Community News Update - March 16, 2022

Dear Community,

For two extremely challenging years, students at Ontario colleges have seen their studies disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, those students face the possibility of further interruption to their school year due to the ongoing unresolved contract negotiations between faculty and the colleges.

There is still time for the parties to reach agreement on a new contract, and I hope that can be achieved in the next few days.

That being said, I am calling the Ford government to act now by communicating with the College Employer Council about what is needed to avoid class disruptions. The council must agree to enter voluntary binding interest arbitration, conducted by a neutral party, so that outstanding issues can be settled without a strike.

Yesterday, I spent another night knocking on doors and having fabulous conversations in our community. As usual, I also had a lot of fun meeting all of your pets – if only my FURfriends could vote!

 

Overdevelopment and the lack of affordable housing in Ontario (especially in Toronto) came up time and time again. This is a priority issue for me and my NDP colleagues (you can find the ON NDP Housing Plan here). Some of the problems that have been brought up by constituents over the last few years include:

  • The fact that new developments (occupied for residential purposes after November 15, 2018) are not bound to the provincial rent increase guidelines, meaning there is no cap for how much landlords can raise rent prices annually.
  • Above the Guideline Rent Increases (AGIs).
  • No real protections against renovictions and demovictions.

I have been supporting individual constituents’ cases when it comes to housing, but, if the NDP hold government majority, there’d be so much more we could do legislation-wise. For example, our bill Rent Stabilization Act: Pay What the Last Tenant Paid would have stopped landlords from jacking up rent between tenants if it had been approved by the Legislative Assembly.

As a reminder, tomorrow we have our NDP Black Caucus Symposium, from 10 am to 4 pm. In this event, we will be speaking about policy changes that can fundamentally improve the lives of Black Ontarians. Ontario NDP Black Caucus members will also share how the Ontario NDP is responding to and prioritizing those changes.

There will be three panel discussions:

➡️ Health

➡️ Education

➡️ Jobs & the Economy

Each panel will be followed by an audience Q&A. RSVP to [email protected], and a zoom link will be shared!

I'm also thrilled to share that coming up this Friday, March 18th, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, I will be joined by Federal NDP Leader, Jagmeet Singh, at our new campaign office at 1425 Yonge Street for a meet and greet.

Everyone is welcome to join us for this special event. RSVP here.

Finally, Chag Sameach to the Jewish constituents celebrating Purim tonight.

During Purim, we remember the story of Esther. This story serves as a call to those of us from oppressed communities in positions of power to work for the liberation of our whole community, not just those few that find acceptance or success in the mainstream.

 

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew

Toronto–St. Paul's

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