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Hello <<First Name>>, 

There is a considerable amount of news to report today. I will be as concise as possible, but the two major topics involve more re-opening of businesses as well as an update on the provinces long-term care situation.

Today, the province announced a further loosening of restrictions on businesses. As of Friday, garden centres and nurseries will be open for in-store purchases, but they must adhere to social distancing guidelines similar to those being enforced at grocery and drug stores. On Saturday, in-store purchases will extend to hardware stores as well. As of Monday, retail stores with entrances facing sidewalks will now be permitted to open for curbside pick-up and delivery only. More information can be found via the government's press release HERE.

The optimism that this news brings must be tempered with caution. We are all eager to return to some semblance of normal, however much work needs to be done to ensure these measures do not result in a spike in cases. We also need to be sure that workers' health and safety is protected. We learned just a few days ago that 213 workers have exercised their right to refuse unsafe work and in every case, the Ministry of Labour has overruled their concerns, often without an on-site inspection of the workplace. We will be making every effort to ensure the government will protect every worker’s right under Ontario law to refuse unsafe work.

We are continuing to see underwhelming testing numbers coming from the Province. Broad community testing will be vital to ensure efforts to re-open the economy can endure. We can see the importance of this approach as it is being used to tackle the long-term care situation. As of yesterday, 1003 residents and 3 staff of long-term care homes in Ontario have lost their lives to COVID-19. SEIU, the union representing thousands of Ontario health-care workers is calling on the province to launch a public inquiry and criminal investigations into long-term care. Our focus must remain on limiting the loss of life, but I believe an inquiry will be an important step in maintaining accountability.

Finally, our request to extend Hydro rate relief was agreed to by the government. "Time of Use" pricing has been suspended until May 31. We are also in the midst of Mental Health Week and Education Week. Our mental health is just as important as your physical health. I was pleased to see an expansion of virtual mental health supports and will be urging increased support down the road. For some thoughts on Education Week, please read the press release below.


As always, my office is here to help. Please call at 416-243-7984, or email us at fhassan-co@ndp.on.ca.

Take care, stay home, and wash your hands.

Best Regards,



Faisal Hassan
Member of Provincial Parliament
York South—Weston
 
Each level of government has useful information to support you during this crisis. For more information, visit the resources below:
News Release 
 

NDP statement on Education Week

 

QUEEN’S PARK — Marit Stiles, Ontario NDP Education critic, released the following statement to mark Education Week:

“This year, we mark Education Week at a time when students, parents, teachers and education workers are facing extraordinary circumstances.

As Education Critic for the Official Opposition, I want to thank students and parents across the province for your flexibility and hard work to keep learning going in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. I also want to acknowledge the uncertainty and anxiety students are facing right now.

I also want to salute the work of our incredible teachers who are finding creative ways to deliver curriculum and connect with their students; education workers who are maintaining our schools, supporting the distribution of technology and handling administrative issues; and school boards, trustees, superintendents and principals who are working hard to get needed equipment into the hands of our students.

As we adapt to our current learning and working circumstances, I am inspired by the determination and compassion all Ontarians have shown.

It’s a strange time, but an important one. And everything you are doing is helping save lives and keep our young people connected and supported.

Happy Education Week!”

Community News: 
COSTI offices are closed, COSTI Employment Services is offering all employment workshops online in the form of webinars and virtual meetings. For contact information and scheduled events, please visit https://costideb.costi.ca/costi/.

Food security is a big issue in our community. Foodshare Toronto continues its innovative online service delivery with "Ask a Gardener". For the next 2 Wednesdays, staff will answer any garden questions participants have while offering tips and tricks for successfully growing your own food. The webinar will take place via Zoom meeting from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. To register, click HERE.


May 8th will mark the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, the end of the Second World War in Europe. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the City of Toronto has cancelled public celebrations. To commemorate this special event, the City of Toronto Archives has created an online photo exhibit "V-E Day and V-J Day: The End of World War II in Toronto, 1945". To view the archive of photos click HERE.
Today marks the 1-year anniversary of the fire at York Memorial C.I. I rose in the legislature at Queen's Park last year to represent the desire of our community to rebuild the school in all its glory. "It's a school named after those who sacrificed their lives for us, and the auditorium was a reflection of that." - Principal Donna Drummond
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Copyright © 2020 Member of Provincial Parliament - York South-Weston, All rights reserved.


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