Jill Andrew MPP, Toronto–St. Paul's

Government of Ontario

Monday Update - Coronavirus - May 25, 2020

Published on May 25, 2020

Dear Community,

I want to send a thank you to everyone in our community for keeping committed this weekend to respecting physical distancing measures in our parks. 

The scenes we saw from Trinity-Bellwoods Park were unacceptable. 

Unlike some who have tried to rationalize the behaviours we saw at Trinity-Bellwoods Park as the actions of youth or people just too cooped up who needed some fresh air - that does not fly - not when many children and youth have gotten the message and are practicing responsible physical distancing. I know that many of us do not have a backyard or balcony. Some of us do not have air conditioning and it painfully exposes some of the inequities many are facing during this pandemic.  

However, during this significant time which has literally meant life and death for too many Ontarians, 10,000 people in that park was unconscionable.

I was glad to know that we did not replicate these scenes in St. Paul's. I understand that as the weather keeps improving, the temptation to get out and spend time with our loved ones grows – but it’s my duty to remind everyone of just how important it is for us to maintain our physical distancing. Case numbers in Toronto are rising once again – and most of that new spread is occurring in community. Let’s not let temptation get the better of us – let’s stay focused on working together to put COVID-19 behind us.

We learned today that the provincial government will finally be taking over two private long-term care facilities that have been overrun with COVID-19.

For weeks now, the Ontario NDP has been calling for the provincial government to take over private homes that were in desperate need for support. The takeover of these two homes is overdue, and is still not enough. We need to continue to expand this program to ensure that residents of long-term care facilities across Ontario are getting every ounce of available support.

But it’s not enough to be getting help into long-term care homes, it is also vital that the government do more to track and prevent community spread of COVID-19. While the government has been setting targets, they’ve also been consistently missing them. In fact, across Ontario last week we averaged around 50% of our goal – testing just about 10,000 people a day – instead of the target number of 20,000. This is an abject failure and jeopardizes all of the reopening efforts we’re seeing across our province.

One of the main reasons that we have seen such low testing rates is because testing sites are not mobile. We need a plan to take our tests to the people that need them – static testing sites will never get our rates up the way that we need. We’ve been calling for mobile testing sites for some time now, and we need the government to act on this immediately to ensure that we’re able to quickly identify new cases of COVID-19 and do the contact tracing necessary to keep community spread to a minimum.

Finally, a piece of uplifting community news from our friends at Children’s Art Studio Inc, who have partnered with Wychwood Barns Sewing Studio to produce free masks for the community! I should note that these are not medical grade masks but are suitable for helping you protect others - and yourself. You can find the masks pinned on their unit door at the Wychwood Barns – and you are encouraged to grab one!

I want to send a deep thank you to everyone who is working on this project!

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew

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."

News and Updates 

Here are today’s new developments: 

 Here are some concerns the NDP is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:

Featured Art Submission

Alma Roussy
In their own words:

The title of this piece is "Euphoria in Kensington Market" inspired by the creative energy, the musicians and the personalities of Toronto. 

It is also my homage to the market, a unique place like no other.
If you can spot them, included are caricatures of well known Toronto musicians, Richard Underhill, Brownman, Rick Lazar, Steve Goof, David Rotundo and Michael Johnson. Also included are local personalties, Kitsch Lorraine and Martin Heath of the Cinecycle plus Toronto's unofficial mascot...the raccoon!
The piece is a black light work which takes on a glow in the dark, surrealistic look when the tube is on. Euphoria in Kensington Market is currently on display at Alma Art Studio, Artscape Wychwood Barns viewable by socially distanced appointment.

See Alma's Website Here