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Hello <<First Name>>, 

We've reached the end of another week together. For many, these times are meant for gathering with family and friends celebrating in faith. I recognize these are challenging times, and I'm so proud of all the work our community is doing to support each other, and stay safe.

As we've all come to learn, there is only one sure way to beat COVID-19, and protect our family and neighbours. Stay home, and only leave if absolutely necessary. Practice social distancing, and stay 2 metres away from others. Keep commonly used surfaces and items like cell phones clean, and of course, wash those hands! Here's a quick video outlining proper handwashing technique.

Yesterday, we were presented with some unprecedented unemployment figures for March. 403,000 Ontarians are now out of work. Across Canada, the number surpassed 1 million. April's report will likely show sizeable increases of unemployed Canadians as well. I know, as bad as these numbers appear, that we will get past this. The Ontario Government has struck a committee to look at the post-pandemic recovery, but for people dealing with the financial insecurity of this situation, we need to provide a bridge to get over these troubled waters. Our party has presented a host of measures that we will be urging the government to enact. I invite you to read about them in the press release below.

The federal government released its full-scale models of the pandemic and estimates on the numbers of cases and deaths. These estimates will depend very much on the collective actions we take. The more we do today, the fewer deaths will occur down the road. The Prime Minister also indicated that we should expect to see diminishing waves of COVID-19 in the coming months. I found this article to be informative.

I know it seems like the negative news can pile up, but it is only temporarily crowding out the good news taking place in our neighbourhoods every day. The York West Active Living Centre just announced a virtual fitness program to keep seniors active and engaged during this time. Local businesses are stepping up to support those in need. Mexican Restaurant Comal y Canela organized a food pantry that displayed the kind of social distancing that is required to keep everyone safe. Campione Party Rentals dealt with the impacts of restaurant and banquet hall closures by creating care packages for homeless Torontonians, including masks made of their own cloth napkins. I want to thank these leaders for showing the strength of this community. 

Please keep sharing your good news stories, and don't stop conveying your ideas on how we can get through this together.


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
 
For adults with disabilities and their families, the pandemic has made life even more expensive. Ontario clawback rules for social assistance are leaving families further behind. Read more about our proposal to end clawbacks during the COVID-19 crises HERE.
News Release 
 

Horwath responds to Economic Recovery Committee

 

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said today’s announcement that the Ontario government has tasked the majority of its cabinet to look at jobs and economic recovery is disappointing for those who were desperately hoping for an announcement that would help them financially, right now.

“Helping everyday people and families get through this, and Saving Main Street, means taking action to get money into people’s bank accounts now, and throughout the pandemic,” said Horwath. “Statistics Canada revealed today that more than 400,000 Ontarians have lost their jobs. A months-away economic stimulus program won’t put food on their table now. It won’t stop their employer from going under in April.

“We need action, now, to save families and businesses from economic hardship, not just a plan to pull together cabinet ministers for yet another committee.”

The NDP’s proposal so far have included:

  • An 80 per cent rent subsidy for people up to $2,500 per month
  • A utility payment freeze
  • A $2,000 payment to bridge the gap while people wait for federal financial support
  • A 50 per cent discount on auto insurance
  • A 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy up to $10,000 per month for three months
  • A remote-work set up fund, which could help them with things like setting up an online retail operation, or buying laptops and software for staff
  • An auto insurance grace period for taxis and car-sharing drivers
  • A designated emergency fund for small businesses and entrepreneurs who have faced historic barriers to accessing traditional capital, as proposed by the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce.
Mrs. Yasmen and staff at Comal y Canela show how to safely distribute food to neighbours in need during COVID-19.
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS - Being Black in Toronto

Black emerging filmmakers (18-30) are encouraged to apply for "Being Black in Toronto". This initiative provides an opportunity for professional mentorship and audiovisual production of a short film addressing the social integration of people from black communities in Toronto. The program will start at the conclusion of the COVID-19 crisis, and final works will premiere at the Toronto Black Film Festival. Deadline for applications is April 15. Apply at:
https://torontoblackfilm.com/being-black-in-toronto/.
As people respect the advice of public health experts, there is very little driving and few accidents. We're calling on the government to mandate a three month, 50% discount on auto insurance.
https://www.ontariondp.ca/news/ndp-calling-half-price-auto-insurance-during-pandemic

 
It's time Ontario use its COVID-19 testing capacity and perform regular tests on frontline health care workers and seniors living in long-term care.

https://www.ontariondp.ca/news/ndp-more-testing-needed-health-care-heroes-and-seniors-care-residents
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Copyright © 2020 Member of Provincial Parliament - York South-Weston, All rights reserved.


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