As we approach another holiday season living with the COVID-19 pandemic, I know many are feeling a renewed sense of anxiety, fear and isolation. With many cancelling or scaling down plans in an effort to have a safer celebration, I know it’s taking a toll on our communities. It may not be what we had hoped, but I want to encourage everyone to stay safe as they celebrate.
As of yesterday, the Province of Ontario has expanded the booster program to anyone 18 years or older as well as slashed the waiting period between your second vaccine dose and a booster. Instead of waiting 168 days between second doses and booster shots, Ontarians will be able to get a third shot after 84 days. The Province also announced new public health restrictions including limiting gathering in public settings and encouraging reduced private gathering.
Getting vaccinated remains the most efficient way to protect yourself and others while slowing the spread of COVID-19. I continue to encourage anyone who is eligible to book your vaccination, or your booster shot today. You can book here or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1‑833‑943‑3900. Please book your vaccine doses and booster as soon as you’re able. I would encourage anyone who is eligible to book your appointment, and if you’re unable, to check again in a couple of days.
The Province will be providing COVID-19 rapid tests at the busiest LCBO stores this week, with more stores being added in the coming days. Additionally, they have launched a rapid antigen holiday pop-up schedule at various locations available at ontario.ca/holidaytesting.
This year has been a busy one in Ward 13! Over 2021, we sent over 100 eblasts directly to your inboxes and launched seven campaigns from SaveMainStreetTO to It Takes a Village and Stop Excessive Construction Noise advocating for the needs of residents and businesses. We’ve had 10 press conferences varying from stopping commercial evictions, protecting local planning, and promoting vaccination. I have moved 122 motions and amendments at City Council championing the needs of our downtown residents. Our Ward 13 team has responded to over 5,000 resident requests, and even developed a public engagement model called Toronto Centre Projects to better serve you. I am so proud of the work we continue to do to make Toronto Centre a safer, more beautiful place to live.
I know it may feel scary and frustrating as we see a new variant of COVID-19, but I invite you to remember the love and light in your connections; family, friends, and loved ones. We have found new ways to reach out and connect through video and phone calls. We have been so resilient through the changing public health landscapes, and while it may not be done yet, I have every confidence that together we can come out stronger.
Description: Above is a holiday greeting from Councillor Wong-Tam and their family this holiday season.
I’d like to take this moment to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season. I know I will be enjoying some time with my family bundled at home. My office will be taking a short break, and we look forward to continuing to serve you in 2022.
Happy Holidays! Thank you for your resilience, it is an honour to represent you.
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam
Ward 13 - Toronto Centre