Community News Update - January 18, 2023

Dear Community,


The Conservative attacks against our public institutions just keep coming as Premier Ford introduced a plan this week to ferry us further down the road to privatization. Studies across the US & UK show that outsourcing health care to the private sector increases patient mortality. Make no mistake: Doug Ford doesn't care about our health, and suggesting that privatization will solve our current crisis is a cruel joke meant to make the rich richer.

This is a slippery slope, folks. What we need is a government committed to expanding the accessibility of health services by investing public funding in public institutions - this includes dropping the appeal of Bill 124.

We must work together to ensure all Ontarians have access to accessible, equitable, and public health are wherever and whenever they need it. Join me in signing this petition to stop Ford's plan to privatize.

If you are a person working on the front lines of our health care crisis: I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Please reply to this email and share your thoughts about Ford's plan to privatize. We need to start listening to the folks who know this situation best!

Toronto has seen a profound increase in the number of folks experiencing homelessness, and with the winter weather upon us, many have little options about where to go to get out of the cold. Many times, this is a matter of life and death.

Unfortunately, the city has refused to allocate enough space to house and care for the vulnerable members of our communities. You can read more about this policy choice here.

I hope you'll join me in signing this petition to open warming spaces 24/7 so our neighbours can survive these cold days ahead. Feel free to go a step further and reach out to your local city councillors with a personalized message to make these priorities known.

Sending my condolences to the family of David Onley. Mr. Onley was a fantastic journalist and a champion for disability justice, access, and equity as both a reporter and later as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. I first had the honour of meeting Mr. Onley at the Toronto International Deaf Film & Arts Festival, and the encounter has stayed with me.

To learn more about Mr. Onley's advocacy against ableism and structural and spatial discrimination as well as his quest for an Ontario built on equity, access, and inclusivity for people with disabilities (PWD), visit this link.

A reminder that on January 26th at 7 pm I am hosting an online town hall with Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden to discuss the private-public partnership (P3) model's effects on our efforts to build light rail transit (LRT) systems in Ottawa and Toronto.

I've spoken out about the problems with the Crosstown LRT in the past:

During the event we will hear testimonies from transit workers, transit riders, impacted small businesses and municipal decision-makers in Ottawa and Toronto, with time for questions at the end.

If you want to join us, RSVP here!

The Ontario pre-budget consultation is fast approaching! Register by 12 PM o nFebruary 7 at 12 PM. Hearings will be held on Zoom in Barrie and Toronto. Hearing date Feb 13 – must be registered to attend. Contact [email protected] for more info! You can also use this link.

There are any number of things folks can speak to at these meetings: concerns around housing, affordability crisis, food insecurity, the public health care crisis, environmental issues...the list goes on!

When it comes to budgetary issues: EVERY VOICE MATTERS! Make sure yours is HEARD!

The spectacular Holy Blossom Temple Out of the Cold Community Dinner commenced last night and 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.

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's


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