Jill Andrew MPP, Toronto–St. Paul's

Government of Ontario

Daily Update - Coronavirus - March 31, 2020

Published on March 31, 2020

Dear Community,

I want to start by saying how proud I am of the many members of our community who are stepping up each day to support one another as we make our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Right now, we’re in a tumultuous and stressful time, and it is my hope to be able to provide you some sense of comfort and calm with these daily bulletins. While the future is largely unknown, what we do know is that we can also count on our community to come together in times of great need.

Throughout this pandemic we’ve seen rapid rule changes and policy direction – and I want to thank everyone for their continued vigilance and diligence in adhering to the new directives as they come down.

As always, I want to remind everyone of the vital importance of physical distancing, staying in if you can, and supporting one another – as I know you will.

Stay strong,

Jill Andrew

 

I want to highlight today an excellent poem by a member of our community named Honey Novick. Honey entered this poem in the Black Futures on Eglinton Poetry Contest – looking for an epic poem that represented our community. Honey placed in the top four!

 

Eglinton Avenue West – My Neighbourhood

By: Honey Novick

 

"Darling, you are my shining star

don't you go away"

 

I first heard the words to this song somewhere

a long time ago

but needed to hear it again and again

I needed to sing it for the children

I needed to sing it with the children

 

one balmy evening, Heather and I

drove north to Eglinton Avenue West

we were in search of a recording of this song,

an LP, 78 rpm, 33rpm

and we find it, a long play, in a Jamaican music store

I bought it

played it over and over

and wore it out

 

when the time came to leave Bellwoods,

I came to Oakwood and Eglinton

found a place nearby

I was in "happyland" - close to where I could buy

veggie patties -  peppery and good

sorrel leaves

limacol

and I was happy

here, I could remember Jamaica and my friend

who died of AIDS.  This friend asked me to go

to Montego Bay, find the water's edge

say the daimoku, for him

(the invocation of the law of cause and effect)

because he couldn't

and in time I did do exactly that

 

Bluma Appel heard this story,

from where or whom, I don't know

and one day, in the mail, a raised-gold leaf envelope

and invitation came,

a ceremony honouring friends and family of those

whose lives were taken by AIDS was being held

at Ontario's Parliament Buildings

Maurice and I went, the town crier called us in

very British, pomp and circumstance

and humbling

 

when I came north to settle in my new home

I walked the streets of memories and new beginnings

one day I drove north, turning right off of Oakwood

onto Eglinton and it is traffic-jammed

it is a big city vibe

 

was it my imagination?  was that a bullet flying by?

it didn't hit me and it didn't hurt me physically

but I was seared

and commented to my friend Clifton

but he looked at me deeply

and said nothing

what could he say?

would this be an issue to scare me away from the neighbourhood?

this would be a deciding factor - my choice of what to do

and so I did nothing except heal

it is hurtful to know that there are some people who can't see the consequences

of a loaded gun

i don't navigate anywhere near gun culture

I realize

bullets are man made

it is the man - the hu-man

that I have to live with

and so i looked deep inside me

and felt a hurt that was my hurt

and wasn't my hurt, at the same time

I believe with all my heart that people are good

everywhere, except when they're not

and that all of life is a crap shoot

live it

and that's what I did

I stayed in the "hood"

and ate in the hood and shopped in the hood

buying colourful, flowing clothes

and was happy smelling memories

and knowing new beginnings are seeds

that have sprouted and need to be nurtured

this is my community

this music beats in my blood

this spirit is my teacher

this world is what I make of it

 

School Closures Extended

It was announced today that school’s in Ontario will be closed until at least May. The door has also been left open to extending that deadline as we see how COVID-19 progresses. The government has also announced a new plan for online learning for students. Students will receive varying workloads depending on their grade.

Grades K-3

Five hours per week

Grades 4-6

Five hours per week

Grades 7-8

Ten hours per week

Grades 9-12

Three hours per course each week (Semestered)

One and a half hours per course each week (Non-Semestered)

 

For more information:

https://globalnews.ca/news/6755700/coronavirus-ford-government-e-learning-covid-19/

 

City of Toronto Cancels All Event Permits Until June 30th

Today, the City of Toronto announced the cancellation of all mass events in Toronto through June 30th. This is in compliance with the directive from the province to limit all gatherings to a maximum of five people.

Cancelled event include the Pride Parade and many street festivals that are currently planned. For our local community this leaves the door open to Salsa on St. Clair (currently scheduled for July 4th and 5th), but we would not be surprised if this event also isn’t able to go forward.

For more information:

https://www.toronto.ca/home/media-room/news-releases-media-advisories/?datemin=01/07/2020&type=Public%20Health&nrkey=014C0AD0DE2D2ABC8525853C007119F0

 

Ottawa Announces $2B in Funding for Supplies

Ottawa has announced that the federal government will be spending $2B on supplies to help us battle COVID-19. These supplies will be used to purchase things like ventilators, personal protective equipment for health care workers and diagnostic testing. This money is going to be rolling out immediately and these supplies should be shipping within days.

For more information:

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/pm-trudeau-says-more-medical-supplies-coming-in-days-as-industry-retools-1.4875690