After the most recent announcement by the government around the latest lockdown measures in Ontario, there has been a lot of confusion, worry, and fear. My team and I have been hearing your questions and concerns and have created a community letter to inform you of the changes and rules. As information changes, we will continue to update you.
Effective Saturday April 17 12:01 AM, in continuation of the stay-at-home order:
- Police officers will have the authority to require individuals to provide their home address and purpose for not being at their residence. A non-compliance fine may be charged.
- All outdoor social gatherings and organized public events will be prohibited except for member of the same household or one other person from a household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household
- Please note that as of 3:15 PM today, the Premier has stated via Twitter that the regulations will be amended to allow the use of playgrounds and safe outdoor gatherings. As we receive more information on this, we will keep you updated.
- All non-essential workplaces in Construction closed
- 25% capacity in all retail setting where in-store shopping is permitted: supermarket, grocery, convenience stores, indoor farmers market, any place that sells food, and pharmacies
- All outdoor recreational amenities will be closed: playgrounds, soccer fields, basketball courts, golf courses
Effective Monday April 19 12:01 AM all places of worship and weddings will have a maximum capacity of 10 people indoors or outdoors.
Additional details on the measures can be found here.
I understand that this is incredibly difficult news for our community. The Ontario Science Table has highlighted the need for decisive action that protects our essential workers with access to vaccines, paid sick days, and closure of non-essential workplaces. Ontario is experiencing record high COVID-19 cases every day, and the provincial modelling paints a bleak picture. Our ICUs and hospitals are overflowing, and our community is not given an equitable amount of vaccines despite being facing an increased risk. Scarborough is home to many of these workers who have to put their lives at risk every day, low-income, racialized workers, who must be protected as they are facing the highest risk of infection due to the unsafe working conditions. On Friday, I called on the government to urgently prioritize Scarborough in their vaccine distribution efforts and close all non-essential workplaces as we face this critical third wave. I was joined Dr. Lisa Salmon, an ER physician from Scarborough Health Network, for a press conference where we called on the Ford Government for immediate action and highlighted the current situation of Scarborough. You can read our full press release here.
These emergency measures unfairly penalize members of our community who may want to take a relaxing walk, go to a playground with their little ones, or just be heading to work. Please do not hesitate to write to my office if these measures make you or your family feel unsafe.
I understand that the increased police authority is extremely concerning and distressing for many community members, especially racialized members of our community. I will be reaching out to the Toronto Police Service 41 and 43 Division and the Scarborough Southwest Neighbourhood Officers to gain clarity on how this order will be enforced and to ensure that your rights and safety are protected.
Rest assured, I will continue advocating for fairer measures that don't undermine the hardworking and resilient people of Scarborough.
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