Keeping Canadians safe during this pandemic

Dear Scarborough–Rouge Park,

I wanted to share a message with you about my thoughts on the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

When 2020 started off, few of us would have predicted that the coronavirus would have such an impact on our lives. But we live in an interconnected world and an interconnected community so all of our actions, and in some cases, inaction, will affect each other. 

During this time, I want to assure you that the federal government, following the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal cabinet ministers and Canada’s highly proficient medical officials, are taking the right measures to keep Canadians safe. Many of these measures have been in place since earlier this year, with appropriate timely measures being introduced as the pandemic worsens. In the coming days, new measures and supports for public health, the Canadian economy and travel will be made available.

Public Health Officials across all levels of government are working towards flattening the curve of the spread of the coronavirus. They want to ensure that the outbreak here does not spike to the point where our health systems are overburdened. This includes ensuring we are able to handle all those who are ill, test presumptive cases in a timely manner, and ensure the safety of our most vulnerable. 

That is why all three levels of government have taken extraordinary steps to curtail and limit social interaction. Many events in the coming weeks and months have been cancelled. As disappointing as these cancellations may be, they are for the greater good. So far, we know in Ontario that schools are cancelled until April 5, and that community centres and other spaces are closed until further notice. Many people have been given options to work from home. 

Despite the cancellations and closures, there are many in our community who still will be working to help Canadians. These include our emergency service workers: police, fire departments, ambulance services, and health-care workers. They are joined by those who work in grocery stores, banks and other essential services, including many public servants working in all levels of government. We are grateful for all those who are working around the clock to support Canadians in these difficult times. Their dedication and determination to serve all of us cannot be underscored. They have a special place in all of our hearts. 

I have received many calls from small business owners, workers, and others who are deeply affected by this. The uncertainty and the jolt to our economy will be felt by many. Our government has taken steps to open up the credit lines for our banks so that our economy could be liquid, and we will announce further measures to help Canadians get through these tough times. 

I was a small business owner in the middle of the 2008 financial meltdown and I had to make difficult decisions. The anxiety of the unknown kept me awake many nights. The key is that we remain calm and focus on getting through the next few weeks. Rebuilding and supporting our economy will happen after the immediate health-care needs are met.

Canada is a vibrant country with enormous resources.  Our people are diverse and resilient. And our governments will work in tandem to help  Canadians recover and prosper. 

While we stand together as a nation and one community to face these days to come, let us take care of each other. Watch out for the most vulnerable in your community and make it safer for each other. Call or text a friend, neighbour or a family member who is working in the front lines to help us or might need help to get through this time.

I never underestimate the power and will of Canadians to come back – and this will be a story that we will look back on with pride in a few years. So enjoy these days with your kids and spouses, and let us be strong as we weather this storm. 

My staff and I will continue to work hard to support the constituents of Scarborough-Rouge Park during this time, but we have  decided to minimize face-to-face interaction to do our part in flattening the curve and ensuring the health and safety of all our constituents. If anyone wants to speak to me directly, please call our office at 416-283-1414 and leave a message. I will be glad to connect. 

To receive more of the latest information and tips on how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, visit or call 1-833-784-4397. Residents can also receive information at

Just be assured, our public health teams know what they are doing and we should all follow their advice. Your governments will work to bring things back to normalcy as soon as we can. 

Yours very truly,

Gary Anandasangaree