And we’re back!
After a brief hiatus following the election, I am looking forward to getting back to delivering our regular Community News Update, which until the Legislature returns in August, will be scheduled to be in your inbox twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays.
Once the Legislature is back, I will return to our full Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule.
In this summer session, the Ontario NDP will have a new face, as on Tuesday our provincial council confirmed MPP Peter Tabuns as our new interim leader. He will serve as our interim leader until our leadership campaign wraps up – and a new permanent leader is chosen.
I am proud to work with Peter Tabuns, and I know that his wisdom will help steward us through these coming months.
So let’s start with a catch up of what been a busy few weeks since the election.
Last week, I was officially sworn in once again as your MPP for Toronto—St. Paul’s. I was thrilled to be joined by family, friends, and volunteers from our campaign at Queen’s Park for this ceremony. I want to thank you community for once again putting your trust in me, and to everyone who joined for the ceremony!
Pride Month is just wrapping up, and I was delighted to join in on a number of festivities this year. Sadly, while we of course celebrated Pride to the fullest, this year it coincided with the horrific decision from the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade – which has allowed many states to ban safe access to abortions across the United States.
I was proud to join a strong crowd at the US Consulate in Toronto to deliver a speech in opposition to this ruling – and I will always fight to protect the right to choose.
Next, I want to share my sincere congratulations to the great folks at the Oakwood Village Magazine on their successful launch last week. I’m looking forward to reading it – and thank you to the great team at the Oakwood Village BIA for bringing this project to life.
Now – onto the news from Queen’s Park.
Sadly – just a few days into his new term, it looks like Doug is already taking steps to make life more difficult in Ontario, because we learned this afternoon that the Ford government has chosen to set the rental increase guideline in Ontario for 2023 – at 2.5%.
This is more than double the 1.2% guideline that we saw in 2022.
While I cannot say that I am surprised by this move from the Ford government, I am disappointed that they are once again planning on turning their backs on renters in our province. In a moment when costs are soaring across the board, they are greenlighting a rent hike that will be taking money directly out of the pockets of folks who could really use that extra money to put food on the table.
This comes the same week as there are news stories, as well as reports from our own community about rental buildings filing for evictions for the simple use of air conditioners – and underscores once again the need to overhaul our existing rental regulations across the board. These changes must include delivering real rent control for all units in Ontario, engraining a right to a maximum temperature in an apartment, and banning unlimited rent increases between tenants.
I am committed to fighting hard for our community, and with our constituency being more than 60% tenants, you can be sure that I will make continuing to fight for tenants’ rights a key priority in these next four years.
Simultaneously to announcing this coming rent hike, the Ford government was finalizing its list of 43 government MPPs to be made parliamentary assistants, 18 more than we saw in the last Legislature – roles that come with a pay raise of over $16,000. This follows their ministerial expansion to 30 members of cabinet – who net about $50,000 on top of their MPP salary.
This extra money is a slap in the face to Ontarians who are struggling right now.
Tomorrow is Canada Day.
For many in our community, Canada Day is a difficult day. Many of us have become more aware than ever of the shameful history of our country’s treatment of Indigenous peoples. For many Indigenous community members the residential schools are the most painful part of that legacy, and more Canadians than ever are now aware of the abuses within that system, and we must continue to reckon with this legacy.
I hope that today Canadians celebrating will be able to honour what is best in this country while recognizing our history of oppression, colonialism and genocide and remembering all that still needs to be done to make this a home that everyone can be proud of.
Finally today, I am issuing a call out for more of our community’s terrific pet photos! If you would like your pet to be featured in one of our upcoming Community News Updates, please email in your picture to [email protected].