Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario

 

 
 

Hello Neighbour,

It was a somber end to the first session of the 43rd Parliament, as the world learned of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Immediately following the sad news, the house adjourned until Wednesday September 14 at 2pm, when the Legislature will pay tribute to a remarkable woman who devoted 70 years of her life to public service. The Official Opposition issued a statement expressing our heartfelt sympathies to her family and all those who mourn her loss. The Speaker also released a statement on the death of Her Majesty on behalf of the Ontario Legislature. Books of condolence are available to be signed at Queen's Park, at London City Hall, and online

With the start of the 2022-23 school year, it has been a busy week for London West families. Whether they are returning to full-time in-person learning, or experiencing it for the first time, I know that students, parents and education workers are excited about the year ahead, even if apprehensive about the impact of COVID-19. Unfortunately, despite the advice of the Science Advisory Table to ensure that students and staff can stay home when sick, the government continues to refuse to implement permanent paid sick days. Instead, they scrapped the mandatory 5-day isolation period and disbanded the Science Advisory Table before its members could warn against this reckless move.

Please read on for details of the summer session of the Legislature, which was dominated by the government's ramming through of Bill 7 - legislation that allows the transfer of Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients from hospital to long-term care without their consent. You can read my speech on the bill here. During Question Period, the Official Opposition continued to highlight the consequences of the government's failure to address the healthcare crisis, and I am grateful to London West constituents Kim Fowler, Robin FloydJane Berges, and Amanda Molnar for permission to share their stories. 

With many experts predicting a fall surge in COVID-19 cases, Health Canada recommends that individuals receive all eligible doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. You can book a vaccine appointment here

Stay safe and take care,

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:
 

Stop Bill 7

Following the Ford government's decision to bypass public input on Bill 7, the Official Opposition held an emergency online hearing instead, to allow experts, advocates and families to share their concerns. Ontario Nurses Association Region 3 Vice President DJ Sanderson was one of the many speakers at the hearing. The legislation will give hospitals new powers to admit patients into long-term care homes not of their choosing and without their consent. The Ontario Health Coalition and other advocacy organizations have called the bill a direct attack on the rights of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities
When London West constituent Jane Berges heard about Bill 7, she phoned my office to share her husband Don's heartbreaking experience. Jane felt pressured to allow the transfer of her husband from London Health Sciences Centre to a long-term care home that was both understaffed and in COVID-19 outbreak. This was before the new powers under Bill 7, which will only increase the coercion on families to transfer to a long-term care home they do not want to go to.   
 

Around London

I was honoured to join many community leaders at the Korean Society of London annual Korean Liberation Day Celebration. It was a pleasure to thank and chat with Korean veterans who bravely fought for Korean independence. 
I attended an emotional but inspiring 31st anniversary of Ukrainian Independence Day, as Londoners came together in solidarity with the Ukrainian community in the face of vicious Russian aggression. The event was an opportunity to celebrate the richness of Ukraine's history and culture, and embrace the hundreds of Ukrainian evacuees who have settled in our city. Thank you to Ola Nowosad and Daria Hryckiw of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, London Branch for organizing, and to the South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre and the North-West Resource Centre for hosting a barbeque afterwards. 
Despite the Ford government's ongoing attack on workers, London's labour community remains strong and united. It was wonderful to connect with so many allies and activists at the London and District Labour Council Labour Day Picnic 
Congratulations to London West artist William Bromilow (joined by his wife Paulette), whose lovely painting Nakina Winter Evening was selected for display in the Legislative Assembly Dining Room.   
 

Your Voice at Queen's Park

If the Ford government was serious about preventing the spread of COVID and keeping Ontarians safe, they would pass my Stay Home If You Are Sick Act, giving workers 10 permanent paid sick days and 14 during a pandemic. 
Many thanks to London West constituents, Sandy Mikalachki and Nicole Spriet, for helping low-income students overcome financial barriers in their pursuit of post-secondary education through the Mikalachki Scholarship. Sandy contacted me to share concerns about the Ford government's punitive and heartless OSAP clawbacks on student savings and scholarships. 
Ontario’s home and community care system is broken. Constituent Robin Floyd told me her son had to wait nine days after his surgery to receive aftercare, and Kim Fowler shared her ongoing frustration about inadequate homecare for her mother, who has been deemed ineligible for long-term care.  
London West resident Amanda Molnar contacted me about her difficult decision NOT to send her son to Emergency by ambulance because he would have to face a 15 hour wait. 
I joined MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam's media conference to discuss the importance of passing the Consent Awareness Act. Please listen to the powerful words from student advocates who are leading the fight against sexual violence on campus: Jessica Look from Western USC and OUSA, Kayla Han from OUSA, and Kaneisha Charles from the Consent Action Team at Toronto Metropolitan University. .
 

In the Media

 

In the Community

Looking to divert your food waste from landfills? Check out Urban Roots London's Community Compost Program
Join the London Heritage Council for their 21st annual Doors Open London from September 17 to September 18. This year's theme is "Designing the Forest City," which encourages attendees to reflect on how design impacts their lives.
Bring the family down to Springbank Park on September 17 to enjoy live outdoor music! Click here to learn more.
 

COVID-19 Developments

Health Canada has approved Moderna's booster vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant. While exact timelines of Ontario's distribution plan have yet to be announced, the Minister of Health has said that long-term care residents and healthcare workers will receive access to the bivalent vaccine first

The Pfizer booster shot for children aged 5 to 11 is now available. You can book an appointment here. Please note that the Middlesex-London Health Unit recommends that parents and caregivers book an appointment in advance due to expected demand for the booster shot. Children aged 6 months to 5 years old are eligible for the pediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccineParents and caregivers can book the appointment here.

NACI recommends all eligible individuals to receive their booster shot to improve immunity and prevent community spread of the virus. For a recommended timeline in between receiving the COVID-19 vaccine doses, please refer to the MLHU COVID-19 vaccine eligibility page.

You can make an appointment at an MLHU mass vaccination clinic.
  • Parking at the Western Fair District Agriplex mass vaccination clinic will be reduced from September 6 to September 20. Limited free parking will still be available in the lot on the north side of Florence Street. Please refer here for more details on the clinic's temporary parking lot closures.
  • 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
The Carling Heights COVID-19 assessment centre is transitioning back to its roots as a community centre, with Victoria Hospital taking over the COVID-19 testing efforts as of August 22.

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table announced that it will be dissolving on September 6, 2022. It reminds Ontarians that the pandemic is still ongoing, and urges people to continue to use caution.

Free rapid antigen tests will remain available at participating pharmacies and grocery locations while supplies last. You can find participating locations here.
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.
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.