Community News Update - November 17, 2021

Dear Community,

Today, Ontario is reporting 512 new cases of COVID-19 and twelve more deaths. With today’s additional cases, our seven-day average has risen once again, and now stands at 587. As always, the best defense against COVID-19 is vaccination – so if you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet – please make sure to do so as soon as possible.

You can book a vaccination appointment here.

Here in Ontario, we pay the highest child care fees in the country – and have for some time. Lowering those fees would mean the world to so many families who are either stretching their budgets to the extreme to afford the fees, or in many cases, staying home to provide child care themselves. Of course, we also know that women are often the ones to stay at home to care for their children if needed.

Investing in child care is one of the best investments that you can make. It helps getting women back into the workforce and means that we can prevent children being sent to unregulated, illegal child care facilities that can, in worst case scenarios, even be dangerous.

Investing in affordable, $10-a-day child care is vital. Right now, the federal government is working with provinces to make this a reality across the country. So then, why is it that the Ford government continues to drag their feet on making a deal? Almost every province in the country has now worked out a deal with the federal government – but not Ontario.

It’s absolutely unreal that this is taking so long, and I am calling on the Ford government to act immediately to get a deal done. This is long overdue – and it has to happen now.

If you’d like to lend your voice to this cause, you can add your name to my petition that calls on the Ford government to act now and get a deal done.

Click here to add your name.

In another confusing move, the Ford government has recently announced that they will begin doing symptomatic COVID patient testing in Ontario pharmacies. While we do want to see extensive access to testing, putting them in pharmacies without laying out clear safety protocols is concerning, to say the least.

Pharmacies are places where many seniors, immunocompromised folks, and parents with unvaccinated children go regularly, and it’s vital that those spaces are safe for them. Having symptomatic people going to that same space will not only add stress and anxiety to those people, but could also put them at risk of contracting COVID-19 themselves. So today, I’m calling on the government to put this on pause for now, until they can at least deliver some clear safety protocols to mitigate the risks at hand.

As the weather continues to get colder, we are seeing a return of the Out of the Cold Programs that run in our community. Starting tomorrow, Holy Blossom Temple’s Out of the Cold will be restarting their hot meal program – which will be open from 4 to 5PM tomorrow (November 18).

They will be serving a hearty hot meal, with a protein, starch and vegetable, from their Dewbourne entrance. Some weeks, they will have toiletries, and warm clothing to give out as well. The full season will run every Thursday from November 18, 2021 to April 7, 2022.

If you’d like to find out how you can contribute to support the program, you can email them at [email protected].

I want to give a huge shout out to everyone who helps out at every Out of the Cold in our community. They do absolutely vital work for so many of our neighbours! ‘Thank you’ doesn’t even begin to scratch the gratitude I feel for everyone who helps out week after week, making sure that everyone has a place to have dignified meal – no matter what their economic circumstances.

Our neighbourhood is also blessed to have so many artists that call our community home. Sadly, making a living in the arts can be very difficult – and the pandemic has made it harder than ever.

That’s why the upcoming webinar, ‘Making a Living Making Art’ is so incredibly exciting.

In their own words: Are you an arts organization/ collective interested in bringing public art to a park near you? Do you need funding to support your creative project to an outdoor space? Then this webinar is for you!

The webinar is being put on by the great folks from the Neighbourhood Arts Network, who will be bringing in experts to offer advice on how to apply most effectively for the Toronto Arts Council’s Animating Toronto Parks grant program. The webinar will feature a number of past grant recipients, who will talk about funded projects and offer their insights into their own grant process.

The webinar will take place from 6 to 7:30PM on November 23. You can find more information and register for free by clicking here.

Speaking of art, I am also very excited to share that coming up on December 11, St. Michael’s Church will be hosting a Christmas Art Market at their church located at 611 St. Clair Ave West!

Right now, they are looking for artists who would like to sell their creations at the market. If you’re interested, you can contact them at [email protected].

We're also lucky to have the TYT Theatre up and running at the Wychwood Barns, and they've got an exciting lineup of shows coming up!

You can see their full listings of whats on right now by clicking here.

Finally, in my last Community News Update, I let you know about an amazing exhibit I visited at the Wychwood Barns! I’ve found a few more pictures and a video from the event, and you can see them just below.

You can see the video here:

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew





















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