Today is the first day of Treaty Recognition Week in Ontario; a time for us to reflect on the agreements that are shared between all Indigenous people, and non-Indigenous people who are sharing this land today. Treaties are solemn agreements that affect us all, and should be the foundation of how we live together. Where everyone is able to prosper and our futures intertwined. Treaties are contracts that bind us together, and that must be honoured.
Here’s an excerpt of a joint statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and Sol Mamakwa, the Ontario NDP critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations.
What we learn during Treaties Week presents us with an opportunity to move beyond words to action. As we continue the essential work of honouring the treaties, we can never forget the damage done by racism and colonialism. Undoing the damage will require us to do the work to ensure everyone in Ontario has safe drinking water, adequate health care, equitable education, a reformed child welfare system, safe housing, and clean air, water and land for the future.
That is the promise of the treaties.”
I’d also invite everyone reading this to watch a moving video that has been put together by MPP Sol Mamakwa, explaining more on the importance of Treaty Recognition Week.
This morning, I returned to the Legislature for another week, and started off with a Member’s Statement about the incredible shortcomings of WSIB and impact that it’s had on one our community members, Jana.
As it currently stands, WSIB forces workers to jump through hoops to prove their disability in a degrading and unjust manner. On top of that, even if you are approved for benefits, for most workers, they don’t come close to the amount of money that you need to survive. In fact, 50% of injured workers in the province are living below the poverty line.
We need a serious reform of WSIB, and I want to personally thank Jana and her partner Steve for their hard work fighting for those changes.
You can watch my Member’s Statement here.
This afternoon, I stood again to speak on the importance of creating more affordable housing in our province; something our community knows all too well. Housing costs keep rising in Toronto and we need a government that is serious about getting affordable units built and delivered to the people who need them. We need to be pushing big ideas, like the end of vacancy decontrol (so rents can’t be raised infinitely between tenants), as the first step to mitigating the housing crisis so the human right that is a roof over one’s head is in reach.
Of course, last night was Halloween. To celebrate, I handed out candy outside my Constituency Office at 803 St. Clair Avenue West. I had a great time dressed up as Whitney Houston and was blown away by the great costumes I saw in the neighbourhood!
We’re still going through all the pictures submitted by community members for the costume contest, and we will be ready to announce winners in the Wednesday Community News Update. If you haven’t gotten your submission in yet, there’s still time! Just email [email protected] or tag me on Instagram or Twitter @JILLSLASTWORD.
This weekend, I was also delighted to be able to spend some time with my friends from the Frankel Lambert Outreach Committee (FLOC), in Frankel Lambert Park. It was a great day, and I enjoyed immensely our conversation about community, and the campaigns they’re working on to improve their local park!
Finally, I’m happy to share with our community some great new programming from the team at Skills for Change. They’re launching two new programs for women and girls.
There are still some spots available and you can RSVP at the links below!
Safety Planning and Receiving Support for Women (Workshop)
Tuesday, November 02, 2021 10 am -11:15 am
Women and Girls Circle Project (support group for women)
Thursday, November 04, 2021, 10 am -11:15 am