Community News Update - November 7, 2022

Dear Community,

This morning, the Ford government caved to pressure and agreed - in writing - to repeal Bill 28 in the coming days. While the Bill hasn't been repealed just yet, we are putting pressure on them to get back to Queen's park immediately and follow through on this commitment.

I want to congratulate every single worker and ally across Ontario who helped take on Doug Ford's Conservatives. This was an incredible display of solidarity across Ontario as our entire province stood up against the bullying tactics of Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce - and won.

Right now, I'm ready to run back to Queen's Park at a moment's notice to ensure Ford brings forth honest legislation with no strings attached, and I will not rest until Bill 28 is fully repealed.

In the meantime, I remain so thankful for our Toronto-St. Paul's community for standing up for our students, our parents, and our education workers. Thank you all!

CUPE announced their return to work tomorrow, Tuesday, November 8 following the repeal of this legislation, and, as a result, all TDSB and TCDSB schools will re-open to in-person learning!

For parents interested in receiving specific TDSB updates, please consider signing up for Trustee Shelley Laskin's newsletter.

This week (November 6-12) is Treaties Recognition Week, which honours the ongoing importance of treaties and is a time for us to reflect on the agreements shared between all Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people sharing this land. To mark this week, the Government of Ontario has partnered with Indigenous experts to offer a series of educational resources and events, which can be accessed here.

Community members can use the interactive tool to learn which treaties cover where you live or attend school or work. My community office is covered by the Toronto Purchase, which was signed on August 1, 1805.

My colleague, MPP Sol Mamakwa ( Kiiwetinoong), shared this video with his constituents, and I'm inviting you all to view it and consider, as he asks us to, our shared commitments to one another.

This week also marks Holocaust Education Week (HEW), and the theme this year for Neuberger Holocaust Education Week 2022 is The Future is HereFamilies and students can access online resources and digital programs here.

I've had the joy of collaborating with the great folks from For Youth Initiative and Art Starts to organize 3-D World, a mentorship program for youth aged 13+ facilitated by graphic design artist Arthur Tanga. 3-D World will run Monday evenings, 4:00-5:30 PM at FYI (fully accessible) beginning November 14 through to December 12.

Food and refreshments are provided, and participants will receive a certificate from me upon completion! For more information, reach out to [email protected].

I can't wait to meet you all!

Last week, I met with Rabbi Kaye and lay leader in charge of social justice Nancy Lerner from Holy Blossom to discuss how we can best assist community members experiencing food insecurity this upcoming winter season. For decades, the Holy Blossom community has been on the frontlines supporting communities in need.

During our conversation, Rabbi Kaye introduced me to the concept of tikkun olam - repairing the world - and I'm thrilled at this growing partnership and our shared commitment to service. Anyone nearby who is experiencing need or has food to spare can visit their free pantry on the corner of Bathurst and Dewbourne.

I was honoured to attend Centennial Infant and Child Centre (CICC) and cut the ribbon of their crucial Snoezelen room! It was a privilege to celebrate all the folks who make CICC possible, and I must extend a huge congratulations to teacher Sue who won the Prime Minister's ECE Certificate of Excellence!

The second season of Hillcrest Village Community Players has kicked off, and auditions start soon! Live theatre brings us all together, and I hope you'll consider auditioning, volunteering, or donating!I had such an edutaining time at this past weekend’s Eco Fair at Wychwood Barns! It's always great to run into old friends and make new ones too!  
 
Let's never forget environmental stewardship is a verb! It starts right from our choices at home through to community! We must continue to work together to create a net-zero, carbon neutral Ontario. As we expressed in our Ontario NDP Green New Democratic Deal, we deserve a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable economy, rooted in equity, affordability and honouring the treaties.  Climate justice is workers justice. Climate justice is fighting for affordable, sustainable and universal design housing justice. Climate justice is our fight to preserve public education and a healthcare system that works for each and every person in Ontario. Climate justice is inextricably linked with every sector in Ontario and it is central to our ongoing fight for social justice.  
 
Here in St. Paul’s we are committed to getting our buildings to net-zero carbon emissions. We need a government that recognizes the urgent need to retrofit our buildings to reduce carbon emissions and we need an Ontario government that recognizes the climate crisis we are facing. We need a government that respects and protects our Greenbelt not one that obsesses with punching holes in protected land or building unnecessary highways that threaten farmland and greenspace leading to homes no one can afford. We will not stand for this! 
 
I wanted to share some resources (this list is not exhaustive) I stumbled upon at the ecofair: 
 
Education & Organizing: 
 
Cats & Birds: Keep Cats Safe & Save Bird Lives 
www.catsandbirds.ca  
www.catsandbirds.ca/safe-cat-ebook 
 
Climatefast 
ClimateFast is volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to building strong, informed public pressure to take urgent, substantial and just action on climate change. 
https://climatefast.ca/  
 
Climate Voice 
www.climatevoice.ca  
 
For Our Kids Toronto 
Let’s talk climate change in your school! Host a Schoolyard Climate Conversation: A Presentation for Parents, Teachers & Adult Allies (facilitated at no cost for For Our Kids Toronto) 
www.forourkids.ca/toronto 
 
Justice for Workers Decent Work for All 
Fight for Climate Justice Fight for Decent Work 
https://www.justice4workers.org/ 
 
Kitchen Table Climate Conversations 
A wonderful way to learn about the climate crisis alongside your friends and fellow community members in a non-intimidating space. 
www.climateconversations.ca 
 
Seniors for Climate Action Now 
https://seniorsforclimateactionnow.org/about-us/ 
 
Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) 
For over 30 years, TEA, a not-for-profit organization, has campaigned locally to find solutions to Toronto’s urban environmental problems.  
https://www.torontoenvironment.org/ 
 
Toronto Wildlife Centre: Building a healthy community for people and wildlife 
www.TorontoWildlifeCentre.com 
  
Visit www.TorontoWildlifeCentre.com/tips for more information on how to resolve conflicts with wildlife in a simple, cheap, effective and human way.  
 
 
Books:
An Illustrated Guide to Growing Food On Your Balcony by Lara Lucretia Mrosovsky 
https://www.miinikaan.com/store/balconybook 
 
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming edited by Paul Hawken  
https://drawdowntoronto.ca/  

On November 17, I will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Jack Layton Chair at Toronto Metropolitan University alongside Jagmeet Singh and Kiké Roach. Reserve a spot here!

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's

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