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Hello <<First Name>>,

Main Street is vital to a healthy neighbourhood. That's why it's unfortunate that so many small businesses still continue to struggle here in York South—Weston. On August 31, the commercial eviction ban will expire, placing many shops at risk. The story is all too familiar. Business owners are encountering opposition from their landlords and are unwilling to participate in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA). A complex application process that has tripped up applicants and is resulting in delayed benefits. This program has been a disappointment from the day one.

From the start, our proposals focused on getting direct support to the people who needed it. The small business owners who run their businesses with pride. Rather than force these shops to deal with the stress and anxiety of wondering how they were going to pay the rent, we should have been providing them with commercial rent relief, and the means to do so, thereby keeping mainstreet alive. It was a missed opportunity by the Ford government, but it’s not too late to support these small businesses as the summer comes to a close.

My colleague Catherine Fife, is urging the Federal and Provincial governments to release unused CECRA resources to fund commercial rent relief directly to small businesses. We can't have a proper economic recovery without including the vibrant small business community we enjoy here in York South—Weston. As always, I encourage you to shop local and give our local businesses the support they need. Many of them stepped up to support the community during the height of the pandemic, and they deserve our support.


Childcare Update:
The Ontario government continues to make it very difficult for parents of young children looking for child care in Ontario. As childcare centres are forced to adjust to new public health guidelines,  the Ford government is downloading the costs to parents who were already struggling with the highest childcare costs in the country. As we’ve seen with schools, the province is failing to provide the support that childcare centres need to re-open safely. As a result, many are being forced to close or pass the costs along to parents in the form of increased fees.

Licensees will once again be permitted to begin charging fees or deposits in order to hold a space. Parents must be given 14 days’ notice to accept a placement for their child that will be available on or after September 1, 2020. Once again, many parents will be forced into an impossible set of choices as a direct result of the lack of support from this government. For further context, please read the press release below.


TDSB Plan rejected:
The Ministry of Education has refused the Toronto District School Board plan for a modified reopened this September. The TDSB was moving forward with plans to shorten the school day to accommodate for smaller student cohorts, this plan was rejected by the provincial government. Now with school just days away from opening, the TDSB must return to the drawing board with no plan to address the wide funding gap between what school boards require for a safe return, and what the government is prepared to put on the table.

Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath expressed concern on Monday that the school year will be delayed as a result of the government’s failures. “Doug Ford is cutting corners all over the place, and that’s putting the start of the school year in jeopardy.” For more on our concerns, you can read the press release HERE.


Canadian Armed Forces Exit Report:
Last week, the Canadian Armed Forces submitted their exit report on long-term care in Ontario. I wish to express my gratitude for their hard work and for shining a light on the derelict conditions found throughout the long term care system. The government is taking the exit report as an opportunity to celebrate, but the truth is there is still a lot of work to do to protect our elders in LTC homes. That begins with taking action now to protect homes from further outbreaks in preparation for a possible second wave, as well as a full, independent, find-and-fix inquiry that provides a voice to families affected by this tragedy.

OLG Executive Bonuses:
I was just as disappointed as many of you to learn of the fact that Peter Deeb, the Doug Ford appointed head of the OLG, handed out bonuses despite layoffs at casinos and a $500 million cash injection from the province to keep it afloat. This isn’t the first time the Ford government has run into these ethical issues. People close to the premier's chief of staff, Dean French, were given lucrative foreign postings. In the weeks after French's abrupt departure in June 2019, more appointees came under scrutiny and resigned after their links to him were revealed. These are disappointing developments coming from a government that pledged to turn the page from the scandals of the previous Liberal government.


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
 
FAISAL IN THE COMMUNITY:
Faisal Hassan marches with Black Creek Alliance in support of flood mitigation
News Release

Ford government making things worse for parents who need child care: NDP

 

QUEEN’S PARK – Doly Begum­­­­, NDP Early Learning and Child Care critic, said the Ford government’s release of it’s operational handbook for child care re-opening during COVID-19 on Thursday night has parents and child care advocates worried about skyrocketing costs, on top of the safety of children.

“Instead of helping parents who have to go back to work, the Ford government is making things even worse for them by allowing child care to get even more expensive,” said Begum.

“Doug Ford is downloading the costs of child care onto struggling parents during COVID-19 because he refuses to provide stabilization funding for child care centres that are struggling to re-open.”

The memo says that, as of Sept. 1, child care centres can again charge families for spaces not being used, and raise prices. The memo included no additional funding or supports for the struggling sector.

“Already, some child care centres are closing at a time when children were on waitlists from birth. And for those child care centres re-opening now, they will face pre-COVID staff-to-children ratios, but without extra support from the Ford government for COVID-19 safety measures like enforcing masking, encouraging physical distancing and extra cleaning. This is not the best we can do to keep little ones, staff and the community around them safe,” said Begum.

“Parents who can least afford it will be left without options, and nowhere to turn. Ford is taking a crisis in childcare created after 15 years of Liberal government, and making it worse.”

Community News: 

Frontlines is providing a community pin-up resource to share events, jobs, programs and volunteering activities in York South—Weston. Visit https://frontlinespinup.ca/ for details.
Toronto ACORN will be hosting another tenant rights events over the coming week. This session will cover topics such as rent, evictions, maintenance and repairs. There will be time for questions as well. To register for the event on Thursday, August 20, click HERE.

Exciting news for theatre fans! Shakespeare in Action is partnering with Theaturtle to present Alphonse in the Park in Little Avenue Memorial Park from August 20 - 23rd.  Toronto's first professional outdoor theatre production of the COVID-19 era will start its tour in the heart of Weston.   All safety protocols issued by the City of Toronto and Province of Ontario will be followed.   For more details click HERE.

Our friends at Supercoffee in Mount Dennis have announced that they will be matching donations to the FYI scholarship fund through August 14! All you need to do is donate and add “supercoffee” to the comment field in the payment area. Thank you to Supercoffee for this generous initiative! To donate, click HERE.
York West Active Living Centre is continuing to provide virtual programming to residents. For a program schedule, click HERE.

The Toronto Community Benefits Network is highlighting opportunities in the different skilled trades, starting with opportunities with Carpenters Union Local 27. There are opportunities for local residents to earn up to $100,000 while learning a trade with benefits and a pension. For more information, or to apply, call or text 647-697-7924 or email at jobs@communitybenefits.ca.
Crews at Keelesdale Station continue with bus loop construction behind the station's Main Entrance. Crews will begin the construction of the noise wall, on the east side of the bus loop. The noise wall will be within the station's footprint, behind the houses on Keele Street, north of Eglinton Ave W. Work will continue within regular working hours at Keelesdale, from as early as 6:00am
until 11:00pm. 
The previously announced water shutoff at Keele and Eglinton has been delayed until Tuesday, August 18. Crews will be performing a repair to the City’s watermain. Water will be shut off for properties along the south side of Eglinton Ave W between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. for approximately two hours. Crews will turn the water back on as soon as it is safe to do so. During this time, there will be no water available from the taps or toilets.
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