JUNE 2021 E-NEWSLETTER
Published on June 04, 2021
Deepak Anand MPP
Message from Your MPP
June holds a special place in the hearts of parents, teachers, and students as many of our youth are ready to enter a new world. To the Graduating Class of 2021: It goes without saying that the last year has been tough. But I’m proud to say your generation has been even tougher. Thank you for your resilience and hard work.
Despite all the chaos of COVID, you have stepped up – you’ve volunteered in your communities, and helped your parents and grandparents get vaccinated. Given you’ve already faced the mighty mountain of COVID, there is no goal too high up or no obstacle you can’t possibly overcome.
I’m looking forward to our graduating students celebrating this important milestone of their lives, in a unique, outdoor, COVID-safe graduation ceremony.
As we’ve all understood by now, vaccination is the best defence against COVID-19 and ensuring we can go back to doing the things we love to do. At the time of writing, 72.4% of Peel’s adults have been vaccinated, with nearly 1.2 million doses administered. Second doses have been bumped up across the board for the summer, and may be accelerated further as more supply rolls in.
We are continuing with online learning for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year to ensure our students, staff and the communities in which they live are safe. This was not an easy decision, but based on advice from public health experts and Peel Chief Medial Officer, Dr. Loh this was a “prudent decision”. Given that the unpredictable delta variant will be the dominant variant in Peel, being safe and cautious means other activities vital to kids’ mental health can re-open as planned in Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen, such as outdoor pools, day camps, and sports training.
All things considered, with more and more students and teachers getting vaccinated, I’m extremely confident we’ll have a happy, active, more normal summer, and a safe return to schools come September.
Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen
Thanks to the efforts of essential workers and residents, our government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health system indicators.
Public health and workplace safety measures would continue to apply across all steps, including maintaining physical distance, capacity limits and wearing face coverings in indoor spaces and whenever physical distancing is a challenge.
The province will remain in each of the three steps for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health indicators. If at the end of the 21 days, the vaccination thresholds have been met, alongside positive trends of other key public health and health system indicators, then the province will move forward to the next step.
- Step 1: An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds and permitting retail with restrictions. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 % capacity.
- Step 2: Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, personal care services where face coverings can be worn, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 % capacity.
- Step 3: Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.
Based on current trends in key health indicators, including the provincial vaccination rate, the province is expected to enter Step One of the roadmap the week of June 14, 2021.
Click here to learn more.
Second Dose Summer!
With over 67% the adult population received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the province is beginning to accelerate second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for all Ontarians. While the interval between first and second doses can be up to 16 weeks, Ontario will begin to offer second dose appointments at an earlier interval, based on vaccine supply. The anticipated schedule for second dose booking eligibility can be seen below:
- As of May 31, all individuals turning 80 and over in 2021 are eligible to book their second dose appointment through https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/.
- If you received your first dose at Trillium Health Partners, William Osler Health vaccine clinics, a pharmacy or through a primary care provider, you will be contacted directly.
- As of June 4, all individuals turning 70 and over in 2021 are eligible to book their second dose appointment through primary care providers and pharmacies. On June 7, adults 70 plus can book an appointment through https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/.
- All individuals who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine from March 10 onwards are eligible to receive a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at a 12-week interval, with appointment dates based on the timing of their first dose. To book your appointment, please contact the pharmacy or primary care provider where you received your first dose.
- Subsequent groups will be eligible to book a second dose at a shortened interval based on what date they received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccine with individuals aged 12 to 25, who are eligible the week of August 9 to 16.
- individuals who received their 1st dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) on or before April 18, 2021 will also be eligible to schedule an appt. starting June 7 through Ontario’s booking portal.
If there is sufficient vaccine supply, it is anticipated that the majority of Ontario residents who choose to receive the vaccine will be able to be fully vaccinated by the end of summer. Our office will continue to keep you updated on further details on when it is your turn to receive your second dose!
Investing in Ontario & Mississauga-Malton
$180 million towards the purchase of 60 new streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The investment will be matched by the Government of Canada, with the City of Toronto investing an additional $208 million. The streetcars will be produced in Thunder Bay, with vehicle delivery starting in 2023.
$28.5 billion transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area, including a commitment of nearly $17 billion from the province, marks the largest subway expansion in Canadian history with the all-new Ontario Line; a three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension; the Yonge North Subway Extension; and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. The federal government will provide $10.7 billion to support the delivery of the province’s multi-billion plan to build four priority subways.
$35 million to increase enrollment in nursing education programs in publicly assisted colleges and universities across the province. The 2000 new spaces will be available for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 cohorts and will introduce approximately 1,130 new registered practical nurses and over 870 BScN nursing graduates (registered nurses) into the health care system.
$2.5 million in Siemens Healthineers, through the Ontario Together Fund, to help increase production capacity of the epoc Blood Analysis System. The handheld device can analyze oxygen levels in blood, helping clinicians make faster decisions with lab-quality results for patients. The project is expected to create 93 jobs over 5 years.
Additional $1.5 million in the Education Liaison program which helps connect students to supports such as tutoring, academic enrichment, career mentoring and skills development and improves collaboration between children’s aid societies and school boards. Through this investment, the total annual funding for this program has increased to $5 million.
$1 million in financial relief to more than 300 resource-based tourism businesses operating at Ontario’s provincial parks and conservation reserves by waiving and reducing certain land use and licence fees for 2021. The relief includes:
- Removing 2021 annual land use fees for commercial outpost camp permit holders.
- Reducing and deferring payment of land use fees for commercial youth camps until the 2022 season.
- Reducing license fees for some commercial operators under service agreements in Ontario Parks for 2021.
$432,000 in Baycrest through the Ontario Together Fund, to help people struggling with cognitive impairment as a result of COVID-19.
Research has found that COVID-19 can lead to cognitive challenges for people, especially older adults, both as a consequence of contracting the virus and from the increased stress many have experienced during the pandemic.
$363,000 in Frontier Lithium to support jobs and opportunities in the mining sector, promote economic development in the north and highlight Ontario’s high mineral development potential. It will help the emerging Greater Sudbury-based mining company demonstrate its new innovative extraction process for lithium.
Queen’s Park Update
Consultations to Support Youth Transitioning out of Care
Children and youth leaving the care of the child welfare system are more likely to experience homelessness, mental health concerns, unemployment, lack of education and involvement in the justice system.
The government is developing a new framework that would support youth transitioning out of the care of children’s aid societies. The Ministry will co-lead consultations with youth, service providers and child welfare advocates to get thier feedback and learn about thier lived experiences to develop the framework.
This consultation will help establish readiness indicators, such as stable housing or education, to ensure young people are set up for success once they leave care – a key pillar of the province’s plan to modernize the child welfare system.
Transforming Virtual Learning
The government is transforming virtual learning by supporting nearly 400 innovative projects at colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes. Projects include:
- a new online course in intellectual property (IP) literacy through a partnership between OCAD University and the University of Windsor’s Law Faculty.
- simulated reality experiments in University of Waterloo, introducing students to standard equipment, procedures and experiments in its chemistry labs.
- a four-course, competency-based micro-credential help small business entrepreneurs and employees in business activities in Durham College.
These projects are part of the province’s Virtual Learning Strategy and will provide students with more flexibility and access to high-quality postsecondary education and retraining opportunities.
Ensuring Air Conditioning in Long-Term Care Homes
On May 15 new regulations came into effect under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, requiring designated cooling areas of all homes have air conditioning to be maintained at a comfortable level.
All 626 long-term care homes in Ontario are in compliance of these regulations, in comparison to last year when nearly 13 % of long-term care homes did not have air conditioning.
Action to Combat Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls
The province has released a strategy developed in collaboration with Indigenous partners that reinforces Ontario’s commitment to act on the Calls for Justice in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Otherwise knows as Pathways to Safety, it builds on the actions the government has taken protect to protect Indigenous women, children, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people from violence as well as addresses critical gaps in supports. The pathways focus on Security, Culture, Justice, Responsibility and Accountability, Identifying and Addressing Systemic Anti-Indigenous Racism and Indigenous Gender-based Analysis.
Expanding Access to Dental Care and Affordable Prescription Drugs
Ontario is updating the income eligibility thresholds for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program and the Seniors Co-Payment Program to allow more vulnerable seniors to have access to dental care and affordable prescription medications:
- Single Seniors: $19,300 to $22,200.
- Senior Couples with a combined annual income, from $32,300 to $37,100.
Eligible seniors are encouraged to apply for the Seniors Co-payment Program as soon as possible to minimize the chance of out-of-pocket costs.
Eligible seniors are encouraged to apply for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Plan starting July 1st.
Free-Day Use Permits at Ontario Parks
free day-use permits at 115 provincial parks are available from Monday to Thursday until September 2, 2021.Visitors at Ontario parks will also be able to guarantee access to 17 select provincial parks to avoid long line-ups during popular and busy visitation times by obtaining a daily vehicle permit in advance up to five days prior to arrival. As of June 7, visitors can check daily vehicle permit availability for specific parks and dates on the reservations website.
To further enhance recreational opportunities for Ontarians, the province is implementing a number of other initiatives, including:
- upgrading more electrical campsites while also expanding and improving roofed accommodations
- inviting the private sector to submit their most innovative ideas for new recreation experiences
- creating a one-stop shop for all local, regional, provincial and national park recreation opportunities in Ontario.
Remote Learning Continued
On June 3, the province made the difficult, but necessary decision to continue remote learning for all elementary and secondary students across the province for the rest of the 2020-21 school year.
This decision was taken to ensure the health and safety of Ontario families from growing cases of the COVID-19 DELTA variant, and to help students, staff, and their families get fully-vaccinated by the end of summer. The continued remote learning period will allow the province to continue it’s focus on accelerating COVID-19 vaccinations to support a safer summer and a return to in-person learning this September.
To further ensure the safe return of students can safely return classrooms in September, the government is providing more than $2 billion in new supports to advance and protect public education for the 2021-22 school year. The support includes more than $1.6 billion in resources to respond to COVID-19 and an $85.5 million commitment to support learning recovery and renewal in response to the ongoing pandemic. Supports include:
- $508 million for school boards to access up to 2% of reserves to support COVID-related expenses
- $450 million in personal protective equipment, critical supplies and equipment (cleaning supplies)
- $384 million in temporary COVID-19 staffing supports
- $86 million for school-focused nurses in public health units and testing
- $66 million for enhanced cleaning protocols and other health and safety measures in student transportation
- $59 million in continued special education, mental health, well-being and equity supports
- $35 million in additional technology funding
As students in elementary and secondary schools across Ontario graduate this month, it is important that they can mark this milestone and celebrate their hard work with friends, fellow classmates, teachers and parents safely.
The government will allow school boards to invite graduating students in elementary schools (by class) and secondary schools (by homeroom/quadmestered class) to return to school in June for a short, outdoor celebration, with public health guidelines in place.
Applications Now Open!
Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant
The Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant provides one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and travel sector.
This grant will support eligible small tourism and travel businesses that did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, such as travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts. To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 100 employees and demonstrate they have experienced a minimum 20% revenue decline between 2019 and 2020.
Applications close Friday, June 25, 2021 at 11:59 p.m
Click here to apply.
Ontario Community Environment Fund
The government is supporting community projects that help protect and restore the environment by investing $900,000 in grant funding through the newly enhanced Ontario Community Environment Fund
Who is eligible?
- First Nation and Métis communities and organizations
- schools, colleges and universities
- conservation authorities and conservation foundations
- incorporated not-for-profit organizations
- incorporated community-based groups
Funding is available for projects that:
- Increase environmental restoration and remediation to repair environmental harm, e.g. tree planting, habitat restoration.
- Build resilient communities and provide local solutions to environmental issues, e.g. wetland creation and installing rain gardens to reduce the risk of flooding.
Provincial Antigen Screening Program
Through a partnership between the province and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario government has launched a new rapid testing portal to make it easier for all essential businesses to access free rapid testing to help keep employees and their families safe.
The application process is open to all organizations that are allowed to be open under current public health measures, and also require people to be physically present.
- notify their local Public Health Unit before testing begins
- must agree to the program terms and conditions
- review onboarding and training materials
- order free test kits from the province of Ontario
- report de-identified testing data to the province each week
- must properly handle and dispose of used test kits
On June 4, the provincial government finished it’s Parliamentary session during which 30 bills have been passed, including 17 Private Members’ Bills. It was my pleasure to speak on several of these bills, including Bill 276, Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, Bill 246, the Safer School Buses Act, Bill 251 Combating Human Trafficking Act, 2021. I also had the opportunity to highlight important issues affecting Mississauga-Malton during my committee hearings as well as statements in the house as seen below.
Gas and Dash Thefts
On June 4, I rose in the house to speak on Bill 231, which if passed, will legislate mandatory fuel prepayment to ensure the safety of employees, bystanders and consumers. I’m disheartened to share that this past month, 66-year Stephen Madigan was senselessly killed during a gas-and-dash theft. I thank stakeholders including Police Association of Ontario and Ontario Convenience Stores Association for sharing their support for this Bill to make sure our community doesn’t witness this pain again.
Ismaili Council of Ontario
On May 31, I was pleased to stand in the legislature to recognize the Ismaili Council of Ontario, an organization that has continued to serve local communities during the pandemic. Through their Civic Initiative, the Council has swen & donated masks, provided food supplies, contributed monetary and blood donations to keep residents healthy & safe. The council has also hosted and volunteered at over FIVE pop-up vaccine clinics in their local Jamatkhanas, playing an important role in Ontario’s vaccine rollout.
Additional 2,000 Ventilators to Support India
COVID19 has made it clear: no one is safe until everyone is safe. On May 18, I joined my colleagues and Consul General of India to Toronto to send additional 2,000 Ontario Made ventilators, oxygen cylinders, oxygen generators, PPE and other medical supplies to help India fight COVID-19. I’m proud to share, thanks to Toronto Business Development Centre, Air Canada and Toronto Pearson International Airport, the cargo only flight with critical supplies has landed in India just few days after to support our friends and families during these tough times.
Celebrating Mother’s Day with Our Seniors
On May 7, I delivered a special Mother’s Day gift to the residents of our community’s long-term care homes (LTC): bouquets of roses and carnations, with personalized cards. This included Villa Forum LTC, Malton Village LTC, and finally, the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. Our LTC residents have been so resilient over the last 12 months, and any action that can bring them cheers and joy is an action worth taking.
With over 97% of LTC residents and 66% of LTC staff fully immunized, LTC residents can now enjoy day and overnight trips, have an increased ability to see and hug visitors.
Spring Cheers for our Essential Workers and Volunteers
On May 29, I was heartened to come together with Mississauga-Malton residents to share gratitude for all the essential workers and volunteers keeping us safe throughout the pandemic. Thank you to educator Clovalyn Wilson, healthcare hero Farrah Chowdhury and PDSB Trustee for Ward 5 for joining us and for your ongoing service to communties during the pandemic.
Special thank you to residents Jayshree Patel and Angie Munnick for collaborating with our office to organize a Spring Cheers activity in appreciation of our frontline heroes. It was incredible to witness the beautiful artworks (seen below) that residents created out of recycled materials!
It’s safe to say, Mississauga-Malton’s got talent!
Popping in at Vaccine Clinics
At Meadowdale Jamatkhana’s COVID-19 vaccine pop-up clinic where they held a Youth Day to help individuals aged 12 to 17 roll up their sleeves with safe and exciting activities for them to participate in, including a selfie station.
Joined the Premier of Ontario, Region of Peel’s Chair and community partners at International Centre during their 32-hour Doses after Dark vaccination clinic. The clinic was a huge success with almost 5,000 doses administered to residents and essential workers.
Visiting the pop-up clinic in Malton Masjid, that has administered over 1,500 doses within the span of a week through the efforts of volunteers, faith leaders, health care heroes, and community partners.
Monthly Seniors Wellness Hour
On May 26, I joined Mississauga-Malton seniors for another fun and informative Seniors’ Wellness Hour. We were joined by guests from Indus Community Services, a local community organization providing culturally sensitive supports, who shared tips and practices to manage stress during the pandemic.
Joining as special guest was illusionist, Raman Sharma, who showcased mind-boggling illusions & as well as taught residents how to perform the perfect magic trick!
Stay tuned for the upcoming Seniors Fun Hour that will take place on June 19, when we will virtually explore Ontario’s Parliament. To register, call our office at 905-696-0367.
Working Together to Combat Anti-Hate Racism
On May 28, I joined my fellow caucus colleagues in support of Bill 299: Anti-Asian Racism Education Month Act 2021 which if passed, will ensure racism and discrimination have no place in our homes, neighbourhoods and communities.
I would like to thank the MPP for Don Valley North for reinforcing Ontario values of inclusion and togetherness through Bill 299 and helping put a stop to Anti Asian Racism in Ontario.
Roundtable with Driving Instructors
On June 1, I hosted a productive roundtable with Ontario’s Minister of Transportation and Francophone Affairs and driving instructors in the province.
We discussed a safe reopening for driving lessons and DriveTest centres; I was glad to see all stakeholders bring forth insightful comments on how best to clear the test backlogs while preserving the health and safety of all Ontarians.
Driving instructors play a vital role in supporting individuals and job seekers by helping them become certified drivers. I am certain that by working collectively, Ontario will help new drivers acquire their license in a rapid and COVID-safe manner.
Happy Asian Heritage Month!
On May 14, Ontario marked the second decade of officially celebrating Asian heritage month enabling us to fully recognize Ontario’s diversity as its greatest strength. Since the 1890’s Asian Canadians have made remarkable contributions to art-science, politics, and culture. I am proud of their active role in supporting the most vulnerable population during Covid-19. This includes providing virtual sessions to help seniors, delivering food to those who are in need and offering spaces in support of the vaccine rollout. I encourage you to learn more about the Asian spirit, its heritage and tradition.
Thank you to our Superheroes – Our Nurses
May 10 marked the beginning of National Nursing Week. I would like to applaud the commitment and tireless work of nurses across Ontario, Canada and the globe for ensuring the health and well-being of so many individuals during the pandemic and beyond.
In Ontario, 175,000 nurses have shown their dedication, resilience, and compassion and have contributed to help our community at large. A special shout-out goes to all nurses at Trillium Health, William Osler, and Peel Public Health for playing a vital role in vaccinating the community. They have also assisted at our pop-up clinics and on-site clinics allowing our community members to gain the best possible protection. Nurses are the real super heroes!
National Youth Week
On May 8, we celebrated National Youth Week. I would like to express my gratitude to our youth for delivering medicine to neighbours, doing grocery runs for seniors, and volunteer shifts at vaccination clinics during the pandemic.
At the same time, Covid-19 has taken a toll on our children and youth’s mental health. To our kids in Mississauga-Malton and Ontario, please remember we are here for you and asking for help is not a sign of weakness. You can call the Kid’s helpline at 1-800-668-6868 as well as reach out to your friends and family. There is always someone here to listen and help.
Thank you for your service and lastly, don’t forget better days are just around the corner.
Ontario, Yours to Discover
May 23 – May 30 is Tourism Week in Ontario. Did you know, tourism creates 400,000 jobs and generates $36 billion in economic activity in Ontario?
The last 14 months have been tough for our resilient tourism industry, but as vaccinations go up, and case counts go down, and it is deemed safe to travel, I encourage all of you to explore our beautiful province.
In Mississauga-Malton, we can watch planes from Pearson Airport soar over Danville Park, and get great views from Braeben Golf Course! Our city also has 400 kms of trails and 1,200 restaurants serving food from 150 countries!
Out and About in Mississauga
Celebrating the 1st anniversary of the Saath Wraparound Service, offered in collaboration with Peel Children’s Aid Society and Indus Community Services in support of South Asian Families living in the Region of Peel.
Pleasure to witness Canadians of Indian diaspora and the Premier of Ontario, joining hands at the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce virtual marathon, which is helping bring oxygen to India.
Congratulating Mississauga-Malton resident and artist for his contributions to Ontario’s arts and entertainment industry.
Inspiring to join the Minister of Seniors and Accessibility, Malayalee Association of Canada and Mississauga Kerala Association in celebration of Asian Heritage Month!
Proud to accompany the Minister of Labour, Skilled Trades and Development and caucus colleagues for a cultural media round table discussing how attracting international skilled workers to Ontario fill much-needed roles & paves the road to recovery.
Joined the Lung Health Foundation with my fellow MPP colleagues to have an insightful conversation about the Lung Cancer Screening Program.
Productive discussion with Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police on my Bill 231, and protecting the safety of residents and employees across Ontario.
Read my Monthly Mississauga News Column
Graduation is an exciting time for students, even during COVID-19
The future is yours graduates, writes Deepak Anand
OPINION | May 31, 2021
Our students entered school with a much different world – eating food with friends at the cafeteria, sharing textbooks during class, taking Friday trips to Square One, while Zoom was merely for style. We are now finishing with masks, social distancing, and Zoom as our way of life.
Yet in the midst of these changes, they have stepped up to the plate. They volunteered at food banks, senior’s homes, and with online tutoring. They followed public health measures and helpd their grandparents and neighbours get vacinated. In doing so, they have redefined what “community” is, and what it means to be a good neighbour.
To the class of 2021, my advice is to never stop being curious, and to think about the legacy you want to leave on your community. The world could use more youth voices at the table. After all, Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty off their dream.”
Click here to read more.
As the work on the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension continues, join the ECWE team for a virtual open house for a project update and to provide feedback on the design. Learn about the elevated guideway, realignment of Eglinton Ave just west of Scarlett and more on Tuesday, June 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
If you are unable to join the event, you can watch it afterwards here and/or book a meeting with the project team by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roll up Your Sleeves!
First dose vaccination appointments are now available for all individuals 12+, including my daughter, Suvidhi Anand, who got her Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this past month. Here’s what she had to say about her vaccination experience!