Today we’ve passed a very difficult milestone as a nation, as we have recorded our 1000th death due to COVID-19. Right now, the days could seem very dark, but while there is darkness, there is also progress. We have seen a stabilization of new cases nationally and it looks as though the physical distancing measures being taken by so many are having a real impact on the spread of this virus.
It is for that reason that it is now more important than ever for our entire community to stay focused on what we can do to keep the spread of COVID-19 down. Support the vulnerable, stay inside unless it is essential, and wash your hands regularly.
These simple tasks will save lives.
In the last few weeks, the number of calls and emails to my office has increased exponentially compared to what we see in normal times – with questions pouring in from across the riding about the services that are being offered, what’s happening for renters, the response from the province and more.
In order to address as many of your questions as possible, I have organized a Digital Town Hall that will be happening this Saturday at 7PM through Facebook Live. If you have a question that you would like answered, you can submit it through my website at jillandrewmpp.ca/questions or by emailing my office at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “QUESTION RE: Digital Town Hall”.
We ask that you submit your question by Friday at 12PM.
Stay strong everyone, we’re going to get through this.
If you have a positive story from our community OR a virtual event you're hosting that you want amplified, please email us at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca.
Birthday, Anniversary Greetings
During normal times, my office sends out congratulatory scrolls to folks across the riding to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones! While we're taking physical distancing measures, I will be continuing this digitally. If you have a birthday coming up in the family and you would like a special video message from me, please email us at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca.
Calling Local Artists
If you are local artist, and you have a piece of work that you’ve been putting time into, we would love to share it with the community! We know that #ArtsSavesLives and minds especially during traumatic times. If you’re interested in sharing your art please email us at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca
ALL art submitted MUST be accompanied by a short artists statement (50 words or less) to help contextualize the art. Additionally, there are no guarantees that submissions will be included in the newsletter. Thank you for sharing your work with us and our community."
REMINDER: Toronto-St. Paul's Digital Town Hall
Happening Saturday April 18th at 7PM.
News and Updates
Criteria to qualify for the federal CERB will now include those earning less than $1,000 per month – changes aimed at helping contract, gig and seasonal workers, plus those running out of EI.
A CBC investigation finds that last year, the Ford government scaled back inspections at long-term care (LTC) homes, so only nine of Ontario’s 626 homes got a proper inspection.
Ontario put out new rules intended to limit staff who work at long-term care (LTC) facilities to work at just one home, but they don’t come into effect for a full week (not until April 22), and contain a dangerous loophole, allowing temp agency LTC workers to continue working at multiple locations.
Andrea Horwath stressed: “Workers from temp agencies make up a significant part of long-term care staffing, as a result of a staffing crisis. Restrictions much tighter than these should have been put in place weeks ago. We cannot waste a second now, and we cannot allow this government to leave huge loopholes open.
What we’re working on:The NDP is calling out troubling guidelines put out by the Ontario government’s Ministry of Health for health care workers returning to work after testing positive for COVID-19, which allow staff who have the virus but are asymptomatic to return to work.
The NDP is calling for the Ford government to eliminate the massive loophole in its rules for LTC workers, and put in place tighter restrictions to protect LTC workers and staff are tighter.
“The government has to fix the problem that years of underfunding and neglect in long-term care has created: pay workers decently, give them full-time hours, and ban them from working at a second facility, no exceptions," said Horwath in a statement.
Here are some things we’re hearing from our community members:
Concerns about the state of long-term care and seniors homes before COVID-19 — a problem the NDP has been raising for years.
Ongoing concerns about small businesses that are failing — through no fault of their own — because there is no provincial support in place for expenses like commercial rent.
Resource Highlight - 211 Ontario
211 Ontario has compiled an incredible list of local resources and programs for anyone who has been impacted by COVID-19. They are now set up to be a primary source of information for government and community based social services.
You can check out what they have to offer here: www.211oncovid19.ca/
Featured Art Submission