Community News Update - November 30, 2022

Dear Community,

Yesterday, an Ontario court struck down Bill 124 as unconstitutional – what we’ve all known since the day it passed in 2019. This is a momentous victory for public sector workers in the province – predominately women, racialized folks, and newcomers – as well as each Ontarian that relies on a working public sector (that’s all of us)!  
 
I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to the Ontario Nurses Association for taking the courageous step to fight for the rights of their members and workers across the province who, since 2019, have had their constitutional right to collective bargaining squashed at the hands of this conservative government. 
 
Of course, this victory wasn’t welcomed by the PC. Already, Doug Ford’s government has confirmed they’ll be appealing the court’s decision, dragging out a process that will ultimately lead to the same decision – all while using YOUR tax dollars to pay for it. Some ‘fiscal responsibility’ hey? 
 
Rest assured, I’ll keep demanding Ford toss Bill 124 in the trash to put an end to this dark period of wage suppression in our province’s history. I encourage you to add your voice to the cause too. 
 
Tell Doug Ford: #RepealDontAppeal and share your thoughts with me about Bill 124 by replying to this email.
 
Yesterday, the Ontario Association of Interval and Transitional Housing (or OAITH) joined Queen’s Park to wrap each of us in courage to end femicide and gender-based violence in Ontario. 
 
But the fact is, wrapping us in courage is not enough to do that. There needs to be real, tangible policies in place that do that. Fortunately, we know what those policies and strategies are. Investments in real affordable housing, including supportive housing, finally taking on wage parity in Ontario, implementing paid emergency leave so people can flee violence without losing their pay cheques, doubling ODSP and OW – to name just a few.  
 
Unfortunately, the Ford government has repeatedly said no to each of these again and again. And so long as they do, I am fearful that femicide and gender-based violence will remain the endemic it is in our own backyard.

On National Day of Action for Child Care, let's all remember to say thank you to the ECEs and child care workers in our lives!

I was glad to join my colleagues, ECEs, frontline health care workers, and students who all have a firm message to the Ford government: listen to workerse and acknowledge the staffing shortage!

Pay, protect, and respect ECEs because families and children depend on it.

This is the right thing to do, and don't forget for one minute that women are disproportionately reresented in this care profession.

Shout outs to all our local Toronto-St. Paul's ECEs and to the two fabulous ECE students I bumped into from Humber College! We've got to support this profession so future ECEs can thrive! A little rain won't stop us from standing up for fair wages and safe working conditions for those caring for Ontario's youngest!

On December 4 from 10 AM to 2 PM, the Brentwood Towers Tenants' Association will be hosting its first annual Winter Artisan Bazaar in the Brentwood Towers Amenity Room, located at 19 Lascelles Blvd.

Be sure to swing by for handmade artisan crafts, baked goods, outdoor decor, jewelery, and so much more!

On Saturday, December 3 from 5-8 PM, the Oakwood Village BIA is hosting its Winter Warm Up Event! Come on down to Holland Park Avenue, next to Oakwood Library, for complimentary hot chocolate and treats, music, and dance. at 6 PM, there will be a performance by the Ontario School of Ballet Youth!

P.S. Attendees can enjoy the holiday tree at the Oakwood/Vaughan traffic island and leave a message of hope!

Saturday, December 10 brings us the Hillcrest Village Welcome Winter Holiday Event! From 10 AM to 2:30 PM in the Green P parking lot (car park 220 - 789 St Clair Ave West), folks can join in the celebration of the BIA's new seasonal decor. There will also be holiday music, free hot chocolate from Krave, and a dance presentation from St. Clair Dance Collective!

A reminder from Monday's newsletter: December is just around the corner, and more folks than ever are experiencing food insecurity. Due to a perfect storm of rising food costs, low social assistance rates, and the soaring cost of housing, our neighbours are in dire need of our help.

Ontario has seen a 16% increase in food bank visits over the last year, and many food banks are struggling to meet this demand. As someone who has experienced food insecurity first hand and has relied on food banks through many stages of my life, I want to do all that I can to ensure our community is fed throughout this difficult season.

While food insecurity is a systemic issue that demands a response by every level of government, I'm proud to partner with The Beeton Cupboard Food Bank as they deliver on-the-ground services to folks in need now.

From December 5 to December 12, my office will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items to support our neighbours in need. You need only reply to this email to arrange a time for drop-off. Folks who are unable to deliver but wish to donate are encouraged to reach out and we will do our best to facilitate collection!

The Beeton Cupboard Food Bank also accepts monetary donations via e-transfer sent to [email protected] with the message "food bank." A tax receipt will be issued to donors in the New Year.

Thank you so much for joining with me in making this season even a bit less stressful for our Toronto-St. Paul's residents!

Grace Church on the Hill will be hosting a concert with The Annex Singers on December 3. Attendees must be vaccinated and wear a mask. See their eventbrite for more details!

Don't forget: 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!

This weekend: 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! I hope to see you there!

On December 11, Holy Blossom Temple will be hosting "Gifts of Light: Voices of Our Children," the third annual interfaith holiday concert. All proceeds will be in support of Ukrainian Canadian Social Services Toronto. Don't forget to register!

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!

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's

 

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