July 2, 2020, Premier Ford announced the Ontario government is providing municipalities and urban Indigenous community partners with an additional $150 million through the province’s social services relief fund. This investment is intended to protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people in response to COVID-19. With this funding, the government is doubling the amount it first set aside in March to organizations and municipalities that administer social services to vulnerable residents.
The funding will address new COVID-related costs and can be used by groups or municipalities to renovate shelters, purchase new facilities that will help with physical distancing, or go towards the purchase of food and supplies.
Premier Ford was joined for the announcement by Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and took a few minutes to underscore the tireless work of Health Minister Christine Elliott before answering questions from the media.
In response to questions on extending the moratorium for eviction notices, Minister Clark explained that Attorney General Caroline Mulroney continues to work with Tribunals Ontario and added that the legislature is studying a bill at Committee today that will add measures to protect tenants, for example through mediation.
On today’s news that a previously-announced COVID-19 contact tracing app will not be launched as planned, Premier Ford explained that Ontario is ready to go and the delay does not come from the province. He speculated that it is likely due to the federal government not having full buy-in from all the provinces but that he stands with the Prime Minister on this.
Regarding the federal government’s yet-to-be-agreed-on $14 billion aid package to the provinces, Premier Ford pleaded with Ottawa to simply cut each province a cheque per capita and allow the provinces the flexibility to administer the funding.
Lastly, Premier Ford added that the government is doing everything it can to support farmers affected by outbreaks and hopes to sit down with the Mayors of the Windsor-Essex region tomorrow to discuss the issue further. He noted challenges getting migrant workers, possibly concerned about deportation, to present themselves for testing.
June 30 Update
The Premier did not provide an update on Canada Day but did speak to the media on June 30th, in advance of the summer holiday. He announced that the province will offer free day use at all provincial parks and will extend free family fishing for the first two full weeks of July. Premier Ford was joined by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott; Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.