So many people in our community are working hard to protect us right now. Now, perhaps more than ever, we can see the true ecosystem in our community and that we all have a distinct role to play to keep our community healthy and safe.
I want to send my deepest thanks to everyone working in an essential service. From the health care workers to the grocery store staff – I want you to know that you have our entire community’s deepest gratitude for the work that you’re doing every day.
I also want to send a message of support to everyone who is staying at home right now, physically distancing to flatten the curve. What you’re doing is not without its own challenges, and I want to thank you for taking those challenges on in order to keep us all safe. Staying home will save lives.
We are going to be in for few very tough 12 weeks ahead, with the death toll from this pandemic set to rise. But we’re going to get through this. If you need support, it’s important that you know that it is out there for you. Every day there are new groups forming and new programs emerging, with members of our community taking a stand as one to ensure that no one is left behind.
Finally, I'd like to send a special thanks to 'being here, human' for delivering a powerful workshop in grief and grieving which left us all with invaluable tools to navigate the experiences of loss many of us are dealing with.
Stay strong everyone,
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
News and Updates
Canadian Emergency Response Benefit Launches
Canadians out of work due to COVID-19 can finally apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), amid criticism that this benefit doesn't cover enough workers. The program is expected to be adjusted in the coming days.
Wearing a homemade or makeshift mask (as opposed to an N95 mask, reserved for frontline health workers) could be a good idea when in close contact with others, like at the grocery store or on transit, Canada's top doctor said today--this shouldn't replace social distancing and frequent hand-washing, and Canadians should continue staying home unless absolutely necessary.
Shortage of N95s
Despite assurances from the Ford government that more protective masks for health care workers are on their way, today Ford said Ontario is in danger of running out of masks and other personal protective equipment by next week (the NDP has been calling for Ontario to step up support for health care workers regarding issues like PPEs). Trump's directive to ban U.S. exports of N95 masks reportedly caused the blockage of three or four million masks bound for Canada from supplier 3M, though Ford said he's heard 500,000 of those masks are still on their way.
Save Main Street
Andrea Horwath launched the NDP's Save Main Street proposal Sunday, a plan to keep small and medium-sized businesses afloat, with greater supports for companies, charities and community-based nonprofits.
The NDP is calling on the Ford government to cancel and cover the prescription drug co-payments required of seniors during the COVID-19 crisis.
“No senior in Ontario should have to skip their pills or skimp on food as a result of the pandemic,” said Horwath. “But if seniors have to pay for each prescription each month, some of them will be forced to make difficult choices."
Birthday and 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, MPP Andrew will be continuing this digitally. If you have a birthday coming up in the family and you would like a special video message from Jill, please email us at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca.
Community Phone Bank
My office is helping organize a phone tree of volunteers to call around and check in on folks in our community. This program should be up and running in the next couple weeks. If you're interested in participating please email JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca.
While most Ontarians are working hard to flatten the curve by staying home, we’re still hearing concerns that non-essential gatherings and work continues.