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Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Here’s to a waaaaaaaay better 2021 for all of us …
We can indeed see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are seeing vaccines administered into the arms of our frontline workers and seniors. We are grateful that Canada has approved and secured supplies of two vaccines and has six other agreements for potential vaccines in the works, two of which are currently under review by regulators. We are confident that every Canadian will have access to a free, safe, and effective vaccine.
But we can’t let up on all our efforts to prevent the spread of this terrible virus. We must continue to wear our masks, physically distance, wash our hands and limit our contacts. We cannot swamp the public health ability to test, trace and isolate. We cannot allow our cherished health care system to be overwhelmed. We have to speak out when we see those not following public health guidelines. We have to download the CovidAlert app and encourage our friends and family to do the same.
|Jack Bennett - Carolyn's Father</em|
This Sunday, my Dad would have turned 103. We lost him over 10 years ago. There isn’t a day that goes by when Peter and I don’t ask each other what Jack Bennett would say or advise. Dad was born at the end of WW1 in the year the Spanish Flu arrived. He lived through the Depression. At 21, he joined the Forest Hill Village police department. As WW2 recruitment depleted the ranks of first responders, Dad was moved to the fire department when the Village was able to bring back retired police officers. In 1941, Dad enlisted in the Sportsman’s Battery. He landed at Juno Beach in 1944 DDay +5 and later defended the bridge at Nijmegen in Holland. When he returned to Canada, he married my mother and joined her in the family business Eunice Denby Flowers. He was a kind, wise and practical man.
So often during the pandemic, the commentary comparing those who went to war, not knowing how long it was going to last, to those who seem to have trouble being asked to stay home and sit on their couch has made me think of my Dad. He would never have made the comparison to the sacrifices he made, but I can’t help thinking he would be truly offended by those disregarding the rules and putting others at risk. He would have been so proud of those coming out of retirement to help, those who changed their business focus to help, those who, when asked, took on different responsibilities. Dad would always say: “We just did what we were asked to do.” Surely we can too.
LARGEST IMMUNIZATION CAMPAIGN IN HISTORY
We enter 2021 with promise as we work together towards a safer and better year. We are at the beginning of the biggest immunization campaign in the history of our country. Canada has secured the highest number of COVID-19 vaccine doses per capita globally – putting Canada at the front of the pack to receive the vaccine.
Our government has worked diligently to prepare a quick and equitable Canada-wide COVID-19 vaccine campaign and is covering the costs of vaccines and the supplies needed to administer them. Since Health Canada authorized the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in December, our government has already delivered nearly half a million doses to provinces and territories. As a country, we are on track to deliver more than a million doses by the end of January.
With two other vaccines currently under review by Health Canada, every Canadian can be confident that a free, safe, and effective vaccine will be available to them and their family by September of 2021. Until every Canadian is vaccinated, we must continue to follow public health advice. Together we can get through this winter, save lives, and help strengthen our economic recovery.
For more information please visit: vaccine distribution
COVID-19 UPDATES AND WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Canadian Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
Canadians should not have to choose between staying home from work when sick and putting food on the table. The Canadian Recovery Sickness Benefit is for workers that are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19. The purpose of this benefit is to provide workers with a paid sick leave option, where one might not be available through their employer.
The benefit was never intended to incentivize or encourage Canadians to not follow public health or international travel guidelines. Anyone who travelled for non-essential reasons will not be able to access the Sickness Benefit.
To learn more visit: Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
Requirements for Air Travellers before arrival in Canada
So many people gave up so much more than just a vacation over this holiday season. Canadians made tough and responsible decisions to do their part in our fight together against COVID-19. Thank you for your sacrifices, efforts, and continued conscious decision to follow public health measures.
Canada has some of the strongest travel measures in the world. Since March, these rules have helped save lives. Starting this week, to be eligible to return to Canada, all travellers five years and older must have a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight. Failure to do so will mean an automatic denial of boarding. This is in addition to the mandatory 2-week quarantine. These tests, combined with quarantine requirements and symptom reporting, will help keep our imported cases of COVID-19 low in Canada.
For more information visit: Air Travellers Required to Test Negative for COVID-19
COVID Alert app updates
We recognize and appreciate that Canadians have been working hard to stop the spread of COVID-19. As cases grow, we must continue to rely on working together, while apart. With that, we encourage everyone to join the 5.6 million people who have already downloaded the application. New COVID Alert App features include:
To download now, please see the following: COVID-Alert App
DELIVERING FOR CANADIAN SENIORS
The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening Canadian seniors’ financial security and improving their quality of life. Ambitious measures are making a real difference – however, there is more work to do. Canadian seniors can count on us to listen to their needs and work hard to deliver for them by providing the support they require to get through the second wave of this pandemic.The Canadian Government is supporting seniors by focusing on:
Stronger Income Security
Health and Well-being
While long-term care is regulated by provincial and territorial governments, the federal government is working with provinces and territories to protect residents and staff.
The following additional measures are among continued efforts to deliver for Canadian Seniors:
CANADA SUMMER JOBS FOR YOUNG CANADIANS (CSJ)
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted young Canadians who are trying to find work. Minister Qualtrough announced that up to 120, 000 job opportunities will be available to young Canadians through Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) in 2021.
With a significant increase in comparison to last year, more employers and youth can apply and benefit from the program. The employer application period for CSJ 2021 has opened as of December 21st, 2020 and will close on Friday, January 29, 2021.
For our communities to build back better, we need a strong workforce that includes good job opportunities for young Canadians.
For more details, please see the following: Canada Summer Jobs 2021
As the situation is changing daily, please check the following websites for daily updates in Toronto and across Canada:
or download the Canada COVID-19 app.
The last few months have been difficult– so our government has put in place a number of measures to support Canadians. If you need support, visit Canada.ca/coronavirusbenefits and fill out the survey for a quick and trusted way to see what programs may be available to you.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Now more than ever, local businesses that make our main streets vibrant need our help. 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 our 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.
KID'S 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 kidshelpphone.ca.
All Canadians are advised to:
STAY HOME AND AWAY FROM OTHERS IF YOU'RE FEELING ILL
As local governments continue to modify public health measures, you should continue to stay home and away from others if you have symptoms. If you start to develop symptoms of COVID-19, isolate yourself from others and contact your health care provider or local public health authority. Adjust your behaviours and routines based on their advice.
Wear a medical mask if you’re ill and will be in close contact with others or need to go out to access medical care. If a medical mask isn’t available, wear a non-medical mask or cloth face covering.
HOW TO WEAR A NON-MEDICAL FACE MASK PROPERLY
Health Canada has released a video showing how to properly wear a non-medical mask or face covering to limit the spread of COVID-19 when physical distancing is difficult. Watch it here:
The constituency office is closed to walk-in visits but my team and I are here for you and continue to serve residents of Toronto-St. Paul's. Our office is fully operational by appointment, phone and email. Call us at 416-952-3990, or email [email protected] for assistance in any federal matter.
STAY IN TOUCH
Hon. Carolyn Bennett
Member of Parliament