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Monday, August 16th Update  

 

Dear neighbour,

We’re in the slowest part of Summer, but politics is alive and well.  A federal election has been called, and we are proud to have humanitarian Nicole Robicheau run for us in University Rosedale.  September is fast approaching, and as case counts rise, we are organizing in your neighbourhood to secure a safe return to school, $10 a day childcare, vaccine passports, and mandatory vaccinations for health care and education workers.  We are also continuing to hear from residents who are struggling with the surgery backlog, so please connect with us if you’re in this very tough situation so we can advocate together.  

 

Please reach out if you have concerns, wish to meet with me, would like to invite me to an event, or would like to volunteer.  

 

Yours in service, 

 
Jessica Bell, MPP
University-Rosedale


My newsletter this week includes:

I support the mandatory vaccination for health and education workers

 

We need to protect the most vulnerable among us--including children who can’t yet be vaccinated, the elderly, people who are sick, and people with disabilities. That’s why I, along with my NDP colleagues, fully support the mandatory vaccination of healthcare and education workers. In addition, there is much work that needs to be done to ensure all Ontarians have easy access to a vaccine, and experts are available to address vaccine concerns.   

Vaccine certificates are needed in Ontario 

 

The Ford government must follow the advice of his own Science Table and bring in an Ontario Vaccine Certificate program now. The Ford government has instead placed the burden directly on small businesses to design their own system with no provincial guidance. This is not a solution to keeping employees and customers safe, it is harmful to public health and hurts our economic recovery. I fully support a vaccine certificate program that will help us return to normal life and keep people healthy. 

Here’s a breakdown of Ontario’s school reopening plan


On August 3rd, the Ford government released its back-to-school plan. This plan does not do enough to ensure our kids have a safe and sustainable return to in-person learning. COVID-management protocols were listed as ‘forthcoming’ and clear guidance on ventilation was also not available at the time the plan was publicly released.

This is what the plan included: 

  • Students from Grade 1 to 12 are required to wear masks indoors (with exceptions such as low-contact physical activity and during eating). Some boards, including the TDSB and TCDSB, have extended the mask mandate to include JK and SK children.

  • Staff and students must screen themselves every day using the tool provided by the province, although in some cases schools may be directed to do enhanced screening.

  • School boards are expected to have all ventilation systems inspected and in good condition before the start of the school year. 

  • School boards without mechanical ventilation (those that rely on windows to bring in fresh air) are expected to place standalone high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units in all classrooms.

Our kids deserve a safe and sustainable back to school. And that plan needs to include smaller class sizes, staff who are able to provide mental health and special needs support in the classroom in every school, paid sick days, air quality testing that is posted publicly, and mandatory vaccination for education workers. 

 

I believe it’s critical that parents and educators work together to advocate for change. We are visiting parks to talk to parents one one one about their concerns and ways to get politically active.  Please email us at jbell-co@ndp.on.ca if you’d like to join our work.

 



 

 

I joined parents and teachers taking action for a #SafeSeptember this weekend


This saturday I joined members of the Ontario Parent Action Network and the Ontario Education Workers United, as well as other educators and parents for their day of action to demand a #SafeReturn and a #JustRecovery. For more information about their demands see here. Thank you organizers!

Ontario releases new COVID-protocol guidance for child care centres

 

Ontario will be issuing updated guidance on COVID-19 protocols to child care centres. The new guidance comes after parents and child care operators called on the government to review some of the rules that were brought in last summer and bring them in line with the recently announced school reopening plan.

The guidance includes: 

  • Focus on hand washing rather than cleaning shared toys

  • Group sensory materials (like water tables) are allowed

  • Staff can move between locations and age groups, but not encouraged

  • Staff not required to wear masks outside

  • Staff not required to wear face shields when working with Grade 1 students who are wearing a mask

  • Singing indoors is now permitted

  • Visitors are permitted, though some child care centres are requesting more clarity

Many centres are waiting to hear from local public health units on how each region will be implementing the new guidance.

We need $10 a day childcare. So why is Ford doing nothing? 

As a parent of two school age children, I spend nearly $20,000 a year on daycare - just like thousands of parents across Toronto. Many provinces have signed onto the Federal government’s plan to bring in $10-a-day child care across Canada, with Manitoba and Saskatchewan becoming the latest provinces to do so.  The Ontario government has not signed on, despite having the highest day care fees in the province.  These high costs force mostly women to leave the workforce. We need affordable child care now. The Ontario’s NDP is committed to working with the federal government to bring in a universal system of high-quality public and not-for-profit child care that costs families only $10 per day.  Read the full statement from our child care critic, MPP Bhutila Karpoche.  I am talking to parents at day care centres across our riding; please email us if you’d like to join me at jbell-co@ndp.on.ca

 

Nicole Robicheau is our new federal NDP candidate! 

The federal election has officially been called! It's only 36 days away (election day is September 20th) and our federal executive is quickly gathering resources to run an awesome campaign here in Uni-Rose. Luckily, we have an amazing candidate. Their name is Nicole Robicheau (she/they) and they are a humanitarian worker with a background in journalism and human rights activism. You can learn more about them here. We're so excited to start canvassing the riding with Nicole. They can't wait to meet all of you to chat about what issues you care about most.  

If you're interested in volunteering on Nicole's campaign we'd love to have you join us! You can just email unirosendp@gmail.com  and we'll get you signed up. We need help with canvassing, phone banking, fundraising, delivering signs, data updates, and more! Also, if you're interested in receiving a lawn sign include that as well. We really want to paint the riding orange. 

 

 

 

Join Jack Layton’s Celebration 

 

August 22nd marks the 10th anniversary of Jack Layton’s passing. Jack was an incredible leader and activist who taught us that we could change the world with love, hope, and optimism. This Sunday, August 22nd we celebrate Layton’s legacy with a free virtual concert featuring an incredible line-up of artists and advocates. This event is organized by the Layton Legacy. RSVP and find out more info here.


 

Build homes for people not for investors 

 

If we want affordable housing to be for people first then we're going to have to fight for it. That’s why I joined policy activists from Canada’s Housing Crisis at their first protest this Saturday. For more information on the work that they do or to join future protests see here.

 



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Volunteer with us 

 

If you're passionate about making positive change in our riding then we'd love to have you join our movement and become an official Uni-Rose volunteer. It's a great way to help support your neighbours, learn about what's happening in the legislature, meet like-minded activists (like our MPP Jessica Bell), make friends and build community. It's also a lot of fun!

We're currently looking for people who are interested in helping out with: social media, writing our monthly newsletter, phone banking, flyering/postering, data updates, canvassing (when it's safe to do so) and planning our community care projects and social events. 

If that list intrigues you, then you can sign-up simply by clicking here and filling out the form. After you do that someone from our riding association will be in touch to provide more information and to find out what you're interested in doing, what inspired you to take action, and how you want to make change in your community.  

 

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Community office:
                                      719 Bloor Street W, Unit 103                                      
                                              Toronto, ON  M6G 1L5                                           

                                              Phone: 416-535-7206                                             
Email: jbell-co@ndp.on.ca 

 

                                               







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UniRoseONDP · 801 Shaw St. · Toronto, Ontario M6G3L9 · Canada