Dear friends and neighbours,
After a really difficult year, I know this isn’t the holiday season any of us were hoping for. Not being able to celebrate with friends and family this year is a hard sacrifice but it’s one we have to make sure we get to celebrate together next year.
Between not being able to see our families, small businesses having to close again after struggling to reopen, watching the tragedy unfold in long-term care, we’ve all been stretched to our limits. Especially those among us who are frontline, essential and healthcare workers who are often struggling through burnout in order to keep us safe. As we continue through the second wave into the new year, let’s continue to work together and look out for each other. Let’s build a more inclusive, safe and prosperous future together.
This year, I definitely needed some extra holiday cheer. That’s why I held a colouring contest for my young friends in London-Fanshawe. Below is a sampling of the artwork I received. Thank you to all the talented young artists that participated. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to look at all of the submissions I’ve posted up on my wall.
Once again, I have to express my gratitude and pride in our community for keeping each other safe while still managing to stand together, like all of you who donated to my holiday food drive. Earlier this month, I was able to stand in the legislature and highlight the important work of some local heroes. Thank you to them and all the others I didn’t get a chance to mention. I so appreciate your service to our community.
I also want to acknowledge all of you who are essential and frontline workers. Those in our community who work in health care, food services, delivery, factories and many more don’t have the ability to stay safe at home. Thank you for your work and I’ll keep fighting for better working conditions for you.
I hope this holiday season brings you all some time to rest, take care of yourselves and feel the joy of the season.
I know many in our community are concerned about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Our team will do our best to provide updates and direct constituents to reliable sources of information about preventative measures and public health advisories.
Please note: In accordance with the province-wide lockdown on Dec. 26, 2020, our team will be working from home. We will continue to serve constituents by phone and email during this time. Please contact 519-668-1104 or [email protected] for assistance.
Our office will also be closed for the holidays between Dec. 24 - Jan. 4th. Please see the resources below should you need any urgent assistance.
Resources in the community:
Addiction Services Thames Valley
ADSTV has launched a selection of Supportive Information Sessions online at adstv.ca. These recorded sessions and downloadable tools are based on ones previously offered nearly every weekday at their facility. ADSTV is also preparing to provide services in a face-to-face setting. Visit their website for updates.
Hydro bill assistance
Monday July 13th, eligible London Hydro customers who have fallen behind on their bills because of the pandemic can apply for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program. For details on the program see: http://oeb.ca/CEAP To apply check: http://londonhydro.com on Monday
Online Tool to Find COVID-19 Financial Help
The Government of Canada has released a new web-based benefits finder tool to help people living in Canada determine which government benefits programs best meet their needs. The tool includes provincial benefit programs.
The Canadian Mental Health Association has launched Friendly Callers, a new outreach program that matches volunteers with seniors for a weekly check-in. If you, your parents, your neighbours, or any senior you know would like to participate in this program, call CMHA at 519-434-9191 ext. 2223 or email [email protected] Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Emergency Community Support Fund
Community service agencies can now apply for emergency funding through the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF). These funds are for you to respond to COVID-19 in your community.
Canadian Mental Health Association
The Canadian Mental Health Association has put together a list of supports available in Ontario.
London Small Business webinars
The London Small Business Centre has compiled a collection of webinars covering a range of business topics. The webinars listed are offered by our local community, organizations throughout Ontario and beyond.
LifeSpin put together this list of resources for folks in London.
CLEO has a legal resource specifically for COVID-19 related issues.
The Ontario Government has created a centralized COVID-19 page which can be found here.
Middlesex-London Health Unit has opened two COVID-19 screening centres. For more on that and other public health information visit Middlesex-London Health Unit’s page here.
If you are interested in up-to-date information regarding Ontario Government announcements and programs I recommend monitoring the Ontario Newsroom.