Today is the 11th anniversary of the passing of Jack Layton, and as I start today’s Community News Update – let me start by sharing some of his most powerful words, which are as poignant as ever.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic, and we’ll change the world.
- Jack Layton (1950-2011)
This weekend, I wrapped up my Ice Cream Tour with a stop at the Brentwood Towers in the Yonge and St. Clair area. It was a terrific end to the tour, and I can’t wait to do it again!
I’d like to thank everyone who came out to any of the stops around our community, it was terrific getting to spend time in different neighbourhoods, speaking with community members about an incredible array of issues. There’s nothing better than having the opportunity to connect directly with folks in Toronto-St. Paul’s, and I can’t wait to do this again soon.
If I didn’t make it to your neck of the woods this time around – don’t worry – the next time we do this, I’ll be switching up the stops!
There was an important development today from the Ontario Human Rights Commission, who have recently ruled that landlords cannot ban air conditioning – calling it a human right.
This is a significant ruling, as we have seen an enormous uptick in recent years of corporate landlords in Toronto taking steps to prevent their tenants from accessing air conditioning, despite increasingly hot temperatures – which in some cases can be dangerous for residents.
Following this ruling, Ontario NDP Housing Critic Jessica Bell, will be retabling her motion in the Ontario Legislature to implement not only a minimum temperature in apartments – but also a maximum temperature.
I am very happy with this ruling, and I know that it will help many of our local residents who have been struggling in extreme heat in their units. Of course, we can stop here – we must also take further steps including retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient, and investing in the infrastructure of our local communities to grow urban forests to lower temperatures in our cities as well.
Coming up this weekend (August 26th to 28th) is Sinting Fest on Eglinton West, presented by the BBPA. This event is designed to help revitalize Little Jamaica, and will feature music, dance, children’s activities, food, and more! It’s going to be an exciting event that you will not want to miss out on!
My team and I will be on site representing my office, and we’re looking for volunteers to help out at our booth! So if you’re available – you can sign up for a shift here.
Happening next weekend, on Saturday September 3rd – The Toronto Cares Initiative is back with another great event that you should check out – this time it’s a Back-To-School Supplies Drive.
It’s their own words:
This drive is benefiting students in need from LOCAL schools from kindergarten to grade 8. These NEW backpacks and supplies will be donated in the Toronto-St. Paul’s, Eglinton-Lawrence and Davenport wards, where our home base is located. We aim to provide low-income families with a minimum of 200 backpacks, although we have already had over 500 backpacks requested by the schools. The backpacks will include items such as a lunch bag, water bottle, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, notebook, binder and more! Help Toronto’s students start the year off with a bit of hope!
For every 2 backpack/kits purchased for $30 each (open to the public and including free delivery), 1 backpack/kit will be donated to a low-income student in your local Toronto neighborhood, PLUS the purchaser will automatically be entered into a draw for a $75 gift card from Mastermind Toys! Please visit https://toronto-cares.ca/back-to-school-supplies for more information.
Finally today, I’m happy to send a shout out to a great local Yoga and Meditation Facilitator – Patricia McPherson – who posts a great deal of fantastic content for free on her YouTube Page – RelaxWithPat.
Here is Pat’s description of her work:
Of all the work I've done these past few years, stillness, conscious relaxation and meditation is at the top of list of what people need the most. I've dedicated my YouTube page to Guided Meditation and Conscious Relaxation so everyone can practice high quality sessions for free. Mental Health and this transformative work saved my life and it's important to me that everyone no matter where they're from, what they look like, or what they do for a living have access to life work that can change their lives for good.
All of us need this work and it's important to me to share it and help people better understand themselves, and they're minds so they can create a life of their dreams. We all deserve to learn how to cope and find the inner tools and methods through sacred transformative work that they can use to heal themselves. Nothing inspires me more.
You can find out more at Pat’s website – here.