Community News Update - June 9, 2023

As you may have noticed, I've been away from the Legislature for the past two months. Yesterday, as the final day of this session, I took the chance to stand in the House and share why.

Since April, my mom has been in hospital after a sudden fall. What was thought to be a quick visit to ensure no damage was done turned out to be a much longer journey; one of the most difficult our family has ever had to endure.

But despite how difficult, it has also been a reminder of how lucky my mom and I are to have the love, support, and genuine compassion we've seen during this time. From my dear friend & Leader of the Ontario NDP, Marit Stiles and my Ontario NDP colleagues, to government members, countless community members, and beloved faith leaders. To my partner. My rock.

Each of them has been the strength I've needed.

I am especially grateful for the day in and out work of the doctors, nurses, PSWs, and every hospital worker who I've watched be stretched thin, yet meet my mom & I in this time with urgency, kindness, and deep care. There are no words to encompass my full thanks.

We've been fortunate to have received a diagnosis now, after seemingly endless tests, and hope & look forward to its remission. Our family's journey continues and with it, so does my gratitude to each of you.

Watch my full statement.

Advance polls for Toronto's mayoral by-election are open now through Tuesday, as your chance to skip the line by voting early.

Find your closest polling station to cast your ballot in this important election, as step ONE to making the changes that move our city forward. Forward for all of us. 

Yesterday, your Ontario NDP Leader also hosted an afternoon celebration at Queen's Park to mark Portuguese Heritage Month and recognize the many contributions of the Portuguese-Ontario community. 

This weekend, the celebration continues through Little Portugal Toronto BIA's annual Dundas West Fest. Find out details here.

Also happening over the weekend is the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. Now through Sunday, it's your chance to catch any number of great films in theatres throughout the city, each showcasing distinct aspects of Jewish identity and the Jewish experience.

Sunday's closing night feature is 'Vishniac"; an exploration of the life and work of photographer Roman Vishniac, who's creative brilliance documented Jewish life in Eastern Europe in the decades leading up to the Holocaust.

Tickets for this and other films can be found here.

I had a great evening out last night, celebrating alongside the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC) for their 2023 Action Party. It's been too long since I've had the chance to see dear St. Paul's community members, friends, colleagues, and advocates; together for a great cause!

Thank you to organizers for having me, and to CJPAC for your year round advocacy to ensure Jewish communities and their voices are lifted in politics as a needed step in combatting antisemitism. 

The air quality statement continues with a severe warning, especially for those with underlying health conditions. If and as you can, please stay indoors or in well-ventilated spaces and consider wearing a mask when outdoors.

My continued thanks goes out to the firefighters and first responders who are working tirelessly to control the forest fires across the province and country.

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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