We are now in the 7th week of our changed routines as we continue to work together to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been difficult for many of us, and I want to stress the importance of prioritizing your mental health. This week is Mental Health Week which is a good reminder that we need to look after ourselves and our loved ones. We can still check in on our friends, family members and neighbours while maintaining physical distancing. A call or text can be so simple and yet mean so much.
Today, the Canadian military is holding a ramp ceremony at CFB Trenton to repatriate the remains of Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough and to honour Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, Captain Kevin Hagen, Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke and Master Corporal Matthew Cousins, all of whom were lost in a tragic helicopter crash last week. We thank them for their service, and send condolences to their family, friends and loved ones.
Mental Health Week and Programs
This week is Mental Health Week – a time for us to reflect on our own well-being – and to talk about the importance of mental health. Mental health is critical to our overall health yet we often dismiss it as less urgent or not deserving of our attention. Especially now, prioritizing our well-being, staying connected with our loved ones, and understanding our emotions are as important as ever.
The Prime Minister outlined virtual care and mental health tools for Canadians this week. Wellness Together Canada is an online portal that provides Canadians with free resources, tools, and professional support services to help with wellness and resilience, as well as mental health and substance use. It will also support a growing family of digital products that includes the Canada COVID-19 app, which helps people track their symptoms, receive the latest updates, and access trusted resources.
The Government of Canada has compiled helpful resources to help with Canadians’ mental health. You can visit their website here. For those who need a place to turn, here are some helpful community resources you can contact:
- Eastview Therapy and Counselling: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- WoodGreen Mental Health Services: 416- 645-6000 ext. 1990
- 211: Residents who need to access, or are seeking information on social and community services, should call 211 for nonemergency requests and information
Facebook Live: Travel from Home
Tonight, my Facebook Live Check-in will be all about ways we can travel while still staying safely inside our homes. To provide some helpful tips and ideas, we will be joined by Sarah Musgrave, an award-winning travel writer for multiple publications including enRoute (Air Canada), the Montreal Gazette, and many more.
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 email@example.com with the subject line “Facebook live question”. I will try to answer as many as possible.
Canada Child Benefit
Do you receive the Canada Child Benefit? If you do, this month you will be getting increased support through the program. When you receive your CCB payment, you will see an extra top-up of $300 per child. Eligible families will automatically receive this one-time increase as part of their scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply for this one-time increase. This will help families focus on keeping their loved ones safe, and not about worrying about their bills. You can read more about the top-up here.
Ban on Assault-Style Weapons
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that military-style assault firearms will be banned in Canada. This is a big step forward in our efforts to make Canadians safer from the threat of gun violence.
These measures will remove over 1,500 models and variants of dangerous assault-style firearms from our communities, including the types of military-grade weapons that were used at Ecole Polytechnique in 1999 and at the mosque in St. Foy, Quebec a couple of years ago.
This ban could not have happened without the hard work of so many in our community and across Canada. Thank you to the Danforth Families for Safe Communities, the Coalition for Gun Control, Polysesouvient, Jen Schaffer & The Shiners, and to everyone who called and marched and emailed, and made your voices heard. There is more work to do, but we need to acknowledge the significance of this important achievement and the efforts that were required to make it happen.
Toronto Public Library
Kids should always have access to books, and I’m happy to see that the Toronto Public Library has announced the distribution of free books for kids in food hampers through their pop-up library branch food banks. Toronto Public Library staff will add an age-appropriate book for each child in a family who is interested in receiving books, along with the food hamper. To donate to TPL and buy children’s books for those in need, visit this link here.
Toronto Public Library is also becoming more accessible through this COVID-19 pandemic by opening up their vast list of books online. The online selection is available even if you don’t have a library card.
Download the e-reading app Libby, or Overdrive, open the app and follow the prompts. You will need to enter your cell phone number. Once that number is verified, complete you
There has been a noticeable rise in scam and fraud attempts exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic as a phishing hook. Here are some common signs you can look out for when you’re skeptical about a text or email message you’ve received:
- Urgent or threatening language
- Requests for sensitive information
- Anything too good to be true
- Suspicious attachments
- Unprofessional design
There are other methods, please visit this link to read about all the ways you can catch a scam
Finally, I want to close by wishing all mothers and those who mother a very Happy Mother’s Day! While many of us might not be able to give our moms a hug this Sunday, remember that we are keeping them safe by staying outside their homes, or calling or video chatting with them. They deserve our kindness and gratitude, and we love them very much!
Thank you for playing your part the last couple months. We are getting through this together.