MAY 2021 E-NEWSLETTER
Message from Your MPP
Happy Mother’s Day! I am happy, through Ontario’s vaccination rollout we are able to roll up our sleeves. As of May 7, in Region of Peel 638,602 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered with 32.21% of Mississauga-Malton vaccinated with their first dose. All individuals 18 plus in Peel are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and as early as May 24,2021 all adults in Ontario will be able to get vaccinated. To date Ontario has administered over 5.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with over 38.5% adult Ontarians having received at least one dose. The light at the end of the tunnel shines brighter.
May is a very special month as we celebrate the most special person in our lives. A mother’s love can never be expressed with words, it can only be felt, and it is one of the most beautiful experiences in life. Moms are the backbone of our society and an integral part of families, communities, and our province through their innumerable contributions. This Mother’s Day, join me in saying thank you to your mom, grandmother, aunts, and all mother figures in your life by creating and cherishing precious moments with them as you stay at home.
A lot of students are graduating this month. I want to congratulate all of them for shining through these tough times. As you celebrate this momentous occasion, remember the hard work, focus and constant support from your teachers and loved ones that led you here. Wishing our class of 2021 great success ahead.
I would like to end off by urging everyone to get vaccinated when it’s their turn. Vaccinations remain our greatest defence in the fight against COVID-19 and ensuring a safe return to normal with our new normals. If you have received your vaccination, please continue following all public health guidelines to protect communities and our most vulnerable.
Here’s to all mothers in Ontario and across the globe. A very Happy Mother’s Day!
Investing in Ontario
$656.5 million in funding to provide critical infrastructure upgrades to protect students and school staff from COVID-19. Ontario is contributing over $131.3 million and Canada is investing $525.2 million towards these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
Projects include HVAC renovations to improve air quality, installing water bottle refilling stations to improve access to safe drinking water, investing in network and broadband infrastructure to support remote learning, and space reconfigurations such as new walls and doors to enhance physical distancing.
$42 million through the Resilient Communities Fund to help 559 non-profit organizations to support staff and volunteers, reimagine programming and renovate facilities as they deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund provides grants of up to $150,000 to eligible non-profit organizations to needs including mental and physical health supports for staff or volunteers, support to reimagine program delivery and services, new health and safety processes, or purchase new technology and personal protective equipment.
Joint federal, provincial, and recipient funding through the Investing in Canada plan will support 30 community and recreation projects in central Ontario.
Ontario is providing more than $9 million, while municipalities and other recipients are investing over $7.1 million in their respective projects. The Government of Canada is investing over $11.3 million in these projects through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan.
Over $7.4 million while the City of Toronto is contributing over $5.2 million to these projects to improve sport and recreational infrastructure in Toronto. Canada is investing over $8.9 million towards these projects through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan.
Outdoor enthusiasts will benefit from the rehabilitation and improvements to the High Park recreational trail where work will include the elimination of curbs and damaged trail surfaces, improvements to drainage, new seating, and landscaping.
$1.8 million in funding while the City of Brampton is contributing over $1.5 million towards the rehabilitation of The Rose, a performing arts theatre in Brampton. Canada is investing more than $2.2 million through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan.
The project will involve various accessibility upgrades, which include installing climb-assist railings in the upper balcony, replacing a portion of the current fixed seating with removable seating, upgrading and placing emergency alarms in the washrooms, and adding a wheelchair lift.
$2.9 million through the Inclusive Community Grants program to support 55 diverse community projects that will ensure the mental and physical well being of people with all ages and abilities.
This funding will help municipal partners, Indigenous groups and community organizations strengthen and build more inclusive communities.
Nearly $850,000 in Dimachem Inc. through the Ontario Together Fund to locally produce Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner-Disinfectant, which has been proven to be effective in killing SARS-CoV-2 on frequently used hard, non-porous surfaces.
The Windsor-based company is planning to manufacture about 12 million bottles of Pine-Sol per year, and create 14 jobs.
700,000 N95 respirators were shipped from the 3M Brockville plant in April to arrive at health care, education and other public-sector institutions.
These new masks will provide frontline workers with the protection they need in the continued fight against COVID-19, and ensure Ontario and Canada has a reliable supply in the event of any future outbreaks.
The government is supporting nearly 900 postsecondary student internships to help businesses, start-ups and new entrepreneurial companies grow and protect Ontario made innovations, ideas and products.
The internships, which include an initial target of up to 100 spaces in the intellectual property (IP) stream, will be offered through Mitacs, a national non-profit organization that builds partnerships to support industrial and social innovation in Canada.
Investing in Mississauga
- $149,000 to Family Services of Peel;
- $108,300 to High Resolves;
- $144,300 to Skate Ontario;
- $134,600 to Indigenous Network;
- $41,200 to Punjabi Community Health Services;
- $30,000 to Vita Centre; and
- $149,600 to Sai Dham Canada in Mississauga-Malton through Ontario’s Resilient Community Fund.
Additional $66.2 million to protect students and staff in Peel Schools from COVID-19 through HVAC &filtration system upgrades, physical distancing structures and safe bottle refilling stations.
Over $1.7 million to improve community, cultural and recreational facilities in five First Nation communities in Ontario.The Government of Canada is also investing over $7.1 million towards these projects and recipients are contributing over $1.2 million.
In Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, improvements and upgrades to the Native Horizons Treatment Centre will allow clients to have access to treatment and healing programs. Work involves rebuilding portions of the building including the addition of multipurpose and spiritual rooms, and the construction of spaces for trauma-informed programming and cultural and land-based activities.
The Malton Black Development Association has received a $64,700 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to rebuild and recover from the impact of COVID-19. The project will be completed in January 2022 and will give residents in the community improved access to MBDA’s educational, cultural and recreational supports.
Queens Park Update
Keeping Students and Staff Safe
Ontario government is introducing new measures to protect schools against COVID-19 which include refresher training, enhanced cleaning and asymptomatic testing.
The new measures being introduced are intended to further protect schools and communities against the spread of COVID-19 and include:
- On-site confirmation of self-screening;
- Refresher training upon return from April break;
- Outdoor instruction when possible;
- Enhanced cleaning during the April break;
- Curriculum-linked activities for students;
- Letter to parents promoting best practices for a safe April break; and
- Asymptomatic testing expansion.
Tuition Freeze for Post-Secondary Students
Ontario is extending the current one-year tuition freeze for colleges and universities by an additional year, providing more financial relief and predictability for families and students seeking access to affordable postsecondary education.
The government’s action to reduce and freeze tuition has provided students with tuition relief of approximately $450 million annually when compared to tuition costs in 2018-19.
Maximizing Critical Care Capacity to Support Hospitals
The province is amending O. Reg. 272/21 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) to ensure patients receive quality care in the most appropriate setting during the third wave of the pandemic, driven by variants of concern.
This temporary emergency order will provide hospitals with the flexibility to transfer patients whose doctors have determined no longer require hospital care to long-term care or retirement homes without obtaining the consent of the patient or, where the patient is incapable, their substitute decision maker. The amended order can only be used during major surge events where the demand for critical care threatens to overwhelm a hospital and compromise care
This action is being taken to ensure hospital beds are available for COVID-19 patients in need of urgent care.
Paid COVID-19 Emergency Leave
On Thursday, April 29, 2021, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development passed legislation that would require employers to provide employees with up to $200 of pay for up to three days if they are missing work because of COVID-19. This program will be retroactive to April 19, 2021 and effective until September 25, 2021.
Click here to read more about the Ontario’s COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit.
Thanking Our Driving Instructors
On April 26, I had the honour to recognize the incredible work of MyAdsio, APDIO, and driving instructors across Ontario for their hard work to support future drivers in Ontario journey to get a driver’s licence and help them achieve a significant milestone in their lives.
Due to the pandemic, 294 000 passenger road tests were cancelled. In Peel, in-vehicle instruction was only allowed for 4 of the last 13 months. Not only has this impacted their families, but it has also impacted the community at large. At the same time, driving instructors are continuing to support students and families through food deliveries and PPE during this time. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our instructors for going above and beyond to support communities in need.
Recognizing Indus Community Services
On May 3, I had the pleasure to spotlight Indus Community Services, which has been serving the community for 35 years. The organization has 7 locations in Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville, including one in our riding of Mississauga-Malton, and over 140 staff, who excel at providing culturally appropriate services to newcomers, families, women and seniors, Indus is a key community partner.
During the pandemic, Indus has pivoted to virtual programming, including nearly 5000 sessions with clients of their adult day services and assisting over 150 people file their taxes through their free clinic. Through the province’s High Priority Community Strategies, Indus has also created a website – apnahealth.org – which provides information about COVID-19 resources in Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Bengali and Punjabi.
2021 Ontario Budget
On April 26, the Ontario government passed the 2021 Ontario Budget. The Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, brings a total investment of $51 billion over 4 years to protect and support Ontario’s economy and the health of all Ontarians. The 2021 Budget builds on the significant supports for families, workers and communities that have been made available since the beginning of the pandemic.
Click here to read more about the 2021 Ontario Budget.
Applications Now Open
Extended: Community Building Fund – Operating Stream
Ontario’s Community Building Fund is investing $105 million to support community arts and culture, heritage, tourism, sport and recreation organizations, that are experiencing significant financial pressures due to the pandemic.
Eligible Organizations include those who have a significant presence in the arts and culture, heritage, tourism, sport and recreation sectors, and operate facilities and/or deliver experiences or programs in Ontario that are open to the public, and must meet one of the following:
- A charitable organization or public foundation registered as a charity by the Canada Revenue Agency
- An organization incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation without share capital in a Canadian jurisdiction
- A First Nation / Métis / Inuit or other Indigenous community
Applications for the fund opened March 31, 2021 and are extended till June 1st, 2021. To apply click here.
Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program
Ontario’s Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program helps farmers who experience unexpected costs for short-term or temporary housing and transportation as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak among on-farm employees. In addition, increased flexibility has been built into the program to ensure it can respond to emerging issues and risks.
Farms and agri-food businesses that hire three or more employees will be eligible for funding. Additional businesses and workers will be eligible including corn detasselers, transporters, hatcheries, and primary processing (e.g., cutting, cleaning, packaging, storage and refrigeration of raw plant foods to prevent food from spoiling before it reaches consumers).
Application are open as off April 22, 2021 and cover costs retroactive to March 13, 2021. Applications will be accepted while funding is available or until November 30, 2021. To apply, click here.
Protecting Ontario’s Hot Spot Neighbourhoods
On April 13, I joined the Premier of Ontario, the Minister of Health, the Solicitor General at the launch of the vaccination clinic at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in North Etobicoke. The clinic, hosted in partnership with BAPs Charities, William Osler Health System, and Toronto Public Health continues to be open to all residents 18 and older living in several hot spot communities including Malton. Thank you to all healthcare workers, the entire team at BAPS and healthcare partners for their hard work and dedicated service to ensure vulnerable communities get needles in their arms and are protected from COVID-19.
Be a Donor Month
It was my honour to lend my voice and raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation this April, which is also Be a Donor month. This is such an incredible act of kindness and a true example of spreading joy. I also want to give a shout-out to Trillium Gift of Life Network and Amar Karma, which have been doing extraordinary work in the field. I encourage you, register to be an organ and tissue donor and give the gift of life this April.
Celebrating Our Unsung Heroes
April 19 marked the beginning of Volunteer Week. Volunteers are the backbone of our communities. Especially during tough times in the pandemic, the contributions of volunteers has been significant in helping the vulnerable in Mississauga Malton and across the province. Residents have stepped up to volunteer at food banks, religious organizations, community clean ups and retirement homes. Statistically speaking, 12.7 million people provided 1.7 billion hours of volunteer work in Canada in the past year. This economic contribution can be valued at $55 billion dollars. We thank our volunteers for doing continues selfless work for the community.
On April 20, I was pleased to come together with Mississauga-Malton for a Vaccination Townhall. We were joined by Peel Public Health’s Chief Medical Officer along with the Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Health.
This was an opportunity for Mississauga-Malton residents to ask their important questions about COVID-19 vaccines, including vaccination eligibility, where to book a vaccine appointment as well as the vaccine rollout in the province of Ontario and the Region of Peel. Special shoutout to our moderator Tabitha Chapman and all residents for their important questions about the vaccination rollout and commitment towards keeping one another safe.
Supporting Film and Television Production in Peel
On April 9, I joined Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs for a productive conversation on supporting and expanding film and television production in the City of Mississauga and across the province. This will lead to job growth, attract talent from around the world and increase economic prosperity in Ontario as we pave the road to recovery during the pandemic.
As of May 6, ALL residents of Peel Region (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon) are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by booking a vaccination appointment. They have the option to:
- book at Trillium Health Partner vaccine clinics (University of Toronto Mississauga and the Mississauga Hospital). Click here to book at THP.
- book at William Osler Health System vaccine clinics (Brampton Civic Hospital and Chinguacousy Wellness Centre). Click here to book at William Osler.
- book at Peel Public Health’s seven clinics. This includes sites at 7120 Hurontario Street, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Paramount Field House, SaveMax Soccer Centre, the International Centre, Chris Gibson Recreation Centre, and Caledon East Community Centre. To book your appointment at any of one these 7 clinics, please visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/
Residents of Peel Region (Mississauga, Brampton) hotspots can continue to book an appointment at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/
On May 6, I received my first COVID-19 vaccine at International Centre with the help of Dr. Nishaan Brar!
I encourage everyone to get vaccinated when it’s their turn and join the This is Our Shot Challenge. Vaccines are the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19, protect public health and ensure a safe return to normal with our new normals.
If you need any help with booking your vaccine appointment, please call our office at 905-696-0367 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Adults aged 40 plus are eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine at participating pharmacies. Visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a participating pharmacy and contact the pharmacy to see if you need an appointment or if walk-in (first come, first served) vaccinations are available
- The Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacy at 7205 Goreway Drive is offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in response to an increase in vaccine supply.
- Employer-led workplace vaccination clinics organized by large companies such as Maple Lodge Farms, Maple Leaf Foods and Amazon Canada in Peel Region have been completed or are underway.
- The government is also work together with Peel Region to launch
on-site vaccination clinics in Loblaw Companies, Walmart Canada, HelloFresh, Magna, Air Canada and Purolator Inc.
- all individuals in Ontario aged 18 and older will be eligible to book their vaccination appointments through the provincial booking system as early as the week of May 24,2021.
Read my Monthly Mississauga News Column
Food for thought
Food insecurity is an unfortunate reality
OPINION | April 1, 2021
According to the Region of Peel, one in sevenindividuals experiene food insecurity. First-time visitors to food banks spiked by 26 per cent during the first four months of the pandemic. Yet simultaneously, the average sadly throws out 40 per cent of the food they buy.
Different levels of government, non-profits, and businesses have worked collaboratively to tackle and address these issues. For example, the recently passed 2021 Budget was singularly focused on protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians. Accordingly, our government invested an additional $10.8M to protect Peel’s most vulnerable though the Social Services Relief Fund.
I want to appaud the resilience of our food banks, who have adapted to COVID by developing grab-and-go meals, grocery gift cards, and mobile services to protect our seniors and low-income residents.
Click here to read more
Out and About in the Community
Welcoming Mahavir Plastics as they open a manufacturing plant in Mississauga-Malton which will produce surgical face masks and protective gowns for frontline workers.
At Malton Black Development Association’s virtual gala with community leaders to recognize talented students in Peel. The MBDA recently received a $65,000 plus grant through the Ontario Trillium Foundation to provide scholarships for bright and aspiring youth.
Discussing the importance of theatre and art with Crane Creations, the Mississauga-based professional Theatre Company.
Productive meeting with Ontario’s Federation of Agriculture about the importance of locally grown produce.
Recognizing EveryMind of Mississauga with Ontario’s Attorney General during this year’s Victim Service Awards of Distinction. A big thank you to
Cindy Cross, Pamela O’Hara and their entire team for protecting children and youth everyday.
Discussing the safety and well-being of athletes and players during COVID-19 with Women’s Softball Association of Ontario.
Meeting with Nadia Theodre at Maple Leaf Foods, who recently launched on-site vaccination clinics in Peel and Mississauga-Malton to protect employees and nearby communities.
Discussing my PMB Bill 231 and the safety of gas stations employees and residents with Toronto Police Officer Lauren Vanspall.
Pleasure to meet and speak with the owner of Instant Imprints, serving customers in Mississauga-Malton and across the province through other locations.