I want to start by sending out my support to every member of this community. Things are hard right now for many of us, and we will be going through even more difficult times before things start to turn the corner.
But rest assured - we will get through this - those brighter days are coming.
One thing that many of us are facing right now is grief, and because of that, I’ve partnered up with a member of our community named Rachelle Bensoussan who is the co-founder of ‘being here, human’. Rachelle and her organization provide grief literacy training that provides people with the skills they need to cope with their grief.
This training will be free and happening online this Saturday at 7PM. If you are interested in attending online click on one of the links below for more information.
News and Daily Updates
Here are today’s new developments:
- Canadians can start applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) on April 6. The benefit provides about $2,000/month to Canadians who have lost work or wages during the pandemic.
- Ontario's chief medical officer of health stressed that anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is suspected of having it, and/or lives with someone who has COVID-19 or may have it, must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days.
Here are some concerns the NDP is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- Andrea Horwath wrote a letter to the premier asking him to reconsider what businesses are “essential” – especially in the construction industry.
- Andrea Horwath and the NDP today urged the Ontario government to step up support for health care workers, who desperately need better protection and more resources.
The NDP's six-point package of solutions include a call to:
- Issue an emergency order to ensure health care workers can have personal protective equipment, and legally protect the right for workers to determine whether they require equipment like masks in any given scenario.
- Issue an emergency order to require all organizations to donate ppes not being used
- Hike Personal Support Worker (PSW) pay to $22, and aggressively ramp up efforts to get staff into home care or long-term care homes, as well as a retention fund for PSWs. (Many have left the field due to chronic underpaying and understaffing).
- Invest $5 million to provide health care workers with round-the-clock emergency mental health supports
- Scale up child care centres for health care workers and locate them near hospitals, assessment centres and other health care facilities
- Cancel all parking fees at hospitals and other health care facilities
Here are some things we’re hearing from our community members:
Some folks continue to receive eviction notices or threats of eviction. (The NDP has called for an 80% rent support, and a legal ban on evictions and threats of evictions during the pandemic)
We received a message today highlighting a project that is being led by some students from OCAD to documents and promote mental wellness during isolation. I want to share this with all of you.
For accurate information on COVID-19 - Public Health Agencies are the best sources.
Find them here:
Canadian Public Health
Public Health Ontario
Toronto Public Health
Find Mental Health Supports
Other Key Contacts and Resources
MP Carolyn Bennett
City Councillor Josh Matlow
TDSB Trustee Shelley Laskin
TCDSB Trustee Norm Di Pasquale
Nia Centre for the Arts
Ontario Ministry of Health
Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres
Ontario Arts Council
SPRINT Senior Care
Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts
Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
Toronto Community Housing
You can also find daily updates on my website