Community News Update - November 27, 2023

Dear community,

This past Saturday was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women & Girls. Since 1999, this day and the next 16 are a time to recognize the violence faced by women trying to participate as equals in society, including the domestic violence that far too many women face on a daily basis. Events like the Montreal Massacre and more recent Toronto attacks show the ways that entrenched misogyny leads to vicious attacks.

The disgraceful epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous Women also serves as a reminder that too often these abuses are met with indifference by authorities. As a provincial legislator, I want to take this opportunity to remind our community that the Ford government still has not met the need for increased funding for women's shelters and transitional housing called for by the Renfrew Inquest.

As we collectively honour this time of year, I will continue to demand his action to put an end to gender-based violence, once and for all. 

Earlier today, Olivia Chow and Doug Ford announced a New Deal for Toronto to help lift the city out of its deep budget hole. While piarts of their deal are a welcome development and certainly a fete for our newly-elected mayor, the fact of the matter is, it never should have gotten this far. From failing to invest in public transit to scrapping development charges through Bill 23 as a vital revenue stream for the city, Ford's hands are far from clean when it comes to city finances. 

That said, today's announcement saw increased funding for the TTC and the offloading of the Gardiner and Don Valley Parkway from the city to provide over a billion dollars in municipal cost savings. But this comes at a grave cost, as Ford will continue down the path of privatizing Ontario Place.

While the city cannot interfere, our work as Opposition and in our own communities is far from over. Whether demanding accountability and transparency in the plans, to ensuring every dollar spent on restoring the area is spent for Ontarians, we will fight to the finish to keep our public land, PUBLIC! 

Add your name to this call.

Also released today, Feed Ontario published a tragic report on food bank usage across the province. It found that in the past year, Ontario's food bank lines have grown by 40% with one in six of their clients being employed. 

This is while Conservative government members stood in the House through question period to falsely tote their record of bringing down costs for Ontarians. Well, this report is their record and it made crystal clear their bold faced lies as even the very basics to a dignified life are moving further and further out of reach for people.

There is no excuse for this. Anywhere, but especially in the largest economy in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. We need a provincial food strategy and we need it now.

In Ontario, 1,400 people on average are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant while thousands more are in need of a life-changing tissue donation. They are our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and, in some cases, members of our own families.

When you register as a possible organ and tissue donor, you have the potential to change the story for someone in need.
 
One donor can help over 80 people get back to life.
 
Register your consent to become an organ and tissue donor after your death and tell your family so they can help honour your wishes.
 
Did You Know?

  • Any Ontario resident who is 16 years or older and has an Ontario health card is eligible to register as an organ and tissue donor
  • Everyone has the potential to be an organ and/or tissue donor, regardless of age or health.
  • People from every major religion have donated. Many religions support donation or respect and individual’s choice.
  • The first and foremost concern for health care professionals is to save lives. Only when a life cannot be saved does organ and tissue donation become an option.
  • It takes two minutes to register or check your status at www.beadonor.ca. You can also register in person at any ServiceOntario location.

More information about the donation process, who can register, and the importance of speaking to family can be found online at www.beadonor.ca.

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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