COVID-19 Updates

QR App, Supporting Small Businesses, and COVID-19 Updates

I want to begin by responding to the derogatory comments made by Premier Ford at a news conference yesterday. He made reference to new immigrants coming to Ontario, and immediately signing up for Ontario Works, which he referred to as “the dole”. These disappointing comments from the Premier are xenophobic and divisive. Also, they are misinformed. The majority of permanent newcomers to Canada are economic class -  skilled workers, and skilled trades. These skills and the financial assets required to enter Canada, and sponsor a family, would place any newcomers well above the asset limits required for Ontario Works. Dr. Jennifer Robson, an Associate Professor at Carleton University, explains the system well, and consequently fact-checks the Premier’s dismissive and repugnant comments. Once again, Premier Ford demonstrates why he is not fit to lead the most diverse province in Canada.

Supreme Court Ruling, Throne Speech, Council Roundup, and COVID-19 Updates

On Friday, I was disappointed and disheartened to learn that the Supreme Court upheld Premier Ford’s controversial slashing of City Council in 2018 in the middle of the municipal election. Back in 2018, that was the first of many cuts Premier Ford made in order to swipe at democracy and local governance. At that time, he said it was in an effort to save costs, but there were no such savings. Instead, it cost the City $1.93 million with an increased staffing budget, and cost residents equitable representation in their local government. 

Vaccine Milestone, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and COVID-19 Updates

Toronto’s vaccination roll out continues. As of today, 80.4 percent of individuals over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated in Toronto. This is a huge and important milestone, and we should all be very proud. While the ongoing uptake of vaccination by Toronto residents is positive, analysis and modelling of the fourth wave demonstrates that ongoing vigilance is required to both promote increased vaccination and monitor progress towards reducing COVID-19 transmission.  

Vaccine Certificate, Back-To-School, Voting, and COVID-19 Updates

Today, the Province of Ontario announced clarifying measures and enforcement protocols around the newly implemented vaccine certificate. Starting on September 22, proof of vaccination status will be required to eat indoors at restaurants and bars, to enter a gym, movie theatre, sporting venue, or concert, and to use a large meeting and event space. Ontario residents will need to either print or download their second dose receipt from the government website until an “enhanced” certificate becomes available on October 22. They can also use a receipt signed by an Indigenous health provider or a receipt from “another jurisdiction.” The new rules will not impact children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

Back-to-School, Housing Promises in Federal Election, and COVID-19 Updates

On Friday, Health Canada announced that it has authorized the Moderna vaccine for children as young as 12 years of age to help in the fight against COVID-19. Health Canada has reported that so far any adverse reactions are consistent with those among the adult population including swelling at the site of injection, fatigue, and headaches, and that these reactions typically only lasted three days. We don’t have information yet as to when they’ll begin administering Moderna, and I will keep you updated as more information becomes available. 

Save Small Businesses

Toronto Centre is the heart of Toronto’s downtown. We are home to some of Canada’s most iconic business districts and small businesses, from Canada’s largest gay village to the Financial District, to the re-invigorated historical districts such as Yonge Street, Corktown, St Lawrence Market and more. We also know that businesses across our community are in trouble.

To save small businesses, the Provincial and Federal governments need to step up and legislate a moratorium on commercial rental evictions and restructure the CERCA to allow tenants to directly access the 50 percent government relief if their landlords indicate they will not apply. The Government should also look at expanding the amount of money made eligible through Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). In urban centers with high rental and operating costs, for many business owners, the $40,000 is already gone. 

Please add your name and call on the Provincial and Federal governments to make the necessary legislative changes we need to save our small businesses and our main streets.

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