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Hello <<First Name>>,

In prior newsletters, I've told you the story of Leonard Rodrigues, a personal support worker from York South—Weston who had his life taken by COVID-19. Leonard was more than a PSW. He was a husband and a father who cared for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

My office received a letter from Leonard's widow Dorothy Rodrigues this week. In the midst of all her pain, her message expressed a selfless desire to use her loss as an opportunity for change. Leonard’s experience has left his family, and our community, with many questions about the effect of systemic racism in Ontario. As Dorothy wrote: “‘We are not able to tell if this, the neglect from our healthcare system, is a pattern or a one-off because there is no data to support it.” Dorothy is calling on Ontario to begin gathering race-based data. ‘‘Canada has gone too long covering their eyes to racial discriminations by refusing to collect data that challenges Canada's racial bias… we need a plan of action.”

I was honoured to take Dorothy's message to the legislature yesterday and proud to have our leader Andrea Horwath stand in the house and question the premier directly about the need for race-based data collection. The answers from the government were not what we hoped for, but we will continue to pressure the government to ensure Dorothy’s voice is heard.

Our office has heard from many tenants concerned with Bill 184. This bill limits the right of tenants to provide an effective legal defence against evictions at the Landlord and Tenant Board. The proposed bill will also speed up the eviction process by allowing landlords to evict tenants who have defaulted on repayment agreements without a hearing. This Bill is obviously disappointing and short-sighted. The post-pandemic recovery will find many tenants in arrears on their rent, and this bill will place them in a precarious situation. I will not support any bill that limits due process when it comes to displacing families from their homes and will continue to advocate for stronger tenant protections.

On the testing front, we are continuing to press the government for expanded testing locations and mobile capabilities. More work needs to be done to reach people in congregate settings and workplaces where we have seen outbreaks occur. We are also increasing our efforts to compel the Ford government to finally do something to address the lack of support directed at individuals on ODSP and Ontario Works. This has been a glaring failure on the part of the government and needs to be addressed immediately.

Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and concerns with me.


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
 

Horwath calls for emergency order on immediate collection of race-based data

 

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on Doug Ford to issue an emergency order to begin the immediate collection of race-based data when it comes to health care delivery in Ontario.

Horwath called on Ford to listen to Dorothy Rodriques, the widow of Leonard Rodriques, a Black personal support worker who died from COVID-19 after not getting proper personal protective equipment at work, and after being sent home from the hospital despite debilitating COVID-19 symptoms.

“Leonard was a dedicated and beloved husband, father and colleague. But when Leonard got sick, the family experienced barrier after barrier in accessing appropriate care, and after his death, the trauma only continued,” said Horwath. “Dorothy said, ‘We are not able to tell if this, the neglect from our healthcare system, is a pattern or a one off because there is no data to support it’.”

In a letter to NDP MPP Faisal Hassan (York South—Weston) asking for help, Dorothy has called for the immediate collection of race-based data by the Ford government.

“Will the premier listen to Dorothy?” Horwath asked in question period Wednesday, after reading portions of the gut-wrenching letter, in which Rodriques wrote: ‘‘Canada has gone too long covering their eyes to racial discriminations by refusing to collect data that challenges Canada's racial bias… we need a plan of action.”

Leonard Rodriques spent 30 years of his life caring for vulnerable Ontarians as a PSW. “His death sent a ripple effect through his home, his community, and our province,” said Horwath. “His spouse is pleading with the government to act. And she is not alone.”

Horwath echoes and supports calls from health experts from across the province for anti-Black racism to be declared a public health crisis, and called on Doug Ford to agree that systemic racism exists, and issue an emergency order for the collection of race-based health data in Ontario.

Faisal Hassan's statement on race-based data collection
Community News: 

The Keelesdale Neighbourhood Group is launching a citizen science initiative this week. The Keelesdale Bio-Blitz is asking residents to take an inventory of the plants, insects and animals that make Keelesdale their home. Using the iNaturalist app, your contributions will aid biodiversity science by contributing data for scientific research! For more info, visit the events page on their Facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Keelesdale
Artists to Artists Foundation and Areej Artists Centre has launched its masks for seniors’ initiative. To date they have distributed over 20 masks to seniors in the Weston area. To find out how you can support, please email artiststoartists@gmail.com
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Copyright © 2020 Member of Provincial Parliament - York South-Weston, All rights reserved.


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