Today is Toronto’s first day of lockdown, with increased measures now being implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. Along with the new restrictions, today we also reported a new record high in daily cases with 1589 more cases, and a new seven day rolling average of 1423 cases per day in Ontario.
I want to remind everyone that if we act together we can curb the spread of COVID-19, and the most important things that we can all do as individuals are to make sure that we’re being safe ourselves. That means that we need to wear a mask as often as possible, only break physical distancing with those that we live with, wash our hands frequently, and avoid touching our faces.
These simple steps can make an incredible difference in the grand scheme of things, and it’s incumbent on all of us to do our best to stop the spread.
But it’s not just up to us as individuals, it’s also up to the government to step up to the plate and make sure that they’re thinking ahead – and getting out in front of issues before they arise. In this regard, the Ford government has let us down during the second wave of COVID-19. We need to see real action from this government on a host of issues that have been impacted by this pandemic: paid sick days, housing for those experiencing homelessness, smaller classrooms, and more.
This morning, I gave a member’s statement in the Legislature on this exact topic, and you can watch that here.
I was also delighted to have the opportunity to acknowledge the deeply impactful work of one2give, a local organization that has built an incredible donation network to support shelters, schools, and other impactful groups during COVID-19. In just a short time, they’ve been able to build out their network of donation boxes, and they’ve pulled together an incredibly forward-thinking, crowd sourced system for securing the exact items that are most needed.
I’d like to encourage everyone reading this to check out their website and see if you can think of what your one2give will be. Thank you so much to Lindsay, Jessica, Leah, and Fern for your work!
You can find their website here.
Today also marked an important vote at Queen’s Park on a motion from the Official Opposition regarding Charles McVety, and the efforts that have been made by the Ford government to help ensure accreditation for his controversial school Canada Christian College. For those who have not been following this story, McVety is a close ally of Doug Ford’s, and is also well known for espousing homophobic, Islamophobic, and transphobic views.
There is a lot of backstory, and you can read more details here.
Recently, the Ford government included language in a COVID-19 recovery bill that would advance McVety’s application to be able to grant university degrees – and there has been widespread condemnation.
Today’s motion, introduced by the Official Opposition, called for the condemnation of Charles McVety, and opposed any efforts to make Canada Christian College into an accredited university. After significant debate, this afternoon the motion passed 29 to 27 – with 27 Conservative MPPs voting against the bill – and 30 other PC MPPs abstaining from the vote.
While I’m glad that the motion passed – it is disturbing that not a single Member from the government’s benches were willing to stand up today against bigotry in Ontario.