Community News Update - October 22, 2021

Dear Community,

Today, the Ontario government released an update on their COVID-19 re-opening plan, here are the details that they released.

Starting Monday October 25, capacity limits in select settings where proof of vaccination is required will be lifted.

These settings include:

  • Restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments
  • Gyms, and sports recreational facilities
  • Casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
  • Indoor meeting and event spaces

Further, they will be lifting capacity limits and physical distancing requirements in the following areas, if they choose to require proof of vaccination:

  • Personal care services (e.g., barber shops, salons, body art)
  • Indoor areas of museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions
  • Indoor areas of amusement parks
  • Indoor areas of fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals
  • Indoor tour and guide services
  • Boat tours
  • Indoor areas of marinas and boating clubs
  • Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities
  • Open house events provided by real estate agencies
  • Indoor areas of photography studios and services

These new regulations will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, or medical supplies.

On November 15, the government is aiming to lift capacity limits in other potentially higher risk settings like bars with dancefloors, nightclubs, strip clubs, and more.

In early next year, on January 17, the government is planning to begin lifting capacity limits in settings where proof of vaccination is not required. As well, they are planning to look at lifting proof of vaccination requirements in places including bars, restaurants and gyms.

On February 7, they are planning to begin lifting the proof of vaccination requirements in the higher risk settings, including nightclubs and strip clubs.

Finally, on March 28, they are aiming to lift all remaining public health and workplace safety measures, including wearing masks in indoor public settings, and the elimination of proof of vaccinations at all remaining settings (theatres, concerts, sporting events, etc…).

To see the full press release about this announcement with more details, click here.

It should be noted that the above timelines that were laid out by Premier Ford come with the major caveat that should our COVID-19 cases not continue to decline, then these timelines could well be changed.

One question that’s been raised already is what effect the announcement of this new timeline will have on vaccination rates. While we don’t yet know what that effect will be, I’ll be watching that number closely in the coming days.

Today’s announcement by the Ford government came on a day when Ontario reported 492 new cases of COVID-19, including 64 new cases in Toronto.

If you have not yet gotten your vaccine, you can register for a vaccination here.

Coming up this weekend, I will be hosting a Day of Action on Education, and if you’re interested in attending, you can register here.

We’ll be gathering at the Wychwood Barns at 12PM on Sunday, October 24, and we’ll be heading out into the community to knock on doors and talk to our neighbours about education in Ontario!

Next Thursday, October 28, Black Urbanism TO (BUTO) will be hosting a very exciting event called Pathways to Community Ownership from 7 to 9PM. At this event, BUTO will be launching their community ownership research project on Little Jamaica, a research project that they’re undertaking with funding from the Metcalf Foundation.

They will be joined by experts for a discussion about what community ownership models can look like, and in the second half of the event, they will be leading an orientation session on the goals of the project.

This will be an important event, if you’d like to Register to tune in on Zoom, you can click here.

Finally, I have some bittersweet news. We’ve come to the end of our Community Food Table season for 2021. I want to thank all the volunteers who poured their heart and soul into this program over the last few months, and I’m looking forward to getting it going once again in 2022.

In Solidarity,

Jill

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