Thank you for all your nominations for our Toronto-St. Paul's Community Heroes Awards. My staff are reaching out to all the nominees and we will announce an event recognizing them soon.
Today, Ontario reported 602 patients in hospital with COVID-19, including 228 in ICUs, holding steady from yesterday. We also saw the first day in months without a single death from COVID recorded in Ontario. While I know this is a positive development and we hope to see a continuing decline of our case counts, we should all ensure that we continue to follow the best advice of our public health experts and get vaccinated.
Over the weekend I was joined by a great group of volunteers for the Ontario NDP’s day of action in honour of International Women’s Day. We went door to door throughout our community on Saturday, canvassing for the upcoming election and raising awareness of all the ways the Ford government continues to fail to act in support of women’s liberation and equality in our society. An NDP government will prioritize legislation to address the gender pay gap and violence against women and work for true gender equality in Ontario.
My colleague, MPP Doly Begum, is introducing an important bill on accrediting internationally trained professionals. Too often, new Canadians trained as nurses, doctors or dentists find it difficult to be licensed to practice in their new home.
They are often hindered by rules that often discount foreign experience and education and force people to re-learn skills that they already have.
We would fix the barrier of required local experience with a job-matching program to guarantee internationally trained physicians can get local experience that counts towards their accreditation. As well as recognizing international clinical experiences and allowing people with this experience to apply for clinical placements here in Ontario.
We are developing a detailed plan in consultation with internationally trained professionals, regulatory bodies, professional associations, settlement organizations and employment organizations.
In addition to helping new Canadians build a life here, this will also be good for everyone in Ontario. We have all seen throughout COVID how badly we need more doctors and nurses. We all benefit when skilled people are able to use their abilities to the fullest.
March 21st will be the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In recognition of this the Ontario NDP Black Caucus will host a one-day series of panel on Thursday, March 17 to discuss issues of health, education, jobs and the economy as they effect the Black community. Panelists will include a selection of Black community leaders that have done exceptional work in calling out bad policy and continuing to push for equity in their respective sectors. The event will happen between 10 am and 4 pm. RSVP to the email [email protected], and a zoom link will be shared.
I hope to see many of you there!