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Hello <<First Name>>,

As we exit another summer weekend, I must admit, I've missed the opportunity to be out in the community. Over the past few weeks, I've had more and more opportunities to visit with local businesses and to connect with neighbours at local community events while respecting social distancing. It's with your hard work and sacrifice that we were able to reach a point where we can gather as a community, albeit in different ways.

In recent days, we've seen a slight uptick in case counts, with multiple days over 100 new cases per day. I mention this not to cause alarm, but to serve as a reminder that the virus is still with us. With school only days away, the government has shown an unwillingness to fund a safe re-open of schools, which makes efforts at keeping community spread contained all the more important. Please be sure to follow public health advice and continue to take precautions for your safety and the safety of vulnerable community members.

On a final note, please be sure to take an opportunity to take care of yourself! So many of you are working hard to care for loved ones, volunteering in the community, or working on the frontlines of the pandemic. We can't do that if we are not caring for our own physical and mental wellbeing. You can find some resources HERE and HERE.


Education Event Re-scheduled:
In an effort to avoid a conflict with an important parent town hall meeting for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, we will be re-scheduling our planned Virtual Discussion on a Safe School Re-open to Thursday, September 3rd. We look forward to this discussion as we learn more about the final plans being presented by local school boards. You'll find more details in the graphic 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, wear your mask, and wash your hands.

Best Regards,



Faisal Hassan
Member of Provincial Parliament
York South—Weston
 
FAISAL IN THE COMMUNITY:
News Release

Negligent for-profit operators must not be allowed to regain control of long-term care homes


TORONTO – Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath is demanding the Ford government stop for-profit providers from regaining control of long-term care homes while the COVID-19 pandemic continues and until all investigations have been completed.

“We were all horrified to see what was happening in private, for-profit LTC homes who utterly failed the seniors in their care and had to be taken over by the Canadian Armed Forces or hospitals. As the pandemic continues, and we face a potential second wave of the virus, now is not the time to be handing back control of these homes to operators that have failed to protect their residents, leading to immeasurable heartbreak for so many families” said Horwath.

“The treatment of seniors they allowed was so shameful, so negligent, and in some cases, so potentially criminal that it resulted in dozens of deaths per home”.

Horwath says no decision can be made on the future management of these homes at least until all investigations have been completed, and a detailed, public review has been conducted. Ford must be prepared to permanently take over homes where evidence shows clear neglect of seniors.

Horwath was joined today by Maureen McDermott whose mother is a resident of River Glen Haven long-term care home in Sutton, ON, that was taken over by Southlake Regional Health Centre in May.

“I’m here today with family members of seniors in long-term care and those who have lost loved ones, people who have already endured so much to demand from Mr. Ford what should be obvious to anyone with a conscience. We’re asking for the very least Doug Ford can do for those who have lost loved ones, and for those whose loved ones are still living in these homes,” said Horwath.

The NDP believes Ontarians deserve a public, community-based, non-profit long-term care system, one that doesn’t siphon away frontline funding to pad the pockets of former premiers and multi-national corporations.

Horwath says the Ford government has failed to prepare the province’s long-term care homes for a potential second wave of this deadly virus that has already led to deaths of over 1,800 seniors in Ontario.

“Despite what Ford and his minister of long-term care might claim, we are far from ‘mission accomplished’ here. It has been over three months since Canadian Armed Forces began assuming control of some homes, and yet we still have no clear plan from the Ford government for the second wave,” added Horwath.

Quote

Maureen McDermott, daughter of a resident of River Glen Haven long-term care home

“There was a shortage of staff and a lack of PPE before the home was taken over. Southlake Hospital was mandated to run the home for 90 days as it was out of control, and 37 lives were lost. Now the owner wants the keys back. We trusted these owners with our loved ones lives and they let us down. I'm blessed as my mom, who did test positive for COVID-19 was able to recover but so many families lost their loved ones. I need to do everything humanly possible to keep her safe, and we cannot put her life at risk again by allowing these owners back into the home.”
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 Toronto District School Board has announced additional resources to support the limiting of class sizes in communities at high risk for COVID-19 community spread. Junior and Senior Kindergarten classes will be capped at 15 with grades 1-8 capped at 20 students. For a list of affected schools, click HERE [PDF].

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.
On Aug 26, at 3pm EST, FoodShare and Food Network Canada will be hosting a panel titled "It's time to end white supremacy in food systems. They'll be joined by a stellar lineup of panellists based in three different countries (Canada, U.S and South Africa) all working in some way to dismantle white supremacy in food systems.For tickets, click HERE.

Please join local Trustees for a Joint Ward Forum to discuss a return to school in September. Senior staff will be in attendance to answer your questions.

Registration is required. When registering you will be able to submit your questions in advance. To register for the meeting on Monday August 24th, click HERE.
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