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Hello <<First Name>>,

This weekend is the last long weekend of the summer. As you find your way outdoors to bask in the sunshine, please remember we are celebrating Labour Day on Monday. While we can’t march in solidarity, we can take a moment to honour and celebrate the achievements of the Labour movement in Canada and remember that the efforts to protect the rights of workers continue to this day.

This is also the traditional start of the school year, however, this year’s start is delayed, and many issues remain unsettled. School boards continue to adjust plans and work to manage with limited resources. Teachers are making their dissatisfaction with the safety of the classroom increasingly clear. All the while, parents are standing behind them, unified in their message. A safe re-open requires the ability to maintain a safe social distance. It’s an issue of utmost importance and it’s why I continue to advocate real investments and important measures to prevent community spread, including paid sick leave. We should make sure all working people can take paid sick days before students go back to class. You can read more in the press release below.

I hope you can join us this evening as we have a Virtual Conversation on a safe school reopen. I'll be joined by a very special guest. Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath will join me on the call to kickstart this discussion with local parents and educators around what we can still do today to advocate for a safe reopen. We’ll be on live on Facebook at 6:30 pm at www.facebook.com/ faisalhassanNDP.


Op-Ed on Testing:
Another crucial aspect of a safe reopen in September is the need for convenient and accessible testing in our community. Historical case counts and current Toronto Public Health analysis identify York South—Weston as being at elevated risk for community spread based on a variety of factors. I recently penned an op-ed for the Toronto Star on the need for testing in our community, which you can read HERE.

Surgical Capacity:
This week, we learned that the estimated time required to clear surgical backlogs is Ontario is 84 weeks, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The top surgeries impacted are those related to cancer, vascular, cardiac, transplant and pediatric issues. We are urging the government to immediately invest in the funding necessary to expand surgical capacity in Ontario and prevent those waiting for surgery from languishing on long waitlists in pain, distress and possible danger.

Childcare:

As childcare centres have called for increased investments and support from the government, the province this week has moved to allow childcare centres to re-open to 100 per cent capacity. While public health experts are asking Ontarians to keep their social circles small, this announcement will allow for up to 30 children per classroom. We need to provide direct support to childcare centres and ensure that the increased costs of operating in a pandemic are not passed on to families, who were already dealing with the highest costs in the country.

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

Horwath calls for paid sick days for everyone – including parents – before school starts

Ford’s crowded classroom scheme depends on parents keeping unwell kids home

TORONTO — School is just around the corner, and Doug Ford has left many parents in a position where they may be forced to choose between keeping their kids home when they’re sick, or missing out on a day’s pay. Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on the Ford government to make sure all working people can take paid sick days before students go back to class.

“If a child wakes up with a fever and a cough, but mom and dad don’t have any paid sick days to use, what are they expected to do?” said Horwath. “How can we ask parents to keep their little ones home if they don’t feel 100 per cent, when Ford is choosing not to give them the tools they need to stay home?

“Parents, teachers and education workers were already worried about Mr. Ford’s risky back-to-school scheme. Collapsed classes mean even bigger classes and even more crowded rooms. The government is planning to have 70 kids, shoulder-to-shoulder, crammed in for bus rides. If just one student with COVID-19 goes to school, the virus could spread like wildfire.”

Ontario workers were promised paid sick days months ago, but the federal and provincial governments have yet to deliver on that. In fact, Ford cut the measly two days that Ontario workers used to have.

Horwath also held a press conference Thursday alongside a concerned parent, ETFO President Sam Hammond, and NDP MPP Jill Andrew (Toronto-St. Paul’s). The press conference took place outside of McMurrich Junior Public School, which needs 67-cents’ worth of repairs for every dollar it’s worth.

“If I were premier, I’d make sure every Ontarian — including every education worker, part-time worker and precariously employed person – can stay home when they have COVID-19 symptoms, or when they’ve been exposed to the virus,” said Horwath.

“I’d also be working around the clock to repair schools, and I’d spend to hire more teachers and education workers, and line up temporary classroom spaces — because smaller is safer.”

“Now more than ever, we need to ensure universal and accessible paid sick leave for everyone,” said Hammond. “Along with many parents, migrant workers and others, we have educators including occasional teachers and casual education workers who have no access to paid sick leave. They are also among the lowest paid educators in the public education system. We can’t expect them to go into schools without recourse to paid sick leave should they contract COVID-19.”

QUOTE

Beverley Eadie, Parent
“I am the parent of two children, aged 8 and 12, going into grades 3 and 7 this year. With less than a week and a half to go, there is still no plan in place that allows our children to social distance at school. Rather than listening to health experts, this government has chosen to send our kids to school in full, and often unventilated, classrooms. We know this is unsafe, and risks the health of our children, their teachers, and our families. This short-sighted decision will cost all of Ontario in the long run.”

Community News: 
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.
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. 
Toronto & York Region Labour Council will be celebrating Labour Day 2020 with a virtual parade starting this Sunday. You can watch for free on Youtube or Facebook and celebrate in solidarity with workers across the GTA! Watch a teaser video HERE.
TTC customers can have their say on service options for the new RapidTO bus-only corridors along Jane Street. The TTC has developed concepts for bus routes and wants to hear from those who use the routes on a regular basis. Visit www.ttc.ca/rapidto to fill out a survey and for more information.
This June, the Honourable Ted Arnott announced the launch of nominations for Ontario’s first Poet Laureate. Applications for the position are being accepted through September 15th, 2020. Following the acceptance of nominations, a selection panel will prepare a short list of the nominees by December and announce a chosen nominee by February, 2021. Information about the Poet Laureate and the nomination process is available at the Legislative Assembly’s web site at ola.org/poet-laureate

In the News: MPP Hassan was proud to be featured in the latest editions of Share News and their coverage of the rally against anti-black racism at Nathan Phillips Square, hosted by the African Canadian Social Development Council.
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Copyright © 2020 Member of Provincial Parliament - York South-Weston, All rights reserved.


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