Community News Update - January 12, 2024

Dear Community, 

We lost a great man yesterday. I want to extend my deepest condolences to the loved ones of Mr. Ed Broadbent who passed away yesterday at 87. 

Ed led the NDP from 1975 to 1989. Ed fought with his whole heart for a just and equal country. I once said Ed put the "D" in democracy. ♥

Thank you, Ed for your sense of humour, advice, and service. I appreciated our conversations. We learned so much from you. 

More on Ed in a statement from the Broadbent Institute.


Last year, we saw hundreds of emergency rooms and urgent care centres shuttered; people have been forced to travel far because their ER or urgent care centres lacked the staff to stay open. The systemic underfunding of our health care system has led to a full-on crisis.

I and the ONDP are calling on this government to stop ignoring the health care crisis and make things better, especially for the over 2 million Ontarians, including in St. Paul's, WITHOUT a family doctor! Here are THREE things this government could do RIGHT NOW to improve health care and reduce wait times:

  1. Stop fighting nurses in court: Drop its appeal of Bill 124. The Conservatives are spending untold millions in public dollars fighting a Supreme Court ruling that declared their wage-suppressing legislation unconstitutional. 
  2. Establish safe staffing ratios: Follow in the footsteps of British Columbia and establish minimum nurse-patient staffing ratios to ensure quality of care.
  3. Cap agency nurses: Pass the Ontario NDP’s legislation to ensure every hospital and long-term care home in a municipality of 8,000 residents or more limit its spending on health care staffing agencies within two years. Prevent the poaching of public nurses by prohibiting agencies from paying their workers more than 10 per cent above the rate in the public workplace.

Read the full ONDP press release here. 

Ontarians deserve a robust public health care system that isn’t hanging on by a single thread. The government is sitting on billions in public dollars, while they continue to push for increased privatization in the health care sector. Amid an affordability crisis while folks are struggling to access housing and put food on the table, we shouldn't be asking them to set aside money to pay for their health care too. Ontarians deserve better.

On that note, COVID-19 and flu cases are on the rise. Our health care system is feeling the strain. I encourage you to get your flu shots and your COVID-19 XBB vaccines if you haven't already to protect yourself and our community. Click here for information about where to get vaccinated. 


Earlier this week the province announced they'd be shuttering Service Ontario locations and opening kiosks inside Staples stores. 

You heard that right, folks! This is yet another scheme to further corporatize our government services. This partnership marks another sole-sourced contract. This time to a U.S-owned mega-corporation! First, vaccines at Shoppers. Now, licenses and health cards at Staples! I wonder what's next... Ford continues to rig the system to make his CEO friends richer.

We need TRANSPARENCY from this government about how this all went down. Enough with the sweeping decisions that leave the public with more questions than answers. 

Ford will look straight into the camera and claim to be "here for small businesses and small business owners," but will continue down his concerning pattern of favouring big corporations over the little guy.

Read our full press release here.  


Today I met with Rachel, a local parent in our St. Paul's community. Rachel's daughter hasn't had a permanent French immersion teacher since the beginning of the school year, and it's January. Our schools need at least 1000 more French teachers, and the Tories' underfunding is only making this problem worse.

I will continue to demand that Stephen Lecce fix this problem. Our  public schools in the GTA and across the province, quite frankly, are being hit HARD by systemic understaffing crises due to systemic underfunding. The strain this is placing on our students, teachers and education workers is immeasurable. 

The government must explain how they intend to address the crisis in our schools. It has gone on for far too long. This is just one reason why the legislature needs to be back in session. 


Yesterday, I stopped by Abiona Centre, formerly Humewood House! The centre provides crucial support to pregnant and parenting young people here in our very own Toronto-St. Paul's community, including housing support, job readiness programming, childcare, education, and more! They're currently accepting donations to support their work and the moms they support! Click here to learn about how you can support their work

I'd like to also highlight the amazing work of their early childhood educators (ECEs). I can't say enough about why we must ensure ECEs are properly paid AND respected! These workers are vital! Solid and sustainable funding and good workers' benefits can solve the understaffing and help retain amazing workers!

Thank you to Ekua & the entire Abiona Centre team! I'm inspired by your HEARTwork!


While pre-budget consultation hearings are underway across the province, we want to hear from YOU, community!

The Ford Conservatives are skipping over Ontario's largest city in its consultation, so we're holding our own. Join us on January 18th at Queen's Park from 3 to 8 pm to share your priorities for a stronger Ontario. 

Your voices matter. Whether it's putting money into public healthcare, education, housing, investing in the arts, or anything in between, we want to hear from you!

Click the link to RSVP: 

Remote options will be available. 


Attention St. Paul's, Toronto, & surrounding area!

Join Joy Bullen, Culturpreneur is bringing a concert in honour of Black History month!

Celebrations & Revelations 2024: Unyielding Roots

Second generation Canadians with roots in the Caribbean and Africa, Rashaan Rory Allwood, pianist / instrumentalist, and Kathryn Patricia Cobbler, Loop pedal violist, will premiere their original compositions, with the outstanding soprano voice of Nadine Anyan.

Rashaan and Kathryn will take you on a musical journey with pieces that reflect upon elements of the Caribbean immigrant and African diaspora experience. A program of original ambient jazz, folk, and classical compositions performed against a background film of images and events from life in the Caribbean and in Canada, exploring themes of being raised within multiple cultures and redefining beauty against a North American colonial landscape.

The performance will take place Sunday, February 11, 2024 at 3 pm at Holy Blossom Temple. Early bird tickets are $35 (until Jan 16th). Regular price: $45. 

Click here to buy yours!


The Black Student Summer Leadership Program (BSSLP) is back! 

BSSLP is a 7-week full-time paid summer experiential learning opportunity. Students hired will explore a range of academic and career placements including but not limited to: Business, Community Development, Information Technology, Public Health and Youth Justice. 


  • Black TDSB student (current, graduating or returning)
  • Must be available for Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) paid training (April 9-May 28)
  • Must be available for full-time summer employment (July 2 - Aug 16, 2024)
  • Must be available for interview from February 15 - 23, 2024)
  • Currently in Gr. 10-12 and must be 16 years old as of July 1, 2024. 

Click here to apply!

There will be an information session on January 16, 2024 from 6-7:30 pm. 

The deadline to apply is January 19, 2024.


Hillcrest Village Community Players is looking for volunteers for their upcoming production of Footloose (Feb 22–March 2, 2024)! 

There is a lot of fun to be had in their Front of House team! Roles available include:

  • Two ushers
  • Two ticket-takers
  • Two merch sales people
  • Two cafe and intermission sales people
  • Two coat-checkers

Interested? Fill out their interest form by January 29thhere

Tickets for the production are on sale NOW. You don’t want to miss it! Click here to purchase.

Also, from Hillcrest Village Players–

Hello Community - 

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting a Trivia Night at The Gym Pub (782 St. Clair Ave W) on Thursday, January 18th 6:30pm!

Brush up on your knowledge about the community, our upcoming production of Footloose and MORE to win Food/Drink prizes  throughout the evening… and the grand prize of Footloose tickets for your team!

Book a table for your team of up to 6 people. A minimum donation of $5 per player will be collected before trivia begins. 

Event: HVCP x The Gym Trivia Night
Date & Time: Thursday, January 18th, 6:30pm
Location: 782 St. Clair Ave W, Toronto
Minimum donation of $5 per player 

See you there!

Krista & Catherine

Click here to book your table


dance Immersion Presents the North American Premiere of
Traditional Future
by Kenya’s Fernando Anuang’a
Friday, January 19, 2024:
Pre-Show Reception – 7:15 PM
Performance & Artist Talk – 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Saturday, January 20, 2024:
Performance & Artist Talk – 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St W, Toronto, ON
General – $32.50    
Students/Arts Workers – $22.50
About the Performance:
dance Immersion presents Kenya’s Fernando Anuang’a in his internationally-renowned contemporary Maasaï dance solo, TRADITIONAL FUTURE, in North America for the first time!
With this work Fernando explores: How do we evolve tradition toward modernity without obliterating its tracks, without betraying one’s roots?
Fernando Anuang’a is an autodidact artist (self-taught dancer/choreographer) from Kenya. He is supported and inspired by Kenyan Maasaï songs, his ancestral memories, and his community’s vocal rhythmic power for his vocabulary. He is driven by a will to take tradition into the future, and continuously researches ways for Maasaï dance to live fully in this era. While tourists have exploited the image of the Maasaï jump tradition, Fernando’s practice instead infuses this cultural vertical energy with evolving Maasaï undulation gestures. For his third solo, TRADITIONAL FUTURE, he stays loyal to the Moran (Maasaï warrior) tradition as a symbolic root, while finding a deeper energy and more liberating form of self-expression to bring the tradition into the future.
This work is presented as part of dance Immersion’s 30th Anniversary Season! The performance will be accompanied by an opening night pre-show reception, and artist talks following both performances.


In Ontario, 1,400 people on average are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant while thousands more are in need of a life-changing tissue donation. They are our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and, in some cases, members of our own families.

When you register as a possible organ and tissue donor, you have the potential to change the story for someone in need.
One donor can help over 80 people get back to life.
Register your consent to become an organ and tissue donor after your death and tell your family so they can help honour your wishes.
Did You Know?

  • Any Ontario resident who is 16 years or older and has an Ontario health card is eligible to register as an organ and tissue donor
  • Everyone has the potential to be an organ and/or tissue donor, regardless of age or health.
  • People from every major religion have donated. Many religions support donation or respect and individual’s choice.
  • The first and foremost concern for health care professionals is to save lives. Only when a life cannot be saved does organ and tissue donation become an option.
  • It takes two minutes to register or check your status at You can also register in person at any ServiceOntario location.

More information about the donation process, who can register, and the importance of speaking to family can be found online at


Each year across Ontario, thousands of lives are lost to overdoses. We need every level of government to prioritize implementing harm reduction strategies to combat these senseless deaths, and you can help.

As many of you know, Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, and these kits are FREE with training at participating pharmacies across the city. Together, we can prevent unnecessary deaths and work toward a more compassionate society that is safe safe for everyone.

Find a pharmacy with Naloxone kits near you, and make sure you can recognize the signs of an overdose.


In Solidarity, 

Dr. Jill Andrew, P.h.D

MPP Toronto-St. Paul's

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