December Council Recap, Budget 2021, and COVID19 Updates

It is odd to think that we are nearing the end of December. The past ten months have been a whirlwind and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling the weight of the year. I want to thank everyone who continues to work overtime in caring for our communities, including all of our health and essential workers. Thank you for your continued sacrifice in the pursuit of keeping us all safe. 

COVID Vaccination Doses, iPHARE Opioid Overdose Action Plan, and COVID-19 Updates

Today the Province of Ontario is reporting 2,275 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 deaths. These are devastating new records. I worry for our communities. With the holidays quickly approaching, I know January could be the worst month yet for Ontario and Toronto. Please do not gather this holiday. I know how challenging it is, and how many of our plans have needed to change to stay safe. I am asking that you remain steadfast and vigilant in adhering to public health guidelines in order to help reduce community transmission. While the beginning of vaccine distribution is promising, it will still be a while yet before we see any immunity to COVID-19. 

My Statement on the TCHC Selection of  Regent Park’s Phase 4/5 Developer Partner, Tridel Builders

On December 15, 2020, the Board of Directors at Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) approved Tridel Builders Inc., as the new developer partner and construction manager for the coveted final phases of 4 and 5 in the Regent Park Revitalization.

Record COVID Cases, Halting Residential Evictions, and COVID-19 Updates

Today is another record-setting high in Ontario with 1983 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 deaths. Unfortunately, we are still not seeing the downward trend in case counts. Our hospitals and ICUs are at a tipping point. To add insult to injury, Premier Ford has adjourned the Legislature and will no longer be doing daily press briefings. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic, and the Premier has offered no explanation for this sudden change. It appears that Premier Ford is simply bored with his duty to the Province. Case counts are rising in Ontario, and our Premier is ignoring his responsibility. Without regular press availability, it will be hard to hold our elected officials accountable or even to have them respond directly to the evolving needs of Ontarians.

COVID-19 Case Increase, Vaccination Distribution and COVID-19 Updates

Today the Province of Ontario sits at 1676 cases, with 219 patients in the ICU and 132 on ventilators. As the trend continues to rise, it’s concerning to watch Premier Ford deny the state of this health crisis in the Province. He explains the severity of this public health crisis by comparing Ontario to Alberta, where they are treating two or more patients in one ICU bedroom. Oddly, the Premier is satisfied with his own response to this pandemic because he’s not doing the worst job in the country. Hospitals still have capacity, though it is unclear for how long. I worry that he has dodged the reality of this pandemic for too long, and that when he does respond it will be too late and without any of the financial and program support needed for those hit the hardest. Comparing ourselves to how other provinces are navigating this crisis shouldn’t be a passing grade for Ontarians. 

Supporting Small Businesses, Remembering the Montreal Massacre and COVID-19 Updates

December 3 marks International Day of Persons with Disability. The commitment to realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment in a common future. COVID-19 has deepened the systemic and pre-existing inequalities exposing the extent of exclusion and disproportionately affecting the community. This year’s theme is Building Back Better, harmonious with the City’s COVID-19 recovery response. As the Chair of the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee, It is my commitment to ensure that the voices of people living with disability are heard, and actively consulted as we work towards doing just that, building back better.

November Council Recap, Winter Outdoor Maintenance, and COVID-19 Updates

The first day of December is World AIDS Day, and in Canada it is also the beginning of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week. It’s a time for us to remember those we have lost to this epidemic and to renew our commitment in creating a world free from HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination. If you can, please consider donating generously to local AIDS service organizations who have been working around the clock to support those in our communities living with HIV/AIDS.

My Statement on Encampments  and Housing Alternatives

I want to thank everyone who has called and emailed my office offering feedback and expressing concern for the wellbeing of vulnerable residents experiencing homelessness, and living outside in encampments through this pandemic. As the winter weather hits, I am also deeply concerned for their safety.

Welcome TO, 2021 Budget, and COVID-19 Updates

Yesterday, our Medical Officer of Health reminded us how important our continued sacrifices are in protecting our communities. COVID-19 case rates are still alarmingly high in the City of Toronto, and I want to thank you for your ongoing efforts. Please know that it still might be some time before we see the full impact of these restrictions. This doesn’t mean they aren’t working, but that it takes time.

Lockdown, Supporting Small Businesses, and COVID-19 Updates

As previously announced by the Province of Ontario, yesterday Toronto began renewed lockdown measures in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. We have seen a steady increase in new cases since September, and while this decision should have come sooner with direct financial supports for those in need, it is essential to protect our healthcare system, communities, and loved ones. These measures will last for a minimum of 28 days.

Taking Care During COVID, Trans Day of Remembrance, and COVID-19 Updates

There are a lot of demands being made for our time and energy over the past few weeks, and it's been challenging to navigate evolving provincial public health recommendations. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the downward trend in new cases of COVID-19, and more restrictions are needed to protect ourselves and our communities. As Mayor Tory told the Toronto Star, new restrictions could be announced any day

Demand for Provincial Transparency, COVID-19 Framework, and COVID-19 Updates

On Friday, the Province of Ontario announced another updated COVID-19 framework with revised epidemiology standards. The COVID-19 framework was adjusted as their initial plan was heavily criticized due to it being too lenient. Additionally, we saw other regions in Ontario move to “Control” restrictions. All of these changes come on the heels of the immense criticism and scrutiny of the high positivity rate thresholds which help guide re-opening. Doctors warned that these incredibly high epidemiological indicators were well above what would be labeled emergency levels.

Downtown Economic Recovery, Pandemic Pay, and COVID-19 Updates

After citing record transmission levels on Tuesday, Dr. de Villa took the difficult and decisive action to address the rising cases of COVID-19 in Toronto by keeping indoor dining, indoor fitness classes closed and urging all residents in Toronto to only see members of their households. While these were necessary and urgent actions, I want to recognize how confusing the shifting messaging, and directives have been from the Province. As reported yesterday by the Toronto Star, the Premier has chosen to ignore scientific health data, foregoing public safety in favour of perceived economic recovery. It is becoming increasingly challenging to navigate best practices.

My Statement on the Passing of Tricia Waldron

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Tricia Waldron on November 4, 2020. Tricia was struck by a vehicle at the corner of Mill Street and Cherry Street. This is a tragic loss, and while it cannot be undone, my commitment to pedestrian safety in our neighbourhoods is strengthened.

Provincial Budget 2021, COVID Cases, and COVID-19 Updates

It continues to be challenging to turn our minds to the future when cases in Ontario rise daily, and we hit a record high for the third day in a row. Our current test positivity rate is 5.9%, and the spread of COVID-19 has never been greater. Toronto Public Health is reporting 514 new cases in Toronto.

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