I want to start this email by offering my condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the horrible shooting in Nova Scotia this week. Support from across our country helped when we felt the pain of such violence in our community. We mourn with those who lost loved ones, and send our heartfelt thoughts to everyone affected.
Today is #EarthDay, and this year, we’re taking it indoors. While we’re unable to gather and do activities outside to mark the day, there are still many ways you can be environmentally engaged while inside. Check out Earth Day Canada for inspiration on how to commemorate the day and celebrate our earth. Share with me your favourite way to commemorate Earth Day this year.
#EarthDay Facebook Live
This weekend would normally be a time for cleanups around our city. In past years, I have joined you as we have cleaned up parks, beaches and ravines around our community. At every cleanup, we take note of the single-use plastic litter all around us. Unfortunately the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and the City of Toronto have had to cancel their cleanup events that were scheduled for this weekend. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup does have some great webinars and online educational activities about the impacts of plastic debris and litter. Check out their newsletter here.
Join me for an #EarthDay-themed Facebook Live tonight all about plastic pollution. We will be joined by special guest, Chelsea Rochman of the Rochman Lab in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. We will talk about working to reduce plastic pollution and how we can all play a role in solving this problem.
We start live streaming at 7pm. Click here to get a reminder notification before we begin the check-in. If you can’t make it but want to ask a question, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Facebook live question”. We will try to answer as many as possible.
On Sunday, April 26th at 7pm, on CBC, Citytv, CTV, Global, and V as well as select specialty networks, radio stations, and streaming platforms across Canada, watch or listen to a one-hour broadcast featuring a star-studded Canadian lineup coming together for “STRONGER TOGETHER, TOUS ENSEMBLE” – a program to support frontline workers and Food Banks Canada’s $150 million campaign. For all the details, click here.
There has been a noticeable rise in scam and fraud attempts exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic as a phishing hook. Luckily, there are many red flags to look out for if you are unsure about an e-mail or a text message. Here are some common signs you can look out for when you’re skeptical about a message you’ve received: https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/nfgrphcs/phishing/ph2-en.aspx
Thursday, April 23rd, is the first evening of Ramadan. This year, prayer and celebrations will be quite different as we continue to practice physical distancing. Madinah Masjid will be providing online prayer services as well as offering assistance where needed. Click this link to see their 2020 Ramadan Calendar, and see the infographic on their website on ways the Mosque is helping our neighbourhood and how to get involved. Please also see VirtualRamadan.ca for a way for Muslims to virtually participate together in Ramadan across Canada.
How to Safely Remove PPE
It has been recommended by Public Health Canada that you use homemade PPE in areas and situations where physical distancing is not possible. This includes on public transit, in a grocery store, a pharmacy – whenever you are out in public. Ontario Public Health has this handy video on how to safely remove your PPE to keep you and those around you safe.
National Canadian Film Day
Today is #NationalCanadianFilmDay brought to you by REEL Canada, an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the incredible work Canadian artists do to bring us some of the best films in the world. This year, the celebrations go online – between 6 and 10pm – you can visit here for the livestream featuring Sandra Oh, Jay Baruchel, Colm Feore, Ethan Hawke, Atom Egoyan, Meghan Follows, Mina Shum, Philippe Falardeau, Don McKellar and many more. To make the evening even more exciting, you can join one of the online watch parties hosted by Canadian artists. Click here to read the details and join in.
This week is Volunteer Appreciation Week. There are so many in our community volunteering their time and services to serve those in need. Whether it is buying groceries for those who can’t, donating materials for homemade masks, or making them, I am inspired by the #EastEndLove our community has shown.
Thank you to those who nominated neighbourhood volunteers to be acknowledged for their hard work. Join me on my Facebook Live tonight as we recognize those who have been nominated for going above and beyond to assist their neighbours.
Round 2 of the Great Kitchen Party is tonight at 8pm! If you can, consider supporting local restaurants by ordering takeout. In addition to the maps provided by our local BIAs (below), please also see a new shared directory created organically in the Facebook group Your East End Community Stores are Online.
Support for Post-Secondary Students
Just today, the Prime Minister announced proposed support for young Canadians who have recently graduated or are still in post-secondary school. The supports proposed are the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG).
Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) is
- for young Canadians who were counting on summer jobs or new careers to make ends meet and who are not covered by the CERB,
- proposed to provide $1,250 per month from May through August for eligible students, and $1,750 for students with dependents or permanent disabilities.
Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) will
- provide up to $5,000 for a student’s education in the fall, for students who work in national service positions through organizations within their community and
- help students develop their skills and give back to their communities during these challenging times
You can read the news release for more details on the proposed legislation.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
On Monday, April 27th, the application for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will become available. If you are a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020. Click here for details on eligibility and how to apply.
Emergency Community Support Fund
This week, the Prime Minister announced investments into the Emergency Community Support Fund to provide additional financial assistance to charities and non-profits.
The investment will support local organizations that serve vulnerable populations in a variety of activities, including:
- Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications
- Providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments
- Scaling up help lines that provide information and support
- Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits
- Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response
- Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet
Click here for more details
As always, I encourage you to continue with the important work we are all doing to keep ourselves and each other healthy. Stay at home as much as possible, wash your hands, ensure you maintain proper physical distancing when you do need to go outdoors – and please, keep thanking and being kind to those that are working to keep us fed, cared for, and safe. Our collective work as a community is beginning to pay off, so let’s make sure to see it through.