As we begin another weekend, I want to start by reminding everyone of our four Community Food Tables that will be back in action across the riding from 11AM to 1PM tomorrow.
These next couple weeks at the Food Tables, we will be running a special back-to-school supplies drive. If you’re able to donate any back-to-school items, including backpacks, pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, or anything else useful – please feel free to drop them off at your local table.
Here are the four table locations:
- Cy Townsend Park - 455 Winona Dr. (Vaughan Rd. and Winona Dr.)
- Marian Engel Park - 285 Melita Ave. (Christie St. and Melita Ave)
- Matthew’s United Church - 729 St. Clair Ave West. (St. Clair Ave W. and Rushton Ave.)
- Oriole Park Community Garden - 201 Oriole Parkway (Located near Lascelles Blvd. At the south entrance to Oriole Park)
On the COVID-19 front, today Ontario reported another 781 new cases of COVID-19. Of the new cases, 634 of the 781 involve people who are either unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or their vaccination status is unknown. Of these new cases, 185 were found right here in Toronto.
As I’ve said in previous newsletters, it is vital that if you are eligible to get vaccinated, you should book your appointment as soon as possible. Getting everyone vaccinated is the fastest path through this pandemic and getting your vaccine will help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Of course, one piece of the vaccination puzzle that has not been tackled yet is what we’re going to do with children who will not be 12 or older in 2021 – who are currently ineligible for a vaccination. As it stands, Health Canada has not approved vaccinations for youths born in 2010 or later, however, it is likely that at some point Health Canada will approve a vaccine for this group of children. When that happens, it will be crucial for the province to already be prepared with a vaccine distribution plan for this group, so that we don’t see a repeat of the vaccination access challenges we witnessed earlier in the pandemic.
Today, I am joining Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in her call for the Ford government to prepare now to vaccinate kids under 12. Using this time now to put together a plan will pay dividends in the future – especially with schools across Ontario returning in the coming weeks.
Sadly, while we are calling on the Ford government to be forward-thinking, they are at the same time shutting down the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. It’s unbelievable that we’re shutting down this task force while we’re still working on the difficult task of convincing many vaccine-hesitant Ontarians to get their shots. This is just another misstep from this government, which continues to refuse to take some simple steps to drive up vaccine uptake, including creating vaccine certificates and mandating vaccines for health care and education workers.
With that said, I would also like to extend my thanks to those who have served on the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. Their work has been crucial during these difficult times, and I just wish they would continue their mandate.
One thing that truly makes our neighbourhood great is our community gardens. This week I’ve had the chance to visit two of our gardens, where I got to meet the volunteers who bring them to life. Yesterday, I stopped by Cedarvale Community Garden, located in the Cedarvale Ravine, and was able to get a quick tour of the space.
Let me tell you – this garden is beautiful. They have some incredible garlic and tomatoes growing right now, along with a host of other tasty fruits and vegetables.
I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to Carol for the warm welcome – and for all the work that her and her team have been doing in the garden.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can get involved, check out their Facebook Page here.
Along with our community gardens, our neighbourhood is also home to a whole host of terrific local businesses. Yesterday, I had the chance to drop by a new restaurant in the Yonge and Davisville area, named Abyssinia YYZ, where they are serving up some incredible Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. Their exact address is 2038 Yonge Street, and if you’re in the area I’d encourage you to check it out!