A message from Gord – April 23, 2020

Dear Ward 4 residents,

I am continuing to receive multiple updates each day on the City’s response and I am working hard to share that information with you through my social media channels and in email updates like this.

This year, to encourage residents to stay home and stay safe, High Park will be closed during the pre-bloom and peak boom period of the Cherry Blossom trees. The City is working on a virtual walk-through of the blossoming trees in High Park. While this will be disappointing news both for people who love the Cherry Blossoms, and people who regularly use the park, our first duty is to keep each other safe.

Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, many local businesses are in need of short-term economic support and a recovery plan. The City has therefore increased the funding for Digital Main Street Program and launched an online support centre for businesses. Find details on these programs and information on additional resources at toronto.ca/covid19BusinessTO

This morning I received that news that TTC is laying off 1,200 employees. This is terrible. Laying off front line workers delivering critical services and reducing services in the middle of a crisis is not the answer. This is clear evidence that federal and provincial governments should be supporting cities at this time. This morning, Federation of Canadian Municipalities also posted their public appeal for emergency funding to address severe revenue shortfalls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City is working hard to support the evolving medical needs of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The TTC and Paramedic Services are working together to repurpose five decommissioned TTC buses to safely transport both ambulatory and stretcher-bound patients, including those on ventilators. Modifications to three busses were complete on Tuesday and two are underway.

I know these are stressful times but I am heartened by the efforts of everyone, especially our healthcare workers, to fight this pandemic and save lives. I am confident we will get through this thanks to their hard work and everyone wholeheartedly following the advice from our public health professionals.

Be sure to check toronto.ca/covid-19 for daily updates with the latest health advice and information about City services and social supports.