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Hello <<First Name>>,

This weekend, the CBC did some reporting on the stress and uncertainty facing so many families in the northwest Toronto area. Both Toronto school boards requested risk assessments from Toronto Public Health to identify elementary schools at greater risk of COVID-19 spread. The result of this analysis shows that every corner of York South—Weston contains a school for which we should be concerned. For a variety of reasons, our community will be susceptible to a second wave, and I am making every effort to ensure our community is treated with the respect it deserves.

I have been pressing the Ontario Government to provide permanent local testing resources here in our community. As schools approach re-opening, I am also engaging directly with Toronto Public Health to partner with them in mitigating the risk they have identified in our community. Families deserve the solace of knowing the testing capacity they need is nearby and available at convenient times. 

As far as I am concerned, local testing capacity is a key ingredient in a safe return to school. We cannot expect one without the other, and I will continue my fierce advocacy in favour of testing here in York South—Weston.



Safe Return to Schools:
We continue to demand more from the government and insist on additional resources to bring class sizes down across the province. Ontario's Chief Medical Officer recently explained that students and staff will be required to follow strict infection control protocols to prevent spread. I have been around enough little ones to know that this is a challenging thing to accomplish with one child, let alone 30. I stand with the engaged parents and educators demanding that the government come to the table with real investments in a safe re-open this September. A reminder: Our Facebook Live event on a safe return to school is this Thursday at 6:30pm HERE.

Hydro Bills:
This government made many promises during the election that privatization and proper management would result in savings on electricity bills. Instead, we've seen pricey executive severance packages, and mismanagement resulting in $140 million in contract "kill fees". And while the pandemic was raging, this government increased hydro rates at a time when families could lease afford it. Now, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is confirming that Doug Ford's cornerstone plan to rewrite hydro contracts will not result in the savings he promised. This Government could do so much better in supporting families as they struggle to make ends meet.

ODSP:

We have been relentless in advocating for more support for individuals living with disabilities in Ontario. Many ODSP recipients make our community their home, and they are certainly struggling with the financial impacts of this pandemic. There were hopes that the Government would make some substantial commitments over the summer, but it seems clear they are not willing to provide any additional help. We cannot continue to turn our backs on this community, and other vulnerable groups, such as seniors, who are finding it difficult to cope with the financial strain of this pandemic. These vulnerable groups are at risk of falling through the cracks without more to support.

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, wear your mask, and wash your hands.

Best Regards,



Faisal Hassan
Member of Provincial Parliament
York South—Weston
 
News Release

Kids need small classes, lots of help to stick with infection control practices

OSHAWA — Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath says it’s wrong of Doug Ford to put the onus for making schools safe on children, teachers and education workers when he’s putting them into crowded classrooms. Parents and educators say small classes with lots of caring adults are required to make sure kids are practicing good infection control.

“How can a teacher help each little one wash their hands properly if there are nearly 30 kids in the class?” Horwath asked. “How can we expect kids not to share pencils or trade lunches when their desks are only a foot or two apart? How can we expect school bus drivers to ensure 70 kids keep their masks on, when they’re supposed to be keeping their eyes on the road?”

Horwath was in Oshawa Monday morning to call for smaller, safer classes as fresh concerns emerge about Doug Ford’s risky back-to-school scheme. Last week, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said Ford’s back to school scheme relies on students and staff following strict infection control protocols, without fail.

“Asking kids to practice these new behaviours with lots of support and supervision would be tough. Asking them to do it in crowded classrooms and hallways with one teacher supervising 30 students is a recipe for disaster,” said Horwath. “Kids need small class sizes and lots of guidance from caring adults to get this right.

“If I were premier, I would be capping class sizes so every child has the support and supervision they need, in a physically-distanced classroom.”

QUOTES

Kristy Micklewright, Parent
“I am a single mother of a five-year-old daughter going into senior kindergarten here in Oshawa. There is one week before school starts, and I have no knowledge of what the classroom will look like in terms of shared resources and surfaces or how a play-based model of education will be carried out while keeping hygiene protocols in place. For example, how will the hand hygiene of the entire class be carried out considering my five-year-old needs to be supervised to ensure it is done effectively and there is one shared sink? My daughter’s health and safety is worth the effort and I expected a more timely and innovative plan from the provincial government that put more value on the safety of my child.”

Gabrielle Edey, Parent and Teacher
“It will be physically impossible to socially distance full classrooms in the next coming weeks. This will directly affect the success of this back to school plan. It doesn’t have to be this way. As a parent, as a teacher – I really expected more from our leaders, not one that puts our children in harm’s way.”

Andrea Horwath in Oshawa with concerned parents & educators to call for #SmallerSaferClasses
Community News: 

Our office learned of a need for masks at Beech Hall Co-op and was pleased to provide some in support of seniors in that community. If you have PPE to spare, or if you are an organization in need, please get in touch with our office to see how we can help.

The Lentini-Silvaggio family is hosting a front porch concert for their neighbours in Weston. The concert will run from 7:00pm to 9:00pm on Monday, August 31 at 196 John Street. Bring your own blanket or chair, and be prepared to practice social distancing.
Fall program registration for the York West Active Living Centre opens on Monday, August 31. Modified in-person programming returns with safety protocols in place and virtual programming continues as well. For a program schedule, click HERE.
As early as August 31, crews will begin sidewalk restoration on the south side of Eglinton, east of Yarrow Rd. Work will take approximately one week to complete. Work will continue within regular working hours at Keelesdale, from as early as 6:00am until 11:00pm.Crews will maintain access to businesses and residences through the duration of this activity. Dust and debris can be expected.
Crews at Keelesdale Station will be performing a repair to the City’s watermain as early as Tuesday
September 1. Water will be shut off for properties along the south side of Eglinton Ave W between the hours of 6:00 am and 11:00 am for approximately two hours. Residents are encouraged to store water for domestic use, ahead of the scheduled water shut off.
On Tuesday September 1, crews at Caledonia will be pouring concrete to form a wall connecting to the station's roof. During the pour, westbound Eglinton Ave W will be reduced to one (1) lane only between Blackthorn Ave and Gabian Way. Lane reductions will begin as early as 7:00am and last for approximately six hours. 
On Thursday September 3, a large escalator delivery will take place at Caledonia station. During this activity, westbound Eglinton Ave W will be reduced to one (1) lane only between Blackthorn Ave and Gabian Way. Lane reductions will begin as early as 6:00am and last for approximately 12 hours. 
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Copyright © 2020 Member of Provincial Parliament - York South-Weston, All rights reserved.


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