Community News Update - April 24, 2023

Dear Community,

This afternoon, our Ontario NDP put forth an Opposition Motion calling on the Ford government to bring back real rent control! 

Since Ford first scrapped it in 2018, despite his campaign promise not to, Ontario has seen rental inflation all across the province balloon by 10, 20, 30 percent year over year. Just this weekend, it reached a peak; $3,000 a month for an apartment in the GTA. 
Three. Thousand. Dollars. A. Month. 

Something’s got to give. This is unlivable for some of the highest-income earners. What about folks on ODSP/OW, seniors on fixed income, low or minimum wage workers? What about those forced to stay in unsafe, insecure conditions because it’s a choice between that or being unhoused in the current market. 

These stories are not anomalies. These are the lived realities I hear more often than not from tenants across St. Paul's. And it is not okay. 

Our Opposition Motion demanded that rent control is brought back on all buildings, no matter the year of construction. It also demanded vacancy control be brought in to Ontario, otherwise known as ‘pay what the last tenant paid’ legislation, which would remove the incentive for landlords to push tenants just to up the unit’s rent by hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars per month.  

Bringing back real rent control, including vacancy control, has never been more pressing. Our Opposition Motion put forth today is one of the steps our Party is taking to ensure housing is returned to the human right it is - not the profit engine it’s become.

On Saturday, April 29 at 1PM, join St. Paul's community members at 55 Brownlow Avenue to rally in support of affordable housing for all!

See here for more information and to RSVP!

Over the weekend, it was revealed that Ford has leased the public lands of Ontario Place to Therme on a 95 year-long agreement. Other than its length and that the foreign entity is being taxpayer-subsidized to the tune of $650 million, the contract’s details are being kept under wraps. 

That’s right. Public (a.k.a. your) lands are being sold off to private (a.k.a. not your) hands, lured in with the promise of public (a.k.a. your) dollars. Meanwhile, Ford thinks you don’t have the right to know how this happened, how you’ll benefit, or even, what happens next. 

This reeks of corruption and proving otherwise is in Ford’s own hands. We are ready and waiting for him to show Ontarians where their money is going, and to whom. Until then, we’ll keep looking ourselves and holding this government to account in what we find.  

Watch Ontario NDP Leader, Marit Stiles demand answers in today’s question period.  

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.

As the sun comes out more and more, inviting us back outside to do good for community, I encourage folks to get in touch with Nia Centre for the Arts. As Canada's first, and now award-winning, professional Black arts centre, they are looking for volunteers to help facilitate their creative programming. 

If this sounds like you, submit your details to be a part of their incredible work here.

On May 27, St. Michael & All Angels Churchs will be hosting their Community Buzz Day!

On Saturday, April 29, Toronto Cares is hosting a clothing & more drive. Get a head start on your spring cleaning and donate your gently used items!

Unsmoke Canada and The Great Outdoors Fund are offering grants for organizations to host an Unsmoke Canada cleanup event in their area, focused on collecting and recycling litter and cigarette waste.  

The grants (up to $5,000) are targeted for non-profit organizations with a connection to nature, outdoor recreation, outdoor conservation, health and wellness, volunteer engagement, and/or community service.
Interested organizations can apply here before May 5, 2023.

Low income individuals may be interested in making use of The Stop's Free Tax Clinic, which is open from March 1 to April 28! See below for more information!

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's


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