Community News Update - August 16, 2021

Dear community,

Ontario reported 526 COVID-19 cases across the province but thankfully, no new deaths. 128 of these new cases were reported in the Toronto region, while an additional 66 were in the York region. Vaccination rates rose slightly to 73.5% of eligible people now fully vaccinated, and 82.5% of adults having received one dose.

These rates of vaccinations are promising but must be higher to avoid an oncoming fourth wave.

To help overcome any barriers people may face in accessing a vaccine, our pop-up vaccine clinic is returning this Friday at Montage Support Services (504 Oakwood Avenue) from 1pm-8pm. Both Moderna and Pfizer will be available to anyone eligible (12+) for their first dose, and those who received their first dose prior to the following dates can receive their second jab;

Pfizer: July 30, 2021
Moderna: July 23, 2021
AstraZeneca: June 25, 2021

Special thanks goes out to our partners, Women’s College Hospital and Unison Health and Community Services for helping bring this clinic to Toronto-St. Paul's to keep our community healthy. No appointments or OHIP will be required.

Tonight at 5:30pm, I will be hosting my Education Summit to discuss all things #SafeSeptember2021. I will be joined by Education Critic with the Official Opposition, MPP Stiles of Toronto-Davenport and Trustees, Norm di Pasquale and Shelley Laskin to tap into their expertise of what’s needed from our government to ensure getting kids back to class means keeping them there!

You can still RSVP for the event by clicking here, or tune into my Facebook where we will be streaming live. 

I’ve said it many times now but I’ll say it again,Minister Lecce’s back-to-school plan does not cut it. As it is, it's next to inevitable that students will be stuck staring at a computer screen for another school year, away from the supports they need to succeed. The past year of virtual learning has had significant impacts on their mental health. Delaying their recovery – a recovery that starts by being in class, in person – will only make it harder.

This is about more than one school year. This is about the future for Ontario children and as a province. Investments must be made.Every measure must be taken, including better ventilation systems, smaller class sizes to allow distancing, mandatory vaccines for education workers, and paid sick days for teachers and parents.This means investing moneyintothe education system. Not taking $800 million out of it.  

Tell Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce, students, parents, and education workers need a better plan and more investments for a safe September NOW.

In case you haven’t heard, the Prime Minister called a Federal election in an announcement yesterday morning. That means we’ll be heading to the polls on September 20 and candidates are already hitting the ground running on the campaign trail.  

I have been vocal in my support for the Federal NDP candidate for Toronto—St. Paul’s, Sidney Coles in the lead up to this election. I’ve come to know them well and am certain they will bring an exceptional work ethic and earnest care for the working people of Toronto—St. Paul’s to Parliament Hill. While my priority remains my role as your MPP, you may see me canvassing alongside them throughout the community over the next six weeks.  That said, I encourage you to explore the positions of each candidate to cast your ballot on this important day.  

Beyond our own community, I am sending love to the people of Haiti. This weekend, their country suffered another catastrophic earthquake. The death toll is now past 1,200 and will certainly rise in the coming days or weeks. This is in addition to the thousands more that have been displaced from their home and/or severely injured.

It’s hard to know what to do or how to help in times like this as we watch the devastation from afar. If you have the means, however, please consider donating what you can to help the people of Haiti recover from this tragic event.

We invite you to explore local mutual aid networks to or this list of foundations aiding in disaster relief to make a donation.

With all that's going on in the world and our own community, it's important to make time for self-care. To tune out and recharge to return better for ourselves and our community. Take this as a reminder to take time for this in the week ahead.

Lastly, we had a great turnout this weekend for our community food tables. If you missed them, they will be back next Saturday at the following locations. As always, we welcome volunteers and/or donations. Click the links below to register. 

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.

Oriole Park Community Garden - 201 Oriole Parkway (Located near Lascelles Blvd. At the south entrance to Oriole Park)
Click here to register to volunteer.

In Solidarity,
Jill Andrew
Toronto—St. Paul's

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