Community News Update - January 11, 2023

Dear Community,

Last night was my annual New Years Check-In and it was a thrill to see so many of you! As always, I am honoured to be your MPP and, above all, your neighbour, and I want to thank each of you for sharing your concerns about the upcoming year with me.

I have great hope for 2023 and the many things we will accomplish together!

As you've likely heard by now, the City of Toronto 2023 budget was released on January 10 and will be debated on February 14. To ensure Mayor Tory and all members of city council feel the love, let's make sure our voices are heard!

Progress Toronto has partnered with Urban Alliance on Race Relations to offer free comprehensive training sessions for folks interested in participating.

You can learn more about the opportunity here! I'm particularly interested in the session on Sunday, January 15, hosted by Stephen Mensah and Saman Tabasinejad, "How to Speak at Budget Committee."

A thriving democracy requires each of us to do our part, so I hope you'll consider signing up!

You can read the budget proposal in full here, where you'll see proposed cuts to community housing, public health, and fire services.

Justice 4 Workers will be hosting a virtual organizing meeting on January 17 on the topic of decent work for all. Learn more about how to get involved here!

Earlier this week, I had a chance to speak with a member of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighter's Association to hear their concerns about presumptive coverage and simultaneous notification.

Presumptive Coverage: Cancer is the leading cause of death for Canadian fire fighters - 50-60 fire fighters die of cancer each year across Canada, and over half of those are in Ontario. 

Since 2007, Ontario has spearheaded the fight to recognize cancer as an occupational danger for fighters, and many other provinces have followed suit. These heroic workers are calling on the government to add thyroid and pancreatic cancers to Ontario's presumptive coverage, which would allow firefighting families to receive the support they desperately need due to these cancers' high and swift mortality rate.

Simultaneous Notification: When folks in need dial 911, they require access to emergency assistance as soon as possible. Simultaneous Notification links emergency dispatch computers so that in the event of emergencies, communication and dispatch times can be improved to better improve patient outcomes.

These technologies provide advanced, real-time sharing of information, and the anecdotal evidence collected so far proves its efficacy. This is a tool all Ontarian emergency responders need to better serve our communities in times of crisis.

Please see these detailed fact sheets for more information!

Please consider signing this petition to support the removal of HST from psychotherapy services. This is an issue I've been championing for the last year alongside my colleague MPP France Gélinas. Psychotherapists are the only mental health practitioners required to collect HST from clients, and it further complicates the accessibility of mental health care for many folks in the province. It's time this ends.

Feel free to share this petition with your network using the hashtag #TaxFreeTherapy

On Friday, I will be participating in a webinar organized by Circles for Reconciliation discussing the future of reconciliation for Canada. I'm grateful to the many participants who are sharing their time and expertise, and I hope you'll consider joining us! You can learn more about the event and register at this link.

The Canadian Women's Foundation is now accepting proposals for their Community Needs grants! Approximately 25 grants up to a maximum of $20,000 will be accepted. See here for more information.

The Toronto Wildlife Centre is accepting applications for volunteer education assistants. See here for how to apply!

On February 17, Jesse Ryan and Kaiso Street Collective will be premiering the music of The Mighty Bomber at Holy Blossom Temple. Get your tickets here!


Funding is now open for all 2023 Cultural Hotspot projects in Little Jamaica. The deadline is January 16, so get your applications in fast!

Looking for a spot to grab a nourishing vegan bite? I recommend Vegwood in the heart of Oakwood Village! Learn more about their delicious offerings here, and find them at 540 Oakwood Avenue.

On January 25 from 11:30-3:30, the York-Fairbank Centre for Seniors will be hosting a health fair!

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's


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