Community News Update - July 8, 2022

Dear Community,

Ontario's chief medical officer has confirmed that we are now in a 7th-wave of COVID. This is unsurprising to many of us, and frightening for everyone. We have seen these waves become less deadly, particularly to vaccinated people, but there is no guarantee that this will continue, and I urge everyone to continue precautions like masking indoors and social distancing.

This reaffirms the need for the Ford government to immediately expand fourth dose eligibility across Ontario. As it stands, fourth doses are only currently available to people aged 60 and over, Indigenous people and their family members, and only certain vulnerable populations. While vaccine effectiveness against new variants seems reduced, these vaccines still provide significant protection and we must expand their availability.

This also illustrates the importance of prioritizing the hiring of new healthcare workers by our strained and broken healthcare system. I join interim leader of the opposition Peter Tabuns in calling on the government to prioritize hiring and scrap Bill 124 to provide healthcare workers with a much-deserved pay boost.

This weekend (July 9 and 10), Salsa on St. Clair returns to Toronto—St. Paul's, and I am looking forward to It! In addition to great food and live entertainment – visitors can take part in non-stop dancing in the streets!  Come enjoy Canada’s hottest salsa party featuring an international caliber of Latin music, authentic cuisine, and a fiesta for lovers of all Latinx culture. Our office will have a booth to join in the fun and promote some of our upcoming campaigns, so feel free to drop by!

I know that many of you have been sharing my frustration with the ongoing Rogers outage. Like many people I have been struggling to work around non-functional internet and phones all day. However, I'd also encourage everyone to remember the even greater hardship faced by some Torontonians who typically pay with debit cards, who are finding it difficult to buy basic necessities due to card readers and ATMs that have stopped fully working. If you can try to check in on folks who might be facing these problems.

Lastly I would like to recognize the passing of Holocaust survivor and educator Max Eisen. Through his powerful words as a Holocaust Survivor he empowered many, including countless students, to be allies against antisemitism. I extend my deepest condolences to his friends and family.

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew

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