AUGUST 2021 E-NEWSLETTER
Message from Your MPP
August is a time of reunions, for family and friends alike. With summer school successfully completed, all members of the household have returned home, allowing families to sit together, laugh, share stories, and visit the local mall. Small businesses are welcoming eager customers with open arms. All the while, the weather is warm and pleasant, and our parks and trails are as green and as beautiful as ever before.
We’ve accomplished so much in just the last few weeks. In the last two months, we’ve administered 1.1 million doses in the Region of Peel. Peel is also #1 in the province for % of 18-29 year olds vaccinated with first doses, sitting at 86.4%. We are crushing COVID, with low daily case counts and hospitalizations. It is also abundantly clear that vaccines are working. Exactly 100% of June Peel COVID hospitalizations were not fully immunized. With the ability to choose your vaccine brand and daily walk-ins available at Peel Public Health clinics, getting a vaccine is now easier than ever before.
Like me, I’m sure you must be excited for the return to in-person schooling for our kids. Earlier this week, our government announced the back-to-school guidelines, ensuring kids will be well-protected from COVID-19, while allowing for a smooth transition. Under this plan, extracurriculars and high-intensity sports can resume, as can school assemblies and the use of shared spaces like libraries and computer labs. Ventilation is also a key part of the plan. The PDSB, for example, has already upgraded to hospital-grade air filters, and has reprogrammed the building automation systems (BAS) for HVAC and ventilation systems to maximize the amount of fresh air entering the building. With these plans in place, and our growing youth vaccination numbers, I’m confident we can have a happy, healthy, and safe return to schools this Fall.
Please continue to make the most of your summer, spending time with friends and family in a COVID-safe manner. I look forward to a time where I can welcome you all in person to an Open House, where you can visit the Office and witness the staff in action.
The Roadmap to Reopening: Looking Ahead
Given encouraging improvements in key public health indicators, the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, moved the province into Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen on July 16. Step 3 of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place.
The province will remain in Step 3 of the Roadmap for at least 21 days and until:
- 80% of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
- 75% have received their second dose and;
- with no public health unit having less than 70% of their eligible population aged 12 plus fully vaccinated.
Other key public health and health care indicators must also continue to remain stable. Upon meeting these thresholds, the vast majority of public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings and limits for social gatherings, will be lifted.
Roll up your sleeves and encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated. This will help stop the spread of COVID-19, support our health care system and protect our community. It will also bring us closer to doing the things we’ve missed and love to do!
Investing in Ontario
$32.7 million in new annualized funding for targeted addictions services and supports, including treatment for opioid addictions. The investment will provide $2.25 million towards the opioid response proposal by the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network.
It also includes $6.9 million in provincial opioid response, over $18.8 million in bed-based investments for vulnerable adults and youth and $4.75 million for community-based services to support lifelong stabilization and recovery.
Joint federal, provincial, and recipient funding through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan will support 19 green infrastructure projects across Ontario. Ontario is providing over $13 million, while the federal government is investing over $16 million in these projects through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the plan. Additionally, municipalities are investing over $14 million in their respective projects.
$10.5 million toward the Small Business Health and Safety program to provide up to 60,000 small businesses across the province with free health and safety training over the next three years.
This is will cover the course registration costs for an employee who is appointed as a health and safety rep. for their workplace. The program will also reimburse small businesses $150 towards the employee’s training time.
44 community-based projects to receive $1.9 million in funding through the Great Lakes Local Action Fund, which supports local projects that protect and restore the Great Lakes. The projects are led by community-based organizations, municipalities, conservation authorities and Indigenous communities and organizations across Ontario.
Investing in Mississauga-Malton
Through Ontario’s Reconnect Festival and Event Program, Mississauga-Malton based events: Celebrating the World: Carassauga Drive-In and Virtual Festival and Muslimfest will be receiving $38, 475 and $72,025 respectively. The investments will help ensure the safe operation of festivals for event organizers, staff and residents participating.
Queens Park Update
Renew Photo Cards Online
Ontarians now have the option to renew their photo cards online through Service Ontario. The photo image on the card has also been extended from a 5-year to a 10-year validity period for all renewals.
- The fee for renewing your Ontario Photo Card remains the same at $35.00, whether renewing online or in-person at a ServiceOntario centre.
- Individuals can apply for an Ontario Photo Card if they:
- do not have a driver’s licence
- are a resident of Ontario, and
- are 16 years of age and older
- If you are unable to renew online, you can continue to renew the card in-person at your nearest Service Ontario center.
Updating the Second Career Program
Ontario is increasing financial supports available and simplifying the application process for individuals applying to the Second Career program. This includes:
- laid-off and unemployed workers will no longer need to provide burdensome amounts of documentation to get funding.
- weekly basic living supports for rent, mortgage and other expenses will increase to $500 a week.
- transportation and child care supports are being enhanced to better reflect the costs that people currently face.
Redeveloping Ontario Place
On July 30, the government announced it’s plan to revitalize Ontario Place into a world-class destination. Three successful participants from the 2019 Call for Development process Therme Group, Live Nation and Écorécréo Group will help deliver an exciting, inclusive and family friendly experience that will play a key role in the province’s post-pandemic recovery.
The transformation of Ontario Place will include 3 new major attractions:
- Therme Canada, a family-friendly, all-season destination offering something for all ages, including pools, waterslides, botanical spaces to relax, as well as sports performance and recovery services.
- Redevelopment of the existing amphitheatre into a modern, year-round indoor-outdoor live music and performance venue.
- An affordable, all-season adventure park for all ages. This new, environmentally friendly attraction will include aerial obstacle courses, net-based aerial adventures, ziplines, climbing walls, escape rooms etc.
In late August, the government will be seeking your feedback to learn what you would like to see and experience at a redeveloped Ontario Place. To share your thoughts, visit Ontario.ca/OntarioPlace
Support Firefighting Efforts in the Northwest
Effective July 21, the province has enhanced industry restrictions to help sustain Ontario’s firefighting resources in the extreme fire situation across Northwestern Ontario. These restrictions are in place for high-risk industrial operations that have the potential to cause sparks and ignite fires.
Examples of activities now suspended include: certain specific drilling operations, using heavy machinery with rubber tires and no chains, and rail production grinding.
Modernizing the Drainage Act
The government has amended the Drainage Act to reduce regulatory burden and streamline approvals for farmers, rural landowners and municipalities undertaking drainage projects. By streamlining processes, the province will reduce the costs carried by property owners who pay for drainage projects. This will result in:
• A simplified process for minor improvements to municipal drains, reducing the time it takes to make minor improvements to drainage systems.
• A simplified process of approving updates to the engineer’s report for changes to the design made during construction.
Simplifying the process required to undertake minor changes to drainage projects will not impact the environmental protections, which will be maintained to help ensure ongoing investment in drainage infrastructure.
Ontario’s 2021-22 Back to School Plan
On August 3, the government released it’s 2021-22 Back to School Plan, which includes direction for elementary and secondary students who will return to in-person learning daily for the full school day. The government will keep kids as safe as possible by making available over $1.6 billion in resources to school boards throughout the province for the upcoming school year. This will provide schools with access to a wide range of supports for student mental health, the hiring of additional staff, school-focused nurses in public health units, asymptomatic testing, remote learning technology,and supporting health and safety measures in student transportation.
The province will also invest up to $25 million in additional funding to support the purchase of approximately 20,000 new HEPA filter units, building on previous ventilation and other safety improvements in schools. This investment brings the total amount of funding to improve ventilation in schools to over $600M since the beginning of the pandemic.
- will reopen with in-person learning and enhanced health and safety protocols, province-wide.
- students will attend school 5 days per week, with 300 minutes of instruction per day, remaining in one cohort for the full day. Cohorted classes will stay together with one teacher where possible.
- students of different cohorts can interact outside with distancing encouraged or inside with distancing and masking.
- students may use common spaces i.e cafeterias & libraries.
- Secondary schools will provide daily in-person learning for the full duration of the school day.
- For the fall semester, there will be no more than 2 courses at a time.
- some school boards may implement an alternating week / “modified semester”.
- Remote learning remains an option for parents even as school boards are planning for students to return to in-person learning.
- School boards will be required to provide students learning remotely with 300 minutes of learning opportunities.
- This policy includes providing access to remote learning devices and minimum synchronous learning time.
- Students in Grades 1 to 12 are required to wear fitted non-medical or cloth masks indoors in school, including hallways, during classes and school vehicles.
- students in kindergarten are encouraged but not required to wear masks.
- Masks may be temporarily removed indoors during: low-contact physical activity & to consume food or drinks.
- Students are not required to wear masks outdoors, but distancing should be encouraged between cohorts as much as possible.
- School vehicles can operate at full capacity while vehicles for elementary students should reduce capacity where possible.
- the seat directly behind the driver in school buses should remain empty.
- Students should be assigned seats with those in same household or cohort seated together to ensure with contact tracing and safety.
- Every classroom in school buildings with partial or no mechanical ventilation will now have standalone HEPA filter units in place.
- All schools (with or without mechanical ventilation) will place a standalone HEPA filter unit in every occupied Full-Day Kindergarten.
- school boards are encouraged to support outdoor education, where possible, and open windows for classrooms, learning environments and school vehicles if feasible.
Applications Now Open!
Digital Transformation Grant
The Digital Transformation Grant is a one-time grant of $2,500 which helps small main street businesses across Ontario improve their adoption of technologies to better promote themselves online, sell online and increase their marketplace.
- business has a permanent ‘brick-and-mortar’ establishment in Ontario
- must have 1-50 employees
- be a registered business in Ontario and/or incorporated
- owned by a Ontario resident of 18 years of age or older or operating a business in Ontario
- paying commercial property tax, either directly or through commercial rent.
Supporting Ontario’s Aerospace Industry
On July 29, I re-visited Avion Technologies located in Mississauga-Malton. The company is a recipient of the 2020 Canada-Ontario Job Grant, having received $233,750 in funding so they are able to train frontline employees and meet current and future industry workforce development needs.
Thank you to Paul Chana and the entire team at Avion Technologies for their contribution to the defence and aerospace industry in Ontario.
On July 29, I also visited Merit Ontario located in Mississauga-Malton to announce the $3 million investment that will help create a virtual training hub at the company. In the first quarter of 2021, the construction industry experienced 14,000 job vacancies – well-paying jobs that could be filled.
This investment will help construction supervisors learn the skills they need to mentor and train their team and help create an online job bank that will help up to 200 laid-off and unemployed workers find valuable jobs in construction.
New Emergency Shelter in Mississauga
On July 12, I joined my fellow Mississauga MPP colleagues and the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs at the new Peel Family Shelter, located at 2420 Surveyor Road in Mississauga. The government is investing $7.6 million to help create 120 permanent emergency shelter units in the facility to support families experiencing homelessness in Region of Peel. The new units will be equipped with private washrooms and will be close to transit, dental, medical and pharmacy services, as well as parks and the Meadowvale library.
Mississauga-Malton Community Cleanup
On July 18, I joined amazing volunteers of Mississauga-Malton as we cleaned part of Elmcreek Park in Malton. Special shoutout to our youth for coming forward to help the community. Witnessing these youth in action I can confidently say our future is bright. I was also pleased to meet Mario, who worked with City of Mississauga – Municipal government for many years & passionately served the community.
If you would like to start a community cleanup in your neighbourhood, contact our office at 905-696-0367!
Uplifting Children and Youth
On July 14, I had the pleasure to re-visit Peel Children’s Aid Society with the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and my MPP colleagues for an engaging discussion. Thank you to Peel CAS CEO and his team of dedicated staff & volunteers for providing children and youth the critical services and safe spaces they need. I was also thrilled to see a welcoming space at the facility supported by Mandeep Singh Cheema Charitable Foundation. A special shoutout goes to Micca Cheema Gill & all members of the foundation for their passion & tireless work to bring positive change in the life of kids in need.
Townhall for Residents
On July 22, I joined Mississauga-Malton residents for our July Townhall. We were accompanied by Minister of Labour Training and Skills Development and his team for a discussion on the supports and protections in place for families, workers and local businesses.
I’m happy to share that our next Townhall will be in-person and take place on August 24 at 7pm at Frank McKechnie Community Centre. To join the conversation, contact our office at 905-696-0367!
Annual Community Food Drive
On July 24th, I joined residents at the corner of Rallymaster and Navigator Dr. in Mississauga-Malton to kick-off our annual Community Food Drive. It was an heartwarming experience seeing so many people motivated to bring about positive change in the community. We were also joined by musician, Shabhy, who played amazing tunes to keep everyone entertained as the rain came pouring down.
On August 2, as we marked Civic Holiday, residents came together at Moodie Court in Malton for another Community Food Drive. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the long weekend and help those who need essential food supplies. Shoutout to Bhavesh Patel and his neighbours, for hosting the drive for a second year in a row and supporting the community so well during the pandemic.
Thanks to the outstanding generosity of community members, from youth to seniors to individuals of all ages, we collected over 445 lbs of food donations! Shoutout to all neighbours for joining hands to help those in need during the pandemic. If you would like to learn about Mississauga-Malton’s upcoming food drives or host one in your neighbourhood, contact our office at 905-696-0367. All food donations will be given to the Mississauga Food Bank.
Camp Day at Tim Hortons
July 21 was Tim Hortons Camp Day, an annual day when 100% of all hot & ice coffee and bracelet proceeds go to Tim Hortons Foundation Camps to help kids go to summer camps! Since 1991, Camp Day has raised $212 million in funds to support a multi-year leadership development program for youth aged 12 to 16. Over the past 45 years, more than 300,000 kids have attended a Tims Camp at no cost to them or their families.
I was delighted to recognize Andrew and the entire team of Tim Hortons-Vanguard in Mississauga-Malton for serving the community and putting a smile on the faces of children and youth.
Read my Mississauga News Column
Ontario, yours to discover
Ontario has pristine beaches, food and cuisine, and world class attractions, writes Deepak Anand
OPINION | August 3, 2021
The tourism industry, which contributes $36.7 billion and 390,000 jobs to the Ontaio economy, is expected to be among the last to recover. As well, most tourism-related businesses are small – 99 per cent employ less than 100 people, and 91 per cent employ less than 20.
The last year has given us the unique opportunity to know our city and province better than ever before. As Ontarians begin planning their next vacations or their upcoming summer, I urge all of them to consider their own backyard – right here, in Ontario. We have pristine beaches, food and cuisine, world class attractions, and a formidable arts and culture scene. With such beautiful scenery, it is no surprise that Ontario productions scored 54 Emmy nominations this year, including “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Queen’s Gambit.” Tourism is not just an economic driver – it is an enabler of culture, celebration and achievement.
Out and About in the Community
Pleased to join Family Services of Peel’s meet & greet event at their new Mississauga-Malton location!
Productive discussion with GTAA workers council about ensuring the health and safety of frontline employees at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Joined The Legendary Sikh Riders motorcycle club members who are supporting children and youth through Make A Wish Canada Foundation.
Celebrating Egyptian Heritage Month with the Egyptian community and fellow Mississauga MPP colleagues.
Meeting the incredible team of staff and volunteers at the Meadowvale Jamatkhana vaccine pop-up clinic.
Dropped by the Morning Star Middle School vaccine clinic and had an insightful conversation with Dr. Monica Hau, Region of Peel’s Associate Medical Officer of Health.
Came together with Malton Caribbean Seniors Group to discuss the provincial programs and services available to support seniors in the community.
With an outstanding team of youth volunteers dedicated to support their neighbours at the
Mississauga-Malton community office.
Informative meeting at the Peel Police headquarters with the Solicitor General, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and my fellow caucus colleagues.