Community News Update - April 12, 2024

Dear Community, 

On Wednesday, the Ford conservatives said they would support my cosponsored Bill 173, The Intimate Partner Violence Act calling on the province to declare IPV an epidemic. I was incredibly proud to sponsor this bill that validates the lived experiences–the trauma–of countless survivors, their families, and the service providers who have routinely worked underpaid and understaffed under this government to help survivors cope. Importantly, our bill will help honour those who are no longer here. 

However, the fight is far from over. The government could’ve waived third reading and had the bill declared law right then and there. Instead, they announced they’d be sending our bill to committee for further study. Let me be clear, nobody asked for this–not the survivors, the community organizations, or families. Survivors shouldn’t have to wait any longer. We know that IPV is an epidemic. This was made clear in the Renfrew Inquest and the countless survivors who’ve echoed this call. We don’t need to study this further and delay the declaration any longer. Most importantly, we don't need to retraumatize survivors by demanding them to retell their stories time and time again. Their voices have been loud and clear. The time for action is NOW. We mustn't delay this any further. Yesterday, I rose in Question Period to demand urgent action from the government. Watch my full question here

I am honoured to have cosponsored this legislation with MPPs Lisa Gretzky, Kristyn Wong-Tam and Peggy Sattler. Although the outcome on Wednesday wasn't what we asked for, it was a step in the right direction.  This was only possible thanks to the countless survivors, community service providers, caring family members, and allies who've put their voices behind this call. Thank you especially to the 200 community members who travelled from across Ontario to join us for Wednesday's debate. Thank you to everyone who shared their stories. Thank you especially to those of you from our St. Paul's community who signed  petitions, sent letters, and showed up on Wednesday. Your support is vital. This work isn't over. I will continue to fight to ensure Bill 173 passes third reading and is given royal assent.


Conservatives Deliver Disappointing Housing Bill

Earlier this week, the government delivered a disappointing housing bill called Bill 185, the Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act, 2024. The bill is full of half-measures and reversals to fix some of the government's own terrible housing mistakes and spur the construction of some new housing.

The bill lacks the bold solutions the urgency of the housing crisis requires. It fully fails to address housing affordability in any meaningful way. In fact, the government is refusing to implement the recommendation of its own Housing Affordability Task Force, including legalizing fourplexes and four-storey multiplexes in all neighbourhoods as of right.

If this government truly had its sights set fixing the housing crisis, it would implement real rent control without delay. Further, it would invest in non-market housing without which the housing affordability crisis will continue. The government's bill will not make it easier for people to buy their first home, pay affordable rent, protect tenants from illegal eviction or reduce homelessness. 

This Monday, April 15th, MPP Jessica Bell, the Official Opposition Housing Critic will be hosting an interactive online briefing on the government's bill from 12-1pm. Click here to register and RSVP by emailing [email protected]. Have your say!

I'll continue to call for strong rent control, including vacancy control, to protect existing affordable housing for renters. I'll also continue to call for the construction of 1.5 million homes to address the supply crisis—something this government should've done many years ago. Read more here

Be A Donor Month At Queen's Park

April is Be A Donor month. In Ontario, 1,400 people on average are waiting for a lifesaving organ while thousands more are in need of a transformative tissue donation. Organ donation is the BEST legacy you can ever leave and the best gift you could ever give. Register today at 

Organ and tissue donation saves lives. One organ donor can save up to 8 lives and help 75 others through tissue donation. Each year on April 7th, we recognize Green Shirt Day in honour of Logan Boulet, a Humboldt Broncos hockey player who saved six lives through organ donation following the devastating bus crash in April 2018. Logan's selfless gift has inspired nearly 100,000 Canadians to register to become organ and tissue donors in the aftermath of tragedy and continues to inspire action. 

I was asked by Trillium Gift of Life Network to raise awareness on organ and tissue donation in honour of Green Shirt Day and Be A Donor Month. Unfortunately, my leg had other plans, but I am grateful to my colleague and long-time organ donation advocate MPP France Gelinas who stepped up help out. Click here to watch her statement in the House. 

Read more about our efforts to increase organ donation across Ontario here and click here to support the Peter Kormos Memorial Act (Saving Organs to Save Lives.)

Public Hearing on Budget Legislation

Community, what do you want to see in Ontario's budget?

The Ontario government will be having public hearings so you can give feedback on Ontario's budget (Bill 180). Register to share your priorities for stronger Ontario that puts people first. Hearings are open to individuals and organizations with option to participate remotely. 

Dates: April 22-24
Deadline to apply: April 15 at 12 PM
Go to:

Special Audit Into Clinics Charging for Primary Care

"You should never have to pay out of pocket—but that's what happened when patients at an Ottawa clinic were charged $400 to access primary care."

We've seen a rise in recent months of the number of clinics offering primary health care by nurse practitioners for a fee. This is not okay. There are over 2 million Ontarians without a family doctor and this leaves many of them with no choice but to pay. This week we tabled a motion calling for a special audit into the proliferation of these clinics charging for OHIP-covered services. Ontarians deserve to know how widespread this issue has become. But to nobody's surprise, the conservatives voted our motion down. Ontarians, you deserve transparency. This system was built on the principle that you shouldn't have to pay for health care. More on this here.


St. Paul's Spotlight

There's a new business in our community! On Sunday, Nicaroma Cafe celebrated their Grand Opening in the Oakwood Village neighbourhood. While I wasn't able to attend myself as I continue to recover from my injury, I am grateful to my staff who attended on my behalf. It was wonderful to see folks come from far and wide to support this local business. Congratulations Rebecca and Yonder! Check them out at 357 Oakwood Avenue!

Save Ontario's Science Centre Rally at Christie Pits Park

Thank you to everyone who joined the Save Ontario's Science Centre rally last weekend at Christie Pits Park! Sadly I couldn't be there due to my hamstring tear but thank you to the organizers who offered to read out my speech.

Be sure to add your name to tell Doug Ford what you think about his careless plan. Let's help save the Ontario's Science Centre together! 

Click here to read my full speech.

Basking in their Light: Out of the Cold Art Show Case & Sale

It was wonderful to see the return of the Beth Tzedec Congregation and Beth Sholom Synangogue Out of the Cold Annual Art Showcase and Sale. Sadly I couldn't be there myself this weekend as I continue to recover from my hamstring injury, but I am grateful to my staff who was able to attend on my behalf. Hats off to the wonderful artists who showcased their tremendous work! Thank you to all the volunteers who make this program possible. Your HEARTwork is immensely appreciated. 


Art Exhibit-Let the Light In

This month, you are invited to visit the art exhibit “Let Light In”, running April 1-30, 2024 at the Deer Park Toronto Public Library branch, located at 40 St. Clair Ave E. In this exhibit by Tracy Tendean, stained glass style illustrations depict memories of her life with her father who passed away in 2022 after years of declining health, including multiple strokes and dementia. In creating this series, she hopes to connect with those who are sick or grieving, those who are courageous caregivers, or anyone who needs a reminder to find joy even in the toughest journey.


Wood-Fired Bannock Demonstration

Tomorrow! There will be a wood-fired Bannock Demonstration at The Market tomorrow, Saturday, April 13th from 12-1pm

Suggested donation: $20 (includes a bannock making kit and instructions). 

Come and see how easy it is to make bannock! Led by the Second Rise Job Training Program (fomerly Sagatay Job Training Program), you will learn about the history and origins of bannock. No experience required! Limited number of spots. To register, reach out to [email protected]


Montgomery Place Spring Bazaar

Montgomery Place Seniors Club is having their Spring Bazaar! Join them Saturday, April 27th from 11 AM to 4:30 PM in the Recreation Room at 130 Eglinton Avenue East. Are you a vendor? There's still time to reserve a table! You can reserve a table in the front lobby:

  • Tuesday, April 16th from 2 PM to 4 PM
  • Tuesday, April 23rd from 2 PM to 4 PM


The Stop's Tax Clinic

The Stop's Debbie Jenkins Tax Clinic is back from March 6 to April 25th at 1884 Davenport Rd. 

What you need:

  • Photo ID and social insurance number (SIN)
  • Proof of income (T4 or T5 forms)
  • Rent receipts (if you have them)

Wednesdays 9 am to 3 pm. 

  • Limited virtual appointments are also available. 

For appointments:
Phone: 437-231-1169
Email: [email protected]


Special Evening at James Rottman Fine Arts

Thursday, April 25th from 7 to 10 PM join James Rottman Fine Art for their Evening Social featuring music by internationally acclaimed musician, Mehdi Rostami. Mingle with community members, listen to the music, and enjoy their current exhibition!

Please note that this event is not a sit down event. Chairs will not be available. 

RSVP required to attend as limited space is available. [email protected]
830 St. Clair Ave. W., Toronto


2024 Inspire Awards

Nominations for the 2024 Inspire Awards close April 30th, 2024.

The Inspire Awards honour some of the most inspiring people, youth, businesses, and organizations in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada. 

Have someone outstanding in mind? Now's the time to nominate. Click here for more information!


Community One Foundation 2024 Rainbow Grants

Community One Foundation is now accepting applications for their 2024 Rainbow Grants. 

Rainbow Grants provide funding to foster new and innovative services and programs that have a positive impact on the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the Greater Toronto Area (including Toronto, Durham, Peel, Hamilton, York, and Halton Regions, and Indigenous Communities across Ontario) under the following streams:

  • Indigenous Communities
  • Refugees
  • Trans Communities
  • Spiritual/Social Groups
  • Arts & Culture

Click here for more information and to download the application guide. 

The deadline is Friday, May 3rd, 2024 at 11:59 pm. 


OVCO Homework Hub

Also from the Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub!

There is an 800-900 sq. ft. classroom space available for community programming on weekdays at the Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub in the former Vaughan Rd. Academy.

Contact Peter Clutterbuck, OVCO Board member and Community Hub Chair by email ([email protected]) or by phone (416-738-3228) for more information. 


Hillcrest Community Food Bank Needs Your Help

The Hillcrest Community Food Bank (2 Vaughan Road) needs URGENT help filling their shelves!

The need for food in our community is increasing and they're in urgent need of MORE food (and household items) to meet this higher demand. Please contact them via Instagram if there is anything you can do to help or if you are a local business that would be interested in becoming a community partner. Food donations in kind or monetary donations to their Canada Helps website would be greatly appreciated.


Become an Organ Donor

In Ontario, 1,400 people on average are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant while thousands more are in need of a life-changing tissue donation. They are our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and, in some cases, members of our own families.

When you register as a possible organ and tissue donor, you have the potential to change the story for someone in need.
One donor can help over 80 people get back to life.
Register your consent to become an organ and tissue donor after your death and tell your family so they can help honour your wishes.
Did You Know?

  • Any Ontario resident who is 16 years or older and has an Ontario health card is eligible to register as an organ and tissue donor
  • Everyone has the potential to be an organ and/or tissue donor, regardless of age or health.
  • People from every major religion have donated. Many religions support donation or respect and individual’s choice.
  • The first and foremost concern for health care professionals is to save lives. Only when a life cannot be saved does organ and tissue donation become an option.
  • It takes two minutes to register or check your status at You can also register in person at any ServiceOntario location.

More information about the donation process, who can register, and the importance of speaking to family can be found online at

Learn to Prevent an Overdose

Each year across Ontario, thousands of lives are lost to overdoses. We need every level of government to prioritize implementing harm reduction strategies to combat these senseless deaths, and you can help.

As many of you know, Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, and these kits are FREE with training at participating pharmacies across the city. Together, we can prevent unnecessary deaths and work toward a more compassionate society that is safe safe for everyone.

Find a pharmacy with Naloxone kits near you, and make sure you can recognize the signs of an overdose.


In solidarity, 

Dr. Jill Andrew

MPP, Toronto-St. Paul's




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