Community News Update - September 29, 2021

Dear Community,

Tomorrow will mark the very first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. While I’ll have a more fulsome statement in the morning to share, for tonight I’d like to let everyone know about some of the events that will be happening to mark the day.

If you’re able to, I would encourage you to find some time tomorrow to engage with some of the events that have been organized, and to take the time to listen and learn on this important day.

You can read the full Ontario NDP statement marking the day here.

Here are a few of the events happening tomorrow that you can check out:

I would also encourage everyone to do some of their own research to see what else you can find, as there are going to be a whole host of events on the go, both online and in person.

One piece that is still missing from tomorrow, is that in Ontario the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is not being recognized as a statutory holiday in provincially regulated industries (on the federal side it is recognized).

This needs to change.

This should be a day for communities to come together and take the time to listen to and learn from Indigenous voices and must become a statutory holiday.

In the words of my colleague, Ontario NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa:

"We must make Sept. 30 not only a day to mark on social media, but a statutory day away from work for all Ontarians," Mamakwa said. "It should be a day to gather for traditional ceremonies, to hold powwows, and to invite non-Indigenous people to learn and to grow — especially young people. It should be a day that grows in scope and meaning until everyone living on this land knows the legacy of residential schools, and holds in their hearts a desire to revive reconciliation.”

If you support making this day a statutory holiday, you can add your name here.

Also, in a breaking story from this evening, a federal court has dismissed the Trudeau government’s appeal against a ruling which awarded financial compensation to 50,000 Indigenous children for their mistreatment through child and family services on reserves.

The ruling will hopefully end six years of the Liberal government fighting Indigenous children in court, in a court battle that has cost the federal government millions of dollars.

Let’s hope that this legal battle ends here and that the federal government accepts its responsibility on this file.

You can read more about this developing story here.  

Today in Ontario, we reported fewer than 500 new cases of COVID-19 for the second day in a row, with 495 new cases. This brings our seven-day average down to 606 daily cases. Once again, we have seen a disproportionately high number of new cases in unvaccinated people, and I want to once again encourage everyone reading this to get vaccinated if they have not yet done so.

Book your vaccine here.

In vaccine news, this afternoon it was announced by Ontario’s chief medical officer of health that folks aged 18-24 should try to get the Pfizer vaccine if possible, instead of the Moderna vaccine, after a small increase in cases of a rare heart condition was found in young people who received a Moderna shot.

While it’s important for there to be complete transparency when we make such discoveries, we are also all need to take a deep breath to digest this information and what it really means. In this case, it is being reported that there has been an increased risk of myocarditis and pericarditis to approximately 1 in 5000 in men aged 18 to 24 – from 1 in 28,000 in people who received the Pfizer vaccine.

The risks here have been described as very mild, and there have been no deaths reported.

Finally, today, I’d like to once again invite folks to volunteer with our Community Food Tables this Saturday around the neighbourhood!

If you’re interested in volunteering, you can sign up here:

Marian Engel Park - 285 Melita Ave. (Christie St. and Melita Ave)
Click here to register to volunteer.
St. Matthew’s United Church - 729 St. Clair Ave West. (St. Clair Ave W. and Rushton Ave.)
Click here to register to volunteer.

Cy Townsend Park - 455 Winona Dr. (Vaughan Rd. and Winona Dr.)
Click here to register to volunteer.

Oriole Park Community Garden - 201 Oriole Parkway (Located near Lascelles Blvd. At the south entrance to Oriole Park)
Click here to register to volunteer.

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew

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