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  • Tuesday, December 22, 2020 16:22 | Meherwan Wadia (Administrator)

    Direct link to provincial website message link, click here.

    Province Expands Support for Learners Program and Lowers Hydro Bills

    Toronto — The Ontario government is providing new financial supports for individuals, families and small businesses, as they do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the province's health care system during the Provincewide Shutdown. The province is expanding the Support for Learners program to include secondary school students and lowering electricity prices to a discounted off-peak rate 24/7 for all time-of-use and tiered customers.

    Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy.

    "We are asking people to make greater sacrifices to help contain this deadly virus, whether that's staying home or asking their employees to work from home where possible," said Premier Ford. "In response, our government is providing people and businesses with additional financial relief to help them get through this very difficult period."

    In January 2021, students aged 13 through Grade 12 will be eligible for funding under an expanded Support for Learners program. Parents or guardians will receive a one-time payment of $200 per eligible student to help offset education expenses. Support will be available for those who attend a public or private school or who are homeschooled.

    As part of the Provincewide Shutdown, elementary students will be studying virtually until January 11, 2021. Secondary students in Northern Ontario will be studying virtually until January 11, 2021 and secondary students in Southern Ontario will be studying virtually until January 25, 2021. This additional funding will provide support for families impacted by these recent restrictions. While transmission in schools remains low, these approaches will help further limit community spread of COVID-19.

    "While Ontario schools remain safe, we won't take any chances following the holidays — we will pivot to teacher-led online learning to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," said Minister Lecce. "We are providing direct financial support to parents of elementary and now high school children to help them get through this pandemic."

    Application instructions will be available on the Support for Learners web page starting in January 2021. Secondary school student applications will be open from January 11, 2021 to February 8, 2021. The application deadline for Support for Learners for children or youth aged 0 to 12 and for children or youth aged 0 to 21 with special needs is being extended to February 8, 2021.

    This support is part of over $900 million in direct financial support that the Ministry of Education has provided to parents since the start of the pandemic.

    To support people as they stay home during the Provincewide Shutdown, the government will hold electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 centsperkilowatt-hour for all time-of-use and tiered customers on a temporary basis starting January 1, 2021. This low rate will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for a 28-day period. The off-peak price will automatically be applied to bills of all residential, small business, and farm customers who pay regulated rates. 

    "As we enter a Provincewide Shutdown, our government is ensuring that all households have stable and predictable electricity bills when they need it most," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. "Staying home means using more electricity, especially during the day when electricity prices are usually higher. We will continue to support hardworking families and small businesses doing their part by staying home."

    The province is also making it easier for families and businesses to get the support they need to help pay their energy bills through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Any residential, small business, or registered charity customer with an overdue electricity or natural gas bill will now be eligible to apply. A residential customer can receive up to $750 to help cover their electricity bill and an additional $750 for their natural gas bill. Small businesses can receive up to $1500 for each. Newly eligible customers can apply for these enhanced benefits through their local utility, starting in January 2021.

     

    QUICK FACTS

    • Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover provides a total of $13.5 billion in direct support for families, workers and employers, in addition to $11.3 billion in cash flow support.
    • As part of the commitment to keep students safe, the government made available $1.3 billion to support the safe reopening of schools - the most robust and comprehensive plan in the entire country. This includes an additional $381 million from the federal government’s Safe Return to Class Fund.
    • To date, the new Support for Learners program has received almost 1.3 million applications and provided more than $175 million in funding to support over 850,000 children and students since November 30, 2020.
    • According to data reported by school boards as of Friday, December 18: approximately 99.64 per cent of students in Ontario have not reported a case of COVID-19; approximately 92 per cent of schools across the province have had either no cases or one case reported within the last 14 days; and approximately 80 per cent of schools do not have a reported case of COVID-19.
    • In March, the government suspended time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour 24/7 for time-of-use residential, small business, and farm customers for a period of 45 days.
    • From June 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020, the government introduced a new fixed COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour to provide relief to time-of-use customers.


  • Tuesday, December 22, 2020 12:41 | Meherwan Wadia (Administrator)

    Now more than ever, we’re so grateful to the Zoroastrian community that has funded, volunteered, celebrated, and advocated for the Zoroastrian Society of Ontario (ZSO) throughout the years. At a time today, when everything feels uncertain, we hope you will find comfort and encouragement knowing that you care about your community, your organization, your beliefs, customs and religious practices.

    While much of the world has stopped, our mission to serve the Zarthushti community will not be placed on pause. Since the pandemic started, all ZSO volunteers have stepped up to the plate, with online activities from the Seniors to the youth, from the Priests to all.


    ZSO has steadfastly followed and complied with the guidelines of the Provincial Government and the Public Health authorities to contain the spread of the Corona-virus pandemic. 
    The partial and full closure and lockdown at the Mehraban Guiv Darbe Mehr, has had a devastating effect on the financial resources of ZSO. Major income generating events have been affected by the pandemic. The Fasli Muktad, Jamshedi Nowrooz celebrations, Shenshai Muktad, Khordad Saal to name a few which all switched to online streaming. This has had a devastating blow on foot traffic at the Darbe Mehr, donations, collections in the safe etc.

    Irrespective of the closure, ZSO has had to maintain and pay for all day to day running expenses, like the Caretaker salary, supplies, heat, hydro, cleaning, taxes, building repair and maintenance, grass cutting and lawn-maintenance, snow removal and salting, removing fallen trees, additional expenses for technology resources to provide live-streaming, online events, etc. This year, as committed, we have also completed the replacement of the aging linoleum flooring in the main hall with the beautiful tiling that is ready for the community to enjoy for many years to come, once we are able to safely re-open our doors. In addition, to meet Public Health requirements, we had to engage outside cleaning personnel to regularly clean and disinfect areas used including washrooms during our reduced operating hours.

    That’s why your Board has decided to reach out to our community with this appeal for your financial support at this critical time. As an initial goal, we hope to reach $10,000 by the end of January, 2021. As the safest, simplest, and most effective way to support ZSO, your donation can help us as we adapt to ever-changing circumstances due to COVID-19.

    While all of us are facing great challenges at this time, we hope that you can find some peace and comfort knowing that your generosity will be directed to a good cause for your organization. That shining holy place of worship, our Darbe Mehr, will always be there for you and your families.


    Donations can be made online at https://www.zso.org/Donate (please select NO to the question "Donation to the FEZANA Professorship at U of T" if your donation is for ZSO’s Operational Cost use) or complete the manual donation form provided on the website or Newsletter, with cheques made payable to the "ZOROASTRIAN SOCIETY OF ONTARIO" and mailed to the MGDM, attention: ZSO Treasurer. All online and cheque donations in excess of $20 will be provided with a tax receipt; online donors will receive the same by email immediately upon completing the donation. No donation is too small and all monies collected will be directed to the upkeep of your Darbe Mehr. You can consider a one-time donation, or monthly payments, if that works best for you.

    Your Darbe Mehr has been a shining beacon there for you during happy times and family events like navjotes, weddings, religious celebrations, religious education, Scouts, Seniors events and the like as also for solemn occasions for death and Muktad prayers.

    Now the Darbe Mehr and your ZSO is hoping to kindle the fire in you to support your Darbe Mehr and your shining place of worship in this hour of need.

    Needless to add, we truly appreciate your support through your ZSO membership. We urge you to renew your membership each year - its simple and quick to do On-line by using your secure login here and encourage your family and friends to join ZSO; now is the time! Please visit:

    https://www.zso.org/join-us

    We look forward to the community's support to help ZSO through this challenging time and emerge stronger together to carry out our Society's objectives well into the future.

    Thank you.

    On behalf of the Board of Directors,

    Mashya Amroliwalla 
    President
    Zoroastrian Society of Ontario 

    December 22, 2020


  • Wednesday, November 25, 2020 12:00 | Anahita Ogra (Administrator)

    Nov 25, 2020

    With the evolving COVID-19 Pandemic and rising cases, the city of Toronto is in a lockdown. Keeping the health and safety of our custodian and members as top priority, as well as following the changes under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for places of worship and the specific conditions which include limiting capacity and ensuring that public health measures are followed such as face coverings, physical distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfecting, the ZSO Board of Directors has decided to CLOSE the Mehraban Guiv Darb e Meher (MGDM) until further notice. 

    MGDM is CLOSED effective immediately.

    All upcoming visits to MGDM are cancelled with the exception of any death prayers with a limited capacity of 10 people including the priest and custodian.  These bookings MUST be booked by contacting Hoofrish Patel (evp@zso.org).

    We thank you for your patience and appreciate your cooperation.

    When visiting the MGDM please be reminded of the following mandatory requirements and guidelines:

    • Use the online self-assessment tool before every visit to the MGDM
    • Wearing a non-medical mask/face covering is mandatory
    • Bring your own prayer book and head covering
    • Refrain from bringing Sukhar, loban or other prayer related items from home
    • Maintain a social distance of two meters/six feet
    • Follow entry and exit signs
    • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
    • Avoid opportunities for the virus to spread through touch, either directly or indirectly through surfaces and objects, including objects that may be used in rituals or ceremonies

    Suspended Services

    • Drop in visits
    • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
    • Navjote, weddings and other close contact activities
    • Consumption of food and drink remains suspended
    • Indoor singing, use of instruments and choir service
    • Sharing and distribution of materials and objects such as books, scarves, caps, water, etc.



  • Wednesday, November 18, 2020 22:08 | Anahita Ogra (Administrator)

    Nov 18, 2020

    With the evolving COVID-19 Pandemic and rising cases, the city of Toronto is listed in the Red Zone. Keeping the health and safety of our custodian and members as top priority, as well as following the changes under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for places of worship and the specific conditions which include limiting capacity and ensuring that public health measures are followed such as face coverings, physical distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfecting, the ZSO Board of Directors has decided to revise the MGDM visiting hours. 

    MGDM revised hours of operations effective immediately are: 

    Saturday 9am - 12pm 

    All visits to MGDM remain by appointment only and MUST  be booked at least 24 hours in advance, by contacting Hoofrish Patel (evp@zso.org) and receiving her confirmation. Please note if you do not have an appointment/confirmation your entry will be denied.

    We thank you for your patience and appreciate your cooperation.

    When planning a visit to the MGDM please be reminded of the following mandatory requirements and guidelines:

    • Use the online self-assessment tool before every visit to the MGDM
    • Wearing a non-medical mask/face covering is mandatory
    • Bring your own prayer book and head covering
    • Refrain from bringing Sukhar, loban or other prayer related items from home
    • Maintain a social distance of two meters/six feet
    • Follow entry and exit signs
    • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
    • Avoid opportunities for the virus to spread through touch, either directly or indirectly through surfaces and objects, including objects that may be used in rituals or ceremonies

    Suspended Services

    • Social gatherings, including those that occur before or after a prayer service remains suspended
    • Navjote and other close contact activities
    • Consumption of food and drink remains suspended
    • Indoor singing, use of instruments and choir service
    • Sharing and distribution of materials and objects such as books, scarves, caps, water, etc.

    Disclaimers and resources:

    “All visits to the MGDM are voluntary and at the visitor’s own discretion. Visitors must comply with applicable guidelines including limits on numbers, wearing of masks and physical distancing. All visitors are responsible for their own health & safety as well as respecting the health & safety of those around them.” 
    "Visitors must self-screen with the ZSO volunteer present when entering the MGDM at each visit. The volunteer will record the date, their name and contact information (phone and/or email) and that will only be used for contact tracing for COVID-19 purposes and will only be kept on file for 30 days.”


  • Sunday, November 15, 2020 23:04 | Anahita Ogra (Administrator)

    Click on the image to see the menu and order form.


  • Thursday, August 06, 2020 15:05 | Anahita Ogra (Administrator)

    The city of Toronto has entered stage 3 of the provincial reopening on Friday July 31st.   As a result of this announcement, we are in Stage 3 of reopening by following the changes under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for places of worship with some specific conditions. These conditions include limiting capacity and ensuring that public health measures are followed such as face coverings, physical distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfecting.  

     Click here or visit the COVID-19 Updates section for more details regarding the upcoming Shahenshahi Farvardegan days (Agu 11th - 15th).

  • Saturday, August 01, 2020 16:21 | Anahita Ogra (Administrator)

    The city of Toronto is preparing to oversee the safe restart of more businesses and services following the Province of Ontario’s announcement as it entered stage 3 of the provincial reopening on Friday July 31st.   As a result of this announcement, we are in Stage 3 of reopening by following the changes under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for places of worship with some specific conditions. Click here or visit the COVID-19 Updates section for more details.


  • Thursday, July 30, 2020 23:41 | Anahita Ogra (Administrator)


    Farvardegan Prayers Schedule

    August 11th – 16th, 2020

    Live Streamed via ZSO YouTube Channel

    August 11, 2020:

    7:00 AM - Morning Satum (Click here)

    7:30 AM - Afringan and Farokshi (Click here)

    11:30 AM - Afternoon Satum (Click here)

    7:00 PM - Evening Satum (Click here)

    August 12, 2020:

    7:00 AM - Morning Satum (Click here)

    7:30 AM - Afringan and Farokshi (Click here)

    11:30 AM - Afternoon Satum (Click here)

    7:00 PM - Evening Satum (Click here)

    August 13, 2020:

    7:00 AM - Morning Satum (Click here)

    7:30 AM - Afringan and Farokshi (Click here)

    11:30 AM - Afternoon Satum (Click here)

    7:00 PM - Evening Satum (Click here)

    August 14, 2020:

    7:00 AM - Morning Satum (Click here)

    7:30 AM - Afringan and Farokshi (Click here)

    11:30 AM - Afternoon Satum (Click here)

    7:00 PM - Evening Satum (Click here)

    August 15, 2020:

    8:00 AM - Morning Satum (Click here)

    8:30 AM - Afringan and Farokshi (Click here)

    11:30 AM - Afternoon Satum (Click here)

    7:00 PM - Evening Satum (Click here)

    August 16, 2020:

    4:15 AM - Night Afringan and Satum (Click here) - This prayer is a live stream ONLY

    All visits to the MGDM will be by appointment only and MUST be booked in advance, a minimum 24 hours prior to the day of the visit, by contacting Afreed Mistry (EVP@zso.org) and receiving her confirmation. 

    Please note if you do not have an appointment/confirmation your entry will be denied.

  • Friday, July 17, 2020 11:45 | Meherwan Wadia (Administrator)

    The provincial Government has established guidelines to gradually reopen the province and ease restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so. We have entered Stage 2 of reopening by following the changes under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) for places of worship with some specific conditions. These conditions include limiting capacity and ensuring that public health measures are followed such as face coverings, physical distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfecting.

    As we cautiously and gradually plan the reopening, participation in religious services is increased from 10 to 15 people including the priest, additionally now the MGDM will be open for drop in visits with revised hours of operation and protocols to follow.

    The MGDM revised hours of operations starting, July 21, 2020 are;

    • Tuesday 4pm - 8pm
    • Saturday 9am - 12pm

    All visits to the MGDM will be by appointment only and MUST be booked 24 hours in advance, prior to the day of the visit by contacting Afreed Mistry (evp@ZSO.org) and receiving her confirmation. Please note if you do not have an appointment/confirmation your entry will be denied.

    We thank you for your patience and appreciate your cooperation as we gradually and safely reopen, keeping the safety of our custodian and the community at large as the top priority. 

    Click here for more details on reopening of Faith Based Organizations in the City of Toronto

  • Saturday, June 27, 2020 12:00 | Anonymous

    There will continue to be NO gatherings allowed at the MGDM in keeping with the Government of Ontario’s orders. The in-person attendance for prayers at the MGDM is now increased to 10 people ONLY including the priest(s) and must be arranged in advance by contacting Afreed Mistry (evp@zso.org).

    Any additional people will NOT be allowed to enter the premises.

    For more information on Ontario prohibiting gatherings for more than five people with strict exceptions and further updates visit the site here

    Stay Home, Be Safe and Save Lives.

    Please stay tuned, as we’re working diligently for the next steps of reopening including drop in visits to the Darb-e-Mehr.

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