I write this update to you as we see our province and other parts of our country re-open after over three months of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. The federal government recognizes that we continue to feel the impacts on our community and has extended the Wage Subsidy until the end of the summer. Also, Canada Summer Jobs has increased its subsidy to 100% of a young employee’s wages with more flexible hiring timelines. I have heard from many of you about the need to extend CERB and I have been advocating for this program to be continued and adapted as we transition from the lockdown.
This week we also continued to examine and work on steps to fight systemic anti-Black racism in our country. Over the past years, we have seen some positive steps taken by our government. For example, we committed funds to develop mental health programs for Black Canadians and provided funding to Statistics Canada to create a new Centre for Gender Diversity and Inclusion Statistics whose mandate includes increasing the disaggregation of data sets with a focus on the experience of Black Canadians. In addition, an Anti-Racism Secretariat was created in the public service as part of an Anti-Racism Strategy. These are beginning steps. More needs to be done, and I appreciate the time that community members have taken to share with me their ideas as to which next steps should be our priority.
In this newsletter you can read about:
- Tonight’s Facebook Live on Universal Basic Income with former Senator Art Eggleton,
- Canada Day events and how to get a flag,
- Federal Update on Family Reunification and Disability Tax Top Up
- Community Heroes: local restaurants supporting our community
- Get involved: South Riverdale Community Health Centre is looking for Board Members
Facebook Live: Former Senator Art Eggleton
During last week’s Facebook Live I answered questions that had been sent in previous weeks on COVID-19 and federal programs. If you missed it, you can watch it here.
I miss the springtime tradition of going to classrooms and meeting with students to talk with them about my work and how they can get involved in politics. Last week we had a fun Virtual Civics class. The children had great questions and you can watch it here (look out for the question about whether my children bother me when I’m trying to work!).
This week I am welcoming a special guest, former Senator, MP, Minister and long-time Mayor of Toronto, Art Eggleton. We will be discussing universal basic income. Please tune in to ask me questions you may have about COVID-19, federal programs and anything else.
Know you can’t make it but want to ask a question? Simply reply to this e-mail with the subject line “Facebook Live Question” and we will get to it during the check-in.
Get your Canada Flags here!
This Canada Day will be unlike any we’ve seen before. I am so impressed with our hard-working community members who’ve quickly pivoted to turning to virtual celebrations so that we can still share the day proudly. You can participate in the virtual East York Canada Day Parade and Neighbours Together on Canada Day. Please check their social media to see how you can contribute!
To show your Canada Day pride, please order your free flag from my office here: https://forms.gle/D9n3ASveJ5y2kN2cA. We will have a limited number of 3’x5′ flags that we will mail to your home address in Toronto-Danforth. If you have submitted an email request already, there is no need to fill out this form.
As of June 8, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents can enter Canada to be with those family members if they:
- do not have COVID-19,
- do not exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19,
- do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19,
- and will be visiting the immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.
Foreign nationals who are admitted into Canada pursuant to this exemption must quarantine for 14 days.
An immediate family member refers to a person’s:
- spouse or common-law partner;
- dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
- dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b);
- parent or step-parent or the parent or step-parent of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
This change does not apply to immediate family members of temporary residents in Canada, such as those on a student or work visa.
Please see here for more detailed information
Disability Tax Credit Top up
Last week our government announced a one-time $600 top up for those who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. It is proposed that you are eligible for this top up and would receive it if you were eligible for the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1st. For those who are eligible but under the age of 18 the payment will be sent to their primary caregiver or in cases of shared custody $300 each.
1.2 million Canadians will be eligible for this tax credit to support Canadians with disabilities who are currently unemployed and others who are out of the labour market entirely and in need of support during this time.
Community Heroes: Restaurants Supporting our Community
Momo Hut and Gardens Restaurant (401 Danforth Ave, 416-363-8580) is donating lunches to local community organizations such as women’s shelters, homeless shelters and seniors’ homes. They will be doing these lunches every Wednesday, which in Tibetan tradition is called “Lhakar” which means spreading positivity and compassion. They are looking for sponsors to pay for the groceries; Momo Hut will shop, prep, cook, pack and deliver on their behalf. If you are interested in sponsoring, please get in touch with Momo Hut directly.
Lazy Daisy Café (1515 Gerrard St E) has opened a General Store as an expansion to the café. Recognizing that many are doing with much less during these times, they have added an option to their check out where shoppers can buy groceries at discounted prices for Lazy Daisy to donate to Glen Rhodes Food Bank. For more information on this program, visit the Lazy Daisy Cafe Instagram or their website General Store – Lazy Daisy’s Cafe.
Mezes (456 Danforth Ave) has been – since the beginning of the pandemic – donating a hot meal to a food bank for every in-house take-out dinner ordered. Please see here for details.
Thank you to these restaurants who despite enduring hardship themselves are still thinking of others. Do you know of another restaurant or organization that is helping out during these difficult times? Please let us know about them so that we can celebrate and help spread their kindness.
South Riverdale Community Health Centre update
South Riverdale Community Health Centre is looking for new board members! SRCHC is a community organization that is committed to a wide array of important community health programming like harm reduction, outreach to those who may have difficulty accessing health cases and health promotion programming for children, adults and seniors. For more information visit the SRCHC Board Recruitment page. The deadline for receiving applications is July 17th and interviews will be held the weeks of July 27th and August 3rd.
Stay well and hope to see you soon.