It’s Black History Month – a time when we reflect on the incredible accomplishments of Black people around the world, and also take the time to reflect on the structural anti-Black racism and barriers that are still too prevalent in our society.
On the note of being proud – I’m PROUD to be a part of the Ontario NDP Black Caucus and work every day to build a province where Black communities are presented with all the opportunities they deserve. I’m committed to fighting racism and promoting equity and justice by ensuring that Black perspectives are incorporated into policy creation in Ontario. I know that I have the support of our community when I say Black lives matter, and I’m going to keep working to ensure that the importance of those words is understood by everyone.
There are going to be many events in the coming month, and I would encourage everyone reading this to try and check out at least one before the end of the month.
This week also marks Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW), a week of recognition that came about in Ontario as a result of my Private Members’ Bill – Bill 61. The importance of this week cannot be overstated. Eating disorders can affect anyone, and it is vital that we work together to destigmatize this mental health issue and ensure that folks who need help feel comfortable asking for it.
If you want to learn more about EDAW, or access resources about eating disorders, check out:
Today, in our province there are 2939 people in hospital with COVID-19, and 555 in intensive care. While these numbers remain troubling, the positive news here is that in both cases those numbers have decreased significantly since last week. Tragically, Ontario is also reporting an additional 72 deaths of people with COVID-19.
While we’re in the process of reopening now, I want to encourage everyone in our community to continue following the advice of our public health experts. That means that we all should continue to wear our masks when appropriate, and make sure to get fully vaccinated.
On that note, this Friday at St. Michael’s Church there will be a pop-up vaccine clinic from 2:30PM to 7:30PM. It’s a drop-in clinic for all ages (5+) at 611 St. Clair Ave West.
In Ottawa, anti-vaccine mandate protests continue to cause chaos, and today I’m adding my voice to the chorus calling on the Ford government to step in and ensure an end to the protests. We must also allow space for protests, but in Ottawa what we are seeing is an occupation of the nation’s capital by people who have exhibited hatred, racism, and antisemitism. Doug Ford needs to step up and ensure that these protests end now.
Stay strong everyone!