Community News Update - March 17, 2021

Dear Community,

Today marks a grim anniversary: one year since the first COVID-19 related death in Ontario. A year later and today we’ve reported another 1,508 new cases of COVID-19, with 542 new cases here in Toronto.

We must continue to follow the advice of our public health experts, and wear our masks, wash our hands, and maintain our physical distancing.

Click here for the Ontario vaccine portal.

Across Ontario, we are seeing more vaccination sites come online, including three new mass vaccination sites here in Toronto currently administering vaccines to those aged 80 and above, with more sites to come online in the days ahead.

Regarding the opening plan from the City of Toronto on these mass vaccination sites, I have been hearing questions from our community about when the North Toronto Community Centre vaccination site will be opening.

The update here is that right now we still do not have a firm date for that opening, but we know that the preparations are happening now. The site will be opening once they are fully prepared and the vaccine supply is able to support their operations.

Speaking about vaccines, yesterday it was announced by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) that they are now recommending the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people over the age of 65, whereas it was previously only recommending between the ages of 18 and 65.

This change seems to have caught the Ford government by surprise, and they are now scrambling to see how this will affect their planning for vaccine distribution. Frankly, it has been known for some time that Health Canada has been looking into this possibility, and it’s frustrating that there was not already a plan built around this potential outcome.

It’s also been announced today that the City of Toronto is requesting that the province keep our city in the Grey-Lockdown with some slightly modified rules. While they haven’t outlined exactly what those modifications will be, they have indicated that they will be regulations that govern some outdoor activities. The city has also announced that the CafeTO program will be returning, and they are aiming for an early May start time for that.

In an update from earlier this week, Doug Ford is allowing Sam Oosterhoff to go ahead with his anti-abortion event. It’s clear that Doug Ford has given his approval here, and it’s upsetting to know that the Premier continues to be unwilling to take a stand on this issue. As a reminder for anyone who’s out of the loop, the group that Sam Oosterhoff is presenting to recently compared a woman’s right to choose to the Holocaust – an abhorrent statement.

As the Official Opposition Critic for Women’s Issues, and your MPP, I have been and will continue to be very vocal on this issue.

You can find my official statement on this issue here.  

Finally, I want to remind everyone that tomorrow night I will be hosting an event with MPP Jessica Bell and some of our local housing advocates about what you can do should you be facing an eviction. The event will be happening over Zoom from 6-7:30PM tomorrow evening and if you would like to attend you must RSVP in advance.

To find the RSVP link, please click here.
 
In Solidarity,
 
Jill Andrew
Toronto—St. Paul's


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