Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario

 

 

 
 

Hello Neighbour,

This week marked the official start of the 43rd session of Parliament. The summer session began with an unusually tense Speaker election, a Throne Speech that set out the Ford government's priorities but failed to address the health care crisis, the re-tabling of Ford's pre-election budget with an additional (and paltry) 5 percent increase for ODSP, and the introduction of legislation to give new "strong mayor" powers to Toronto and Ottawa. 

Prior to the secret ballot election for Speaker of the House, the Premier and Government House Leader Paul Calandra publicly announced their preference for MPP Nina Tangri, and tried to pressure the NDP into supporting her. But many felt that previous Speaker MPP Ted Arnott had done a solid job over the last four years and at least 20 Conservative MPPs decided to vote with opposition MPPs to re-elect Arnott. This has led to reports of reprisals within the Tory caucus, and the PCs carrying through on their threat to block Official Opposition choices for Deputy Speaker and committee vice-chair roles, and a rancorous beginning to the new Parliament.  

The Throne Speech was delivered the day after the Speaker election, and was followed by the re-tabling of the Ford government's budget. Many in London West have submitted their thoughts and concerns to me in advance of the return to Queen's Park. While Londoners told me loud and clear that your top priority is fixing the healthcare crisis, neither the Throne nor budget included any of the bold actions necessary to support exhausted, burned-out and disrespected health care workers, and invest in our public healthcare system. Instead, we heard the Minister of Health suggest that privatization is the answer. I re-introduced my Stay Home If You Are Sick Act - a bill that would provide workers with 10 annual paid sick days - for the third time. I encourage you to continue to advocate for the issues close to you. I welcome suggestions and feedback at any time.


London celebrated a huge win last week: The Forgotten 519, a coalition of front-line workers advocating for better support and resources for individuals experiencing homelessness, successfully achieved their demands. You can read about the details of the outcome here. Many thanks to The Forgotten 519 for spearheading this movement, and thanks to those who helped push the agenda. I released a joint statement with MPPs Terence Kernaghan and Teresa Armstrong expressing our support for The Forgotten 519, and urging the Ford government to step in and address the overwhelming homelessness crisis plaguing our city and province. You can read our full statement here

All my very best,

My community office is available to help with provincial programs and services by phone at 519-657-3120 or by email at [email protected] In-person meetings can be arranged by appointment only.

In this newsletter:
 

Around London

It was great to attend the first-ever Wortley Pride earlier this month, and I enjoyed talking to everyone who stopped by my table to say hello. Many thanks to my table volunteers, and to all those who came out to show their support for London's LGBT2Q community. 

Unfortunately, the event was interrupted by a hate-filled individual who disrespected and harassed eventgoers. While the conflict was quickly resolved, it illustrates the ongoing work that must be done in our community to push for proactive measures and policies to end homophobia and transphobia.
Following the alarming decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade, I joined Londoners in a peaceful demonstration to show support for women's access to safe and legal abortions. Many thanks to the amazing organizers and the powerful abortion stories that were shared.    
I appreciated the opportunity to meet with staff and Board Members of the London Chamber of Commerce, along with my London MPP colleagues Terence Kernaghan and Teresa Armstrong, and to hear about the Chamber's exciting and inspiring Strategic Plan. 
Congratulations to all the participants and medal winners in the Fox Hollow Retirement Residence Senior Games. I was delighted to present a gold medal to Jeopardy champion June Mackay, and to meet volunteers and award winners Brenda and Fred. 
 

In the Community

Like many other cities around the world, London is experiencing extremely high temperatures this summer. Please note that the City of London has a list of various cooling centres for those looking to escape the heat and cool off in air-conditioned buildings.
Recent heat wave warnings and deadly thunderstorms are a grim reminder that climate change is a real threat to our community. If you are looking for ways to improve the health of our environment, please consider participating in the Antler River Rally monthly clean-ups. You can click here for information and to view the scheduled clean-ups.

The Afghan Refugee Committee at First-St. Andrew's United Church is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, September 3 to provide support to a local family looking to bring seven Afghan family members from Pakistan over to London.

You can read more about the fundraiser here.
Hyde Park BIA has launched a fun and interactive game this month to encourage Londoners to support local businesses. Participate in the Hyde and Seek initiative for the chance to win Hyde Park Dollars and explore what the community has to offer! 
Are you still looking to fill your calendar this weekend? Consider attending the annual Rock the Byron Village event for live outdoor music! 


Another fun-filled Hyde Park outdoor event with food trucks and live music for the whole family to enjoy. Click here for more details.
If you like exploring, this scavenger hunt is for you. The Museum of Ontario Archaeology is hosting a scavenger hunt from August 26 to September 5 here in London! Explore our city's heritage site and learn about our local history by participating in this interactive activity. Click here to learn more.
Ontario Renovates provides eligible homeowners and landlords/tenants financial assistance for essential home repairs and/or accessibility improvements. This program is still accepting applicants for 2022 - please visit the City of London's website for more information.
The London Health Sciences Centre Trauma Program is offering a free one-hour training session to learn how to apply tourniquets and use pressure to stop bleeding. The course will run on the 3rd Tuesday of every month (contingent on sign-up numbers). Register here to learn how to control life-threatening bleeding.
 

In the Media

 

Your Voice at Queen's Park

As Queen's Park returned, I joined nurses, education workers and labour activists from London and across the province at the Ontario Federation of Labour's Listen Up rally. The message was clear: Ontarians are struggling to pay for groceries, cover transportation costs, and make rent or mortgage payments. People need a government that will deal with the affordability crisis and invest in rebuilding public services. That means the repeal of Bill 124, no more cuts to education, increases to social assistance, and 10 permanent paid sick days.  
On August 10, I re-introduced my Stay Home If You Are Sick Act for the third time. The Ford government's temporary paid sick days program gives workers just three days for a pandemic now in its third year. Not only is three days completely inadequate for an infection that requires at least five days of self-isolation, but workers who already used the days during earlier waves of COVID are out of luck.  

My bill would provide workers with 10 days of paid personal emergency leave each year and an additional 14 days during an infectious disease emergency like COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how crucial it is to allow Ontario workers to recover from illness, or care for a sick child, without having to lose their pay. 
Over the August long weekend, 25 emergency rooms across the province were forced to close or reduce operations, including in nearby communities like Listowel and Wingham. While London ERs have thankfully remained open, London patients are facing unacceptably long waits to access care. In Question Period, I raised the story of Londoner Chris Hodgins and his mother, who waited almost 20 hours to be treated at University Hospital ER. There are concerns that the Ford government's failure to fix the healthcare crisis will lead to increased privatization, as frustrated patients turn to private medical services. Londoners want investment in our public health care system, and a comprehensive plan to recruit, retain and return nurses by compensating them fairly, not a two-tiered system that only the wealthy can afford.
 
Get automated emails, text messages, or phone call reminders 60 and 30 days before it’s time to renew your licence plate, driver’s licence, health card, or Ontario Photo Card. Click here to sign up
 

COVID-19 Developments

Children aged 6 months to 5 years old are eligible for the pediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as of July 28. Parents and caregivers can book the appointment here.

The second booster shot is now available for eligible immunocompromised individuals aged 12 and up. For a recommended timeline in between receiving the COVID-19 vaccine doses, please refer to the MLHU COVID-19 vaccine eligibility page.

After continuous advocacy from the Ontario NDP and many concerned Ontarians, the Ford government has now expanded the eligibility for second booster shots to include all individuals aged 18 and up. Individuals can receive their second booster shot three months after their first booster, however, it is recommended to wait five months.

The provincial government has lifted the mask mandate in most public settings, with the exception of long term care and retirement homes. However, masks may still be required in businesses and workplaces that choose to implement it.

The Ontario GO-VAXX bus mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic has a series of stops planned in the Middlesex-London region this month:
  • Monday, August 15, 2022: Pond Mills Square, 1200 Commissioners Rd. East, London, 11am to 5pm
  • Monday, August 22, 2022: Westmount Shopping Centre, 785 Wonderland Rd. South, London, 11am to 5pm
  • Tuesday, August 23, 2022: Ilderton Community Centre,13168 Ilderton Rd. Ilderton, 11am to 5pm
  • Friday, August 26, 2022: Lucan Community Memorial Centre, 263 Main St. Lucan, 11am to 5pm
You can also make an make an appointment at an MLHU mass vaccination clinic.
  • Call the Boys & Girls Club transit services at 519-434-9119 (8am - 5:30pm, Monday to Friday) to book a ride if you have mobility issues and cannot get to a clinic yourself
  • If you cannot leave your home, arrange a vaccination at home (call 519-663-5317, 8am - 7:30pm, Monday - Friday
Ontario is dispensing Paxlovid, a COVID antiviral pill, through participating pharmacies for higher-risk groups. These are the following eligibility requirements: 
  • Individuals aged 18 and over who are immunocompromised (have an immune system that is weakened by a health condition or medications);
  • Individuals aged 70 and over;
  • Individuals aged 60 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses; and
  • Individuals aged 18 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses and at least one risk condition (e.g., a chronic medical condition)
  • You can find participating pharmacies here.
Free rapid antigen tests will remain available at participating pharmacies and grocery locations while supplies last. You can find participating locations here.
 
For the most up-to-date information, please refer to linked sources and the COVID-19 information provided at the Middlesex-London Health Unit website, COVID-19.Ontario.ca, London.ca/covid-19, Canada.ca/coronavirus. You can also find a range of helpful resources on my website at peggysattler.ca/covid19resources.