Lots of news to share tonight! The province has set the course for more businesses to open starting with garden centres (May 8th), hardware stores (May 9th) and retail outlets (May 11th).
Last night, our Telephone Town Hall drew more than 1100 participants. Thank you to my guest speakers Councillor Joe Cressy, MP Adam Vaughan, BIA Executive Director John Kiru and preventative health strategist Genevieve Gee. The good news is that the pandemic is abating thanks to the steps we’ve been taking. See details below.
Thank you to the Toronto Community and Culture Centre and Support Toronto Canadian Chinese Alliance for their generous donation of 5000 masks that we are distributing to local seniors to help them stay safe during the pandemic!
A question for parents: How is distance learning working? If you have questions, comments or are looking for information, join our Education Town Hall with Trustees Norm Di Pasquale and Stephanie Donaldson on Thursday, May 14th at 6:30 pm.
I hope you are well. We had a taste of summer on Sunday, but please, keep practicing physical distancing so when the good weather really arrives we can be outside and enjoy it!
Education Town Hall May 14
Join me for a Zoom meeting with TCDSB Trustee Norm Di Pasquale and TDSB Trustee Stephanie Donaldson on Thursday, May 14, 6:30 pm for a discussion on education issues during this pandemic. Parents, students and educators are all welcome to participate and ask questions. Simply click on this link to join.
COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall Review
We received a very positive response to our COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall. Over 1100 people joined the call and had their questions answered by myself, MP Adam Vaughan and Councillor Joe Cressy. John Kiru from the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas offered valuable advice related to small businesses and Genevieve Gee, a preventative health strategist, offered deeper insight into Ontario’s COVID-19 testing numbers.
Key takeaways were to focus on the housing and homelessness issue we have on the waterfront and downtown core — we must find a way to support our most vulnerable. I’m also very concerned about our small businesses and believe the government must provide the necessary support to ensure a successful reopening. Other points discussed included the rules around physical distancing, wearing masks and PPE. It is imperative that while the weather grows warmer, we continue to follow the public health guidelines and strive to flatten the curve. Our office will continue to provide relevant information and resources related to COVID-19 as we move through the different phases of this pandemic.
Retail Business Reopening: As early as Friday, May 8, garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as Saturday, May 9. On Monday, May 11, retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery. More details are available here. The Official Opposition has urged the government to issue not just guidelines but clear, enforceable rules, as well as more testing, so the economy re-opens without risking peoples' health.
These will help, but many small businesses are in trouble. If you would like to help support local small businesses through the pandemic, the BIAs are asking residents to visit these websites: