As we enter another weekend, we are taking another step towards September and the planned reopening of schools across Ontario. The concerns surrounding the government’s plan are seemingly endless, and school boards are now being forced to scramble and make their own plans without the full financial support they need from the government.
I have heard these fears from our community loud and clear, and in response I will be holding a one-on-one conversation with Education Critic Marit Stiles, who has been fighting tooth and nail for our students for many years. I will be hosting this conversation on Monday August 24th at 6:30PM, and you can tune in on Facebook Live or on my Twitter feed. The goal of this event is to have an open and transparent conversation about where we currently stand, and what we can do to ensure that our schools are as safe as possible.
You can RSVP here, and if you have a question that you would like to see answered, please email my office at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca.
Throughout COVID-19, we have all seen our local businesses go above and beyond to make sure we have everything we need. Sometimes overlooked are the convenience stores that we all know and love. In just over a week, we are going to be celebrating National Convenience Week, and I want to hear from you about your local store. I will go through each submission and will be working on certificates to celebrate their important contribution to our community.
Please email all submissions to my office at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca and include in the subject line “National Convenience Week”.
For many years, advocates have been calling on successive Ontario governments to address the unacceptable conditions in long-term care homes. However, when COVID-19 tore through our LTC homes, for the first time we saw just how dire the situation truly was. Just in Ontario we saw over 1800 LTC residents lose their lives to COVID-19, with the outcomes in privately operated LTC facilities consistently proving worse than their publicly operated counterparts.
As a result, in many cases for-profit long-term care homes were taken over by their local health authorities, or in some cases the Canadian Armed Forces, if they had proven unable to provide an adequate level of care. Until now, those homes have remained under control of those health authorities. Now, many of those for-profit operators are trying to regain control over the facilities – where their previous failures cost residents their lives.
We must not hand control of these homes back until we have completed a thorough investigation into what happened. Especially while COVID-19 is still very present in our communities, and the potential for a second wave looms heavily over all of us. I am proud to join Andrea Horwath in calling upon the Ford government to ensure that we do not hand over any of these homes until all investigations have been completed.
Globally, we are seeing cases of COVID-19 spike across Europe as France, Germany, Italy, and more are seeing their new daily cases rise back to levels not seen in months. This should serve as a sober reminder to us here in Canada that COVID-19 is not yet behind us. If we don’t remain vigilant, we could absolutely see another spike in cases, especially as we open our communities back up further and further.
With that said, the truth is that if we all continue to take the simple steps that we need to stay safe, we can do a great deal to limit the spread of COVID-19. We all still need to be wearing our masks, washing our hands frequently, and only physically contacting those people in our bubbles of 10. While I understand the desperate urge for normalcy, we need to continue to embrace all the mechanisms we can that will limit the spread of COVID-19.
Finally, today, I would like to remind everyone that all four Community Food Tables will be back up and running tomorrow! You can find your nearest food table by scrolling down in this email!
Table Locations for Saturday August 22
729 St. Clair Ave W ( located at St. Clair West and Rushton)
Oriole Park Community Garden from 11am to 3pm
201 Oriole Parkway (near Frobisher and Lascelles)
Cy Townsend Park from 11am to 3pm
455 Winona Drive (corner of Vaughan and Winona)
Marian Engel Park from 11am to 1pm
285 Melita Ave (just west off of Christie)
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. And if you should decide to share your video on social media do tag us @JillsLastWord on Twitter and Jill Andrew - MPP, Toronto-St. Paul's on Facebook.
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."