Community News Update - March 3, 2023

Dear Community,

I am growing very tired of multi-million dollar companies refusing to deliver on basic needs and safety requirements for their hardworking tenants. My office has been in communication with the residents of 64 St Clair Avenue West who have been experiencing intermittent or no heat, loud banging from the building's faulty internal pipes, and harassing behaviour from property staff - all since October of 2022.

This is unacceptable. We are in the midst of a housing crisis, a cost of living crisis, soaring inflation, and tonight we're on the cusp of a massive winter storm.

RentSafeTO officers issued an order for the above work to be repaired in full by yesterday at 11:59 PM. While I'm relieved to hear that many tenants have since had their heat restored, I'm frustrated to report that Briarlane has not fully complied. The pipes continue to bang through all hours of the day and night, some tenants are experiencing broken radiators in certain rooms, and the water is in excess of safe temperatures.

Below, you'll see the letter I sent yesterday morning advocating for these tenants.

I've heard from former tenants who have had to move out of their home they had lived in for years at 64 St. Clair because of persistent neglect and a company that just doesn't care. Tenants deserve better, and all Ontarians deserve access to safe and affordable housing.

I will continue to advocate for the tenants of 64 St. Clair and all tenants who are being exploited by a company clearly only interested in lining their pockets.

You can read my full letter to Briarlane and Cherishome below.

Yesterday, I rose in the House to speak further to this Conservative-created health care crisis. I advocated for a senior member of our St. Paul's community, Karen, who has been told she must wait up to a year for surgery she desperately needs.

It's unacceptable that in our publicly-funded health care system, folks like Karen are told they have two choices: wait indefinitely, or pay to play.

As usual, the response I received from the Minister of Health left a lot to be desired.

You can see that full clip here.

Yesterday afternoon, I reconnected with the RNAO! Let's respect, protect and pay our nurses their worth! Premier Ford can start by ending his fight against nurses with Bill 124 AND his health privatization scheme Bill 60.

Then I quickly jetted outside to join the incredible and energetic rally organized by the ONA! Together, we are fighting for better staffing, better care, and better wages. That is how we keep or publicly funded and publicly delivered health care system standing!

We will fight Ford's profit driven health privatization scheme to the ground - tooth and nail. Bill 124 and Bill 60 are not for nurses and they're certainly not for patients.

Share your stories about Ford's profiteering on social media with the hashtag #SupportNurses to show this government that we've got the power - NURSING POWER!

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!

Monday is Purim, and you might consider The Purim Megillah Reading and Talent Show at Holy Blossom Temple!

Our friends at OV NAP have shared that the Black Women In Motion’s Black Youth Employment Assistance Program is NOW OPEN!

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!

Until March 12, you can check out the below exhibit at James Rottman Fine Art gallery at 803 St. Clair Ave W. at Atlas Avenue!

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.


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Community News Update - June 21, 2024

Dear Community,

Join me and Save Ontario's Science Centre on Sunday in Wells Hill Park to speak out against Doug Ford's scheme to move the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place, which has now led to the surprise closure of the Science Centre.

This benefits no one. Not the people of Toronto who are losing a beloved insitution or the 400+ employees of the OSC, many of whom will lose their jobs.

Meet us in Wells Hill Park at St Clair and Bathurst to tell Doug Ford NO.

RSVP here

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