COVID-19 public health measures and restrictions | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario

COVID-19 public health measures and restrictions

Find out about the declaration of emergency and the latest public health measures, advice and restrictions as we continue to respond to the challenge of  COVID-19covid 19. Stay home, stay safe, save lives.

Click here for information on the Ontario Stay at home order….

Declaration of emergency

In response to the alarming rise of COVID-19covid 19 cases, a declaration of emergency was made on January 12, 2021 for all of Ontario.

This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts.

The declaration of emergency allows the government to:

  • strengthen public health and workplace safety measures
  • create and enforce emergency orders

The purpose is to help:

  • keep people at home as much as possible and save lives
  • stop the spread of COVID-19covid 19 in communities
  • prevent the hospital system from becoming overwhelmed
  • protect vulnerable populations and those who care for them

The results of the enhanced public health measures will be evaluated throughout the provincial emergency to determine when it is safe to lift any restrictions, or if they need to be extended.

To read more click the link at the top of this posting


Building Back Better in 2021


By Jerry Dias

At the beginning of the pandemic, Unifor made two broad demands of government.

The first was to protect public health and ensure all workers had access to sick leave and immediate income assistance. The second was to build an economic stimulus package big and bold enough to speed Canadas economic recovery and build the Canada so many of us believe is possible.

With the new year starting, I refuse to go back to the economy we left behind – of economic injustice, inequality, precarious work and climate change. This is about working together to build the economy we all deserve.

It wont be easy, but a better world is possible if we put in the work now to make it happen.

COVID-19 proved just how important personal care work in long-term care homes and childcare centres is to building a strong and resilient economy. Retail workers, truck drivers, warehouse workers, delivery drivers were all finally seen and respected for the vital workers they are.

We learned not only how much they struggled because of the pandemic, but how much they had struggled before it as well. The result was that amid a year full of struggle and hard times, we also saw inspiring solidarity and bold ideas.

Such solidarity and bold ideas must guide us now.

This new year brings a chance to overhaul the public programs that failed us and to build the ones we need. We still dont know when the once-in-a-century economic crisis brought on by the pandemic will end or how volatile that recovery might be, but we do know that focused government action is vital to that recovery.

Unifors build back better plan, released in June, sets out broad themes for getting this done. Small tweaks are not enough. As governments at all levels and political stripes write their 2021 budgets, we must all ensure that supports for workers and economic stimulus are front and centre.

A $15 minimum wage and permanent reforms to Employment Insurance would boost the income security and improve the lives of millions of Canadians, along with healthy working conditions through stronger employment standards and labour law.

Healthcare workers in hospitals and long-term care centres have been lauded as heroes, but we continue to see outbreaks at the homes where they work. Two Unifor members died of COVID-19, while caring for others, along with many more across the county. Any recovery must put care before profits.

The tourism and travel industries have been devastated by the pandemic and accompanying travel restrictions. They may not recover without immediate assistance.

Canada needs a historic investment in green jobs and decarbonization that will ensure the stability and quality of work in the energy sector while moving Canada towards its climate targets.

Governments need to build the public programs and infrastructure that has been so long promised. Programs such as childcare, pharmacare, made-in-Canada public transit, affordable housing and clean drinking water are a bare minimum here.

We have seen our government recommit to Canadian auto manufacturing. As we move into 2021, this commitment must be extended to aerospace, transportation and heavy equipment, food production, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, media, shipbuilding and forestry.

Government has continuously promised that support for the hardest hit sectors is coming soon. That support cannot come soon enough, and when it arrives the programs must lay out strong, enforceable conditions that ensure benefits flow to workers and the sustainment of Canadian jobs.

Clearly, we are not short on solutions. The question is whether the political will exists to get this done. Deficit hawks will say our plan is impossible, too expensive and unsustainable.


Think about it. Before the pandemic, Canada already had too many people running on empty, living paycheque to paycheque trying to make ends meet. It was unsustainable then. Its unconscionable now.

We already know government spending during and after crisis is the fastest way to rebuild. Doing that with a focus on job creation and improvements to job quality will mean the country rebuilds in a more equitable and sustainable way. Right from the first month of the pandemic, Unifor has been advocating for strong public health measures and stronger income supports.

We were first out of the gate shaping the vision of what is possible to achieve coming out of this crisis. As we move through 2021 there will be plenty of opportunities to participate – in fact, there already are. Our demands for emergency drug coverage and petition for a $15 minimum wage are active and waiting to be signed and shared.

Members from across the country and in every industry are meeting with government officials, writing letters and marching in protest when bad decisions are made and our jobs or working conditions are undermined.

As the vaccines roll out and the end of the pandemic comes into view, there is one thing that is certain: Unifor will be advocating for our members and a strong economic recovery every step of the way. We will not take our foot off the gas.

Ripley’s Aquarium workers believe in Unifor

Workers at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto voted to join Unifor this week after a grueling organizing campaign over several months that saw the aquarium’s management engage in efforts to undermine the union drive.

“We’ve repeatedly seen employers try and fail to undermine organizing efforts by workers. This is just one more example,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “I wholeheartedly congratulate the workers at Ripley’s Aquarium for standing up to these bullying tactics and fighting for a collective voice in their workplace.”

While workers were engaged in the organizing campaign, management at the Aquarium repeatedly attempted to dissuade workers from joining the union through a well-documented campaign that deployed misleading information to staff and outright called for workers not to join the union.

Efforts to undermine the union drive ultimately backfired with 70 per cent of workers voting to join the union this week.

“These jobs at the aquarium are complex and require dedication well beyond the status quo,” said Deb Tveit, Unifor Assistant to the National President responsible for the hospitality sector. “I look forward to our new members negotiating their first contract at this incredible facility that is an asset to the City of Toronto and its many visitors.”

Ripley’s Aquarium has been a vital tourist and educational destination in the City of Toronto. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the aquarium has been hit hard by public health restrictions with its doors largely closed to the public first in March, reopening briefly in summer and shut down again in the fall. Throughout the pandemic, workers were in regular contact with Unifor to express mounting concerns over health and safety standards, poor management communication, arbitrary pay cuts, layoffs and terminations that contributed to an overall decline in the workplace environment.

“What we were hearing from workers was upsetting but not altogether surprising,” said Kellie Scanlan, Unifor Director of Organizing. “Their workplace was no longer a place where they felt safe, listened to or treated fairly.”

With ongoing public health restrictions preventing many of the traditional means of union drives, including in-person meetings, Unifor sought to engage the aquarium’s large segment of young workers through virtual meetings on platforms such as Zoom and through social media.

“Young workers are typically cast as disinterested and disengaged. This was absolutely not the case in this drive,” added Scanlan. “Young workers played a central and important role in this union drive and that is so exciting to see. These workers worked to help bring about the kind of protections only afforded through unionization. That’s why I am so proud of our new members for asserting their rights in the workplace they value so much.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the hospitality, gaming, tourism and attraction sector with more than 20,000 members across the country.

BCE Q4 2020 results to be announced February 4

MONTRÉAL, Jan. 15, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – BCE Inc. (TSX: BCE), (NYSE: BCE) will hold its fourth-quarter 2020 results conference call with the financial community on Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 8:00 am eastern.

Participants will include Mirko Bibic, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Glen LeBlanc, Chief Financial Officer. Media are welcome to participate on a listen-only basis.

To participate, please dial toll-free 1-800-806-5484 or 416-340-2217 and enter passcode 9050712#. A replay will be available until midnight on March 4, 2021 by dialing 1-800-408-3053 or 905-694-9451 and entering passcode 1001600#.

A live audio webcast of the conference call will be available on BCE’s website at BCE Q4-2020 conference call.

Lack of federal government aviation plan contributes to new Air Canada layoffs

January 13, 2021

TORONTO – Unifor believes the recently announced workforce reductions at Air Canada could have been lessened if the federal government had developed a plan to support Canada’s aviation industry.

“Today’s announcement leaves airline workers with continued disappointment in the federal government’s lack of action to support the industry,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “For months, we have been demanding that the federal government develop a long-lasting plan and provide financial support to save the industry from total collapse.”

Air Canada announced plans to close its Yellowknife, Kamloops, Gander and Goose Bay regional offices and reduce its first-quarter capacity by 25% resulting in 1,700 job losses.  The job cuts will also affect more than 200 workers at its Express carriers. This is in addition to the more than 20,000 layoffs previously announced last May.

“It baffles me that our federal government continues to remain silent when in the past week we have seen layoffs at WestJet and now Air Canada. The federal government can no longer operate as business as usual. Support for airline workers needs to be an immediate priority of the incoming Minister of Transport,” said Dias.

Though the CEWS program provided some job protection measures for Canadian airline workers, the sector has seen unprecedented layoffs and furloughed workers. Yesterday Unifor, alongside Air Canada Pilots Association, Air Line Pilots Association and Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association, issued a joint media release calling on the federal government to make a direct and meaningful financial contribution to the already devastated airline industry.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.