Chag Sameach to all my Jewish constituents attending a Seder tonight and celebrating Passover for the next 8 days.
Passover celebrates the liberation of an oppressed people from slavery. Tonight we remember this story and celebrate freedom and hope for the future.
This Sunday is Easter! Wishing all folks celebrating a hoppin' good time with their loved ones.
Yesterday was Equal Pay Day, marking how far into the year the average woman must work to make to make what the average man did in the year prior. In other words, for 3 months of the year, women are effectively doing the same work but for free.
Let me be clear. This is a choice.
One this government has actively made since they were elected in 2018 and as one of their earliest moves, shelved the Pay Transparency Act where it is still left today. This has been followed by other egregious legislation; most notably Bill 124 which has had a far-disproportionate and devastating impact on women by suppressing the wages of public sector jobs.
Late last year, the Court ruled it unconstitutional (what we, in Opposition, and leaders in labour have known since day one) but instead of repealing it, Ford moved to appeal on the taxpayers dime. This past weekend, Ontario Nurses received another win, as arbitration ordered the government back pay hospital nurses for what Bill 124 stole from them,
Equal Pay Day was founded to raise awareness of the continued gender wage gap. But for me, it's also a chance to thank women for their continued resistance against this government - and all governments - who are purposely trying to take away the rights their ancestors fought for.
That fight wasn't for participation in the workplace, end of, like this government seems to think. It was for equal participation in the workplace meaning equal pay for equal work.
Watch the clip.
QUEEN'S park lived up to its name yesterday, as well, as we were joined by some of the most talented drag artists in the country to announce our Protecting 2SLGBTQIA+ Communities Act. It was truly a sight to see and in the image alone, paints the picture of why we must ensure drag artists and members of the queer community have safe spaces to work, play, and be their most authentic selves.
It wasn't too long ago that the high artform of drag and queer spaces could only exist underground, as it wasn't safe (or even legal) otherwise. We can't risk them being pushed back there. But that's indeed a real risk right now as vile hatred and bigotry is given more of a platform and anti-2SLGBTQIA+ legislation that is creeping up across the United States trickles across the border.
This government must stand up for these communities to keep them safe, and keep the beautiful artform growing. We will continue to urge them to pass our Bill.
Learn more about the Protecting 2SLGBTQIA+ Communities Act.
Yesterday was National Caregiver Day - a day when we recognize the hours and hours of mostly unpaid ;abour done by predominantly women, thank them for their invaluable work, and advocate for change, which includes investing in public health care so folks can access the care they deserve without a financial burden.
Thank you to all caregivers across St. Paul's for taking care of our vulnerable community members! We are all so grateful for your work!
I hope everyone has a restful long weekend! There will be no Community News Update on Friday or Monday, as my community office remains closed until Tuesday, April 11.
Below is an email I received from The Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit:
Do you know someone who is a passionate member of Toronto’s Black communities, and interested in eliminating barriers and advancing the interests of Black communities in government programs, services and representation? Invite them to shape our city by joining the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti Black Racism Advisory Committee. Applications to join the Committee are now open and will close on April 11th, 2023.
Confronting Anti-Black Racism Advisory Committee Responsibilities The mandate of the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Advisory Committee is to provide advice to City Council:
• To support the implementation of the principles of the International Decade for People of African Descent under the themes of Recognition, Development, and Justice
• On the elimination of barriers faced by Black communities and recommend City engagement to help improve access to provincial, federal, and community agency services and programs
• To ensure the interests and needs of Black communities are reflected in City programs and service delivery
• On emerging issues and trends of significance to Black communities as they relate to City services and programs
• Enjoy a collaborative, cooperative and cohesive relationship with the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit's Partnership and Accountability Circle
Members should be comprised of community and policy leaders with lived experience and/or expertise in issues of Black communities' and reflecting the diversity of Black communities, including:
• Housing, healthcare, education, employment and entrepreneurship, child-welfare, policing and the criminal justice system
• The elimination of barriers faced by Black communities to improve access to provincial, federal, and community agency services and programs
• Efforts to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Black Torontonians as part of the City's contributions to mark the International Decade for People of African Descent
• Ability to address emerging issues and trends to ensure the interests and needs of Black communities are reflected in City programs and service delivery
Honorarium and Meetings
• Public members receive an honorarium of $125 per meeting attended, for up to four times per year at the call of the Chair.
Submit your application by April 11, 2023 for consideration. To apply and learn more about the Committee structure, please visit the webpage and review the Terms of Reference: https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.toronto.ca%2Fpa%2FdecisionBody%2F842.do&data=05%7C01%7Cjandrew%40ndp.on.ca%7Ce3bae2c541fe415baabf08db2fe84c29%7C6b9fd2ec77a64ae0822a6bb9108fb274%7C0%7C0%7C638156446981323149%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=1JoYcjdaSlgZHPdeMa0tvkPuMmRBApDOS0nHyW9w6w0%3D&reserved=0
If you have any questions about the Committee or application process, please email: [email protected]
Are you interested in receiving a free hot meal of homemade soup? Or perhaps you're interested in volunteering and participating in some community care? See below for this initiative being hosted by For Youth Initiative!
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!