November 2020 E-Newsletter

Published on November 18, 2020

Message from the Desk of Your MPP

Dear Neighbours,

We are officially in the month of November, turning back our clocks by one hour and preparing for the winter ahead. As we welcome winter’s morning light, we also remember the incredible men and women in service who have dedicated their lives to defend the freedom and peace we enjoy today. Every year, on the 11th hour, 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians take a moment of silence to honour the soldiers who came before us as well as those who serve today for their self-sacrifice and acts of bravery. I would like to thank our Veterans and members of the military for fighting on the frontline and for keeping us safe.

Through their courage and hard work, Canada remains a global leader in peacekeeping with more than 100, 000 members of the forces having participated in over 66 United Nations missions around the world. Looking back, this year also marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, during which more than one million Canadians fought on the battlefront to protect people from across the globe. Serving in the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and with other Allied Forces, 45,000 soldiers sacrificed their lives, while 55,000 were wounded. In memory of our Canadian heroes, I encourage you to learn more about the important contributions of the Canadian military throughout history.

As we honour our men and women in uniform, we can also see acts of bravery and self-sacrifice being exemplified by people across Ontario. Since the beginning of COVID-19, our frontline workers have stepped forward and risked their lives to ensure public health and safety. This includes retail workers, truck drivers, janitorial staff, bus drives, small businesses and restaurants providing essential PPE and food supplies, those working in food supply chain and everyone else who has reached out to support members in their community during the pandemic. If you’re staying home, practicing social distancing and following public health guidelines, much like our soldiers, you too are saving many lives. I take this moment and express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who is serving their community in one way or the other, a practice which is a strong foundation for building a safe and prosperous nation.

Lest we forget.

Sincerely,

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Honouring our Heroes - past and present 

On Remembrance Day, find a moment and honour those who have served our country and express your thanks for their sacrifice. Please also make sure to put health and safety first as you observe a moment of silence for our heroes.

This year, you can pay tribute to our veterans and active service members by:

  • wearing a poppy
  • sharing your thanks online by using #RemembranceDay
  • observing a moment of silence at 11 a.m. on November 11 wherever you are
  • joining the Queen’s Park Ceremony of Remembrance livestream on November 11 at 10:45 a.m., or your local virtual event to reduce spread of COVID-19
  • Pay Tribute Poppy Box: making an optional donation of $2 through your tap and pay card or device and take a Poppy to wear.
  • Dedicating a Digital Poppy in memory of a veteran. 

 

 They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
We will remember them


COVID-19 Update

  • In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, the government has developed the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. Starting November 7public health unit regions will transition into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown.

  • Each level outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations. This plan will help keep the province open while ensuring the health and safety of all Ontarians.   

  • The Peel Region will move into the Red-Control Level on November 7. The specific public health and workplace safety measures for businesses, restaurants and organizations in the region include: 

    • Food & Drink Establishments: 10 people indoors, with outdoor dining permitted. Dancing, singing and the live performances are prohibited. 
    • Sports & Recreational Fitness:
      • Gyms and fitness studios permitted to be open:
        •  10 people indoors (classes) and 25 people outdoors (classes)
        • 10 people indoors (areas with weights or exercise equipment)

        • All sports and recreational programs in other facilities (arenas and multiplexes) limited to 10 people per room indoors and 25 outdoors
        • Team sports must not be practiced or played except for training (no games or scrimmage)

        • No contact permitted for team or individual sports

    • Movie Theatres: remain closed 
    • Organized public and outdoor gatherings: 10 people indoors per facility, 25 people outdoors 
    • Private Social Gatherings: 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors  

  • Our office remains open for Service, we are not having in-person appointments but are doing phone-call and online appointments.  

Ontario Budget 2020

On November 6, Ontario's Minister of Finance released the 2020 Ontario Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover – the next phase of a comprehensive action plan to respond to the serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19. The 2020 Budget has three pillars: Protect, Support, and Recover. It sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to strengthen frontline health care, support people and employers, and lay the groundwork for Ontario’s recovery.

  • investing $176 million in 2020-21 for Mental Health and Addictions Roadmap to Wellness 
  • hiring 98 more - a nearly 25% increase - occupational health and safety inspectors 
  • providing a total of $783 million in additional funding in 2020-21 for long-term care homes 
    • $243 million in March for emergency capacity and virus containment 
    • close to an additional $540 million in new funding to protect residents, caregivers and staff from future surges of COVID-19
  • increasing average daily direct care from a nurse or personal support workers per long-term care resident to four hours a day, phased-in over four years

  • providing $380 million to parents through another round of payments of at least $200 per young child
  • proposing the Seniors' Home Safety Tax Credit for the 2021 taxation year
  • $300 million to support eligible businesses in COVID-19 hotspots by paying their property taxes, and energy bills
  • providing $60 million in one-time grants of up to $1000 for Main Street small businesses to help offset PPE costs
  • investing an additional $3.1 million in 2021-22 in Seniors Active Living Centres

 

  • investing an additional $100 million for 2020-21 in Employment Ontario for skills training programs for workers most affect by COVID-19
  • exploring ways to provide Ontario residents with up to 20% for eligible Ontario tourism expenses to encourage them to safely discover Ontario in 2021 
  • investing $680 million over the next four years in broadband infrastructure, increasing Ontario's investment to nearly $1 billion over six years beginning 2019-20. 

 


Queen's Park Update


Local Business Receives Grant through Ontario Together Fund 

On October 13, the government announced an investment of over $1.4 million in Microbix Biosystems, a Mississauga-Malton based company which specializes in manufacturing viral and bacterial antigens and reagents for the global diagnostics industry. With support from the province, Microbix can mass produce COVID-19 testing supplies, while creating eight new jobs. The company will also double its production of quality assessment products that can be used to ensure quality control and accuracy of COVID-19 tests and verify new testing methods.

Congratulations to Microbix Biosystems and their entire team, who exemplify the innovation and manufacturing strength of businesses across Ontario. Thank you for your hard work and dedication towards stopping the spread of COVID-19. 


Small Business Week

October 19-23 was Small Business Week across Ontario, which served as an important reminder about the important role our small business community plays in the economy. They create jobs, opportunities for hardworking families and spearhead innovation. However, Small Business Week this year was much different from the ones we have previously experienced. Due to the pandemic, many small businesses, entrepreneurs and job creators faced challenging times, some even having to close their doors.

To help support the pillars of our economy, the government has announced $300 million to help offset fix costs to things like their property taxes, hydro, and natural gas bills. It builds on a $60 million Main Street Recovery grant to help small businesses with the costs of PPE to keep their customers and employees safe and $57 million Digital Main Street grant and program to help small businesses build and enhance their online presence and e-commerce sales.


Mississauga-Malton Business Heroes 

As we continue to adapt to the new normal, let's remember to support our small businesses by shopping local. You can order takeout from your neighbourhood restaurants, purchase Ontario-made products or thank your local business owners who have stepped up during COVID-19 to provide essential supplies and PPE to the community. Here are a few of our local businesses in Mississauga-Malton, who continue to serve the community during COVID-19.  

Cardinal Health 

I was thrilled to visit Cardinal Health, a global, integrated healthcare products and services company—providing customized solutions across the continuum of care. It was an eye-opening experience to see how they are keeping our healthcare providers and caregivers safe through the national distribution of personal protective equipment throughout the ongoing Pandemic. Thank you Cardinal Health for calling Mississauga-Malton your home.

Midland Tooling 

Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and Mississauga-Malton is the best place for Small Businesses to flourish. I visited Midland Tooling, a manufacturing company committed towards supporting and promoting Ontario Made products. Thank you to Davinder Singh and the entire of team of Midland for all your hard work. 

Venture X

I was delighted to join the grand opening of the 4th and largest location of Venture X. Venture X provides an environment that helps support small businesses, tech start-ups and freelancers.  It has also been creative in offering a virtual office solution for individuals who want to upgrade their businesses with a professional office space while also have the option to work from home in these times of a pandemic.

 


Stay Safe, Stay Healthy

Get your Flu Shot 

With the flu season fast approaching, it is more important than ever that we all get our flu shots and protect our loved ones, seniors and the most vulnerable members of our community. I visited a clinic in Mississauga-Malton where I was able to get my flu shot with the help of Dr. Raj Vijayaraghvan. 

This year, the provincial government has implemented the largest flu immunization campaign in the Ontarian’s history, with an investment of around $70 million to acquire flu vaccines for Ontarians. This includes 1.3 million, high-dose vaccine doses for Ontario seniors, especially those with pre-existing health conditions. This investment will prepare the health system & support frontline care providers during the flu-season and ensure readiness for a second wave of COVID-19.   

Don't forget to get your flu shot. 

 

Wash your Hands 

October 15 marked Global Handwashing day, which highlights the importance of hand hygiene - one of the easiest and most effective ways to stop the spread of COVID-19. To ensure everyone’s health and safety, please make sure you wash your hands often with hand soap for at least 30 seconds. If you do not have hand soap near you, please make sure to clean your hands using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.


School Bus Driver Appreciation Day 

October 23 is School Bus Driver Appreciation Day and October 19 - October 23 is School Bus Safety Week. School bus drivers play a critical role in helping students get to school and back home safely. I was delighted to have met Anna, one of the many bus drivers at School Bus Ontario who safely transport 833 000 Ontario children to and from school every day. Thank you Ana and all the amazing drivers for all you do for students, families and the province. You are our community heroes. 

I was also joined by the Minister of Education, who on October 5 announced an additional allocation of $35 million to school boards affected with higher rates of transmission, such as Peel, Ottawa, Toronto, and York. Through this funding, the Peel District School Board will receive over $5.8 million and the Dufferin- Peel Catholic District School Board will receive $2.9 million. This support can be used to provide students with additional resources and enhance safety during COVID-19 with:

  • increased distancing between students through the hiring of additional teachers, early childhood educators, & educational assistants
  • increased remote learning supports - hiring of additional teachers, early childhood educators & educational assistants, plus devices for students who opted to learn remotely.


Dress Purple Day 

On October 27, my family and families across the province wore purple to raise awareness about the important role we all play in supporting children, youth, and the most vulnerable in our communities. In Ontario, there are around 8000 children in care, experiencing abuse, family conflict and neglect. COVID-19 has also created additional stresses for youth and families, and in some cases has increased risk for their well-being and safety.

However, there is support available through the incredible work of Children's Aid Societies in Ontario. Please visit www.peelcas.org to learn about the resources and supports available to families in your community. If you are a youth in need or are concerned about the safety or well-being of a child or youth, reach out to someone you know or contact your local Children’s Aid Society. Remember that you are loved and cherished. 


 

Mental Health Matters  

October 5 - October 11 marked Mental Illness Awareness Week to raise awareness, to end the stigma against mental illness and help our community members who are experiencing mental health problems. Due to COVID-19; more people are experiencing feelings of social isolation, anxiety and stress. Through the Roadmap to Wellness, the Ontario government is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to create new services and expand programs, which will increase mental health support.

If you or someone you know are suffering from a mental illness and symptoms of anxiety, stress or depression, please know that you're not alone. Click here to see the mental health resources in Peel, available to support you.  


Connecting Virtually

 

Roundtable with Neighbourhood Watch Leaders

On October 6, I joined Safe City Mississauga and team leaders of the Neighbourhood Watches in Mississauga-Malton for a fruitful discussion about maintaining a safe neighbourhood. This meeting served as a great opportunity to talk about different projects. This includes a mentorship program, where team leaders can help other residents establish a watch in their own neighbourhoods and a Neighbourhood Watch Hub to create a safe and well-connected city. 

 

Townhall for Residents 

On November 3, I hosted a Virtual Townhall for Residents to discuss our journey during the pandemic. We were also joined by a certified financial planner who shared simple tips about investment, cash management and a plan for retirement during COVID-19. We also talked about community engagement, and how to stay connected while staying physically distant. I look forward to working with you on various community projects as we continue to adjust to the new normal. 


 

Monthly Initiatives 

Backpack Drive  

 

With the help of Sai Dham Food Bank and Fueling Healthy Minds, our office was able to bring a smile on the faces of Mississauga-Malton kids, with new backpacks. It was wonderful to meet families and youth, who are going back to school and to know that they are set up for success. The smiles on their faces were priceless. 

 

Community Thanksgiving Food Drive

 

In the month of October, with the help of Mississauga-Malton community we organized a Community Thanksgiving Food drive, to provide healthy food to our fellow neighbours. It was heartwarming to witness the incredible support from residents, who have always stepped forward to help children, families and the most vulnerable people in our community. This year, as we saw a 138% increase in people accessing food banks in Mississauga due to COVID-19, residents came together and collected over 738 pounds of food. Thank-you Mississauga-Malton for your generosity and for supporting your neighbours. The food that you have provided will be donated to Mississauga Food Bank, supporting Mayor of Mississauga's 2020 Thanksgiving Food Drive.

I would also like to give a special shoutout to Bhavesh Patel, Binu Cherian, Keyur Shah, Sukhvinder Sharma and Nirav Shah for reaching out to their neighbourhood community, and helping me organize this food drive for the important cause and making it a huge success. While COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty in our everyday lives, what remains certain is our ability as a community to come together and share our resources.

 

Binu Cherian 

Keyur Shah 

Bhavesh Patel 

Nirav Shah

 

   Sukhvinder Sharma 

 


Scoring a Basket at Malton Community Centre 

On November 7, our office organized a Basketball event at Malton Community Centre, where we gave champion basketballs to children living in Malton. A special thank you to Superfan, Nav Bhatia for donating these champion basketballs and supporting our youths. It was wonderful to shoot some hoops with families and connect with them on a beautiful sunny day. These balls will help ensure our kids are physically and mentally active as we continue to practice social distance during COVID-19. 

 


 

Monthly Celebrations 

Safe and Spooktacular Halloween 

 

Due to COVID-19, Halloween looked a little different this year, but it did not stop the fun and the excitement among children and families. To keep everyone safe, families celebrated by carving pumpkins, baking Halloween treats, watching a spooky movie, or having a virtual costume party with friends. My family and I celebrated Halloween together by carving pumpkins, decorating the house, and making candy bags for the local Children's Aid Society, who will be be donating them to foster children in the community. 

It was indeed a Spooktacular Halloween!

Thanksgiving Day 

 

Thanksgiving is a yearly tradition when we give thanks to the food around our tables and the loved ones who surround us. I would like to thank the resilient frontline workers, health care workers, truck drivers, personal support workers, workers in the food supply chain, grocery stores, and pharmacies, and countless others who have been working hard throughout the pandemic. I also express my thanks to the Indigenous community of Canada and all the generations of people who have taken care of our land – for thousands of years. 

Out & About in the Community 

At the Grand Opening of Venture X

At a local restaurant with their hard working owner

With Superfan Nav Bhatia, thank you for all that you do for the community 

with Quest for Gold Champion in Malton 

Happy wedding anniversary to Mohan Singh and Surinder Kaur Sond

With the wonderful residents who generously donated to the Community Thanksgiving Food Drive


Read my Monthly Mississauga News Column

 

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