Yesterday was the first night of Chanukah! Many in our community have begun lighting their menorahs, eating latkes or sufganiyot, and celebrating in all the ways that are meaningful to them.
The story of this holiday and the miracle of enduring light honours the survival of the Jewish people and the resilience of humanity. Over the remaining 7 nights, may we all recommit to a brighter future!
Thank you to Rabbi Deitsch, Mrs. Deitsch, and all members of Chabad of Midtown for such a warm welcome, delicious latkes, and this cozy hat. It's been an absolute privilege to join members of the Jewish community as we celebrate family, loved ones, and a collective sense of hope.
Happy Chanukah to all!
On Wednesday evening, I will be joining The Albert & Temmy Latner Forest Hill Jewish Centre for their first annual Public Chanukah Menorah Lighting! I look forward to seeing many of you there!
My friends at Holy Blossom Temple are hard at work gearing up for their much-loved Out of the cold Program, returning on January 12 and continuing through March 30th!
Rabbi Kaye shares this with us:
"Holy Blossom Temple is proud to welcome our guests and volunteers once again for a dinner inspired by Out of the Cold. Holy Blossom is opening its doors to those experiencing food insecurity, homelessness, and to anyone who just needs a little help and would appreciate a free hot meal. They are happy to provide a sanctuary from winter, a place to recharge, and some home baked goods to go.
Doors open at 5PM and close at 7PM.
Please spread the word to those in need. If you want to volunteer to serve our guests, please be in touch with Volunteer Coordinator Tabitha Grove at [email protected].
Due to current limitations, our guests cannot sleep over at this time.
Please note that due to ongoing building renewal, the Phillip Smith Congregational Hall is not handicapped-accessible during this program."
Thank you to the York-Eglinton BIA for their inaugural Illuminate event! Thank you to the fabulous Kente Claus for spreading so much cheer with all of us last night - even the Grinch couldn't help but be happy! And thank you to TDSB Trustee Alexis Dawson for being there!
We gathered together and lit the tallest tree on Eglinton West (21 feet), children created beautiful art, we danced the evening away to steel pan Christmas carols, our elders laughed with glee, and some of us ate delicious meals from nearby. Our collective love of Little Jamaica and Eglinton West really burst through!
As I've said: loved ones and love of community are truly what matters most during the holidays!
Sending huge congratulations and thanks to The Disability Collective and Miles Nadal JCC Wagner-Green Centre for Access and Inclusion for hosting the first Disability Holiday Market at Wychwood Barns!
I spoke with some incredible artists and got yet more holiday shopping done, too!
Thank you to Elder Catherine Brooks for leading the Winter Solstice Ceremony at Noojimo'iwewin Gitigaan/Healing Garden at St. Matthew's United Church!
I was honoured to be invited to participate, and I'm sending warm wishes for a calm Winter Solstice to all who celebrate.
On Saturday, I took a special trip to Santa's workshop (Courage Cookies) to award two very special elves with a Community Hero Award!
Thank you to my constituents Chelsea and Ian for their incredible donation of $2000 to The Beeton Cupboard Food Bank!
There's still time to order some holiday cookies, and trust me: you do not want to miss these! They also stock gluten-free and vegan options!
My friends at Reset are hosting a Community Care Drive until January 7! Donations can be dropped off at 634 Vaughan Road.
A new report published by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has concluded that the tourism industry in Ontario is not expected to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic until 2025.
Folks can read more about that here. NDP MPP Wayne Gates and NDP Tourism Critic Jennie Stevens continue to urge the PC government to extend Ontario's staycation tax credit, which would offer families $1000 to visit qualifying businesses across the province.
We must continue to put pressure on this government to strategize meaningfully and invest in recovery.
In January, we are expected to see a tandem increase in Employment Insurance (EI) rates and the annual Rent Increase Guideline.
Regular, sickness, caregiving, maternity, and standard parental benefits will incease from $638/week to $650/week, while the 2023 rent increase guideline will become 2.5%.
More information about residential rent increases can be found here!
I've expressed my alarm at Doug Ford's latest decision to bring the selection of Ontario's chief justice under the sole purview of the Premier's Attorney General. It is yet another plot against transparency that will give Ford and his AG extraordinary powers to act in their own interests.
We must have an independent appointment system! Judges should never be puppets of any sitting Premier, and this is an inappropriate politicization of the judicial system.
Please read this release from MPP Krisyn Wong-Tam.
My office will be closed from December 23 to January 2 and will not be accepting appointments during that time! I look forward to reconnecting with you all in 2023!