Community News Update - March 11, 2024

Dear Community, 

Ramadan Mubarak to Muslim community members here in Toronto—St. Paul's and beyond observing the holy month of Ramadan. I wish you a peaceful month spent with family, friends, and community.

For many, Ramadan will look different this year. I want to recognize the unimaginable loss and grief being experienced across the Muslim community due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Israel and Gaza. I will continue to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, the release of hostages, and for unimpeded aid to reach civilians. Peace must be our collective goal.

 

Last week was a busy week in the legislature. On Monday, March 4th we put forward a solution to make Highway 407 toll-free for commercial trucks. Removing tolls from the 407 would get more trucks off the 401, reduce congestion, boost our economy, and eliminate the need for spending billions on Highway 413. 

Highway 407 remains underused because of some of the highest tolls in North America. We forced a vote in the legislature to remove the tolls so Ontarians can spend less time stuck in traffic and get home faster. It's a win-win solution, and simply makes sense. But instead of working together on this, the conservatives voted it down. 

Read more here.

 

Last Thursday, we were joined in the legislature by our neighbours from the Mount Dennis community for a press conference. This community is demanding respect and accountability from MPP Michael Ford who has outright ghosted them, despite promises to engage with the community on Metrolinx's Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

MPP Ford and Metrolinx have refused to respond to any of their concerns about how this project is impacting their community. I joined them alongside MPP Joel Harden and former York South Weston MPP Faisal Hassan because from Midtown and Little Jamaica to Ottawa Centre, our communities know a thing or two about Metrolinx can ignore community concerns.

I was proud to stand in Question Period with dozens of Mount Dennis community members to demand accountability for this community that's been left behind. They deserve more than broken commitments. Click here to watch my full question. 

 

The girl standing next to me in the photo below is outstanding! Halle is a leader at her school. She organized the first International Women's Day March at her school when she was in 5th grade. She's been organizing them ever since. Halle is graduating this year, and last week's march marked the school's 6th annual march. 

The annual event brings the entire school together and provides an opportunity for senior students to mentor the younger one. It's built on health relationships, on young women's empowerment, and I was blown away. 

Halle, you've created a legacy that will live on long after you've left high school. Thank you Halle, your school admin team, and the whole team of student organizers for inviting me to speak! I had a blast! Here's to bringing our bold, brilliant, and beautiful selves to everything we do and every relationship we cultivate year-round. Three cheers for girls! 

 

No one is free until we are all free. 

It was an honour to speak alongside my ONDP colleagues at the annual International Women's Day Mary Spratt Breakfast at the Steelworkers' Hall last weekend. It was wonderful to see so many incredible women, gender diverse folks and allies committed to building a more equitable future for all. Let us never forget that liberation for all women is everyone's responsibility. Thank you to Steelworkers' Toronto Area Council women's committee, SEIU Healthcare workers, Ontario Federation of Labour, Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation Toronto and everyone else who joined us. 

After the breakfast, I made my way to the International Women's Day rally at OISE. Thank you once again to the organizers, speakers, and community members who came out in large numbers. This work cannot be confined to a single day. It was also great, as always, to see Lyba of Seniors for Climate Action Now and Nadine of Equal Pay Coalition Ontario. Thank you both for your advocacy!

 

Thank you Yonge + Clair BIA and Monday Girl for inviting to speak tonight on your International Women's Day panel as a part of the ongoing Glisten Festival. It was so great to connect with young female leaders and share the stage with Veronica and Safoura!

The Yonge + St Clair neighbourhood is home to some inspiring women entrepreneurs and leaders. Special shout out to Paula Renata, co-owner of Megumi Mazesoba, Ronit Wilk, owner of Oxygen Yoga, Ashley Saltsman of Straight Up Health, and Rebecca Harrison, Executive Director of Unity Charity for sharing some wisdom with this evening's attendees. Thank you to Seraphina, the incredible violinist and DJ Fly Lady Di once again for bringing the music. You are both AMAZING!

Thank you also to Grandma Loves You for the delicious sandwiches! They just moved into the Yonge + St Clair BIA. Check em out!

 

Are you looking for a family doctor or nurse practitioner?

The Toronto Western Family Health Team is accepting new patients living in the neighbourhood. 

They have a team of health care professionals working together with you for your health care needs. Their team includes:

  • Doctors/Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Chiropodist
  • Dietitian
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Social Worker

They offer a broad range of programs and services, interpretation, and offer extended hours and urgent same day appointments. 

Click here for more information

 

Galleria on the Park is pleased to introduce 150 affordable rental homes (starting at $1,589). They will be available starting Summer 2024 at 1283 Dupont St. Those eligible can apply now to be entered in the random draw for 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units.

Deadline: April 30th, 8PM
Click here to learn more!

 

As the saying goes "Grenada is the island of spice and everything nice!" The people don't lie!

I visited Earla's Kitchen & Bar, a Grenadian restaurant in the heart of our Oakwood Village community. It hit the spot! Jacks fried fish, bakes, saltfish, ham, and more and it was delicious! In the time we were there catching laughs with old and new friends, customers were traveling in from Brampton, Mississauga and Hamilton to enjoy Earla and her team's wonderful cuisine! 

I will certainly be back! That's a fact. Thank you, Earla, for the good food and a belly full of laughs. And thank you T! I'm so glad our schedules finally aligned for us to enjoy it together. 

 

This Trans Day of Visibility, March 31, LGBTQ+ at the J and the Ontario Jewish Archives present The First Jew in Canada: A Trans Tale, written and performed by S. Bear Bergman

In 1738, a young transgender man named Jacques LaFargue set off from France to what is now Quebec City, determined to make for himself a new life. The First Jew In Canada: A Trans Tale is his largely untold story, embroidered onto the bones of nine verifiable facts about his life and existence, and interwoven with the modern experience of a trans and Jewish immigrant to Canada three hundred years later. A thrilling and illuminating tale, The First Jew In Canada takes its audience on a stubbornly Jewish journey of optimism, faith, and joy - including the joy and affirmation of finding an ancestor you never knew you had.

More information about Bear, the play, and accessibility can be found at www.tinyurl.com/FirstJewInCanada

 

Check out Homework Hub at the Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub in Vaughan Road Academy (529 Vaughan Rd). 

The program is offered Wednesday from 4 to 6 PM and is open to students in grades 4-8. Sign up for support with:

  • Homework
  • Reading, writing, math
  • Test prep
  • Organization

Register at [email protected].

 

Also from the Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub!

There is an 800-900 sq. ft. classroom space available for community programming on weekdays at the Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub in the former Vaughan Rd. Academy.

Contact Peter Clutterbuck, OVCO Board member and Community Hub Chair by email ([email protected]) or by phone (416-738-3228) for more information.

 

Check out this 3 part webinar series from the Youth Alliance for Intersectional Justice (YAIJ)!

This is an opportunity for neurodiverse high school students to learn more about college, university, or trade schools, from neurodiverse students currently in those school environments.

Students and their families can ask anything they want and get coaching from their peers, students with lived experiences, and accessibility advisors.
ALL students are welcome, especially students who are non-speaking, have multiple disabilities, and students who aren't in school anymore. Interpreter services will be available.

This 3-part webinar series will cover everything from getting through the application process, to making friends at school.

Part 1 is on March 27th at 730p  (EST) on Zoom. Registration is free. Email Jantz at [email protected].

 

Applications are now open for My Main Street's Business and Community Activator Streams.

My Main Street is a $15-million investment to foster the stabilization and revitalization of main streets across southern Ontario. The program will offer streamlined direct-to-business supports and complementary programming for community projects that will encourage growth and economic prosperity.

Application deadline is March 31, 2024.

Click here for more information.

 

The Hillcrest Community Food Bank (2 Vaughan Road) needs URGENT help filling their shelves!

The need for food in our community is increasing and they're in urgent need of MORE food (and household items) to meet this higher demand. Please contact them via Instagram if there is anything you can do to help or if you are a local business that would be interested in becoming a community partner. Food donations in kind or monetary donations to their Canada Helps website would be greatly appreciated.

 

On April 4th from 5-7 pm, join the Hillcrest Village BIA for a Meet & Greet at Bloom Bar Studio.

This is an opportunity to meet the BIA Board of Management, learn about BIA neighbourhood initiatives, and share your thoughts for the future. Join the BIA team for a casual evening with food, drinks and friendly conversations. Don't miss this chance to connect with fellow residents and business owners! 

 

Pride at Work is seeking nominations for its 2024 CHANGEMAKERS campaign. The campaign will recognize15 people championing 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion in the corporate, public service and non profit sectors across Canada as a part of their 15th anniversary.

The nomination process is open from January 15th to March 17th, 2024. Click here for more information. 

 

In Ontario, 1,400 people on average are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant while thousands more are in need of a life-changing tissue donation. They are our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and, in some cases, members of our own families.

When you register as a possible organ and tissue donor, you have the potential to change the story for someone in need.
 
One donor can help over 80 people get back to life.
 
Register your consent to become an organ and tissue donor after your death and tell your family so they can help honour your wishes.
 
Did You Know?

  • Any Ontario resident who is 16 years or older and has an Ontario health card is eligible to register as an organ and tissue donor
  • Everyone has the potential to be an organ and/or tissue donor, regardless of age or health.
  • People from every major religion have donated. Many religions support donation or respect and individual’s choice.
  • The first and foremost concern for health care professionals is to save lives. Only when a life cannot be saved does organ and tissue donation become an option.
  • It takes two minutes to register or check your status at www.beadonor.ca. You can also register in person at any ServiceOntario location.

 
More information about the donation process, who can register, and the importance of speaking to family can be found online at www.beadonor.ca.

 

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, 

Dr. Jill Andrew, Ph.D

MPP 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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