Community News Update - December 7, 2022

Dear community, 

This week, my office has been hard at work on our Holiday Food Drive in support of The Beeton Cupboard Food Bank! Thank you so much to those of you who have already donated - it means the world to me. My office will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items all this week, just reply to this email or reach out to [email protected] to organize a drop-off!

Over the last year, there has been an unprecedented 42% surge in food bank visits across Ontario, and the concern grows that service providers will be unable to meet this need throughout the holiday season.

In an effort to help mitigate this crisis in our community, from today until December 12, my office will be accepting donations to support our neighbours in need. Folks who wish to donate but are unable to deliver are encouraged to reach out and we will do our best to facilitate collection!

The Beeton Cupboard Food Bank also accepts monetary donations via e-transfer sent to [email protected] with the message "food bank - Jill Andrew Newsletter." A tax receipt will be issued to donors in the New Year - be sure to supply a full name and address when donating.

As I said before: food banks, while vital, cannot and should not be a substitute for systemic change led by a compassionate government. There is no shame in seeking help, but the Ford government should be shamed for forcing so many to the brink of food insecurity.

Thank you for joining with me in making this season even a bit less stressful for our Toronto-St. Paul's residents!

I would also like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to my colleague, Marit Stiles on becoming leader of our Ontario NDP!

For years, I've worked closely with Marit in the Legislature as she's continually stood up for public education as our Education Critic and one of the strongest voices in the province. I've seen her engage with her community & our neighbours in Davenport with earnest compassion and always leading with care first.

We've got a lot to do in the next three and a half years. From standing up against the Ford government to building a worker-led movement province-wide - one that engages voices that never saw their place in the world of politics - I am confident Marit is up for the task. 

Yesterday was the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women; a day in memory of the tragic loss of 14 women at L'Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal in 1989 to femicide.

As Women's Social and Economic Opportunity Critic with our Ontario NDP, I had the honour of speaking in the House to what this day must mean to us, as leaders; the key word being action. Remembrance is not enough.

Because the violent, hate-fuelled massacre of these 14 women was not a moment in time or isolated event. Gender-based violence and femicide is an epidemic that sadly, continues to this day. Ending it takes work. The work of all of us, especially the government as the ones holding the provincial purse strings to make the investment it takes.

Watch the clip here.

Earlier today, Hillcrest Community School's Choir stood on Queen's Park's Grand Staircase to fill the building with holiday music and a joy I can't quite put into words. It was hands down the best moment I've had here this year and maybe even of all the time I've spent here.

A huge thank you goes to their music teacher, Mr. Roblin who organized the event and to each student for their courage to share their voice and light with all of us today. It was a lunch hour I'll never forget and the perfect way to bring in the holiday season.

Watch them sing their hearts out here, with a surprise (for me too!) here.

This past weekend, Reverend Hall invited me to visit the The Verity Centre for Better Living and shop their Holiday Market! It was honour to spend time with Trey Anthony, the wildly talented Jamaican-British-Canadian writer. I cannot wait to attend her latest play, 'da Kink in My Hair, which has received four NAACP awards!

This Saturday, December 10, Cookie Day returns to the Tollkeeper's Cottage (750 Devenport Road)! Come on down from 12-4PM to shop a selection of delicious, home-baked cookies. Don't forget to visit their gift shop!

All purchases support the not-for-profit and volunteer-driven museum. The organizers ask that attendees wear a mask when shopping.

Congratulations are in order for Hillcrest Village BIA who came in 1st of 33 at the TABIA Awards in the category "Streetscape Promotion and Communication." Well done, all!

Sunday, December 18, the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition returns with its 3rd Annual Cycling Good Cheer event on Yonge Street - look out for Santa!

The Toronto Fire Fighters Toy Drive is on! Donors can contribute at one of the links listed on their site, or deliver a new, unwrapped gift to a fire station in their community.

In Toronto-St. Pauls:

65 Henrick Avenue
20 Balmoral Avenue
555 Oakwood avenue

On Tuesday, December 13 at 4:30, The Yonge St. Clair BIA launches its Gingerbread Festival with the large scale gingerbread unveiling in the lobby of 2 St. Clair West! Come join for free gingerbread kits and more!

Saturday, December 10 brings us the Hillcrest Village Welcome Winter Holiday Event! From 10 AM to 2:30 PM in the Green P parking lot (car park 220 - 789 St Clair Ave West), folks can join in the celebration of the BIA's new seasonal decor. There will also be holiday music, free hot chocolate from Krave, and a dance presentation from St. Clair Dance Collective!

Don't forget: The Davisville Village Enchanted Forest of Lights & Holiday Party returns for another year! The Family Lights Package (which includes a 300 LED light set, battery pack, and family name plaque) can be purchased by Sunday, December 12 and the holiday party commences Saturday, December 17 at 4PM.

Email [email protected] for more information and to reserve your tree!

On December 11, Holy Blossom Temple will be hosting "Gifts of Light: Voices of Our Children," the third annual interfaith holiday concert. All proceeds will be in support of Ukrainian Canadian Social Services Toronto. Don't forget to register!

A friendly reminder and invitation that Queen's Park is open to visitors! If you or an organization you work with would like to come watch your MPP advocate for people and planet, please email us as [email protected] to set up a visit - I'd love to meet you!

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's

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