April 7, 2020 End of the Day Update on City Services

April 7, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

I want to thank everyone for your efforts during this very difficult time. It is very important for all of us, to the best of our ability to follow the mandatory social distancing bylaw! 

Please see the following update regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the City of Toronto: 

Troubling reports regarding compliance with various pandemic-related orders and closures

Yesterday, the City received 55 complaints related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, MLS has issued notices to 34 non-essential businesses.

The City also received 385 complaints yesterday alone about people using closed park amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. MLS spoke to 848 people regarding the closure of park amenities and distancing and issued 12 tickets – the highest number of tickets issued by MLS in a single day since the start of the pandemic. Full news release: https://bit.ly/3e2QsQ6 

Clothing drop boxes

Another emerging concern is the accumulation of donated goods, as well as garbage, surrounding full clothing drop boxes. These boxes play an important role in the city – they help reduce waste and raise money for worthwhile charities. Right now, in response to COVID-19, many charities are not accepting donations or emptying boxes. Mayor Tory announced today that, to address concerns of overflowing boxes and litter surrounding boxes, City Solid Waste Management Services workers will be collecting items left around bins and clearing the areas. The City urges all residents who want to make a donation to confirm with charities whether or not they are currently accepting donations. Illegal dumping of garbage by donation bins is not permitted and concerned residents can call 311 to report this. City Open Data set for clothing drop box locations can be accessed here: https://open.toronto.ca/dataset/clothing-drop-box-locations/ 

A list of food banks and soup kitchens in Ward 24 can be found here: https://bit.ly/2RcvdRV

Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best, 

Paul

April 7, 2020 Mid-Day Update on City Services


Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,


Here is my mid-day update!
I want to thank everyone for your efforts during this very difficult time. It is very important for all of us, to the best of our ability to follow the mandatory social distancing bylaw!


Please see the following update regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the City of Toronto:


City of Toronto recalling poor quality surgical masks distributed to staffThe City of Toronto discovered yesterday that a recently-purchased order of more than $200,000 worth of surgical masks do not meet the specifications the City requires for such masks and took immediate action, recalling these masks. Four-thousand boxes containing 50 masks per box were received, and 1,252 boxes, or 62,600 masks, were distributed to the City’s long-term care homes on March 28. The City’s occupational health safety staff have been contacted. The City is investigating to determine how many employees in the City’s long-term care homes were caring for a patient while wearing these masks, and if there was possible exposure to COVID-19. The City is retrieving its stockpile of surgical masks as a stop-gap measure until a new, appropriate grade mask, as specified, can be purchased, which will happen on a priority basis, as the loss of this inventory makes for a significant shortfall of surgical masks for the City. The Province of Ontario has been contacted to help expedite this order.Full news release here: https://bit.ly/3e2QsQ6
Ontario Calls on all Health Care Workers to Help Fight COVID-19 The Ontario government is taking further action to stop the spread of COVID-19 by actively recruiting health care workers to increase the frontline capacity of hospitals, clinics, and assessment centres. Today, the province is launching a new online tool that will help match skilled frontline workers with employers.
The new Health Workforce Matching Portal will enable health care providers with a range of experience to join the province’s response to COVID-19. Those providers include retired or non-active health care professionals, internationally educated health care professionals, students, and volunteers with health care experience. The portal will efficiently match the availability and skillsets of frontline health care workers to the employers in need of assistance to perform a variety of public health functions, such as case and contact management. Full news release here: https://bit.ly/2wlzLyc

A list of food banks and soup kitchens in Ward 24 can be found here: https://bit.ly/2RcvdRV Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.


The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311. You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca

All my Best,

Paul

April 6, 2020 End of Day Update on City Services

April 6, 2020

Dear Neighbours, 

I want to thank everyone for your efforts during this very difficult time. It is very important for all of us, to the best of our ability to follow the mandatory social distancing bylaw! 

Please see the following End of Day Update regarding (COVID-19) key messages and resources from the City of Toronto: 

Food security and access

The City is working with 211, United Way Greater Toronto, and other Toronto agencies to ensure low-income and vulnerable residents continue to have food access – a need that has increased dramatically with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Up-to-date information on food access is available by calling 211 or going online to: https://covid19.211central.ca/.  Corporate partners have stepped up with significant contributions to help ensure that community food programs in Toronto – including food banks, multi-service centres, home delivery programs, meal drop-ins – can continue. Additionally, the City is working with several community programs to address the multiple issues associated with food access during the pandemic. More information is available in today’s news release: https://bit.ly/3dZ2SZ3 

Food donations

Residents who are able, are encouraged to donate non-perishable food to food banks or drop off food donations at local fire halls. Restaurants or food businesses with surplus food are encouraged to donate to Second Harvest’s FoodRescue.ca. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to register with VolunteerToronto.ca or SPARKOntario.ca  

City of Toronto urges residents to adapt faith-based holiday observances during COVID-19 pandemic

In the coming weeks, people across our city will be observing Passover, Easter, and the start of Ramadan. Normally an opportunity to spend time with family and faith-based communities, the City urges everyone to continue to follow provincial orders closing places of worship and limiting gatherings as well as the public health recommendations to remain at home, leaving only for essential reasons. The holidays are important spiritually and emotionally for many and to support this people are encouraged to connect with loved ones, friends, and vulnerable members of the community online or by phone. Residents should also check with their place of worship for information on online services and other innovative ways to connect while staying physically apart.

Grocery shopping in advance of the holidays

Grocers are anticipating that tomorrow and the upcoming Thursday and Saturday will be busy and ask people to limit shopping on these days. General advice for grocery shopping remains:

  • Grocery shop only one day per week and buy only what you need for up to two weeks
  • Respect store hours dedicated to seniors, vulnerable persons, and essential service workers (normally the first hour stores are open)
  • Have a list of items, shop efficiently, and do not casually browse
  • Do not touch food or products you are not intending to buy
  • Practise physical distancing
  • When possible, pay with a card or phone tap rather than cash

Yard waste

Yard waste collection resumes today for two weeks (April 6 –April 17). Please place yard waste out before 7 a.m. on your collection day and it leave out until it’s collected. Please bag your yard waste and refrain from using open-top bins to ensure the health and safety of our workers. Information and updates are available here: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/affected-city-services/?accordion=garbage-recycling-and-organics 

A list of food banks and soup kitchens in Ward 24 can be found here: https://bit.ly/2RcvdRV

Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best,

Paul

The Toronto Public Library Has Set Up In Branch Food Banks!!

April 6, 2020

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

The Toronto Public Library has partnered with the North York Harvest, Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest to set up food bank distribution from library branches across the city to provide alternate service locations for existing food banks that are now closed. The City’s Chief Librarian Vickery Bowles made a call out for additional volunteers last week because requests increase almost daily for Toronto Public Library’s food bank support. Within a few short hours of making the call for more volunteers, over 50 staff had responded.


Nine food banks are open or are scheduled to open at Toronto Public Library locations:• The first one opened on March 25 in partnership with North York Food Harvest at our Albion branch. • Eight more locations (Agincourt, Cedarbrae, Eatonville, Kennedy/Eglinton, Steeles and Taylor) are operational or near operational in partnership with Daily Bread, and two more (Don Mills and Jane Sheppard) with North York Harvest.• Toronto Public Library’s book delivery and sorting hub on Ellesmere Road has also been transformed for food bank support, with physical distancing embedded in the design. There were 27 skids of food received last week, and library staff have been sorting the food into hampers for delivery to the library branch food bank locations. This activity is being expanded to include sorting of food for the Red Cross allowing them to deliver food directly to people in their homes.


Here is a link to the Global TV interview that took place at Ellesmere with Neil Hetherington, Head of the Daily Bread Food Bank:


https://twitter.com/JennValentyne/status/1246048298479366144?s=20


I want to thank everyone with the Toronto Public Library who is involved in this!

All my Best,


Paul

April 6th Update on Services During COVID – 19

April 6, 2020 

Dear Neighbours,

I want to thank everyone for your efforts during this very difficult time. It is very important for all of us, to the best of our ability to follow the mandatory social distancing bylaw!

Please see the following update regarding COVID-19 key information and resources: 

Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) Portal 

Applications for the Canada Emergency Relieve benefit is now available and can be accessed here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html. You can also apply over the phone at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041 

CERB will provide $2000/month to workers impacted by COVID-19 for up to 4 months. See below for recommended dates: 

Questions about applying for CERB with CRA? You can find answers to common questions with this automated help line: 1-833-966-2099. 

“Don’t flush it!” — Learn where to put COVID waste!

Masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, facial tissues, so-called “flushable” wipes, soiled tissues, sanitary napkins — are all meant for the Garbage Bin, diapers continue to go into the Green Bin. They must be bagged, to help keep the virus from blowing around, and keep frontline workers safer.

Please bag your yard waste and refrain from using open-top bins to ensure the health and safety of our workers. Updates on waste and recyclables can be found at www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/affected-city-services/ 

Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre Online Classes 

At the direction of Public Health experts, the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre will remain closed until further notice. This is a difficult time for you and your families, Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre team hopes that you can take part in some of their online classes which are expanding this week to include more children’s programs, more fitness classes, an instructional cooking class and community coffee. Details on online classes can be accessed here: https://tpasc.ca/live-classes 

Diabetes Canada Donation Bin Crisis

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and crucial physical distancing orders by governments that non-essential services be stopped, pick-up of all textile donations by Diabetes Canada from homes and donations bins across Canada stopped on March 23rd. The City of Toronto will update its Clothing Drop Box page with further information as soon as possible. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/public-notices-bylaws/bylaw-enforcement/clothing-drop-box/ 

A list of food banks and soup kitchens in Ward 24 can be found here: https://bit.ly/2RcvdRV

Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best,

Paul

April 5, 2020 End Of The Day Update

April 5, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

A list of food banks in Ward 24 can be found here: https://bit.ly/2RcvdRV.

Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

Spring Parks, Forestry and Recreation programming and permit cancellations

Spring programs and permits for the period of April 6 to June 29 are cancelled, following the continued closure of community recreation and parks facilities. All Park, Forestry & Recreation permits for farmers markets up to June 29 are postponed and allotment and community gardens are closed. Refunds or credits will be issued for cancelled permits and programs. Although Park, Forestry & Recreation’s customer service call centre is closed, permit holders and program registrants can contact pfrcustomerservice@toronto.ca. Details on affected City services, community recreation and parks facility closures, and licensing and permits affected can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/2WtmRc4 

City of Toronto enforcement officers see encouraging behaviour, while some problem areas persist

Early reports from frontline enforcement staff are encouraging. Many people in City parks are practising physical distancing and only travelling in small groups from the same household. In many instances, where enforcement officers have spoken to park goers, people have responded positively to education about public health recommendations and willingly adjusted their behaviour. 

Some problem locations persist. Yesterday, 311 received 141 complaints about gatherings and unsafe behaviour at parks. In just the first day of the enforcement blitz, 800 vehicles were turned away at Bluffers Park and 140 vehicles were deterred from parking at High Park. Police also issued 19 parking tickets. Enforcement staff reported that yesterday MLS and police officers spoke with 780 people to educate them on public health recommendations and closures and cautioned a further 373 people. Police issued nine tickets while MLS officers gave out one ticket related to park amenities and five to non-essential businesses that were operating in violation of provincial orders.

Current health situation

Toronto Public Health is reporting there are now 1,232 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 113 cases from yesterday. Of the cases, 1,026 cases are confirmed and 206 are probable, 69 cases have recovered, 140 are in hospital with 58 in ICU. In Toronto, there have been 25 deaths to-date. Community spread is responsible for 25% of COVID-19 cases in the city. This data was extracted from the Integrated Public Health Information System at 12:30 p.m. The numbers may differ from other sources as data are extracted at different times.

Toronto Public Health survey

Toronto Public Health wants to learn how COVID-19 is moving through the community, to provide an indication of how well public health measures are working and help determine next steps. Residents who believe they have COVID-19 symptoms can help Toronto Public Health understand where Toronto is on the ‘curve’ of the epidemic by completing the survey at toronto.ca/flattenthecurve.

People looking to confirm if they are eligible for testing or if they need to seek further care should use the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Self-Assessment tool. In a medical emergency, people should seek medical attention immediately and call 911. Self-Assessment tool here: https://bit.ly/2XcXdsG 

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

I would like to thank all of you for your efforts during this difficult time. I am proud to acknowledge all of you who are adhering to the mandatory social distancing bylaw.

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best,

Paul

April 4, 2020 City of Toronto Update

April 4, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

Please see the following End of Day Update regarding (COVID-19) key messages and resources from the City of Toronto: 

Please click here for a list of food banks in Ward 24.

Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

Current health situation

As of today, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre has been mobilized for 25 days, working with Toronto Public Health, City divisions, and emergency responders to slow the spread of the virus and keep our community safe and healthy.

Toronto Public Health is reporting there are now 1026 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 101 cases from yesterday. Of the cases, 823 cases are confirmed and 203 are probable, 66 cases have recovered, 125 are in hospital with 53 in ICU. In Toronto, there have been 25 deaths to-date. Community spread is responsible for 27 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Toronto. This data was extracted from the Integrated Public Health Information System at 12:30 p.m. today. The numbers may differ from other sources as data are extracted at different times.

311 and access to information

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the 311 or Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline.

311 is available 24/7 by telephone for essential service inquiries and service requests. Those calling 311 should expect longer than usual wait times as 311 continues to receive a high volume of calls.

  • 311 (within city limits)
  • 416-392-2489 (outside of city limits)
  • 416-338-0889 (TTY)

Keep in mind: 

The #COVID19 Enforcement Team will be out across Toronto this weekend educating the public and enforcing compliance with new #physicaldistancing bylaw and the other measures enacted by the municipal and provincial governments as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Any two people who don’t live together, who fail to keep 2 metres or a hockey stick apart in a park or public square, are subject to a $1,000 fine.

Every person makes a difference and every action counts Stay home to help stop the spread and save lives. 

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best,

Paul

Fine for failing to keep your distance in parks set at $1,000 April 3, 2020

April 3, 2020

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

Today, Mayor John Tory announced the fine for people failing to keep at least two metres of distance from others in City of Toronto parks and public spaces has been set at $1,000.

The Chief Justice of the Province of Ontario approved the City’s request for a set fine Friday.

Any two people who don’t live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a park or public square, can receive a $1,000 ticket – the maximum set fine available. Officers could issue higher tickets that would be subject to the courts where fines could go up to $5,000 upon conviction.

The Mayor introduced Emergency Order No. 1 – Emergency Physical Distancing Regulations with respect to Parks, and Public Squares on Thursday as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to encourage people from separate households to keep at least two metres distance between each other to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

The COVID-19 Enforcement Team will be across the city this weekend educating the public and enforcing compliance with this new bylaw and the other measures enacted by the municipal and provincial governments.

The Toronto Police Service and the City are partnered on the enforcement of City bylaws and all orders, with 160 Toronto Police officers and other personnel assigned to the COVID-19 Enforcement Team, plus 200 Toronto Bylaw Enforcement Officers.

Officers will be educating the public about the seriousness of COVID-19, why these extraordinary measures are in place, and if, in the end, they don’t see compliance, then fines can and will be issued, some of which carry very significant penalties – up to $100,000 and one year in jail.

To date, almost 1,000 complaints have been made to the City regarding parks amenities use and concerns from the public about inappropriate physical distancing, and so far, Toronto Police have issued 21 tickets to individuals.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

If you have any questions or concerns you can reach me at 416-396-7222 or by email councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca

I hope you and your family remain safe and well.

All my Best,

Paul

April 3, 2020 City Update Including Yard Waste

Dear Neighbours, 

Please see the following update regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the City of Toronto. 

Yard waste collection resumes for two weeks

The City will resume yard waste collection from Monday, April 6 to Friday, April 17.

Information for residents:

  • Place yard waste out before 7 a.m. on your regularly scheduled garbage/yard waste collection day.
  • Please be patient as crews make their way across the city.
  • If yard waste is not picked up the scheduled day, please leave it out as it will be picked-up in the coming days. Please do not call 311 to report a missed collection.
  • To ensure health and safety, please only use yard waste bags, not open-top containers.

The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended as part of the City’s COVID-19 response. After the two-week period of yard waste pickup, the City will assess if it can continue to maintain the service. More information is available on the City’s website: https://bit.ly/3bPHwf5 

City of Toronto addressing financial impacts of COVID-19 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exert major stresses globally, the City of Toronto has been assessing, evaluating and monitoring the financial impacts to Toronto. To address the situation, the City has assembled a COVID-19 financial impact working group to focus on stabilization and rebuilding.

The City of Toronto today announced that it is experiencing a financial pressure estimated at $65 million a week. The pressure is driven by decreased TTC and other revenues, coupled with increased costs. Revenues are decreased due to closures, decreased demands, and property tax and utility payment deferrals, and increased costs are stemming from COVID-19 related needs like additional personal protective equipment supplies, cleaning, additional shelter space, and overtime. Full news release here: https://bit.ly/2JDiX9a 

Updated list of essential services 

Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19.  

By 11:59 pm Saturday, April 4, 2020, businesses that are not identified on this list must close their physical locations. List of essential workplaces can be accessed here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces 

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best,

Paul

Update on City Efforts to Stop COVID – 19

April 2, 2020 

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

Please see the following update regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the City of Toronto: 

New emergency order allows for enforcement of physical distancing in parks and public squares

Any two people who don’t live together and fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a park or public square, will be subject to prosecution and liable for a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted. (Tis does not apply to members of the same household) The Mayor took this emergency action – which is in effect for at least the next 30 days – as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to save lives, protect the healthcare system and ensure our economy and society can rebound faster from the COVID-19 pandemic. Info and updates: http://toronto.ca/covid19.

Yard waste collection resumes for two weeks

The City will resume yard waste collection from Monday, April 6 to Friday, April 17.

Information for residents:

  • Place yard waste out before 7 a.m. on regularly scheduled garbage/yard waste collection day.
  • Please be patient as crews make their way across the city.
  • If yard waste is not picked up the scheduled day, please leave it out as it will be picked-up in the coming days. Please do not call 311 to report a missed collection.
  • To ensure health and safety, please only use yard waste bags, not open-top containers.

The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended as part of the City’s COVID-19 response. After the two-week period of yard waste pickup, the City will assess if it can continue to maintain the service. More information is available on the City’s website.

On April 1, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued new directives under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. These include:

  • All individuals with COVID-19 are ordered by the Medical Officer of Health to stay home, under the Health Protection and Promotion Act for 14 days.
  • All individuals who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are also ordered to stay home by the Medical Officer of Health for 14 days.
  • People returning from international travel must stay home (already a federal order).
  • Anyone who is not ill or has not travelled, is strongly directed to stay home except for the following reasons:
    • accessing healthcare or medication
    • shop for groceries once per week
    • walk their dogs
    • get daily exercise while maintaining physical distancing of at least two metres
  • Anyone over the age of 70, as the Province already announced, is strongly encouraged to stay home as much as possible.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best,

Paul