I hope you and your families are enjoying the season!

Recently, I was humbled to be sworn in as Ontario’s Associate Minister of Transportation. In September 2003, I came to Canada at the age of 14 just a week before starting high school. I owe everything that I’ve accomplished to my family, friends, teachers and this very community in Scarborough that has welcomed me with open arms.

This year marks 20 years since coming to Canada, and it comes with the honour of serving in Ontario’s cabinet.

I could not have done this without the support of my constituents in Scarborough–Rouge Park. For the past five years, I have been able to learn from your feedback, while understanding the many needs in our community and across the province. I look forward to continuing to serve you as your voice at Queen’s Park.

Investing in Toronto’s Long-Term Success

There is no doubt that the current pressures facing our city are unique, decades in the making, and growing. They have resulted in structural challenges that pose a risk to Toronto’s long-term success.

That is why I am proud the Ontario government is working alongside the City of Toronto to establish a new deal working group with a mandate to achieve long-term stability and sustainability of Toronto’s finances. I want to be clear, this does not mean we should cut services or raise taxes when our community is already struggling with the cost of living. Instead, we will invest in long-term economic growth.

At the same time, we are also taking leadership in the crisis of asylum seekers coming into Toronto. We are investing $42 million through the Canada Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) program to support impacted municipalities across the province in providing urgent assistance to a rapidly growing number of asylum claimants and free up shelter space. However, we are still calling on the federal government to step up and help fund this issue and others that we see here in Toronto.

It will take all three levels of government to tackle these issues, and I look forward to working with my municipal and federal counterparts to deliver on our shared priorities.

Staying Healthy in Respiratory Illness Season

Just a quick reminder for everyone to stay safe this respiratory illness season and prevent unnecessary visits to the hospital by staying up-to-date on your vaccinations, including flu, RSV and COVID-19.

Starting this month, flu shots will be made available to high-risk populations who are most susceptible to complications, with free flu shots for the general public aged six months and older available starting October 30.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Finally, I would like to take a moment and wish you and your family all the very best this Thanksgiving!

I am always grateful to be serving you at the Ontario Legislature, and for the amazing community we have here in Scarborough!

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our office at 8130 Sheppard Ave. East Unit 105, by email at vijay.thanigasalam@pc.ola.org, or give us a call at 416-283-8448.