November 12th update
As we now are 103 years from the end of World War I and 76 years from the end of World War II and fewer and fewer veterans of these wars are with us, it is all the more important that we honour the legacy of all those who fought and perished and those who survived and returned. They and all others who have served in our armed forces deserve our undying gratitude. On Thursday, I joined Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and members of Council along with staff, volunteers and residents at Cote Saint-Luc’s Remembrance Day ceremonies. Simultaneously due to the miracles of Zoom, I had the pleasure of speaking at a number of other events across the riding and country including one honouring our Jewish war veterans organized by Larry Rosenthal. Let’s join together and make sure we all are inspired by our veterans and recognize their sacrifice and service.
This weekend was the third anniversary of the Prime Minister’s speech apologizing for Canada’s treatment of the Jewish community in the years leading up to the Second World War. Part of the apology was for the “none is too many” refugee policy that left Jews stranded in Europe, including those passengers on the MS St. Louis who were denied entry to Cuba, the United States and Canada and had to return to Europe. 254 of those passengers perished. But the apology dealt with much more, including the domestic antisemitism that denied Jews the right to purchase property in certain neighbourhoods, the quotas at universities like McGill, the inability to work in many businesses, the interning of some of the Jewish refugees that managed to reach our shored and so forth, I had asked for this apology in a speech I made in the House in 2016 and worked closely with my colleague Michael Levitt, staff in the Prime Minister’s Office and Jewish national organizations like CIJA and Bnai Brith on making this happen.
Last Sunday was the Municipal elections and I want to congratulate all those who were re-elected and elected in our riding. This includes Mayor Mitchell Brownstein in Cote Saint-Luc and newly elected Mayors Peter Malouf in TMR, Jeremy Levi in Hampstead and Gracia K. Katahwa in Cote Des Neiges/NDG. It includes newly elected Councillors Sonny Moroz in Snowdon and Stephanie Valenzuela in Darlington and all of those elected as Councillors in Cote Saint-Luc, TMR and Hampstead. I want to thank outgoing Mayors Philippe Roy, Bill Steinberg and Sue Montgomery for their service and devotion to the community and also thank Michelle Setlakwe and Lionel Perez who I have worked closely with. Their years of service should be recognized and honoured. I will work closely with all of our new councils and will be meeting with all of the Mayors shortly.
Over this week I have gotten a number of questions about issues that I have addressed in previous updates but just to reiterate some points. COVID testing is still required for re-entry to Canada, including at the land border. I have made the point to the Health Department that this needs to be reviewed and I was pleased to hear Dr. Tham that the requirement to test at the land border is indeed under review. I will include any news on this in my update but as of now, nothing has changed.
I have received questions and made interventions with the Health Department on the issue of not allowing children who are too young to be vaccinated to return to school or daycare for 14 days after they return from abroad, even if not required to quarantine. This requirement seems unlikely to change in the near future despite my interventions so would caution everyone accordingly although I will certainly include any change in this requirement in my updates.
On the issue of married women who have their married name on their Canadian passport and their maiden name on the vaccine passport to be used for travel, I think the issue is somewhat overblown. You simply need to carry identification establishing you are the same person to be shown to reasonable border guards. This could be a marriage certificate for example. But for those truly concerned, as the vaccine passport is issued by Quebec you need to convey your concerns to your MNA. I know both MNAs in our riding are well aware of this issue.
What was announced regarding booster shots in Quebec?
I was happy to hear last Thursday that Quebec will be offering a third vaccine dose to everyone 70 and older this month. On November 16th, all those 80 and over will be able to make their appointment. Thursday, the 18th, appointments will open up to people between the ages of 75-79 and the following Tuesday for people between 70-74.
People who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also be eligible for boosters this month. This optional booster dose is intended to optimize the effectiveness of vaccine coverage and I highly recommend getting it when it is your turn.
The province is already administering boosters in seniors’ residences and long-term care homes (CHSLDs), and to people who are immunocompromised or on dialysis. By the end of November, all residents of CHSLDs and private seniors’ homes will have been offered a third vaccine dose, Quebec Health Minister stated.
To make your vaccine appointment, please visit: https://portal3.clicsante.ca/
I would also note that the decision of who to provide boosters to is made by Quebec not the federal government. We are responsible for ensuring doses are available and providing guidance. As you know other provinces have already suggested a wider availability of boosters for the general population, six months after their second shot and I am sure Quebec is actively considering expanding the universe of those eligible.
What did the October 2021 Labour Force Survey show?
Earlier this week, the October 2021 Labour Force Survey was released, showing Canada’s labour market creating over 31,000 jobs in October after employment returned to pre-pandemic levels in September. The job numbers released by Statistics Canada show Canada’s labour market gaining 31,000 jobs in October, bringing our unemployment rate to 6.7%, its lowest since the start of this pandemic.
Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, we have surpassed our target of 1 million jobs, and are well on our way to creating even more jobs, growth, and prosperity for Canadians as we build back better from COVID-19.
This being said, our government understands that there are still many Canadians facing economic challenges. That is why we introduced measures that will focus on the regions and sectors of the economy which have yet to recover, by:
And, because of ongoing public health risks, we are also extending the CRSB and CRCB and creating the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to ensure workers have the support they need when they are unable to work due to local lockdowns.
Have you heard about my Youth Council?
The Mount Royal Constituency Youth Council is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 edition! The Youth Council is a unique and exciting opportunity for people aged 14 to 25 years old, living in Mount Royal to meet with their MP, connect and learn more about what we do and discuss important issues in Canadian federal politics.
Youth interesting in joining are encouraged to fill out this form: https://bit.ly/3wDwTaS