Community News Update - March 1, 2023

Dear Community,

Yesterday, I rose in the House to advocate for all survivors of intimate partner violence who are seeking a safe place to call home. I put this question to Premier Ford: is housing survivors of intimate partner violence a priority for your government?

Shelters are not a viable long-term solution, and frankly: survivors deserve more! The Ontario NDP has a detailed plan to properly fund women's shelters and transitional housing so women-identifying survivors of intimate partner violence know there is somewhere safe they can go - not just for tonight, but for the next weeks and months while awaiting permanent housing. This Conservative government has no plan.

This is a priority for Ontarians. Why is it not a priority for the Premier?

You can see my full question here.

Today, I met with some folks from Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario - a special shout out to our wonderful community member Jane from Davisville!

Did you know elder abuse has increased a staggering 250% over the last 2 years? This is not okay. We need a government-wide provincial strategy now! Our elders MATTER!

See me welcome them to Queen's Park here!

I was thrilled to reconnect with the Ontario Book Publishers Organization at the Made in Ontario Book Fair at Queen's Park!

Let's support our Ontario authors and publishers by ensuring authors are front and centre in Ontario curriculum and by expanding the Ontario Book Publishing Tax Credit to include translations and graphic novels to further engage more diverse readers, authors and learners!

All books displayed at Queen's Park today will be donated on behalf of Ontario's publishers to charity and community groups across the province

Thank you to our community member Gerry from Ontario Trial Lawyers Association for meeting with me to discuss auto insurance and civil juries reform! We need to address the backlog in our court system so folks can access timely resolutions!

On Tuesday, March 7, I will be joining Amnesty International and a handful of other inspiring women of colour at the Toronto Reference Library for the panel "They Won't Silence Us." I hope to see you there!

Are you interested in receiving a free hot meal of homemade soup? Or perhaps you're interested in volunteering and participating in some community care? See below for this initiative being hosted by For Youth Initiative!

Low income individuals may be interested in making use of The Stop's Free Tax Clinic, which is open from March 1 to April 28! See below for more information!

On March 4, I will be participating as a panelist at the screening of Below the Belt - a documentary about endometriosis produced by Hillary Clinton, Rosario Dawson, Corinne Foxx, and Mae Whitman.

As critic for women's issues, I was proud to stand in the legislature in support of naming March endometriosis month of awareness. Raising awareness around endometriosis is an important piece of advocacy work for all folks who menstruate, including transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary community members who have a long history of experiencing inequity in the health care system.

This important film highlights the discrimination experienced by people assigned female at birth and the many social taboos that surround menstruation to this day.

I hope you'll consider joining us in what I'm sure will be a lively and informative discussion!

Period poverty is REAL! the Under 40 Committee for the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists will be collecting sanitary menstrual items to help eradicate period poverty. See blow for dates and times to drop off your donations. Thank you for this necessary advocacy work!

Until March 31, Unison's Oakwood-Vaughan location will be offering an integrated care clinic on Monday evenings from 5:30-8:30PM. Members of the community can drop in to receive COVID vaccines, blood pressure checks, mental health and harm reduction support, and be seen by a physician - no health card required!

Are you a lower-income renter? In 2022, the Government of Canada announced a One-time top up to the Canada Housing benefit - a one-time payment of $500 to help with the cost of rent.

Please see the below for more information about eligibility and how to apply, and be sure to share this widely with your community. Even reaching one more eligible renter will make all the difference!

Our friends at Sending Sunshine have reached out to request help from you! These lovely folks are working to combat social isolation and loneliness among senior community members by providing them with handwritten cards.

If you've got a stamp to spare, consider writing an uplifting note to an elder Ontarian to spread a little of our famous Toronto-St. Paul's joy!

The spectacular Holy Blossom Temple Out of the Cold Community Dinner commenced last night and will be running EVERY THURSDAY at 5PM until March 30th at 1950 Bathurst St (entrance on Dewbourne Avenue)! Spread the word to folks in need!!!! Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who make services like this possible!

See here for more info!

Doors open each Thursday at 5PM and close at 7PM.

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's


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