Jill Andrew MPP, Toronto–St. Paul's

Government of Ontario

Wednesday Update - Coronavirus - May 6, 2020

Published on May 6, 2020

Dear Community,

As you may know, the Ontario government is working towards opening more businesses back up, and this week they have started to do so. While of course it is exciting to see some of our favourite stores and shops re-opening to the public, these measures must be accompanied with a significant increase in testing across Ontario. Ever since the Premier announced his testing targets, the provincial government has fallen short of those goals. Without high levels of testing, we will not have the full picture of COVID-19 in Ontario, and further, it will be difficult to track a spike in cases that could be caused by a preemptive reopening of our economy.  

Don’t get me wrong, I want our businesses to be open but we need to do so responsibly. So if you are going to any local businesses re-opening, please make sure that you are doing so with caution and care.

This week is education week, and this year our students, parents, educators, and education workers are facing extraordinary circumstances. I want to take a minute to thank everyone who has stepped up in this incredibly difficult time to make sure that our students are still learning. We’ve all needed to adapt to the realities of COVID-19, and our education workers are working hard to ensure our students remain connected as best they can to their favourite educators and caring adults during this difficult time. I am deeply thankful to everyone working hard for our students during this time!

And while there are people working to keep our society moving forward in a positive direction, we have also seen some disturbing trends that must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Specifically, I am speaking about the rise in anti-Chinese and anti-Asian racism. As a country and as a province, we must do better. We are all Ontarians, and we must stand united against racism whenever it appears in our society.

One organization in our community that does an incredible job of bringing people together is Art Starts. For many years, they have provided space and programming for people in our community to express themselves artistically and connect as a community. In light of COVID-19, they are stepping up again. This time they are turning their focus to seniors in Toronto, with a wonderful program named the Seniors Animation Program. They are offering 16 FREE workshops that will use animation techniques to explore topics and issues affecting today’s senior population.

In more good news, community gardens will be starting to open in Toronto this week! The city has indicated that they will be opening on a ‘location-by-location basis’. Our community is of course home to many community gardens that produce affordable food for our community. I want to encourage everyone who will be going to one of our many community gardens (we have 14 in St.Paul's!)  to make sure that you are staying cognizant of all physical distancing rules. If you want to find a community garden near you, you can explore the City of Toronto website for the full listings.

I would like to issue another reminder that it is crucial that we continue to follow all directives issued by our public health experts. That means keeping our physical distance from one another, washing our hands regularly, and doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Finally, I would like to send another reminder that my update emails will now be coming on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as we try a new model based on feedback from you.

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.

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

Art Starts

In their own words:

Explore the art of storytelling through the use of stop-motion animation!

North York Arts and the Toronto Animation Image Society have teamed up to present the Seniors Animation Program. Over the course of 16 FREE workshops (6 online in the spring and 10 in-person in the fall), participants will use digital animation techniques to explore topics and issues affecting today’s senior population. 

This program is a chance to connect with peers, channel your creative expression, and develop your digital literacy.

Please see below for more details on workshop groups, dates, times, locations, and prerequisites.