As announced on Tuesday by the provincial government, Ontario entered its second state of emergency as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Included in the emergency declaration was a stay at home order which requires Ontarians, including here in Toronto, to remain within their homes with the exception of certain exemptions. While there is still much clarification needed on these measures' specifics, the Province has provided further details. Other measures included a delay to in-person schooling for children until February 10th, additional gathering restrictions and increased powers for enforcement officers to issue fines to individuals who do not follow these public health regulations. We should all continue to conduct ourselves in a manner that has proven to limit the spread of COVID-19 – stay home and only leave for essential trips or work, wash our hands, wear our masks and avoid contact with people outside our households.
Throughout this pandemic, we have all expressed our appreciation for the dedication and courage shown by our essential workers, especially in the health care sector and in following these public health restrictions we directly support them by our actions. It continues to be of concern that many essential workers are employed with low wages and inadequate paid sick days, if they have any at all. I had hoped to see changes announced by the provincial government this week to address the sick days issue, as for many of these workers the prospect of missing a paycheque when away ill is extremely challenging for them and yet we tell people remain at home if they are sick. I will continue to advocate for the changes in provincial law that would extend to all workers paid sick leave when they need to stay at home.
On January 18, the City and Toronto Public Health are launching an initial ‘proof-of-concept’ immunization clinic at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This first clinic will help test and adjust immunization clinic setup in non-hospital settings, ensuring safety and increasing efficiency in advance of wider immunization. Staff will evaluate all aspects of clinic operations, including technology, logistics and operating procedure. In accordance with provincial allocations of COVID-19 vaccine, the goal of this first clinic is to vaccinate 250 people per day. The clinic will operate with a sample group of healthcare workers, who are directly involved in the frontline response to COVID-19, including frontline shelter workers and harm-reduction and Streets to Homes staff who work in support of some of Toronto’s most vulnerable residents.
Today City launched the 2021 budget which as you know will be very challenging in view of the impacts of the pandemic. According to the City's projections, COVID-19 is estimated to add $1.6 billion in budgetary pressures in 2021. Our focus is to maintain services while working to implement a robust, equitable and quick recovery. We need our rebuilding process to move forward in a way that is compassionate, creative and innovative and in so doing we can ensure equal opportunity for everyone in our City. Despite finding $500 million in savings last year, the impact of COVID continues to have significant financial pressures. We must continue to have the support we need as a City from both the provincial and federal governments. With the 2021 City Budget under review, we must have these conversations now to ensure we can continue providing the important services we all rely on to make a vibrant, sustainable and healthy city. Despite these challenges, we are also making investments that we know will benefit the City and our communities, including in affordable housing, restoring and enhancing the Fair Pass Program and planning additional ActiveTO and CafeTO initiatives. To help you navigate this year's budget, I will be hosting my annual budget town hall this February, with details coming soon.
Table of Contents
- Question from the Community!
- Toronto's Budget: Get Involved!
- Provincial Moratorium on Residential Evictions
- City Hall Live Spotlight
- Learn about the City's Snow Maintenance Programs
- Carleton Village Community Town Hall
- Beautifying Laneways in Carleton Village
- Wallace Emerson Community Town Hall
- Become a Mentor!
- Zero Waste High-Rise Project announces NEW tools, resources and a micro-grant opportunity
- Recent Announcements
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 [email protected].
Where can I get further information on the enhanced Provincial public health and workplace safety measures?
On Wednesday, January 13, the Ontario government released additional details on the new measures and how they affect individuals, businesses and various activities. You can review those details here.
Toronto’s Budget: Get Involved!
Each year, City staff put forward a preliminary budget and then the Mayor and City Council − with input from Toronto residents and businesses − make decisions about the City’s services, programs and infrastructure work before approval of the final budget at the end of the process.
Our City's budget is a crucial part of realizing our goals as a great City and I encourage you to provide your comments and recommendations as we work on the 2021 budget as this process takes place during a time when there are unique and substantial pressures facing our City.
Provincial Moratorium on Residential Evictions
Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has announced today that they have issued an emergency order to temporarily pause residential eviction enforcement. This is an important and necessary step to keep people safe and healthy as we combat the pandemic.
City Hall Live Spotlight
The City of Toronto, in partnership with Unison Benevolent Fund, is launching City Hall Live Spotlight, a weekly livestreamed concert series as part of ShowLoveTO. This is to support the local music industry and provide Toronto residents with music experiences at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are encouraged to make a night of it by ordering in their favourite takeout and settling in for a concert in the comfort of their own home.
Learn about the City’s Snow Maintenance Programs
Have questions about City snow services? Use the link above to access the City plow map, learn about snow removal, salt management and more.
Carleton Village Community Town Hall
On January 20 at 6:30PM, I will be hosting a meeting for residents of Carleton Village on keeping our community vibrant, safe, and inclusive. To be part of the conversation, please register using the link above.
Laneway Park-ing is a project to improve a local laneway in Carleton Village, running from Connolly to Davenport between Osler and Gillespie. It will transform the laneway into a people-friendly space for everyone to use and enjoy - on foot, on bikes and in cars - by adding gardens, public art and lighting to the laneway edges of neighbouring properties, at the request of property owners and in collaboration with community members.
If you live beside the laneway on Osler or Gillespie and would like to request a new mural, garden or light on the laneway edge of your property, let them know! Send an email to [email protected] by February 15 to have your laneway improvement included in the project.
For more project information anytime, visit www.thelanewayproject.ca/carletonvillagepark-ing.
Wallace Emerson Community Town Hall
On January 28th, 2021 at 6:30 PM, I will be hosting a meeting for Wallace Emerson residents on keeping our community vibrant, safe, and inclusive. To be part of the conversation, please register using the link above.
Become a Mentor!
MENTOR Canada is a coalition of organizations that enhance and expand youth mentoring. They are working together to expand access to mentoring and to empower every young person to fulfil their potential. MENTOR Canada is funded by the Government of Canada Youth Employment Skills Strategy (ESDC) and BMO Financial Group.
Now more than ever, young people need mentors. Over 15,000 young people across Canada are waiting to be connected to a mentor just like you.
Zero Waste High-Rise Project announces NEW tools, resources and a micro-grant opportunity
The Toronto Environmental Alliance’s (TEA) Zero Waste High-Rise Project aims to inspire, support and celebrate multi-residential buildings to become zero waste leaders.
Join a community of residents and staff from buildings across Toronto and participate in an online program with virtual learning sessions, guides and tools to walk you through creating a zero waste action plan for your building. Participants will also be contributing to valuable research by TEA and the University of Toronto to help more buildings reduce waste.
- A limited number of micro-grants up to $500 will be available to support Toronto buildings
- TEA will recognize and celebrate all buildings that have taken action by February 28th
- Building teams can sign up for coaching sessions with TEA staff, and attend virtual tours of leading buildings
The Project is funded by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in partnership with University of Toronto
City of Toronto launches 2021 tax-supported budgets
The City of Toronto’s Budget Committee began the process of reviewing the staff-recommended tax-supported operating and capital budgets for 2021. The budgets will be reviewed and debated by both the Budget and Executive Committees before being finalized and approved by City Council at its meeting on February 18.
Toronto Public Health launches new case-control study focused on residents who recently tested negative for COVID-19
Toronto Public Health (TPH) will launch a retrospective case-control study to identify exposure settings and activities that are associated with significantly increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 in Toronto. This study will include a focus on residents who recently tested negative for COVID-19 – a new approach for public health units in Canada – and will focus on issues like work environments, living arrangements and other activities including social gatherings or visits to public spaces.
City of Toronto supporting new provincial regulations and stay-at-home order
Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 72,679 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 789 new cases today. There are 421 people hospitalized. In total, 61,839 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 2,098 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.
City of Toronto creates new shelter design guidelines building on best practices and advice from those with lived experience
The City of Toronto has created new Shelter Design Guidelines based on extensive consultation that lays out best practices in the design of new permanent shelters in Toronto.
The Guidelines include a broad range of areas from design approaches and principles, through to functional components of the building, environmental design and materials and finishes. The Guidelines incorporate directives already in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the shelter system.
The Guidelines include input from a wide range of stakeholders including Indigenous people, Black people, people of colour, LGBTQ2S+, those with accessibility needs and youth who experience homelessness.
The Ontario government is preparing to immunize up to 8.5 million people before the end of Phase Two
The Ontario government is preparing to immunize up to 8.5 million people before the end of Phase Two of the government's vaccine implementation plan, which aims to receive, store and administer COVID-19 vaccines to Ontarians as soon as supply is available.
Ontario Declares Second Provincial Emergency to Address COVID-19 Crisis and Save Lives
In response to a doubling in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, the real and looming threat of the collapse of the province's hospital system and alarming risks posed to long-term care homes as a result of high COVID-19 transmission rates, the Ontario Government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, has declared a second provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA).
Ontario Increasing Workplace Inspections during COVID-19
The Ontario Government is taking additional measures to protect workers in response to rising COVID-19 cases. Beginning this coming Saturday and Sunday, approximately 50 ministry inspectors, as well as local bylaw and police officers, will be visiting big-box stores in Toronto, Hamilton, Peel, York and Durham. The blitz will focus on ensuring workers and patrons are wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and following every health and safety measure. Workplace health and safety inspectors will have the authority to ticket supervisors, employees and patrons who do not comply with COVID-19 safety requirements, temporarily close a premise and disperse groups of more than five people.
Statement from the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health: Implementing COVID-19 Vaccination in Canada — Vaccine Dose Interval
Vaccination is a very important tool to help with the control and long-term management of COVID-19. The availability of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a turning point in the global pandemic. This achievement is a testament to the collaboration among scientists, manufacturers, and governments. Canada’s vaccine regulatory system conducts independent scientific reviews of vaccines and authorizes their use in Canada only when strict standards for safety and effectiveness have been met. Two vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, have met these requirements to date and are now available to vaccinate Canadians in phased roll-outs that prioritizes those most at risk.
Government of Canada funds over 90 projects through the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative
On May 16, 2020, the Government of Canada launched a call for proposals under the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative, to support Black-led organizations as they serve Black Canadian communities. Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, announced that over 90 projects have been approved to date, representing up to $7 million in funding.
Through this call for proposals, Black-led non-profit organizations applied for funding of up to $100,000 to improve their workplaces and community spaces, by purchasing work-related equipment and undertaking renovations of existing spaces to enhance their functionality.