Community News Update - March 31, 2021

Dear Community,

Today, Ontario has reported another 2333 cases of COVID-19, and we seem set to head into another period of increased restrictive measures soon. Or at least, that’s what seems most likely given the hints that we’ve been hearing from the Premier in the past few days.

Find out if you’re eligible and register for your vaccine here.

Frankly, it’s frustrating that we have not yet been given a clear directive in the run up to the Easter weekend – which, without clear guidance, could be a superspreading weekend. In the past few days I have received many emails asking ‘what the plan is’ – and I want you to know that as your Official Opposition we are pressing the government for those answers as well.

It appears that we should be receiving an update tomorrow – and I will be sure to include those updates in an upcoming communication.

But what I can tell you now is that we must continue to take precautions in our own lives to slow the spread of COVID-19. Right now, Ontario’s ICU admissions are at an all-time high, with 421 patients with COVID-19 currently in ICUs across our province. We are at a potential tipping point, and we all need to keep wearing our masks, washing our hands, and maintaining our physical distance from anyone we don’t live with.

This third wave is especially angering, because we knew that additional measures needed to be taken – and the Ford government has refused. In just one example, we’re seeing significant spread in classrooms – and yet – class sizes are still not capped at 15.

At Queen’s Park today, I proudly voted in favour of NDP MPP Jamie West’s motion to permanently increase the wage floor for PSWs in Ontario. This would have been a vital bill, as it would have helped ensure that PSWs in our province are paid a living wage – and help stabilize a workforce that has been on the very front lines of battling COVID-19 for over a year now.

The bill would have raised PSW wages permanently to the PSW pandemic pay rates. Sadly, it was voted down by the Ford Conservatives.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, women have been hit hard. It’s now well documented that there has been a disproportionate impact on women, and we need action for the women of Ontario from the provincial government on a host of issues. To this end, I recently introduced a petition in the Legislature that called for real action to support women in our province.

Check out the clip here.

In Solidarity,
 
Jill Andrew
Toronto—St. Paul's

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