Community News Update - May 24, 2024

Dear Community, 

This week is Paramedic Services Week. The ongoing lack of support for our healthcare system from the conservative government has led to difficulties for all of our healthcare workers, including paramedics. Recently, my colleague Jeff Burch called attention to ambulance delays in Niagara caused by understaffing and here in Toronto emergency services have also been stretched thin. We must continue to support the heroic work our paramedics do and push the government to give them the support that they need.

Latest from the out of touch Conservatives

People are struggling across Ontario. ERs are closing, millions of people are without a family doctor, shelters are at capacity, grocery prices are skyrocketing, yet Doug Ford and his team of Conservatives are choosing to spend a quarter of a billion to fast-track beer sales in corner stores. 

Healthcare and education are being callously cut. Unionized LCBO workers are being disrespected. Ontarians need affordable housing, childcare, a robust public health care system, family doctors, and public education. They don't want a public payout to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars to the privately-run Beer Store. 

This is a slap in the face to the hard-working Ontarians struggling under this government's policies. Ontarians deserve a Premier in 2026! Read more here. 

Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy

Next week, the Legislative Assembly is set to debate the Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee Act, 2024This legislation would establish the Early Years Workforce Strategy advisory committee, which will support registered early childcare educators (ECEs) and the broader childcare and early years workforce across Ontario. 

The childcare sector in Ontario is facing the worst staffing crisis it's ever seen. Parents are seeking childcare spots are being turned away at record numbers. Existing childcare spaces are struggling to stay open, and new spaces cannot open without staff to operate them.This much-needed piece of legislation would address the pressing issues within the childcare sector, including staffing shortages, wage disparities, and the need for enhanced professional development opportunities.

Next week, the government has the chance to listen to the voices of countless ECEs, teachers, parents, and community members who are calling for needed transformations to this under-resourced sector. I am proud to support this bill and I am calling on this government to do the same. 

OFL Heat Stress Campaign

Earlier this week, the ONDP joined leaders from the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) to launch a campaign to combat climate-driven heat stress in workplaces. 

We are in a climate crisis. As our summers become hotter, we need urgent government action to protect workers from heat stress and heat stroke. Extreme heat can be life-threatening. We've heard of education workers and students suffering in stifling heat in portables, restaurant workers in extremely hot kitchens, and migrant farmers toiling in the blistering sun with few protections. We are in an active climate crisis, and heat-related crises in the workplace will only worsen unless this government takes action. Ontario needs legislation for both heat and cool limits in the workplace—and genuine policy responses to the climate crisis from ALL levels of government. 

I am proud to stand alongside my ONDP colleagues and labour leaders from across Ontario to support this call. Click here to read more about the OFL campaign. 

 

Toronto-St. Paul's By-Election

The Toronto—St. Paul's federal by-election is underway! 

Amrit Parhar is the NDP candidate here in our beautiful community. It takes great courage to place your name on the ballot and to bring your compassion and talents to politics in the name of our community. Thank you and congratulations!

Click here to learn more about her campaign — it's time to bring the change we need to Ottawa!

Election Day is Monday, June 24th. 

Advance voting runs from Friday, June 14 to Monday, June 17. 

 

Visit to TSP Fire Stations

Yesterday, I visited the three fire stations in our Toronto—St. Paul's community. It was an honour to get an unfiltered look at their day-to-day operations. We also had an opportunity to discuss the many issues that firefighters face, including the need for protections against PFAs and presumptive legislation for cancer. I am grateful to the crews of STN 311, 341 and 343 for showing me around the stations and sharing their experiences. 

While visiting the crew at STN 341, our meeting was cut short when the crew was called away to an emergency. I was blown away by their response time and absolute dedication to keeping us all safe - thank you! I'll be sure to return so I can properly thank them for their service. 

From the bottom of my heart, a huge thank you to every firefighter for their service and dedication to our communities!

 

Centennial Infant & Child Centre

On Tuesday, I had the JOY of leading the morning music circle at Centennial Infant and Child Centre (CICC) alongside Sue and teacher Maddie here in our Toronto—St. Paul's community. I am deeply grateful to the caring staff and volunteers at CICC for all they do for children in our community. 

We need a properly funded childcare sector—that also means properly compensating our early-childhood educators—to ensure ALL kids and the caring adults who support them can thrive!

 

RTO-ERO AGM

It as wonderful to speak with retired educators at the Retired Teachers of Ontario District 15 AGM on Wednesday. It was especially great to see so many retired teachers, education workers, and other retired education staff from our Toronto—St. Paul's community. I will continue to advocate for government support for public health care, education and our seniors. On the note of our seniors, we need a provincial geriatric strategy, There are simply not enough geriatricians to support our province's many aging adults and our RTO retirees made that very clear. I heard you loud and clear, and fully agree!

Thank you so very much for having me! 

 

Climate Corner 🌎 by SCAN! Toronto

The climate crisis is here.  We need to adapt.

When we look at catastrophic events like floods and fires, our first reaction is: “How can we prevent this from happening”; our second reaction: “How do we reduce the damage?”.

Some definitions.

“Mitigation” refers to preventing climate warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions; “adaptation” refers to preparing for these inevitable catastrophes as the climate warms.

Sadly, we have become familiar with damage from drought, floods and wildfires.  This space has referred before to the need to change the way we get our energy, by phasing out fossil fuels: methane, gas and oil.  We have also talked about changing our building practices to plan for less concrete and more natural spaces.  

The deadline to reverse the increase in greenhouse gas emissions is 2030, a few short years away.  But in the meantime, wildfires are raging.

Adapting to wildfires
Wildfires in Ontario do not just pose a threat to the people and habitats living in the danger zone: they also threaten firefighters. 

According to a Global News report (April 2024) Ontario faces serious crew shortages.  “With the firefighting season now formally underway… just 80 per cent of the province’s crews are staffed across the province.”

CBC reports that in 2022, an estimated 90,000 out of 126,000 firefighters across the country are volunteers, making up over 70 per cent.  Adapting to wildfires means we need more paid firefighters.  We should not have to depend on volunteers, especially during the wildfire season.

We also need to increase reliance on “cultural burning”.  CBC reports that some Indigenous communities are trying to mitigate the risk by burning stretches of dried-out lands.  This “prescribed burning” isn't new for Indigenous communities; it's a practice that dates back generations to protect lands from the threat of wildfires and spur the regrowth of trees, plants and grasses. 

Toronto St. Paul’s is far from the wildfires burning in the Western part of the country.  But last year, smoke drifted from the north to Toronto - and then further south into the US.  

Seniors and people with respiratory problems are particularly vulnerable to the particulates in smoke.  Adaptation means governments will need once again to supply N95 masks – this time for drifting smoke.

A private members’ bill tabled on May 16 called for Ontario to adopt specific recommendations regarding wildfire preparation.

Toronto St. Paul’s residents need protection.

In the next edition we will talk about protection from heat.

 

St. Paul's Small Business Spotlight

Anne and her team at Oakwood Hardware need ALL our love right now! Oakwood Hardware is closing very soon, and we've only got a few more days to shower this pillar in our community with love and support. I visited earlier this week and had an excellent meal. The calamari and Tacos Got Seoul cannot be beaten. Yum!

This Sunday, some caring community members have organized a block-busting get-together to support the Oakwood Hardware team. The doors open at 9 AM, and the party goes until the walls are bare! 

Some highlights include:

  • Silent auction brought to you by various businesses in Oakwood Village
  • Live music throughout the day
  • Oakwood Hardware merch
  • Opportunity to buy a piece of history from the Oakwood Hardware itself! 

Plus, of course, the DELICIOUS FOOD! The Oakwood Hardware Pantry will be open with some stock. Pre-orders are highly recommended. On offer:

  • Oakwood Hardware Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Croissants
  • Selection of Pies
  • Sausage Rolls 
  • The Pantry's Famous Ice Cream
  • And more! 

To help tide you over, Anne is also providing some of her famous food frozen and ready to go for your home freezer. You can place orders for:

  • Burgers
  • Korean Fried Chicken
  • Cookie Dough
  • Cinnamon Buns

There are rumours of popcorn and other goodies too, but you'll have to come see for yourself!

Finally, the restaurant will be open all day for service. Based on demand, reservations are highly recommended. If you can't attend on Sunday, I STRONGLY encourage you to consider supporting Anne and her team through the GoFundMe generously set up by David Stone from Toronto Music AllianceClick here to donate. 

 

Community Bulletin Board 📌

Doors Open TO

This weekend, explore Toronto's architectural, historical, cultural and socially significant buildings for free during Doors Open. This year's theme is hidden histories. Uncover untold stories from across the city through a variety of open house experiences, engaging tours and insightful talks.

Click the link for a full list of sites open this weekend — there are tons of incredible locations to check out in St. Paul's! 

 

Community Buzz Day at St Michael and All Angels

Tomorrow! Join the St Michael and All Angels Church community from 10 AM to 3 PM for their Community Buzz Day!

Join the community on the Church lawn (611 St Clair Avenue West) for an arts and crafts market, Underground Cafe, seedling giveaways, Food Bank donation bin, children's activity corner, and more!

 

Colours of Spring - A Celebration of Jazz and Brass

Sunday, May 26th at 2 PM join community at St. Matthew's Church (729 St. Clair Avenue W) for Colours of Spring - A celebration of jazz and brass. 

The concern will feature performances by the Patti Payne Trio and Quatuor de Fleurs. This event is not just a concert, it's a Fundraiser for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Make a difference together! Mark your calendars and get ready for a memorable time filled with music, community, and the spirit of giving. See you there!

Click here for tickets and more info!

 

Oriole Park Junior Public School

Tomorrow! Bring your friends and family to Oriole Park School's Annual Mayfair on Saturday, May 25th, 2024! There will be lots of fun and activities for the whole family.

Oriole Park Public School is located at 80 Braemar Avenue, one block west of Avenue Rd. at Eglinton.

All proceeds go toward enriching childhood education at Oriole Park School. 

 

James Rottman Fine Art

Join James Rottman Fine Art tomorrow, Saturday, May 25th for the Opening Reception for their new exhibition: Symphony in B Minor - A Group Exhibition. 

Pop by the gallery, enjoy the incredible artworks, and meet and mingle with the fantastic artists and gallery community. Refreshments will be served. The gallery is located at 803 St Clair Avenue West. 

This exhibition will feature the works of Carlo Amantea, Lauren Blakey, Ghislain Brown-Kossi, Mark Crozier, Lloyd Fitzgerald, Fruit Stains, Rafael Goldchain, Douglas Haynes, James Kirkpatrick, Jessica Levman, Devon Marinac, John F. Marok, Monica Morrill, Mary Pavey, Graham Peacock, Vincenzo Pietropaolo, Charulata Prasada, Gordon Rayner, Henry Saxe, Judy Singer, Aidan Urquhart and Tony Urquhart. 

 

McMurrich Junior Public School

The McMurrich Junior Public School Fun Fair is back! Join them in the school yard, May 30th for a party from 3:10-7:30! Stay tuned for more info on ticket pricing and purchasing options! 🎟️
🎵 live music and performances
🎪 bouncy castles and tons of activities
🍔 food trucks and BBQ
🍦 ice cream and other yummy treats

 

13 Division Open House

Join Toronto Police Services 13 Division for their Open House! The event will feature station tours, a free ice cream truck and BBQ, coffee & treats, and a kids zone!

Date: Saturday, June 1st, 2024
Time: 10AM- 3PM
Location: 13 Division Station ( 1435 Eglinton Ave W)

 

Vendor Application for MYBIA Summerfest

📣 ATTENTION SMALL BUSINESSES 📣

Get ready for the biggest event Midtown has ever seen on July 20th! 🎉 The BIA is now calling for vendors offering food, crafts, clothing, accessories, services and more! Applications are now open. The Midtown Yonge BIA team will reach out to coordinate next steps. Click here to apply. 

 

Hillcrest Village BIA Contest

Discover Hillcrest Village BIA from May 1st to May 31st, 2024, and Immerse yourself in the unique charm of our community, explore local businesses, and enter for a chance to win the Discover Hillcrest Village BIA Contest. Whether you're a longtime resident or a first-time visitor, join us in celebrating the spirit of Hillcrest Village and supporting our beloved neighbourhood businesses.

Get ready to discover, explore, and win big! Start your adventure by entering the contest by visiting the link!

 

Eglinton Way BIA Farmers Market

Join the Eglinton Way BIA every Sunday from June to October at the Eglinton Way BIA Farmers’ Market! Located at 125 Burnaby Blvd, come by between 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM for fresh produce, local vendors, live music, kids’ activities, and vibrant energy.

 

Learn to Prevent an Overdose

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.

 

In solidarity, 

Dr. Jill Andrew, Ph.D

MPP, Toronto-St. Paul's

Latest posts

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

Community News Update, June 14, 2024

Dear Community,

The house rose early for the summer on Thursday last week, so it's been a full week of community events.

QUEEN'S PARK NEWS

Raise ODSP and OW Rates

Before the house was adjourned early by the conservative government, I was proud to table a petition calling for the doubling of ODSP and OW rates in Ontario.

Recently, I heard from Disability Without Poverty - Ontario at their Queen's Park Lobby Day. People with disabilities in Ontario are struggling to make ends meet. Enough is enough. It's time to raise the rates!

Thank you to Dr. Sally Palmer for sharing this petition with my office. I will continue to stand with you until these demands are met.

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