COVID-19 - May 21 Update

Today is Toronto Newcomer Day. In June of 1991, I was a newcomer to this city and country. Every year, thousands of newcomers share a similar story, bringing their hopes, dreams and ambitions for a better life. As we celebrate this important day, let us all remember that their success is our success, and that we are all neighbours.

On Thursday, June 4 at 7pm, I will be hosting my third Virtual Davenport Town Hall to bring our community together, share updates from the City and hear from you about how we can support our community further. You can register for this event here, or by calling our office at 416.392.7012.  I look forward to connecting with you.

For those who follow the City’s committees and Council meetings, I wanted to share that many will be proceeding in the month of June. You can see the full calendar here. Until further notice, these meetings will be conducted through digital means. You can view these meetings through the City’s YouTube page. I am pleased that we are able to continue important City business despite the restrictions this pandemic has placed on us. City Council is scheduled to meet next Thursday, May 28.

In 2019, the City of Toronto was required to decide under provincial law whether cannabis retail establishments could operate in the City. As licenses continue to be provided, several residents have reached out with concerns regarding the clustering of these businesses and its effect on maintaining a diverse retail environment. While many of us are not opposed to these businesses, there is a vaild concern around the concentration of their services in our neighbourhoods. As cannabis dispensaries are regulated through the province, and municipalities are not involved in the licensing process, I wrote a letter to the Minister of Finance and the Attorney General of Ontario requesting that the province review and reconsider the legislation that deals with cannabis retail outlets in the context of providing to municipalities the tools to manage the issue of congregating establishments.

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 heard that the provincial government will not be bringing schools back in June and that they had a plan to ensure learning can continue? Where can we see that plan?
Yes, the provincial government did announce that schools will not be returning this academic year. They did announce a plan to ensure online continuity of learning. The details of the plan can be found here.

When are Toronto's public libraries going to re-open?
The province has just announced that public libraries can begin to re-open with restrictions including curbside pickup and delivery. As a result of the provincial announcement, the Toronto Public Library is preparing to offer curbside pickup and delivery. It will take a few weeks to prepare the libraries before this service is restored but the Toronto Public Library will make an announcement when this is ready to commence. Details about the Toronto Public Library and services are available here.

Local Updates

Sistering Selects a Mural Quote
Sistering has been working to have a new mural for their building and have decided on a wonderful quote – “Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it”. The quote's author is Rosemary Brown, who is Canada's first black female member of a provincial legislature, the first woman to run for a leadership position in a federal political party, a recipient of the Order of Canada and a social worker. This quote powerful quote speaks to community solidarity and increased need for activism and support for our community.

FPCBP Speaker Series – Working Together to Save Main Streets
On Tuesday, May 26 at 5:00PM, I encourage you to join me for the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Businesses and Professionals Speaker Series on working together to save main streets. I will be joined by community and business leaders from across the GTA and Ontario.

Metrolinx Davenport Diamond Shoring Wall Update
As part of the construction of the Davenport Diamond Grade Separation Project, the constructor will be installing a temporary shoring wall as a part of initial construction work. This wall will support the diversion track which is constructed next to the open excavated pit.

The work is scheduled to start in early June and last for approximately five weeks. Please note these dates are tentative, and work could be rescheduled due to weather conditions.

This work is scheduled to take place in the corridor from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Noise levels will be higher during drilling operations for the installation of piles, which is expected to last for approximately nine days.

The Government of Canada Emergency Community Support Fund
The Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund is now open. The Emergency Community Support Fund supports community organizations helping vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis. Community organizations may seek funds to undertake a wide range of activities and to serve a wide range of vulnerable groups.

Recent Announcements

Municipal

Toronto Public Library starting curbside drop-off and pick-up service
Toronto Public Library (TPL) today announced details about the rollout of its curbside drop-off and pick-up service. Starting Monday, May 25, select library drop boxes will be opened to accept the return of library materials. On Monday, June 1, drop boxes at all remaining accessible branches will open to accept returns. TPL estimates that there are more than one million items currently out on loan.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
There are 9,357 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 228 cases since yesterday. There are 411 cases in hospital, with 96 in ICU. In total, 6,885 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 150 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 732 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. 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.

Provincial

Ontario Leading COVID-19 Research in Canada
The Ontario government is quickly moving forward with innovative research to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19. These projects, part of the government's $20 million Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund, focus on areas of research such as vaccine development, diagnostics, drug trials and development, and social sciences. Additionally, Ontario is leading the country with 22 clinical trials investigating COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

Federal

Prime Minister announces additional support for Indigenous peoples living in urban centres and off reserve
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced $75 million in new funding for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve.

Minister of Labour provides an update on ongoing engagement with provincial and territorial counterparts and leaders of labour and industry to keep Canadian workers safe
The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, issued the statement linked above.

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