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As of this Saturday, April 4rth, Niagara is at 123 confirmed COVID-19 cases, Seven Deaths, and Counting!

So PLEASE, STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, and when you have to go out, PRACTICE PHYSICAL DISTANCING

It is Time for Authorities to Crack Down on those who go on acting like this killer virus is ‘fake news’. The irresponsible behaviour of a few is endangering us all.

A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted April 5th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – According to Niagara Region Public Health, the latest count, as of this past Saturday, April 4th at noon, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 or Coronavirus in this Niagara region has climbed to 123.

Out of these 123 reported cases, 26 individuals confirmed to have the virus have “recovered” or have been “resolved,” according to Niagara Region Public Health, and that is encouraging.

Quite tragically, at least seven people in Niagara, Ontario that health authorities know of have died.

A stark sign of our times at a children’s playground at a park in St. Catharines, Niagara

Please keep in mind that the very first confirmed case of Coronavirus in Niagara, Ontario was reported barely more than three weeks ago on March 12th, and the first death was reported barely more than a week ago, during the last full week of March.

That all means that the number of cases and the number of deaths related to Coronavirus in Niagara, Ontario are growing exponentially, meaning that the upward slope of the line of the graph – that line that doctors and nurses and other frontline health care workers are so desperately hoping to see flattened to keep from overwhelming our health care system – has been rising more steeply over the past three or four weeks. Continue reading

Ontario NDP Leader Urges Ford Government to Embrace a ‘Save Main Street Plan’

Provincial Investments needed to keep the Main Streets of our Communities Afloat

Ontario Official Opposition and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

“Many small and medium-sized businesses, non-profits and charities are counting down the number of days they can keep their heads above water. …“We not only want them to survive, we want them to be able to keep staff on the payroll as much as possible.”                                – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

News from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted April 5th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A few blocks of downtown St. Catharines, Niagara. We need to do what we can to save the Main Streets of our communities for the future of local jobs and economies. file photo by Doug Draper

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said small and medium-sized businesses, charities and community-based non-profits need more help to make it through the COVID-19 storm, and the provincial government should offer that lifeline.

“Many small and medium-sized businesses, non-profits and charities are counting down the number of days they can keep their heads above water since COVID-19 has taken away their revenue,” said Horwath. “We not only want them to survive, we want them to be able to keep staff on the payroll as much as possible.

Thorold’s downtown has been making a strong comeback in recent years, thanks to community support and local business owners. Let’s not see downtowns like this fall.

“The federal wage subsidy program and loan options are a welcome relief, but still leave small operations unable to pay the rent and bills without sinking into debt. The provincial government can solve that problem.”

Horwath’s said small and medium-sized businesses, charities and community-based non-profits should get help from the province, including: 

Continue reading

Prime Minister Announces Support For Canada’s Food Banks And Local Food Organizations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“Many Canadians rely on food banks and local food organizations to feed their families and find support in hard times. Now, with more Canadians turning to these supports, and donations and available volunteers decreasing, they need our help more than ever.”                          -Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A News Release from the Office of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Posted April 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – Food banks and local food organizations provide help to Canadians across the country, particularly people and communities most vulnerable to economic uncertainty.

These organizations are facing an increased demand for their services, and added pressure from shortages in donations and volunteers.

Now more than ever, they need our support to continue offering the services Canadians rely on to feel safe and healthy.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an investment of $100 million to improve access to food for Canadians facing social, economic, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

Ontario Government Takes Steps to Keep Food on the Table during COVID-19

New online portal connects Food and Ag Biz employers with workers looking to make a difference

News from Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Posted April 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO – In order to ensure grocery store shelves remain full and families have food on the table during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Ontario is launching a new web portal, connecting workers with employers looking to fill positions in the agri-food sector.

This new online tool will make it easier to match people to essential jobs and training resources throughout the provincial food supply chain.

“Right now, there are important jobs that need to be filled across the food supply chain and we are looking for individuals who embody the Ontario spirit to step up and provide an essential service,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Continue reading

Ontario Could Still See Up To Fifteen Thousand COVIC-19 Deaths With Current Protective Measures in Place, Modelling Predicts

Ontario Government Provides Full Transparency by Releasing COVID-19 Modelling

Projected number of cases and deaths can be significantly reduced if people stay home

A COVID-19 Update from the Office of Ontario’s Premier

Posted April 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO – Today (Friday, April 3rd), the Ontario government released extensive COVID-19 modelling, revealing several scenarios that project the potential number of cases and deaths. In doing so, the province is providing the public with full transparency about the consequences should everyone but non-essential workers fail to stay home and practise physical distancing.

Ontario coronavirus death count from March 2nd, when the first two deaths were reported, unitl April 2nd, 2020.

“The models show that the potential to spread COVID-19 is massive and deadly if we don’t act swiftly to stay home and practise physical distancing,” said Premier Ford. “We owe it to our front-line and essential workers, to our family, friends and neighbours to restrict our travel, and act responsibly. This is the only way we are going to minimize the risk to people, stop the spread and reduce the number of fatalities.”

Key highlights from the modelling include:

Continue reading

Ontario Government Extends Business Closures to Stop Spread of COVID-19

Additional Measures Necessary to Protect the Health and Safety of the People of Ontario

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

“We are facing a critical moment in the fight against COVID-19 and we must do everything in our power to keep everyone safe and healthy and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed.”                                                                                            – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A COVID-19 Update from the Ontario Government

Posted April 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close.

This measure is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the people of Ontario, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available.

The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.

Ontario moves to tighten its list of “essential services” to remain open. New temporary closing effective Saturday, April 4th at 11:59 p.m. Click on the ‘here’ link directly below for the updated list.

The updated essential businesses list can be found here.

“We are facing a critical moment in the fight against COVID-19 and we must do everything in our power to keep everyone safe and healthy and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed,” said Premier Ford. Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS – State of Emergency Declared in Niagara, Ontario

Niagara, Ontario’s Regional Government and 12 Local Municipalities Jointly Declare State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19

“The timing of this declaration is imperative as our actions over the next several weeks will determine how well Niagara will fare in the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation represents a real and pressing risk to the health of our community and we all need to work together to slow the spread of the virus.”                                  – from a Joint Statement by Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Niagara’s 12 Mayors

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted April 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large 

Niagara Regional Headquarters

Niagara, Ontario – Today (this Friday, April 3rd), in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 activity in Niagara in the coming weeks, Niagara Region and Niagara’s 12 local area municipalities have jointly declared a State of Emergency. 

 Declaring an emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act provides Niagara with all options available to protect the health and safety of Niagara residents. 

 The Mayors and Regional Chair offer the following joint statement regarding the decision to declare this emergency to help protect the health of Niagara:

“The timing of this declaration is imperative as our actions over the next several weeks will determine how well Niagara will fare in the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation represents a real and pressing risk to the health of our community and we all need to work together to slow the spread of the virus.    Continue reading