TORONTO – Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued this statement following today’s monthly employment release by Statistics Canada, which shows employment in Ontario decreased by 145,700:
“Today’s news of a setback is a reminder that, despite the boom in job creation we’d experienced as a province since September, the fight against COVID-19 is not over. There is still plenty of work left to do.
Vaccination remains the key to healthy families and a healthy economy. Thanks to the incredible vaccine uptake and effort of Ontarians, Ontario is leading the country in third doses. As of February 2, more than 6.4 million third doses have been administered across the province.
As a result of these successful vaccination efforts, and the measures our government put in place to blunt transmission of Omicron, we’re seeing signs of stabilization in key public health and health system indicators. This week, we saw a gradual easing of public health and workplace safety measures.
For businesses that continue to be the most impacted by necessary public health and workplace safety measures or capacity limits due to Omicron, our government continues to have your back.
Last month, as part of a comprehensive plan to support workers and businesses, our government announced the Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. This program will provide eligible small businesses with a grant payment of $10,000.
Further, we are providing 21 days of electricity rate relief and online applications for the previously announced Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program are now being accepted. This program provides eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with rebate payments for up to 100 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health and workplace safety measures in response to the Omicron variant.
We also continue to make meaningful investments in Ontario businesses that are creating good jobs and helping to protect our economy.
We know that small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. That’s why Ontario has provided an estimated $10.1 billion in unprecedented support to Ontario businesses in 2021. As we move forward together, our government will continue to do everything we can to support them.”