Markham-Stouffville Community Update For February 4, 2022

Welcome to the Markham-Stouffville
Community Update for February 4, 2022

Ontario Cautiously and Gradually Easing Public Health Measures

On January 31, Ontario began to cautiously and gradually ease public health measures as a result of key public health and health care indicators continuing to improve or remain stable.

This includes:

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
  • Increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 percent in a number of indoor public settings
  • Allowing spectator areas of facilities such as sporting events, concert venues and theatres to operate at 50 percent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.  

Proof of vaccination requirements will continue to apply in existing settings.

In the absence of concerning trends in key indicators, Ontario will continue its cautious and phased approach through February and March, with 21 days between each step.

We continue to encourage all eligible Ontarians to get vaccinated, whether it’s a first, second, or booster dose. Many appointments remain available in communities across Ontario.

Learn more:

City of Markham Youth Entrepreneurship Programs
Every year, the City of Markham’s Small Business Centre runs a handful of youth programs aimed towards encouraging and empowering youth in Markham to explore opportunities within entrepreneurship.

The programs include:

Summer Company Program – This program provides high school and post-secondary students (students aged 15-29) $3,000, hands-on training, and mentoring from professional organizations such as York University’s startup incubator, YSpace, to start and run their own company over the summer (July and August). Applications are now open for 2022.

Pitch Your Biz Markham – High school students can compete either as an individual or up to a group of 3 by submitting a slide deck showcasing a potential business. The prize categories are broken up between a Gr. 9 and 10 category and a Gr. 11 and 12 category where the winners of each category will get $500. There is also a single general video pitch prize category where, if an individual or team’s slide deck is accompanied with a video pitch, there is a chance to win an additional $200. Submissions will open soon and the deadline will be in late June 2022.

Learn more:

Ontario Launches Long-Term Care Homefinder
As part of its plan to fix long-term care, the Ontario government has launched the new Long-Term Care Homefinder, a new website and search tool to provide prospective residents and their families with a one-stop-shop to find and compare long-term care homes across the province, along with other resources to help people make an informed choice when considering long-term care.

A key part of Ontario’s  plan to fix long-term care is strengthening accountability, enforcement, and transparency in the long-term care system. The new LTC Homefinder brings together all the information families need to make informed decisions about long-term care so they can choose a home that will best meet the needs of their loved ones.

Each long-term care home has a profile page with helpful information about waiting lists, staff vaccination rates, amenities, inspection reports, contact information and more. The new site also provides information that can help people decide if long-term care is the best option for them and, if so, how to choose a home, apply, and move in.

Learn more:

Ontario Launches New Preview Sites for Online Courses
The Ontario government is committed to modernizing the delivery of online learning to increase student access to high quality public education and position Ontario as a global leader of modern and digital education.  

As our world becomes more technology-focused, it is imperative that Ontario’s students graduate with the enhanced digital literacy and other transferable skills they need to become lifelong learners and to succeed in work, post-secondary education, and life.

The Online Learning Graduation Requirement Policy/Program Memorandum will address this need by providing more opportunities for students to build these skills.  Beginning with the cohort of students who entered Grade 9 in the 2020-21 school year, students must earn two online learning credits to complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma, with exemptions for some students on an individualized basis. Up to one credit earned remotely during the April 2021 to June 2021 school closures will count towards the online learning graduation requirement.

The ministry’s education partners are supporting this new graduation requirement through the development of high-quality, teacher-developed, interactive and curriculum-aligned online courses, which the ministry makes available to school boards through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Learn more:

Ontario Working for Workers by Moving Towards Expanding Health and Wellness Benefits
Currently, millions of people, including those working in retail, the gig economy, and hospitality have limited-to-no benefits coverage, often having to make difficult choices between their health and other necessities like food and shelter.

That is why the Ontario government is seeking advice on designing a plan that provides workers with benefits such as health, dental and vision care, even if they change jobs. The government intends to create and appoint an advisory panel to recommend a system– making Ontario the first province in Canada to pursue such a comprehensive benefits program.

The proposed advisory panel will look at how benefits could reside with the worker and will provide recommendations on how best to administer the new program.

Whether you’re bussing tables, working the cash, or giving rides, we are making sure necessities like dental care and affordable medication are within reach for more families.

The future of work is here, and our government is working for workers to make sure no one is left behind.

Learn more:

Constituency Office Services
My constituency office is here to serve you. We offer assistance for various provincial government services such as the renewal of Driver’s Licences, Health Cards, WSIB claims, ODSP/FRO cases, and any other service under provincial jurisdiction.

Due to the risk of COVID-19, our office is currently working remotely. Our staff remains avaliable to respond to your inquiries via phone or email. Should you require any assistance, please email or call 905-642-2588. We will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

To reduce in-person visits to ServiceOntario, a number of provincially-issued documents have extended expiry dates. Please click here for further information and to confirm the revised expiry date for your product or identity document.