I want to start today with a quick update on vaccine eligibility in Ontario, as there are some changes happening this week.
First, starting tomorrow (May 11) at 8AM, individuals with at-risk health conditions such as dementia, diabetes, heart disease, and more will be eligible to book through the provincial portal. Accompanying them are group two essential workers. Construction workers, public transit workers, grocery store staff, and more will also be eligible.
See the full list of at-risk health conditions here.
See the full list of eligible workers here.
Next, starting this Thursday (May 13) at 8AM, all individuals who will be 40 or older in 2021 will be eligible to book a vaccination appointment at a mass immunization clinic.
To book your vaccine through the provincial booking system, click here.
To find your nearest pharmacy vaccine site, click here.
On Friday, news broke that some pharmacies are now distributing Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to anyone aged 18 and older. This news came with no announcement from the government, but represents a very interesting development in the distribution campaign. None of these sites are located in our riding of Toronto-St. Paul’s, but you can find your nearest location here.
Note: All participating Toronto pharmacies are distributing the Pfizer vaccine.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic I have been calling for better protections for renters in our province. When I first heard that the province was looking to implement a rent freeze for the duration of the pandemic, I was hopeful that they wouldn’t leave any loopholes, but of course they did. They did not restrict above the guideline rent increases (AGIs), meaning that many corporate landlords have still increased the rent on their tenants during the pandemic.
Tomorrow, I will be tabling Motion 157, a motion that calls for AGIs to be banned until at least 12 months after the COVID-19 pandemic is officially over. This would provide tenants the protection they need during these uncertain times, and the time to get back on their feet after the pandemic is over.
If you would like to support my motion, please add your name here.
Another motion that I will be bringing forward soon relates to the Ford government’s decision to establish fines of up to $25,000 for tenants who film and share their cases at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Candidly, this is to clamp down on tenants who have been sharing their stories to demonstrate the unfairness and inconsistencies at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Threatening a fine of up to $25,000 is not how we bring fairness and balance to the LTB, not by a long shot.
Motion 156 is the following:
That, in the opinion of this House, the Ford government should, as part of an effort to protect the rights of tenants, withdraw the proposed amendments to the Statutory Powers Procedure Act from Bill 276, including the punitive fines for recording proceedings, and instead develop procedures to ensure broadcasts and recordings of such hearings adhere to the core open courts principle as part of an effort to ensure transparency and accountability of the tribunal process.
If you support my call, please add your name to show your support here.
This motion has also inspired an event that I will be hosting alongside MPP Jessica Bell from University-Rosedale this Thursday about how we can make the LTB fairer for everyone. We’re going to be diving into some great discussions on Zoom with everyone on the call, so if you’re interested here are the details:
- Thursday, May 13 at 6:00 PM
- On Zoom and Facebook Live
- RSVP to Attend Here
Today at Queen’s Park my colleague, MPP Bhutila Karpoche of Parkdale-High Park, asked the Conservative government to recognize May 10 annually as a Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism in Ontario – a simple, direct action to showcase Ontario’s desire to tackle the growing challenge of Anti-Asian racism in our province.
The government said no.
I’m really not sure what more there is to say here. This was a non-partisan request that was shot down by the government for no discernible reason. Regardless of this action from the government, myself and my Ontario NDP colleagues will not relent in our battle against anti-Asian racism in our province.
Finally, I want to share a sincere message of thanks to all the nurses across Ontario. This week is nursing week, so let’s all take a moment to thank our nurses for their commitment, bravery, and sacrifice. COVID-19 has presented challenges to our health care system that we’ve never seen before, and throughout it all, our nurses have been there for us.
Thank you – so much.