September 2020 E-Newsletter

Published on September 23, 2020

Message from the Desk of Your MPP

Dear Neighbours,  

We're officially in the month of September. As we count down the last days of summer, we look forward to the school year. Starting school is always exciting - buying new supplies, talking to your friends about classes and getting back into the swing of things whether it be sports, clubs, or learning about the subjects you love. However, much like this summer, this school year is going to be a unique experience for parents, children and teachers alike. We are operating under different circumstances, with COVID-19 continuing to affect our daily lives and routines.

Many parents have to make the difficult choice of sending their kids back to school. As a parent, I can understand the worries that you are having right now as kids go back to the classrooms. My daughter is entering grade 10 this upcoming school year and I share the exact same concerns that every parent is experiencing.

I want you to know that in ongoing consultation with health experts, school boards, educators and parents, the government has thought of numerous safety concerns as our kids go back to school. Whether it be cleaning, the training of educators, and the hiring of new staff to cope with increased safety measures, the government is committed to the safety of our children. Ontario has recently announced $381 million to enhance safety measures and accommodate for the new learning environment as schools reopen. This is one of many funding announcements for education that have been released and the government has set aside an additional investment of $50 million in HVAC, ventilation, and air quality systems. The province is taking a proactive approach and dedicating the necessary resources to create a smooth transition for our kids as schools reopen.

I want to thank all of you for being committed to our youth and their learning and ensuring that their safety and that of everyone else around them is of top-most priority.

 

Sincerely, 

 

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COVID-19 Update 

  • Ontario is extending orders in force under the Reopening Ontario Act until September 22. The province will continue on the safe and gradual path to recovery while tackling the ongoing effects of the pandemic. As of August 10, all Public Health Units in the Province are in Stage 3 of reopening.

  • Families will be able to spend more quality time with their seniors as Long-term care residents can now leave their residences for short-stay and temporary absences.

    • Short-stay absences are those that do not include overnight stays such as visits to see family or run errands. Homes must provide residents with a medical mask to be worn at all times when outside of the home and remind them of the importance of public health measures, including physical distancing.

    • Temporary absences will be at the discretion of the home and decided on a case-by-case basis based on safety factors like the risk associated with the absence (e.g., for a family weekend vs. a large gathering) and ability of the home to help residents self-isolate upon return

  • The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is providing municipalities with $1.6 billion as part of the first round of emergency funding under the Safe Restart Agreement program. Up to $1.39 billion will help municipalities address operating pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic and $212 million will help vulnerable people find shelter.

    • The City of Mississauga will receive $46.9 million during the phase 1 of municipal allocations. The Region of Peel will be getting $27.9 million in funding. 

  • In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the government has amended the Stage 3 regulations and created new guidance to enable greater use of sport and recreational fitness facilitiesThis will permit facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities to have up to 50 patrons in each room, with two metres of physical distance. This will help centers operate profitably and get more employees back to work.

  • The Government of Ontario is making $8 million available to support small businesses and registered charities who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small businesses and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.

    • To apply for CEAP funding, customers should contact their energy provider. Electricity and natural gas utilities and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs) began accepting applications for CEAP-SB on August 31, 2020, delivering the program in accordance with rules laid out by the OEB. CEAP-SB funding is limited, with utilities and USMPs expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. 

    • For more information, including eligibility requirements and on-bill credit amounts, visit oeb.ca/ceap

  • Starting Sept 8, Ontarians will be able to book class G road tests and access all classes of driving testing services at DriveTest centres across Ontario. This includes: 
    • Class G1 and M1 knowledge tests
    • Driver's licence exchanges and upgrades 
    • Class G2 and class G road tests
    • Class M2 and class M motorcycle road tests
    • Commercial Driver Road Test for all classes of commercial driver's licences 

Queen's Park Update

  • From Aug 10, all municipal and First Nations police services, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police, were able to apply for funding for the first year of the CCTV Grant cycle (2020-2021). All applications must be submitted by September 10 at 4:00 p.m. A total of $6 million will be invested in the new program to expand the coverage of closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, which are essential in the fight against guns, gangs and other criminal activity. Click here to apply.

  • On Aug 13th, the Ontario government launched consultations to improve the province's privacy protection laws. The government is looking for your input to help develop a modern, tailored, Made-In-Ontario approach to privacy. The aim is to include increased transparency about how businesses collect and use your personal information, enhanced consent, and individual rights to request deletion of collected information. Fill out the online survey today to participate in the consultation. 

  • As access to sports and recreational facilities increases, the government is investing $8 million through the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund to help the province's sports organizations to continue to serve athletes of all levels. The funding will help them continue delivering high-quality programming and competitions and to promote health and wellness in communities.

  • The Ontario government released Sustainable Growth: Ontario's Forest Sector Strategythe province's plan to create jobs and encourage economic growth in the forest industry. The strategy will support the Indigenous, northern and rural communities that depend on the sector, while ensuring the province's forests stay healthy for generations to come. The strategy revolves around stewardship and sustainability, recognizing the importance of keeping Crown forests healthy, diverse, and productive.

  • The Ontario government is making commuting and travel easier in the GTA by confirming the Preferred Route for a new 400-series highway and transit corridor across York, Peel and Halton regions. Expanding the GTA West corridor will reduce travel times and support economic growth and job creation. The new corridor will include four-to-six lane 400-series highway, separate infrastructure for transit and passenger stations, as well as intelligent transportation features and truck parking.

  • To further support disadvantaged youth and job seekers from underrepresented groups, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development announced the government is investing more than $2.2 million to support eight unique projects in the GTA that will help nearly 500 young people and job seekers from underrepresented groups receive practical on-the-job experience in a wide variety of sectors.

  • The government is investing $9.3 million to support 11 projects that help more than 2,000 students, apprentices and laid-off workers train for careers in car and advanced manufacturing across the GTA. Of the total, $2.24 million will go to the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) to support hands-on learning opportunities for college and university students, recent graduates and apprentices.

Additional Grants for Children & Youth 

On Aug 28, the provincial government announced a new plan to redesign the child welfare system, which will focus on strengthening families and communities through prevention, early intervention and seeking more permanent homes for children and youth in care when they are unable to stay in their homes or communities. I joined Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues, the Solicitor General and a few of my Mississauga MPP fellow colleagues at Peel Children's Aid Society, located in Mississauga-Malton as the government is providing $200,000 to enhance its Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence Program. The program helps children aid societies across the province in addressing immigration status issues and helping youth access basic social services such as healthcare, housing, post-secondary education and employment opportunities. This will allow children and youth to focus on their futures and not be burdened by their immigration status. 

  

 


Eglinton Crosstown LRT West Extension

On August 19, the Ontario government announced that it was one step closer to getting shovels in the ground on part of the largest subway expansion in Canadian history with the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to advance tunnelling work on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT West Extension. I was delighted to join the Premier, Minister of Transportation, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA) and Mayor of Mississauga for this announcement. The ECWE project is estimated to support as many as 4,600 jobs annually during it's six-year construction period. 

The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will bring the Crosstown LRT further west, creating a continuous rapid transit line along Eglinton Avenue, from the east end of Toronto into Mississauga.

The first round of public consultations for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension were held in early April. Digital copies of the presentation boards are available on the Metrolinx Engage portal.


Supporting Ontario Made Businesses 

On August 25, I joined the Premier and Associate Minister of Transportation to see Ontario Spirit in action at Molson Coors Brewery, a Canadian company founded over 200 years ago! They’re setting a great example as to how can we reopen the economy with precaution, move forward and prioritize the health and safety of employees during the tough times brought forward by COVID-19. Molson Coors are working with staff to ensure a safe return-to-work plan. I loved their amazing way of giving back to the community by working together as a company to deliver meals to our frontline workers. I want to thank Molson Coors for their contribution to Ontario and all businesses in the province who have supported us both prior to and during COVID-19. 

Travelling to a Healthy Airport

On Aug 26, I was pleased to have joined my fellow Mississauga MPPs for a tour of the Toronto Pearson International Airport, the city within our city of Mississauga. COVID-19 has hit our aviation industry hard, however the Greater Toronto Airports Authority is doing a great job of ensuring the health and safety of passengers by making a healthy airport through the placement of various screening protocols, sanitization stations and an air quality monitoring station. I would like to thank Director Lorrie McKee and team at GTAA for being committed towards regaining the confidence of travellers and encouraging the reopening of Ontario businesses through these health and safety measures.  

 

Connecting Virtually

Roundtable on Education with Teachers and Parents 

On August 12, I had the opportunity to sit down virtually with parents living in Mississauga to hear concerns as children head back to school in September during the pandemic. Parents reiterated the importance of ventilation in schools, smaller class sizes and a 3-phase approach to reopening of schools. On August 26, following consultations with the Ministry of Education it was announced that Ontario will provide $381 millionin support of safe and healthy schools in Ontario.

On September 2, I was joined by Peel District School Board Trustees, Kathy McDonald and Susan Benjamin along with members of ED Advocates to discuss the integration of black identities in the education curriculum. We talked about the importance of changing a syllabus so it reflects and teaches the needs and history of our diverse population. 

 

2020 AMO Conference

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario provides a platform for Ontario’s 444 municipalities to work together to achieve shared goals and meet common challenges. This year’s AMO conference was held virtually for the first time, where I met with representatives from the City of Mississauga and the Region of Peel to discuss re-opening plans, the impacts of COVID-19 and other pressing issues.The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that we can achieve important milestones by working collaboratively across all three levels of Government. We have already delivered the first round of funding of up to $1.6 billion for Ontario’s municipalities to provide immediate and rapid relief to meet the challenges of the pandemic. More emergency funding is being made available this fall to municipalities that require additional support. 

Mississauga-Malton BINGO Night

As we’re staying in, socially distancing from friends and loved ones and being unable to enjoy the summer the way we normally would, we decided to have some virtual fun. In the month of August, we introduced our very first BINGO night in our riding of Mississauga-Malton. Residents had the opportunity to have fun and win awesome prizes. They were joined by special guests, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Minister of Government and Consumer Services who called out BINGO numbers and generously offered an invitation to have lunch with them at Queen’s Park and attend Question Period. It was wonderful to virtually connect with residents and fellow neighbours, play exciting games while staying safe and healthy. 

 


Camp Day at Tim Hortons

On August 12, I had the opportunity to visit the local Tim Hortons in Mississauga-Malton on Camp Day - the largest fundraiser for the Tim Hortons Foundation Camps. Through the small purchase of a coffee and bracelet I was able to contribute to this wonderful initiative which has so far helped 2,295,000 youths  to attend virtual e-camps where they have the ability to learn important skills such as leadership, resilience and responsibility. I want to give a big shoutout to the amazing team at Tim Hortons around Canada who have worked so hard to make this event a success. 

 


Supporting Children's Hospitals on C-Store Day

On Aug 19, I witnessed Ontario Spirit at Rabba Fine Foods located in Mississauga-Malton during Convenience Store Day. During C Store Day, 100% of their proceeds will go directly to four charity hospitals in Ontario - The Sick Kids’ Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation, Children’s Health Foundation and McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation. Proceeds support the highest priority needs in the hospitals, that include critical research, education, the purchase life-saving equipment, and ensure excellence in care. Thank-you to everyone who made a contribution and essential businesses like convenience stores for championing this cause. 

  


Community Initiatives 

Shade Opening at Neebin Park   

I was delighted to join the Derry Village Seniors Club to celebrate the opening of the new shaded pad at Neebin Park. I would like to commend the efforts of Mayor of Mississauga, Councillor of Ward 11 and the community members for contributing towards establishing this shade. It wonderful to see our seniors and young volunteers come together under the shade and connect with one another. 

Community Bike Ride in Malton 

 

I had another opportunity to join Janice Lowe and her team at the GLE Movement as they celebrated their wonderful efforts to improve the physical and mental well-being of youth in Mississauga-Malton. They held a community bike ride at Malton Community Centre where kids, parents, and residents came together to bike under the blue skies. It was wonderful to connect with local youth and get back on a bike after so long.


Backpack Drive 

Meet Angie Munnick, a community volunteer who has been providing school supplies and backpacks to students with the help of other passionate volunteers and organizations for the past 15 years. This wonderful initiative is a perfect example of Ontario Spirit and amazing community service. 


Out and About in the Community


     

Supporting local youth at Ride for Raja with Mandeep Singh Cheema Charitable Foundation 

 


Visiting the winners of BINGO Night and dropping off their prizes, congratulations to all the winners

At the opening of a new food bank, Sayyidah Zahrah Food Bank with Islamic Supreme Council of Canada Ontario

 

 

Pleased to meet many residents while walking in the park and sharing laughs 

At a blood donation event with Canadian Muslims Friends 


Connecting with neighbours outside on a beautiful evening #30X30challenge

With the wonderful volunteers of Derry Village Seniors Club at Neebin Park Shade Opening.

Visiting the Precision Tool & Die Inc. facility with the amazing employees and management team

 

 

At the Grand Opening of Punjabi Chaap Corner. 

 

 


Read my Monthly Mississauga News Column

 


Empowering the Youth of Today

The Centre of Education and Training (TCET), a non-profit organization with multiple locations in Mississauga, offers two youth programs, EmpowHer and Youth Lead which address the barriers that many youth and newcomers experience such as the lack of Canadian/work experience, confidence, and the challenges presented for those that struggle to find their positionality within Peel Region. They offer workshops which focus on employment preparation, graphic design, networking opportunities, financial literacy, government structure and civic engagement. All their workshops are free and are currently being hosted online. These two programs are a great opportunity to gain necessary experience and utilizes skills that you learn in workshops in your professional career.

EmpowHer and Youth Lead are currently recruiting for thier cohort in September 2020 who must be: 

  • Newcomer youth from ages 14-24 
  • Newcomer youth from ages 18-45 who identify themselves as womxn.

       

        

If you are eligible, apply for these wonderful programs by contacting lashfaq@tcet.com


Transit Updates

GO Transit - September Service Changes

Starting September 5th, Metrolinx is increasing train service on all lines to give customers more flexibility to get to where they need to go. We’re also resuming or adjusting bus service on most routes to better match demand. 

Passengers will experience a fully transformed GO with over 40 measures taken to help keep them safe, including increased cleaning, seat dividers on select vehicles, and mandatory face-coverings. More information about their response to COVID-19 can be found on this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurontario LRT 

Mobilinx will begin installing new watermain, storm and sanitary systems as well as relocating Alectra telecommunication infrastructure  mid- September. The work will take approx. a year to complete and residents within 500 meters of the work site will have the notice in hand shortly.

Work will generally occur between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday to Friday. However, night shifts and weekend works might be planned as needed. 

Lane reductions will be required on Hurontario Street between Matheson Boulevard and Highway 407. This may cause delays on Brampton Transit routes 2,6, 7, Züm route 502 and MiWay routes 17,25,39,42,43,57,70, 103 and 104.