Carolyn Bennett
Hon. Carolyn Bennett
Member of Parliament for Toronto—St. Paul's
Community Updates | November 27, 2021
November 27, 2021

Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,

One of the joys of our multicultural country is to learn about and celebrate with our neighbours from all cultures and faiths. This Sunday, many of our neighbours and friends in Toronto-St. Paul’s will celebrate the first night of Hanukkah by lighting the first candle of the menorah.

For the next eight days, they will light another candle until the menorah is fully lit. They will sing songs, play dreidel games and eat delicious potato latkes; some with sour cream, some with applesauce, some of us love them with both! 

Next Wednesday, we will join members of the Jewish community to celebrate ‘National Festival of Lights’ with the Prime Minister, MPs and Senators from all parties. Last year it was virtual with thousands of people joining us online. This year it will be hybrid, some of us on the Hill and others able to join from home. Hanukkah also has a tradition of gift-giving; always gelt, those delicious chocolate ‘coins’ covered in gold foil, and other gestures of love and friendship. 

Photo: Carolyn and Senior Rabbi Yael Splansky in 2017 at Holy Blossom Temple.

As we exit Black Friday and enter this holiday season, I hope all of us will remember our commitments of last year to ‘Shop Local’. It is hugely important we remember that when we shop from our local stores and restaurants our dollars stay in the local economy. When we shop at the big chains and box stores, not so much. When we shop online, our neighbourhoods suffer. I now have some Etsy stores I know are local. There are such great options for gifts that somehow seem more personal when they come from our favourite ‘locals’. 

This year, Peter and I still feel uncomfortable hosting our ‘annual’ Christmas Party at home. This year, once again, we will gift our friends some of the tourtières, chili sauce, latkes, pâté, sticky toffee pudding and eggnog that would have been served at our gathering. 

This year we need to continue to thank our frontline workers. We can thank them in many different ways; a small gift, a handwritten note, or just a smile (even behind our masks!) and a warm ‘thank you’ can be so important. 

We know this holiday season is often really hard on people living alone or in difficult family situations. I remember when I was a ‘radio doctor’ in Australia, I had volunteered to work Christmas Day as I was far from home. House-call after house-call, I saw people who were sad, struggling, drinking. We need to take time over the holiday season to reach out to those who may need us to check in to let them know they are loved and not alone. 

Happy Hanukkah  Stay safe  Stay in touch with those who need you


Did you miss the Toronto-St. Paul's Summit on Sunday November 14th with all elected officials?

It's not too late to watch - check out the recorded video here, on Facebook. You do not need to have a Facebook account to watch. 

Federal Updates

Funding & Grants Opportunities
New Horizons

Application Period:  November 23rd - December 21st  

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and contributions program that supports projects designed by and for seniors. 

The NHSP has two funding streams: Community-based projects and pan-Canadian projects. Projects in the past have included enhancing senior knowledge with social media, community gardens to donate harvested fruits and vegetables to communal kitchens and more! For details on funding, eligibility, the application process and more, visit here.

Tabling of Bill C-2, An Act to provide further support in response to COVID-19

This week, the government tabled Bill C-2 in Parliament. This bill will enact the COVID-19 business and personal income supports announced by the government on October 21, 2021. It focuses on moving from the broad-based support to more targeted measures that will provide help where it is needed, while prudently managing government spending. Support programs include the Canada Recovery Hiring Program, Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program and more. For more information on this targeted approach – visit here


Authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 

Health Canada has now authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 11 years of age. For more information click here.


Border Measures 

Effective November 30, 2021, fully vaccinated individuals with right of entry to Canada who depart and re-enter the country within 72 hours of leaving Canada will not have to present a pre-entry molecular test

This exemption is only for trips originating in Canada taken by fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents or individuals registered under the Indian Act, who depart and re-enter by land or by air and can demonstrate that they have been away from Canada for less than 72 hours. For more information click here.

Upcoming in Toronto-St. Paul's

See below for upcoming community events, programs and alerts organized and shared with us by TSP organizations, businesses and residents! If you’d like to share something with the community – connect with us via email at [email protected]

Motiv8 Program - Youth Violence Prevention Program

In partnership with Black Women in Motion (BWIM), starting Monday, November 29, 2021, BWIM will be facilitating a virtual program on Mondays and Thursdays called Motiv8. The Motiv8 Program will work with racialized youth aged 13 through 18, families, local agencies, and advocates from the Oakwood-Vaughan and Jane-Finch community to ensure residents have pathways to mental, physical, and holistic health services, educational and employment opportunities. For more information on the program please see the flyer below.

Check out the TSP Theatres!

Yonge & Davisville Chanukah Community Celebration

The 5th Annual Chanukah Community Celebration will take place this Sunday November 28th @ 5:30 PM. For more details click here and see the flyer below.

Holiday Market - Wychwood Barns

The WBCA Holiday Market will take place at Wychwood Barns on Sunday December 5th from 10AM - 5PM.


As the situation is changing daily, please check the following websites for daily updates in Toronto and across Canada:

In Our Community

Local businesses continue to need our support! Find out what stores are open, or what restaurants are offering takeout and delivery. The following BIAs have put together lists of businesses that are still open, albeit doing things a bit differently. Let's do what we can to support our local businesses:

Wellness Together Canada

COVID-19 has changed the daily lives of people around the world. During these difficult times, it is critical that Canadians be able to obtain credible information and access services to support their mental health and wellbeing. That's why the government launched a portal dedicated to mental wellness: Wellness Together Canada.

This portal will connect Canadians to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls, and will make it easier to find credible information and help address mental health and substance use issues.

Kids Help Phone

Although we’re far apart physically, our young people must feel help is close.  Kids Help Phone is a remote mental health service that connects youth with professional counselling, information and referrals across Canada without any face-to-face contact. Contact Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, by texting 686868, or by going online to

Stay Safe!

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