Racism, Municipalities Don’t Get Additional Support Yet

Good afternoon!

It feels as if the pandemic is actually going away, however experts are pushing that Ontario and Quebec should be a little more reluctant to open. The data is not as promising and it’s been said that our curves haven’t really been flattening. In Ontario, 78% of all of the confirmed cases have recovered, 9% have ended in fatality and the rest (13%) are still stick. Yet Ontario continues to have a high new case count (404 today) and we still have people that die (the death toll increased today by 10). Global News reports an increase of 1.5 percent in total cumulative cases, the use fell in between 1.1 and 1.6 this past week. Yet, across Canada, a number of provincial parks have been re-opened, drive-thru movie theatres and batting cages are now opened, Alberta opens pre-schools and B.C. opens up K-12 schools, Montreal opens day-cares, Quebec will see marinas and campsites, as well as day-cares operating at 50% capacity, and Mnaitoba moves on to phase two of it’s re-opening. Which means tattoo parlours, hair stylists and barbers, gyms and public pools.

Jenn Casey, the fallen “Snowbirds” pilot, may have succumbed to a “bird strike”. More on that as information becomes available.

Read: CAF Snowbirds Pilot Killed, Borders Remains Closed for Non-Essential Travel

Justin Trudeau, started off this morning brief from Rideau Cottage with a heartfelt message about racism that plagues many countries, including Canada, but has recently devastated America over the murder of an unarmed black George Floyd. Trudeau goes on to mention unconscious bias, and touched on the issue of protestors using the opportunity to wreak havoc on several businesses.  Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal saw protests, while the US saw several including Minnesota (where the murder took place) and in Washington, D.C, where they had to shut down the White House.

Thursday, Justin Trudeau had a discussion with all the premiers of each province to discuss their concerns during this COVID-19 pandemic. The National Council of Provinces had requested anywhere from 10 – 15 billion dollars to help fund municipalities who are facing shortages from services they rely on like transit. Toronto Transit Commission reported back earlier in May that they are losing $92 monthly, after seeing an 86% fall in Presto taps compared to pre-pandemic levels. The Federal Government of Canada is prepared to give the full payment of their $2.2 billion annual payment, through the Gas Tax Fund, instead of in the usual two installments. Some provinces, like the mayors of Winnipeg and Vancouver, have already expressed their gratitude, yet this isn’t additional funding, this Is funding that municipalities have already budget for; yet, yes this will provide increases in cash flow. Trudeau stressed that this is a stepping stone, and as more needs arise there will be more measures. However, before ending the brief, he was asked why isn’t he giving a clear-cut definite answer to providing these municipalities with the much needed funs, as this is not new money, but rather money that has already been budgeted for. He gave a rather short response, saying that for this to happen, it requires cooperation.

Questions will need to be raised, like if it turns out this money falls short, are the provinces going to have the available funds for the municipalities to continue to function? After all, this isn’t new money, it’s just giving them access to money that was already budgeted for in the future. A move made to possibly get more businesses using the measures that have been put in place, however this morning Andrew Scheer expressed that a number of business don’t have access to the various programs put in place, because under the inclusion criteria currently set; their businesses happen to be excluded. Andrew Scheer pushed to have some of the methods of measurements changed so that the rules accommodate all businesses, and not allow many businesses to fall through the cracks.

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