Community News Update - December 11, 2023

Dear Community, 

Yesterday, was Human Rights Day. 

I'd like to share my message here as well, as it cannot be said enough and serves as a good reminder always. Here's what I know and what I will try to always hold on to:

We can't fight for one person or groups' human rights while ignoring/blocking the human rights of another. 

Fighting for human rights isn't always comfortable or popular, but it's what's HUMANE. Full stop. 

"Students deserve to learn from caring and qualified adults in schools." - MPP Chandra Pasma, Official Opposition critic for Education. 

Today, the Ontario Ombudsman announced they're investigating the Ontario Ministry of Education's 'Catch Up Payment' programs for parents and students due to lack of fairness. This program was a half-baked attempt by this government to make up for the lack of support students receive due to government cuts. Cuts their own government, and governments before them, made. 

Community, education funding should be going directly to benefit students in classrooms, NOT in mismanaged programs at the the public's expense. YOUR expense. 

Click here to read more.

Last night, I was invited to join Chabad Lubavitch on the East Side to celebrate the fourth night of Chanukah! I joined other elected officials and community members in witnessing the lighting of the menorah and recognizing the importance of this festival to Toronto's Jewish community. 

Thank you Chabad Lubavitch on the East Side for including me in your celebrations!

Also this weekend, I joined The AppleTree Group for some Midtown Merriment at June Rowlands Park! I joined elected officials and community members to decorate the community tree. A HUGE thank you to the AppleTree Group for bringing back this wonderful tradition!

'Tis the season to Shop Local!

Last week, I visited a NEW business in our St. Paul's Community. Inhabit Books is an Inuit-owned independent book store located at 612 Mount Pleasant Road. They specialize in publications from Nunavut! I had a lovely time perusing their wonderful selection. Welcome to the community! Check them out!

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to witness the opening of SWEETER written by genius Alicia Richardson and directed by icon Tanisha Taitt. Thank you to Cahoots TheatreRoseneath Theatre, all the outstanding performers who laid it out on stage, and others behind the scenes who made this play not only sweet, but exquisite!

I’ll try my best not to give too much away or to even disclose the brilliantly nuanced thematic choices of the playwright, the director, and the tremendously executed cast performances. As the director says, this is both a “Theatre for Young Adults” and “grown-up” experience! As an adult, I sat in my seat in love with the relationship between darling Sweet Pea (Alicia Plummer) and her dad, Ralph (Daren Herbert). And yup, I cried - bring tissue, people! As a teacher, I sat there blown away by Dee The Sun (Uche Ama). Teachers and education workers bring your students, please! As a survivor, a feminist and a Black woman, I raged and mourned for the Mango Tree (Emerjade Simms) (bring more tissues!).  Zucker (Sebastien Heins), I both hated him and LOVED his performance and the incredible ironies that unfolded with his character. Just like eating a mango, I was left wanting more… Listen, I saw a whole TV series at play! It was PHENOMENAL!

It’s the holiday season! Please take a loved one, colleague, friend or student and talk about it afterwards. That’s an order! ON UNTIL DECEMBER 17TH. Click here for to purchase tickets!

Calling all poets of St. Paul's and beyond! The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is seeking nominees for the next Poet Laureate of Ontario. The role was created in 2019 in honour of the late Gord Downie.

The application is open until January 15, 2024. Click here for more information.

Until December 15th, support the Weston Mount Dennis Service Provider's Network Winter Coat Drive! 

The items needed are brand new or gently used winter coats and winter gear. 

Items can be dropped off at the Weston King Neighbourhood Centre at 2017 Weston Rd. For more information, contact 416-241-9898. 

December 17th! St. Matthew’s United Church & the TOGOGOS present a Christmas Goodies and Crafts Fair from noon to 3 PM at St. Matthew's United Church (729 St Clair Ave W). 

Join them in the church parlour of seasonal baked goods, boxes of organic chocolates, cozy handmade quilts and knitted items, special note cards, stocking stuffers, and more!

The Stop's Holiday Boxes are back! 

Now's your chance to preorder a wonderful holiday gift box with 13 specialty items perfect for the holiday season! The boxes will be available for pick up at the market itself on Saturday, December 9th and December 16th between 9 AM and 1 PM. Community members who are unable to travel can arrange delivery at the email below. All proceeds will support the Stop Community Food Centre, your local market, and your community!

To reserve a box today and for more info email the [email protected].

In Ontario, 1,400 people on average are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant while thousands more are in need of a life-changing tissue donation. They are our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and, in some cases, members of our own families.

When you register as a possible organ and tissue donor, you have the potential to change the story for someone in need.
 
One donor can help over 80 people get back to life.
 
Register your consent to become an organ and tissue donor after your death and tell your family so they can help honour your wishes.
 
Did You Know?

  • Any Ontario resident who is 16 years or older and has an Ontario health card is eligible to register as an organ and tissue donor
  • Everyone has the potential to be an organ and/or tissue donor, regardless of age or health.
  • People from every major religion have donated. Many religions support donation or respect and individual’s choice.
  • The first and foremost concern for health care professionals is to save lives. Only when a life cannot be saved does organ and tissue donation become an option.
  • It takes two minutes to register or check your status at www.beadonor.ca. You can also register in person at any ServiceOntario location.

 
More information about the donation process, who can register, and the importance of speaking to family can be found online at www.beadonor.ca.

This is a reminder to get up-to-date on your COVID-19 boosters. The XBB 1.5 updated boosters are NOW available. I got mine and I encourage you to join me! 

Consult this page for information about where you can get vaccinated.

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, 



Dr. Jill Andrew 

MPP Toronto-St. Paul's

 

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