Salma Zahid
Salma Zahid
Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre
May 1 update to constituents on COVID-19 response
May 1, 2020


With May comes warmer weather, and hopefully we also come closer to the other side of this challenge we are all facing as Canadians make extraordinary sacrifices to win the fight against COVID-19.

We are beginning to see positive signs. The latest modelling data shows the curve appears to be bending. Provinces, in cooperation with the federal government, are beginning to release their plans for re-opening the economy and society. However, it will take time. And it will depend on all of us continuing to do our part.

At the same time, we see the heavy price that is being paid. The hardest hit has been seniors in long term care homes, including, sadly, here in Scarborough. We need to do better to protect these vulnerable seniors, and action is being taken to support the workers on the front lines in these homes.

A new month also brings new challenges for both residential and commercial renters and their landlords. Programs like CERB will help Canadians make their rent payments, and a new commercial rent program launched with the provinces will help hard-hit businesses pay commercial rent. And residential mortage holders can apply for payment deferals with their bank. I would ask landlords to work with your tenants in a cooperative fashion so we can all get through this together and emerge stronger on the other side.

This week, Parliament approved new support for students. I hope to have more information on applications for these programs soon. I also took part in the first virtual session of Parliament. I'm glad to see technology utilized to see Parliament continue its work, and for the government to continue to be accountable to Parliament and to Canadians.

I continue to press for stronger support for seniors. The government is listening, and I hope to have positive news to share soon.

Scarborough, we are stronger together. We're a generous and caring community, and that has shone through during this crisis. Let's continue to be there for each other.



Scarborough updates

Supporting Scarborough General Hospital

Thank you Scarborough York Region Chinese Business Association for donating 20,000 surgical masks to the Scarborough Health Network and Scarborough General Hospital. This generous donation is a big help for our health care heroes.

Toronto Public Library online resources

The Toronto Public Library has launched a new initiative where residents that do not have a library card can now access Overdrive, a collection of ebooks and audio books using the new instant digital card. These digital cards will expire September 1, 2020. This service available for individuals 13 years and older. For more information and to access the library digital services, please click here.

Virtual Ramadan calendar

Usually during Ramadan I circulate a paper calendar outside local mosques. As that's obviously not possible this year, please find here a link to a virtual version you can download and print at home. And thank you to everyone participating for remembering the rules of social distancing during this year's Ramadan.

Weekly town halls

My guest for this week's town hall was  Lee Soda, executive director of Agincourt Community Services and Dorset Park Hub. Lee and her team are doing great work supporting the community during COVID-19, and the demand on their services, including the food bank, is greater than ever.

You can find a replay of the town hall below, and the details on next week's event. Hope you can join us!

Local support and resources

My team has compiled a list of local resources for those in need, such as food banks, as well as services to assist vulnerable seniors with medication and grocery delivery.

Please seeCOVID19: Scarborough Centre community resources

National updates

More onSupport for individuals
More onSupport for businesses

Taking action on gun violence

Scarborough is a community that has suffered from gun violence. Too many mothers have lost their sons; too many lives have been cut short. I've sat with them, and I've heard their stories. I knocked on doors and campaigned last fall on a platform of action on gun control. In my first speech in this Parliament in March, I brought those voices to Ottawa.

One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many. Canadians deserve to live in a society where they can feel safe and secure from gun violence.

So I'm proud that today, our government has taken strong action. As of today, over 1,500 models and variants of these military-style assault firearms are prohibited. These firearms were designed for the battlefield, and they have no place on our streets. These weapons are so dangerous there is no place in a safe, civil society for them, and thus can no longer be legally used, sold or imported.

News releasePrime Minister announces ban on assault-style firearms
VideoFederal Government Announces Plan to Ban Sale of Assault Weapons

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