Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario
 

Hello Neighbour,

Today, the province announced that Ontario will move into Step 3 earlier than planned, just one week from now. Our patios are open, our case counts are down, and the Middlesex-London Health Unit has delivered over half a million vaccine doses. It feels as if life is beginning to return to normal - after 16 months of sacrifice and the incredible commitment and hard work that has got us to this point.

At the same time, the importance of getting fully vaccinated to control the spread of the Delta variant cannot be emphasized enough. Statistics for our region show that 77% of adults aged 18+ have had one shot, but as of July 3, only 37% had two. By comparison, more than half of Ontario adults have received both shots. With more supply available, the Middlesex-London Health Unit is calling on all Londoners to join the effort for a two-dose summer, and is offering more pop-up clinic opportunities, including a Francophone clinic, for those who have not been able to get to a mass vaccination clinic or pharmacy.

What's equally important is ensuring that the government does its part to ensure this reopening is our last. People are still struggling with isolation, local businesses have been pushed to the brink, and our kids are in crisis after more than a year of disruption. We need the government to provide: 

  • Financial support for businesses to reopen safely, and stay open
  • Strategies to get the province to the finish line on vaccines
  • Plans to make schools safe for in-person learning in September, including added mental and emotional health supports
  • Programs to test, trace and isolate to protect our progress

Students must remain front and centre in our reopening plans. Today, the Official Opposition released a letter to Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Keiran Moore, asking for his recommendations to guarantee a safe September when students return to class. The work must be done now to make sure the disruption of the last year is not repeated, even if there is another wave of COVID-19 this fall.

The situation in seniors' care is much the same. We cannot forget that long-term care, and programs to care for seniors at home, needed improvement before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has made things worse, not better. We need to finally fix the problems in long-term care and home care, and better support our province's essential caregivers. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you will have many opportunities to safely reconnect with loved ones and with the community, and to enjoy the summer in London West.   

Take care and stay safe. 

 

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:
 

Ontario Moving to Step 3

Ontario will move into Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16.

Step 3 of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions;
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
  • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing;
  • Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect;
  • Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space. Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less;
  • Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less);
  • Essential and non-essential retail with with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
  • Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
  • Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors;
  • Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at:
    • up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)
    • up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less).
  • Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; and
  • Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).
Please view the regulation for the full list of Step 3 public health and workplace safety measures.

Face coverings in indoor public settings, as well as in some outdoor settings, and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step 3. This is in alignment with the advice on personal public health measures issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada, while also accounting for Ontario specific information and requirements. 

Click here to view the Public Health Agency of Canada's guidance infographic, which provides advice for unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and fully vaccinated individuals.

Please remember that you are not considered "fully vaccinated" until 14 days after your second dose.

 

Safe September for Schools

A new report by the Hospital for Sick Children shows half of kids ages 8 to 12 and 70% of adolescents reported clinically significant depressive symptoms as a result of the pandemic and school closures. The report highlights how critical it is for kids to be in school, participate in extracurricular activities, interact with peers, and be supported by caring adults.

We cannot ignore this mental health crisis, which means putting safe schools at the forefront of our reopening plans. There is an urgent need for supports to be in place as soon as students arrive — from in-school counsellors to crisis intervention and long-term supports. We need small classes so that students have the one-on-one help they need to get back on track, and investments in better ventilation so that students are assured a full year of in-person learning.

Yet families, school boards and education workers are still waiting for the government to release its plans to make schools safe and ready for a full reopening in September. We have heard nothing about hiring, ventilation upgrades or any other safety measures being prepared during this summer break.

Hundreds of London West parents have contacted me to urge that a Safe September be made a priority. If you agree, please email the premier and Minister of Education to let them know how you feel.

 

Supporting Gig Workers

The Ministry of Labour has convened a Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee to make recommendations on the future of work. Inexplicably, the committee does not include any worker representation, a concern I raised in a letter to the Minister.

One of the three "pillars" being considered by the committee is how to support gig workers. If you are employed through technology platforms like Uber, Amazon or food delivery apps and consider yourself to be a gig worker, you can share your thoughts by emailing the committee before July 31 at [email protected].

If you are fearful that speaking up about working conditions could lead to reprisals from your employer, please consider sharing your story with my office here. I will deliver an anonymous copy to the advisory committee and to the Minister of Labour.

 

Around London

On July 1, I joined thousands of Londoners in orange shirts at the Turtle Island Healing Walk. We gathered to remember generations of lost Indigenous children and honour residential school survivors. We walked together for them as we reflected on and acknowledged Canada’s painful past.
 
I picked up a delicious picnic supper prepared by Growing Chefs to support the valuable programs for parents and children offered by Childreach (with Childreach Board member Shobhita Sharma and Executive Director Yvette Scrivener).
 
I appreciated the opportunity to listen to Hikma Public Affairs Council's town hall meeting on Islamophobia on Thursday evening. Muslim Londoners shared their thoughts about what should be discussed at the upcoming National Summit on Islamophobia. Written feedback can still be submitted to the National Council of Canadian Muslims at nccm.ca/islamophobiasummit until Friday, July 9 at midnight
 
Londoners can play Hyde & Seek with the Hyde Park BIA! Download the app and complete scavenger hunt missions like taking photos or videos, checking in at specific locations, or answering questions and riddles. Earn points and have the opportunity to win prizes, including Hyde Park Dollars, gifts certificates, swag and more!
 
Every Friday and Saturday this summer, from 9am to 2pm, you can visit the new Viscount Market at 725 Notre Dame Drive at Viscount Road.

The outdoor market is hosted by For the Love of Art and will feature different vendors every week, freshly baked breads, delicious treats, coffee, raffles, selfie spot, balloons for the kids and more!
 
A pop-up artisans market featuring locally-made crafts by Grand Theatre staff and supporters will be held Saturday, July 10 from 10am - 4pm at 8 Elworthy Ave in Old South. Londoners are invited to shop products made by theatre artists and friends during the COVID theatre shutdown period!
 
The Virtual 2021 Pride London Festival will run from July 15 to July 25! Don't miss the opportunity for 2SLGBTQ+ communities and allies to come together through events and activities that promote unity, inclusion, acceptance and awareness.
 
Nominate your favourite London West small business in CFIB's #SmallBusinessEveryDay Contest!

You and the business you nominate can both win prizes each week! The contest runs from June 28 to July 25.
 
  • Storybook Gardens has introduced new roller skating and inline skating on the Humpty Dumpty Roller Rink! Whether you’re just learning how to skate or are a seasoned skater, this program is great for all ages. Register a timeslot through Play Your Way (choose Storybook Gardens Admission).
     
  • The Catty Shack, London's adoption facility for felines, is now open for visitors - no appointment required. Located at 756 Windermere Road with lots of available onsite parking.
     
  • This summer, the City of London is offering Leadership in Training programs for youth aged 13 to 18. These programs provide an opportunity to gain experience in a City of London children’s recreation program. Participants will gain communications and leadership skills and child development experience.
 
 

After 16 months of anxiety, isolation and hardship, I want to honour the extraordinary kindnesses that Londoners have shown to each other by recognizing them as London West COVID Heroes.

If you know someone who lives in London West and has helped a neighbour, or the community, to manage COVID-19, please nominate them today
 

MAKE A NOMINATION

 

COVID-19 Developments

The Middlesex-London Health Unit announced July 5 that over 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the region. This milestone includes both first and second doses delivered to individuals in a mass vaccination clinic, pharmacy, primary care office or pop-up community clinic.

*NEW* Early Second Dose Eligibility

Everyone is now eligible to rebook an earlier second dose and many appointments are still available in July. For those who received Pfizer or Moderna, a second dose can be booked 28 days after the first dose. For those who received AstraZeneca, a second dose can be booked 8 weeks after the first dose. 

Everyone aged 12 and over is now eligible for a vaccine in Ontario. You can book an appointment for a vaccine:

Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

The Middlesex-London Health Unit has scheduled a series of Walk-in Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics. The clinics do not require appointments and are intended for anyone who has yet to receive their first dose of vaccine, while also supporting others to get their second dose as soon as they can.

The clinics will be held at various locations in the Middlesex-London region. Visit the MLHU website for a list, which will be updated as clinics are added.

L’Accès Franco-Santé London et le Bureau de Santé Middlesex-London coopèrent pour offrir une clinique de vaccination temporaire (pop-up) contre la COVID-19 pour la population francophone de London et des environs. Les premières et deuxièmes doses seront offertes à toutes personnes francophones et à leurs familles, même si tous les membres de la famille ne sont pas francophones. La clinique sera tenue principalement par du personnel médical bilingue, ainsi que par du support bilingue. Pour les participants non bilingues, il y aura un traducteur disponible. 
 
La clinique aura lieu le jeudi 29 juillet 2021 de 13h30 (1:30pm) à 18h30 (6:30pm) à l’École secondaire Catholique Monseigneur-Bruyère (& CCFL), à 920 rue Huron, London. Pour s’enregistrer, prenez rendez-vous en ligne ici ou appelez le 519-670-1996 (Accès Franco- Santé London). Vous pouvez aussi venir simplement le jour de la clinique, mais il se pourrait que vous deviez faire la queue.

The response to COVID-19 is evolving rapidly, so please refer to linked sources and the following websites for the most up-to-date information: 
Canada.ca/coronavirus 

You can also find a range of helpful resources on my website at peggysattler.ca/covid19resources.
 

New & Noteworthy

  • The province has launched a new online renewal tool for Accessible Parking Permits at ontario.ca/RenewAPP. Permit holders can also apply for a traveler’s permit or motorcycle decal and request a change of address online. Companies and not-for-profit organizations that transport individuals with accessibility needs on a not-for-profit basis can also use this online option to apply, renew or request changes to permits.
     
  • Ontario families can enjoy fishing province-wide without having to purchase a licence or carry an Outdoors Card, from July 3 to July 11. Fishers are still required to follow conservation licence catch limits, obey size limits and sanctuaries, and follow all other fishing regulations and rules.
     
  • Ontario's Seniors Community Grant program is accepting applications until July 15 at 5pm for grants of $1,000 to $25,000. Community groups with projects that help improve the lives of older Ontarians can apply for the funding.