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Welcome to the Markham-Stouffville
Weekly Update for February 14, 2021

York Region still under Stay-at-Home order until at least February 22nd  
 
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is transitioning twenty-seven public health regions out of the shutdown and into a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (the "Framework").

York Region Public Health will remain in the shutdown until at least February 22nd along with Toronto Public Health, Peel Public Health, and North Bay Parry Sound District.

Please continue to follow all public health measures so we can continue to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help our small businesses re-open safely.
 
Visit Ontario.ca/covidresponse for the full list of public health region classifications. 
 
For full detail on this decision, visit this link:


https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60339/ontario-returning-27-public-health-regions-to-strengthened-covid-19-response-framework
York Region Students Back To School February 16th

Students in York Region will return to class for in-person learning on Tuesday, February 16 after the Family Day long weekend (Monday February 15th).

To support the safe return of in-person learning, Ontario has introduced new measures to continue to protect students and staff against COVID-19 in the classroom. These measures include:
  • Provincewide access, in consultation with the local Public Health Unit, to targeted asymptomatic testing for students and staff;
  • Mandatory masking requirement for students in Grades 1-3, and masking requirement for Grades 1-12 outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained;
  • Providing 3.5 million high quality cloth masks to schools as back-up supply for Grade 1-12 students;
  • Enhanced screening for secondary students and staff;
  • Guidance discouraging students from congregating before and after school; and,
  • Temporary certification of eligible teacher candidates who are set to graduate in 2021 to stabilize staffing levels, following high levels of absenteeism.
Read the full announcement details here:

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60228/enhanced-safety-measures-in-place-as-in-person-learning-resumes-across-ontario
Ontario Small Business Support Grant 

More than 42,000 applications have been received for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant.
 
Businesses that have been approved can expect to receive payment within about 10 business days. During the Provincewide Shutdown, all eligible small businesses facing challenges are being encouraged to apply for this financial support and receive at least $10,000 and up to $20,000.
 
Small businesses required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown are able to apply for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and use this funding in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business needs. For example, some businesses could need support paying employee wages, while others could need support with their rent.
 
Eligible small businesses include those that:
  • Were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26
  • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
  • New businesses established since April 2019 will also be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria.
To apply for the grant, visit this site:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs
Ontario Delays March Break in an Effort to Reduce Community Transmission of COVID-19
 
In support of our collective efforts to keep schools safe, the Ministry of Education is postponing March Break until April 12-16, 2021. This decision was made with the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, including consultations with many local Medical Officers of Health.
 
Many students have been learning remotely since the start of 2021. It is critical we follow public health advice to protect schools and avoid a repeat of the concerning spike in youth-related cases over the winter break, when students and staff were out of schools for a prolonged period of time.
 
On February 2, 2021, the Ministry consulted with trustees' associations, teacher federations, education worker unions, and principal and vice-principal associations to get their valuable perspectives. Additional feedback was provided from stakeholders via written submissions.
 
To read the full statement, click this link:

https://news.ontario.ca/en/statement/60325/ontario-delays-march-break-in-an-effort-to-reduce-community-transmission-of-covid-19
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Responsibilities

My constituency office has received many questions about the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

This graphic shows the responsibilities of different levels of government and their role in the vaccine rollout. 
Love Local this Valentine's Day 
 
Small businesses, like Main Street shops and local restaurants, have shouldered the brunt of the pandemic’s economic burdens. For this Valentine's Day, I want to encourage you to "Love Local" by supporting local businesses in our community.   

Local shops often have unique gifts that can't be found anywhere else, and Main Street boutiques, bakeries, florists, chocolatiers and others offer great ideas to show family and friends you care. 

Let's show our love for small businesses by:

•    Buying gifts for family and friends from local small businesses
•    Buying and sharing gift cards to local restaurants 
•    Ordering takeout or delivery to enjoy Valentine's Day dinner at home

If you love small business, let's show it and Love Local for Valentine's Day!  
Constituency Office Services
 
My constituency office is here to serve you. We offer assistance for various provincial government services such as the renewal of Driver's Licences, Health Cards, WSIB claims, ODSP/FRO cases, and any other service under provincial jurisdiction. Please call us at 905-642-2588 or email paul.calandra@pc.ola.org and my staff and I will be happy to assist you.

To reduce in-person visits to ServiceOntario, a number of provincially-issued documents have extended expiry dates until further notice. Please click here for further information. 

As a result of the Stay-at-Home Order, my physical office is currently closed. However, our office staff remain avaliable to respond to your inquires via email or telephone. Should you require any assistance, please email paul.calandra@pc.ola.org or call 905-642-2588. We will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Wishing you and your family a Happy Family Day!

Best regards,

Paul Calandra, MPP
Markham-Stouffville
Copyright © Paul Calandra, MPP, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Suite 400, 37 Sandiford Dr. Stouffville, ON L4A 3Z2

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