December 2020 E-Newsletter

Published on December 04, 2020

Message from the Desk of Your MPP

Dear Neighbours,

Welcome to the month of December, I can’t believe 2020 year is coming to an end. It is wonderful to witness the beautiful snowfall embracing our neighbourhoods and signalling the season of celebration. This month different communities across the province will be celebrating Kwanzaa, Christmas and Hanukkah. These festivals are a time to honour tradition and culture which teach us values of sacrifice, responsibility and peace. Most importantly, as we light the menorah, the Christmas tree and the kinara every year, we unwind and enjoy delicious food, uplifting music and special moments with the people we love. 

Yet, we know that this year’s celebrations will be different. They must be different. Now more than ever, it’s critical that we control the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and prevent future lockdowns by adhering to public health guidelines. We must avoid big parties, large family dinners and gathering with people outside of our immediate household. I know this will not be easy, especially after the challenges the 2020 pandemic has brought forward. But we have to think about the lives at stake, the lives of others and our loved ones.

While we celebrate differently this year, there are still many ways to spread the joy. You can arrange a small dinner at home with your roommates, prepare traditional family recipes with your grandparents through FaceTime, or decorate the house with your children. If you’re in the position to spend this season, shop online and consider buying local to support small businesses who need our help during this time. Let’s remain connected to the spirit of giving by giving back to our community. No matter how you’re celebrating this year, remember to stay 6ft. apart but close by heart. Please do share a picture of your safe celebrations at [email protected].

Warmest wishes from my family to yours!

 

Sincerely,

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COVID-19 Update


 

Rapid Testing

The government has planned a rollout of new COVID-19 Rapid Tests in regions with high transmission including Peel. This new technology will ensure residents have access to quick test results and slow the spread of the virus in our communities. Rapid testing is currently underway in rural and remote areas. 

 

                           

The COVID-19 Vaccine

On November 23, the creation of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force was announced. The government is working together with experts in pharmaceuticals, the health care sector and logistics to develop a plan for the safe and efficient distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. On December 4, the government announced the appointment of nine members to the task force who have experience in key areas related to planning and distribution. 

By December 31, 2020 Ontario will be ready to receive vaccines, with the first doses of vaccines expected to be made available in 2021. On December 4, the government announced the appointment of nine members to the task force who have experience in key areas related to planning and distribution. 

 

 


Queen's Park Update



  • Employment in Ontario has increased by 30,600 in November, marking the sixth straight month of overall employment gains. The total number of jobs created since June is 905,000, including 13,200 more men and women working in the manufacturing sector than pre-COVID. 

  • Ontario is providing $13.6 million to enable school boards to hire more teachers and staff in regions recently moved to the Red-Control level and providing stabilization funding for school boards. The province is also expanding voluntary testing in school communities and launching new online learning portals. 

  • On November 17, the government announced an investment of over $37 million to expand mental health services across the justice system. The funding will be used to expand mobile crisis teams across the province, hire additional staff, and support the creation of culturally safe programs for First Nations communities.
    • In Mississauga-Malton, Services and Housing in the Province (SHIP) will receive $540,000 for mobile services with supports and Joint Leadership with Canadian Mental Health Association and Punjabi Community Health Services will receive $263 000 for Mental Health and Justice Supportive Housing.

  • Service Ontario is now offering appointment booking for customers to reduce wait times and maintain physical distancing. Booking can be made at 42 of their busiest locations, including Westdale Mall located in Mississauga. All necessary supporting documents should be brought to the appointment. A list of required documents can be found on the product page for each service. 

  • Effective November 23, all road tests in regions under lockdown including Peel will be cancelled. Effective November 30, applicants who reside in Grey level regions cannot book a road test at a DriveTest Centre in a different region.

  • On November 18, an investment of $2.4 million was announced to support an additional 13 Ontario Health Teams (OHT) in the province. OHT make sure patients experience easier transitions from one provider to another, for example, between hospitals, home care providers or long-term care homes.




  • On November 11, Ontario’s Premier and Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries unveiled a memorial to honour 40 000 Canadian heroes who served in the war in Afghanistan. The memorial is located outside of Queen’s Park and visually tells the story of Canadian Armed Forces’ military involvement in the conflict.

  • The government is investing $511,100 in the Pathways to Post-Military Employment program to support our veterans during their transition to civilian life. The funding will help our men and women in uniform apply their unique skills and experience and connect them with good jobs in the construction sector.

  • The government has collaborated with the agri-food industry to create the Prevention, Control and Outbreak Support Strategy for COVID-19 in Ontario's Farm Workers. This provides guiding principles and actions to ensure our farms workers are protected with a focus on - enhanced prevention and control on farm operations, farm worker safety and wellness, and maintaining the sustainability and viability of the agri-food sector. https://www.ontario.ca/page/working-farm-operators-stop-spread-covid-19-farms

  • The price of the season day-use vehicle permits for provincial parks is being reduced by 36 % and the number of day-use vehicle permits that can be borrowed from public libraries, free of charge are being increased. The new, lower priced Ontario Parks seasonal day-use vehicle permits are currently on sale at www.ontarioparks.com/parkstore. The Ontario Parks Library Day-Use Vehicle Permit Lending Program is already available for free at some libraries and is now expanding to more libraries across the province.

 


A Look at Legislation 

Bill 231, Protecting Ontarians by Enhancing Gas Station Safety to Prevent Gas and Dash Act 
 

On November 18, I introduced the Protecting Ontarians by Enhancing Gas Station Safety to Prevent Gas and Dash Act, 2020. This Bill amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act, to require employers at gas stations to require customers to prepay before being given gasoline.  The employer is required to give notice of the requirement to prepay for gasoline and provide training to workers involved in the sale of gasoline. I'm thrilled to share Bill 231 passed it's second reading. I would like to thank the Solicitor General, the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, MPP for Sudbury, MPP for Mississauga East-Cooksville, MPP for Scarborough Agin Court, MPP for Etobicoke Lakeshore, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, MPP for Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake, City of London, The Ontario Convenience Stores Association, Ontario's Cheifs of Police for their support and for standing for safety and security of employees and bystanders. 

 


Bill 207, Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act, 2020

On November 20, the government's Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act, 2020 receive royal assent. This piece of legislation will make it easier, faster, and more affordable for individuals and families to resolve family legal matters. The Act proposed to: 

  • Make the family law appeals process clearer and easier to navigate;

  • Harmonize Ontario’s family laws with federal legislation, to make it easier for Ontarians to navigate the system and understand their rights;

  • Allow parents and caregivers to request certified copies of child support notices made by the online child support service, so child support amounts can be more easily managed or enforced outside the province; and

  • Remove the requirement for family arbitrators to file arbitration award reports with the ministry, saving time and money.

 

 

 

Bill 215, Main Street Recovery Act, 2020

On November 30, the government’s Main Street Recovery Act, 2020 received royal assent. The proposals outlined in the Act will help small businesses get back on their feet, and jumpstart Ontario's economic recovery. The plan includes:

  • A one-time grant of up to $1,000 for eligible main street small businesses — in retail, food and accommodations, and other service sectors — with two to nine employees to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE);

  • Ontario’s Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network, which links 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres across the province as places where small businesses can access tailored advice and information on local, provincial and federal programs;

  • Digital Main Street Squads to help small businesses grow online;

  • Mental health supports for families, frontline workers, young people, children, and Indigenous communities;

  • Ontario’s Small Business Recovery Webpage to provide single window access to small business support.

Applications Now Open 

COVID-19 has impacted people across Ontario, placing additional financial strain on parents and guardians. Starting November 30, families are able to apply for the second phase of funding to help offset new learning costs for all kids in the province. This will provide - $200 / child, or youth ages 0-12 and $250 / child, or youth ages     0-21 with special learning needsApplications are open until January 15, 2021

 

The government is offering a grant of up to $1,000 for the costs of personal protective equipment (PPE), with applications for the $60-million Main Street Relief Grant becoming available online on November 16. Small businesses with two to nine employees in the retail, accommodations and food services, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services sectors can apply for this one-time grant. Eligible businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures can also apply for property tax or energy rebates. Click here to Apply. 

On November 9, Ontario’s Minister of Seniors and Accessibility announced an investment of $2 million over 2 years towards the new Inclusive Community Grant program. The grant will assist in developing supports and projects that plan for and foster inclusive community involvement for older adults and people with disabilities of all ages. Applications are due by December 21.

 

The government has created the Ontario Workforce Reserve for Senior Support, recruiting people to become Resident Support Aides (RSA) at long-term care homes during COVID-19. RSA’s will be deployed in areas most in need, including the Region of Peel and will assist residents with daily living activities including assistance during mealtimes. 

Do you know an individual, professional or organization in your community dedicated towards helping victims of crime? Nominations are now open for the Attorney General’s Victim Services Awards of Distinction until January 10, 2021 by 11:59 p.m.


Statements in the House 

Let's Celebrate Virtually  

On November 16, I took the opportunity to speak on the importance of virtual celebrations with the rise in COVID-19 cases and the festival season approaching.

Last year, we celebrated our holidays with friends and family, gathered for large meals and grand festivities. However, this year we must celebrate differently by connecting virtually to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Self-discipline and sacrifice are our best friends in the fight to stop COVID-19. 

But there is still reason to celebrate safely. I encourage Ontarians to support our local, small businesses. Let’s keep our online shopping local, and our celebrations virtual. Together, let’s stop the spread of COVID 19, so that we can go back to celebrating our festivals in person. 

On November 25, I rose in house to share a tragic yet a heartwarming story.  Dante Sebastian Andreatta, an innocent 12-year-old boy, was grocery shopping with his mom in the Jane and Finch area when he was hit by a stray bullet. He died in hospital four days later. I cannot imagine the trauma and pain felt by Dante’s mother and family.  

However, Dante’s passing has not left in vain. Through organ donation Dante has gone on to save 9 lives – children and teens – who will live their life to the fullest. You can also help others and save lives, even after your time has come. Ontario’s Trillium Gift of Life Network tells us that each organ donation can save up to 8 lives and enhance up to 75 more through tissue donation. Thank you to Mississauga-Malton’s Amar Karma network who has raised awareness within the South Asian community of organ donation.

I encourage all Ontarians to register their consent. It takes only a minute at BeADonor.ca

 

Trillium Gift of Life 


2020 Ontario Post-Budget Roundtable  

On November 12, my fellow Mississauga MPPs and I hosted a Post-Budget Townhall with special guest, Ontario's Minister of Finance. This town-hall was a great opportunity for businesses to hear first-hand about the initiatives that the Ontario Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover is based on. 

The three pillars on which this Budget is built – Protect, Support and Recover, clearly reflect the government’s priorities and its commitment and promise to the people of Ontario.

The awareness of the current situation is reflected in the supports being offered to the healthcare sector, to parents, schools, seniors, small businesses, landlords and tenants, municipalities and transit systems etc.

Ontario's Virtual Mission to India 

On November 30th, Ontario launched a virtual mission to India to continue to promote the province as a premier destination for international investment and create new opportunities for Ontario businesses. Led by Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, this mission builds off the success of the province's mission to India a year ago, which resulted in nearly 150 business-to-business meetings that brought Ontario companies in direct contact with Indian businesses to explore new partnerships. As a special advisor to the Ministry on the India-Ontario trade file, I'm pleased to join this delegation which will create mutual economic growth for our leading industries. 

 

 



Malton Community Police Station Tour

On November 3, I was delighted to mark the re-opening and expansion of Malton's Community Police StationThe reopening of the police station is a step forward in ensuring members of the community and police officers have the opportunity to work together and find solutions to local concerns, ensuring safety and prosperity in our neighbourhoods. I would like to thank Councillor of Ward 5, Mayor of Mississauga , Chief of Peel Regional Police, members of the Peel Regional Police and most importantly residents for being strong advocates for Malton and actualizing the reopening of the station. 


Mississauga-Malton Youth Council 2020

I am pleased to announce that our youth council for 2020-21 is now officially open. The council is made up of 25 young people from across the riding, who are between the ages of 14-24 years. Led by the very capable Ashton Mathias and mentored by our OLIP intern, Gurkamal Dhahan, the council met for the first time on November 19. They will continue to meet bi-weekly and will soon pitch projects they would like to work on. The project will be one that focusses on bettering and giving back to the community we live in and care for so much.

I look forward to providing guidance and support to these bright young men and women and to seeing the tangible results of their hard work. Stay tuned for more updates on their journey!

 


History is our Greatest Strength  

From November 2 - November 6 we proudly recognize Treaties Recognition Week to honour the importance of treaties and learn about how they continue to shape our province today. We recognize that Indigenous peoples were the original occupants of the land that we work and thrive. I acknowledge that Mississauga Malton is a part of the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. For thousands of years, this land has been the territory of the Anishinabek, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Ojibway peoples.

 

 

By learning about Indigenous history, treaty rights, and obligations, we better understand and nurture relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. We learn that our history is one of our greatest strengths. We are grateful to all the Indigenous leaders and educators that work with us to help preserve Indigenous culture as our government progresses towards reconciliation.


Wrapped in Courage 

The month of November marks Women Abuse Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness and stand with women and girls who have been abused. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 women across Canada will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. Abuse can also manifest in other forms such as verbal, physical or financial. During COVID-19 pandemic, cases of domestic abuse have spiked. Ontario is committed to preventing and addressing abuse against women and girls in all its forms. This year, the province has invested approximately $172 million in support for survivors and violence prevention initiatives. 

 

November 25 marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. My fellow MPP and Ministerial colleagues were proud to support the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Housing’s Wrapped in Courage campaign by wearing a purple scarf. The purple scarf is a symbol of the courage it takes a woman to leave her abuser. However, the courage of the woman is not enough. It takes the support of an entire community to end violence against women.


Out & About in the Community 

At the ES MED facility, a Canadian supplier of medical masks, fabric mask, hand sanitizers, and medical gowns. Congratulations to Eric Sana and his staff for starting production and calling Mississauga-Malton your home.

With the Mayor of Mississauga, highlighting Mississauga Malton's hard work towards fighting hunger in the city. Residents have donated over 700 lbs of food to Mississauga Food Bank to ensure their neighbours are healthy and nourished.

At Mississauga Secondary School where kids from Mississauga-Malton scored championship basketballs. These basketballs are a great way for our kids to remain physically and mentally active as we continue to maintain physical distance during COVID-19.

At the grand opening of Apna Pind, which is located right across from our Community Office. Remember to shop local and support our local businesses and restaurants by taking advantage of take-out & delivery options and curb-side pick-up. 

With Save Max team for their 10 annual Awards, which were celebrated at a Drive-In theatre. Congratulations to Save Max on this milestone, and thank you for ensuring public health and safety during COVID-19. 

I visited the Dome at Mississauga Secondary School, which makes room for multi-sport facilities. Thank you Matthew Raizenne for thinking outside of the box and creating a space that is keeping our youth, seniors and community engaged throughout the year. 


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