Help spread the word! This Saturday, September 2, I'm hosting a BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE,
Join me at Cy Townsend Park (455 Winona Drive) to kick start a new school year for our St. Paul's students with snacks, treats, and of course, supplies! Students of all ages, their families, and anyone who can benefit in our community (and beyond!) are welcome.
Applying the same concept as our beloved food tables, our supply drive invites you to take what you need or donate what you can. No questions asked. We'll be accepting donations of UNUSED backpacks, pencils, pens, lunchboxes, crayons, notebooks, and other school supplies.
Attendees will also have the chance to learn about anti-bullying, share their best tips for succeeding at school, and to share concerns with me and my team that we will try our best to answer. Go community care go!
Thank you! For more information, visit www.tspndp.ca/schoolsupplydrive or email [email protected]. See you Saturday!
In not-so-surprising but breaking news, the Integrity Commissioner found that Steve Clark acted in breach of the Integrity Act in his Greenbelt Land Swap that benefited a select few developers to the tune of 8.3 billion dolllars (with a B). Your Ontario NDP has suspected this for some time, demanding the Integrity Commissioner's investigation. But it was the Auditor General's report earlier this month that set the needed wheels in motion.
But the proverbial "I told you so" is far from satisfying in this case. Especially when our province remains in a deep housing affordability crisis that Ford and Clark's shady shenanigans are only postponing. Because lies don't build affordable homes, which our province deeply needs. Backdoor deals aren't bringing back real rent control. Shady secrets aren't protecting the Greenbelt and all Ontarians from the very real risk of climate catastrophe.
Ontarians are right to feel distrusting of this government, now more than ever. They are right to feel frustrated that rather than solve these issues, they're moving outside the law to make their rich friends richer; all without consequence.
Now is the time for them to build that trust back. Doug Ford needs to demand Minister Clark's resignation and immediately recall the legislature to fix this mess, and all the messes he's created that makes life more expensive for you. Join our call.
Yesterday, it was announced that the non-profit organization ArtScape was forced to enter receivership, closing their operations after 30 years. Few communities know the impact ArtScape has had for artists, creatives and the arts and culture sector like Toronto—St. Paul's does. Their Wychwood Barns location has been a cornerstone of our community, as a place to enjoy art, live music, and theatre, explore our own creative sides or develop our young one's, support local small businesses and non-profits, and perhaps most importantly, bringing us together.
I couldn't count the friends gained treasures collected, goodies tasted, talent tapped, or memories made since my first visit to The Barns even if I tried. I know I'm not alone in grieving this lost, and know it will be felt for a long time to come.
Earlier today, I issued a statement on this devastating news with a reminder to the Ford government that a province proud of its art, artists and culture doesn't just happen. It takes real investment that he is sadly, not making. The loss of ArtScape needs to be his wake-up call to act for the arts, before we realize we "should have".
Read it here.
As TVO workers continue their strike - their first ever in TVO's 53 year history - I continue to stand in strong solidarity with them in their demands for a fair deal that finally reflects the value of their work. This is a value people and families all across the province know well. TVO is, and has been, more than a channel to us. More than a broadcaster. It educates us. It entertains us. In many ways, it helped raise us. This doesn't happen without its workers, who for too long, have been kept down with wage freezes or increases well-below inflation (equalling a cut), moving from temporary contract to temporary contract, all without benefits of permanent placement.
Earlier today, I wrote to the Premier and Minister of Education echoing their calls, demanding the government gets back to the bargaining table with a deal that reflects just how much TVO workers, as public sector workers, do out of love of their jobs, public media, and this province. But love and passion don't pay the rent. So it's the government's turn to step up.
Read my full letter here.