At the legislature, Bill 23: More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 entered it's last reading this afternoon.
I have been vocal in my strong opposition to this Bill after hearing from countless community members of what is at stake if it is to pass. This includes rental purpose buildings that so many of our neighbours rely on to call home in St. Paul's and a working definition of what affordable really means, both of which I brought up in the House last week.
But what else is at stake is the province's greenbelt and in turn, hope for the future in our children. This is because carving up and building over this sacred ecosystem will surely pave us further down the path to climate catastrophe.
The most impacted by this move? Our children. Already, they are riddled with climate anxiety as I've heard from teachers, parents, and kids themselves. They are looking to a future with fear instead of hope. Hope that many in older generations got to have and through the actions of just a few, isn't being passed down.
This isn't fair. Our province needs more housing but losing the greenbelt isn't the way towards it (even the government's hand-picked Housing Affordability Task Force agrees).
Also tabled is Bill 39: Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022, which I had the opportunity to raise a question to the House this morning.
Just last month, the City of Toronto celebrated the election of its most diverse city council yet, with 27% of councillors being visibly racialized. While a far cry from reflecting Toronto's full diversity, it is a step forward towards representation and lifting up the voices of folks who've been left out from politics - and policies - for too long.
But Bill 39 effectively silences each of them, by giving just 33% of council sweeping powers to make decisions. This is not only wildly undemocratic, it is yet another barrier (if not blockade) to making effective, equitable policies that are built on the distinct lived experience of racialized and other equity-seeking communities.
Once again, it has nothing to do with housing either and all to do with advancing the priorities of Ford and his buddies at the cost of our democracy.
In better news, I had the joy of meeting with folks of the Co-operative Housing Federation earlier today, including a few co-op housing residents in our own community. We shared in the need for more housing across the province which must include more co-ops. They are a proven-effective strategy to build real affordable housing while creating the feeling of community that comes with it.
A market-only solution is no solution at all. We're watching that play out. Investing in co-operative housing and protecting what's viable and standing, all while creating the feeling of community is!On Friday, I had an excellent visit to the Carpenters' District Council of Ontario - I could have spent my entire day there! It was inspiring to meet with so many current and future journeypersons, who taught me a great deal about the future of carpentry in Ontario.
The trades are dealing with a significant shortage due to retirement, and now more than ever we need more folks to join this commendable profession and break down the stigma that has persisted for too long.
30-60% of folks entering trades do so after pursuing other post-secondary education because they are realizing the outstanding benefits of trades work. The CDCO has joined with Toronto Community Benefits Network to build a strong community-labour partnership that can offer equitable economic opportunities to Toronto residents and helps to ensure underrepresented groups get the chance to build their own communities.
What's more, during the devastating war in Ukraine, the CDCO took in nearly 150 Ukrainian refugees and created opportunities for work so they could begin to plant roots here in Ontario. This is what strong community outreach looks like!
I was truly thrilled to take part in such enthusiastic conversations with many diverse members of this honourable profession, and thank them for being leading innovators when it comes to sustainability and so much more.
I look forward to our continued friendship!
I would like to call our community's attention a couple of neighbourhood food banks/pantries that are in dire need of donations. As we all know, this season can be a difficult one, but especially so for folks experiencing food insecurity. I'm so grateful to our many community organizations who have taken it upon themselves to meet this need with profound acts service.
Below are a few sites accepting donations, and should you find yourself in a time of need please do consider utilizing their offerings!
1. The Beeton Cupboard Food Bank operated by St. Michael & All Angels Church at 611 St. Clair Avenue West. Non-perishable donations can be dropped off at the Wychwood Avenue entrance through the wooden gate or monetary donations can be sent via e-transfer to [email protected] with the subject "Food Bank" (a tax receipt will be issued in the New Year).
2. The Frankel-Lambert Outreach Committee operates a food pantry at 595 Melita Crescent and are always welcoming donations of non-perishable items.
3. A few weeks back, I visited the food pantry operated by Holy Blossom Temple on the corner of Dewbourne and Bathurst - do consider donating if you're in the area!
Please consider sharing with me any and all food pantries you know of in our community by replying to this email!
The Davisville Village Enchanted Forest of Lights & Holiday Party returns for another year! The Family Lights Package (which includes a 300 LED light set, battery pack, and family name plaque) can be purchased by Sunday, December 12 and the holiday party commences Saturday, December 17 at 4PM.
Email [email protected] for more information and to reserve your tree!
BAM! Barns Art Market will be hosting a Holiday Market at Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie Street) on December 4 from 10 AM - 4 PM. Come on down for some holiday shopping!
Another reminder that we're a couple of weeks away from the Christmas Arts Market at St. Michael & All Angels (611 St. Clair Ave. W) on Saturday, December 3 from 10 AM to 3 PM. Come on down for one-of-a-kind gifts, artwork, and baked goods!
Once again this year, Toronto Cares Initiatives will be hosting a Clothing & More Drive to support their Toy Deliveries to children in need. They had over 700 children registered within 24 hours of the list opening, so they need your help more than ever!
Clothing & More Pick-up Registration: www.toronto-cares.ca/annual-clothing-drive
Toy Registration WAITLIST & Donations: www.toronto-cares.ca/christmas-2022
A friendly reminder and invitation that Queen's Park is open to visitors! If you or an organization you work with would like to come watch your MPP advocate for people and planet, please email us as [email protected] to set up a visit - I'd love to meet you!