Community News Update - May 24, 2023

Dear Community,

This week is Paramedic Services Week!

Unfortunately, I've heard from far too many folks about phone calls made to 911 in crisis only to be told "there are no ambulances available." This is unacceptable! But do you know why it continues? Because the Ford govt is withholding CRUCIAL money that would ensure equitable and reliable access to emergency services for folks in need.

Health care heroes need adequate funding in order to ensure each of us has access to the lifesaving care we need when and where we need it. This Paramedic Services Week, show your thanks by demanding Ford adequately fund paramedic services!

It's about that time of year again when many of us suffer through the sweltering heat in too-warm apartments! Make sure you know your rights when it comes to air conditioner installation and fees!

Didn't get your hands on my 2023 tenant guide? Email my office at [email protected] to request your copy and ask any and all AC questions! We're here to keep you COOL!

Today, advocacy groups, food banks, and teachers' unions have come together to call on the Ford government to provide a free breakfast and lunch program in schools across the province. This seems like a no brainer to me!

At a time when far too many folks are experiencing food insecurity and youth are going to school hungry, we need all levels of government to work together to ensure kids have the fuel they need to LEARN and parents have the peace of mind they DESERVE. 

I dream of a world without food banks, and I'll keep fighting to ensure that the very basic human right of FOOD is a reality for every single Ontarian. We can't substitute charity for policy change. We need ACTION.

I had the opportunity last week to speak about this with Humber News and how guaranteed basic income (GBI) is one step this province can take NOW to achieve food security, eliminate housing precarity, and boost the province's overall economy all while contributing to future growth.

You can read more about that HERE.

The ever-wonderful Honey Novick has published a book of poetry entitled Bob Dylan, My Rabbi inspired by the work of - you guessed it - Bob Dylan! Novick's collection was published through The Secret Handshake, an organization founded by Bill Bissett by and for people with schizophrenia.

Learn more about Novick's latest collection 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!

See below for an upcoming benefit concert at St. Matthew's United Church!

Toronto Cares Initiative will be hosting their Spring Into Summer Social Fundraiser on June 14th - you don't want to miss this!

The City of Toronto's Cultural Hotspot program and CIUT 89.5 FM are partnering to offer YOUTH PODCAST TRAINING! See below for information about how to apply.

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's


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