I want to start today by sending my deepest thanks to our health care workers, especially our nurses and PSWs who are predominantly women and racialized women at that and our caregivers.
Today is #WorldHealthDay.
In this historical moment more than ever, we can see the true importance of a why a robust, fully funded and resourced health care system should never be a luxury. It is a necessity, a human right and something that each and every Ontarian should be able to access when facing a health challenge or when fighting as a health care hero to save someone's life.
Each and every healthcare worker and caregiver should be able to trust in the health system to provide the supports they need to get this incredibly important job done comprehensively with care and compassion at the center. We collectively thank you for your selflessness during this time.
For those of us who have not been labelled as essential workers our role now could not be any more essential! Our role is to stay inside as much as possible, keep practicing our physical distancing and hand-washing to ensure we do our part to keep our community safe as best we can.
We are also approaching some very important holidays in our calendar, with Passover and Easter right around the corner. I know that this will be difficult for many of us as we won't be able to spend time with many of our families and loved ones in person as we usually would. We must stick together on this and hold on to the hope that if we continue to get this right we will be around to acknowledge, honour and celebrate another Passover and Easter with our loved ones. We must also during these difficult times continue to give thanks for what we DO have recognizing that there are individuals in Ontario - in our riding - without families, without homes and without regular meals.
I am inspired to see many families, faith leaders and community members taking workship and their acknowledgement of Passover and Easter online. In tomorrow's newsletter we will provide some links to Passover and Easter weekend faith observances you may want to attend remotely.
To end there is some good news as well to share with your little ones: we also learned today that the Easter Bunny has been declared an essential service so the egg hunt in your home is cleared to proceed!
Hang in there everyone – we’re going to see the other side of this pandemic. We must.
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
After a contentious order by Trump to halt exports of N95 respirators to Canada, Minnesota-based medical mask manufacturer 3M struck an agreement with the White House to allow its continued export of N95s and other PPEs to Canada -- Trudeau said 500,000 masks from 3M should arrive tomorrow.
Still, Doug Ford warned Ontarians that the province is low on PPEs for health care workers, saying the province can't rely on the global supply chain--Ontario companies that can do so have been encouraged to retool their supply chains to help meet this need.
The province also launched an online portal to match skilled health care workers currently not employed in the system with employers.
What we're working on
Andrea Horwath held a press conference today, calling on the Ford government to make major changes and investments in long-term care and home-care to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 amongst our most vulnerable seniors--to date, there have been at least 36 outbreaks in Ontario's long-term care homes.
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 non-profits.
Here are some things we’re hearing from our community members:
Families with relatives in long-term care may be grappling with the difficult decision to remove their loved one from care.
With Ontario limiting prescription refills to 30-day supplies during the pandemic, some Ontarians--seniors especially--are worried about being able to afford the more frequent dispensing fees. The NDP is calling on the Ford government to cancel and cover the prescription drug co-payments required of seniors during the pandemic.
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.