I want to start by saying a huge thank you to everyone who joined me on Saturday night for my Education Town Hall on Facebook Live. We had a great turnout to hear from our guest speakers, MPP Marit Stiles, TCDSB Trustee Norm Di Pasqule, and TDSB Trustee Shelley Laskin. It was a very informative conversation on the many facets of our education system that have been affected by COVID-19. We also discussed many of the areas where education has needed additional supports well before this pandemic too. If you’re interested in catching the next Facebook Live Town Hall, make sure to like my Facebook Page Jill Andrew – MPP, Toronto-St. Paul’s so you’re notified when I’m live next!
The weather this weekend was genuinely gorgeous.
But while it’s been tempting to go hang out – it is important that we continue to limit the amount of time we’re spending outside – to reduce the chances of exposure to COVID-19 or the potential transmission of the infection. As new case numbers fall, we have to recognize that this is happening because of the physical distancing measures that are being taken. We must also remember that since Ontario is not yet at its optimal level of daily testing an entirely comprehensive picture remains illusive.
Please make sure that when you are going outside you are following all the necessary precautions – especially staying at least six feet away from anyone else. We also need to make sure we’re all washing our hands, not touching our facing, and supporting those in our community who need it the most.
Staying inside is going to get harder as summer approaches, but it’s vital that we don’t lose our focus on flattening the curve. Stay inside, save lives.
Next, today the NDP has released a plan to protect our agricultural sector across Ontario. The Ontario NDP is calling for a suite of safeguards to ensure agribusinesses can weather the COVID-19 storm – especially as we have not seen significant supports for this sector yet. Farmers have been hit hard by COVID-19, and it is vital that they get this support. One of the key things that we are calling for is urgent action to save the restaurant and hospitality sector, key customers for Ontario’s food producers. We are calling for a wide variety of supports and you can read a full press release on this issue by clicking here.
My office has also been hearing from people across the province who are working on the frontlines of COVID-19, and who are not receiving hazard pay. People who are working as medical lab technicians, for example are not receiving this extra pay.
We’re looking to find people in our community who are being affected by this to amplify the call to rectify this immediately. If you, or someone you know is in this situation, please make sure to reach out to my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-656-0943. I want to hear from you so that I can make your voice heard at Queen’s Park.
Finally, on a housekeeping note, I want to let everyone know that I am going to be moving to issuing newsletters three times per week instead of five. Newsletters will be coming out to the community on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We have heard your request with regards to the volume of daily news and are now trying this new model at least temporarily. As always, if you have a question or concern, you can reach out to my office at email@example.com!
Remember to connect with your loved ones in creative ways. Physical distancing does not have to mean emotional isolation. Try to stay strong everyone and please do stay safe.
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.
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
- Canada has pledged money to bolster international efforts to find a vaccine and treatment for COVID-19.
- Canada’s Health Minister is stressing to Canadians that the pandemic is not over, despite the fact some provinces are beginning to cautiously ease restrictions. Canada’s COVID-19 caseload today exceeded 60,000, she warned, and people mustn't slack on social distancing measures.
- Canada’s’ chief public health officer said the country’s new normal, post-pandemic, will have to include that working while sick is no longer acceptable, a norm she said governments and workplaces will have to support--In Ontario, the Ford government came to power and immediately rolled back labour laws by cancelling paid sick days.
- As Ontario eased restrictions on certain outdoor-based businesses today, garden centre operators are criticizing how the Ford government handled measures pertaining to their industry – the NDP has been calling on the Ford government to establish a clear, robust plan for reopening the economy and keeping workers safe.
Here are some concerns the NDP is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- The NDP is calling for a package of supports to ensure agribusinesses and rural economies in Ontario can weather the storm of COVID-19, noting that the the provincial government has left the farming industry and rural communities to fend for themselves.
- As Ontario contemplates reopening the economy, the NDP is calling on the Ford government’s Labour Minister to strengthen protections for workers who refuse to do unsafe work -- as reported by the Toronto Star, over 200 workers fearful of contracting COVID-19 at their workplace filed work refusals, yet the Ministry of Labour has not upheld a single one.
- The NDP is reiterating its call for Doug Ford to take urgent actions to protect Ontarians with disabilities and ensure they get through the pandemic safely, including a plan to conduct in-home testing for people with disabilities, and ensuring home care workers have proper PPE--so far, the Ford government has been silent on the issue.
Featured Art Submission
False Ghosts, Minor Fears
Click here: Listen to False Ghosts, Minor Fears!
Note: On Friday, we accidently including the wrong link for False Ghosts and Minor Fears! We have now corrected the link and I would encourage everyone to check out the project!