Community News Update - August 15, 2022

Dear community,

It’s still a hot one out there and to help our community beat the heat, I’m taking an Ice Cream Tour through the riding!

Starting tomorrow at 6PM, I’ll be handing out free ice cream at Cy Townsend Park where I look forward to meeting or reconnecting with folks and families to say thank you for their support in sending me back to Queen’s Park and more, hear how I can keep advocating there to make our community the best it can be for all of us.

But it won’t stop there! From Wednesday to Saturday, I’ll be making 4 more stops across the riding to engage with all corners of our community. The full tour and times are listed below and I can’t wait to see you there!

  • Tuesday, August 16, 6 PM-Cy Townsend Park (455 Winona Dr.)
  • Wednesday, August 17, 6 PM-Marion Engel Park (285 Melita Ave.)
  • Thursday, August 18, 6 PM-June Rowlands Park (220 Davisville Ave.)
  • Friday, August 19, 6 PM-500 Avenue Rd. (Avenue and Heath)
  • Saturday, August 20, 6 PM-Brentwood Towers (23 Lascelles Blvd.)

Also happening in Little Jamaica, Rastafest kicks off today for a week of events for the whole family, celebrating Rastafari heritage and culture. From documentary screenings of Rastafari tonight through Wednesday at Maria A. Shchuka library from 6-8PM, a learning session at Reggae Café on Thursday from 5-8PM, to live music and great cuisine to be had throughout, Rastafest is a great reason to get out to Little Jamaica and celebrate  the community in all its glory.

This coming Saturday, August 20th, the celebration will cap off with a live concert featuring Jay Douglas, Benaiah, Papa Levy, Petraa and Abeena Samm.

The concert will be held in the Green P parking lot at Eglinton & Dufferin and admission is free. For more information, visit www.rastafest.tv.

Queen's Park is adjourned until Wednesday this week as the Association of Municipalities Ontario's (AMO) 2022 Conference is underway in Ottawa.

This conference brings municipal and provincial leaders together to work through top issues, from climate change and sustainability, to health and social service provision, to housing and planning.

Interestingly, the conference takes place off the heels of Doug Ford putting forth his Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act just last week. If passed, this legislation would effectively give the mayors of Ottawa and Toronto ‘U.S. style’ power (including sweeping authority the yearly budget, of which all other bylaw passed that year is hinged). Meanwhile, that of City Council is weakened in doing so.

Doug Ford’s alleged reasoning is that it would expedite the building of new homes as a solution to the housing affordability crisis, felt province-wide but especially in these two cities. We know this here in Toronto-St. Paul’s all too well.

The problem? Not once does it mention the word housing in the Bill itself. This, of course, raised our eyebrows in Official Opposition, as it did a number of city councillors; all questioning whether this was about housing as much as it was about chipping away at local democracy.

Let me be clear, ensuring municipal governance runs efficiently is necessary. ut it cannot come at the expense of citizen voices (which as we remember in 2018, were already trampled on when city council was cut in half). Toronto is a big city of many diverse communities with even more diverse needs from their elected officials – locally elected officials that know their communities and have the capacity to listen to and amplify their voices.

In a city of nearly 3 million people, it would seem that consolidating power into fewer hands – namely one person’s – is not the direction we want to be taking.

The housing crisis is real and it needs real solutions. The good news is solutions are in our hands. The bad news is … this isn’t one.

With the House back in session, I want to hear from you! What are your key issues, your stories, your priorities that you want to see me fighting for? I’m always an email away to talk and advocate at [email protected].

I look forward to hearing from you!

In Solidarity,
 
Jill Andrew
Toronto—St. Paul's

 

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