Community News Update - August 23, 2021

Dear Community,

I hope that everyone has had a restful weekend.

Before getting started on anything else, I want to extend a huge thanks to everyone who came out to the vaccination clinic on Friday, at the former Montage Support Services Site at Vaughan and Oakwood, to get their first or second dose of a vaccine! Getting vaccinated is how we’re going to get through this pandemic, and it was great to see folks coming in to get their shots.

Of course, a vaccination clinic can’t happen without the help of medical professionals, and their teams, and I want to send another big thank you to the teams from Women’s College Hospital and Unison Health and Community Services for bringing the clinic to life. I’d also like to thank the For Youth Initiative (FYI) for the use of their new space for this clinic. I cannot wait to see what programming they’ll be putting out soon, and I’m looking forward to supporting their work every step of the way.

Last, but certainly not least, I’ve got to send a huge thank you to Soul Provisions for providing free – and delicious - popsicles to everyone who got their vaccine!

Over the weekend, we hosted another round of our Community Food Tables in four locations around the community. We had another terrific turnout of volunteers and donors, and they were able to get a considerable amount of food shared in the community once again.

Coming up this weekend, we’re going to begin a special three-week drive of back-to-school items at our Community Food Tables! That means that we’re looking for all sorts of back-to-school supplies, including backpacks, pencil cases, binders and more.

If you’re interested in volunteering this week, you can register to volunteer at the links below!

In today’s COVID-19 news, there were  another 639 new cases of COVID-19, but no new deaths. This follows 722 new cases reported on Sunday and continues a trend we’ve been seeing for the last few weeks in Ontario. Of today’s new cases, almost 69% were found in unvaccinated people, about 21% in fully vaccinated people and just over 10% in partially vaccinated folks.

While I may sound a bit like a broken record here, I must say it again.

If you have not yet done so, please get vaccinated.

While there will be more local opportunities coming up, you can always find a vaccination site by going to this website.

The City of Toronto also has a great tool to help you find a vaccine that you can see here.

It was also announced today that a prominent member of the COVID-19 science table is resigning.

Dr. David Fisman has announced that he is leaving the science table because of what he has seen as ‘political considerations’ impacting the work of the in the science table. While we’re still waiting for further details to emerge, one potential source of this conflict is modelling data that the science table has in it’s possession “that projects a grim fall.”

I must say this clearly, I stand in support of the release of this data. It is vital that Ontarians are provided with the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and keeping potential troubling revelations behind closed doors is unacceptable.

We need real transparency in government – especially during a pandemic.

Our final piece of COVID-19 news today comes from the Toronto Blue Jays, who have announced that starting on September 13, you will need to either show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to attend a Blue Jays game at the SkyDome (and yes, I know it’s been renamed the Rogers Centre). This follows similar announcements from MLSE who own the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Argonauts, Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto FC.

Note: This policy will not apply to children aged 11 or younger.

I am very excited to share that tomorrow afternoon at June Rowlands Park (220 Davisville Ave at Mount Pleasant), I will be joining Story Time in the Garden with the Appletree Group for a special reading of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein!

I’ll be reading at 4PM, and all are welcome to drop by and tune in.

Finally, I want to send a big shout out to the team at the Frankel Lambert Community Garden for the warm welcome this morning as I dropped in to check out the space!

The garden is nestled just off Christie St and Melita Crescent and is a cornerstone of the community. With dozens of plots, growing a range of plants, the garden is a beautiful space of peace and relaxation within our city, while simultaneously providing fresh, and healthy fruits and vegetables – sustainably.

This garden is also deeply committed to accessibility, and in non-COVID times is always open to the public as a place to take a walk, or a quiet spot to eat lunch.

I want to thank Robert and Tracy for spending time with me this morning and for our insightful conversation on food security in our community. I can’t wait to be back!

In Solidarity,

Jill

 

 

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