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Ontario Government Helping Frontline Workers and Businesses Overcome COVID-19 Challenges

Published on
April 29, 2020

The Ontario government expanded the list of frontline workers eligible for emergency child care.

The additional frontline workers who can now access emergency childcare services include:

  • Workers in grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Truck drivers (driver's licence Class A and Class D)
  • Workers in the food supply chain, including food processing
  • Workers in retirement homes
  • Auxiliary workers in health care settings, including cooks and cleaning staff in hospitals and long-term care homes
  • Interpreters and intervenors who support people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel
  • Provincial officers and onsite staff in Ontario courts
  • Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence staff working in Ontario
  • Additional workers supporting public safety and correctional services

The list was previously expanded on April 17 to include those who assist vulnerable communities, emergency response and law enforcement sector staff, more health and safety workers and certain federal employees. Frontline workers on this list are eligible to receive free emergency child care during the pandemic. Premier Ford also announced that testing would be expanded to include child care centres.

Yesterday, the Ontario government asked businesses to submit ideas for temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations that are creating barriers and hindering business and the Ontario supply chain during COVID-19. These ideas can be submitted to the newly launched COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website. The government will consider temporary regulation or policy change to help the health care system meet the unique needs of the emergency, help businesses in retooling or producing essential or health-related products and supplies and to make it easier for businesses trying to operate remotely or in a non-traditional fashion. Through this website, the government is consulting with and supporting businesses.

The government also said they are pausing or extending any existing public consultations and delaying non-urgent related consultations to allow Ontario businesses to focus on the challenges they face in these challenging times. The government is also considering extending deadlines for reports and audit.

During yesterday’s press conference, Premiere Ford also indicated that labour guidelines would be released later this week to give businesses clear guidelines to ensure consistent & safe work environments for employees when they open.

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