Community News Update - August 11, 2023

Dear Community,

We must continue to demand accountability for the Ford government's all-out assault on environmental protections. We still haven't seen an honest reckoning with the Auditor General report revealing an insider deal to allow favoured developers free reign to build on formerly protected land.

While Doug Ford and Steve Clark continue to make excuses for themselves at press conferences, the Ontario NDP has demanded that they recall the legislative assembly so that our elected representatives can re-evaluate the decision to change the boundaries of the greenbelt as recommended by the auditor general's report and reinstitute the greenbelt protections. You can read about our formal notice to recall the legislature here.

People across the province are speaking up about this issue. While it isn't in our community, I did want to draw everyone's attention to a rally this Sunday in Pickering against development in the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve, one part of the greenbelt. 

Development in this area threatens dozens of protected and at-risk species of birds and could pollute local fish habitats. You can read more about the risks here.

One of Doug Ford's most offensive attempts to distract attention from his government's insider giveaway to their favourite developers has been a move that is both familiar and sinister: blame 'outsiders'.

Since the report has been realeased, Ford has switched into damage control mode and has, like clockwork, cited immigration as the reason behind these deals. While I'll be HAPPY to remind him that the independent audit revealed that Bill 23 had nothing to do with housing and all to do with deep corruption in their government once the House resumes (which our Caucus is calling for immediately), I urge you to read this insightful piece that offers an incredible analysis to debunk this claim.
Allow me to be clear: newcomers deserve a home they can afford just the same as Canadian-born citizens do. They deserve to be welcomed to a dignified life in our country. End of. Full stop. Ford has done nothing to ensure this is the case and I'll be damned if the same people he's failed to protect in his time as Premier are leaned on as scapegoats to excuse his  deceit. 

If you have donations to spare, please consider bringing them down to Marian Engel Park on Saturday between 11AM - 1PM! If you need some extra groceries, come on down no questions asked (we have tote bags)!

The Vaughan-Oakwood (VO) Youth Network, a youth and volunteer-led network working to strengthen the Vaughan-Oakwood community, is hosting their community basketball tournament this September 30, 2023. Registration is now open to compete in the tournament! You must be aged 15-21 to apply. Register at Application deadline is August 18, 2023.

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew


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