I hope that you’ve had a restful Family Day and Valentine’s Day weekend!
While COVID-19 has changed how we celebrate our holidays, I’ve been incredibly impressed by the resilience and creativity our community has shown creating safe ways to celebrate different holidays throughout the pandemic.
In today’s COVID-19 case count update, Ontario has reported another 904 cases of COVID-19, with 320 new cases in Toronto. This brings our seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases to 1035. Along with the new cases, there are now 742 people hospitalized, 292 in intensive care, and 201 on ventilators due to COVID-19.
Over the past week, we have seen our case counts level off around the 1000 per day mark. As the province continues to reopen, we must watch this number very closely – and ensure that we are taking every precaution in our own lives to slow the spread of the virus. That means continuing to observe lockdown measures, maintaining our distance, wearing our masks, and washing our hands frequently.
Of course, the responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 does not just fall on us as individuals. There are further steps that the Ontario government must also take to address the spread.
Sadly, today when the Ontario NDP tabled three common-sense bills – that would seek to fill these gaps - the Conservative government blocked their expeditious passage.
These are the three bills whose passage were blocked:
Stay Home If You Are Sick Act
- This bill would guarantee all workers seven days of paid sick time during normal times, and 14 days of paid sick leave during a public health emergency.
Time to Care Act
- This bill would guarantee all residents in long-term care 4.1 hours per day of hands-on care.
More Than a Visitor Act
- This bill would guarantee that essential caregivers cannot be separated from the loved ones that need their help in long-term care and other congregate care settings.
All three of these bills are desperately needed to protect our most vulnerable communities from further suffering caused by COVID-19, and I will continue to work towards passing them in our Legislature.
Prior to the Conservative government refusing our request for unanimous consent, this morning I delivered a Member’s Statement in support of the Stay Home If You Are Sick Act – where I spoke on behalf of the residents of Toronto-St. Paul’s – calling for mandated paid sick days in our province.
You can watch my Member’s Statement here.
In the afternoon session, I took the opportunity to speak in support of another piece of NDP Legislation demanding a real eviction moratorium for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, today, I want to invite anyone who is interested to join the Ontario NDP Women’s Committee Platform Discussion and Consultation. The event is open to all cis women, trans women, two-spirit, non-binary, and gender diverse members of the Ontario NDP welcome.
If you are interested in attending, you can RSVP for the event here.