MPP Mitzie Hunter New Year Community Update

  • Community Update

Dear Friends, 

Happy New Year! Please accept my best wishes for a wonderful year ahead for you and your family. I hope that everyone is healthy and keeping safe during these cold days of winter.

The arrival of January is always an exciting time! This year, I am thrilled to be hosting my 10th Annual New Year’s Levee! Please join me and members of the community this Sunday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at the Clark Centre for the Arts, located inside Guild Park and Gardens at 191 Guildwood Parkway. 

As we look ahead in anticipation of the months to come, it is important to keep our focus on the issues that require immediate attention. We need a sustained focus on communities, on mental health, and on social support in our public health and education systems. I’d like to thank all of our community agencies for the important work you do for the people of Scarborough-Guildwood. Let’s all follow this local example and pull together to support those among us who are vulnerable, especially residents who may be experiencing hunger and homelessness.

In Ontario, January is Tamil Heritage Month. This month gives us the opportunity to celebrate the wonderful diversity of our province and recognize the great contributions of Tamil-Canadians to our strong multicultural fabric. Thank you to Scarborough’s Tamil Community, and I look forward to Tamil Fest, the largest street festival in Scarborough!

Let’s all do our part to keep our community and each other healthy.  As always, my Constituency Office is ready to hear from you. If anyone has any concerns or challenges accessing support, or needs help booking a vaccination, please call my office at 416 281-2787 or send an email to mhunter.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org.

Warm regards,

Mitzie

In this newsletter, you’ll find:

  • Community Updates
    • Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough’s Kid Tech Nation Program  
    • Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough’s Game Night
    • Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough’s Fun Friday – Movie Night 
    • Building Foundations for Women and Ve’ahavta Skills Academy Programs
    • Black Women in Leadership photography exhibition
    • Middle French Immersion Application Process 
    • Nursing Career Fast-Tracking
    • Essential Skills Upgrading
    • SCHC Volunteer Opportunity
  • Keeping Scarborough-Guildwood Safe
    • Vaccination News
    • Vaccine Clinics
  • Contact Us!

**NEW**: Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough’s Kid Tech Nation Program — is back and open for registration. Kid Tech Nation teaches children ages 7 – 12 years digital skills, coding concepts, internet safety, and computational thinking. The program will be delivered in person at 62 Orchard Park Drive, Scarborough; from January 21 – Mar. 18, 2023,

**NEW**: Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough welcomes residents back to their once-a-month game night — this Thursday, January 12th, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm for an evening of fun with video and board games. This event is hosted by the Youth Department at the MAAT Youth Innovation & Cultural Centre and will be serving finger foods, snacks, and beverages. If you would like to attend, please email Sham at smatthew@esbgc.ca with the participant’s full name, age, and emergency contact along with food restrictions/allergies.

**NEW**: Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough invites residents to their Fun Friday monthly event. This week the Youth Department at MAAT Youth Innovation & Cultural Centre is hosting Movie night filled with dinner, snacks, and beverages. Friday, January 13th, 2023 starting at 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Please email Sham at smatthew@esbgc.ca with the participants’ names and ages if you would like to attend. All youth 12- 18 are welcome to join!

**NEW**: Building Foundations for Women and Ve’ahavta Skills Academy Programs – The Building Foundations for Women (BFW) program is a FREE nine-week intensive digital program that provides training and support for those who identify as women and are facing socio-economic, immigration, and/or mental health challenges. Get the skills and support you need to make transformational change. This highly supportive, personalized program can help you achieve your goals, including employment, education, and personal development. The program begins on February 14 and runs until April. More information on how you can apply and the requirements can be found here.

**NEW**: Middle French Immersion Application Process – The entry point to the Middle French Immersion program for September 2023 is Grade 4. The online application process for Middle French Immersion will take place between January 9 and February 3, 2023. An offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) is guaranteed to all on-time applicants. Families with an older sibling currently enrolled in a French program and who will be in attendance next year are still required to complete an online application for the new student. Please select the “sibling option” within the online application. More information can be found here.

**NEW**: The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Youth Invitational – Youth in Kindergarten to Grade 12 and CÉGEP can participate in the Imagine a Canada Program by submitting artwork, essays, videos, and music, as well as plans for community events, gatherings, workshops, and even permanent installations; the sky’s the limit! We are encouraging dedicated teachers, mentors, coaches, and guardians to challenge youth to think outside of the box and Imagine a Canada reconciled. Up to 12 pieces from the art and essay stream will be selected to be featured in a special art book and up to 15 projects will receive grant funding (up to $1500) to make their projects happen. The deadline is January 20th, 2023, and more information can be found here.

**REMINDER** Black Women in Leadership photography exhibition – Toronto Archives, in partnership with BAND (Black Artists’ Networks in Dialogue) Gallery and Cultural Centre, presents Black Women in Leadership – an exhibition featuring the work of four Toronto-based visual artists/photographers Janice Reid, Leyla Jeyte, Jon Blak and Patricia Ellah. The exhibition is free to attend and will run until August 2023 at the Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Rd., open to the public on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm.

Vaccination News in Scarborough

**NEW**: Scarborough Health Network cold, flu, and Covid Clinic – Scarborough Health Network (SHN) is announcing the opening of its Kids Cold, Flu, COVID Clinic, effective immediately, at Birchmount Hospital (see map) for children who are six months to 18 years old.

SHN Cold, Flu and COVID Clinics are for patients who have any of the following moderate symptoms and want a medical assessment by a doctor:

• Fever (temperature of 37.8 degrees °C or above) that is not caused from a known infection or illness
Any worsening:
• Cough, shortness of breath
• Sore throat or hoarse voice
• Runny nose or sneezing, nasal congestion
• Loss of taste or smell
• Nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea, or abdominal pain
• Flu-like illness
• Pink eye/redness of eye(s)

Note: The Cold, Flu, and COVID Clinic at General Hospital will operate Monday – Wednesday, and Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., by appointment only.

**NEW**: Community Health and Wellness Fair – Scarborough centre for healthy communities is hosting a fair aimed at educating the community on healthy living. Come join them on December 14th from 2-6 pm at 2660 Eglington Avenue east (the Hub).  An afternoon of learning, snack, and surprises will be held by the organizers. 

**NEW**: 7 Oaks Community association Food Drive – The Roots of 7 Oaks Community Association will be hosting their annual Food Drive in support of the Food Bank at 4100 Lawrence Avenue East.  Please leave non-perishable food items on your porch at 9 am on Saturday, December 10th to be collected. Contact attn7oaks@gmail.com to volunteer and inform them that you will be participating. 

**REMINDER**: COVID-19 Vaccine Bookings to Open for Children Aged Six Months to Under 5 Years – Parents and caregivers of children aged six months to under five years are now able to book appointments for the paediatric COVID-19 vaccine. Immunocompromised youth aged 12 to 17 will also become eligible to schedule their second booster dose (fifth dose) if at least six months have passed since their first booster (fourth dose).
Appointments are available through the COVID-19 vaccination portal and the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, directly through public health units using their own booking system, participating primary care providers and paediatricians, as well as at participating pharmacies and Indigenous-led vaccination clinics.

**REMINDER**: COVID-19 Paid Sick Days Extended to March 31, 2023 – The Ontario government is also ensuring workers do not lose pay if they miss work due to COVID-19 by extending paid sick days to March 31, 2023.
Eligible workers will continue to receive up to $200 a day for up to three days if they need to get tested, vaccinated, receive booster shots, self-isolate, or care for a family member who is ill from COVID-19. The government will continue to reimburse eligible employers for the paid leave days.

**UPDATE**: Ontarians Aged 18+ Eligible for Second Booster Shot – The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is expanding eligibility for second booster doses to Ontarians aged 18 and over in order to provide an extra layer of protection to those who may need it.

Eligible individuals can book an appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900. Eligible individuals can also book an appointment directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics and participating pharmacies. Appointments are based on availability, which may vary by region.

For more information about the Ontario government’s announcement, click here. 

**NEW**: SHN announces VaxFacts expansion boosters for 5-11 – The Ontario government announced expansion of eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine third dose boosters for children aged five to 11. Scarborough Health Network (SHN) and our Scarborough Ontario Health Team (SOHT) partners are pleased to share that we will be administering third dose boosters to individuals in this age group. 

Appointments for boosters for this age group can be booked at www.ScarbVaccine.ca. The Ontario Ministry of Health recommends eligible children receive their booster dose at a recommended interval of at least six months following their most recent dose.

In addition, the VaxFacts+ service has also partnered with the Black Physicians’ Association of Ontario to create a dedicated stream for Black communities, and SickKids to provide focused consultation on the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant and breastfeeding people across Ontario. Schedule a one-to-one phone conversation with a physician by calling 416-438-2911 ext. 5738 or visiting VaxFacts – Scarborough Health Network (shn.ca)

**NEW**: Bivalent Available for 18+ – The Ontario government announced that the (Moderna) bivalent COVID-19 booster is available immediately for everyone aged 18 and over. Scarborough Health Network (SHN) and Scarborough Ontario Health Team (SOHT) partners continue to encourage all eligible community members to get their Fall vaccine booster, including the bivalent booster that protects against two strains of COVID-19 (the original strain and the current predominant strain). SHN’s Scarborough Vaccine Team is pleased to invite community members to begin booking appointments at our Centenary Vaccine Clinic by visiting www.ScarbVaccine.ca.

**NEW**: Paediatric Pfizer Vaccine for Under 5 – The province also announced it’s distributing the Pfizer vaccine across Ontario for children aged six months to under five years old. This is in addition to the Moderna vaccine available to the same age group. It is recommended for infants and children to receive the same vaccine – either Pfizer or Moderna – for all doses in a primary series. SHN and their SOHT partners are encouraging families to book an appointment for their children by visiting www.ScarbVaccine.ca.