I understand that people of Markham-Thornhill are worried and that many businesses need support as we work through this evolving global challenge of COVID-19. The situation changes daily and so does our government’s response to it. These newsletters serve as a way to assure you that our government is doing everything in our power to help and protect Canadians through this.
Our government is prepared to do whatever it takes to help Canadians and small businesses get through this challenging time. Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that – as part of our government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – we will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus an additional $55 billion to support Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals.
Most importantly, we are continuing to ask that all Canadians STAY HOME if you can, practice social distancing, and continue to wash your hands often. This will reduce the spread of infection and strain on our healthcare systems. I continue to strongly advise that we all follow the advice of Health Canada and maintain good hygiene and monitor ourselves for symptoms.
Please note that my Constituency Office is closed to the public at this time, but my team is still available to help members of Markham-Thornhill by email (Mary.Ng@parl.gc.ca) or by phone (905)-479-8100.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced a total of $82 billion in support measures to support small businesses, workers and their families.
In these extraordinary times, our government is doing everything it takes to help people. Our Economic Response Plan also includes support for Indigenous communities, Canadians experiencing homelessness, those abroad and trying to return home, students, and women and children feeling violence during these difficult times.
Details on how to access the following measures will be shared as soon as they come available. For now, please visit Canada.ca/covid19 for the most updated
information Canada’s response to COVID-19.
Our measures for businesses announced yesterday include:
- Essentially eliminating the payroll tax for three months by providing a 10% wage subsidy to small businesses – this will keep people employed;
- Helping businesses with cash flow by deferring tax payments until August 31st;
- Increase credit available to farmers through Farm Credit Canada.
- Introducing a new Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks for self-employed people who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits.
This is building on our announcements earlier this week to help businesses:
- A coordinated approach with the financial sector: cutting interest rates to 0.75%, and major banks increasing lending capacity by $300 billion;
- Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program through BDC and EDC worth $10 billion – this means more short-term loans, working capital, and export insurance-credit so that more Canadian businesses are supported.
- Enhancing the Work-Sharing Program to help businesses pay wages so they don’t have to lay anyone off:
Where to Start
We understand that many Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs are anxious about how to get the help you need in the face of COVID-19. Here are a few good places to start:
- Visit our newly launched website for businesses – a one-stop shop for all your questions about how we are supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs through this COVID-19 crisis.
- Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.
- Consult the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare you business in the days and weeks to come.
- Contact your bank. Canada’s banks have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate way. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institution.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that Canada and the US are temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across our border. Essential travel will continue. We recognize it is critical to preserve supply chains between both countries to ensure things like food, fuel, and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides. People who must cross the border for work and trucking will not be impacted by this new measure.
Additionally, to help Canadians return home or cope with the challenges they are facing while travelling, the Government of Canada has created the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.
The Government of Canada encourages all Canadians abroad to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to get the latest updates on the situation at their destination.
MARKHAM- THORNHILL RESPONSE
- All-City of Markham community centres will be closed until April 5th, 2020
- All-City of Markham public libraries will be closed until April 5th, 2020
- All-City of Markham culture sites including the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, the Flato Markham Theatre and the Markham Museum, are closed until April 5th, 2020
- All programs and drop-ins including March Break camps are suspended
- Markham City produced events have been cancelled for the month
- The following public meetings have been cancelled for the month of March:
- General Committee
- Development Services Committee
- Committee of Adjustment
- Heritage Committee
- Accessibility Committee
- All advisory committee
- Please Note:
- Updates for the public will regularly be made on the City of Markham website
COVID-19 Assessment Sites
In Markham-Thornhill, local resources and assessment sites are still being finalized. Local public health agencies are asking that only those showing symptoms of COVID-19 and/or have reasonable grounds to believe that they have been in contact with the virus should pursue testing.
Below, you will find the details of the closest hospitals to my constituency, as well as details regarding their assessment sites and links to their web pages for locations and protocols of COVID-19 assessments. Please review these instructions or call ahead before visiting a facility.
Mackenzie Health (Major MacKenzie Drive West between Yonge and Bathurst)
- COVID-19 Assessment Centre located in the Medical Urgent Care Clinic
- Assessments are available by appointment only
- Monday-Friday: 03:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.
- Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M.
- Hours are subject to change and will be updated on the hospital web page
Markham Stouffville Hospital (Ninth Line just North of Hwy 7)
- COVID-19 Assessment Centre cannot be accessed from the main hospital facility, entrance is located on south side of the hospital and east of the Emergency Department
- The centre is walk-in only and will not take appointments or phone calls
- Assessment Centre will be opening as of Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
- 10:00 A.M. to 08:00 P.M.
- Hours and dates are subject to change and will be updated on the hospital web page
Once again, please check the protocols of health care facilities before visiting for assessments.
Due to the nature of COID-19, government and healthcare responses are changing at a fast pace. While my team and I are doing our best to keep up with the updates, the best sources of information are referring to the official government and public health agency websites.
When to Contact Public Health
We understand there is a lot of uncertainty and fear surrounding COVID-19. But, in order to lessen the strain on our healthcare systems, we ask that you follow guidelines to determine whether you should pursue medical attention for the virus:
- If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- If you are experiencing a fever and/or have a new or worsening cough and, within the past 14 days, have…
- Travelled outside of Canada, including the United States of America.
- Been in close contact with someone who has recently travelled to an impacted area and is also experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
If any of the conditions above may apply to you or someone you know, we strongly recommend calling York Region Public Health at 1-877-464-9675 Ext: 73588. It is also recommended by York Region Public Health that as an alternative, you may reach out to your local emergency department or health care provider to arrange for testing as appropriate.
If you are presenting symptoms or need more information on measures of COVID-19 please contact the following:
York Region Public Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653
Government of Canada COVID-19 information line 1-833-784-4397
TeleHealth at 1-866-797-0000
Please note York Region Public Health offices are not testing for COVID-19. Call the numbers listed above for information on testing if you are experiencing symptoms.
Hon. Mary Ng
Member of Parliament