The arrival of COVID-19 has become the elephant in the room for organizations worldwide looking to hold large scale public events. Regardless of whether nations have embraced social distancing or outright quarantine, sporting leagues, convention planners, entertainment producers and agricultural societies wanting to put on summer or fall fairs are facing overwhelming uncertainty about how this pandemic will ultimately change how they do business.
Jamie Schmale, the Conservative member of parliament for Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock, spent 90 minutes with the Advocate, via telephone, to share what he has been doing, his views on the Conservative leadership race, the COVID-19 pandemic, funding for the CBC, and his role in the Conservative shadow cabinet.
Jamie Schmale has been back in his local riding since March 13. While parliament has re-opened in a limited way – one in-person sitting per week, augmented by two Zoom sittings – there is only a skeleton crew of parliamentarians needed who are selected by their individual parties.
Kawartha Lakes mayor, Andy Letham, says the discussion about the COVID-19 pandemic is “no longer what we are shutting down, but instead how things can be opened responsibly.”
Businesses like drive-ins and golf courses could perhaps re-open soon, says the mayor, once the weather improves and the state of emergency has been lifted.
When Kawartha Lakes announced the layoff of 213 part-time, seasonal and temporary workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city did not consult with their union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), on who would be laid off.
According to Liana Patterson, manager of human resources, she says that’s because CUPE “did not have any input on the layoffs because entire divisions of workers were unable to work and as a result, the entire group was laid off.”
When the city recently announced they were laying off more than 200 part-time employees currently working for the city, this included 32 library staff.
Jamie Anderson, CEO of the Kawartha Lakes Library system, told the Advocate that all the library’s part-time staff would be temporarily laid off as of April 18.
Emergency declarations coast to coast have determined that libraries are non-essential sites, and therefore will be closed for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kawartha Lakes has announced the layoff of over 200 employees currently on the city payroll.
The layoff notices were issued to 200 part-time, temporary, contract and seasonal staff, announced during a recent press scrum. An additional 70 seasonal summer student jobs were either put on hold or suspended.
Every May, the Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) recognizes teaching excellence at a gala in Bracebridge. COVID-19 may have disrupted this year’s ceremonies, but a teacher from I.E. Weldon Secondary School in Lindsay will still be recognized.
As Ontario enters its second month of COVID-19 protocols, you don’t have to look too far on social media to find the lionization of many of the essential workers who are on the frontline of combating this deadly respiratory virus.
While doctors, nurses and paramedics have earned well-deserved kudos, it has been especially satisfying to many to see people publicly posting about the very important roles being played by cashiers, personal support workers and truck drivers whose services to society before this pandemic were often marginalized and ridiculed. For the first time in a very long time we are taking a hard look at these kinds of jobs and who works them, and some are developing a whole new appreciation for the risks these individuals are currently taking for little remuneration in return.
Larry Hope, director of education for the Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB), says the board will not be laying off any long-term occasional teachers (LTOs) in the wake of COVID-19.
Hope was addressing a Facebook rumour that suggested the board would be laying off all their long time LTOs on April 3. But the director says “if a person was doing an LTO their status will not change.”
Since the arrival of COVID-19 in North America last month the elderly and immuno-compromised have been identified as the two groups most at risk of serious illness from this virulent strain of respiratory virus.
Governments have wisely counselled these groups to social distance and ride COVID-19 out in the safety and comfort of their own homes or apartments. If you are a home or condominium owner this is relatively easy to do, but as a renter this is much more difficult, especially if your landlord behaves like the one mentioned below.