Chris Glover MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Update May 3

Published on May 3, 2021

Dear Neighbours,

As the vaccine supply increases, the eligibility criteria expands:

  • STARTING MONDAY, MAY 3 - People 18+ who live in M5A, M5V or M6K and other hot spots postal codes
  • STARTING THURSDAY, MAY 6 - People 50+ regardless of postal code
  • People 40+ can book at a pharmacy
  • If you are pregnant, a childcare worker or a school teacher living/working in a COVID-19 hotspot, or supporting students with special education needs 
  • Click here for a full list of eligible groups

You can access the online booking system here: Ontario.ca/bookvaccine

When booking an appointment, you will be asked for information from your green Ontario health card, birth date, postal code and email address and/or phone number.

People who still have a red and white health card, or who require assistance with booking, can call and book through the COVID-19 Vaccine Call Centre at 1-833-943-3900

Some organizations release appointments in batches as supply becomes available. I will post these on my instagram and twitter accounts as they are often announced with little notice and are taken up quickly.

I know the vaccine process has been challenging and not at all equitable. I pointed out these concerns and wrote to Ontario's Minister of Health advocating for a mobile pop-up vaccine clinic to be set up in our riding immediately. 

After a year of pressure, the government announced a program for 3 paid sick days. This has been criticized by the medical community and opposition as being inadequate to get us through the pandemic. More information, including our advocacy for more effective paid sick day legislation is included below.

Two reports were released this week on Long-Term Care Homes where 3700 residents and 20 staff have died of COVID-19. The Auditor General sites the lack of preparedness for many of the deaths, and the Long Term Care Commission is to submit their report to the Government today. 

As the weather improves, I hope you have a chance to relax, and get some fresh air and exercise in a safe manner. I suggest going for a bike ride on city streets through Active TO, watching the High Park bloom cam, or taking in the online Hot Docs festival. Next Tuesday, don’t forget about the Trinity-Bellwoods Farmers Market! More Fun Things To Do below.

Finally, with Mother’s Day just around the corner, one innovative way to #shoplocal is through the Bag of Toronto program. 

Stay safe and stay well,


Vaccine Update

Health Canada approves Pfizer vaccine for adolescents 12-15 years old

  • Health Canada announced that it will be clearing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in people as young as 12 years old. After reviewing clinical trial data submitted by the New York-based company last month, regulators have determined the mRNA shot is safe to use in people 12 to 15 years of age. The previous age cutoff for the vaccine was 16. The Pfizer vaccine is the first product to be authorized for use in this younger age category. The three other products authorized for use in Canada — AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna — can be given only to people over the age of 18 for now.

Ontario may shorten vaccine interval and possibly mix vaccines

  • Ontario might shorten the length of time between COVID-19 vaccine doses and is looking into mixing and matching doses as it prepares to receive increased shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Health Minister Christine Elliott said that the added supply might allow the province to shorten the current four-month interval between the first and second shots. If that happens, people will be contacted to arrange a new time for their second appointment. The new interval would be closer to the original timeline for vaccinations.

People 18+ in All Hot Spots via Ontario's Booking System

  • People age 18 or older in 2021 and who live in one of the hot spot postal codes will be able to book a vaccine appointment starting Monday, May 3 at 8:00 am.

Eligible hot spot postal codes in Spadina-Fort York are: M5A, M5V, and M6K.

You can access the online booking system here: Ontario.ca/bookvaccine

When booking an appointment, you will be asked for information from your green Ontario health card, birth date, postal code and email address and/or phone number. People who still have a red and white health card, or who require assistance with booking, can call and book through the COVID-19 Vaccine Call Centre at 1-833-943-3900.

People 50+ Now Eligible (any postal code)

  • People age 50 or older in 2021 will be able to book a vaccine appointment starting Thursday, May 6 at 8:00 am, regardless of the postal code you live in. 

You can access the online booking system here: Ontario.ca/bookvaccine

When booking an appointment, you will be asked for information from your green Ontario health card, birth date, postal code and email address and/or phone number. People who still have a red and white health card, or who require assistance with booking, can call and book through the COVID-19 Vaccine Call Centre at 1-833-943-3900

Pregnant People Now Eligible for Vaccine

  • The provincial government has announced that pregnant people in Ontario are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The decision comes days after the Ministry of Health said it was reviewing vaccine eligibility criteria for pregnant people following a surge in severe COVID-19 symptoms among expectant individuals. Pregnant individuals can book an appointment through the COVID-19 Vaccine Call Centre at 1-833-943-3900A doctor’s letter is not required. The extended dose interval of 16 weeks is being recommended for this population.

Future Changes to Eligibility

  • The Province has released plans for how vaccine eligibility is expected to continue to expand over the coming weeks. If vaccine supplies increase as expected, the Province hopes to continue to lower the age limit so that anyone in Ontario age 18 and up can book an appointment beginning May 24

View the Province’s planned schedule here.

Vaccine Registration Assistance for Seniors

  • The Spadina-Fort York Community Care program will be helping seniors 50 and older who are having trouble registering for a vaccine. Please email [email protected]ail.com or call 647-904-6637.

If you manage a co-operative housing building or an organization with seniors or other vulnerable residents, please complete this form to request assistance.

If you would like to volunteer with this program or other Spadina-Fort York Community Care activities, please complete this form.

Ontario Increasing Vaccine Allocation to COVID-19 Hot Spots 

  • After data showed that Ontario’s COVID-19 hot-spots were being left behind, it was clear that major changes were needed to improve Ontario’s vaccine rollout. For example, the M5V postal code is considered a hot spot, but data in early April showed the percent of the population vaccinated with at least one dose was one of Toronto’s lowest, at only 6.8%. The Ontario Government has finally listened to calls from science experts and the NDP to allocate 50% of upcoming vaccine shipments to hot spot communities to help decrease COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations. During the weeks of May 3 and May 10, 50% of vaccine allocations will be allocated to hot spots targeting mobile teams, pop-up clinics, mass immunization clinics, hospitals, primary care and pharmacies. Approximately 800,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Ontario per week at the start of May, ramping up to 940,000 doses per week by the end of May.
  • A pilot has launched through select pharmacy locations in hot spot communities to administer the Pfizer vaccine to individuals aged 55 and over. Eight stores in Peel and eight in Toronto will participate in this pilot, with each location receiving approximately 150 doses per week. This is expected to expand to additional public health units later in May following evaluation of the program and as supply allows. Pharmacies will continue to use their own booking system for appointments. The Government has also offered to work with employers who meet certain criteria and have expressed an interest in hosting workplace vaccine clinics.

Latest Developments

Ontario Legislates Three Paid Sick Days

  • After voting down over 25 versions of paid sick leave and ignoring calls to action from various health experts and opposition politicians including myself for over a year, the Ford Government has finally implemented temporary paid sick day legislation effective until September 25, 2021. The Ontario COVID-19 Worker Protection Benefit Program would pay up to $200 per day for workers who are sick, have symptoms, have a mental health issue or need to be vaccinated, and will be retroactive to April 19. The sick days would not need to be taken consecutively and no sick note is required. While this is a start, unfortunately, it lands far short of what experts have been calling for as individuals may need up to 14 days to self-isolate from COVID-19, which means 10 paid sick days are required. In contrast, the NDP plan offered 7 paid sick days and 3 unpaid sick days, along with 14 government sponsored paid sick days. If you support our plan, please sign this petition here. 

    Essential workers tend to be lower income, racialized people from vulnerable communities and are at great risk of contracting COVID-19 at the workplace and taking it back home to their families. The lack of affordable housing means more people live together, another reason why COVID-19 spreads so quickly. Peel Public Health has pointed out that 66% of COVID-19 transmission occurs in the workplace, and 1 in 5 workers went to work with symptoms. I made a statement in the legislature that the Government’s repeated refusal to legislate paid sick days, as well as their decision to increase police enforcement are both examples of systemic racism, as they continue to leave the most vulnerable communities behind.

Billy Bishop Airport Request for Interest

  • I met with CEO Geoff Wilson to discuss the Request for Interest (RFI) from PortsToronto regarding Billy Bishop Airport. I’ve been informed the RFI was created in part due to operational challenges stemming from the pandemic and a lack of financial support from the Federal Government. It was confirmed that the RFI will not change any operations of Billy Bishop Airport, or change the obligations under the Tripartite agreement between PortsToronto, the City of Toronto and the federal government which governs the operation of the airport, including safety and environmental sustainability. The Tripartite agreement remains in effect until 2033, while the Master Plan with the community extends beyond that. I highlighted the importance of consulting with the community on these types of decisions, and was informed the Port Authority will be meeting with the Community Liaison Committee to discuss the RFI.

Possibility of Vaccine Passports

  • According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the federal government is looking “very carefully” at the prospect of vaccine passports— requiring some form of proof of vaccination to travel. As things stand, Canada has placed restrictions on discretionary and non-essential travel to Canada from abroad, and has imposed mandatory testing and stays in quarantine hotels on anyone flying into this country, regardless of their vaccination status.

Emergency Childcare Centres for Frontline Workers

  • Metro Hall Early Learning & Child Care Centre in our community has been included in the list of emergency child care centres that are available to health care and frontline workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. As new emergency child care centres open, a list of locations can be found on Ontario.ca/coronavirus. Child care centres will be required to follow existing health and safety requirements and have a plan in place to protect staff and youth from COVID-19.

ActiveTO Road Closures Begin May 1

  • ActiveTO road closures will begin this weekend (May 1 & 2) on Lakeshore East, Bayview Avenue, and River Street. Councillor Joe Cressy is working with City staff to ensure that Lakeshore West will also be open for cyclists and pedestrians. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the cancellation of the Spadina Expressway, Councillor Cressy shared a plan to open the Allen to cyclists and pedestrians on June 6. More information on ActiveTO road closures is available here.

Message from Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt economic activity, some property owners and their representatives are exploring available options for tax relief. 

Requests for Reconsideration Citing COVID-19

  • Every property owner has the option to file a Request for Reconsideration (RfR) for every taxation year, if they disagree with their property assessment or classification. MPAC states they will review and respond to every RfR they receive. Any influence the COVID‐19 pandemic may have on property values was not in effect on January 1, 2016 – the current legislated valuation date. For that reason, MPAC states they will not adjust a property’s current value assessment as a result of COVID-19. RfRs that exclusively cite COVID-19 will not result in a value change for the 2021 and 2022 property tax years.

Municipal Tax Applications 

  • In situations where a building withstands damage by fire, demolition or otherwise that renders it substantially unusable, a property owner may file an application with the municipality to cancel, reduce or refund property taxes based on specific criteria in accordance with Section 357(1)(d)(ii) of the Municipal Act. MPAC’s role in the municipal tax application process is to provide factual information to the municipality to assist the decision-maker in determining whether a tax refund, cancellation or reduction is warranted. 
  • In the case of tax applications citing COVID-19, MPAC will review applications provided by municipalities and determine whether any information exists demonstrating there was physical damage to a building on the land during the applicable taxation year. Where MPAC has no record of any physical damage to a building, MPAC will provide the current value assessment for the subject property for the 2020 and 2021 tax years.