Dear Neighbour,

If we are going to be successful in stopping the spread of COVID-19, we must take action in key areas where outbreaks are occurring. Increasingly,
Ontario’s farms are becoming hot spots and a growing number of migrant farm workers are testing positive.

Amid COVID-19, the Ontario government has not been doing enough to protect migrant workers who are the backbone of our agricultural sector and doing the essential work during the pandemic for us to be able to have food on our tables. Reports of serious outbreaks in agricultural workplaces are growing as workers are not being provided with appropriate personal protective equipment, living in crowded bunk-housing, and with little to no capacity for self-isolation for those who are known to have the virus.
On one farm alone in Norfolk County, 164 of the 216 migrant workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

While health and safety is a top concern, there are other issues that are equally urgent. For example, migrant workers are not afforded the same protections and services that Canadian workers receive even though they pay income taxes. Many are scared to speak up in the workplace, for fear of retribution and not being allowed to return to Canada for work in the following year.

We need to work towards changes to protect migrant workers and right now we must immediately ensure they are safe during COVID-19 by providing agricultural workplaces with PPE, sanitizing stations, and infrastructure for self-isolation.

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
Provincial Announcements
  • Ontario’s State of Emergency has been extended to June 30. The extension, under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, was approved by the Ontario legislature on Tuesday. All emergency orders currently in force will stay active until that date, or further if the legislature approves a further extension.
  • Dr. Jane Philpott has been appointed by the Ontario government as the Special Advisor for the new Ontario Health Data Platform. This new platform will provide researchers and health system partners with access to anonymized health data to aid in the detection, planning, and response to COVID-19.
  • The Ministry of Long Term Care has issued a Mandatory Management Order for Woodbridge Vista Care Community in Vaughan and is appointing William Osler Health Centre to assume management for the next 90 days.
  • Starting today, short term rentals will be able to resume operations. This includes lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condos, and B&Bs. Appropriate infection prevention and control measures should be followed to ensure safety.
  • An announcement will be made early next week about the second stage of Ontario’s plan to reopen. It will not take effect immediately, but the announcement will give businesses a heads up to prepare for when that time comes. The government has not given a definite confirmation of when Stage 2 will begin.
  • The Ontario government announced the Premier’s Council on Equality of Opportunity (PCEO), a new advisory group that will provide advice on how young people can overcome social and economic barriers. PCEO will also be advising the government on long-term actions to support youth with the fallout of COVID-19.
  • 12% of Ontario households are currently underserved by broadband and internet services. The government of Ontario has announced an investment of $150M for reliable broadband and cellular services in rural communities as part of the Improving Connectivity in Ontario program.
Happy Pride Month!

Pride will look very different this year because of COVID-19, and I understand the impact that will have on 2SLGBTQIA+ members of the community who look forward to Pride as a time to connect with others and build community. This year, Pride will take other forms as we have already seen through the planning of virtual Pride events.

My colleagues and I are committed to tackling the challenges which continue to face the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. There is much to do, particularly in regards to Queer health care and long-term care. 2SLGBTQIA+ community members face many challenges accessing health care that is friendly, affirming, and meets their needs. Oftentimes, 2SLGBTQIA+ seniors who require long-term care are entering environments that are homophonic and transphobic, threatening their safety, and forcing them back into the closet. 

We’re committed to seeking Queer health justice by:

  • Creating more inclusive and affirmative publicly-owned long-term care
  • Making PrEP free and available
  • Ensuring more timely access to fertility programs - many of which have been put on hold during COVID-19
  • Making all gender-affirming transition drugs and therapies accessible, and fully covered by OHIP and improving access to primary and secondary gender-affirming surgeries and transition-related procedures
  • Ensuring health care decisions respect the internationally accepted standards of care established by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health
Happy Pride, everyone!
Library Curbside Pickup
Toronto Public Library will be starting curbside pickup service at selected branches starting on Monday, June 8. Holds requested to branches not offering curbside pickup will be redirected to a nearby branch which is open. To utilize this service, you must request holds online for delivery at a local branch and only arrive at your scheduled pickup time.
  • The following branches will offer curbside pickup:
    • Parkdale Library
    • Runnymede Library
    • Jane/Dundas Library
    • High Park Library
  • The following branches will have their holds redirected:
    • Swansea Library (pick-up at Runnymede)
    • Annette Street Library (pick-up at Runnymede)
  • For more information, visit the library’s website. 
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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