#Ontario; #RetirementHomes; Seniors; #2010RetirementHomesAct; #RHRA; #Covid19
Toronto, May 30 (Canadian-Media): 2010 Retirement Homes Act regulation was amended May 30 by the Ontario government to ensure seniors living in retirement homes get better support from the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) during the COVID-19 outbreak, media reports said.
Ontario government. Image credit: Twitter handle
The regulation change implies increase in emergency payment paid by RHRA to eligible retirement home residents from $2,000 to $3,500.
During an emergency, such as an outbreak, this funding can be used to support residents to cover costs for transportation, alternative accommodation or temporary care.
Retirement homes are also required, by this regulation change, to report infectious disease outbreaks to the RHRA during COVID-19 and beyond.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the government of Ontario in recent days has made these regulatory amendments to ensure our seniors are supported and protected and have the needed financial resources in the event of an emergency.
Ontario is also working to make it easier for the retirement home regulator to work with local public health authorities.
In addition, the government has: Issued an emergency to allow employers with unionized workforces to provide pandemic pay to eligible employees without the need to negotiate separate terms or conditions with their bargaining agents; extended an emergency order to provide electricity bill relief for industrial and commercial consumers during COVID-19 to the end of June 2020; amended an emergency order to allow drive-in movie theatres that were in existence before May 29, 2020 to reopen with restrictions, and allowing batting cages to open so that people can start to enjoy outdoor seasonal activities at safe physical distances.
These changes will take effect on May 31, 2020.
#Ontario; #Quebec; #CanadianArmedForces; #SpecialDutyOperation
Ottawa, May 29 (Canadian-Media): Canadian Armed Forces personnel serving in the Ontario and Quebec's pandemic-stricken long-term care homes are now eligible for the same benefits paid to troops serving overseas, the country's top military commander said May 29, media reports said.
Canadian Armed Forces. Image credit: Twitter handle
Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. said in his weekly letter to the troops posted online this evening that the deployment of the Canadian soldiers was designated as a "special duty operation" both by the defence and veterans ministers ensuring that Canadian Armed Forces] members can access to disability and pension programs," Vance said.
The initiative will effective from when the troops began training for the deployment earlier in the spring and will continue until their return to their home units.
As of May 28, 40 members of the military serving in long-term care homes, 25 in Quebec and 15 in Ontario, have tested positive for COVID-19.
The total number of troops are 1,675 troops comprising medical technicians and general purpose soldiers deployed to as staff in the facilities, many of which have become virus hotspots in both provinces.
Liberal government had been pressurized by a veterans' group to declare the deployment a special duty operation, especially considering the possible unknown long-term health effects for those infected.
Mike Blais, president and founder of Canadians Veterans Advocacy said that the they had been fighting for this since they were deployed and are pleased troops' efforts have been recognized with a special duty operation.
The Department of National Defence said it has taken measures to protect the soldiers, some of whom are caring directly for seniors.
#Canada; #CBSA; #Covid19Pandemic; #NewBrunswick; #ReunitingFamilies
Ottawa, May 29 (Canadian-Media): The task of reuniting the separated families due to the Canada-U.S. temporary border closure, is being considered by Canada's federal government through a slight change of the directives for the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau May 29 during his daily news conference, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Facebook page
The deal of the Canada-U.S. border closure for non-essential travels was mutually agreed to by both Canada and United States in March and has been extended until June 21.
But New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs expressed concern by the Thursday night's call suggesting that moving of the families between Canada and United States could materialize sooner than that.
New Brunswick appeared to have COVID-19 under control and had not seen new cases for a number of days and is now faced with a sudden surge of new cases of COVID-19 pandemic.
It was also reported that the new cases were travel related and linked to a medical professional at the local hospital who had contracted the coronavirus outside the province and didn't self-isolate when he returned.
The head of the Vitalité Health Network said that at least 150 people including 50 health-care workers at the Campbellton Regional Hospital and 100 people in the community were exposed to the medical professional.
Gilles Lanteigne, president and CEO of Vitalité Health Network said that more people were exposed and hoped 500 people to be tested within the next couple of days.
Higgs had raised this issue during Thursday night's weekly call with Trudeau and the premiers.
Higgs said the border remains under federal jurisdiction, but hopes Ottawa would listen to the the concerns of the provinces.
Trudeau said he would continue to discuss with premiers of changes at the border.
While a number of premiers agreed that for compassionate reasons CBSA directives should be modified to reunite the families others had expressed concerns about it.
Trudeau said that his government would continue to look into this matter and that the safety and well-being of Canadians would be the utmost priority.
#Ottawa; #Iran; #UkrainianPassengerPlane
Ottawa, May 29 (Canadian-Media): Iran is being pressured by Canada and four other countries to release the flight recorders from the Ukrainian passenger plane its forces shot down on Jan. 8, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said May 29 during a government briefing on a video link, media reports said.
Marc Garneau. Image credit: Twitter handle
During the Montreal meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on March 11, , Garneau had been promised by Iran's representative Farhad Parvaresh over the phone that his government would surrender the so-called "black boxes" to Ukrainian authorities by March 25.
Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was hit by two Iranian missiles shortly after taking off from Tehran airport. All 176 people on board died, including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents, and other travelers were students and academics returning from a winter break.
The cause of the crash was initially covered by Iran but later was forced to admit that its Revolutionary Guard fired two missiles at the plane.
The incident occurred just after Iran launched missiles into Iraq at two American military bases in retaliation for the U.S. having killed Iran's top general, Qassem Soleimani, days earlier. One of the targeted bases housed Canadian troops.
Although ravaged by pandemic, Iran is required to surrender the flight recorders to honour its obligations under international civil aviation law, Garneau said.
An alliance with Canada was formed by Britain, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Sweden who also lost citizens when the plane was destroyed, to deal with Iran.
Former public safety minister Ralph Goodale who was appointed the Canadian government's special adviser on the file said Canada wants an answer to one crucial question: why did Iranian officials allow a civilian airliner to be exposed to military action in the midst of such a dangerous conflict?
"How did that happen and who was responsible for it happening?" Goodale said. "We're following every line of questioning and none of the answers are available yet."
#UN; #CanadaPMCoHostingUNSummi; #COVID19Pandemic
Ottawa, May 28 (Canadian-Media): Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is cohosting May 28 the four-hour virtual conference with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness with an aim to develop a co-ordinated global response to mitigate the devastating social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Facebook page
UN estimates that by uniting nations co-ordinate a recovery plan, could prevent slashing of approximately $8.5 trillion US from the world economy over the next two years, as well as save 34.3 million people from extreme poverty this year and potentially 130 million more over the course of the decade.
The meeting is being participated by more than 50 heads of state and government, including Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron, along with representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the private sector.
All countries are faced by economic strain because of the pandemic, particularly developing countries were were already in debt before the crisis and can't afford to undertake fiscal stimulus measures, said UN in a release about the event.
"We are in an unprecedented human crisis because of a microscopic virus," Guterres said in the release. "We need to respond with unity and solidarity and key aspect of solidarity is financial support."
Trudeau said that working together as a global community is the best possible solution leads to more inclusive, sustainable and resilient economies, where no one is left behind.
Trudeau added that Canadian jobs and businesses are dependent on stable and productive economies in other countries.
The conference addresses six urgent areas of action to mobilize the financial needs for a global recovery including expanding liquidity in the global economy and maintaining financial stability; addressing debt vulnerability for developing countries; involvement of private sector creditors in recovery plans; enhancement of external financing for inclusive growth and job creation; preventing illicit off-shore financial holdings and money laundering; and aligning recovery policies with sustainable development goals.
With the goal of providing concrete proposals by mid-July, the conference aims to create a discussion group in each of the six areas, .
"There is no time to lose," the UN release said. "Solutions cannot wait and decisive action is required."
#Ontario; #Canada; #OntarioLongTermCareHomes; #CanadianArmedForces
Ottawa, May 26 (Canadian-Media): Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said May 26 he was shocked, saddened, disappointed and angry after reading “deeply disturbing” report of Canadian Armed Forces members' findings of the treatment of elderly residents in Ontario's long term care homes, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Facebook page
“I believe we are talking about a situation that clearly is a reality associated with COVID-19 but has also existed for quite some time,” he said.
Military service members, who had been assisting the long term care April 28, say they have observed numerous forms of unhygienic and dangerous behavior including: repeated use of medical equipment between numerous patients, without it being disinfected, improper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by staff and doctors; housing of COVID-19 patients with other residents who had not tested positive; Staff being aggressive with residents during medical procedures, residents calling for help with no response for up to two hours, presence of insects, including cockroaches.
Trudeau said that he had shared the report detailing what CAF members saw with Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
"Reading those reports was the hardest thing I've done as premier, knowing so much more needs to be done," Ford said Tuesday.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
"Until yesterday morning, we didn't know the full extent of what these homes, what these residents, were dealing with."
An investigation that could lead to criminal charges against five long-term care homes rocked by COVID-19 has been launched by the province of Ontario, said Ford.
The report lists five facilities, along with their most recent death tolls attributed to COVID-19.
Trudeau said that from the very beginning of the start of this pandemic, he had been telling the provinces they need to do a better job for the seniors in long-term care right across the country, through this pandemic and beyond.
Of total COVID-19-linked deaths in the province, Nearly 77 percent were residents in long-term care homes, according to the Ministry of Health.
Trudeau said the need to improve standards of care for seniors in long-term care homes across the country is obvious from the report and added the federal government will support the provinces to do that going forward. Long-term care falls under provincial jurisdiction.
"We need to do a better job of caring for the people who built this country," Trudeau said. "The greatest generation saw us through World War Two. We need to be there to support them properly through this global crisis."
In the meantime Ontario and Quebec have requested an extension of the CAF deployment in long-term care facilities.
#Quebec; #Canada; #AsylumSeekers; #CHSLDs; #Covid19Pandemic; #Immigration
Quebec, May 26 (Canadian-Media): Hundreds of asylum seekers working as patient attendants in Quebec's long-term care homes, known by their French initials CHSLDs, during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic are rallying for recognition of their immigration status in Quebec, media reports said.
François Legault. Image credit: Twitter handle
In his morning briefing on May 26, Quebec Premier François Legault said that these asylum seekers would be given a chance to stay in the province if they applied as immigrants.
Although Coalition Avenir Québec premier had previously rejected to give preference for asylum seekers and others without status working in essential jobs during the pandemic, the calls for recognition of their contribution has been growing.
A rally had been held by protestors outside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Montreal office on Saturday, demanding justice for asylum seekers who had risked their lives by working in CHSLDs during COVID-19 outbreaks.
Legault said he had already contacted Immigration Minister Simon-Jolin Barrette to look at the situation of the asylum seekers, on a case-by-case basis and added he is still considering how to bring in those already working in CHSLDs via the normal immigration process.
His government, said Legault, would also have discussions with the federal government, which is responsible for refugee applications.
Frantz André, a member of the Action Committee for People without Status in Montreal, the group behind the demonstration, said Legault should be taking a stronger stand on the issue to influence the federal government; the final decision maker regarding the immigration status of asylum seekers.
#Canada; #LiberalGov.; TheConservatives; #HouseOfCommons; #VirtualMeetings; #InPersonMeetings
Ottawa, May 24 (Canadian-Media): A proposal by the Liberal government of Canada to allow Parliament's special committee on COVID-19 meet for an additional day each week, would be debated in the House of Commons Monday, media reports said.
Canada's House of Commons. Image credit: Twitter handle
The Liberals' proposal also implies that a limited number of MPs convening in the House of Commons would be joined by members across the country visible on two large television screens installed in the House of Commons.
The number of MPs to be allowed inside the chamber was not decided by the parties, but the Conservatives calculated 50 members could be accommodated while still respecting physical distancing.
Operations of Parliament during the summer months, when the House of Commons typically rises for several weeks, would also be discussed on Monday.
The chamber would then take the unusual step of convening the COVID-19 committee four times throughout the season: on July 8, July 22, August 12 and August 26.
During those sittings, MPs would have the ability to question the Prime Minister and members of cabinet on any topic, not just those limited to COVID-19, followed by more hours of question answer session with the government.
The NDP supported the motion subject to a commitment from the Liberals to support those on sick leave and people living with disabilities who are struggling during the pandemic.
The Conservatives, however, remained firm on additional in-person sittings.
The Liberals' motion also implies the addition of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to the list of eight other committees that are already meeting virtually to discuss matters related to COVID-19, a move supported by NDP also.
The issues unrelated to the pandemic would also be discussed on Monday.
#Canada; #HouseOfCommons; #JustinTrudeau; #Conservatives; #Covid19Pandemic
Ottawa, May 23 (Canadian-Media): Although Canada's political parties had been discussing on bringing back Parliament, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that irrespective of the Parties' decision, the parliament would continue to function with reduced number of members physically present three times a week for coming weeks, media reports said.
House of Commons Canada. Image credit: Twitter handle
The Conservatives, under the leadership of Andrew Scheer, had been pushing for Parliament to return to normal functions on Monday saying Parliament sessions cannot be replaced by virtual committee meetings.
The Conservatives said that the House of Commons should be considered an "essential service" and should accommodate about 50 MPs at once, with a plan for voting and a way for all committees to hold virtual meetings with the same powers they have during in-person meetings.
The global COVID-19 pandemic had caused the House to be adjourned since March. The parliament had resumed only to pass legislation on emergency financial benefits
The House is scheduled to return Monday, and an agreement would be reached among the parties on how the proceedings will unfold.
A special committee comprising all 338 MPs, formed to deal only with matters related to COVID-19 has been meeting twice a week virtually and in-person on Wednesdays.
According to the House Speaker's office, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 linked to in-person House sittings or committee meetings to date.
"Any suspected case of COVID-19 within the House of Commons community is monitored very closely, in keeping with a protocol established based on advice from public health officials," said, Spokesperson Heather Bradley and added normal service levels are not required for recent sittings of the House or committee meetings.
#Canada; #Self-Isolation; #Covid19Pandemic; #PHAC; #PoliceHomeVisits
Ottawa, May 20 (Canadian-Media): Nearly 2,200 home visits have been reported by police officers to make sure Canadians who have returned home since the start of the pandemic, are complying with the 14-day self-isolation rule, media reports said.
Image credit: Twitter handle
The self-isolation rule, which came into effect in late March due to rapid surge of global of COVID-19 pandemic, applies to all travelers returning to Canada irrespective of if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or not.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is alerted by the Canada Border Services Agency if it suspects of non-compliance issue of any returning traveler to Canada.
So far no arrests have been made under the Quarantine Act since the pandemic restrictions began, but PHAC says that failure to comply with the Quarantine Act can lead to a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months, and in some cases a penalty of $1 million or three years in prison or both.