Government of Ontario

Chris Glover

MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Stay in the loop

Latest Update

Published on July 22, 2022

Dear Neighbours,

There is so much happening right now, so we’re putting out this update to keep you informed.

Stronger mayoral powers, the hospital staffing crisis and vaccines for children under five top the news list, and OSSFest and a number of music and art events top the Fun Things to Do list. 

Ford announced this week that he will be bringing forward legislation to give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa “strong mayor” powers. Although details have not been released, in the United States, “strong mayors” set the budget and have the ability to veto majority council decisions. The veto can only be overturned by a two-thirds majority council vote. 

I strongly oppose this proposal. We live in the fastest growing riding in the country – adding 10,000 new residents per year. The proposal would weaken the power of residents and the councillors we elect to have a say in the planning of our communities. There is no need for this change. Toronto is one of the most economically successful cities in North America, and much of that success is because of the decisions made by our council.

Democracy can be slow at times, but it leads to better decisions, as more perspectives are heard and it prevents power from being concentrated in the hands of the very few. 

Our hospitals are in a full-blown staffing crisis with emergency rooms being shut down because of staff shortages. The NDP has asked that the legislature be called back to deal with this crisis and to develop a long-term plan.

On the other hand, there is so much happening in our riding. Music lovers can check out the offerings at St. James Park, Ontario Place or Harbourfront this weekend. Art lovers can check out the CONTACT photography festival at the Bentway, AGO and other locations. See more Fun Things to Do.

As always, my office is here to help you with provincial services. Please reach out if we can be of assistance.

Stay well,


Latest News

Ontario Opens COVID-19 Vaccine to Children Under 5

Starting Thursday, July 28 at 8:00 am, parents and caregivers of children aged six months to under five years will be able to book appointments for the paediatric COVID-19 vaccine.

Immunocompromised youth aged 12 to 17 will also become eligible to schedule their second booster dose (fifth dose) if at least six months have passed since their first booster (fourth dose).

Health Canada recently approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for infants and preschoolers, marking the first vaccine approval for the age group in the country. The child-sized vaccine dose is one-quarter the size of the adult quantity.

Paediatric vaccines are being distributed across the province and will be available through public health unit clinics, as well as participating paediatricians, primary care providers and pharmacies. Appointments can be booked through the COVID-19 vaccination portal and the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, directly through public health units using their own booking system, participating primary care providers and paediatricians, as well as at participating pharmacies and Indigenous-led vaccination clinics.

Parents and caregivers with questions are encouraged to speak with their health care provider or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre to speak to a health specialist or visit COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service to book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids Registered Nurse.

We know a lot of parents would prefer to take their kids to their own family physicians or pediatrician’s office for this shot. But too many family physicians and pediatricians have not had a steady supply of vaccine doses, or have found it difficult to get information about if and when they’ll get doses for their patients. We’re calling on the Conservative government to urgently ship doses to all family physicians and pediatricians, and keep them coming.

Ontario Extends Paid Sick Leave Until March 2023

The Ontario government announced that it will be extending its COVID-19 Worker Protection Benefit until March 31, 2023. The province amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to require employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID‑19. Full details here.

Peggy Sattler, NDP MPP for London West, released the following statement in response to the government’s announcement on paid sick days:

“It’s cruel for Doug Ford to keep stringing workers along months at a time, never giving them enough paid sick days. At this point, he’s offered a maximum of three days to last a full three years. What happens if you’ve already used up those three days over the last two years? What happens if a worker or their child is sick with a non-COVID-related illness? This puts workers right back at square one, forcing them to choose between going to work sick and making coworkers and customers sick — or losing pay. And it subsidizes large profitable corporations that should be providing paid sick days but aren't. 

Workers deserve 10 permanent employer-paid annual sick days. The government should pass my Stay Home If You Are Sick Act as soon as the Legislature returns.” Sign the petition here.

Hospital Workers Demand Action on Staffing Crisis

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare and Canadian Union of Public Employees/Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE/OCHU) held a joint press conference announcing that they will be sending open letters to Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) demanding “full transparency and staff support to fix the worsening health human resource crisis in Ontario.”

The letter to OHA outlines five action items they want to see taken including:

  • Launching a website to disclose real-time staffing shortages at each hospital
  • Weekly public press conferences on the status of hospital management’s plans for uninterrupted care delivery and keeping emergency rooms open
  • Joint meetings with the new health minister to discuss retention and recruitment efforts on a quarterly basis
  • Ending the “misleading” OHA marketing campaign and using diverting advertising funds for care
  • Filling vacancies by ending the use of agency staff and eliminating the cap on mental health support for emotionally exhausted frontline hospital staff

A report recently released by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario revealed that the Ford government withheld $1.8 billion earmarked for health care as part of $7.2 billion in mid-year cuts for 2021-22.

NDP Finance critic Catherine Fife said the $7.2 billion in underspending is cuts by stealth. “In health care and education, people are begging for investment to attract, train, hire and retain the staff we desperately need,” said Fife. “It’s time to invest to rebuild and improve the public services we all count on.

Premier Considers Strong Mayor Plan for Toronto, Ottawa

Premier Doug Ford is considering legislating strong mayor powers for Toronto and Ottawa, similar to the executive authorities in many cities in the U.S. It is not yet clear exactly what powers the new legislation might grant the mayor, but he said that a two-thirds majority would be able to overrule the mayor at council.

In a motion on Thursday, Toronto City Council asked that the province consult with the city on governance ahead of any changes and grant it additional powers in a number of areas including traffic safety measures, planning and housing, cannabis and liquor licenses, and revenue-raising measures and budgeting.

While council asked the province to give it greater autonomy, it chose not to oppose a move toward a strong mayor system altogether, rejecting a motion that would have asked the province not to implement the system.

NDP Municipal Affairs critic Jeff Burch released the following statement on behalf of the Official Opposition:

“Why did Premier Doug Ford keep his Strong Mayor plan secret throughout the campaign? Why won’t he consult municipalities or the people they represent? It’s baffling that Ford is focused on giving two mayors more power, instead of working on giving municipalities support that would actually help people — like better funding for housing, public health, long-term care and transit.”

Toronto Housing Committee Calls for Renoviction Legislation

Toronto city council is considering a proposal to ask the Ontario government to prevent landlords from raising rent between tenants. The planning and housing committee says the province should introduce legislation that would end what is known as vacancy decontrol, which allows landlords to charge new tenants any amount they want for vacant units. Such a bill would help to protect tenants, preserve affordable housing and deter what is known as renovictions, which occur when landlords evict tenants illegitimately by saying they need to do renovations or repairs.

Currently, landlords are allowed to raise the rent by the provincial rent increase guideline, which is 2.5% for 2023. That’s the maximum a landlord can hike rents for most units during a year without the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board. But that guideline doesn't apply to vacant residential units. If landlords want to do major upgrades, they can apply to the board for approval to raise rents by more than the guideline permits.

The committee also wants council to ask the province:

  • To work with the city to look at existing legislation to protect tenants from renoviction as a result of maintenance, repair and renovation done by a landlord through a building permit.
  • To increase funding of the provincial Rental Housing Enforcement Unit to set up an after-hours emergency line for tenants or landlords, to add more inspectors, and to increase the frequency of site visits to investigate complaints.
  • To make the Landlord and Tenant Board more accessible to individuals and groups of tenants seeking reduction in rents when their rental units fall into disrepair.
  • To create a centralized data system and registry to register all rental properties in Toronto; and make the data available to the public.

Ontario NDP Housing Critic MPP Jessica Bell said the Ford government should immediately pass the NDP’s proposed Rent Stabilization Act, which would ensure that all tenants pay what the previous tenant paid. People in Ontario are in the middle of a housing crisis, and allowing landlords to hike the rent unchecked between tenants is a major contributor to driving up market rental prices. The NDP plans to retable the legislation in the coming session.

Toronto and Government of Canada Announce Non-profit Partners to Deliver 260 New Affordable Supportive Homes

On July 8, the City of Toronto and Government of Canada announced support for non-profit partners to rapidly deliver 260 new affordable and supportive homes in Toronto. Full details here.

The projects announced are being led by:

  • St. Felix Centre, 25 Augusta Ave. (Ward 10)
  • Wigwamen Incorporated, 525 Markham Rd.
  • Akwa Honsta Non-Profit Aboriginal Homes, 136 Kingston Rd.
  • St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society, 1120 Ossington Ave.
  • Canadian Helen Keller Centre, 150 Eighth St.
  • WoodGreen Community Housing, 60 Bowden St. and 1080 Queen St. E.

Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) funding will enable the rapid creation of new supportive and affordable homes, and two-thirds of the homes also will provide wraparound support services and be prioritized for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Two projects being led by Wigwamen and Akwa Honsta will create 86 deeply affordable homes for Indigenous peoples and reflect the City of Toronto’s earlier commitment to allocate more than 20% of its total RHI Phase 2 funding to Indigenous-led developments. In addition, more than 40 per cent of the new homes will be prioritized for women-led households.

Statistics Canada Releases New Census Data

Statistics Canada has released new findings from the 2021 Census that is now available online at www.statcan.gc.ca/census and includes data insights on Canada’s families, households and marital status; Canadian military experience; and income.

StatsCAN, the agency’s newest mobile application, is a new tool that will allow you to access data and is now available and free to download.

Ontario Announces New Cabinet

The Ontario Government recently announced the new cabinet, as follows:

  • Doug Ford, premier
  • Sylvia Jones, minister of health and deputy premier
  • Peter Bethlenfalvy, minister of finance
  • Paul Calandra, minister of long-term care, minister of legislative affairs and government house leader
  • Raymond Cho, minister for seniors and accessibility
  • Steve Clark, minister of municipal affairs and housing
  • Doug Downey, attorney general
  • Jill Dunlop, minister of colleges and universities
  • Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade
  • Michael Ford, minister of citizenship and multiculturalism
  • Merrilee Fullerton, minister of children, community and social services
  • Parm Gill, minister of red tape reduction
  • Michael Kerzner, solicitor general
  • Stephen Lecce, minister of education
  • Neil Lumsden, minister of tourism, culture and sport
  • Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development
  • Caroline Mulroney, minister of transportation and minister of Francophone affairs
  • David Piccini, minister of the environment, conservation and parks
  • Graydon Smith, minister of natural resources and forestry
  • George Pirie, minister of mines
  • Kaleed Rasheed, minister of public and business service delivery
  • Greg Rickford, minister of northern development and minister of Indigenous affairs
  • Prabmeet Sarkaria, president of the treasury board
  • Todd Smith, minister of energy
  • Kinga Surma, minister of infrastructure
  • Lisa Thompson, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs
  • Stan Cho, associate minister of transportation
  • Michael Parsa, associate minister of housing
  • Michael Tibollo, associate minister of mental health and addictions
  • Charmaine Williams, associate minister of women's social and economic opportunity

My NDP colleagues and I in the Official Opposition will call on the cabinet to table a new budget that stops the $2.7 billion in cuts currently in their plan. The NDP wants a budget that invests in hiring tens of thousands of health care workers, makes class sizes smaller and scraps Bill 124 so people can afford the painful costs of inflation, among other changes.

Official Opposition Announces NDP Deputy Leaders, Critics 

Interim NDP Leader Peter Tabuns has laid out critic portfolios and additional key roles for the Official Opposition. Rather than matching critic portfolios directly to government ministers, Tabuns assigned members critic portfolios to respond to the needs and concerns of families across Ontario, including affordability, housing, anti-racism, mental health and addictions, the climate crisis, long-term care and more. 

NDP 2022 critic and house duties list:

Peter Tabuns, Interim Leader, Intergovernmental Affairs, Energy and the Climate Crisis

Jill Andrew, Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity, Culture, Heritage

Teresa Armstrong, Affordability, Pensions

Doly Begum, Deputy Leader, Immigration Services, International Credentials

Jessica Bell, Housing

Guy Bourgouin, Francophone Affairs, Forestry

Jeff Burch, Caucus Chair, Municipal Affairs

Catherine Fife, Finance, Treasury Board

Jennifer French, Transportation - Highways, Infrastructure

Wayne Gates, Long-Term Care, Retirement Homes and Home Care

France Gélinas, Health

Chris Glover, Small Business, Tech Development and Innovation

Lisa Gretzky, Deputy House Leader, Mental Health and Addictions

Joel Harden, Transportation - Transit & Active Transportation

Andrea Horwath, Ethics and Accountability

Bhutila Karpoche, Child Care, Early Childhood Development, GTA Issues

Terence Kernaghan, Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Laura Mae Lindo, Colleges and Universities, Anti-Racism and Equity

Sol Mamakwa, Deputy Leader, Indigenous and Treaty Relations, Northern Development

Michael Mantha, Deputy Whip, Natural Resources, Mines, Ring of Fire

Chandra Pasma, Poverty and Homelessness Reduction

Tom Rakocevic, Consumer Protection, Auto Insurance

Peggy Sattler, House Leader, Democratic Reform

Sandy Shaw, Environment, Conservation and Parks

Jennie Stevens, Sports, Tourism, Veterans, Legion and Military Affairs

Marit Stiles, Education

Monique Taylor, Deputy Whip, Children, Community and Social Services

John Vanthof, Chief Whip, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Solicitor General

Lise Vaugeois, Seniors, Persons Living with Disabilities and Accessibility

Jamie West, Labour, Training and Skills Development

Kristyn Wong-Tam, Attorney General, 2SLGBTQ+ Issues

Toronto Announces New Affordable Housing Units

The City of Toronto has announced new affordable housing projects. The YMCA Vanauley Street Centre for Youth will build an addition that will create 31 new affordable housing units for youth. Details here.

There is another plan to build affordable housing, parkland and community services on City-owned sites at 260 Adelaide St. W. and 229 Richmond St. W. The revitalization of these properties includes:

  • 244 new affordable rental units
  • Re-located, state-of-the-art fire station and paramedic post
  • 10,000 sq/ft of community space
  • New 24,000 sq/ft public park

More details on this project are available here.

Toronto Announces New Parks

The City of Toronto has announced a plan for three new downtown parks, which include Bathurst Quay, a Rail Corridor Master Plan and University Avenue. Details of the three proposed projects include:

  • Bathurst Quay: A City-owned parking garage will be repurposed as the structural foundation for a new waterfront park in combination with a structure over part of the adjacent Portland Slip. Work is set to begin once the garage has closed with a park construction tender award in late 2026. The plan also includes a multimedia projection installation on the Canada Malting Company silos.
  • Rail Corridor Master Plan: This plan includes expanding public space over and adjacent to the rail corridors that run through downtown. The City says it will engage with property owners, Metrolinx and other stakeholders on a variety of project opportunities.
  • University Avenue: The City plans to turn this street into a continuous public green space connecting the Financial District, Health Science District and the University of Toronto.

In addition to these parks, there is also a plan to transform the parking lot located at 34 Hanna Ave. into a new public park in Liberty Village. More details here.

The Pierre Lassonde Family Foundation has donated $25 million to the City of Toronto to create a new free waterfront public art trail. Waterfront Toronto is building the parks, as part of the Port Lands Flood Protection Project. More details here.

Free Hospitality Program for ODSP/OW Recipients

Hospitality Career Pathways (HCP) is a free, hybrid  program for OW and ODSP recipients and is delivered in partnership with OTEC and is ideal for anyone 18 years and older, interested in working in the hospitality sector. A successful combination of onsite and online training - with job placements. This is an immersive 8-week work readiness program led by hospitality instructors who have real-world experience and knowledge to prepare participants for available roles with hotel and food services employers including Housekeeping/Room Attendant or Restaurant/Banquet Server. Call toll-free at 1-888-777-4982 or email [email protected] for more information.


Chris in the House

The legislature resumed on February 22 and I have been busy working on many issues. Below are some of my recent statements at Queen’s Park:

Affordable Housing

  • Rents in Toronto rose 14.5% in 2021. Those in non-rent-controlled buildings are facing rent increases of $500/month. To say that housing under the Ford government is unaffordable is a huge understatement. Watch my statement here.

Environment

  • In January, my daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! Becoming a grandparent has further put into perspective how urgently we need to act on the climate crisis so future generations can have a sustainable world to live in. Watch my statement here.

Ukraine

  • We need to do everything we can to support the people of Ukraine in these incredibly difficult times. Watch my statement here.

Reaching Out

Birthday & Anniversary Greetings:

My office sends out congratulatory scrolls to people across the riding to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones! If you have a birthday coming up in the family and you would like to request a scroll, please email us at [email protected].

Calling Local Artists:

If you are a local artist, we would love to share your work with the community by publishing it in my newsletter and on this website. If you’re interested in sharing your art, please email us at [email protected]. Art submitted must be accompanied by a short description (50 words or less). Thank you for sharing your work with us and our community.