Community News Update - March 18, 2022

Dear Community,

Whew – it’s been a busy day.

This morning, I welcomed Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to our community. We visited two great local businesses, took a trip to Meighen Manor Long-Term Care to thank frontline workers, and finished with a meet and greet at my new campaign office.

We started our morning at Zezafoun, a terrific restaurant located at Manor Road and Yonge Street. Zezafoun was opened by a mother and daughter team named Marcelle and Yolla after they immigrated to Canada from Syria as refugees. Zezafoun serves all sorts of delightful food and while we were there we took the chance to speak with Marcelle about the challenges she’s faced as a result of COVID-19.

Next, we walked a little down Yonge Street for our next stop at the Pasta Pantry – a staple in the Yonge and Davisville area. At the Pasta Pantry, we spoke with the owner Carlo about his journey running his store for more than 25 years, and we made sure not to leave empty handed (if you get the chance – try the lasagna).

I want to express a sincere thanks to both Zezafoun and the Pasta Pantry for welcoming us with open arms this morning.

Next up, we went just around the corner to stop in at Meighen Manor LTC, to take some time to thank the incredible staff there who have been working so hard during this pandemic. It’s absolutely no understatement to say that these frontline workers are heroes, and during a once in a lifetime crisis – they have been at the forefront, delivering care to our most vulnerable.

It was a particular honour to speak with the staff there – and I was deeply moved by the positive reception that Jagmeet and I received. I will never stop fighting to fix long-term care in Ontario, and when the Ontario NDP forms government, we will repeal Bill 124 and make sure that our healthcare workers are paid fairly for their vital work.

Finally, we headed down to my campaign office to meet with volunteers and get prepared for the coming election. I was blown away by the energy of our volunteers, and I want to thank everyone who came out today.

While there are too many people to name, I would like to give particular shoutouts to my friends' Trustee Norm di Pasquale, Ontario NDP Candidate in Don Valley West Irwin Elman, and of course Jagmeet Singh for joining us.

After the visit with Jagmeet – I jetted back home to hop on meetings this afternoon.

One meeting that I’d like to highlight today was with a coalition of organizations fighting to expand drug coverage for life saving – cancer fighting – medication.

Thank you, Rethink Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer Canada, CanCertainty Coalition, Canadian Cancer Society, and constituent Margaret Loniewska for taking the time to meet with me today. 

Ontario cancer patients younger than 65 years have to overcome so many financial and administrative obstacles to access take-home cancer treatments that are easily available to patients in other provinces/territories.

The majority of new cancer treatments being released are treatments patients can take at home, but Ontario’s current drug programs offer only limited access to these newer medications. While drugs given to a patient at the hospital are free, life-saving cancer drugs they can take home are not free — or affordable.

Ontario needs universal and free access to take-home cancer drugs.

Have a great weekend!

In Solidarity,

Jill

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