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Ontario announces increased funding for Social Services Relief Fund

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the vulnerable people in our province have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ford announced during his update Thursday afternoon that Ontario is doubling its Social Services Relief Fund by $150-million to allow for investments including the development and building of new homeless shelters to help with physical distancing.

The increased funding brings the overall total of the fund to $350-million.

Ford says the fund is part of the financial package going to municipalities hit hard by COVID-19 and he’s calling on Ottawa to “cut us a cheque” and give municipalities the flexibility to spend it as they choose.

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On the delay of the launch date, scheduled for Thursday, for a mobile app designed to help get the province ready for a potential second wave of COVID-19, Ford says Ontario is ready for the app to be rolled out but Ottawa is working to get other provinces to be a part of it.

As for migrant workers in the Windsor-Essex area, Ford says he’s heard reports of workers hiding and not wanting to be tested so they aren’t sent home but adds “We’re Canada, you don’t have to run from the authorities.”

Ford says they aren’t going to send the workers home and adds that he “won’t throw hard-working farmers under the bus, but “these workers need to get tested.”

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