This seems to have been lost in the news yesterday

Today, the Ontario government announced its plan to allow licensed child care centres across Ontario to open at full capacity starting September 1, 2020

News Release
Ontario Continues to Gradually and Safely Reopen Child Care for Working Parents – July 30, 2020

It seems that the Ontario government is planning a back to usual format for children this fall.

Are we ready for the fall?

This came across my feed. I think there is a bit of truth to it:

To clarify, I don’t think there is a conspiracy to undermine the hospitality and retail sectors. However, I do think we aren’t looking at the entire picture.

As the economy reopens we see cases increase across the country. Despite many numerous rules and guidelines being issued by authorities, human behavior is notoriously difficult to change. Old habits die hard as they say. For proof see here:

The above was taken this week at Cause and Effect, a restaurant in Hamilton ON. A patron was reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. The story is here.

As well, I wrote earlier in the week about how the jobs returning is not keeping pace with the jobs we lost due to the pandemic. Many of the financial supports which were introduced at the start are scheduled to end in October. It’s clear that as we reopen, our cases are going to rise. Which raises new questions that no one has be answering.

What measures are we putting in place to shift to a new economy that focuses on social distancing? Should case numbers start to spike during the second wave that is predicted, are we capable of returning to lockdown? Are our current financial supports needing to become more permanent? If they are, then how are we to pay for them?

These are complicated questions, and I do not know the answers. However, I do think they need to be asked and seriously contemplated. While it’s terrific to be able to get out of the house and enjoy the summer, I fear we are squandering this time to reconsider some fundamental truths of our society and economy. If the fall hits and no plan is in place to handle a second wave, we may be left even more exposed and vulnerable than we were in March. If that happens, then all the sacrifices we have made as Canadians to date will have been in vain.

Thanks for the feedback!!

It looks like you like yesterday’s news.

Our initial reception to the launch of The 905er has been tremendous. We’ve heard from people all across the region praising this exciting new venture. For too long we’ve had a void of competitive media to discuss the issues and stories that affect us here in Canada’s most important geographic region.

We’re in the process of adding it to Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify and TuneIn for you to listen to at your convenience. However in the meantime you can listen to us here:

905 Round-up: Two steps forward, one step back? The 905er Podcast

In our Thursday 905 Round-up this week we have three stories that have dominated news cycles in different parts of the 905, in some cases for almost a decade. Two will be viewed as positive steps, and one seems entirely negative. Judge for yourselves. Trustees at Halton Catholic and Hamilton Wentworth Public School Boards are in a hole and determined to keep digging. Hamilton councillors vote at committee to proceed with LRT. But can the anti-LRT/Stoney Creek alliance delay and disrupt the process so much that they can still refuse to accept a free transit system? Burlington has received provincial permission to adjust the location of its Urban Growth Centre, which Mayor Meed Ward portrays as taking control of development in the city after a controversial decade and more since the UGC was put in place.  Roland and Joel take different views on whether this is a big deal, a 'positive, but time will tell' deal, or a whole lot of nothing very much. Listen to the end to see who you agree with! If you like the what the 905er does, please consider supporting us at Patreon. For a week, for a month, for a year — it all helps cover our costs and helps us cover more of the stories you want to see. Thanks to: Nicholas Paul: sound editing Our fantastic Team 905er Patrons.
  1. 905 Round-up: Two steps forward, one step back?
  2. Sarbjit Kaur Joins The 905er to Explain How our Institutions Need to do Better on Racism
  3. Graham Crawford and iElect Hamilton Part 2 – Positively Main Street (and King Street)
  4. Graham Crawford Explains How iElectHamilton.ca Can Change Hamilton- Part 1
  5. 905 Roundup: Clown Cars and Crosswalks

Very proud to share this

I shared a while back that I was working behind the scenes on developing a new media project to cover issues and local news pertaining to the 905 area code. Our initial launch date was July 1, however as you no doubt have noticed that date came and went.

Long story short our ambition was too big for what we would be able to do. So we stepped back and retooled our approach. And what we came up with was this:

905 Round-up: Two steps forward, one step back? The 905er Podcast

In our Thursday 905 Round-up this week we have three stories that have dominated news cycles in different parts of the 905, in some cases for almost a decade. Two will be viewed as positive steps, and one seems entirely negative. Judge for yourselves. Trustees at Halton Catholic and Hamilton Wentworth Public School Boards are in a hole and determined to keep digging. Hamilton councillors vote at committee to proceed with LRT. But can the anti-LRT/Stoney Creek alliance delay and disrupt the process so much that they can still refuse to accept a free transit system? Burlington has received provincial permission to adjust the location of its Urban Growth Centre, which Mayor Meed Ward portrays as taking control of development in the city after a controversial decade and more since the UGC was put in place.  Roland and Joel take different views on whether this is a big deal, a 'positive, but time will tell' deal, or a whole lot of nothing very much. Listen to the end to see who you agree with! If you like the what the 905er does, please consider supporting us at Patreon. For a week, for a month, for a year — it all helps cover our costs and helps us cover more of the stories you want to see. Thanks to: Nicholas Paul: sound editing Our fantastic Team 905er Patrons.
  1. 905 Round-up: Two steps forward, one step back?
  2. Sarbjit Kaur Joins The 905er to Explain How our Institutions Need to do Better on Racism
  3. Graham Crawford and iElect Hamilton Part 2 – Positively Main Street (and King Street)
  4. Graham Crawford Explains How iElectHamilton.ca Can Change Hamilton- Part 1
  5. 905 Roundup: Clown Cars and Crosswalks
Read more…

What happens when CERB runs out?

That’s a question that is on many people’s minds these days. CERB has been a godsend for people who lost employment or were unemployed at the start of this pandemic. According to some employers as we reopen our economy, it is the bane of their existence. It is scheduled to expire at in the fall, however there is some debate on whether or not to extend it or make it permanent. The fact is that reality is not keeping pace with the government’s plans.

The reopening is clearly not the same as flicking an on switch. It is taking time for jobs to return to Canada. Of the jobs that have been recovered, it appears that the majority of them are in the retail and restaurant industries. And even still those industries are not back to full capacity. As the economy reopens, businesses are re-evaluating their structures and how best to operate in a COVID-19 world. This has lead to some economists to look and say that major changes to the workplace are coming. As businesses look to restructure themselves to be more efficient, some jobs may become redundant and unnecessary.

Read more…

The problem is bigger than any board can handle

Last night the Halton Catholic School Board held a special meeting to discuss options on how to return to school safely in the fall. I have a student in the board and currently sit on the Catholic Parent Involvement Committee. So this meeting was important to me. It was a long meeting running four hours approximately. I’ll link to it below here if you want to watch it yourself. Be warned though it’s just shy of four hours:

Read more…

Ontario’s COVID-19 Education plan laid out in 5 tweets

We are taking steps in the wrong direction

Yesterday’s big news was a reported increase of 200 new cases in Ontario. In B.C. Dr. Bonnie Henry is warning of a potential explosion in new cases if current trends are continuing. This is indeed worrisome news. Especially after all the hard work Canadians have done to help flatten the curve during the spring season.

Unfortunately, the data we are looking at right now is not real time. It is delayed because of the 14 day incubation period of COVID-19. In Ontario, these new case increases are from our initial Stage 2 reopening. That only happened four weeks ago in Toronto and Peel region. I suspect that its still too early to expect stage 3 numbers to be reported. However, it is apparent that we didn’t wait to see how stage 2 affected the spread of COVID-19 before declaring victory and moving on to stage 3.

Read more…

Life with COVID-19 is more complicated than we thought

As many provinces and jurisdictions across the province continue to reopen their economies, confusion is starting to take hold. It is understandable to see the rush to restaurants and public spaces again. Especially after being in lockdown for four months.

However as the economy reopens its apparent that we are seeing a steady increase in new cases. The fact is clear, as social distancing guidelines are lifted or loosened COVID-19 comes back. Which leads us to the obvious fact. We are not returning to our way of life prior to March 2020. Things we took for granted, like being able to window shop, browse, go out and run errands, or sit for hours in a restaurant catching up with friends are indeed history. New norms and practices are going to be needed. Not only for our safety, but to level the playing field for businesses.

Read more…
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