August 6, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, Jill Dunlop, announced an investment of more than $6 million over the next three years to help combat crime. The Proceeds of Crime Front-line Policing Grant will support police services in implementing crime prevention and community safety initiatives focused on the areas of gun and gang violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence and harassment. The grant will use funds forfeited to the provincial and federal governments during prosecutions.
Premier Ford and Associate Minister Dunlop were joined by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, and Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce. Following the announcement, Premier Ford, Minister Elliott, and Minister Lecce responded to questions from media and provided and update on the province’s ongoing response to COVID-19.
Earlier today, the Ontario government also announced an investment of $1.5 million to help the province’s tourism industry recover from the pandemic.
Questions from Media – Response to COVID-19
Personal Support Worker Pay
Prior to taking questions, Premier Ford acknowledged the hard work and dedication of personal support workers (PSWs) in Ontario. He added that members of the profession are generally overworked and underpaid and indicated that the government would act on this.
Return to School Plan
In response to continued questions about whether the government would lower elementary class sizes ahead of the return to school next month, Minister Lecce reiterated that the government has provided school boards with $30 million for additional staffing to support distancing, cohorting and smaller classes at the elementary level. He added that Ontario’s back-to-school plan applies multiple public health actions for added layers of protection, including mandatory masking from grades 4 through 12, the hiring of up to 500 public health nurses, and one metre of physical distancing in schools.
Support for Ontario’s Tourism Industry
Earlier today, the government announced an investment of $1.5 million through the Tourism Economic Development Recovery Fund to support the recovery of Ontario’s tourism industry from COVID-19 and offer promotional incentives at provincial attractions.
The fund will support projects that develop innovative tourism products and experiences, drive private sector tourism investments, workforce development, and support tourism operators to learn more through tourism industry associations.
In addition, to recognize the hard work of frontline workers throughout the pandemic, frontline workers will be able to enjoy special rates or discounts at the following attractions this summer:
- Art Gallery of Ontario
- McMichael Canadian Art Collection
- Niagara Parks Commission
- Royal Ontario Museum
- Royal Botanical Gardens
- Huronia Historical Parks
- Fort William Historical Park