Community News Update - November 10, 2021

Dear Community,

Ontario health officials reported 454 new COVID-19 cases today, up from 441 yesterday and 378 one week ago. They have also confirmed nine COVID-19 deaths today, bringing the province's death toll to 9,912.

Due to this increase, Ontario is pausing a plan to lift capacity limits in certain settings deemed to be high risk, such as night clubs and event spaces where there is dancing (for example, places that host wedding receptions).

Such news is, as always, hard to share, and I hope you and your loved ones are safe. The restrictions have been taking a mental toll on all of us, but having a strong and caring community such as the one of Toronto–St. Paul’s surely helps.

Last night, I attended a discussion sponsored by the Neuberger Centre on the significance of stories about soap made from human fat and items made from human skin during the Holocaust. Though these stories are believed to be false, they remain part of the collective memory of the Holocaust. We heard about how the presence of myths within survivor testimony creates an opportunity for Holocaust deniers. We also heard about how historians struggle to find a way to discuss these events that are so commonly known, even while they may not be true.

Tonight, Studio 180 is holding a live reading of the play "The Soap Myth" by Jeff Cohen, exploring the conflict between survivor memory and the Holocaust’s historical proof, as well as with the scourge of fraudulent Holocaust denial. You will find more information here.

I learned of a troubling incident near McMurrich Jr. Public School this week, where a car hit a child at the intersection of Hendrick and Benson. Thankfully, the child was not seriously injured, and I happened to speak to him outside the school this afternoon. Drivers, remember to watch out for pedestrians, especially the little ones! I know that parents are sharing their ideas to improve safety in our community – let my office know if there are any other dangerous spots that need attention.

You might remember that I shared, a while ago, that the regulation created by the Ontario government that expanded construction noise times in Toronto had expired, meaning that the City’s Noise Bylaw became again the standard for noise. With this, construction noise is only allowed between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays or statutory holidays. However, we are still receiving messages from constituents about construction noise.

There are exceptions to the rule – public safety work, government work, and work that has received an exemption permit. According to the City’s bylaw, any person may apply for an exemption permit from a noise prohibition or noise limitation, but this includes presenting a reason for the exemption and a noise mitigation plan. Only if the application is approved the construction may emit noise outside these time limits.

If you are hearing construction noises at different times than the ones established by the bylaw, you can contact the City at 311 or submit a noise complaint online.

Finally, I wanted to share that my NDP colleagues Jessica Bell and Bhutila Karpoche are introducing an anti-money laundering bill that would stop numbered companies from buying homes anonymously and, consequently, make homes more affordable. I am, of course, in support of this bill, as I know how skyrocketing home prices greatly affect our community’s livelihoods.

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew
Toronto—St. Paul's

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