On Canada Day I acknowledge the land I live on is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.
Canada is a country born out of colonialism and we live with that legacy to this day, as we are reminded by the ongoing national disgrace of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and our nation's ongoing procrastination in this regard.
While we should take pride in our achievements and many of us do, all too often too many in Canada are unable to access resources when in need. There is no excuse for people to be unsure where their next meal will come from in one of the richest countries in the world or where they will lay their head.
To me, the best way to show love of our country is to demand better of it. Recent protests against anti-Black and Indigenous racism are a wake-up call to a reality many of us know all too well.
As many celebrate Canada today may we think of the Canada we all deserve. We must fully reckon with Canada's past and we must all commit to actions rooted in the dismantling of systemic oppression in all our institutions. We must all acknowledge both the traumas and triumphs of Canada and remember they are inextricably linked.
In a major update, yesterday Toronto City Council voted to make the wearing of masks mandatory while in indoor, public spaces. This new bylaw will come into effect July 7 and will remain in effect until council meets again in the fall. The bylaw means that while you are in spaces such as restaurants or grocery stores, you will be required to wear a mask. It does not apply to workplaces that are not open to the public or childcare centres. I am in full support of this new bylaw, and I am encouraging everyone to be wearing masks while out in public. Masks play a key role in limiting the spread of COVID-19, especially among those who are asymptomatic and contagious.
Yesterday, it was also announced that Canada’s ban on foreign travellers will be extended until the end of July. This means that most travel into Canada by non-Canadian residents is not allowed. There are some exceptions, including essential travel from the United States. The extension of this order signals the continued concerns across the country about the spread of COVID-19, especially as we have seen it’s continued spread across the world. Globally, new cases of COVID-19 continue to trend upwards, and it offers us a stark reminder of the continued dangers presented by COVID-19.
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."
I spent this morning picking cherries at the Ben Noblemen Park Community Garden with some incredible members of our community.
I want to send a huge shout out to Susan Poizner and Lynn Nicholas for their tireless leadership and dedication to the community garden, as well as to all the volunteers who came out today.
The harvest went so well that we were able to share the cherries with two incredible organizations in our community, Na-Me-Res and Humewood House.
News and Updates
Here are today’s new developments:
- After Ford declined the urging of GTHA mayors to make mask mandatory in indoor public places, the municipalities moved to use their power on mandatory mask wearing.
- Toronto city council has approved a report by the city’s medical officer of health to make masks and face coverings mandatory in enclosed public places.
- Peel Region mayors and health officials announced making masks mandatory in all commercial and indoor public spaces.
- And while Ford continues to fail migrant workers and forcing them to work while sick with COVID-19, Huron Perth public health ordered employers of migrant farm workers to follow public-health guidelines.
- We have been urging the Ford government to better protect migrant workers by ensuring PPE, paid sick days for workers and alternate accommodations in which to self-isolate.
- Andrea Horwath also called on the federal government to take action on the Ford government’s failure to protect migrant workers and stop the spread in agricultural operations
- Air Canada has indefinitely suspended direct flights between Ottawa and five other Canadian destinations due to the pandemic. The airline is also suspending all service in and out of Norman Rogers Airport in Kingston, Ont.
- Andrea Horwath will host a virtual summit Thursday to discuss transforming long-term care and home care; a critical step towards building the 2022 vision for a better life for Ontarians as they age. Over 500 participants have registered for this historic summit.