By Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton
The Queen’s passing
We were saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II last week.
As the longest-reigning monarch in history, she saw generations of growth and advancement in Canada as a nation. Her signing of the Constitution Act granted Canada the ability to amend our constitution with full autonomy. She paved the way for Canada to become a completely self-governing nation while maintaining strong ties to Canada’s history and heritage.
With her strength and fortitude, she served as a highly respected role model for generations of women both in Canada and throughout the world.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Canada 23 times, beginning in 1951 when she was Princess Elizabeth, to her final visit to Canada in 2010. Because she visited Ottawa on the majority of her trips to Canada, many residents in the Carleton riding have fond memories of seeing her in person, or of the excitement of welcoming her to our beautiful city. Those are memories that will be cherished forever.
As we mourn her passing and reflect on her reign and her legacy, our thoughts and prayers are with all members of the Royal Family, and in particular, His Majesty King Charles III.
Speaking of events returning to normal, it was great to see the return of the Richmond Fair and its four days of events last weekend.
The fair has served the entire agricultural community throughout Carleton for more than 175 years. To put that into perspective, the fair, which began in 1844, is a full generation older than Canada itself.
Congratulations go to Bruce Bain, Rae Ann Litle, Sheri Kavanagh, Denise Crawford, and everyone else on the Richmond Agricultural Society and Richmond Fair boards who worked diligently through the year to make this year’s fair one of the best ever!
With the Richmond Fair in the books, the next big fair in Carleton is the Metcalfe Fair.
In addition to the popular midway and entertainment shows, there will also be East Carleton 4-H and Carleton 4-H sheep and dairy shows, heavy horse hitch classes and heavy horse pulls, antique tractor displays and judging, a light horse show and agricultural educational displays.
There is also a demolition derby on the first night of the fair, Thurs., Sept. 29, at 7 p.m.
My constituency office will be at the fair with our tent, so I hope you can stop by and say hello!
Based on guidance from Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), the Ontario government is offering the bivalent COVID-19 booster dose to all Ontarians aged 18 and over, beginning with the most vulnerable populations.
Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore stated the bivalent COVID-19 booster is a safe and effective way for people to better protect themselves against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variants in Ontario. He encourages all Ontarians aged five and over to receive the booster dose they are eligible for.
The bivalent COVID-19 booster appointments can be booked for the most vulnerable populations, including:
- individuals aged 70 and over;
- residents of long-term care homes, retirement homes, Elder Care Lodges and individuals living in other congregate settings that provide assisted-living and health services;
- First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over;
- moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals aged 12 and over;
- pregnant individuals aged 18 and over; and
- health care workers aged 18 and over.
To prioritize distribution to these populations, new booster appointments for Ontarians aged 18 and over will be paused until September 26. However, to allow for convenient planning and preparation, individuals 18 years of age and older who do not belong to a priority population can start booking their appointments today, the availability of which is based on shipment schedules and supply from the federal government. All previously booked booster appointments for September 12 to 25 will be honoured and, if available, the bivalent vaccine will be offered.
Individuals can receive the bivalent booster at the recommended interval of at least six months from their previous dose, regardless of how many boosters they have already received.
Appointments can be booked through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre (PVCC) at 1-833-943-3900. Eligible individuals can also book an appointment directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating health care providers and participating pharmacies. Pregnant individuals and health care workers booking from September 12 to 25 must call the PVCC or book booster dose appointments through participating pharmacies.
Long-term care, retirement home and Elder Care Lodge residents may receive their bivalent booster dose directly through the congregate home where they live.
The bivalent vaccine, along with continued access to testing and antivirals and updated public health guidance, gives Ontarians the tools they need to make the best decisions for themselves on how to stay safe, healthy and out of hospitals as the province continues its efforts to support the recovery and rebuilding of the health system.
If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, please contact the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired: 1-866-797-0007), which is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and capable of providing assistance in more than 300 languages.
If you have questions about vaccinating your child, speak with your health care provider or contact the COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service at sickkids.ca/vaccineconsult or 1-888-304-6558 to book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids’ Registered Nurse or the Scarborough Health Network VaxFacts Clinic at shn.ca/vaxfacts or 416-438-2911, ext. 5738 to speak with a qualified physician.
For more information about treatment options, contact your primary care provider, visit a clinical assessment centre, or call Health Connect Ontario at 811 or 1-866-797-0007 (toll-free TTY) for more information on treatments, assistance, or eligibility for virtual care options.
My office is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. If you require assistance on any matter, please contact me at any time. My staff and I will be happy to assist. Even if it’s not a provincial issue, I’ll make sure to connect you with the proper office.
Your voice at Queen’s Park