Summer is upon us, and the terrific weather encourages us to get out and enjoy all of our region’s attractions. As I travel around the riding, I see people out enjoying a great meal and ice-cold drinks on the many restaurant patios throughout Stormont, Dundas, and South Glengarry. Regulation changes made by our Government is helping restaurant and bar owners to quickly reopen and safely serve customers in their outdoor amenities. Tents and roof structures are certainly a welcome addition with our hot summer sun and are encouraged as long as at least two sides are fully open to the outdoors. As we continue to be successful in controlling the spread of this virus, I look forward to the partial reopening of our indoor restaurants.
Protecting the safety of workers and the public at large remains a top priority as we ease back into some sense of normalcy while we recover from Covid-19. As part of our recovery from COVID-19, our Government announced $3 million of support for critical health and safety training that job seekers need. Up to 100,000 people, looking for work, can now take free online health and safety training through Employment Ontario. The courses cover infection control, health and safety investigation, and workplace violence and harassment prevention.
Our Government continues to help small businesses in their recovery. Small Business Minister, Prabmeet Sarkaria, in partnership with the Federal Government, launched the $57-million Digital Main Street initiative. This program will assist up to 22,900 small businesses to create, launch and enhance their online presence and expand their reach
to new customers in and beyond Ontario. It is not only a COVID-19 recovery tool but is also an asset that meets the needs of our businesses and re-establishes their competitive advantage. The program will also generate jobs for 1,400 students who will assist small businesses in their efforts. The grants provide up to $2,500, and the
applications are available now at https://digitalmainstreet.ca/marketing-new-economy/.
The COVID-19 outbreak has touched all Ontarians. It has created significant hardship for individuals, families and businesses, and they need help to bounce back from the serious health and economic impacts. In response this week, our Government introduced the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020. It is part of a made-in-Ontario plan to help boost the province’s economic recovery, create thousands of jobs, put more opportunities within reach of businesses, get infrastructure projects built faster, and improve the quality of life in every community across the province. This bill amends several acts and puts Ontario on a path to growth, renewal and economic recovery. It
eliminates many of the barriers that currently discourage entrepreneurs from starting new ventures in our great province. The bill includes the establishment of Invest Ontario, which will promote the province as a key investment destination. It will make Ontario more competitive while sending a strong signal to investors that we are open for
business by being a “one-stop shop” for businesses and investors. It will move at the speed of business and drive greater economic growth, support strategic domestic firms and attract businesses from around the world to create good jobs in Ontario. It will initially focus on three important sectors for COVID-19 recovery, where Ontario has a
globally competitive advantage: advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and technology.
As the great weather continues, please remember to social distance, hydrate, and don’t forget the sunscreen when you are out taking in all that our beautiful province has to offer.
I’ll see you on the patio!