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Dear Neighbour, 

The Ontario government has announced that students in Toronto will return to in-person learning on February 16. 

I know that online learning has been challenging for students, families, and teachers across the province. We all want our kids back in school as quickly as possible, but we also want to make sure that kids and education workers are safe, able to stay in school and not have further disruptions down the road especially given the new variants of the virus. That is why, my colleagues and I will continue to push for:

  • In-school testing

  • Better ventilation

  • Smaller class sizes

  • Paid sick days and family leave days so parents can afford to keep sick kids home

As you know, I have been very vocal in the need to legislate paid sick days. This week, Toronto City Council voted in support of paid sick days. Toronto has joined other GTA municipalities like Brampton and Mississauga, and groups like Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Decent Work and Health Network, Alliance for Healthier Communities, Ontario Federation of Labour, and more in calling the Premier to legislate paid sick days. As revealed in the Toronto Star, 65% of workers in the GTA are doing work that is considered ‘essential’ and an estimated 90% of low-wage workers do not have paid sick days. We can stop the spread of the virus by ensuring that no one is forced to choose between going to work sick or losing their wages. 

Finally, an important announcement I want to bring to your attention is that the Ontario government has begun public consultations for Budget 2021. The survey should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete. This is a great way to make sure the government hears the priorities of our community loud and clear! Click here to complete the survey. 

I have also included updates on vaccines and more, below.

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

Warmly,

Bhutila Karpoche,
MPP for Parkdale—High Park

Return to in-person learning

  • The Minister of Education has announced that students in Toronto will be returning to in-person learning on February 16, 2021. 

  • Child care centres, before and after school programming will be allowed to reopen on that day as well. 

  • Emergency child care will remain available until and including February 12 for eligible frontline workers.

Vaccine Update

Supply Reductions from Federal Government

  • On January 19th, the province was notified by the federal government of further reductions in Pfizer-BioNTech allocations, resulting in:
    • no allocations in the week of January 25th
    • 26,325 doses in the week of February 1st (reduction of approx. 82%)
    • 27,300 doses in the week of February 8 (reduction of approx. 81%)
    • 130,650 doses in the week of February 15 (reduction of approx. 8%)
    • 155,025 doses in the week of February 22 (increase of approx. 9%)
    • No allocations have been provided beyond the week of February 22.
       
  • On January 29th, the province was advised by the Federal Government that the allocation of Moderna for the week of February 1 will be decreased by 18,200 doses (approx. 22% decrease).
    • Ontario is expecting to receive 63,400 doses of Moderna by the end of the week of February 1st.
  • You can read the full technical briefing on vaccines here.

Long Term Care

  • Residents of long-term care, high-risk retirement and FN elder care homes continue to be the priority for vaccination, as a result of the supply issues as outlined above, first doses for staff and essential caregivers has been suspended temporarily

  • Once sufficient doses are available, vaccinations will resume provide first doses for staff and essential caregivers 

  • All long-term care home residents across the province will receive an offer for the first dose of the vaccine by February 10. 

Ontario Community Support Program

The government will be extending the Ontario Community Support Program (OCSP) until 2022. The OCSP enables low-income seniors and disabled people to have access to food, medicine, and other essentials during the pandemic. The program operates by matching volunteer services with vulnerable Ontarians through an online registration system. If you need to access Meals on Wheels or get essentials like medicine delivered, visit www.ontariocommunitysupport.ca.

Ontario Business Support Grant

Applications are open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. Businesses who are required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown are eligible to apply. Businesses must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20% when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. You can find out how to apply here.

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.
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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
Email: BKarpoche-CO@ndp.on.ca 
BhutilaKarpoche.ca
Copyright © 2021 MPP for Parkdale—High Park, All rights reserved.


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