Community News Update - October 19, 2020

Dear Community,

We are now seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, and it hasn’t been easy for anyone.
We have seen our community mourn the loss of loved ones, local businesses closing for the last time, and economic challenges abound – along with a litany of other issues.

But while we have been tested, we have risen to that challenge at every turn.

We have seen just how resilient our community can be, and how ready we are to work together to get through this global calamity. So, let’s all take a moment today to reflect back on how far we’ve come, and take the time to thank someone who’s been there for you when you needed them.

While the future remains uncertain, what we know is that this community will be there for each other – no matter what lies ahead.

COVID-19 has revealed many of the gaping holes in our social safety net, and perhaps none more extreme than the failures of our long-term care system. In fact, even now we are at least short 6000 PSWs in long-term care and home care.

In response to this, my colleague MPP Laura Mae Lindo has put forward Bill 196, to create a Seniors’ Advocate in Ontario, and this morning I was very proud to speak in favour her bill. This is a crucial step towards ensuring that the voices of older adults in Ontario are always heard loud and clear by the government. I am especially glad to share that this bill passed its second reading today with unanimous support. With that said, it is vital that we keep up the pressure to make sure that this is not left to fade away in committee.

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have steadily worked our way through each holiday as it arrives in the calendar. With Halloween right around the corner, we have been waiting to hear the directives from our public health experts, on if it would be able to proceed.

Today, the directive was issued to hold off on trick-or-treating for this year.

While this is disappointing, I believe that we need to be following the guidance of our experts during these difficult times. While I’ll be sad to not see those amazing costumes out there this year, I’m excited to see what creative ways people come up with to celebrate safely this year!

Finally, a reminder that we all need to keep up our own precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. That means that we need to wash our hands regularly, wear our masks when we leave our homes, and try to only come into physical contact with members of our households.
In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew

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