Community News Update - July 30, 2021

Dear Community,

Our province had another rise in new COVID-19 cases this Friday, with 226 new cases reported – as a reminder, the number was 192 last Friday. Our positivity rate has also increased to 1.3%, the highest since July 5.
 
I am glad to have been able to organize, in partnership with Women’s College Hospital, a pop-up vaccination clinic that will be happening tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, July 31).
 

  • NO postal code requirement.
  • NO OHIP needed.
  • NO appointment needed.

 
The vaccine clinic will happen from 11am-3pm, at Cy Townsend Park (at the corner of Vaughan and Winona). All those eligible (12+), regardless of postal code, are welcome. The clinic will be administering the Pfizer vaccine.
 
For second doses, the vaccine will be available to those who received their first shot on the following dates or earlier:
 
Pfizer: July 10, 2021
Moderna: July 3, 2021
AstraZeneca: June 5, 2021
 
We will have tents at the location in case it rains. The pop-up clinic would only close should the weather become unmanageable or dangerous to ensure staff safety.
 
More than 80% of eligible Ontarians have had at least one dose of vaccine, while 70% received both doses. If you are one or two shots short, I really hope to see you there. The vaccine is our best bet against COVID-19, and is a crucial piece of how we will put this pandemic behind us.
 
I urge you to protect yourself and those around you by getting your vaccination.
 
Along with the vaccination pop-up, we will also have our Community Food Tables back up and running tomorrow between 11-1PM at our regular four locations:
 
Marian Engel Park - 285 Melita Ave. (Christie St. and Melita Ave)
Click here to register to volunteer.
 
St. Matthew’s United Church - 729 St. Clair Ave West. (St. Clair Ave W. and Rushton Ave.)
Click here to register to volunteer.
 
Cy Townsend Park - 455 Winona Dr. (Vaughan Rd. and Winona Dr.)
Click here to register to volunteer.
Volunteer spots full.
 
Oriole Park Community Garden - 201 Oriole Parkway (Located near Lascelles Blvd. At the south entrance to Oriole Park)
Click here to register to volunteer.

As a reminder, we also have the Peaceful Solidarity Walk: In Honour of the 215+ Children coming up this Sunday, organized by Germaine Catchpole of Mnopgwad Preserves.
 
This Indigenous-led event will begin at Santa Chiara Parkette (St. Clair and Dufferin) at 10:30am, before the group walks to Wells Hills Park (St. Clair and Bathurst), starting at 11am, in memory of the many Indigenous children lost through Canada’s residential school system and in solidarity with all Indigenous survivors of this land.
 
You can find more information about this walk here.
 
On another note, I want to share with you the important results of the Arts & Culture Mental Health survey I circulated a while ago with this community. Based on what I heard from many constituents and organizations, I knew that the pandemic had heavily impacted the Arts & Culture sector, and I knew that the Ford government had not been doing enough to protect them.
 
Indeed, our creative community expressed in this survey that they felt major impacts from this pandemic – including uncertainty in the future of their careers, financial instability and loss of purpose, which have affected their mental health significantly.
 
Here are some top line stats:
 

  • 83.3% of respondents said their mental health worsened during the pandemic
  • 81.6% of respondents have not received financial support from the Ontario government (such as the Small Business Grant Program or the Ontario Art Council’s Arts Response Initiative)
  • 47.4% of respondents are considering or have considered switching careers due to the pandemic

 
It would be terrible for our community if 47% of artists decided to give up on their creative careers.
 
Due to the popularity of this survey and following the many requests we received from folks that wanted to participate but didn’t live or work in the riding, I decided to open the survey to all Ontarians.
 
It is very clear that the Arts & Culture sector needs support to recover from this pandemic, and as the Culture Critic, I am going to continue to prove to the Ford government that much more needs to be done.
 
Please participate and/or share the survey, link here.
 
Finally, I have heard stories from a few constituents who have been having serious issues with their water heater rental service. They are seniors who started being charged for a service without ever signing a contract. The terms and conditions of the service, including the ones related to terminating the agreement, were never communicated to them – and now that they want to cancel the service – they’re being told they have to buy the heater outright.
 
This is of course unacceptable, and my office is working to gather more stories like this so that we can draw attention, and shed light on this issue. So, if you have a similar story, please reach out to my office.
 
Have a great weekend!

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew
Toronto—St. Paul's

 

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