Let’s start with some good news. Today it has been reported that Ontario has diagnosed 102 new cases of COVID-19, which is the lowest number of new cases since late March. On top of that, 19 of the 34 public health units across Ontario reported no new cases at all. This continues the trend of declining cases across our province and should come as welcome news to everyone. This decline in cases is a result of our collective efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and we should take these positive developments as a sign that our precautions are working, not that we no longer need them.
That means that we are wearing masks while we are in public, washing our hands as often as possible, and keeping to a tight social bubble of ten.
These precautions are going to be vital as we continue to reopen our province. While we will soon be able to return to restaurants and other establishments, we must remain vigilant. Across the world, we are seeing jurisdictions that have reopened too aggressively, then being forced to close once again. We all have a role to play to make this reopening as safe as possible.
One part of our community where we need to see a great deal of action from this government is around education. Right now, we are hearing from school boards across Ontario that they have not received the direction that they need from the Ford government. They have been sitting on their hands instead of taking action, and that needs to change. Yesterday, your Official Opposition released an emergency plan for reopening schools, and I would implore this government to give it a look.
Key to a safe reopening is the increased funding necessary to let our schools hire the additional staff that will be necessary to operate smaller classrooms safely. We’re also going to need to invest in school upgrades and ensure that there is childcare available for educators themselves. It must be said that it isn’t too late to implement our plan – but the government needs to start acting soon.
Yesterday at Queen’s Park I was able to speak to two important items in the Legislature. First, I introduced a petition that was put together by Sandra Battaglini and the Canadian Association of Stand-Up Comedians – to officially recognize Comedy as Art in Ontario. For many comedians, the lack of recognition is far more than a simple slight, rather it means that they are not able to access all sorts of funding that is specifically designated for artists. This makes it incredibly difficult for comedians to make ends meet and turn their passion into a career.
I was thrilled to be able to introduce the petition and I would encourage everyone to take a moment to add your name to our campaign here.
I also had the opportunity to speak against Bill 159, a bill introduced by the government regarding consumer protections in Ontario. While the bill is a technical piece of legislation, here is what you need to know:
This bill fails completely to reign in the Tarion Warranty Corporation that has left many homeowners without the support they were promised when it came time to file a claim. For years, Tarion has been the subject of well-deserved scrutiny, and it’s vital that we don’t lose this opportunity to reform the organization fully. Thankfully, MPP Tom Rakocevic has introduced a fantastic piece of legislation that would make a real impact by tearing down and rebuilding our broken system. To see my speech on this issue, click here.
Finally, I’m excited to share with you a special message from a key community leader in Toronto-St. Paul’s, Bob Charendoff. Bob has helped lead the Holy Blossom Out of the Cold for many years and has played a key role in supporting those who are living rough all that time.
This Saturday night at 8:00 p.m., tune in on Facebook Live as you “Stay Home for Homelessness”: a Concert Event featuring Kenny Munshaw (live from his living room in Savannah, Georgia), in support of Seeds of Hope, and their continuing efforts to feed and clothe those experiencing poverty and homelessness, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.
There is no cost to join in for this wonderful evening of music and giving… just click here to go to the event page, and indicate that you’re going to attend. Kenny and his production crew are donating this performance so every cent raised, including sponsorship, will go directly to Seeds of Hope.
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."
Table Locations for Saturday July 18
729 St. Clair Ave W ( located at St. Clair West and Rushton)
Click here to volunteer at St. Matthew's
Oriole Park Community Garden from 11am to 3pm
201 Oriole Parkway (near Frobisher and Lascelles)
Click here to volunteer at Oriole Park
Vaughan and Winona from 11am to 3pm
529 Vaughan Road
Click here to volunteer at Vaughan and Winona
Marian Engel Park from 11am to 1pm
285 Melita Ave (just west off of Christie)
News and Updates
Here are today’s new developments:
- The Ford government announced it will alter the funding formula for long-term care construction, a move Andrea Horwath said will potentially put more public dollars into the corporations that have already failed seniors.
- The Ford government says it will require all new and newly renovated long-term care homes to have air conditioning, and establish a fund to help retrofit older homes - Andrea Horwath said private long-term care homes should not receive public money for AC, but should be forced to reinvest their massive profits.
- Changes have also been made to the guidelines around long-term care visits, which the we have been pushing for. Horwath said guidelines should be enforced safely and consistently across homes, and that we continue to press the government to invest in hiring more staff.
- To overhaul the broken long-term system, Horwath said, the government must commit to hiring more staff, raising PSW wages and giving them full-time jobs and getting the profits out of long-term care.
- Andrea Horwath and Joel Harden will host a telephone town hall on the problems facing Ottawa's long-term care sector this evening.
- Sandy Shaw, said the government is failing businesses by not enforcing the ban on commercial evictions.
Neighbourhood Colouring Book