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Hello <<First Name>>,

The devastation that took place in our long term care homes is not far from our memory. We can still recall the heartbreaking stories coming out of these facilities just a few short weeks ago. We also remember the inspiring work of our communities' personal support workers who worked tirelessly to manage an unmanageable situation. They were indeed frontline heroes who placed themselves and their loved ones at risk in support of our seniors. That's why I was disappointed at the Premier's announcement today that he plans to ask for a plan to better support PSWs. <<First Name>>, we know what PSWs want, and it's not another plan. It's action.

We've heard from these heroes directly. They need more staffing to support them. They need immediate pay increases to recognize the valuable work they do and to make ends meet. They need the security of full-time employment and strengthened staffing requirements that they know will keep our elders safe. Instead, many of these heroes are still waiting for the pandemic pay they are rightfully owed! We're demanding better. To understand more of our concerns, please read the press release HERE.

Safe School Re-start:
I have heard your concerns with the recent announcement from the Ministry of Education and I share many of them. There is increasing concern among parents and educators that the plan put forward by the province does not go far enough to ensure a safe environment students and staff. We are urging the government to consider necessary changes, some of which are outlined in the press release below. This very important topic will also be the subject of our next Facebook Live Virtual Discussion one week from today.


Update on management of TCHC properties:
We are pleased to announce that Del Property Management will no longer be managing TCHC building. They will begin transitioning support back to the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. Our office has advocated extensively on this issue with CEO Kevin Marshman and Councillor Nunziata, and are very please with this result. The scheduled transitions will take place as follows:
  • November 30, 2020: York Square, Trimbee Court, Weston Bellevue. 
  • December 18, 2020: DeMarco Boulevard, Trethewey Tedder, Jane John Best.
Posters are being put up in affected buildings this week and a detailed letter to all affected households will be arriving in mailboxes next week.

COVID-19 Testing and impacts:
We are continuing with our efforts to acquire the necessary testing capacity for our community. I've written the Minister of Health to express the need for local testing here in York South—Weston. I was troubled by the reports suggestiMany nurses, PSWs and frontline workers make their home in our community, and they deserve to know there are local resources in place to control community spread in the face a possible second wave. You can find a copy of the letter below. As a member of our province's first black caucus, I was also troubled by recent data concerning the impacts of COVID-19 on black and racialized communities. Some of our concerns are expressed in the press release HERE.


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 Hassan visiting with local businesses in the community.
Faisal Hassan standing in support of Parents of Black Children.
News Release

Horwath calls for back-to-school plan to be scrapped, replaced with smaller, safer classes

 

BINBROOK — Standing outside an elementary school slated to hold more than 1,000 students in September, Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called for Doug Ford’s back-to-school scheme to be scrapped, and replaced with a plan for smaller, safer classes.

“It’s clear from Doug Ford’s back-to-school scheme that he is trying to pinch pennies on the backs of our children again,” said Horwath. “Before the pandemic we heard how large and growing class sizes were crowding classrooms. Now, Mr. Ford’s dangerous scheme sends students and staff right back into these over-crowded classrooms, where they can’t possibly practice physical distancing.”

Horwath was joined outside Bellmoore Elementary School in Binbrook — where 19 portables are already tacked on to the overflowing school — by Stacey Davis, who, like so many parents, wants to see her children back in school five days a week in September, but in smaller, safer classes.

“Time is running out, but it’s not too late,” said Horwath. “If I were premier right now, I would be capping class sizes for all students, and hustling to get temporary classroom spaces, teachers and education workers lined up for all those classes. I’d be making sure every classroom has proper ventilation – which means doing the repairs that governments have ignored for years. And I’d be welcoming all students back to school five days a week – but in smaller, safer classes.

“It’s an investment in the health and safety of children. It’s an investment in parents getting back to work. And it’s an investment in getting our economy moving again.”

Quotes

Stacey Davis, Parent and Educator
“The government’s back-to-school plan is not well thought-out. Leaving full class sizes during the pandemic seems more like an experiment into the transmission of COVID-19 between children and adults. My son and daughter will both be in classes where proper social distancing will not occur due to crowded classrooms. My daughter will have to wear a mask in Grade 4 with well over 20 students in her class. My son and his classmates in his Grade 3 cohort have the option to wear one with the same social distancing issue. My kids will not be guinea pigs in this experiment and we will not settle for full class sizes.”

Daryl Jerome, President of Teachers’ Bargaining Unit of OSSTF District 21
“The proposed funding from this government is inadequate to protect students, staff and communities properly. I have received numerous emails from members, many of whom are either immune compromised or have a dependent who is, expressing their terror of returning with a poor excuse for a plan to poorly ventilated and crowded buildings. The Ford government knew full-well we were not going back before the summer and they sat on their hands without creating an actual plan for the Fall. Education workers, students, and families deserve a safe return in September and instead what we are facing is uncertainty, anxiety, and fear due to a half-baked and underfunded plan.”

Background

  • The Ford government is in the process of cutting thousands of teacher and education worker positions, and hiking class sizes over the course of several years.
  • The Ford government’s back-to-school plan sends all elementary and many high school students back into full-sized classes. High school students in designated boards will be at home on their own for half of their education, doing “independent work.”
  • The Ford government's total funding for additional staff during the pandemic recovery period is just $16,000 per school, an amount that doesn't even cover a single part-time staff member.
MPP Hassan's letter to the Minister of Health regarding testing in our community.
Community News: 
Knit Perfection started when a group of young, inspired girls met each other in their freshman year of high school. They donate their time outside of academics to create inspiring pieces of knitted items, such as mittens, blankets, hats and even sweaters. These knitted items all contain a small inspirational quote, and are packed and sent to partner shelters. To learn more about their work and support their cause, visit them at https://knitperfection.com/

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.

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.
Since 2005, the For Youth Initiative (FYI) Future Fund (originally the FYI Scholarship Program) has awarded over $86,000 in scholarships to local youth. FYI is striving to make access to education more equitable! Your donation can have a huge impact on a youth's ability to pursue a post-secondary education. To support this important cause, click HERE.

Urban Arts' Culture Shock 2020 Community Arts Festival is happening right now. This virtual festival will take place until August 7 and includes panel discussions, talent shows, pop up performances and giveaways! The talented artists at Urban Arts never disappoint! For more information, visit their website at: https://urbanartstoronto.org/

The Luso Canadian Charitable Society does amazing work in support of adults living with physical and developmental disabilities. This year they are hosting the 2020 Luso Virtual Volta. Individuals or teams can participate and challenge each other virtually to walk, run or ride throughout the month of August. To register or donate, visit http://lusoccs.org/.
York West Active Living Centre is continuing to provide virtual programming to residents. For a program schedule, click HERE.

Support local Speducci Mercado chef Gabriele Paganelli and his recipe for Fassona Piemontese Tartare with Crudités and Maille Honey Mustard in the Maille travel the world contest for a chance to cook-along with him, and to win autographed cookbooks & Maille pantry essentials. To vote, click HERE.
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Copyright © 2020 Member of Provincial Parliament - York South-Weston, All rights reserved.


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