Staying In Touch May’21

With Coucillor Gary Crawford

By Gary Crawford

I hope you are all continuing to keep well, amid the latest lockdown restrictions. It was great to connect with so many of you at my recent Virtual Vaccine Town Hall with Dr. de Villa and Chief Pegg. I realize that it has sometimes been difficult to navigate the vaccine rollout, especially given the involvement of multiple levels of government. I do hope that my office was able to facilitate information-sharing and clarity around the vaccination process. We will continue to share the latest COVID-19 related information via my e-newsletter, as well as my social media accounts.

As far as non-pandemic related items go, I have recently begun working with staff to look into the feasibility of introducing a designated area along the waterfront to conduct post-funeral rites, such as the scattering of ashes. Although such ceremonies have occurred for quite some time on an informal basis, the matter was recently brought to the forefront through coverage by several media outlets. Although some park patrons have expressed concern over the non-decomposable items that are sometimes left behind during such ceremonies, we must recognize and respect that such ceremonies are a traditional practice of many cultures. I believe that the creation of a designated area would be ideal in providing citizens with a formal space to conduct such ceremonies, while also granting the City some degree of oversight regarding environmental concerns. Successful models for this exist in neighbouring jurisdictions, so we will begin by studying these models to gain a better understanding of their suitability to our context.

In other news, City staff are currently in the midst of conducting a city-wide clean-up, which will continue into mid-May. Through these efforts, staff from various departments, including Transportation Services, Solid Waste Management Services, Parks, Forestry and Recreation and Municipal Licensing and Standards, have been tasked with cleaning parks, roads, sidewalks, ravines and other public spaces. In past years, these efforts were made in conjunction with community-based clean-up initiatives. However, such initiatives have had to be put on hold in accordance with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and may be subject to rescheduling, pending the improvement of pandemic-related conditions in the coming months. If you know of a location in Scarborough Southwest which could benefit from such attention, please reach out to my office or 311.

Finally, I would like to extend a friendly reminder to please adhere to the most up to date pandemic guidelines. Given that we are over a year into the pandemic, it almost goes without saying, but we all need to continue to do our part as instances of non-compliance only set us back further. I realize the lockdown has been inconveniencing all around, but we have seen an alarmingly rapid increase in the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the preceding weeks. We must not be lax in our efforts, out of respect to all the frontline workers in healthcare, retail and other relevant sectors who have tirelessly continued to perform their duties to support us through the ongoing pandemic. We may not all be able to make the same sacrifices based on our respective circumstances, but it is important that we each do our very best.

As always, please feel free to contact my office with any issues, comments or feedback. We’ll do our very best to assist you.