Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario
 
 

Hello Neighbour,

With the adjournment of the Ontario Legislature last week, this is my final newsletter as MPP before the election writ officially drops on May 4 and the 42nd Parliament dissolves.

It has been an incredible honour and privilege to serve the people of London West over the last four years, during one of the most challenging public health emergencies our province has ever faced. Once again I extend my deepest gratitude to all those who worked tirelessly to keep our community functioning throughout pandemic lockdowns and public health measures, especially the front-line healthcare and other essential workers who faced the greatest risks and made the greatest sacrifices.  

Thanks also to all who have emailed or called my office to share concerns, seek information, or make suggestions. Over the last two years of COVID, I heard from many people who were reaching out to their MPP for the first time. My staff and I did our best to help, and advocated for the government to fix the problems that quickly became apparent as new programs were announced. There were often more questions than answers, with too many people deemed ineligible for support, unaware that support was available, or simply ignored as new programs rolled out. I have also appreciated the feedback you have provided about bills being debated at Queen's Park, and have taken every opportunity to read your emailed comments into the official record of the Legislative Assembly.    

Certainly, the last two years have highlighted the changes we need to make to our society and our province. We must make housing affordable and available for everyone, invest in our over-burdened healthcare system and support the healthcare workers we rely on, fix our crumbling schools and build the schools and childcare centres we need, and make everyday life more affordable. We must heal the divisions that arose at the end of the pandemic.

We must also act urgently to address climate change. The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights the need for strong climate action so that we leave the next generation with a livable planet. Canada has one of the world’s highest carbon footprints per capita and, except for a slight downturn in 2020 due to the pandemic, Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions have not declined. The IPCC reports that it is truly “now or never”. Governments must show the same leadership on climate change that local organizations like Western University are demonstrating. Last week Western placed first in Canada and third in the world in a global ranking of universities working toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve a better an more sustainable world by 2030.

Just prior to adjourning the Legislature, the Ford government tabled its 2022 budget, which immediately became the PC campaign platform. The debate on that budget - and whether it fixes the things that Ontarians care about most - will take place on doorsteps across this province as candidates reach out to voters to share their vision of what is needed to rebuild our province after COVID-19. I look forward to continuing to meet and talk with residents of London West over the next five weeks. If you would like to sign up for campaign updates, please visit peggysattler.ontariondp.ca

All my very best,

Please note that my constituency office  will remain open to serve constituents throughout the election period by phone at 519-657-3120 or by email at [email protected] Information about the election is available at elections.on.ca
 

In this newsletter:
 

Around London

On April 21, I presented my 2022 London West Leading Women Leading Girls awards to eight incredible women. These recipients all demonstrate kindness, compassion, and a commitment to improving the lives of others. The event featured local musical performances from Warrior Womyn of Positive Drum and Sarina Haggarty. You can watch the recording of the event and read about the winners here.
 
I was thrilled to attend the sixth annual Oakridge Optimist Youth Volunteer Recognition Program awards, to celebrate the service and contributions of nine outstanding young people who are making a difference in their communities. One of the recipients was Danté FosterdelMundo, who was nominated by Oakridge Secondary School and is a former member of my London West Youth Cabinet! 
 
Along with a number of community leaders, I was honoured to attend the opening ceremony for the annual Steps for Life walk at St. George Catholic School in Byron. Organized by Threads of Life, the walk coincides with the National Day of Mourning, a day to remember those who have been killed, injured or made sick in the workplace and to recommit to doing everything possible to make workplaces safe. Funds raised help provide support services to families affected by workplace tragedies and raise awareness about injury prevention. This year, the London walk raised a record $31,000!
 
Last week, I joined Londoners at Victoria Park for our city's first ever EarthFest. Together, we advocated for meaningful action against climate change and a brighter future for our youth. Many thanks to the London Environmental Network for organizing this informative and motivating event. It was great to see so many folks out to support such a crucial cause! 
 
It has been a joy to join London's Muslim community as they break their fast this Ramadan. I have been privileged to attend seven Iftars this month, including Interfaith Iftars hosted by the Canadian Iraqi-Turkmen Association of London and by the London Muslim Mosque  As this holy month comes to a close, I extend my warmest greetings to all who are celebrating Eid Al Fitr and the successful completion of 30 days of fasting. Eid Mubarak! 
 
Many thanks to the Guru Nanak Mission Society for their commitment to our community and for organizing the Free Pizza Drive in honour of Khalsa Day and Sikh Heritage Month. 
 
I was pleased to attend an exurberant Yezidi New Year celebration with London Fanshawe MP Lindsay Mathyssen and enjoyed playing the festive hekkane game with colourful eggs.
 
The Thames Valley District School Board is hosting two important live virtual sessions for families in May:
 

Last week was National Volunteer Week! Our volunteers are truly London's lifeline, and have continued to serve even during the worse of the pandemic. Over the last two years, thousands of volunteers have stepped up to the challenge in our city, devoting time and efforts to help our most vulnerable populations and working endlessly to keep hope alive. 

Since 2017, I am proud to have recognized 99 individuals in London for their volunteer service through my Community Recognition Awards. You can read about their accomplishments here.

This week is Mental Health Week, and the return of the Mental Health & Addictions Crisis Centre to its permanent location at 648 Huron Street is welcome news. The centre provides crucial 24/7 walk-in mental health support for people who are suffering. Help is also available through the Support Line (519-601-8055) and the Reach Out 24/7 crisis line (519-433-2023) or reachout247.ca.
 
The Ontario NDP has announced a plan to bring mental health care into OHIP. You can read about our plan here
 

In the Media

 

Your Voice at Queen's Park

In my previous newsletter, I raised concerns about funding for the Best Care program for chronic disease management, a life-saving program that has helped 10,000 Londoners and others across Southwestern Ontario living with COPD, heart failure, asthma and other chronic diseases. Three-year funding had ended on March 31, 2022, and without confirmation of continued funding, the program was preparing to issue termination notices to staff and close down its services.   

I am pleased to report that my advocacy resulted in a one-year extension for program funding, which was  communicated to Best Care earlier this month. It is unfortunate, however, that I had to raise the issue in Question Period twice, and in the local media, before the government finally acted. 
I was proud to introduce my Private Member's Bill, the Safe Night Out Act, in the Ontario Legislature last week. Like many other cities across the province, London has witnessed an alarming rise in gender-based violence and harassment. Young women are often most at risk, especially when alcohol is involved, which is why my bill received such strong support from post-secondary student organizations at Western and Fanshawe, as well as provincial student organizations.  

My bill would help end sexual violence and harassment experienced by both patrons and workers at licensed premises, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a safe night out. It would mandate evidence-based, trauma-informed sexual violence and harassment prevention training for servers, persons who provide security and supervisors. Additionally, it would provide improved protections for workers who experience sexual harassment from their co-workers and supervisors. I

Services for those who have experienced violence or abuse are available from Anova and London Abused Women's Centre
On Thursday, I introduced an important petition to increase social assistance rates for persons with disabilities living on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) as well as those on Ontario Works that was developed by Professor Sally Palmer at McMaster University with the Hamilton Social Work Action Committee and the Campaign for Adequate Welfare & Disability Benefits (Hamilton). You can read about the Ontario NDP's plan to lift people out of poverty and fix social assistance here
 
Thank you to Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) - Middlesex Elgin Chapter and London Health Sciences Centre for sharing valuable insights on nursing during the pandemic with me and my London MPP colleagues Terence Kernaghan and Teresa Armstrong. Nurses are burnt out and exhausted and leaving the profession in droves, while new nursing graduates are starting their careers without the mentorship they deserve. Urgent action must be taken to stabilize, retain and rebuild Ontario's nursing workforce. 
 

COVID-19 Developments

  • The Ontario GO-VAXX bus mobile clinic is returning to London and Middlesex County throughout the month of May. First, second, and booster doses are available for those who are eligible. Walk-ins are accepted. The GO-VAXX bus will be at several different locations on the following dates:
    • Thursday, May 5, 2022, Lucan Biddulph Community Memorial Centre, 263 Main Street, Lucan, 11am to 5pm

    • Friday, May 6, 2022, Sherwood Forest Mall, 1225 Wonderland Road North, London, 11am to 6pm

    • Wednesday, May 11, 2022, Kiwanis Seniors’ Community Centre, 78 Riverside Drive, London, 11am to 7pm

    • Saturday, May 14, 2022, Northland Mall, 1275 Highbury Ave N, London, 10am to 5pm

    • Friday, May 20, 2022, Westmount Shopping Mall, 785 Wonderland Road South, London, 11am to 6pm

    • Saturday, May 21, 2022, Shops on Sydenham, 51 Front Street, Strathroy, 11am to 5pm

    • Saturday, May 28, 2022, Pond Mills Square, 1200 Commissioners Road East, London, 11am to 5pm

  • The Middlesex-London Health Unit is extending the operation of its COVID-19 vaccination clinic at White Oaks Mall through the month of May. The clinic will continue to operate on its regular hours, Thursdays through Saturdays from 1pm to 7pm. Anyone aged five years and older can receive their appropriate dose at the location. The last day of operations for the clinic is set for Saturday, May 28.
  • Fourth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are available for individuals aged 60+ and First Nation, Inuit, and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18+. The fourth dose may be administered after a minimum of three months from when the third dose was given, but it is recommended to wait five months. 
  • 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.

Everyone born in 2016 or earlier is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario, and everyone aged 12 and over is now eligible for a third booster dose.

  • 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
    • You can also get vaccinated in your car at a mass clinic (call 226-289-3560 to book, 8am - 7:30pm, Monday - Friday)
  • Visit a walk-in pop-up clinic
  • Make an appointment at a participating pharmacy
  • If you cannot leave your home, arrange a vaccination at home (call 519-663-5317, 8am - 7:30pm, Monday - Friday)
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.