November 5, 2020by Israel Foulon LLP
On November 3, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced its Framework for Keeping Ontarians Safe and Open (“Framework”). The plan outlines a new regional COVID-19 response plan. It provides the Province with additional flexibility to assign targeted public health measures dependent upon current active COVID-19 cases in each public health region.
Keeping Ontarians Safe and Open Framework
The Framework provides individual public health units with added guidance and gradual restrictions designed to avoid broader closures. The Framework places public health units into five categories:
- Green – Prevent
- Yellow – Protect
- Orange – Restrict
- Red – Control
- Grey – Lockdown
Each level provides targeted public health measures that gradually tighten restrictions on social gatherings and select businesses to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. The Province will begin transitioning public health regions into the new Framework starting Saturday, November 7, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
The government will make final decisions on classifying public health regions and continually assess the impact of public health measures applied to the individual areas for 28 days. A decision on whether Toronto public health will move from its current modified Stage Two restrictions may be delayed until November 14, 2020.
The Ontario Newsroom announcement detailing with the government’s new Framework can be accessed HERE.
Businesses can review how the targeted public health measures may affect their operations at each classification HERE.
Increased Transparency Regarding COVID-19 Active Cases and Public Health Measures
The Province announced plans to increase access to real time data through its COVID-19 website. Additional information about the spread of the virus, public health and health system capacity will now be available on the website. This includes local cases by public health unit regions, the total number of cases, resolved cases, deaths, tests completed, and positivity rate. The Government of Ontario’s revamped COVID-19 website can be accessed HERE.
Government of Ontario Announces Property Tax and Cost Rebate Program
The Government of Ontario announced plans to make additional funds available through the provision of a rebate program for businesses affected by modified stage two restrictions, going forward, in regions categorized as Control or Lockdown. Eligible businesses can apply for rebates to help cover their fixed costs, including:
- municipal and education property taxes
- heating and energy costs, including electricity and natural gas
Funding will cover the entire length of time that the regionally targeted public health restrictions are in place. Applications for the rebate will open through an online portal starting November 16, 2020.
Additional information concerning the government’s rebate proram can be accessed HERE.
Israel Foulon’s Response to COVID-19 Israel Foulon is assessing the situation as it evolves, and is taking all necessary precautions within its workplace. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health of our team and clients, absent extraordinary circumstances we are working remotely until further notice whenever possible. However, please be aware that our offices remain open and are fully functioning. In the circumstances, we encourage our clients to contact us by phone and email to the extent possible. Voicemail messages left at our office phone numbers are immediately forwarded via email. All messages will be promptly responded to. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients and would be more than happy to assist you with concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other employment or labour matters.