Taras Natyshak MPP, Essex

Government of Ontario

COVID19 – Bulletin March 24, 2020 – Hydro Rates, Essential Services, Budget

Published on March 24, 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope you are doing well. As I have been calling people in the evening I have been finding most people in a good mindset but there is no doubt that this is not an easy period. However, as I have noted before, it is impressive how the community is coming together to help each other.

The Government issued their list of essential businesses and services that are to continue operating during this period. There is a lot of ambiguity in the list and this has led to uncertainty over what business/service's are considered essential or non-essential. The Government has said they will be launching a 1-800 number tomorrow, to provide clarity to and concerns. I will provide the number and post it on my site when it becomes available.

Your questions are legitimate, and the government needs to provide clarity on some items on the list. I am getting a lot questions regarding residential construction, for example.

The document is here https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces .

Today the government announced a reduction in hydro rates for the next 45 days. The emails and calls to my office were very heavy on this and I imagine the Premier saw the same thing. I am expecting the government to provide an official announcement.  The Star has some details, see here for now - https://www.thestar.com/business/2020/03/24/electricity-rates-not-being-cut-despite-surge-in-use-from-people-shut-inside.html 

Tomorrow at 4 pm the Government will be unveiling its economic statement in place of presenting a budget. It will be live broadcast, and covered by media outlets to watch. They should be announcing what it plans to do to support and assist people of Ontario during this time.

You should be aware that this self assessment for COVID-19 has been posted if you want to assess yourself in relation to the disease https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/#q0

That is all for today. More to come tomorrow. I have tried to make this as accurate as I can as of Tuesday evening.

Take care and wash your hands,

Taras Natyshak