As we reach the end of another week, I want to encourage everyone who can to try and find some time for self-care in these next few days. COVID-19’s impacts on our community have been severe, and it will be many years before we can truly understand the effects that this pandemic is having on us, so if you have the time, please take a moment to look after yourself. Watch your favourite movie, read that book you’ve been meaning to, or maybe simply phone a friend you haven’t spoken to in some time.
You deserve it.
Earlier this week, I shared with our community the most recent information that we have regarding the different vaccine programs that are now in the process of rolling out across Ontario. To be candid, this process has not been communicated well by the Ford government, and while I am doing my best to share the most recent information with you – sometimes that information is changing rapidly.
The key piece of information to update from Wednesday is about the eligibility criteria to access the AstraZeneca pilot program being run through pharmacies, including a number in our community.
The initial information that we were given on Wednesday indicated that to be eligible, you must have been born between 1957 and 1961.
Now, the province has updated the eligibility criteria to include anyone who “will be, or have been 60-64 in 2021.” So that means that if you’re turning either 60 or 65 this year, then you are eligible for the AstraZeneca pilot program, along with everyone between those ages.
It’s frustrating that this was not communicated more clearly from the beginning – and if you have any further questions about your eligibility, please do not hesitate to call my office at 416-656-0943 or email me at [email protected].
Across Ontario, we saw another 1371 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed today, with 371 of those new cases being found in Toronto. This news comes on the heels of an announcement yesterday that about 42% of new COVID-19 infections are COVID-19 variants of concern.
These numbers underscore the importance of continued vigilance in our community, where we all need to continue to follow the COVID-19 protocols, as they’ve been laid out by public health experts. That means that we must be washing our hands frequently, wearing our masks, and maintain our physical distance of two metres.
While vaccines are now rolling out, we are still not out of the woods here, and remaining diligent regarding precautions can still save lives.
Many tenants in our community already have or will be receiving a copy of this year’s Tenant Guide from my office. The Tenant Guide is a key item that I release every year, as a guiding tool for tenants to know some of their rights. If you have not received a copy by next week and would like one, please email my office at [email protected] to request one.
Along those same tenant lines, I am very excited to let everyone know about an important event that I will be hosting next Thursday with my colleague, MPP Jessica Bell from University Rosedale, about what a tenant can do when they’re facing potential eviction. We will be joined for this discussion by two of our local tenant leaders, and an expert in housing law:
- Prophetess Reid, Chair 440 Winona Tenants Association
- Patrick Plestid, Chair 100 Vaughan Road Tenants Association
- Helle Hulgaard, West Toronto Community Legal Services
We will be holding this meeting on Zoom, and you can register to receive your link to attend by clicking here.