TORONTO – Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following statement in response to today’s monthly employment release by Statistics Canada:
“Employment in Ontario decreased by 31,600 in May. Even as we begin to see improvements in key public health and heath care indicators, these numbers are a stark reminder of the toll COVID-19 continues to take on individuals, families and businesses across the province.
We understand the toll this has taken on Ontarians. We see it in our communities everyday. That is why the top imperative of this year’s budget and the government’s ongoing work is our plan to protect the health of Ontarians while protecting jobs and the economy. As of June 3, more than 9.4 million vaccine doses have been administered across the province, and the percentage of people in Ontario who have received first and second doses is rising dramatically. Because of the collective effort of Team Ontario to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the province’s vaccine rollout, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
In addition to continuing to administer vaccines to every Ontarian who wants one, the Ontario government has ramped up its fight against COVID-19 in workplaces with the launch of a new rapid testing portal to make it easier for all essential businesses to access free rapid testing to help keep employees and their families safe.
Businesses are encouraged to participate in the program by registering at ontario.ca/testingonsite. It provides free rapid antigen screening kits to help screen for asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 that might otherwise be missed. It is one more way that businesses can help workers and their families stay safe and keep the virus out of workplaces. Program eligibility was recently expanded to include any business that is allowed to be open and requires staff to work on-site.
Our government will continue to take the necessary steps to defeat this virus. Today’s job numbers remind us of the hardship the pandemic has imposed on individual Ontarians and their families. But with more vaccines being distributed and record investments in our health care system and the economy, we can see light on the horizon.”