Ontario has reported 778 people in hospital with COVID-19 today, with 165 in intensive care. While this is down by 12 hospitalizations since yesterday, the number of people with COVID in Ontarian hospitals has increased by more than 150 since last Wednesday.
Experts have said that it is clear Ontario is already in a sixth wave of the pandemic driven by a relaxing of restrictions in the province.
The last thing we need is to go back to lockdowns, meaning that the government should take preemptive action. We need to make free testing widely available and make sure people have access to masks and PPE. Not less important, the Ontario government needs to signal that we are not finished with COVID yet.
Today the Ford government also presented a housing bill, an attempt to solve a problem that his government knowingly made worse for the past four years. In theory, the bill was supposed to promote affordability, but in reality, it again only favours developers.
This housing bill aims to speed up housing approvals by penalizing municipalities. There is nothing in this bill to help renters, build more affordable homes (including starter homes or ‘missing middle’ homes like duplexes and townhomes) or curb speculation. It doesn’t even do the bare minimum the government’s own task force recommended.
Ontario lives a housing crisis. People are moving away from communities they know and love because they simply can’t afford it. People are giving up the dream of owning their own home, because it is such a difficult one to achieve.
Ontarians deserve a government that will fight for them and ensure they have a good, affordable place to live. Click here to read the Homes You Can Afford platform, which takes on speculators, helps renters and brings back rent control, increases the supply of homes people can actually afford, helps first-time buyers get into the market, and builds nearly 100,000 affordable and supportive housing units.
I also wanted to share this Call for Submissions from the Jewish Currents. The theme for this issue is “Rest,” and the deadline for pitches is April 30.
Finally, a quick reminder that there is still time to RSVP to the Community Heroes Awards, an event in which we will celebrate people that have gone above and beyond to support the Toronto-St. Paul’s community. The event will happen remotely (over Zoom) on April 4 at 6 pm.
Please RSVP here.