Community News Update - April 25, 2022

The city of Toronto is currently planning a Cultural Districts Program to help communities thrive and be of benefit to maintaining the historic character of neighbourhoods such as Little Jamaica.

There are a lot of questions about these policies. To address this Bryan Keshen, CEO of Reena, will moderate a discussion on April 28th from 7:30-8:30 pm to bring awareness to the needs of individuals with disabilities and how they can enhance their own inclusion within the Toronto Cultural Districts Program.

Panelists will speak about the life experiences of individuals in the Developmental Services space, and their own perspective as to how the cultural districts program could be enhanced. 

If you are interested, please register by clicking on the link here. 

As of today, we have 1,455 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, 187 of those are in ICU. While we’re still nowhere near the peak of the last wave in January, these levels remain extremely troubling, and are far higher than they were a month ago. I know that we all want this pandemic to be over, but I worry that the current public health measures aren’t enough.

COVID has understandably dominated our political discussions for the last 2 years. In many cases, however, all that COVID-19 did was expose problems in our system that were already there and haven’t been fixed by 27 years of Conservative and Liberal governments. We need to move beyond COVID and get to work on fixing these problems. 

I advocate for change every day, but we all know these problems won’t be fixed by the current government, and they also weren’t addressed by the 15 years of Liberal government before them.

That’s why today the NDP released our comprehensive campaign platform. We want to fix the things that matter most to people, and this is our plan to do it. 

While Canadians are proud of our health care system, it still has far too many holes. We need universal coverage mental health care, because mental health issues can be just as devastating as those already covered by our system, and no one should be too poor to get help.

We also want to create the first real pharmacare program in Canada and expand dental coverage. This will save Ontarians thousands of dollars every year, and ease the strain on our emergency rooms.

We also want to hire 10,000 new personal support workers, 30,000 nurses and more to provide better care to everyone that needs it. 

We have all watched our kids struggle with the learning conditions imposed because of COVID. Even before that, teachers often didn’t have the time to give every student the attention they deserved and classes were too big. We will hire 20,000 more teachers and education workers to make class sizes smaller and give every child more support and opportunity.

More than any other issue my office has heard about, people in Toronto-St. Paul’s are struggling with the high cost of housing. We have a shortage of affordable housing, and a system that favours landlords over tenants. An NDP government will bring back real rent control for all apartments, eliminating the financial incentive for landlords to squeeze out tenants to raise the rent and requiring them to charge the same rent to a new tenant as the last one in the unit. 

We will introduce a speculation and vacancy tax on speculators who own houses that no one is living in. The rate will be two per cent of the assessed value and will be phased in over two years. We’ll also close loopholes that allow wealthy investors off the hook. 

We will freeze income tax for low- and middle-income households for four years, and instead require multi-millionaires and massive corporations who exploit tax loopholes to pay their fair share.

These are just a few of the commitments in our platform. You can read all of it by clicking here.

We’ve already released other detailed policy platforms on specific areas. These are Homes You Can Afford, our housing platform; Climate. Jobs. Justice: A Green New Democratic Deal, our climate platform; and Aging Ontarians Deserve the Best, our plan to fix LTC and home care for seniors. This platform incorporates all those proposals. 

To deliver on these promises we need to win the next election. In 2018 I celebrated my election as one of 40 NDP MPPs at the Midtown Gastrohub (located at 1535 Yonge Street). This Saturday, join me and our Toronto-St. Paul’s community as we kick off my campaign for re-election and to increase those 40 seats into the new government of Ontario. You can join us at 2pm, the event will include food & drinks, inspiring speeches, entertainment and most importantly, YOU. I hope to see all of you there.

We are asking that everyone wears their masks if they are not drinking or eating. We will also be checking proofs of vaccination at the door. There will also be outdoor areas for those who still don’t feel comfortable in shared spaces inside.

To learn more and RSVP, click here. I can’t wait to see you there!

 

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