OCTOBER 2021 E-NEWSLETTER
Message from Your MPP
Fall is officially upon us and it is one of my favourite seasons of the year! As we witness the beautiful transformation of leaves into shades of red, orange, and gold, we are reminded of the inevitable change that surrounds us. Students are also settling into their new school year, as many children enjoy learning from class, socializing with their friends, and participating in extracurriculars they love. I’m so proud of our children and youth for their resilience and for working together with their parents, teachers, and guardians during these extraordinary times.
We have achieved a major milestone in the effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 and the dominant Delta variant, with over 80% of individuals 12 plus fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Thanks to the teamwork of Team Ontario, from our healthcare heroes to our vaccine clinic staff and volunteers to residents rolling up their sleeves, Ontario has one of the highest vaccinations rates in the world.
The season of Autumn is also a reminder of the blessings we have in our life and the perfect time to express our gratitude. As we approach Thanksgiving Day, I would like to thank all the generations of people who have taken care of the land we live on today, in particular, the Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Métis, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. Thank you to the countless essential workers who continue to work on the frontline to ensure Ontarians have access to essential services and goods during the pandemic. Thank you to the Mississauga-Malton family for banding together to support your neighbors in their time of need. Last but not least, I’m thankful for my wife and my two children for being my pillars of strength every day.
As you prepare to safely celebrate Thanksgiving this year with your family and friends, I invite you to share with us the things and the people in your life you feel grateful for. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share what you’re thankful for!
Investing in Ontario
In Indigenous Education funding to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit students and improve overall outcomes and increase graduation rates among students from these communities. Keys pillars of the funding include promoting equity and well-being, centring on indigeneous knowledge, building trusting relationships, and providing culturally appropriate support.
Strengthening the capacity of service providers to supply products and services to francophones, promote the training of bilingual francophone staff, and provide opportunities to celebrate Ontario’s francophonie. The project-based funding will be provided to 51 organizations serving the francophone community through the 2021-22 Francophone Community Grants Program.
Through the Ontario Together Fund to support the production of surgical masks at Niko Apparel Systems. With the help of this investment, the business will leverage existing production processes, materials, supply chain networks, sales, and distribution networks to strengthen Ontario’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Investing in Mississauga-Malton
To Trillium Health Partners through the Healthcare Infrastructure Fund to help healthcare workers and staff address COVID-19 related expenses and other urgent projects at the hospital.
Queen’s Park Update
Strengthening Supports to Protect Students on Campus
Ontario is moving forward with regulatory amendments that will help create a safer environment for students attending all publicly assisted colleges and universities, as well as private career colleges.
These institutions are required to review their sexual violence policies and amend them by March 1, 2022, so that institutions’ sexual violence policies will ensure:
- A complainant acting in good faith, who discloses or reports sexual violence, will not be subject to actions for violations of the institution’s policies related to drug and alcohol use at the time the sexual violence took place.
- During the institution’s investigative process, students who share their experience of sexual violence through disclosing, accessing support, and/or reporting to the university or college, will not be asked irrelevant questions from the institution’s staff or investigators, such as those relating to past sexual history or sexual expression.
Expanded Eligibility for Third Doses
The government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is expanding eligibility for 3rd doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to additional high-risk groups. These groups include but are not limited to:
- undergoing active treatment for solid tumors;
- in receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell;
- with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
- Stage 3 or advanced untreated HIV infection and those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome;
Individuals in these groups can receive their 3rd dose at an interval of 8 weeks following their 2nd dose and will be contacted by their health care provider to confirm eligibility.
Complete list of eligible groups
Additional Road Test Centre in Mississauga
On September 20, 2021, Ontario opened a temporary road test center in Mississauga, to increase testing capacity across the DriveTest network and help people who need a road test book sooner. The temporary Mississauga location at 1170 Burnhamthorpe Road West, Unit 1 will offer class G2 and G road tests 7 days a week between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Appointments are available on the link below.
If your road test was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, you will have a credit on the system to rebook your test.
Book a Road Test Here
Guidelines Released for Upcoming Digital ID
On September 8, the government released the technology and standards that will build Ontario’s digital identity ecosystem. When fully launched, Ontario’s Digital ID (identification) will allow people and businesses to prove who they are both online and in-person with built-in safety features that protect privacy and personal information. It will be a convenient and easy identification solution that is made with up-to-date security and encryption, which protects personal data while performing secure transactions and accessing online services.
Ontario is well on its way to becoming a world-leading digital jurisdiction as one of the first in North America to publish this information.
Click Here to Read More
Highway 427 Expanded
On September 19, Ontario opened a 10-km expansion of Highway 427 from Finch Avenue to Major Mackenzie Drive to help improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and move people and goods safely. The expansion of the highway:
- is expected to save commuters up to 25 min. of total travel time for a two-way trip during peak periods
- open one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction
- will have 2 interchanges to accommodate Long Combination Vehicles, making it easier for trucks to move and support the efficient movement of goods
Coverage for Cystic Fibrosis Treatment
Ontario is now providing coverage for Trikafta, the latest and most effective treatment for cystic fibrosis. The drug, approved by Health Canada in June of this year, will become available, under the province’s publicly-funded drug program to give patients more access to life-changing treatments for cystic fibrosis.
It is estimated that one in every 3,600 children born in Canada has cystic fibrosis. There is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis.
Local Businesses Spearheading Innovation
Operating since 1989, Attar Metals is a family-owned business that is mastering the metal recycling industry through creative and environmentally based solutions.
CJR Wholesale Grocers is ensuring safe & efficient distribution of essential supplies during COVID-19. The family-owned business distributes to over 2,500 retailers and customers; including many ethnic stores, catering to individuals and families in Mississauga and across Ontario.
Operating since 1976, Olympic Tool & Die thrives on precision manufacturing, design, and service thanks to an incredible group of hard-working employees and management team.
Operated by the Hudson Family since 1891, Burnbrae Farms is dedicated to offering fresh and nutritious eggs to communities in Ontario and across Canada.
As of September 22, Ontarians are required to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) with proof of vaccination along with ID to access certain public settings and facilities. This includes:
- Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout)
- Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment)
- Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centers
- Sports, fitness, and recreational facilities, incl. gyms (excluding youth recreational sport)
- Sporting events
- Casinos, bingo halls, and gaming establishments
- Concerts, music festivals, theatres, and cinemas
- Outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more
As of September 25, 2021, capacity limits have been increased in several indoor settings where proof of vaccination is required. This includes:
- Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centers
- sporting events
- concerts, theatres, and cinemas
- racing venues (e.g., horse racing)
- Commercial and film television productions with studio audiences increased up to 50% capacity/10,000 people (whichever is less).
- For event venues where patrons stand, capacity limits increased up to 75% capacity/15,000 people (whichever is less).
- where patrons are seated, capacity limits increased up to 75%/30,000 people (whichever is less).
Vaccinated outside of Ontario? Don’t have a health card? Contact the Region of Peel at 905-799-7700
Full STEM Ahead
On September 19, I was joined by our Mississauga Malton youth at the 2nd Annual STEM Workshop. During the event, participants had the chance to learn all about Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math thanks to the team at Obotz Canada. Students also learnt how to build a drone and witness a robot live in action.
Shoutout to Ontario’s Minister of Colleges & Universities and the Minister of Infrastructure for joining us and inspiring more students to choose rewarding and life-changing careers in STEM.
Applications Now Open!
Anti-Racism Anti-Hate Grant Program
To help protect communities against racism and hate, eligible organizations, including community-based, not-for-profit organizations, can apply for grants of $40,000 over two years for independent projects, or $100,000 over two years for partnerships between two or more organizations.
The following organizations are eligible to apply for funding:
- Community-based, not-for-profit organizations
- First Nations
- Tribal Councils
- Provincial-Territorial Organizations
- Indigenous not-for-profit organizations.
The deadline to submit your application is November 15, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.
Click Here to Apply
Ontario Skills Development Fund
To help support ground-breaking training projects that upskill workers and prepare job seekers for meaningful jobs.
- employers with a physical presence and licensed to operate in Ontario
- apprenticeship training delivery agents (TDAs), other than those listed below as co-applicants
- non-profit organizations with a physical presence in Ontario
- professional/industry/employer/sector associations
- trade unions/union-affiliated organizations
Funding applications will be accepted starting at 9 am on September 29, 2021, until funds are available or until the fiscal year ends on March 31, 2022
Click Here to Apply
Free Rapid Tests for Small Businesses
Together with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and the federal government, the province has launched the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative. Through this initiative, participating chambers of commerce and boards of trade are providing free rapid tests for small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario.
Businesses with 150 employees or less are welcome to take part in the program. The rapid tests will help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, at home, and around the community.
Eligible businesses in Mississauga can schedule an appointment with the Mississauga Board of Trade to pick up free rapid antigen screening kits.
Ontario Tourism Recovery Program
The Ontario Tourism Recovery Program will support eligible tourism businesses that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. The program will help businesses that have experienced a loss of at least 50 % of eligible revenue in 2020-21 compared to 2019.
- be a for-profit business, legally incorporated (federally or provincially) as of January 1, 2018
- operate an eligible tourism business in Ontario and have a Canadian bank account
- have experienced an eligible revenue decline of at least 50% in the reported 2020–2021 year compared to fiscal year-end 2019
- have annual financial statements for fiscal year-end 2018, 2019, and the reported 2020–2021 fiscal year that reflects the impacts of COVID-19 and related losses
- normally be open to the public at least 12 consecutive weeks per year and open at least five days per week during the operating season
The program portal launches on October 13, 2021
Townhall for Residents
On September 28 I joined residents from Mississauga-Malton for our Monthly Townhall. We had a discussion about recent updates, investments in the community, and available grant opportunities for our youth, businesses, and individuals.
We were joined by special guest Danielle Farell from the Alzheimers Society of Peel who shared important resources and tools to supports individuals and family members experiencing dementia. To learn more, I encourage you to visit their website.
World Alzheimers Month
September marks World Alzheimers Month across the globe, to encourage awareness of stigmas and misconceptions associated with the disease. Over 250,000 Ontarians are living with dementia—a number that will continue to rise as our population ages. At the same time, dementia affects not just older adults but people in their 40s and 50s as well.
The government has recently announced an investment of $527,900 to expand support for individuals living with dementia along with their caregivers, family members, and first responders.
I would like to give a special shoutout to the Alzheimer Society of Peel for helping residents living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia live meaningful and safe lives and providing useful tools to their loved ones and caregivers.
To learn more about lived experiences of Alzheimer’s: http://ilivewithdementia.ca
Ontario Culture Days
The Ontario Culture Days is a month-long festival that takes place from September 24 to October 24. The festival showcases local talent and celebrates Canada’s rich culture & arts.
Culture Days aims to the diverse artistic and cultural experience of communities across Canada, create a meaningful connection between artists and viewers, & promote the preservation of Ontario’s rich arts, culture, and heritage that make our province so unique and vibrant.
This year’s festival is to challenge how we see and experience art and culture, especially during the extraordinary times we are currently living in.
Click Here to Join the Festivities
Pleased to join local owners Andrew, Jason and COO Mike Hancock Tim Hortons to kickstart Smile Cookie Week. Proceeds from freshly-baked Smile Cookie went towards Community Living Mississauga to support local youth and families. Last year, the Region of Peel residents helping raise $240,000 through the smile cookie campaign. Thank you to Andrew, Jason, Mike and the hard-working crew members at our local Tim Hortons in Mississauga-Malton for serving the community.
The Marathon of Hope
September 19 was the 41st Terry Fox Run! It was a pleasure to come together with Tara Swartz-O’Neill once again and her family, who have raised $110,000 to date for life-saving cancer research, continuing the legacy of her husband Sol who passed away from cancer. I would like to thank Tara, her family along with The Terry Fox Foundation and local volunteers for organizing this year’s virtual run to help fight cancer. To learn more and continue Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, visit terryfox.org
Read my Mississauga News Column
Standing Together to Stop Bullying
OPINION | October 3, 2021
The start of the new school year creates new memories and nurtures relationships for life. It is also a time when children are constantly put into new environments and the stress of being accepted is at the highest. Unfortunately, this causes judgement on a superficial level which quite often leads to bullying, a serious problem for young adults in today’s world.
Statistics about bullying are scary and clearly demand immediate attention. Canada is ranked 9th in the world for the highest bullying rate. Within Ontario itself, every fifth child is bullied; and those numbers and inaccurate as in many cases, bullying goes unseen and unreported.
Victimized children often experience social anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, mental and/or physical illness, are reportedly afraid of school, and consequently, avoid school more often than their peers.
Click Here to Read More
Out and About in the Community
At the Greater Toronto Cricket Club’s closing ceremonies with a special furry friend. Congratulations to all the participants and organizers on a successful season.
Proud to join the Non-Resident Nepal Association, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and MPP for Parkdale-High Park at the Nepal Flag Raising, commemorating Nepal’s Day of Constitution.
Productive conversation with Dr. Fung and Dr. Hafiz of the Halton-Peel Dental Association to discuss the importance of dental care.
Heartwarming conversation with Kyle and Katie from Alzheimers Society to discuss the important work they’re doing to support individuals experiencing dementia.
Dropped by the Peel Vax Van outside of Westwood square with Region of Peel Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Loh, and the incredible team of healthcare workers, staff, and volunteers, and partners bringing vaccines to residents.
A pleasure to meet the members of Sahara Seniors Services in person, after 18 months. Thank you to the organization for supporting older adults in the community and providing them resources and tools to improve their well-being.
On behalf of Ontario, I was proud to join my MPP colleague for Mississauga-Lakeshore and the Honorary Consul General to Nepal to donates PPE supplies, to support Nepal in their time of need.