Community News Update - March 3, 2021

Dear Community,

Today, I want to start with some very exciting news.

In the 2018 Ontario election, the Ontario NDP elected 5 Black MPPs, and we went on to form the first Black Caucus in Ontario history.

Today, we’ve officially launched two social media accounts for the Black Caucus that I would encourage you to follow, on both Facebook and Instagram.

You can find them here:

I am committed to fighting anti-Black racism, supporting Black communities, and these accounts will allow us to stay connected, and work towards creating a future of equity, justice, and respect.

In COVID news, Ontario has reported 958 new cases of COVID-19 today, and we also reached a grim milestone of 7000 deaths linked to COVID-19 in our province.

While we do continue to see some progress being made in vaccine distribution in our province, the fact of the matter is that the distribution is happening too slowly. Despite Premier Ford’s claims that Ontario is leading the country in vaccine distribution, the reality is that up to this point, we have only vaccinated 3.3% of our population, leaving us in 10th place out of the provinces and territories (7th out of just the provinces).

What we have seen so far has been unacceptable, and we will continue to bring ideas to the table to present to the government on how they can do better. Just this week, the Ontario NDP called for the immediate distribution of the AstroZeneca vaccine for people under the age of 65, a step that we ought to take, now that Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has recommended against using it in folks over the age of 65, following analysis that shows it may not be effective in older adults. We’ve also called on the province to include hot-spot neighborhoods, and people with underlying conditions, to be included in the vaccine priority.

To be very blunt, what we’ve seen so far from the Ford government on this roll-out has been unacceptable, and there are questions that must be answered about how this has been allowed to happen.

March is Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day is next week on March 8. I am happy to share with you four events that I will be participating in – and you are invited to attend!
 

We Talk Women – Changing the Face of Leadership discussion with MPP Jill Andrew
March 8, 1:00PM, Find our more, and RSVP here.

 
Ontario Federation of Labour's Power of Many International Women’s Day Discussion with MPP Jill Andrew and MPP Peggy Sattler
March 8, 4:00PM, find out more and RSVP here.

 
International Women's Day Town Hall with Andrea Horwath and Jill Andrew
March 8, 7:00PM on Facebook - Click here to find out more and RSVP.


 
MPP Bhutila Karpoche and MPP Jill Andrew She-Covery Townhall
March 9, 6:00PM on Facebook – Find out more, and RSVP here.
 

Next week will be a busy one, and if you’re available I’d love to have you join me at one of our events! 
 
Finally, I want to send a big shout out to the incredible Brandon Gonez for his piece about the fight to save Little Jamaica from being lost to gentrification. I also want to acknowledge the participation of Black Urbanism TO, who have been on the front lines working on this important issue.

To watch, click here.

In Solidarity,
 
Jill Andrew
Toronto—St. Paul's

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