Copy
View this email in your browser
Hello <<First Name>>, 

Some of the best ideas I get come directly from people like you. The residents of York South—Weston are diverse, and so are their ideas, opinions and lived experiences. The inability to meet with my neighbours and hear from them face to face is one of the most disappointing aspects of this pandemic for me personally. In this time of social distancing, I am committed to doing more to hear your voices and learn from your insights.

Tomorrow at 6:30pm, I will be hosting a Telephone Town Hall for our community. It will be similar to a typical town hall, with opportunities for you to ask questions, and hear from me as your elected representative. The topic will be COVID-19, and I've invited medical experts from West Park Health Care Centre to join and answer any medical-related questions you may have. We will call you, and invite you to stay on the line to participate. If you miss our call, you can still participate online once the call is live by clicking HERE.

One of the consistent messages we've been receiving in our office is the issue of seniors drug costs. At the start of COVID-19, the government-mandated limits on prescription refills to 30 days. As a result, many individuals are paying three times the cost to refill their prescriptions. We have raised this issue at Queen's Park, and have been advocating for a suspension of these fees for seniors. I was pleased to hear of some additional support coming from the Federal government that will provide one-time payments of $300 to individuals on Old Age Security (OAS), and $200 for individuals collecting Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). It's my hope that this will provide some temporary solace to seniors struggling to manage finances during COVID-19. We will continue to press the issue at the legislature and ensure that we are caring for the seniors who have worked so hard to build our province.

As COVID-19 continues to affect long term care homes in the province, there is increasing discussion on not only how to alleviate the suffering, but how we ensure this type of tragedy never happens again. Our leader, Andrea Horwath has had much to say on the issue, including an opinion piece in Maclean's magazine, which you can read HERE. We need clarity on what went wrong, and the best way to achieve that would involve an independent public inquiry. We also need to properly consider the role that for-profit care may have had in the long term care crisis. You can read more about that in the press release below.

On the education file, post-secondary students looking for federal support can now apply for the CESB (Canada Emergency Student Benefit). The federal government announced the program in late April providing direct support by way of $1250 per month until August. For more information, including how to apply, click HERE. And for parents of youth graduating from Elementary or High School, the province is urging schools NOT to cancel graduations and proms, but rather, have them in the summer or fall when it may be safe to do so. I hope to join with students across our community to celebrate student achievement sometime in the near future. Finally, the Government has indicated that a final decision on the balance of the school year will be forthcoming next week. We should have more clarity on what the immediate future will bring soon.


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 
 

Takeover of long-term care homes long overdue: Horwath

NDP Leader says suggestion that ‘corporations’ could be put in charge is troubling
 

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath said the government’s move to take over the management of long-term care homes in Ontario is welcome, but should have come much sooner, and the government needs to take action on it quickly. The NDP has been calling on the government to do this for weeks, as Ontarians watched in horror as COVID-19 swept through long-term care facilities, infecting vulnerable seniors and staff.
 
Ontario’s first COVID-19 death in long-term care dates back to March 24. By March 31, British Columbia’s chief medical officer of health had assumed responsibility for nursing care staff in the Vancouver region, and by April 5, this authority was in effect province wide. Quebec was taking similar steps to help homes that were struggling by mid-April. In mid-April, in response to calls from the NDP, health unions and health care staff to take over homes, Ontario’s Long Term Care Minister Merillee Fullerton refused, saying: “Other provinces do things differently than Ontario.”

“Families who have a parent or grandparent in long-term care in Ontario will no doubt be relieved to learn the government is finally using its power to take over management in these facilities, but many will wonder why their loved ones were left so vulnerable for so long,” said Horwath. “We can’t afford to lose any more days or weeks in the middle of a pandemic when seniors’ and workers’ lives are on the line. Now that we’re moving in the right direction, we need to see swift action to get new leadership into those nursing homes in crisis.”
 
Horwath added that it’s troubling to see language suggesting that ‘corporations’ could be put in charge of these facilities, despite higher death rates in privately run long-term care homes. According to a Toronto Star report, the risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19 in a long-term care outbreak is four times higher in for-profit homes compared to municipally run public homes and double compared to non-profit homes.
 
“Seniors in Ontario and their loved ones deserve to know that when the government says it’s stepping in to take over the management of long-term care homes, it’s not just handing the reins from one private operator to another,” said Horwath. “We owe it to families across the province to get this right.”

Community News: 
 
Faisal Hassan rose in the Legislature to hold the Ontario Government accountable for the lack of direct support to small businesses in York South-Weston.

The Ontario Caregiver Organization supports caregivers across Ontario. Caring for a loved one can be challenging at the best of times, but COVID-19 is presenting unique challenges. If you need additional support, the Ontario Caregiver Organization can point you in the right direction. Visit them at https://ontariocaregiver.ca/caregivingcommunities/
Attention Youth: Youth Employment Services is offering paid skills training & a work placement for free! Virtual training with their Eglinton office team begins Monday, June 1st! For "Job Central" eligibility and registration details, click HERE.
Twitter
Facebook
Email
Instagram
Copyright © 2020 Member of Provincial Parliament - York South-Weston, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.