Community News Update - June 7, 2023

With fires raging across the province, Environment Canada has issued a special air quality warning for Toronto.

On top of checking the forecast for changes, please ensure you're staying indoors, preferably in well-ventilated spaces, as much as possible. When outside, consider wearing a mask, especially those who live with breathing or lung conditions. 

I want to take a moment to recognize the many who can't stay indoors as they work outside for much of their day. Like migrant farmers who are putting their health & safety at risk to ensure food is on our table. The unhoused, who have few places to turn for clean air, or are breathing this in 24 hours a day. A moment, as well, for the firefighters, as well, who are fighting on the frontlines to control these fires, all with less resources this year thanks to Ford's cuts. THANK YOU for your bravery.

I say this to recognize the privilege it is to "stay indoors" or in "well-ventilated spaces" when it comes to air quality advisories, and to make clear that an individualized approach to mitigation doesn't cut it.

Climate change isn't on its way. It's here and it's a crisis. We need leaders to act accordingly instead of downloading the responsibility onto YOU. Instead, we have a leader who's paving over our Greenbelt, expanding highways, tearing out electric stations, and walking us into a deeper crisis. One his caucus members are calling normal.

But tell me, community, when's the last time you've looked outside your window in the first week of June to see this?

This morning, I joined MPP Karpoche (Parkdale-High Park), MPP Gelinas (Nickel Belt) to announce our Rare Disease Strategy Act; a Bill that would move the government to enact the recommendations outlined in the Rare Diseases Working Group Report.

This report provides a needed toolkit to support the millions of Ontarians that live with rare diseases in accessing affirming, affordable care in this province. Because right now, they aren't and are living in pain and distress (both physically and mentally) as this toolkit collects dust.

I want to thank Emily, a Toronto--St. Paul's community member who joined our announcement to share her life experience as someone with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, under the umbrella of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, to why this Bill must pass to give her and thousands of folks living with the same condition a dignified & healthy future. Thank you, Emily. 

Watch the full conference.

Last night, I also dropped into Operation Black Vote's mayoral debate.

Interestingly, an invite went out to all candidates, regardless of race, to join the discussion on the priorities of Black voters; those who've long been underserved by back-to-back mayors that prioritized austerity over equity. But of non-Black candidates, Olivia Chow was the only one to show up while of course, others like Chloe Brown and Celina Caesar-Chavannes knew how important this debate was. 

But attendance aside, it was an inspiring evening to hear how each candidate plans to (finally) show up for Black Torontonians, recognizing the equity-centered policies it takes to do so. Thank you all, for your continued work towards a city that works for all of us!

There was double trouble in the chambers today. Good trouble that is, as TWO of our community members are taking part in the Page Program.

Meet Milan and Silas! Two of the brightest minds Ontario's got! It was great to meet with them and hear of their highlights over the past week and a half, and what BIG GOALS they have  afterwards.

While I won't give away their grand plans, one thing I'll tell you is I am CERTAIN they're on the path to achieving them ... and then some.

Congrats both on taking part on this coveted program. What a pleasure it was to meet you!

Want to give your kid a front row seat to all that goes down at Queen's Park? Well, now's your chance through the Legislative Page Program, with applications open now until June 15, 2023.

Each year, grade 7 & 8 students are selected to take part in the coveted program, acting as aides to MPPs in the chambers, while also getting to see and learn of Ontario's parliamentary process, meet members from both sides of the aisle, and make friends from all across Ontario, Having seen many students of St. Paul's take on the important role over the years, and hear the joy and lifelong memories they & their families made, I highly encourage your child's application.

Learn more of the program and how to apply here. If you have any questions, reach out via email at [email protected] or by phone at (416) 325-7457.

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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