Ontario<https://files.ontario.ca/mof-framework-reopening-province-stage-1-en-2020-05-14.pdf?_ga=2.85147353.153378806.1589391520-1219670464.1566334573>

  *   See the list of Stage 1 businesses<https://files.ontario.ca/mof-detailed-list-stage-1-openings-en-2020-05-14.pdf?_ga=2.152663033.153378806.1589391520-1219670464.1566334573>

  *   Learn more about A Framework for Reopening our Province<https://www.ontario.ca/page/framework-reopening-our-province?_ga=2.152663033.153378806.1589391520-1219670464.1566334573>

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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