Dear Neighbour, 

This week was our first back in the Legislature for the winter session. As you may recall, my colleagues and I had been calling for the Legislature to return since the beginning of January to work on the urgent issues facing our province.

With the Legislature resuming, we got to work right away and brought forward nine urgent legislative priorities this week to deliver to people the help needed to make it through the pandemic. 

  • Paid sick days — we sought unanimous consent for the Stay Home if You Are Sick Act, which would provide all workers with 14 paid sick days during the pandemic, and permanent paid sick days after the pandemic ends;

  • Evictions ban — we introduced and voted on the No COVID Evictions Act, which would ban evictions until the pandemic is over;

  • Standard of care in long term care — we sought unanimous consent for the Time to Care Act, which would give every long-term care resident four hours of hands-on daily attention and care;

  • Essential caregiver rights — we sought unanimous consent for the More than a Visitor Act, which would guarantee that essential caregivers could not be separated from the loved ones that need their help in LTC and congregate care settings;

  • Seniors’ Advocate — we sought unanimous consent for the Seniors’ Advocate Act, which would create an independent advocate for seniors across Ontario;

  • A raise for PSWs — we put forward a motion that would deliver a well-deserved pay raise for Personal Support Workers; 

  • Safer schools — we put forward a motion that would cap class sizes, bring in comprehensive in-school COVID testing, and improve air quality in schools;

  • Save Main Street — we put forward a motion that would give small businesses rent subsidies, create an arts sector strategy, and implement other supports for small business;

  • An equity strategy — we put forward a motion to guarantee culturally-appropriate supports for communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

The Premier and his government said “no” to all of these proposals. Tenants, workers, seniors and their families, personal support workers, students, parents, teachers, small business owners, and marginalized communities have all been let down by the government’s unwillingness to undertake common sense and meaningful steps to support the people of this province and bring this pandemic under control.

I have included updates on the status of the shutdown, vaccinations, and more below.

As always, please follow public health guidelines and be kind to one another.


Bhutila Karpoche,
MPP for Parkdale—High Park

Stay-at-Home Order Extended

After a request from the City of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, the province will be maintaining the shutdown, Stay-at-Home order, and all existing public health and workplace safety measures for an additional two weeks in Toronto.

All measures currently in force will continue until at least March 8, 2021.

Vaccine Update


  • In the coming weeks, Ontario is expected to receive the following number of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine:
    • February 15: 156,780 doses
    • February 22: 186,030 doses
    • March 1 & 8: 173,160 doses
    • March 15 & 22: 174,330 doses
    • March 29: 175,500 doses
  • For the week of February 22, Ontario is expected to receive 47,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine.


Today, the government provided an update on its vaccine distribution plan, with some of the updated priority groups and revised timelines. As of February 18 at 8pm, over 518,000 doses have been administered. Over 217,000 people have been fully vaccinated. 

  • Immediate priority for first-dose vaccination:
    • Staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes, and any resident of these settings that has not yet received a first dose of vaccine;
    • Alternative level of care patients in hospitals who have a confirmed admission to a long-term care, retirement home, or other congregate care home for seniors;
    • Highest Priority health care workers, followed by Very High Priority health care workers (as defined by the Ministry of Health’s guidance on Health Care Worker Prioritization);
    • Indigenous adults in northern remote and higher risk communities. 
  • Next priority for first-dose vaccination:
    • Adults 80 years of age and older;
    • Staff, residents, and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings for seniors (e.g. assisted living);
    • Health care workers in the High Priority level (as defined by the Ministry of Health’s guidance on Health Care Worker Prioritization);
    • All Indigenous adults;
    • Adult recipients of chronic home care.
When all reasonable steps have been taken to offer first doses to the ‘immediate priority’ populations, first doses will be made available to the ‘next priority’ populations. You can find the full technical briefing on vaccines here.

Other Updates

  • Eligibility for the Main Street Relief Grant has been expanded to include small businesses with 2 to 19 employees, up from 2-9 employees, in all eligible sectors. You can learn how to apply for the grant here

  • Ontario’s Minister of Education announced that March Break for all public schools will be postponed until April 12-16, 2021. 
Reminder: For the most up-to-date information please visit Toronto Public Health, Ontario Ministry of Health, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Contact information is available on my website here.
Community Office
While our office is closed to the public as part of our efforts to manage the COVID-19 virus, we will continue to provide services for constituents via phone and email. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this time. 

Phone: 416-763-5630
Copyright © 2021 MPP for Parkdale—High Park, All rights reserved.

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