Community News Update - May 15, 2022

Dear community

We've certainly had some beautiful weather this past weekend, and we're in store for more over the next coming days! Fortunately for us, there are a bounty of beautiful and accessible public parks in our community of St. Paul's to soak it all up!

We have Cedarvale Park, which boasts a dog park and tennis courts, June Rowlands Park, with a ball diamond and splash pad, and Frankel-Lambert Park, with a basketball court and community garden, to name just a few!

Wherever you find yourself in the summer sun, make sure you pack your SPF and stay hydrated. Feel free to reply to this email and share some photos of your favourite St. Paul's park!

Speaking of public spaces, in preparation of Mother's Day, I stole away for a rare free moment to enjoy the farmer's market that runs every Saturday at Wychwood Barns from 8AM - 1PM.

Whether you're in the market for baked goods, fresh cheeses, fine produce, or meat options, they really do have it all.

I can't wait to hear about your local hauls - and they're pup friendly, to boot!

As you may have heard, my beloved mother, Josephine, is battling for her health in hospital. This Mother's Day may not have looked like years past, but I'm so grateful for each day in the sun we get to spend together.

Remember to take in and enjoy each moment we have with those that have raised, guided, and loved us, and that you don’t need to wait for one weekend a year to do so.

Today is Child & Youth in Care Day. Recognized in Ontario on May 14 each year, the day was established through the advocacy of the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies in 2014, offering a time to acknowledge, honour, and celebrate the many contributions former and current children & youth in care make to our province.

It is also a time for each of us, no matter our age or upbringing, to reflect on how we are stepping up ourselves to ensure children & youth in care are supported with full, wraparound investment into the care system.

For Premier Ford, this time for reflection is needed now more than ever. Earlier today during question period, when asked about rising violence in elementary schools, he placed blame on elementary school-aged children themselves for this rising systemic crisis. The solution, according to him? Matching violence at school with violence at home, stating that "he'd get twice the hit at home" had he displayed aggressive behaviour as a student. 

Few things surprise me when it comes to the Ford government anymore, but this statement was beyond comprehension.

Let me make one thing clear. Not one child in this province is inherently a risk for violence. They are put at risk by a system that prioritizes austerity & concentrating wealth at the expense of the wellbeing of students. This is the system Ford upholds, and worsens each year.

The rise of violence in schools is a direct result of his underspending, at a time when kids need it most. Under no circumstances should this be met with anything but added resources and care to overcome the challenges placed on children through his policy choices.

At a time of needed reflection for Ford and his government, your Ontario NDP will continue to hold up a mirror. Read Education Critic, MPP Pasma's statement here.

Our friends at the Frankel Lambert Outreach Committee (FLOC) are hosting a "yard sale" fundraiser on May 27th! See below for more details!

With the spring sunshine well upon us, I am in awe of the abundance of gardens here in our community of St. Paul's! I'd love to share this joy with folks across the neighbourhood and celebrate your hard work stewarding a place of beauty and (sometimes) sustenance!

With that in mind, please reply to this email with a photo of your garden (from a container garden on your windowsill to a full vegetable pasture in your yard - all gardens are welcome) to have it featured in our community newsletter AND have the chance to win a small prize!

Want to give your kid a front row seat to all that goes down at Queen's Park? Well, now's your chance through the Legislative Page Program, with applications open now until June 15, 2023.

Each year, grade 7 & 8 students are selected to take part in the coveted program, acting as aides to MPPs in the chambers, while also getting to see and learn of Ontario's parliamentary process, meet members from both sides of the aisle, and make friends from all across Ontario, Having seen many students of St. Paul's take on the important role over the years, and hear the joy and lifelong memories they & their families made, I highly encourage your child's application.

Learn more of the program and how to apply here. If you have any questions, reach out via email at [email protected] or by phone at (416) 325-7457.

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.

On May 27, St. Michael & All Angels Church will be hosting their Community Buzz Day!

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's

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