Community News Update - November 20, 2023

Dear Community, 

This weekend, I was invited by a friend to attend a Multi-Faith Vigil for peace and coexistence in Israel-Palestine at Queen's Park. It was an emotional gathering of Jewish and Muslim community members, friends, colleagues, and allies from St. Paul's and around the city. We mourned the loss of innocents and prayed for peace in the region. 

This is a reminder once again that we must stand firmly against hate and continue to hold compassion for one another. We must stand up for human rights and dignity for all. 

Thank you to the organizers for this beautiful event. 

On this Trans Day of Remembrance, let us honour and remember those we've lost to transphobia. Take time today to remember the lives taken far too soon. Transphobic violence, hate and prejudice have no place in our communities. Today & EVERY day, let us commit to building a future where trans folks are protected, accepted, valued, and free to live as their true, authentic selves. 

Trans youth deserve to feel safe at school & in their communities. We must ensure they have access to the care & support they need and DESERVE. Trans rights are human rights. Full stop. 

Please support MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam's Gender Affirming Health Care Act by signing their petition HERE. 

Yesterday, I attended the Youth Alliance for Intersectional Justice (YAIJ) Healing Arts Exhibit. The two-day exhibit featured art from Black & racialized autistic artists. The FIRST of its kind in Ontario! Congratulations YAIJ & ALL the artists for this accomplishment! Your voices MATTER. 

Art of all kinds has been and will always be a medium for folks made marginalized to share their stories - through visual mediums, song, music, textiles, dance, fashion, comedy, theatre, & more. It's so important to have artists like yourselves leading the way - saying we're here and we're NOT going anywhere. 

As the holiday season draws closer, there's much to celebrate and that includes local art and performance! Luckily, there's much to choose from to bring family, friends, and loved ones together.
From now until December 2nd, Canadian Stage is showing The Lehman Trilogy, telling the story of the rise and fall of the banking empire as written by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power, and directed by Philip Akin. Click here to reserve your spot.

Hot off its heels, Toronto—St. Paul's own Alicia Richardson is also premiering her play, Sweeter from December 2nd through 17th. With a mango tree taking centre stage as a metaphor many will relate, the show welcomes the whole family to laugh, reflect, and most of all, enjoy Toronto arts. With matinee and evening showtimes, you won't want to miss this one. Learn more and secure your tickets here.

The Stop's Holiday Boxes are back! 

Now's your chance to preorder a wonderful holiday gift box with 13 specialty items perfect for the holiday season! The boxes will be available for pick up at the market itself on Saturday, December 9th and December 16th between 9 AM and 1 PM. Community members who are unable to travel can arrange delivery at the email below. All proceeds will support the Stop Community Food Centre, your local market, and your community!

To reserve a box today and for more info email the [email protected].

Have your voice heard!

The City of Toronto has two new surveys about the city's cycling network and micromobility (e.g. bikes, e-bikes, scooters, etc.). More details below:

SURVEY 1: Expanding Cycling Network: Have your say now!

The City of Toronto wants to hear from you to help us make recommendations on which bikeways to build, upgrade and study in 2025 to 2027.

More people are cycling now than ever. The City helps make traveling by bike safer by building bikeways, like physically separated cycle tracks, bike lanes, neighbourhood routes, and multi-use trails. The City is planning where to build and upgrade bikeways next, and we want your input.

Click here for the survey.

SURVEY 2: City of Toronto Public Survey on Micromobility (e.g. bikes, e-bikes, scooters, etc)

The City of Toronto is seeking your feedback and the input from your members on new forms of mobility called micromobility on City streets and bike lanes. These include bikes, e-bikes, scooters and more. The public survey is now live on the city’s website and will be open until December 13th, 2023.

The results from this survey will be used along with other public engagement, research and input to develop a city-wide strategy for micromobility, including what new forms of mobility might be allowed in future on streets and/or in bike lanes. For more information, please visit our webpage.

Kindly circulate the following blurb to your members:

We need your input to shape the future of micromobility in Toronto! The City is seeking feedback from residents to develop a citywide strategy that addresses micromobility, vehicles that include bikes, e-bikes, scooters and more. Help guide the future of micromobility and fill out the survey today HERE.

We hope that you will participate in the above surveys.  Have your say in the future of our great city!

This is a reminder to get up-to-date on your COVID-19 boosters. The XBB 1.5 updated boosters are NOW available. I got mine and I encourage you to join me! 

Consult this page for information about where you can get vaccinated.

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

MPP Toronto-St. Paul's

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