Community News Update - November 24, 2021

Dear Community,

Today at Queen’s Park the Ford government voted down a piece of legislation from the Ontario NDP that would have provided 10 permanent paid sick days to all workers in Ontario. The Stay Home if You Are Sick Act, is a common sense piece of legislation that should have been passed years ago, but especially now after we’ve lived in a pandemic for over a year-and-a-half, it is absolutely beyond me how anyone could think that workers in Ontario don’t deserve this protection.

The Ford government has now said no to permanent paid sick days in Ontario over 25 times.

Voting down our motion today, is another heartless act from a government that has spent so much time since COVID-19 arrived in Ontario expressing their appreciation for front line workers – while simultaneously refusing to give them this basic protection. Now, we’re just over a month away from their measly and temporary three paid sick days expiration on December 31 - and many workers in Ontario don’t know what they’ll do if they sick in January.

Ontario deserves so much better than this.

You can read my full statement in response to this vote here.

You can watch a portion of my speech on this issue in the Legislature here.

Tomorrow is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – a day when we reflect on what we must do to end violence against women and girls.

I will be speaking in the Legislature tomorrow, to recognize the day, to represent our community, and to engage the Ford government on solutions to end gender-based violence and support survivors. We need to create supports for women, who are disproportionately impacted by violence, to leave. That means creating more affordable housing, and transitional supportive housing, ensuring that shelters get the funding they need, and more.

While tomorrow is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, this is an issue that must be addressed year round, from every possible angle. In Toronto, there are a number of organizations doing this work day and night, and here are just a few you should check out.

Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)

The Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses is a coalition of first stage emergency women's shelters, 2nd stage housing organizations and community-based women organizations who work towards ending violence against all women. (Description taken from website)

Yorktown Family Services/Yorktown Shelter for Women

Yorktown Family Services’ shelter, staffed 24 hours a day by a multilingual and multicultural team, provides a safe and secure haven for women and their children fleeing an abusive relationship. We offer numerous Violence Against Women programs and services committed to the well-being and empowerment of women who have been abused, and to the healthy development of their children. (Description taken from website)

Canadian Women’s Foundation

The Canadian Women’s Foundation is a national leader in the movement for gender equality in Canada. Through funding, research, advocacy, and knowledge sharing, we work to achieve systemic change. We support women, girls, and gender-diverse people to move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership. (Description taken from website)

Shelter Movers

Shelter Movers collaborates with local businesses and community services (e.g. shelters, police, schools, services) who refer clients that have decided to leave an abuser, and have a safer place to go. Shelter Movers makes all the arrangements to move and store survivors’ belongings securely, on the clients’ terms. We empower survivors as they transition to a life free of violence. (Description taken from website)

Skills for Change will also be hosting a support group for women tomorrow (November 25) at 10AM, if you’re interested in attending, you can register through their Eventbrite link here. This will be a virtual session for women, with the goal of creating a safe space for dialog.

Jill with Marlene from OAITH

In a COVID-19 update, Ontario registered another 591 new cases of COVID-19, and the number of active infections in Ontario dropped for the second straight day. Another 12,706 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered yesterday, and while some children aged 5 to 11 have already gotten their shots, larger scale distribution of those vaccines should be really kicking into gear tomorrow.

Note: Children who have turned, or will be turning 5 in 2021 are now eligible to be vaccinated.

If you’re looking to get your child vaccinated, or you still need to be vaccinated, you can book an appointment here.

Community Events

Coming up this Saturday (November 27) at the Wychwood Barns, the Barns Art Market (BAM!) will be in full swing from 8AM to 4PM. They will be hosting over 25 vendors with all kinds of art, including fine art, jewelry, fashion items are more.

There will also be drop in art classes being hosted by the Children’s At Studio – if you’re interested in attending preregistration is required.

To register, email [email protected].

The For Youth Initiative are back with more great programming as well, and this time they’re partnering with Black Women in Motion (BWIM) on a program called Motiv8.

Here is their description of the program:

In partnership with Black Women in Motion (BWIM), starting Monday, November 29, 2021, BWIM will be facilitating a virtual program on Mondays and Thursdays called Motiv8. The Motiv8 Program will work with racialized youth aged 13 through 18, families, local agencies, and advocates from the Oakwood-Vaughan and Jane-Finch community to ensure residents have pathways to mental, physical, and holistic health services, educational and employment opportunities.

The program will also offer a certificate of completion, access to a councillor, reference letters and more. If you’re interested in registering, or you have any questions, you can email [email protected].

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew


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