With Coucillor Gary Crawford
By Gary Crawford
It is my hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! As I am sure many of you will agree, it was a bit strange to be apart from so many loved ones, while celebrating a holiday centred on togetherness. On Thanksgiving Sunday, I cooked my traditional turkey and ham with all of the fixings, but this year my family and I created takeout packages for all of the extended family and friends who typically gather at our home.
My recent Thanksgiving Food Drive in support of the Scarborough Food Security Initiative was also a great success, bringing in over 2500lbs of much needed food for the community. Thank you to everyone who came out to support the event.
By now, many of us have settled into adjusted routines amid the pandemic. Whether you have had to stock up on sanitizer and masks for daily errands or have had to avoid leaving your home altogether, we have all been required to change how we go about our usual activities to some extent. Although we have become accustomed to these routines, it does not make it any easier to miss out on simple joys, like going out for dinner and a movie or attending a party with family and friends.
What has become the challenge within a greater challenge is how we balance public health with the other various facets of life. Although public health remains of paramount importance, we have seen the effects the quarantine and its various iterations have had on areas such as economic activity and mental health. The City has made efforts to lessen the broader impacts of COVID-19 on these areas and will continue to do so going forward; however, we also require your support and cooperation in order for these efforts to be successful.
My office has received many messages conveying patience and understanding throughout this challenge, but we have also received more than a few messages expressing a sense of dread and frustration toward the inconveniences resulting from renewed precautionary measures. It is perfectly reasonable for us all to experience these feelings to some extent, but we cannot afford to become complacent. Non-compliance weakens our collective efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and has the counterproductive effect of dragging out such inconveniences. COVID-19 is a very real challenge which has affected people in very tangible ways. Some have lost their livelihoods, some are grappling with the effects of social isolation and some have not had the fortune of seeing the other side of the pandemic. In moments where we may be tempted to become lax in our efforts, we must be cognizant of all of these people.
We are all sharing similar emotions, fears and frustrations – with my staff feeling much of the same, in addition to their frustration in trying to meet requests and expectations of individuals throughout Ward 20.
Our office has received a much higher influx of calls and emails than we typically experience in regard to a variety of topics ranging from typical city service-related inquiries to general uncertainty caused by the ongoing pandemic. Although we endeavour to respond to each and every message in a timely manner, it has been difficult to respond to inquiries as quickly as we desire. I thank those of you who have been so incredible working with us over the past months, for your patience and understanding. Please rest assured that our commitment to serving you has not faltered. I would be remiss if I did not thank City Staff, as well, for striving to work with us for the best possible responses and solutions.
As always, if you have any concerns regarding municipal matters, please feel free to contact my office by telephone at 416-392-4052 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to do our best to work together with you, in order to provide assistance and facilitate solutions.