It's the Family Day long weekend!
I want to remind everyone once again that on Monday afternoon from 2 to 4PM, I will be at June Rowlands Park (220 Davisville Ave) at Davisville and Mount Pleasant handing with a pile of free books to give away.
We will have books for all ages on hand, including some children’s books that were very kindly donated by local resident, and children’s author, Amanda Minuk! She’s also taken the time to personally sign copies of the books that she’s donated. I am sending a huge thank you to her for her generosity and commitment to our community.
You can find out more about Amanda Minuk on her website – here.
I want to wish our community a happy Family Day - and also acknowledge chosen families as well. The people we’re closest to have always been important, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, those relationships have proven essential to making it through these difficult days. So, no matter how you spend this Family Day, let’s all try and take a moment to reflect on those who’ve been there for us when we needed them the most.
On the COVID-19 front, today Ontario reported 1281 hospitalizations, 352 people in ICUs, and tragically, another 33 deaths. While there are encouraging signs in the data, especially the continued decrease in hospitalizations, we must continue to listen to our public health experts and follow their guidance. That means making sure that we’re all fully vaccinated – including a booster if you’re eligible and wearing an effective mask when the situation calls for it.
Starting next week, we will be returning to the Ontario Legislature for our final sitting session before the upcoming election in June. While we’re getting down to the wire, I’m committed to working hard to address the key issues that I know our community needs to see progress on – and will be actively engaged in at Queen’s Park in the coming weeks.
Here are three of the many issues that will be top of mind for me in the coming session.
The Cost of Living
In our community, it starts with housing and spirals from there. The cost of buying a home is simply too much to even contemplate for many in our community, and the cost of renting is so high that many folks are stuck in a constant cycle of figuring out how they’ll pay their next month's rent. Among other things, we need to see minimum wages increased, we must guarantee permanent paid sick days, and it’s long past time that we tackle the housing crisis.
Let me just say this – because it can never be said too much. Our health care workers are heroes, and they deserve to be treated so much better. I’ll be thinking about how we can make life better for nurses, PSWs, and other health care workers. I’ll also be focused on how we can fix the holes in our health care system that existed long before the pandemic arrived – and must be repaired with the utmost urgency. Right now, that means starting with Long-Term Care and home care and working through our whole health care system.
Our education system needs more support. From the foundations up, we need to be investing in our educational infrastructure – and that means getting to work on the multi-billion-dollar repair backlog that’s piled up under both Liberal and Conservative governments in Ontario. We have a plan to hire thousands of new teachers and education workers, repair our physical infrastructure, and make sure that we can keep our kids in class safely moving forward.
Another quick reminder that we’ll be holding a vaccine clinic at the For Youth Initiatives’ (FYI) Oakwood and Vaughan location (504 Oakwood Ave) with FYI and Women’s College Hospital on Monday, February 28.
If you haven’t gotten your full set of vaccines just yet – make sure to come on out.
Finally today, I’m happy to share with our community an important Mobility Survey for residents of the Oakwood and Vaughan area. The survey has been put together as part of the OV Futures search, and in their words:
This survey is part of the OV Futures Search in which we aim to create a community plan to benefit our neighborhood and everyone in it. We would love to have your feedback on the below questions to inform our community plan. For the questions on residing, working or being educated in OV (Oakwood Vaughan) see the image attached to the first question. You are welcome to fill out the survey if you don't work or reside in the area but explain to us under the "other" option why you are interested in the community and what your connection to it is (come to use stores, used to live here, etc). If you would like to be involved further or have any questions send an email to [email protected].
Have a great long weekend everyone!