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Hello <<First Name>>,

Today we learned of additional public health units that will begin entering a stage-2 re-opening as of this Friday. York region, Halton region, Durham region, as well as Hamilton and Niagara region will be allowed to re-open while adhering to social distancing and public health measures soon. This means that Peel region, Toronto and Windsor (due to a migrant worker outbreak), will remain in stage-1 for the time being. I know this is disappointing news to many, but I am feeling more confident that Toronto's time will come soon.

We've seen the 7-day rolling average of new cases in Ontario drop by over 200 in the last week alone. Today only 181 new cases were announced. Hospitalizations also continue to come down. This is all good new, and signs that were are pointed in the right direction. As we continue on the path, please remember that we all have a role to play. Public health continues to insist that individuals should practice social distancing, and when that's difficult to achieve, wear a mask. Stay home if you can, limit social gatherings, and wash your hands.

The economic impacts of this shut-down are real. I know how much of a struggle this time has been for small business owners in the community, and I feel the anxiousness of individuals wondering what the future holds, and how they'll be able to afford their expenses as the CERB benefit reaches an end. Today, the Prime Minister signalled his intention to extend CERB. Details are unclear, and some of the parameters of the program may change slightly as many Canadians are returning to work, but this is encouraging news. I will be at Queen's Park this week and will be urging additional supports for individuals on ODSP and Ontario Works who have been largely ignored since the beginning of the pandemic. I will also be voicing the concerns of the many seniors who reached out to my office about the financial burden they are feeling with this pandemic. Now is not the time to ignore the struggles of those who are most vulnerable.

I want to take the opportunity to show my appreciation for the countless parents and Early Childhood Educators who reached out to my office with concerns about the province's daycare announcement last week. I recognize that the government's announcement has left many of you with more questions than answers. And for some, the answers you are receiving are not welcome. The Province needs to abandon its hands-off approach to re-opening childcare, and start taking an active role in ensuring parents and workers get the support they need. Parents who already pay the highest fees in the country cannot be expected to spend even more for the opportunity to return to work. I've raised these concerns with our caucus, and we will work on constructive ideas to address these concerns moving forward


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 to amend bill to prevent all commercial evictions during COVID-19

 

TIMMINS — Official Opposition House Leader Gilles Bisson says far too many businesses are still at risk of unfair evictions if the Conservatives’ new legislation is passed as written. On Monday, the NDP sent the government two critical amendments it insists must be included.

The bill, as written, only protects businesses who qualify for the federal CECRA, but whose landlords refuse to apply for it – meaning they must have a whopping 70 per cent reduction in income. The bill is also retroactive to just June 3, leaving out all the commercial tenants whose eviction notices arrived between March and June 3.

“Small businesses owners are the engine of our local economies, and we have to save those businesses and those jobs. Right now, they’re being abandoned by Doug Ford and the Conservative government,” said Bisson. “Instead of banning commercial evictions three months ago, and providing direct support to small business, Ford worked to exclude thousands of businesses from relief and protection.

“If the Ford government doesn’t accept our amendments, he will be choosing to let many local businesses fail, through no fault of their own, at a time when the province desperately needs them to succeed to create jobs and rebuild the economy.”

The NDP’s amendments, proposed by letter on Monday, would include all businesses in a legislated moratorium on commercial evictions during the pandemic; and would make that protection retroactive to mid-March.

If the government is willing to make these changes, New Democrats are ready to expedite passage of the legislation as early as Tuesday.

If the government moves ahead with the legislation without changes, New Democrats will insist on an opportunity for the House to consider amending the legislation and address these serious shortcomings, including offering evening and extended debate throughout the week.

“New Democrats won’t stand by and let Doug Ford and the Conservatives get away with hanging thousands of valuable Ontario businesses out to dry. Small businesses are too important to the economic health of our communities, and to the families they employ,” said Bisson. “We’ll do whatever it takes, including sitting around the clock, to convince Doug Ford to do the right thing, and spare businesses hurt by COVID-19 from eviction.”

the letter

Background
June 13: the Ontario Business Improvement Area Associationtold the CBC the June 3 retroactivity date for Ontario proposed commercial evictions ban was too late. "It really should be retroactive to March 15," said executive director Kay Matthews. "That's when they stopped making revenue."

June 9: Bar owner Christopher Hudspeth, who owns Pegasus on Church Street in Toronto, says the government’s proposed commercial evictions ban is “ a little late and only for a short period of time … We’d rather see that go to the end of the year to give people the ability to restart.” While not stated in the bill itself, according to media reports the government plans to repeal the ban on August 31.

June 9: Better Way Alliance agrees that the eviction ban should not end arbitrarily in August: “Business is not going to return as quickly as it as we’d want it to,” said co-ordinator Gilleen Pearce. “(The measures) need to take into account not just when the stages of reopening happens, but the number of months that we’ll need to get back into the swing of things, economically and financially.” Better Way Alliance has called for immediate commercial rent relief and a freeze on evictions during the crisis, along with other longer-term measures to protect commercial tenants going forward, including commercial rent control.

May 26: Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Ontario Chamber of Commerce was a co-signatory) sent a letter asking the federal and provincial governments to fix flaws in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. The biggest flaw is the fact that landlords are not required to participate in the program. The letter also urged: “Put in place a temporary moratorium on commercial evictions at the provincial and territorial level for tenants who were in good standing with their landlords prior to March 1, 2020, until improvements to the CECRA program are implemented.”

May 25: several business groups write a letter to Doug Ford calling for a ban on commercial evictions “for tenants who were in good standing with their landlords prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Signatories include the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association, Restaurants Canadaand theRetail Council of Canada. The letter also called on the federal and provincial governments to fix flaws in CECRA.

May 22: According to a survey by savesmallbusiness.ca, 38 per cent of small businesses will default on their commercial rent by April 1, and 70 per cent by May 1. On May 22, group founder Jon Shell wrote in Maclean’s that the hope generated by the April 16 announcement of the CECRA had faded because of Doug Ford’s failure to enact a ban on commercial evictions.

April 27: Laura Jones, executive vice-president and chief strategic officer at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says there are three big problems with CECRA: landlords don’t have to participate; the application process is too complicated; and the threshold to be eligible — a 70 per cent drop in revenue — is too high.

Community News: 
From time to time, our neighbours in York South—Weston need support. During this difficult time, we can all appreciate the value and importance of family. If you are able, please consider supporting these local families in their time of struggle:

Shek Ahmed Abdiwahab has worked hard to provide an opportunity to bring his family to Canada. Now, as he struggles with stage IV cancer, it's his last wish to be with his wife and 5 children in Kenya. Find out how you can support this family at https://www.gofundme.com/f/urgent-stage-4-cancer-help-shek-ahmed-get-home

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a nightmare. It is a disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat or breathe. Diagnosed at just 7 weeks old. Eva Batista is among the youngest known cases. There is a treatment, though it's very expensive and only available in the US. To learn how you can help Eva get the medication she needs, visit https://ca.gofundme.com/f/foreva-strong

Western Area Emergency Services (WAES) serves nearly 800 people per month, a total of 10,000 visits a year, with over 36% of those being children and over 6% seniors. WAES provides food support and security to the most vulnerable in the Weston Community and will offer support without judgment. For more info, visit https://www.westonparkbaptist.org/outreach/weston-area-emergency-support
 
Urban Arts continues its innovate online arts programming. For more info and an important message on anti-black racism, please read their latest newsletter HERE.
Career talks, the online speaker series about careers in the constructions industry continues this week, on Tuesday at 6:00pm. To register for this or future events, please visit www.communitybenefits.ca/careertalks
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Copyright © 2020 Member of Provincial Parliament - York South-Weston, All rights reserved.


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