This week has seen a mix of good and bad news. One concern is that two thirds of Toronto small businesses report that they will not survive three months of the pandemic. Our Save Main Street Town Hall brings together business owners and those who want to support local business with John Kiru, Executive Director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas. Join us Monday evening at 7:00 pm by clicking here.
Tenants are also in need of support. With May 1st just around the corner, many tenants are unable to pay their rent. Please sign the petition to support an 80% subsidy for renters.
Some positive news is that the stay-at-home measures we are taking are flattening the curve and saving lives. On the other hand, we have learned that COVID-19 has swept through the Mon Sheong Home for the Aged just north of our riding. At last report, 50 residents and 16 staff members have COVID-19. MPP Jessica Bell, who represents the area, has been asking for the army to be called in to help.
We are also mourning the deaths of 22 people in a horrific act of violence in Nova Scotia. There are GoFundMe pages for some of the families of the victims who are looking for money to help pay for funeral expenses. You can contribute here.
On Sunday, we are all invited to go to our balconies and porches to sing O Canada joining Canadians across the country in a show of unity and strength as we work through the pandemic — #canadatogether.
As we begin Ramadan, I want to thank the Muslim community across Ontario who have been providing thousands of meals a day to those in need. Ramadan Mubarak! Also, with shelters, respite centres and newly acquired hotel rooms full, I also want to thank Jennifer Evans of Seeds of Hope who has been coordinating care packages, tents and sleeping bags for those who are sleeping outside.
We are in this together and we will come through this together. Stay strong!
COVID-19 Consultation Results
Over the past few weeks, my office has conducted an online consultation with residents of Spadina-Fort York that provides a snapshot of the precariousness of many workers, but also the willingness of so many to help others. See the full results of our COVID-19 Community Consultation here.
- Small Business Supports: The Federal Government announced a new commercial rent subsidy program, funded jointly with the provinces. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses said the program may rely too much on landlords to administer, and may not provide adequate support to hard-hit businesses. The Official Opposition is also warning that substantial gaps in the rent relief program will see many businesses unable to survive the pandemic.
- Illegal Short-Term Rentals: I am calling on the Ontario Government to enforce its emergency order curbing short-term rentals as my office continues to receive reports of parties being held in short-term rental units even after a stabbing in a condo building just a few weeks ago.
- Ontario’s Nurses: The Ontario Superior Court ruled in favour of The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) and its members working in long-term care facilities, ordering four long-term care homes to provide workers with PPE including N95 masks, and the right to wear them.
- Long-Term Care Homes: The Canadian military will begin to support five Ontario long-term care homes hit hard by outbreaks of COVID-19 - we have been urging the Ontario Government to take long overdue action on the crisis facing long-term care.
- Ontario Teacher Candidates: The Ontario Government has changed regulations to allow Ontario’s teacher candidates to begin teaching in September, but is still not giving them full certification until they complete the Math Proficiency Test by August 31, 2021.
- Ontario Manufacturing: General Motors announced that it will use part of its Oshawa plant to make masks for health care workers — a request that Oshawa MPP Jennifer French originally made in a letter to the Ontario Government.
How you can help!
With increased pressure on food banks, today we are asking those who are able to contribute what you can:
Fort York Food Bank - 380 College Street, 416-203-3011
Daily Bread Food Bank - Donate money, or order food online and have it delivered to their warehouse at 191 Toronto Street.
Parkdale Food Bank - 1499 Queen Street West, 416-532-2375
Working with Spadina-Fort York’s Elected Representatives
COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation that requires all levels of government to work closely together. I am working closely with my Municipal and Federal counterparts to discuss how we can support Spadina-Fort York residents, businesses and other organizations. For more detail on the Municipal and Federal responses, please click the links below: