Community News Update - September 3, 2021

Dear Community,
 
To start today, I’d like to share an important reminder!
 
Tomorrow between 11AM and 1PM we will be hosting our four Community Food Tables across Toronto-St. Paul’s. Just like last week, this week will be a little different, as the tables will not just be collecting and exchanging food items, but also back-to-school supplies.
 
In terms of back to school supplies that we’re looking for, here are some suggested items:

  • Backpacks
  • Notebooks
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Binders
  • Pencil Cases

Our four tables will be located at:

  • Marian Engel Park - 285 Melita Ave. (Christie St. and Melita Ave)
  • St. Matthew’s United Church - 729 St. Clair Ave West. (St. Clair Ave W. and Rushton Ave.)
  • Cy Townsend Park - 455 Winona Dr. (Vaughan Rd. and Winona Dr.)
  • Oriole Park Community Garden - 201 Oriole Parkway (Located near Lascelles Blvd. At the south entrance to Oriole Park)

Next, with the long weekend ahead, and no Community News Update on Monday, I want to take this opportunity to say 'Shana Tova' to all my Jewish constituents celebrating Rosh Hashanah and the start of the High Holy Days! The evening of September 6, on Monday marks the start of 5782 in the Hebrew Calendar.
 
May you all have a sweet and good New Year!

Of course, this long weekend is because Monday is Labour Day. I am sending strength and solidarity to everyone involved in the labour movement across Ontario, and to every worker in our province. During this pandemic, we have all seen once again just how important our society is on low-wage labour. So this year, let's commit to redoubling our efforts to fighting for living wages, safe working conditions and respect for all workers. 

The big news at Queen’s Park today is that Premier Ford has now prorogued the Ontario Legislature until October 4. For anyone not familiar with what it means to prorogue the Legislature, essentially it means that the Legislature’s summer break has been extended by about a month, and we will not be holding question period or voting on bills during this period of time.
 
While the Ford government is saying that they’ve made this decision in order to wait until after the federal election to return, the reality is that in the midst of the fourth wave, we need to be back in the Legislature now. Sure, the federal election will have an impact on Ontario, but that doesn't mean that we should be waiting around. The Ford government are abdicating their responsibility to Ontarians once again.
 
We should be in the Legislature fighting for Ontarians. We need to be planning for the new school year, supporting our healthcare system, fighting for precarious workers and small business owners. Instead, we’re losing another three weeks of Legislative time, when we’ve already been out of the House since June.
 
This decision is unprecedented and appears to be an effort to hide the Ford government from view until after the federal election. While I’m sure Doug Ford won’t do it – I’m calling on this government to reverse this decision and bring back the Legislature next week as originally planned.
 
Just in case we needed to further strengthen the case for why the Legislature shouldn’t be closed right now, today, Ontario reported another 807 cases of COVID-19 (with over 65% of new cases in unvaccinated Ontarians), with 175 of those cases being found here in Toronto. Right now, there are 169 people in ICUs across Ontario, and of those, about 93% of those people are not fully vaccinated.
 
These new case numbers come on the heels of some sobering data from Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table, which has warned that if we are not able to get our vaccination rates over 85% - then we are at risk of another fall lockdown in Ontario.

This warning comes, as the science table’s modeling data is indicating that we’re on track right now to see a significant spike in cases in the fall unless we get more folks vaccinated.

Even with the Delta variant in our communities, unvaccinated people are six times more likely to have an asymptomatic case of COVID-19, 30 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 48 times more likely to end up in the ICU with COVID-19.

So let's all get vaccinated.
 
You can book your vaccination appointment here.
 
Here in our community, I’m happy to share that a group of six women from the Tichester Gardens Seniors Apartment Building has written a cookbook that will be raising money for ComKids, a charity that fights the digital divide, and provides laptops to children who need them. If you’re interested in buying a copy of their cookbook, you can email them at [email protected], and the cookbook costs just $15!
 
Finally, I covered the details of the new Ontario vaccine certificate program in my last newsletter. If you missed that and are looking for the details today, click here.
 
Have a great long weekend - and a happy Labour Day!

 

In Solidarity,

Jill 

 

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