This week is National Nurses Week – an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices nurses are making to ensure the safety of our community, our city, and our country. Tonight we will have the chance to talk to Sarah Downey, CEO and President of Michael Garron Hospital in our Facebook Live about the work being done in our hospitals and how to best support our health professionals. To all nurses: thank you! Your hard work is recognized. You are heroes.
May is Jewish Heritage Month which provides us with the opportunity to learn, share and celebrate the history and culture of Jewish Canadians. Did you know that our community is home to two of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the city? I spoke in Parliament about Jewish History Month, which you can read here: https://openparliament.ca/debates/2017/10/3/julie-dabrusin-1/only/
Thank you for your continued effort #TorontoDanforth. Your hard work is paying off. Read below for community and federal updates.
Facebook Live tonight: Update from Michael Garron Hospital
Thank you for tuning into my Facebook Live check-ins. We have had some great conversations with travel, plastics, and vaping policy experts. This week I will be hosting Sarah Downey, CEO and President of Michael Garron Hospital. This will be an opportunity to talk with Ms. Downey about the Hospital, COVID-19, the federal response and more. If you would like to ask her a question, our Facebook Live will be tonight at 7pm on my Facebook page. If you can’t make it, you can send us an email with your question titled “Facebook Live Question” and we will answer it on the stream. The livestream will be available to watch afterwards on my page, so keep a lookout.
Neighbourhood Snapshot: Local Hero
Across our community we have amazing people doing wonderful things to support one another. Whether it’s caring for those who are ill in hospitals and long-term care homes, or delivering groceries and food to your loved ones, the effort you put in to others makes this time a little bit easier for those around you.
We had a community member highlight a grade 7 teacher at Earl Grey Senior Public School: Mr. Wong. I would like to share the message we were sent highlighting how above and beyond Mr. Wong has gone to show support to his students and students’ families:
“Mr. Wong and his family baked cookies for all the students in 7C. He also prepared personalized handwritten notes. This morning, he visited my son (at a distance), passed along the cookies and checked in on him. My boy was thrilled to talk with him about what he has been doing and how he is feeling. Mr. Wong went on to visit every child in the class who was open to a visit.”
It was also the little things that made a big difference to his class: “He provides his class with opportunities to read and write about family, encouraging everyone to remember all the things that we can be grateful for without forgetting the challenges faced by many.”
Thank you to Mr. Wong, and all teachers, for providing a positive experience for our students.
We encourage you to email us about local heros you would like to highlight within the community. Send us your stories at email@example.com.
Heritage Emergency Funding
Our creative industries provide us with our entertainment and solace in difficult times. They are also an important economic industry for Canada, with our culture and sports sector making up 3% of our country’s GDP. This week, details were announced about how $500 million emergency funds for the creative industries and sports sector will be distributed. You can find more information on the funding here.
Support for Seniors
I have talked with many seniors in our community about the additional expenses they face during this pandemic. This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced additional measures to support our seniors to build on our GST top up. These additional investments include:
- A one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
- Expanding the New Horizons for Seniors Program. These programs help reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network.
- Temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed. This will ensure that the most vulnerable seniors continue to receive their benefits when they need them the most. To avoid an interruption in benefits, seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020.
More details about additional seniors’ supports can be found here.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Expansion
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) covers 75% of an employees wages for eligible businesses. To date, about 120k businesses, covering 2 million employees across our country have seen their wages covered through this program. This past weekend, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the subsidy will be extended past its June 6 end date, in recognition that government assistance will be needed as businesses begin to re-open during the summer. I have talked with many businesses who had requested this additional support and I was happy to see the program expanded to take into account this feedback.
Your comments and advice do have an impact on the programs put in place by our government. I have seen changes made to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and other emergency measures because of the points raised by community members and Canadians across our country. I continue to raise your ideas with government on our emergency programs and always welcome your feedback.
CBC Radio Canada
Cette semaine j’ai parlé avec Radio Canada, nous avons discuté comment les séances virtuelles changent le ton et l’avancement des rencontres et mon travail au quotidien.
This week I spoke with CBC Radio Canada about how virtual Parliament has had an impact on the tone and progress of our meetings, and what my work entails on a daily basis. You can listen to the interview en français here.
I know this has been a difficult and stressful couple of months, but your efforts to stay at home, help your neighbours, and support local businesses are making a positive difference. Please stay vigilant and feel free to pass on any fun ideas or good news stories you’d like us to know about and share with the community.