COVID-19 - April 23 Update

Today we remembered the victims of the Yonge Street van attack, which happened two years ago. One of the victims, Anne Marie D’Amico, grew up in and was friends with many in our community. Last year, to honour her memory the D’Amico family and I unveiled the new Santa Chiara Parkette sign, which featured her name in memoriam. To prevent future violence against women, the D’Amico family created The D’Amico Foundation. Please consider donating if you can.

Today is the beginning of Ramadan for Muslim members of our community and I'd like to wish all of you a safe, reflective and spiritual month. While you're not able to gather with friends and families as you would usually do, I know you will find new ways to safely connect with them and the greater community at this time.

In the last few months are our way of life has changed dramatically. Economies across the world have literally ground to a stop. Across Canada, cities are rising to meet this challenge, but they are limited by outdated views of their role as municipalities. As a representative of the City of Toronto at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, I shared my voice today with my FCM colleagues across the country in calling for $10-15 billion in emergency operating funding for municipalities to keep essential services running and Canadians safe and protected.

As we work to provide relief, local governments are seeing their revenues fall. A best-case scenario for the City of Toronto is a projected total budget shortfall of $1.5 billion for 2020. Legally unable to run deficits, there are limitations to the support we can maintain. Today, we saw an example of this with the TTC, which with an 85% drop in ridership, it was forced to lay off 1,200 employees. This crisis has brought governments together towards a common goal but more will need to be done to protect the services and the roles of our cities.

Our office continues to work to serve you remotely. If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca or by phone at 416.392.7012.

In community,

Ana

Questions from the Community!

Each day, we are working to answer important questions from our community. To keep you all informed, we will feature some of these questions each newsletter. Have a question you think would be good to share? Reach out to us at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca.

I've heard that the City is helping people who need assistance with food and essentials. How do I get this help?

Yes, the City is working with partners to ensure that vulnerable residents across the City have access to food and essentials. You can connect with this support by calling "211" or visiting the 211toronto.ca website below.

 www.211toronto.ca or call "211"

I keep hearing about the provincial government having designated some services as essential and some as not. How do I find out what is allowed and what is not?

As part of the provincial government's declaration of a State of Emergency across Ontario, they also designated certain services and activities as essential and some as not. Those that are essential are permitted to continue operating and those that are not must stop operations. The list was updated recently with fewer services being permitted to operate. Below is a link to the provincial government's list which outlines in detail the list of essential services.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces

You can also call 1-888-444-3659.

Local Updates

Article - Unpacking the Sector’s Pandemic-Induced HR Crisis
This is a good article showing the challenges we see for our community services. With need at an all-time high, limited fundraising opportunities and people having less disposable income, it is a real challenge. That is why the $350m in federal funding is so important.

Dandelion Initiative (Donate)
As we are in Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I wish to highlight an organization shared with us by a resident. The Dandelion Initiative is a non-profit organization led by survivors of sexual violence for survivors of sexual violence. They prioritize the voices of women, 2SLGBTQ+ survivors, racialized and marginalized survivors and believe in the power of education as a form of resistance to violence. As people are remaining home to maintain physical distancing, we know that not all homes are safe. Please consider supporting this important cause if you are able.

Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre Snack Packs
Did you know that Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre has started a snack pack initiative for people in need? These packages include healthy items that specifically require no cooking and no tools to open and serve. In order to continue providing this service, they need your help!

Donations needed include cash, granola bars, fresh fruit, fresh rolls/buns, packaged pre-sliced ham or turkey, pre-sliced cheese, single serving packages of mayo or other condiments, cheese strings / single serving cheese, ramen noodles, canned fish or meat with pull tops (i.e. no can opener required), single serving nut butters, single serve packs of crackers, and baby wipes or 'wet nap' style hand wipes.

If you can donate or have further questions about this project, please contact glanglois@dpnchc.ca or call Gabrielle at 416-656-8025 ext. 204.

Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto marks one month into COVID-19 State of Emergency
Today marks one month since Mayor John Tory declared a State of Emergency in the City of Toronto following advice from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and the Office of Emergency Management.

City of Toronto asks residents to continue staying home and practising physical distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19
As of this afternoon, there are 4,347 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Cases include 3,933 confirmed cases and 414 probable cases. There are 293 cases hospitalized, with 106 in intensive care units. In the city, 222 people have died of COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform at toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto.

As the weather warms, the City is urging residents to remain at home, leaving only for essential reasons. To continue stopping the community spread of this deadly virus, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible.

Provincial

Ontario Delivers Action Plan to Increase Protection for Vulnerable People and Those Who Care for Them
Ontario is delivering a new COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People to better protect vulnerable populations during the outbreak of COVID-19. This plan builds on the government's previous actions to protect people living in high-risk settings, including homes serving those with developmental disabilities, shelters for survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking, children's residential settings, and those residential settings supporting vulnerable Indigenous individuals and families both on and off reserve.

Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is extending all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 6, 2020. This extension will help protect the health and well-being of people across the province and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Federal

Support for Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by COVID-19
As many post-secondary students adapt to the new reality brought on by COVID-19, they are concerned about the effect of the pandemic on their ability to continue their studies, secure and retain summer employment, pay their bills, and save for tuition in the fall. Additionally, students who are about to graduate might struggle to find employment in their field of study, which may in turn, have a negative impact on the value of their education over the long term.

The government has announced a series of measures as part of its COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan that will help Canadian students and recent graduates overcome these challenges and support their future success. These represent an investment of approximately $9 billion.

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