Dear Neighbour,

As many folks head back to work, child care is becoming a primary concern for families across the province. Yesterday, the government announced a framework for re-opening child care centres and licensed home child care agencies. All of the child care providers which fall into those two categories will be able to re-open their doors as early as this Friday, June 12. 

Sector-specific guidance has been issued to child care providers that include measures such as cohorting of children and staff (groups of 10 or less per day), making a COVID-19 response plan, daily entrance screening, and daily attendance for contact tracing. If you choose not to return your child to daycare right now, the province has implemented measures to ensure that your spot can’t be offered to someone else.

While all of the announced measures are vitally important for the safety of our children and child care workers, the government has not stepped up with any additional funding for child care providers to implement these measures. These rules have been modelled on the lessons learned from Emergency Child Care Centres across the province, yet it is also known that those facilities are
3x more expensive to operate than normal daycare centres. Without additional funding, child care providers will have no choice but to hike fees or shut down. I stand alongside the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario in calling for the government to create a sustainable and safe plan.

There was already a huge need for affordable child care in Ontario before COVID-19, and we expect the problem will get worse without proper investments. Our city has some of the highest childcare costs in the whole country, with spots costing up to $20,000/year. We should be working towards a system of universal child care, not leave it to fend for itself in the recovery from COVID-19. Quality and affordable child care is essential for an equitable recovery — one that allows working parents, especially women, return to work and provide for their families.

You can find other provincial updates below.

As always, wash your hands, stay home if you can, wear a mask when needed, be kind. We are all in this together.


Bhutila Karpoche,
MPP for Parkdale—High Park
Walk Against Racism

I will be joining the Queen Victoria P.S. Black Student Success Committee-led and organized Walk Against Racism tomorrow afternoon. I call on those who are able, to stand in solidarity with the Black community and actively participate in fighting systemic anti-Black racism.

Please note: It is absolutely important to practise physical distancing at all times and wear your masks if you plan to join the walk. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or think you may be exposed, you can show your support in other ways.

Summer Program for Stranded Students

While many post-secondary students across the province were able to finish their studies online, it was simply not possible for others. Students in fields like nursing, engineering, and personal support work have practical elements of their programs and were “stranded” by COVID-19, unable to finish their programs. Today, the government announced a program for students who should’ve graduated in Spring 2020, but were held back due to missing practical requirements. It will allow post-secondary institutions to open up starting on July 2 to offer 4-8 week courses that will facilitate the completion of academic programs. Specific details will be available from individual institutions.

Beaches and Campsites Re-opening
  • On June 12, beaches in Ontario Parks will re-open to the public as maintenance and water testing is completed.
  • On June 15, campers enrolled in this year’s Ontario Parks’ Seasonal Campsite Program will have access to their campsites at the majority of participating parks. Those who were preselected last year for the program will be contacted by Ontario Parks directly regarding the status of their reservation. 
  • Beginning the week of June 22, all other campgrounds in regions entering Stage 2 will reopen in provincial parks, along with washrooms, water taps, and trailer sanitation stations.
  • Roofed accommodations (yurts, cabins, lodges), park stores and rental operations, visitor centres, and sports fields will be phased in over the next several weeks.
Heat Warning

Environment & Climate Change Canada has issued a heat warning for the Toronto area. The City of Toronto has opened emergency cooling centres which will offer an air-conditioned place to rest indoors and receive a cool drink. Infection prevention and control measures will be in place. The closest Emergency Cooling Centres to Parkdale—High Park are:

  • Wallace Emerson Community Centre (1260 Dufferin St). Open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. during a heat warning.
  • Metro Hall (55 John St). Open 24 hours a day during a heat warning.
More information on cool spaces can be found here.
Other Provincial Updates
  • Summer Day Camps will be allowed to open this summer based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Sector-specific guidelines have been issued and distributed to local public health units. At this time, overnight camps will not be permitted to operate this summer.
  • Premier Ford is refusing to release the roster of health professionals that sit on the COVID-19 Command Table, despite questions from health experts on who exactly is providing advice on re-opening and safety guidelines to the government. My colleagues and I will continue to ask the Premier to provide the transparency that the people of Ontario deserve.
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 © 2020 MPP for Parkdale—High Park, All rights reserved.

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