Community News Update - October 13, 2021

Dear Community,

Today, Ontario reported 306 new cases of COVID-19, and our seven-day rolling average now stands at 500. There have also been twelve additional deaths recorded in the province, bringing the total to 9,804 since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

As always, I want to take this moment to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. There is clear evidence that the vaccines are safe, effective, and our best tool to put this pandemic behind us.

You can find a vaccination site near you by clicking here.

Speaking of vaccines, it’s looking increasingly like we are going to see the approval of a vaccine for children aged 5-12 in the coming months, which means that right now there is no time to waste in preparation. That’s why, along with the entire Ontario NDP, I am calling for the creation of a vaccine registry for this age group to work with school boards to run vaccine clinics in schools.

We know that Health Canada is doing its review of the preliminary data for the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for these children – so let’s make sure that we’re ready the second that approval comes through to start getting those vaccines out.

Following up on a story from yesterday’s Community News Update, today I’m proud to add my voice to Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s call for there to be a level playing field when it comes to capacity limits in Ontario businesses.

On Friday we learned that the Ford government would be lifting capacity limits on places like stadiums and theatres, while leaving restrictions in place for our local restaurants and other small businesses. This approach is not backed by science, and it’s clear that Doug Ford is putting the interests of his big fish buddies over those of our local communities.

We need a fair approach, that treats our businesses equally.

Here in Toronto we pay the highest child care fees in the country. Despite this, we’re still seeing the Ford government drag its feet on signing a $10 per day child care deal with the federal government.

We need the Ford government to stop wasting time, and get a deal done with the federal government.

NDP Child Care critic Bhutila Karpoche released a full statement on this particular issue recently, and I encourage everyone to read it here.

I’m happy to share with our community a great organization who just released much of their upcoming programming. The Black Youth Mental Health Initiative (BYMHI) is returning for their Fall and Winter 2021 programming.

In their own words:

“The Black Youth Mental Health Initiative (BYMHI for short) is back for Fall/Winter 2021! The BYMHI is offering a virtual workshop series for Black youth between ages 13-29, who are living in Toronto/the GTA. Workshops will feature guest facilitators from the community, and cover a range of topics relevant to health and wellness for Black youth including self-care and healthier relationships, and activities centered around movement, self-expression and liberation.”  

If you’re interested in getting involved, or seeing more information about the programming being offered, you can check out their website here, or email them directly at [email protected].

Coming up this weekend, our Community Food Program will be back up and running once again. Of course, that means that we’re once again looking for volunteers to help out with the tables, as well as donors to drop off food.

If you’re interested in volunteering, you can find your nearest table below.

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew

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