Community News Update - November 22, 2023

Dear Community,

Today marks National Housing Day 2023; a year marked by record rental inflation, shelters all across Toronto working at full capacity each night, and the human right to housing be compromised for far, far too many.
As the Ontario Federation of Labour's annual conference is underway in downtown Toronto, leaders in labour, workers, tenants, and allies spent their lunch break marching from City Hall to Queen's Park to tell both municipal and provincial leaders do their job! Bring BACK real rent control, bring UP wages, ensure healthcare is kept in the publics hands, and above all, respect the human rights to each of these that ALL Ontarians deserve. 
Meanwhile, your Ontario NDP welcomed housing advocates to Queen's Park this afternoon for a lunch reception to hear of the many ways our caucus can continue to hold Doug Ford to account to take on the housing affordability crisis with real solutions that work for Ontarians - not his insiders. Of course, the #1 takeaway was...drumroll please...bringing back REAL rent control, including vacancy control. When rental inflation rates are seeing double digits year over year, if not month over month, this solution is no longer a want. It's a need for people who are simply trying to stay housed. 
Thank you to the many community leaders and housing advocates who joined to help our Party be the best it can be so we can say GOODBYE to a government that puts profit over people and HELLO to one that knows housing is, and always will be, a human right. 
Read more of our plan.

I would like to share some information about Skills for Change, an important group active in our community. The Women+ Idea Generator workshop is an interactive activity that allows participants to learn methods on how to generate business ideas.
When: November 23rd, 2PM - 4PM EST
Where: ZOOM
Facilitated by: Nicole Osmond, seasoned business advisor and entrepreneur!
During the workshop, participants will answer questions like:

  • Why entrepreneurship?
  • Where do creative ideas come from?
  • How can I use my hobbies, pet peeves, or skills to generate ideas for a business?
  • How can I come up with innovative ideas?

This workshop is presented by Rise, a national organization dedicated to empowering people with mental health and addiction challenges. Through training, mentorship, micro-financing, and other customs supports, they help individuals develop the skills and access the capital they need to build a small business that can improve their quality of life and enable them to support themselves and their families as well as enrich their communities.

You can register for this event here.

The St. Clair West Oral History Project has started up its interviewing again post-COVID and they recently posted three new interviews: Celia Denov and Bambi Katz, Alicia Howard and Rita and Sam Burke. You can read those at:

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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