Community News Update - March 4, 2022

Dear Community,

It’s been a busy week – so let’s get right into it.

Today, I am standing with a coalition of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and patients fighting against Premier Doug Ford’s decision to deregulate their entire field with Bill 88.

Dissolving the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists of Ontario will impact the livelihoods of the more than 2,700 registered health care professionals. Doug Ford's decision to get rid of the College, without warning or consultation, is reckless to see say to least. It means that insurance plans will stop covering treatments like Acupuncture, meaning higher costs for patients and less business for Traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture practitioners.

Thank you to everyone who sent me emails expressing support to Acupuncturists across Ontario – and let’s hope that the Ford government come to their senses on this one.

Yesterday, the Ford government has moved Bill 86 (our London Family Act – Working Together to Combat Islamophobia and Hatred) to committee early, delaying the second reading of the bill.

I am proud of the work that the Ontario NDP has done with the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) to draft this crucial legislation to combat Islamophobia and hate in our province, and I will do everything I can to pass this legislation into law. Now that the government has moved this bill to committee, we will hold them to account on passing it as soon as possible.

On Wednesday, CP24 reported that antisemitic graffiti was found in three Toronto schools that morning. While these particular schools are not in the Toronto–St. Paul’s riding, we know that antisemitism has been on the rise in Ontario and these crimes do not stand alone. I wholeheartedly stand with the Jewish community, and everyone who has been affected by the unacceptable acts of hate. This incident, and others are why I am actively advocating for a mandatory and comprehensive Holocaust and genocide curriculum in our schools – we can never forget.

On a more positive note, I was delighted to visit Christie’s Gardens Apartments & Care today. It’s always a great time at Christie Gardens, and I enjoyed the Q+A that I held with the residents there. We had a great discussion on a variety of topics including basic income, protecting the greenbelt, and the key distinction between retirement homes and long-term care facilities – which is too often conflated.

Improving senior care, which for me also includes supporting aging people to stay at their own homes for longer, is a key priority for me. If you’re interested, you should check out the Ontario NDP’s plan for senior care, which includes making all long-term care public and not-for-profit, building family-like senior homes, creating culturally responsive, inclusive and affirming care, clearing the wait list, and overhauling home care to help people live at their homes longer.

On that note, the Oakwood Vaughan Community Organization (OVCO) is holding an online event to discuss a model of home and community care to help seniors remain in their homes as they age. The event is happening on Monday, March 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. You can register here: https://bit.ly/3tuvBNY.

I also wanted to remind you about our Community Hero Awards! In this event, we're coming together to celebrate the members of our community who have been making a difference in their neighbourhoods during difficult times. If you know a person, organization, or business that has been making a difference in their community, please submit your nomination here!

I will be recognizing all the recipients at a fun online event - currently slated for March 17 - and I'll be sending out congratulatory scrolls to all the winners.

The nomination deadline has been extended to 5PM on Monday, March 7, 2022.

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew

Toronto–St. Paul's

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