Community News Update - March 1, 2024

Dear Community, 

Yesterday, dozens of 2SLGBTQIA+ community members, labour organizers, advocates, and allies came to Queen's Park to watch the second reading of Bill 42: The Gender Affirming Health Care Advisory Committee Act. Thank you MPP Wong-Tam for your work in bringing this bill forward and to ALL who've worked behind the scenes on this important piece of legislation. I was honoured to rise in the House yesterday evening to speak in FULL support of this bill. 

This bill is especially important now at a time when social conservative politicians across the country are announcing policies that attack the rights of Trans youth to live as their authentic selves. If passed, Bill 42 would place the Trans and Gender Diverse community members at the decision making table. It would allow them to provide recommendations to the Ministry of Health on how to enhance access and expand insurance coverage for gender affirming health care, how to reduce wait times, and protect 2SLGBTQIA+ community members from harm within medical institutions. This bill will save lives. 

Last night, the Conservative government had a chance to pass the bill unanimously at second reading. Instead, they voted to defer the vote to Monday. On Monday, we'll have another chance to pass the bill but we need your help! This weekend call Conservative MPPs and urge them to vote YES to Bill 42. Let's make our voices heard!


My 2024 Tenant Guide will be coming to your mailboxes very soon! This marks the sixth edition of the guide. I am so grateful that this has remained a valuable resource for so many in our community. 

 The housing crisis in Ontario and beyond remains at the forefront of everyone's mind. The crisis—coupled with soaring inflation and a wider affordability crisis—has posed significant challenges for tenants here in Toronto—St. Paul’s and beyond. Everyone deserves access to safe, stable, and affordable housing. As your MPP, I'd like to reiterate my commitment to fighting for meaningful policy changes that benefit tenants here in Ontario. This includes bringing back real rent control, including vacancy control, putting an end to abusive AGIs, putting an end to unscrupulous renovictions and demovictions, and putting the government back in the business of building truly affordable homes. 

I hope this year's guide continues to be a valuable resource for you all. As always, if you have a housing-related question, please reach out to my community office for assistance. 


In 2023, the number of Ontarians on EI skyrocketed to 34,000, a 32% increase and the highest across all the provinces. While the Conservatives spend money covering up their scandals and paying their insider friends, Ontarians are struggling. Our province is losing jobs and workers are finding themselves in a precarious situation in the middle of an affordability crisis. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we can't fix the crises in our province without workers. Every sector from health care to education is losing good jobs and good people. While other provinces are seeing increased jobs, this government must invest in its people and bring them the relief and good-paying jobs they deserve. 

Read more here. 


Do the conservatives understand the crisis they made in postsecondary institutions? The government's recent $1 billion investment in postsecondary educations is only half of what Ford's own panel of experts has recommended. This government and governments before it have enabled a crisis to bubble in our postsecondary institutions. Instead of taking serious action, the government has taken advantage of international students, enabled bad actors, rewarded Conservative donors, and left students out in the cold. It's time to step up and properly invest to fix the crisis they created. 

Read more here. 

Earlier this week I met with students from the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario (CFSO) to hear about the investment they want to see in their post-secondary education. From lowering tuition, raising ODSP rates and increasing support for students with disabilities, investing in Indigenous education, enshrining students' rights to organize, and more, they made it very clear that this government has not done enough to support students in this province. Thank you CFSO for your advocacy!  


Yesterday, I attended the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) reception at Queen's Park. The recent repealing of Bill 124 marked a significant victory for nurses and public health care workers across Ontario but the fight doesn't end here. Nurses and health care workers are calling for investment in public health care and fair pay. I am proud to stand with them in support of their calls!

It's always a pleasure to speak with Dr. Claudette Holloway, RNAO President. Thank you Dr. Holloway and the entire RNAO team for your advocacy!


On Tuesday I joined my colleague MPP Lise Vaugeois at the Habitat for Humanity reception at Queen's Park! Habitat for Humanity helps lower to middle income families unlock the potential of homeownership. The price of a family-sized home as soared 15x the rate of average family incomes. The affordability crisis has made it hard enough for families to get by let alone enter the housing market. Thank you to the entire Habitat for Humanity team for your advocacy!


Yesterday, I attended the Toronto Community Benefits Network Black History Month reception at Queen's Park! What a beautiful send-off for Black History Month 2024! It was great to see many friends and colleagues. It was especially great to reconnect with Surranna Sandy, Executive Director of Skills for Change located in our St. Paul's community!

Thank you Toronto Community Benefits Network and MPP Andrea Hazell for the invitation. Let us not forget that while February may be over, we can honour Black history and build our futures 365 days a year!


The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) also visited Queen's Park this week. The OCC is a fantastic partner for our small business community across Ontario. It was great to catch up with St. Paul's locals, Daniel Tisch, President & CEO of the OCC and Michelle Eaton, Vice-President of Public Affairs. We learned that Michelle will be leaving her role very soon. Thank you, Michelle, for your leadership and for keeping us all informed and connected. All the best to you in your future endeavours!

I also had the chance to connect with TLN Media Group, one of the co-founders and media partners of Salsa on St. Clair! We're looking forward to the festival's return this year!


On Saturday, I joined community members and local organizations to kick off Toronto Hillcrest's Coldest Night of the Year at St Michael and All Angels Church! This year over 70 community members signed up to walk and raise money to support local organizations that serve folks experiencing hurt, hunger and homlessness. Our St. Paul's community surpassed their goal and raised over $37,000 for those who need it most! Special thanks to Lay Pastor Jenni Feheley and all the volunteers for your HEARTwork!

I've said it before and I'll say it again - this work should not fall solely on the kind hearts of community members. All levels of government must step up to address the root causes of poverty.


Also on Saturday, I joined many ONDP colleagues at CUPE Local 4400/Toronto Education Workers' Lunar New Year celebration! I had a wonderful time celebrating with you all. Thank you to the local Education Workers for having me. I'd like to wish everyone once again growth and prosperity in the Year of the Dragon!


Last weekend, I also joined the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and thousands of community members to stand for peace, justice, and solidarity for Ukraine. Last weekend marked two years since Putin launched his brutal & illegal war that has led to the murder of thousands of Ukrainians. To all Ukrainians - we are with you.


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


I'm excited to be joining the Greater Toronto Area Alumnae Chapter (GTAAC) of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority tomorrow for their Women's History Month event. It's not too late to purchase tickets. Read more about the event below:

Join GTAAC for an exciting Women's History Month event. Come together to watch, learn, and engage in a fun, family event. A textured hair professional change-maker, spoken word artist, 2 dynamic filmmakers, and a visual artist... all women creatives, coming together to bring you a memorable presentation in a vibrant way around the ongoing conversation of Black hair and beauty perception from the inside and out. Dr. Jill Andrew, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Toronto-St. Paul's will also be a guest speaker. All genders are welcome.

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, March 2nd,2024

Time: Check-In @ 11:15am, Prompt start time @ 12:00pm and End time @ 2:00pm

Location: St.Michael and All Angels Church, 611 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON, Canada

Adults Aged 18 & above - $15 per ticket
Youth Aged 17 & below (I.D. Ready Please) - Free of Charge Registration

Mandatory Permission Slips Link for YOUTH aged 17 & below. Parents/Guardians must physically attend the venue with minors aged 13 and under.

Don't miss this opportunity to connect with the community, and hair professionals while enjoying dynamic films and breathtaking art all by women creatives. Click here to reserve your spot!


This year's International Womens Day March is happening tomorrow!

Saturday, March 2, 2024
11 AM Rally & 1 PM March



With the phenomenal support of the Humewood community, we thank you for making the 2023 Humewood Community Scholarship Fund a huge success!
This year’s fundraiser officially ended on January15, 2024. A grand total of $6,245 was raised! This total includes donations made through our webpage ($4,845) and additional donations received ($1,400). The money will be distributed for the fall 2024 academic year. Link to our webpage:  
We would also like to express our gratitude to St. Matthew’s and to the broader community, served by both MPP Jill Andrew, and City Councillor Josh Matlow. Finally, we’d like to say a special thank-you to Ashley Carambelas, the former Resource Development Coordinator at the Abiona Centre, who has been such an important part of our fundraising team. We wish her all the best in her new endeavours.
We look forward to connecting with you again in the fall as we continue our annual fundraising efforts for the Humewood Community Scholarship Fund.
Cathy, Caroline and Shelagh


Check out Glisten Festival presented by the Yonge + St Clair BIA!

Last week, I kicked off the celebrations at the festival launch! The weather was cold but the party was HOT 🔥 The festival is on until March 18th! Don't miss the limited-time art installations and the TUNNEL OF GLAM ✨ (located at 1501 Yonge St)! Click the link for full festival details:


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! 


Today's newsletter features a write-up from SCAN! Toronto. Click here to learn more about their work. Thank you Lyba & Mike for this submission!

Mild temperatures in February. It feels good, but what does it mean?
The groundhog wasn’t thinking about climate change. But we are.

Seniors for Climate Action Now! is an Ontario-based organization with regional groups across the province including Toronto.  SCAN! Toronto has many members in Toronto--St. Paul’s.
Our organization feels compelled to urgent action as the planet quickly warms, causing catastrophes at home and abroad.  We are in this for the sake of future generations and the survival of life on the planet.
Don’t stop reading. There is hope.
Change will only happen if we work together – both young and old.
People have been noticing changing weather patterns in the past few years.  On the news, we see floods, wildfires and the results of drought.  We hear words like “atmospheric rivers” and “heat domes”. These are all the effects of a warming planet.  Our reliance on burning fossil fuels is causing this rise in the planet’s temperature.
Seniors, unhoused, Indigenous and low-income people are the most affected. 
Seniors died in disproportionate numbers during the BC heat dome of 2021.  Low-income seniors’ apartments can be a danger to their health.  Elderly people with disabilities may be unable to get to cooling centres in the summer. 
SCAN! Toronto members are activist seniors.  We have both experience and wisdom to share.  We want to engage other seniors in this struggle; but we also work with young activists inspired by Greta Thunberg. 
Renewable energy sources (especially wind and solar) are becoming increasingly more effective and less expensive than energy sources based on fossil fuels.  There have been some real advances in making the shift to renewables. 

In the next few months, SCAN! Toronto will start a climate corner in this newsletter in collaboration with my office to talk about what you can do – and what our municipal, provincial and federal governments can do – to turn this ship around. Stay tuned. 


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 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


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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