Community News Update - August 2, 2023

Dear Community,

How is it August already? This summer is just flying by! Make the most of it by attending one of our many fabulous farmers markets in the parks!

Last night, I did just that and visited our beloved Davisville Village Farmers Market with our leader, Marit Stiles! So many farm fresh offerings - produce, dairy, meat, you name it - and even more delicious snacks. You know we had to grab some empanadas from Weeta's!

We even ran into a few local St. Paul's celebrities: Pierre Gautreau, of the band Spyre, as well as Honey Novick, poet extraordinaire!

Thank you to the friends old and new who came to chat with us! The farmers market runs every Tuesday from 3 - 7 PM in June Rowlands Park.

As you may have heard, 27 Metro stores and 3700 workers are on strike across the GTA in a fight for better wages and dignified working conditions.

It's beyond shameful that hardworking folks can't even afford to shop in the very stores that employ them - not to mention the many who rely on food banks across our city. This is corporate greed at its WORST.

I stand in solidarity with every striking worker of Unifor Local 414!

If you see a picket in your community, stop by to show your support, and learn more about the strike here.

Speaking of delicious, you absolutely have to try Zezafoun in Midtown - some outrageously good Syrian food right in our own backyard!

Earlier this week, we met with the wonderful folks from Film Ontario, which represents 48,000 film & television workers, to discuss all things film in Ontario, including the need for stable and reliable funding for the sector (hello, Ontario Creates!) and the importance of domestic content creation (tell our stories!).

The film industry is not merely a source of entertainment but an integral part of our province's identity and economic prosperity! Film Ontario's dedication to advancing this vital sector underscores its importance in shaping the future of Ontario's cultural landscape and economic growth.

I am also so grateful for the vital work done by all actors and film and television workers here in our province, including the many thousands of hardworking members of ACTRA currently on strike.

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to make this meeting happen!

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with BIPOC students - our current and future leaders - in the STEAM ( Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Design Program at Temerty Faculty of Medicine of U of T! These students are breaking through barriers and smashing the glass ceilings of racism, anti-Black racism, patriarchy, and so much more.

I feel so lucky to be in the presence of so much greatness!

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.

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)!

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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