Government News Releases Related to COVID-19

November 23 2021

Ontario Building and Improving Schools

$600 million announced to build new schools and child care spaces across Ontario
Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, joined by Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure, and Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga Centre, announced that the Ontario government is making major investments to build and improve schools and create more licensed child care spaces across the province. The government announced that two capital building programs representing $600 million in funding is being invested to support 78 school and child care related projects.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

October 28 2021

Government Takes Further Action to Protect Schools

Expanded Testing Options Will Reduce Disruption and Absenteeism
To support safer schools and reduce barriers to testing for all school-aged children, Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, announced increased access to low-barrier testing options to support in-person student attendance at school and reduce disruptions to families.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

October 5 2021

Targeted COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Screening to Keep Students Safe

Government Increasing Access to Rapid Antigen Screening to Keep Students Learning In-Person and Child Care Centres Open
Ontario is improving access to local targeted COVID-19 rapid antigen screening by making it available for students through participating public health units where risk of transmission is high. By expanding access to rapid antigen screening, the Ontario government is helping to keep schools and licensed child care settings open and safe for children and students.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

September 29 2021

Ontario To Strengthen Mandatory Indigenous Learning in School Curriculum

New Funding and Curriculum Reaffirms Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation
Working with Indigenous partners, Elders, Knowledge Holders and education stakeholders, the Ontario government announced a plan to expand First Nation, Métis and Inuit content and learning in the elementary curriculum. The province announced that these changes will further strengthen mandatory learning on residential schools and foster greater understanding within the province’s education system of the intergenerational legacy borne by Indigenous families.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

September 7 2021

Students Head Back to Class in Safer Schools

Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement as students head back to class…
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

August 17 2021

Ontario Makes COVID-19 Vaccination Policies Mandatory for High-Risk Settings

Province to Begin Offering Third Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines to Most Vulnerable Ontarians
In response to evolving data around the transmissibility of the Delta variant and based on the recent experiences of other jurisdictions, the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is taking action to increase protection for our most vulnerable, including frail seniors, immunocompromised individuals and young children who are not yet eligible for vaccination. This includes making COVID-19 vaccination policies mandatory in high-risk settings, pausing the province’s exit from the Roadmap to Reopen and providing third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable populations. The government is also expanding eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine to children born in 2009 or earlier.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

August 16 2021

Ontario Working with Public Health Units to Run COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in Schools

School Vaccination Program Will Help Province Combat Delta Variant As Students Return to Class this Fall
The Ontario government is working with public health units and publicly funded school boards to plan and host vaccination clinics in or nearby schools to continue to fight COVID-19. Clinics are expected to run before school starts and during the first few weeks of school. The program is part of the province’s last mile strategy to target those who have yet to receive a first or second dose and will provide accessible and convenient access to vaccines for eligible students and their families, as well as educators and school staff who are returning to school this fall.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

June 24 2021

In-Person Summer Learning to Support Student Success and a Strong Start to 2021-22 School Year

Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement on 2021 summer learning opportunities for Ontario students:
“To further promote student academic success, to reduce learning gaps, and to ensure that students are fully engaged in their studies, Ontario has expanded summer learning to the largest program ever in our history.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

May 4 2021

Ontario Unveils $2 Billion Plan to Keep Schools Safe and Support Learning Recovery and Renewal

Record-level Support for Mental Health and Learning Recovery Included as Part of a Historic Investment in 2021-22 School Year

The Ontario government is providing more than $2 billion in new supports to advance and protect public education for the 2021-22 school year. The support includes more than $1.6 billion in resources to respond to COVID-19 and an $85.5 million commitment to support learning recovery and renewal in response to the ongoing pandemic.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

May 4 2021

Ontario’s Learning Recovery and Renewal Plan for Students

Ontario has developed a plan to support learning recovery and renewal, making available $85.5 million to address the impacts of learning disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emphasis will be placed on mental health and well-being, early reading and math, and re-engaging students.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

April 15 2021

Ontario Provides Emergency Child Care for Critical Frontline Workers

Service will be available for school-aged children at no cost to eligible parents
As Ontario schools move to remote learning due to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission across communities and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants, frontline workers will have access to emergency child care for their school-aged children, beginning Monday, April 19, 2021.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

April 14 2021

Canada and Ontario Invest in School Infrastructure to Respond to the Impacts of COVID-19

Projects will enhance health and safety protection for students and staff
The governments of Canada and Ontario announced $656.5 million in funding to provide critical infrastructure upgrades to protect students and staff from COVID-19 in the province’s schools.

The infrastructure upgrades were announced by the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure for Ontario, and the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education for Ontario.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

April 12 2021

Ontario Moves Schools to Remote Learning Following Spring Break

Continued Rise in COVID-19 Cases Demands Shift to Protect Students and Staff and Slow Community Spread
The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has made the difficult decision to move elementary and secondary schools to remote learning following the April break. This move has been made in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants, and the massive spike in hospital admissions.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

April 8 2021

Additional Protections for Schools to Keep Students and Staff Safe

Schools Will Remain Open for In-person Learning During Four-week Stay-at-home Order as Education Workers Become Eligible for Vaccines
The Ontario government is introducing new measures to protect schools against COVID-19 which include refresher training, enhanced cleaning and asymptomatic testing. As these new measures are being introduced, the government will begin offering registration for vaccinations to education workers during the spring break.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

March 31 2021

Province Doubles Support for Parents With New Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit

$980 Million Investment Part of 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan
The Ontario government is providing parents with $980 million in direct support as part of the Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit. Under this new round of funding, payments will be doubled to $400 per child and $500 for a child with special needs to help offset additional learning costs. This investment is part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

March 2 2021

Ontario Provides More Than $1 Billion In Support for Small Business

Funding is Helping Eligible Business Owners Affected by the COVID-19 Restrictions
The Ontario government has to-date provided more than $1 billion through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant to help eligible business owners affected by the COVID-19 restrictions. The grant provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 and can be used in whatever way makes the most sense for individual businesses; from paying employee wages, to offsetting the cost of rent, to purchasing inventory.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

February 26 2021

Ontario Takes Action to Support Working Families and Improve Child Care

Reforms Will Make Before and After School Programs More Accessible
The Ontario government announced regulatory amendments that support working families and improve the child care and early years sector and advance the province’s dual priorities of accessibility and affordability for parents.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

February 11 2021

Ontario Delays March Break in an Effort to Reduce Community Transmission of COVID-19

Decision Was Made on the Advice of Public Health Officials
Today, Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education, issued the following statement regarding March break:
“In support of our collective efforts to keep schools safe, we are postponing March break until April 12-16, 2021. This decision was made with the best advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, including consultations with many local Medical Officers of Health.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

January 7 2021

Ontario Extends Teacher-Led Online Learning Until January 25 to Keep Students and Staff Safe in Southern Ontario

Province Also Extends Provincewide Shutdown in Northern Ontario
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate throughout the province, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is extending certain measures to keep students, education staff, and residents of Northern Ontario safe. This includes extending online teacher-led learning until January 25, 2021 for elementary school students in the 27 Southern Ontario public health unit regions and extending the shutdown in Northern Ontario for another 14 days, aligning with the shutdown period in Southern Ontario.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

November 30 2020

Ontario Providing Additional Financial Support for Young Learners

Starting Today Families Can Apply for the Funding Online
The Ontario government is again providing financial relief for families facing new education-related expenses in the COVID-19 era with support totalling $380 million. Starting today, parents or guardians residing in Ontario can complete a simple online application through the Support for Learners web page. Applications will remain open until January 15, 2021.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

November 26 2020

Ontario Providing Additional Funding to Enhance Safety and Protection in Schools

Initiatives Include Voluntary Testing and Additional Online Learning Supports
The Ontario government is providing $13.6 million to enable school boards to hire more teachers and staff in regions recently moved to the Red-Control level and providing stabilization funding for school boards, if needed. The province is also expanding testing in school communities and launching new online learning portals. These initiatives will enhance safety measures for schools and alleviate potential budget shortfalls during COVID-19.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

November 20 2020

Ontario Taking Further Action to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Province Also Doubling Financial Support for Businesses Affected by Additional Restrictions
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health, and other health experts, the province is moving certain public health unit regions to new levels in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, which includes moving Toronto and Peel into Lockdown. These necessary measures are being taken to limit community transmission of COVID-19 in order to keep schools open, safeguard health system capacity, and protect the province’s most vulnerable populations.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

November 19 2020

Ontario Launches Workplace Education and Enforcement Campaigns

Inspection Blitzes Helping to Stop the Spread of COVID-19 and Keep Workers Safe
The Ontario government is launching a series of education and enforcement campaigns to ensure businesses across the province are taking the necessary steps to keep employees, consumers and the public safe. These campaigns will support the current efforts of police, municipal by-law officers, and public health inspectors to educate businesses and enforce the COVID-19 health and safety requirements. Officers will be asking employers to produce their workplace safety plans.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

November 10 2020

Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover Promotes Job Creation by Reducing Taxes on Employers

2020 Ontario Budget Enables Significant Provincial and Municipal Property Tax Relief
The Ontario government is proposing to give municipalities the flexibility to target property tax relief to small businesses. The province is also considering matching these reductions, which would provide small businesses with as much as $385 million in municipal and provincial property tax relief. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

November 3 2020

Ontario Releases COVID-19 Response Framework to Help Keep the Province Safe and Open

Government Provides Additional Details on $300 Million to Support Eligible Businesses
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, the Ontario government has developed the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. It ensures that public health measures are targeted, incremental and responsive to help limit the spread of COVID-19, while keeping schools and businesses open, maintaining health system capacity and protecting vulnerable people, including those in long-term care.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

October 20 2020

Ontario Invests $550 Million to Build and Upgrade Schools

New Projects will Deliver Modern, State-of-the-Art Classrooms and Licensed Child Care Spaces
The Ontario government is investing $550 million to build 20 new schools and eight permanent school additions across the province in 2020-21. These new projects will create nearly 16,000 new student learning spaces and 870 new licensed child care spaces as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to improve and build modern schools.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

October 5 2020

Ontario Releases $35 Million to Hire More Staff, Improve Remote Learning in Targeted Communities

Investments Build on Province’s Robust $1.3 Billion Back-to-School Plan
Today, the Ontario government is announcing the allocation of $35 million to provide additional immediate school board supports in the communities of Peel, Ottawa, Toronto and York Region to enhance public health measures and protection strategies as they confront higher rates of transmission in their communities.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

October 2 2020

Ontario Taking Action to Improve Child Care

Provincial Reports Highlight Government’s Progress to Improve the System
Today, Ontario is releasing two child care reports: Strengthening Early Years and Child Care in Ontario and the <em?Early Years and Child Care Annual Report 2020.

The Strengthening Early Years and Child Care in Ontario report details how Ontario is helping to provide more child care and before and after school spaces for parents, as well as increasing opportunities for home child care providers. The report was developed with input from families and sector partners. These same groups provided input into the review of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

October 1 2020

Ontario Revises COVID-19 Screening Guidance for Schools and Child Care

Updates Reflect Latest Public Health Advice
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is updating its COVID-19 school and child care screening guidance. This additional information will help parents determine when it is most appropriate for students, children and their families to seek a test for COVID-19.

The school and child care screening guidance is being updated with two sets of questions about symptoms and information to help parents make informed decisions about whether their children should attend school or child care, need to consult a health care provider, or get tested for COVID-19. The guidance can be found immediately at the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Children in School and Child Care, and the refreshed online tool will launch on Friday, October 2 for download.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

September 17 2020

Ontario Introduces Legislation to Freeze Residential Rent in 2021

Proposed Bill Would Also Support Small Businesses by Extending the Ban on Commercial Evictions
The Ontario government has introduced the Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act that would, if passed, freeze rent in 2021 for most rent-controlled and non-rent-controlled residential units. The bill would provide the vast majority of Ontario’s tenants with financial relief as the province continues down the path of renewal, growth and economic recovery.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

September 16 2020

Ontario Launches New COVID-19 Screening Tool to Help Protect Students and Staff

New Tool Part of the Government’s Plan for the Safe Reopening of Schools
The Ontario government launched a new voluntary interactive screening tool to assist parents, students and staff with the daily assessment of COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors that is required before attending school. The results will let parents, students, and education staff know whether they should attend school each day or guide at-risk individuals to proper resources. This tool is another layer of prevention that the province is using to protect the health and safety of students, staff, and the communities where they live and work.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

September 11 2020

Ontario Launches COVID-19 School and Licensed Child Care-specific Web Page

Daily Information Available to Parents and the General Public
Today, the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and the Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Ontario Digital Service, issued a statement on making COVID-19 school-specific data publicly available online.
Click here to view the full statement on the Ontario Government website.

September 8 2020

Ontario Takes Extraordinary Steps to Reopen Schools Safely

Provincial Back-to-School Plan Includes Substantial Investments in PPE Along with More Teachers, Nurses, and Custodians
As students, teachers and staff return to school, the Ontario government is providing up to $1.3 billion in critical supports and has delivered more than 37 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely reopen classrooms across the province. These investments are part of Ontario’s comprehensive back to school plan which was developed in consultation with medical experts, school boards, and educators.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

September 7 2020

Keeping Students and Staff Safe as They Return to School

Today, the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education issued a statement on students returning to school over the coming days.
Click here to view the full statement on the Ontario Government website.

September 3 2020

Governments Extend Child Care Funding to Support Working Parents

Bilateral Agreement Will Ensure Child Care is Safe, Accessible and Affordable
Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Ahmed Hussen, Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced an additional investment through the one-year Canada-Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (ELCC) of nearly $147 million to Ontario for 2020-21. This funding will help licensed child care providers and EarlyON child and family centres.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

August 26 2020

Additional Funds Enhance Ontario’s Robust Back-to-School Plan

Funding Will be Used to Complement Provincial Health and Safety Measures Already in Place
The Ontario government’s back-to-school plan, developed in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, is being further enhanced by additional federal investments and resources to support the return to class in the fall. Today’s federal announcement provides $381 million to Ontario, on top of the nearly $900 million provided by the province to support provincial back-to-school plans.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

August 26 2020

Ontario Releases COVID-19 Management Plan for Schools

Plan Prevents and Minimizes Outbreaks to Keep Students and Staff Safe
As part of Ontario’s plan for students to safely return to the classroom in September, the government has released the Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools document. This guide was developed in consultation with public health experts, including Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and aims to help schools identify and isolate COVID-19 cases, reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and prevent and minimize outbreaks.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

August 13 2020

Ontario Takes Additional Steps to Better Protect Students and Staff

Government Makes Further Investments to Ensure a Safe Return to School in September
The Ontario government is providing more than half a billion dollars in supports to school boards to ensure schools across the province will reopen safely in September and to protect students and staff. These supports will enable school boards to provide more physical distancing in classrooms and direct funding to utilize non-school community spaces, and will allow boards to make adjustments based on their local needs.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

August 7 2020

Historic Agreement Delivers Over $230 Million for Child Care

Safe Restart Agreement Will Support Ontario’s Plan to Safely Reopen Child Care and Early Years Programs
The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is providing $234.6 million in funding to keep children and staff safe in child care and early years settings. This funding will help support enhanced cleaning costs as well as health and safety requirements set out to support the reopening of licensed child care and early years programs. This funding is in addition to the Ontario government’s continued commitment to stabilize the child care sector as many Ontarians return to work.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

July 30 2020

Ontario Continues to Gradually and Safely Reopen Child Care for Working Parents

Strict Protocols and Additional Supports to Keep Kids Safe and Align Child Care with Reopening of Schools
Today, the Ontario government announced its plan to allow licensed child care centres across Ontario to open at full capacity starting September 1, 2020. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID-19 Command Table. As a result, parents will be able to return to work knowing their children are in a safe and supportive care setting.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

May 19 2020

Health and Safety Top Priority as Schools Remain Closed

Government Unveils Plans for Reopening Child Care, Day Camps and Initiatives to Strengthen Learning into the Summer
The Ontario government is protecting the health and safety of students during the COVID-19 outbreak by keeping schools closed for the rest of this school year. This decision was made after consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, and medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children. At the same time, the government is planning for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year, the gradual reopening of child care, and the opening of summer day camps subject to the continuing progress in trends of key public health indicators.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

May 14 2020

Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen

Additional Seasonal, Retail and Household Businesses Must Follow Public Health Guidelines
Today, the Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government’s reopening framework. The workplaces opening as part this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

May 9 2020

Ontario Government Supporting Parents as Economy Reopens

Province Protecting Child Care For Parents When They Return to Work
The Ontario Government is protecting licensed child care in Ontario during the COVID-19 outbreak by ensuring parents retain access to local licensed child care, as well as EarlyON Child and Family Centres. The government unveiled a plan that, together with federal and municipal partnership, provides supports to licensed child care providers to ensure they remain sustainable and ready to open when parents return to work.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

April 30 2020

Health and Safety Association Guidance Documents for Workplaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Ontario government works closely with four provincial health and safety associations (HSAs) to help set, communicate and enforce the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
In partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, the HSAs have released a series of more than 50 technical sector guidance documents to further support employers and employees in remaining safe in the workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

April 27 2020

Ontario Unveils Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province

Premier and Ministers Commit to New Phased Approach for a Safe Restart and Recovery
Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy.
Click here to view the full media release on the Ontario Government website.

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