Community News Update - November 29, 2023

Dear Community, 

Today at Queen's Park, members across party lines #WrappedInCourage to honour the 62 women & girls (that we know of) who were lost to femicide in the past year. Each of these lives should still be here today. Their legacies must be carried forward with action from all of us who stand in this House, but especially, the government. Action towards real affordable housing, pay equity, a working justice system, and investment into the MANY organizations across the province and their workers who are doing the work to respond to crisis and prevent gender-based violence. 
 
Today, we remember these 62 lives. Tomorrow, we must act for them to ensure there is not one more life needlessly lost to the tragedy that is femicide. My deepest thanks goes to Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Housing (OAITH) for their continued advocacy to see that we do. 
 
To learn more about OAITH, click here. To support the vital work of the Wrapped In Courage campaign by purchasing your own purple scarf, click here

I was also joined by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) for their Queen's Park Advocacy Day today, where they shared their own, as well as their peers' experience in post-secondary schools across the province. What I heard was startling. From food insecurity, to mental health challenges, to the housing affordability crisis' impact on students, to funding cuts and tuition hikes, post-secondary students are struggling. It is on this government to ease this to allow for their academic success, and the future success of our province built by them. 
 
Thank you to these incredible student advocates for their work to advocate for students across the province. I look forward to amplifying their calls in the House and in community to ensure what should be the best years of their life, are!
 
Read more of OUSA's work and calls to action here.

This evening, MPP Stevens is debating her motion to bring universal contraception to Ontario. Because reproductive healthcare IS healthcare, and that cannot come at a cost. I rose in the House earlier today to present a petition on behalf of our Toronto—St. Paul's community to why this government must act. Whether for its impact on economic empowerment for women, trans men and gender-diverse people, respecting bodily autonomy, or mitigating menstrual pain and other health concerns, saying YES to MPP Steven's Bill is a vital step towards long-awaited gender equity in this province, and I demand this government finally take this needed action today.
 
Add your name to our call! 

Yesterday, I attended the long awaited opening of the new Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub at the former site of Vaughan Road Academy. 

Congratulations Reena, the Learning Enrichment Foundation, and OVCO for ALL your HEARTwork in bringing this space to life. 

Calling all poets of St. Paul's and beyond! The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is seeking nominees for the next Poet Laureate of Ontario. The role was created in 2019 in honour of the late Gord Downie.

The application is open until January 15, 2024. Click here for more information.

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.

As the holidays approach, there are many opportunities to gather in community, enjoy some festive goodies, and support of local businesses and community groups!

This Saturday, December 2nd from 11 AM to 4 PM come check out the Midtown Holiday Bazaar at 130 Eglinton Ave E (Montgomery Place). Hosted by Montgomery Seniors Club, there will be over 20 vendors participating and selling crafts, baked goods, toys, etc. 

Also, this Saturday December 2nd, the Hillcrest Village BIA is hosting their holiday celebration! Drop in from 11 AM to 2 PM at the Green Parking Lot at 789 St Clair Ave W (Car Park 220). 

There will be special performances from DJ Jennifer, hot chocolate supplied by Krave, a holiday photo frame, and lots of good food and local shopping!

Click here for more details!

Saturday, December 9th at 3 PM join the AppleTree Group for some Midtown Merriment in June Rowlands Park! Their holiday community tree decorating event is back for the first time since 2019. 

Bring your favourite holiday ornament and join them for a cup-o-cheer at the park garden. Click here for more information. 

Sunday, December 10 from 11 AM to 5 PM, the Disability Collective and Wagner-Green Centre for Access and Inclusion are hosting the Disability Holiday Market at Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St). 

The Disability Holiday Market features work created by disabled artists and celebrates the diversity of the holiday season in Toronto. The event includes:

  • Artist and community vendors
  • Community card making station
  • Cozy corner
  • Holiday photo booth

Visit the link for more information!

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].

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.

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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