Yesterday, I joined many folks across the province as we showed up to support the Ontario Nurses' Association who are fighting for better staffing, better care, and better wages. We were joined by health care allies, nurses both on and off duty, and representatives from Canadian Labour Congress and TYR Labour Council as we marched up and down the wintry side walk garnering support for their bargaining process.
My colleagues in the Ontario NDP and I agree that investors should never be making a buck off the health of Ontarians, and we need to prioritize public funding in public institutions, which includes paying nurses fairly so they can continue to deliver the topnotch care every Ontarian deserves access to.
On March 2 at 12PM, the ONA will be hosting an all out protest outside the Sheraton Centre as they continue the bargaining process. Come on down to show your support for the nurses fighting for fair wages! Learn more here.
What an amazing time! Thank you Centennial Infant and Child Centre for visiting me today and for the incredible support you bring to the lives of children with complex developmental challenges and their families! Hats off to you teachers, aids and workers for your heartwork!
This is a fantastic centre where their staff roster also includes adults with disabilities supporting the students and clients as well! We had wonderful conversations on accessibility and inclusivity not to mention the value of their workers! We need to invest every way we can to support workers so they stay in these fields. When they flourish their students and clients flourish too!
Special shouts to Path Forward Classroom Assistants, Ali, Brett, Jessica and Katherine!
The lovely Jessica who works at CICC also has her own sock company! You can order yourself a spiffy pair here. All funds raised from the sales of these socks go to Down Syndrome International to help fund their work improving quality of life for people with Down syndrome around the world.
Yesterday was also Toronto's 38th Jamaican Patty Day! I hope you managed to get out and support one of your favourite local spots. If I hadn't been at Queen's Park, you know I'd be at Gerry's on St. Clair West!
I'm grateful for the folks at Pine River Institute who hosted this informative webinar on human trafficking and sexual exploitation. It was wonderful to hear from them about how communities can come together to eradicate trafficking.
Today I met with tenants at 55 Brownlow Ave. who are fighting to save their homes from demolition. You can find out more about their campaign here: https://www.save55brownlow.ca/
Throughout February, I'm inviting you to share with us some of your favourite books written by Black authors! Send us a photo of you reading it, or just send us the title - but most importantly: let us know why it's your book pick!
We will be sharing submissions throughout the month of February!
Please consider shopping local and supporting a Black-owned bookstore (shout out to the iconic Burke's Bookstore) or visiting any of our local St. Paul's Toronto Public Library branches that are always ready to welcome you!
Our community member Beck suggests the book Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. They write:
"My recommendation for a book by a Black author is Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. It's a young adult book that seeks to answer the question How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist? Jam, a Black trans girl, and Pet, a creature who came out of one of her mother's paintings, join forces to uncover the truth about monsters so they can protect Jam’s friend. It's a thought-provoking and cautionary tale about the need to continue work for a just and better society but is ultimately hopeful. I appreciated the diverse representation of characters in terms of race, gender, sexuality, disability, and family structure."
You can borrow pet from your favourite library branch here!
This Black History Month I think we need to move beyond honouring Black History and address the structural injustices holding the Black community back today. I rose in the legislature to call out the areas where this government is still failing Black citizens.
Low income individuals may be interested in making use of The Stop's Free Tax Clinic, which is open from March 1 to April 28!
Our friends at the Frankel Lambert Outreach Committee (FLOC) are hiring a project coordinator for "Building Community Capacity for Co-op Development in the Frankel Lambert Neighbourhood." If you know of someone who sounds like a good fit for this role, please share this job posting and encourage them to apply by March 3!
On March 4, I will be participating as a panelist at the screening of Below the Belt - a documentary about endometriosis produced by Hillary Clinton, Rosario Dawson, Corinne Foxx, and Mae Whitman.
As critic for women's issues, I was proud to stand in the legislature in support of naming March endometriosis month of awareness. Raising awareness around endometriosis is an important piece of advocacy work for all folks who menstruate, including transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary community members who have a long history of experiencing inequity in the health care system.
This important film highlights the discrimination experienced by people assigned female at birth and the many social taboos that surround menstruation to this day.
I hope you'll consider joining us in what I'm sure will be a lively and informative discussion!
Until March 31, Unison's Oakwood-Vaughan location will be offering an integrated care clinic on Monday evenings from 5:30-8:30PM. Members of the community can drop in to receive COVID vaccines, blood pressure checks, mental health and harm reduction support, and be seen by a physician - no health card required!
Are you a lower-income renter? In 2022, the Government of Canada announced a One-time top up to the Canada Housing benefit - a one-time payment of $500 to help with the cost of rent.
Please see the below for more information about eligibility and how to apply, and be sure to share this widely with your community. Even reaching one more eligible renter will make all the difference!
Our friends at Sending Sunshine have reached out to request help from you! These lovely folks are working to combat social isolation and loneliness among senior community members by providing them with handwritten cards.
If you've got a stamp to spare, consider writing an uplifting note to an elder Ontarian to spread a little of our famous Toronto-St. Paul's joy!
Until March 12, you can check out the below exhibit at James Rottman Fine Art gallery at 803 St. Clair Ave W. at Atlas Avenue!
This April, the BBPA Harry Jerome Awards returns! Don't forget to get your tickets and nominate your preferred candidate!
The spectacular Holy Blossom Temple Out of the Cold Community Dinner will be running EVERY THURSDAY at 5PM until March 30th at 1950 Bathurst St (entrance on Dewbourne Avenue)! Spread the word to folks in need!!!! Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who make services like this possible!
See here for more info!
Doors open each Thursday at 5PM and close at 7PM.