COVID-19 - May 22 Update

Today, we saw the completion of the Quiet Streets expansion in the Carleton Village, Pelham Park and Earlscourt neighbourhoods. This is an important north-south route which provides pedestrians and cyclists with a safer way for them to travel and physically distance. This project was completed on an accelerated timeline and I am glad we could deliver it sooner for the community. As the Quiet Streets program expands under ActiveTO, we continue to have conversations with City staff about further improvements to the program that will make it safer for everyone.

At today’s City update, the Mayor once again called on the Federal and Provincial government to start the conversation on financial support for Toronto and other municipalities. With an estimated shortfall of $1.5 to $2.8 billion in 2020, we need this commitment urgently. To make up for this shortfall through property taxes would require a 47% hike, something Toronto families cannot afford and which the City of course would never consider. To explain the gravity of the situation, the Mayor explained that to make up for this shortfall, the City would have to make cuts across the board - to the TTC, Toronto Fire and Police services, child care subsidies, shelters, long-term care and other services. It would of course be unacceptable to make these cuts, especially at a time when these services are most needed. Strong cities are needed to build strong economies, but we need a commitment now from other levels of government to help us through this crisis and into a strong restart and recovery.

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.

Finally, I join with all members of our community in extending to Muslims across our City our best wishes as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking the end Ramadan. We know that this year's Eid al-Fitr will be different in terms of the public health emergency still in place but we also know that family and friends will still be able to connect safely this year.

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 are below in the document the government has released today.
https://files.ontario.ca/edu-ontario-online-continuity-of-learning-plan-2020-en-05-19-2020.pdf

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 at their webpage below.
https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/

Local Updates

Outdoor season of the Saturday Farmers Market begins this weekend
The outdoor season of the Saturday Farmers Market will begin on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Outdoor farmers will be located on Market Street between The Esplanade and Wilton Street. Other farmers will continue to operate inside the Temporary Market. Lineup areas for the indoor and outdoor farmers will continue to start on Market Street for entrance to both areas. Visitors who are not from the same household are required to maintain a physical distance of two metres. All visitors are encouraged to wear a mask or face covering. Please visit stlawrencemarket.com for more information 

More ActiveTO major road closures planned for this weekend
City of Toronto will expand its ActiveTO major road closures footprint this weekend to provide residents with more space to physically distance while outdoors and getting exercise. The following three major road closures are planned this weekend from Saturday, May 23 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, May 24 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. The eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.

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 public figures from the GTA and across Ontario.

ReelAbilities Film Festival
ReelAbilities Film Festival Toronto (https://www.facebook.com/reelabilitiesTO/) is continuing through to Sunday! RAFFTO is Canada's largest film festival showcasing disability and Deaf culture and narratives and is 100% digital and entirely barrier-free.

Check out the entire festival at https://reelabilities.org/toronto/ and the free children's education program ReelEducation!

Black Foundation of Community Networks (BFCN) 9th Annual Scholarships
The Black Foundation of Community Networks (BFCN) has launched their 9th Annual Scholarships Application. This year, BFCN will be awarding three $1000 scholarships to qualifying students pursuing undergraduate education at an accredited Canadian University or College in September 2020. Eligible students are invited to submit applications for the BFCN Annual Scholarships and the BFCN Aim 2 Achieve Award. Deadline for applications is July 31, 2020

Recent Announcements

Municipal

Toronto Public Health partners with RNAO to scale up local COVID-19 response
In the City of Toronto's ongoing efforts to reduce COVID-19 spread, Toronto Public Health (TPH) is pleased to announce a partnership with the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). Through this partnership TPH will hire more local registered nurses (RNs) to support case and contact management efforts, and support public health work as we move towards the COVID-19 recovery stage.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
There are 9,357 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 258 cases since yesterday. There are 411 cases in hospital, with 96 in ICU. In total, 6,998 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 113 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 Helps People Impacted by COVID-19 Get Back to Work
As the economy gradually reopens, the Ontario government is helping people affected by COVID-19 get back to work. The province is investing in Ontario's first Virtual Action Centre, an online counselling and training portal, to support laid off and unemployed hospitality workers, and is helping apprentices by providing grants to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools.

Ontario Makes it Easier to Conduct Business during COVID-19
The Government of Ontario is making it easier for people to conduct business and practice physical distancing in the new COVID-19 environment. The province is permitting Ontario corporations to conduct virtual meetings and to defer certain annual meetings in specified circumstances and is allowing the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents, and electronic filing of documents. These changes are part of COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020.

Federal

Government of Canada announces online tool, “Find financial help during COVID-19” to assist Canadians in accessing financial support
Today, the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government, announced a web-based benefits finder tool, “Find financial help during COVID-19”,  on canada.ca/coronavirusbenefits, to help people living in Canada determine which government benefits programs best meet their needs

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