Community News Update - August 25, 2023

Dear Community,

Renters across our community are bearing the brunt of an already broken and exploitative system at its very worst.

Grocery prices are astronomical, transit fare has increased, wages have stagnated, and rental prices continue to tick steadily up up up thanks to our profiteering Premier.

Above Guideline Rent Increases, or AGIs, enable landlords to raise the rent well above the provincial standard and serve as a loophole for what little protection is left for affordable housing across Ontario. Let me be clear: these increases do not benefit tenants! They simply line the pockets of real estate investment trusts and other corporate landlords.

We're increasingly seeing tenants work together to stand up against unabashed and unchecked corporate greed. Whether it's a rent strike or a newly formed tenant association: I stand with you. I see you. I will continue fighting for EVERYONE'S right to safe and affordable housing.

Please read my full release calling for a ban on AGIs here.

Today, I met with the folks at Woodgreen Community Services to discuss their program Homeward Bound, which uplifts and amplifies women-led families across our communities - 80% of whom have faced domestic violence or other traumas.

Through Homeward Bound, participants receive access to safe family housing, childcare, mental health services, fully funded college education opportunities, job search support, and much, much more.

Programs like these are invaluable for so many - they are truly life-changing - and are SO deserving of government funding so they can continue delivering these opportunities where they are needed most.

I'm so excited to continue this partnership and to work together toward the economic stability and flourishing of women and their families across Ontario.

Today, members of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television Radio Artists (ACTRA) held a solidarity rally in support of striking Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Writers Guild of America (WGA) members.

Today also marks day 486 of the UNLAWFUL lockout of ACTRA performers by the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) and the brand advertisers they represent.


We've long known that Ontario labour law is outdated when it comes to gig workers, and this nearly year-long labour dispute is a perfect illustration of that point.

I stand with striking members across Ontario and across the creative industries!

Doug Ford was back in front of the camera this afternoon defending his disastrous decisions surrounding the Greenbelt. He claims the picture has changed in the 5 years since he promised he'd keep his hands off our protected lands, but from where I'm standing the only thing that's changed is his penchant for greed.

Please join me in signing this petition to PROTECT OUR GREENBELT - because money should have no bearing on the promises we make.

It's that time of year again, and our School Supply Drive is back!

Please come on down to Cy Townsend Park on Saturday, September 2nd from 10AM - 1PM to LEAVE WHAT YOU CAN & TAKE WHAT YOU NEED!

If you'd like to donate but are unavailable on the 2nd, please reply to this email and my staff will coordinate the delivery of your donations!

If you're available to volunteer please reply to this email!

We're so excited to show our community of young learners just how much St. Paul's believes in their potential!

Exciting news out of the City of Toronto's Cultural Hotspot! The 2023 program returns to Little Jamaica for its second year, showcasing 15 new art projects and public events from August to October. The program will support and deliver 43 mentorship and 35 employment opportunities for youth in our community, building connections with local artists and organizations and working towards their future.

Programming include the Toronto Pan Afrikan Film Festival, “A Love Letter to Little Jamaica” festival, and the “DiverCITY on the Hill” community art exhibition, to name just a few.

To learn more, click here.

Women in Film and Television (WIFT) has launched their Indigenous Writing program. Tailored to Indigenous content creators, the opportunity looks to amplify Indigenous stories and voices in supporting them to strengthen their craft, connect with peers, and receive guidance from experienced mentors.

Indigenous art, storytelling, and culture is a vital part to Ontario's heritage, present, and future; a part that goes untold all too often. Thank you, WIFT for seeing this gap and working to fill it through this program. 

Applications are open now until September 6th. For more information or to apply, click here.

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)!

Mark your calendars! Bloom Bar Studio is hosting a COMEDY CABARET on Thursday, September 28. Tickets are $20 and include one drink.

See below for more information!

Each year across Ontario, thousands of lives are lost to overdoses. We need every level of government to prioritize implementing harm reduction strategies to combat these senseless deaths, and you can help.

As many of you know, Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, and these kits are FREE with training at participating pharmacies across the city. Together, we can prevent unnecessary deaths and work toward a more compassionate society that is safe safe for everyone.

Find a pharmacy with Naloxone kits near you, and make sure you can recognize the signs of an overdose.

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's



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