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Ontario Chamber Supports Further Measures To Protect Public Health

Rocco Rossi, President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce released the following statement in reaction to the province’s announcement today introducing further measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

“Public health and safety are priorities for us all. We welcome the Government of Ontario’s further measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Today’s measures will affect our members and their families in every corner of the province: we are in this together and all have a part to play to protect employees and safeguard public health. Those measures include the prohibition of organized public events over 50 people until March 31st as well as effectively closing immediately all facilities providing indoor recreation, private schools, day cares, libraries, theatres, restaurants and bars (other than take out food), and concert halls.”

“We call on all levels of government to implement measures to support small business owners who are most vulnerable at this time.”

“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce urges its members and all businesses across Ontario and Canada to shift their focus to the singular cause of slowing the pace of the transmission of the coronavirus.”

“We call upon Ontario businesses to heed expert advice and not overwhelm our medical system. Our emergency rooms should not be used as a first response. The Ontario Ministry of Health is asking the public to first contact Telehealth Ontario or their local public health unit if individuals are experiencing symptoms.”

“The federal government has already announced proposing changes and flexibility around extending unemployment insurance and we look forward to further details that should cover these workers and the self-employed.”

“Also important is the provision which halts employers from requesting sick notes from those taking leave due to COVID-19. We encourage employers to no longer request any physician notes from their employees, as this will place a further strain on the health care system during a difficult time.”

“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce team, in collaboration with Hicks Morley, put together a toolkit to help support businesses be prepared for any human resources or operational-related disruptions. The guidelines and resources contained in this toolkit have been prepared to assist businesses in planning for and adaption to the disruption of COVID-19 and any future influenza pandemics.”

“We will continue to monitor and assess new developments pertaining to COVID-19 closely and work with our members, partners, and all levels of government to provide support to Ontario business.”