April 16th, 2021

Scarborough Southwest MPP urges the government to urgently prioritize Scarborough as vaccine clinics close

QUEEN’S PARK — Doly Begum, NDP MPP for Scarborough Southwest, is calling on the Ford government to commit to sending Scarborough its equitable share of COVID-19 vaccines and take powerful public health measures immediately to protect one of Ontario’s hardest hit communities.

Begum’s call comes after the cancellation of 10,000 vaccination appointments in Scarborough, where almost one in four COVID-19 tests have been coming back positive.

“Scarborough is home to many essential workers, frontline workers, racialized communities, low-income folks, who are facing a very different pandemic than many others in this province,” said Begum. “Our ICUs are overflowing, patients are getting transferred to hospitals in other cities, and entire families are ending up in critical care due to this deadly third wave.

“Scarborough should be getting more life-saving shots, not watching thousands of vaccination appointments get cancelled overnight. But not only has Premier Ford shortchanged our community of life-saving shots, he has put people’s lives in jeopardy by re-opening too soon and refusing to give people protections like widespread in-workplace testing and paid sick days.”

“Our emergency department, hospital wards and ICU are filled with sick COVID patients. Our team has been working around the clock and well over their capacity throughout this past year. We continue to provide exemplary care for our patients, but we need the government to step up and do the same for Scarborough.” said Dr. Lisa Salamon, an ER physician in Scarborough.

“We need them to direct a significant and equitable amount of vaccines to Scarborough immediately so that we can protect our community. We need the Ford government to tighten restrictions, to protect essential workers and their families living in Scarborough. They need to urgently shut down any workplaces that are not critical until we have this third wave under control.”

Begum is demanding that as vaccines come in from the Federal Government, the Province distributes more vaccines into hard-hit communities like Scarborough based on risk.

“We can save lives if we hurry vaccines to hot spots, and we must,” said Begum. “I’m imploring the government to send Scarborough its fair share of life-saving shots.

“I’m grateful to our health care workers for doing everything possible to protect our community, but we can’t do it alone: we need the province’s support now.”

Click here to view video from this morning's press conference.