Happy Thanksgiving Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Published on October 09, 2020

Thanksgiving in 2020 will be a celebration unlike any other.

This year, neighbours, friends and family have endured monumental challenges, and in some cases, devastating loss as a result of COVID-19.

At the same time, we are all keenly aware that the situation could have been worse; and in many cases, COVID-19 brought out the very best in people across communities. Volunteers stepped up to run errands, to provide rides, to deliver food and to donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Our frontline workers came through magnificently; truckers and merchants, too worked ceaselessly to keep store shelves stocked with the things we need.

For all of their contributions and generosity, we are truly thankful.

While most Canadians, especially Torontonians, would not think of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 as any kind of blessing, in fact it was the SARS outbreak which motivated Canada to create the Public Health Agency of Canada, which had 15 years to work and get organized for the COVID-19 outbreak. Since 2003, Ontario has been a leader and a significant contributor to the Federal/Provincial/Territorial team which works continuously to ensure lines of communications and assistance are open and functioning smoothly.

As Premier Ford has noted repeatedly since March, Ontario’s excellent working relations with the federal government have been key to our success.

When you compare Ontario’s results to other jurisdictions – including the confused and fractious situation in the United States – you can see how our collective efforts have paid off. Teamwork, co-operation and goodwill are the hallmarks of the Ontario Spirit and are among our greatest blessings. When these elements are not present, no amount of money can fix a problem.

Nowhere is the Ontario Spirit more evident than at the Daily Bread Foodbank, right here in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. This weekend I will be joining others to help sort, package and distribute food for people struggling with poverty, homelessness and hunger. Daily Bread Foodbank has set an ambitious goal of raising over $1.9 million and collecting over 272,000 lbs of non-perishable food during their Thanksgiving campaign. Let’s help them reach their goal!
Our “Etobicoke Spirit” has also been on display, through:

  • Canoe4Covid: Tim Mulligan from Etobicoke – Lakeshore along with 5 friends embarked on a 60-day, 2000 km canoe trip across Ontario to raise funds for Food Banks Canada. Their grit, determination and deep commitment exemplifies the true Etobicoke Spirit.
  • Bernadette Whelly: Bernadette put together a team of volunteers called ‘Mom for Masks’ and supplied facemasks to hospitals and long term care homes. She managed to gather 125 volunteers from the community and they made around 3000 masks.
  • Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre: Throughout the pandemic members of the Tibetan Ontario community have worked tirelessly to provide help to those in need. On numerous occasions in the past few months, the centre has arranged for delivery of hot meals to long-term care and community centres including Lakeshore Lodge, LAMP and Stonegate Community Health Centre. They also generously donated non surgical masks for frontline workers.
  • Global Medic: A charity foundation based in Etobicoke - Lakeshore, has established several programs to assist those affected by COVID-19. I had the privilege to join them in packaging hygiene kits for our frontline workers, senior homes and long-term care facilities. They also provided dried food packages, which were distributed to food banks, shelters and similar institutions across the province including LAMP in south Etobicoke.

While shopping for and celebrating Thanksgiving this year, Ontarians will need to continue to observe guidelines for social distancing and minimizing exposure; I hope we can all consider these small inconveniences as reminders of what we are willing to do to keep everyone safe, healthy and secure.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!