Community News Update - August 30, 2021

Dear Community,

Today, Ontario has reported another 694 cases of COVID-19, and no new deaths.

As we continue to see a surge in cases, reporting suggests that Doug Ford has finally backtracked on his stance against vaccine certificates, and it now appears that there will be some sort of program announced in the next week or so. While I welcome this announcement, we must still be watching closely to ensure that the Conservatives implement a well thought out, comprehensive system, that will work for Ontarians. Getting the right vaccine certificate program in place is vital so that we’re not stuck with an awkward patchwork, but rather one comprehensive system that can be used universally.

One of the positive outcomes of introducing vaccine certificates that we’ve seen in other jurisdictions is an uptick in vaccinations after their introduction. In British Columbia, it’s been reported that they’ve seen week-over-week increases in vaccination appointments of over 200% since the announcement of their program, which is scheduled to come online in September.

I will be sure to send out more updates on this story as we learn new information.

Book your vaccination today.

Throughout COVID-19, we’ve seen the staff in long-term care facilities working on the frontlines of the pandemic. These workers have been the backbone of our response to the pandemic, and all too often they are mistreated, underpaid, and undervalued.

Today, I was proud to stand with SEIU Healthcare at their rally at North York General Hospital, where they called for this to change, with real action to support PSWs in the long-term, and to immediately repeal Bill 124. It is a bill that has done immense harm to healthcare workers in Ontario. One of the biggest issues with Bill 124, is that it’s stripped away the rights of healthcare workers to negotiate fair wage increases. It’s particularly awful that these workers, who have been there for us when we needed them most, have been denied the right by the Ford government to negotiate a fair wage for themselves.

It was great to be out there today to support these workers in raising their voices. Rest assured we aren’t going to give up on repealing Bill 124.

Our community is filled with talented artists, and today I’m thrilled to be able to highlight the terrific work of Bev Katz Rosenbaum, whose novel I’m Good and Other Lies will be released on September 25. Her novel has been recognized by the CBC as a Young Adult (YA) novel to watch for in the Fall of 2021. I want to congratulate Bev on this recognition, and while this might be a YA novel – I can’t wait to take a peek at it myself!

Here’s a little snippet from the CBC article about the book:

“I'm Good and Other Lies is a YA novel about Kelsey Kendler, a teen who is just trying to find a boyfriend and also save up enough money for university working part-time at the ice cream shop. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hits, Kelsey is forced to spend time in lockdown at home all day with her dysfunctional parents. When she finds herself falling into the same addictive habits as her family, Kelsey must figure out a way to break the cycle. “

To find out more about Bev, this novel, and her other works, check out her website here.

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

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