Community News Update - June 16, 2023

Dear Community,

A REMINDER FOR TOMORROW! My community food tables are back this weekend, starting in Marian Engel Park this Saturday, June 17th from 11AM to 1PM with plans to expand across our community through the summer!

But this can't happen without donations or volunteers. If you have non-perishable food items to donate, stop by to drop them off. For those in need of a helping hand, please come by to take what you need with no questions asked. If you want to spend your Saturday morning meeting new people while doing good for our neighbours, reply to this email to get out this weekend or another coming up!  

To quote the artist, ally, mother monster Lady Gaga: "Don't be a DRAG just be a QUEEN!" This morning, we did just that! Filling Oakwood Village Library & Arts Centre with PRIDE, joy & a whole lotta LOVE with drag queen story time with the AMAZING Gila Munster! 

Fabulous to see so many families and little ones reading some inclusive stories and being entertained by such an engaging storyteller and performer!

 

Yesterday I had the immense privilege of speaking at the McMurrich Pride Celebration! The student members of the McMurrich Pride Club sent me the most thoughtful and nuanced invitation outlining their community outreach work and the importance of inclusivity. Just wow!

 

Thank you to the wonderful performers from Queer Songbook Orchestra, our TDSB Trustee Shelley Laskin, the McMurrich School Council TSLGBTQ+ Pride Committee, Principal Julie Whitfield, Vice Principal Laura Scott, and the many, many students, teachers, educational and support staff, parents, and community members who show up each and every day to make sure our youth feel safe and LOVED.

We know all too well that celebrations like these that demonstrate LOVE for ALL aren't always welcome in our schools or our communities - they're not even always welcome in our homes. To take part in this event and witness the "human pride flag" was such an honour for me - not only as your MPP but as a member of the queer community. Thank you.

As I said yesterday: I am so PROUD to be Black, I am so PROUD to be queer, I am so PROUD to be a woman, and I am so PROUD OF YOU!

To all 2SLGBTQIA+ youth: I see you. I am here for you. I won't stop fighting for you!

 

As we continue to honour Indigenous History across the country through the month of June, join Na-Me-Res this Saturday, June 17 for a Pow Wow at Fort York to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day. The event welcomes the whole family to witness their traditional artform of dancing, drumming, and most importantly, telling a story too often untold in history books. 

Learn more about this fabulous event HERE!

Our community is changing fast and it's important that in seeing much-needed housing growth, the community its meant to benefit isn't left behind. How? By ensuring our voices are heard!

Next Tuesday, June 20 at 7PM, join Oakwood Vaughan Community Organization (OVCO), Black Urbanism TO (BUTO), K.E Residents and the Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) for an open discussion on preserving the historic Black culture & affordability of Oakwood-Vaughan, and ensuring proposed developments put community needs above those of developers. 

Register or learn more about the event here.

CUPE and OPSEU launched a joint campaign to raise awareness about developmental service workers and to pressure the Ford government to fund this sector to ensure all Ontarians have what they need to lead fulfilling lives. The campaign and an open letter laying out worker’s needs be found at lifechangingwork.ca. Together, these unions represent more than 20,000 developmental service workers who have been overworked and under-appreciated for far too long.

They're holding a rally outside Minister Parsa’s office on Monday to kick off Developmental Service Worker Appreciation Week. These workers – most of whom are women – are invisible and a major part of this campaign is dedicated to educating the public about the critical (life changing) work they do, acting as nurses, life coaches, family counsellors, bookkeepers, and so much more.

WHAT: Rally for Developmental Service workers outside Minister Parsa’s office
WHEN: Monday, June 19, 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: 13085 Yonge St #201, Richmond Hill, ON L4E 3S8

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, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's

 

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Community News Update - June 21, 2024

Dear Community,

Join me and Save Ontario's Science Centre on Sunday in Wells Hill Park to speak out against Doug Ford's scheme to move the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place, which has now led to the surprise closure of the Science Centre.

This benefits no one. Not the people of Toronto who are losing a beloved insitution or the 400+ employees of the OSC, many of whom will lose their jobs.

Meet us in Wells Hill Park at St Clair and Bathurst to tell Doug Ford NO.

RSVP here

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