October 2020 E-Newsletter

Published on October 21, 2020

Message from the Desk of Your MPP 

Dear Neighbours,

The fall season is officially upon us, which means students and teachers are settling into their new school year. 2020 has been an unique year. Whether you're attending classes in person or online, please follow public health guidelines and stay safe. Even though classrooms look different this year due to COVID-19, the government is here to support each and every student and school staff through $1.3 billion in critical supports and the delivery of more than 37 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE).

With the month of October, we are also able to witness the beautiful colours of leaves as they begin their transformation to stunning shades of orange, red and yellow. Now is the perfect time to head outdoors, explore your local parks close to home and take a moment to acknowledge the beauty of our wonderful province. I feel extremely happy to be able to witness the change in seasons, from spring, summer, to fall and winter. This change is a testimony to our ability as Ontarians to adapt to whatever challenges that come our way.

Since the onset of COVID-19, we have witnessed the resilience of our community, whether it’s those on the frontlines risking their lives, small businesses providing their resources to those in need, to those of you staying at home to keep others safe. It is no understatement that everyone across the province has adapted to the unique circumstances we are experiencing as a result of the pandemic. We are all working together, despite the challenges to operate under a new normal.

I urge everyone to remain vigilant and continue following public health guidelines to lower the recent increase in COVID-19 cases. Please remember to wear masks, face coverings and practice good hygiene to ensure we can limit the spread of the virus and keep each other healthy and safe. As we approach the celebration of harvest and Thanksgiving Day, let's give thanks to our family members, friends, loved ones and neighbours that our pillars of strength through this time and everyday.  

Let wear masks and keep everybody safe!

Sincerely,

 

A close up of opener

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COVID-19 Update

 

                                                                                                                                                    

  • On October 2, the government announced new public health measures in Peel as a result of it's higher than average rates of transmission:
    • Setting an indoor capacity limit to restrict occupancy at restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments (including nightclubs) to the number of patrons who can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other patron, to a maximum of 100 patrons, permitting no more than six patrons per table, requiring operators to ensure patrons lining up or congregating outside of their establishment maintain physical distancing, and mandating that the name and contact information for each patron be collected

    • Restricting group exercise classes at gyms and other fitness settings to 10 individuals, as well as restricting the total number of people allowed at these facilities to a maximum of 50

    • Setting a limit on the number of people allowed at meeting and event facilities, including banquet halls, to six people per table and 50 people per facility


  • The government is mandating the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces, with limited exemptions, including corrections and developmental services

  • Starting October 4, 2020, assessment centres will discontinue walk-in testing services. 

    • Starting October 6, Ontario is transitioning to appointment-based testing at Ontario assessment centres, providing certainty to patients as to when they can receive a test during the winter.
  • On September 26, the government amended rules for areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020 to tighten public health measures in response to the recent rise in cases of COVID-19. This amended order is in effect province-wide and has

    • Applied additional measures and restrictions to restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments (including nightclubs) by
      •  prohibiting the sale of alcohol after 11 p.m.,
      •  prohibiting the consumption of alcohol on the premises after 12:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. (including employees)
      • requiring establishments to close by 12:00 a.m. and remain closed until 5:00 a.m. except for takeout or delivery;
    • Closed all strip clubs across the province
    • Required businesses or organizations to comply with any advice, recommendations, and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief.


  • On September 19, the government announced lower limits on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering across the province. This limits 10 people at an indoor event or gathering and 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering. The order is in effect and will be applied to: 
    • functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas

                                 


 

COVID-19 Fall Preparedness Plan

The government of Ontario has announced a $2.8 billion COVID-19 fall preparedness plan to ensure the province’s health care, long-term care and education systems are prepared for the immediate challenges this fall, including a second wave of COVID-19 and the upcoming flu season. Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19 will enable the province to quickly identify, prevent and respond to surges and waves of the virus to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians. The plan is focused on the following six pillars

 


 

Queen's Park Update

  • Starting Oct 1, the minimum wage has increased by 25 cents, to $14.25 an hour.

  • The province is providing a temporary wage increase effective October 1, 2020 to over 147,000 workers who deliver publicly funded personal support services:

    • $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 eligible workers in home and community care;
    • $3 per hour for approximately 50,000 eligible workers in long-term care;
    • $2 per hour for approximately 12,300 eligible workers in public hospitals; and
    • $3 per hour for approximately 47,000 eligible workers in children, community and social services providing personal direct support services for the activities of daily living.
       
  • On Oct 1, the Financial Services Authority of Ontario (FSRA), reported that Ontario’s drivers have been eligible to receive almost $1 Billion in relief in response to COVID-19. This represents over $300 million more in savings, or 45% since insurers last reported in May 2020.

    • Click here to visit FSRA's auto insurance hub to stay up to date about the price of auto insurance. The website also shares tips for purchasing the policy that best meets your needs.

  • The Ontario government will be recruiting more French teachers to ensure students receive a high-quality French-language or French as a Second Language (FSL) education. The province is supporting various initiatives such as career fairs, as well as partnering with working groups in order to focus on professional development for French teachers and raise awareness of employment opportunities. 
  • Starting Sept 28, the government is providing free Wi-Fi for passengers on all GO buses and approximately 50 per cent of GO trains.
    • Customers will have free access to 10MB of data per trip, a four-hour period.
    • Riders signing in with registered PRESTO accounts will receive even more data, at 50 MB per trip

  • The Ontario government is providing an additional $14.75 million to increase access to mental health and addictions services across the province. The funding is being distributed as follows:  
    • $7 million to safely expand in-person mental health and addictions services, including community-based services, congregate living and supportive housing;
    • $4.75 million to support culturally safe services for Indigenous communities, with a focus on children and youth; and
    • $3 million to expand virtual and online services including addictions supports, Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) and an online peer support community for mental health.


  • Starting Sept 28, for the first time, Franco-Ontarians were able to begin requesting a free replacement driver's licence or Ontario Photo Card displaying their name using French Language Characters, such as accents (e.g. ç, è, é, ê, ë). Please visit a ServiceOntario centre with supporting identification documents to request a new ID if needed.
  • The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $7.9 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help farmers improve their business operations and bring more safe, high-quality foods to markets. This funding will support more than 670 projects across Ontario for eligible farmers and agri-food businesses.

  • The government is seeking public feedback on its proposal to reduce the amount of food and organic waste going into landfills and encourage innovative ways of processing compostable products. If you would like to provide your input, submit a comment on the Environmental Registry by November 14, 2020. 

COVID-19 Screening for Students and School Staff 

On October 2, The Ontario government launched a updated new voluntary interactive screening tool to assist parents, students and staff with the daily assessment of COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors that is required before attending school. The results will let parents, students, and education staff know whether they should attend school each day or guide at-risk individuals to proper resources. This tool is another layer of prevention that the province is using to protect the health and safety of students, staff, and the communities where they live and work.

If a student or child is experiencing the following symptoms below, they must stay home and follow the necessary public health guidelines: 

  • fever and/or chills 
  • cough or barking cough
  • shortness of breath 
  • decrease or loss of taste or smell 

 

 

On September 11, the government launched a webpage to report COVID-19 cases in schools and child care centres. This page will be updated every weekday with the most up-to-date COVID-19 information available, including a summary of cases in schools and licensed child care centres and agencies, if a COVID-19 case is confirmed at your school and where the numbers come from. 


Funding for Mississauga Hospitals

On September 14, the Minister of Health announced an investment of $175 million to be allocated towards upgrades, repairs and maintenance on 129 hospitals across the province, including $50 million for COVID-19 related and other priority projects. I had the pleasure of accompayning the Minister, my fellow MPP colleagues from Mississauga and Etobicoke and officials from Trillium Health Partners for this announcement at the Mississauga Hospital. Through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund, Trillium Health Partners will receive over 3.4 million to support projects in Credit Valley Hospital, Queensway Health Centre and Mississauga Hospital. This vital investment will replace HVAC systems to improve indoor air quality, installing upgraded nurse call systems for patients, and repairing roofs and elevators to maintain the facilities. It will also help hospitals address priority issues such as upgrades or replacement of roofs, windows, security systems, backup generators and fire alarms


New OPP Detachment in Mississauga 

On September 8, I was thrilled to witness the announcement and opening of the new Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment in Mississauga with the Solicitor General, my Mississauga MPP colleagues, Chief of Peel Regional Police, and members of the Peel Regional Police. Located at 2735 Argentia Rd, the $20 million facility will help local OPP Highway Safety Division officers to combat the dangerous increase in speeding and racing on roads and patrol provincial highways. I had the wonderful opportunity to tour the the 17,000 square foot facility, which will provide modern infrastructure to support technological advances, secure evidence vaults, three holding cells, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and other advanced security features.

 


Supports for Arts and Tourism Sectors in Mississauga 

On September 4, I joined the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and my fellow Mississauga MPPs to highlight over $5 million in funding since the beginning of COVID-19 for local arts and tourism sectors in the province. Since March, the government has continued to invest in Ontario's tourism and creative sectors, which continue to be key economic drivers in Mississauga and across the province. Through Community Museum Operating Grants, the Celebrate Ontario program and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the government has made the following investments:

  • $53, 953 for the Museums of Mississauga 
  • $49, 700 for the Mississauga Aquatic Club 
  • $35, 700 for Heritage Mississauga 
  • $29, 493 for Mississauga Arts Council 
  • $32, 100 for the Canadian Arabic Orchestra 

I also had the opportunity to visit Alpine Indoor Ski and Snowboard Training Centre, the only indoor skiing training facility of its kind within Canada, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. Located right here in Mississauga-Malton, the facility offers alpine slopes indoor skiing, snowboarding on indoor tracks and training for athletes. The Minister and I had the opportunity to learn downhill skiing with exceptional athletes and meet with the owner John Peters.


 

My Statements in the Legislative Assembly 

On Sept 14, I returned to the Legislature, ready to continue implementing Ontario's plan for growth, renewal and long-term recovery. The government's fall legislative agenda will focus on job creation, skills training, attracting investment, strengthening communities, and fortifying the front lines of the province's health care system. I was delighted to see my MPP colleagues and Ministers and be back at Queen's Park to continue voicing the concerns of Mississauga Malton residents. Here are a few statements I made in the House this month: 

Peel Children's Aid Society

I had the opportunity to speak about Peel Children's Aid Society, and their Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence. In August, the Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues announced that Peel CAS will receive an additional $200,000 this year for their Immigration Centre of Excellence, which helps children and youth in care who may have precarious immigration issues. This additional funding will allow the program to be expanded to all CASs in Ontario and ensure children don't have to worry about getting access to basic necessities like education and employment. I was honoured to speak about Peel CAS located in Mississauga-Malton and their CEO Mr. Rav Bains who are strong advocates for children and youth.  The Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence is the only one of its kind currently in Ontario and I am grateful to the government for recognizing both Peel CAS’ expertise as well the need the Centre serves. 

Quest for Gold 

 

Through the Quest for Gold program, the Ontario government is providing $6.36 million in direct financial assistance to 1,438 high-performance athletes to ensure they can pursue their dreams of sports excellence in Ontario. I spoke in the House about the importance of this funding towards athletes and sports, which connect us a province and as nation. It was an extremely proud moment to be able to highlight local residents of Mississauga-Malton, Radane Wright, Navreet Suhan, Mary Adarkwa, and Kyle Duke-Simpson who are being recognized for this wonderful program. 

Orange Shirt Day

 

September 30th marks Orange Shirt day, a day inspired by Phyllis (Jack) Webstad who, in 1973 at the age of six, attended her first day of school, in Williams Lake, B.C., wearing a brand new orange shirt, gifted by her grandmother. When she arrived to school, Phyllis’ new orange shirt was stripped and taken away from her and she never wore it again. I spoke about this important event, where people across Canada proudly wear Orange shirts in solidarity, to become the part of reconciliation journey acknowledging the painful truth of the long-lasting, multi-generational impact of the residential school system on Indigenous communities. As we move forward together on the path of reconciliation, I urge all Ontarians to honour survivors, like Phyllis, and their families who have bravely shared their experiences, and to commit to learning more about the legacy of the residential school system in Canada. 


National Forest Week 

On September 20 to September 26 we celebrated the 100th Anniversary of National Forest Week, a time to celebrate Ontario’s rich forest heritage. Our forests provide social, environmental, and economic benefits to Ontarians, generating over $18 billion in revenue and supporting 147,000 direct and indirect jobs across the province.

 

 

On September 23rd, I was pleased to celebrate National Tree Day with Tree Canada, who picked our riding of Mississauga-Malton as one of the three sites for this year’s ceremonial planting and only one in Ontario.  Tree Canada is planting 650 trees across the Canada until the end of October. I will like to thank and acknowledge the contributions of CEO Michelle Micuda from Staples Business Advantage for sponsoring this wonderful campaign to persevere our enviornment. I also thank Mr. Greg Hotte, from Tree Canada for organizing this year’s event. To date, Tree Canada along with their community partners and sponsors, have planted more than 82 million trees. I urge everyone to participate in tree planting events in your community so we can leave a healthier world for our generation, bolster Canada’s urban forests, and inspire people to participate in, and advocate for, a green community. 


Local Business Receives Canada-Ontario Job Grant 

On September 18th, I had the pleasure of visiting Avion Technologies Inc., a leading supplier of high-quality gears, precision components, and sub-assemblies for aerospace and defence industry around the world who have been operating for the past 25 years. I had the opportunity to tour their manufacturing facility located in Mississauga-Malton with President & CEO, Mr. Paul Chana. It was wonderful to hear that Avion Technologies has recieved $233,750 in funding so they are able to train frontline employees and meet current and future industry workforce development needs of the companies as they continue to grow, invest, and create jobs in Southern Ontario. I also used my opportunity to speak in the house to highlight Avion Technologies, who are an excellent example of the strong potential and impact of the aerospace industry on Ontario’s economy. 

      

Connecting Virtually

Malton Neighbourhood Services Virtual Marathon for Newcomers

On September 28, I was thrilled to join the very first virtual marathon organized by Malton Neighbourhood Services and Royal Bank of Canada to support immigrants in Canada. Being an immigrant myself, I feel connected to initiatives like these and the value they create for newcomers. Thank you to MNS for always being proactive to help new immigrants settle in our great province of Ontario. If you're a newcomer to the country, please visit their website and learn about the available resources that will help you as you settle into your new home. 

 

 

 

 

Roundtable with Tim Hortons Franchise Leaders 

On October 1, I hosted a roundtable with Tim Horton's Franchise Leaders across Ontario and in Mississauga to discussed Ontario's Immigration Nominee Program. I was joined by the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development who listened in on the concerns of restaurant owners and representatives and their proposal to shift the OINP to increase jobs in Ontario. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tim Hortons' Smile Cookie Campaign 

On September 14th, I visited a Tim Hortons located in Mississauga Malton to mark the the beginning of a weeklong Tim Hortons Smile Cookie campaign. During this week, Tim Hortons offered freshly baked chocolate chunk Smile Cookie for $1. The Smile Cookie campaign started in 1996 to help raise funds for the Hamilton Children’s Hospital and has grown to become a signature fundraising event at Tim Hortons restaurants nationally. Proceeds from this initiative will support over 550 Canadian charities, hospitals, and community programs. 

 In 2019, Tim Hortons restaurant owners from Mississauga donated just under $122,000 dollars through our smile cookie campaign to Community Living Mississauga and in Canada we raised 10 million dollars that went to 550 local community charities. Thank you to the hardworking team of Tim Hortons stores across the province, owners like Andrew Diab and those that purchased a Smile Cookie for championing this wonderful cause.  


 

First Virtual Terry Fox Run 

On September 15, I was joined by Tara Swartz-O'Neill, the organizer for Mississauga's Annual Terry Fox Run to highlight the 40th annual Terry Fox Run. It has been 40 years since Terry Fox started the ‘Marathon of Hope’ to raise awareness and funds about cancer research. This is the first year the race was held virtually.  Even though this year’s run was different, the goal was the same - join thousands of other runners virtually - to raise funds for cancer researchTerry Fox Run has raised over $800 million, which has funded 1300 innovative cancer research projects since it began in 1980. Here locally in Mississauga the run has raised over $69,000 for cancer research.

 

 

One of my favourite quotes from Terry is : “Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me. By participating in the Terry Fox Run, we are continuing Terry’s legacy and helping people that are fighting cancer #TryLikeTerry 


World Suicide Prevention Day 

On Sept 10, I spoke about about World Suicide Prevention Day. Did you know, every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide and on average there are 10 suicides in Canada every day. About 37% of Peel residents aged 15 years and older who have ever considered committing suicide have seriously planned a suicide attempt. The statistics around suicide are heartbreaking and during COVID-19 and social distancing many people have are experiencing isolation and mental health issues. Let us intentionally reach out to our community, loved ones and neigbours. Please do not hesitate to seek the supports you need. Please call the Centre for Suicide Prevention’s helpline at: 833-456-5466.

 

 


 
 

Out and About in the Community 

 At the grand opening of Geoponics Inc., an indoor plants shop.

 

 

With the incredible athletes at Alpine Indoor Ski and Snowboard Training Centre 

 

 

 Selfie time with the Premier of Ontario

 

 

 

Thrilled to visit the Museum of Mississauga with my MPP colleague for Mississauga - Erin Mills with amazing storyteller Artist Viveka Melki for the Warflowers exhibit. 

 

I joined the Sikh MotorcycleClub's outdoor ceremony at Guru Nanak Mission Centre.

 

 

At the 16th Anniversary of Parvasi Radio and the Launch of Parvasi Television. 

 

 

At the grand opening of Hyatt Place and Luxe Convention Centre 

 

 

At the grand opening of Salon NB Beauty Salon

 

 

Visiting a new facility in the riding with owner Eric Sana. 

 

 


Read my Monthly Mississauga News Column

 

 


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COVID-19 Resources

Get tested at an assessment centre if you:

  • are showing COVID-19 symptoms 
  • have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by your public health unit or notified through the COVID-19 Alert app
  • are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as informed by your local public health unit 
  • are a resident or work in an at-risk setting, such as a long-term care home, homeless shelter or other congregate setting 

At a participating pharmacy if you are both: 

  • not showing symptoms
  • a resident or work in an at-risk setting, such as a long term care home, homeless shelter or other congregate setting. 

 


Daily COVID-19 Updates 

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