Community News Update - October 29, 2021

Dear Community,

It’s set to be a busy Halloween weekend this year, as we begin to return to a life that’s a little bit more recognizable that the bleak COVID-19 reality that we’ve been living with since March of 2020. While we all need to continue to take precautions, this year we’ll be seeing more folks out trick-or-treating again – and I’m looking forward to seeing Toronto-St. Paul’s get dressed up!

So this year I’ll be getting in on the action in two ways.

First, at my Constituency Office at 803 St. Clair Ave W, I’ll be handing out candy on Halloween, October 31st from 6PM to 7:30PM!

If you’re going to be out with your kids, make sure to come by – I’m looking forward to seeing all the great costumes!

Next, I’m also going to be hosting a fun community Halloween costume contest with a surprise for our winners. If you’d like to participate, send in your costume pictures to [email protected] – or you can tag my social media accounts in your posts of your costumes.

I’m at JILLSLASTWORD on Instagram and Twitter.

One of the reasons why we are in position to celebrate Halloween this year, despite the pandemic, is that about 88% of eligible Ontarians have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. We expect that in the near future, we will see vaccines approved for children under the age of 12, who up to this point have not been allowed to receive a vaccine.

Now, in order for vaccines to be effective, we need to make sure that as many people get them as possible. We know that they’re safe, we know that they’re effective, we know we need to get them into arms to put COVID-19 behind us.

That’s why I was concerned this week to hear that the Ford government is resisting the idea of making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for students – just like all the other vaccinations that are already on the mandatory list. It’s frustrating that Ford is refusing to take a firm stance on this, and deliver a clear message to parents on this issue.

The Ontario NDP will remain steadfast in our support for vaccines, and our support of treating the COVID-19 vaccine just like the other vaccines that you must have to attend school in Ontario.

The desire for a firmer stance on vaccines is something I’ve been hearing loud and clear from our community in recent days, as I’ve been out knocking on doors across Toronto-St. Paul’s. I want you to know that I stand with you.

There are going to be a host of events happening in the coming days – so let’s go through a couple of them.

A great event to check out is happening this evening at Grace Church on-the-Hill, where at 7:15PM tonight they will be hosting a short concert program by the Orpheus Choir of Toronto. Tonight’s concert introduces their new production Shining Stars, which in their own words is, “a ground-breaking initiative that gave young artists employment and valuable experience in place of live performances during the extended COVID-19 lockdowns”. 

To keep the event safe, they will be only selling a limited number of tickets for this event, and if you’d like to check it out, you can get you tickets by clicking here.

Of course, after Halloween on Sunday, I’m looking forward to our annual Pumpkin Parade at the Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St), on Monday evening.

For those who don’t know, at the Pumpkin Parade, residents will be bringing their carved pumpkins and will be placing them down in the park. It’s an amazing sight to see, with all the great pumpkins sitting side by side. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy our community, meet your neighbours, and spend some time outdoors.

It’s going to kick off at 6PM Monday evening, just south of the splash pad at the Wychwood Barns.

Next up, I want to share a fundraising call for the Humewood House Scholarship Fund, and I want to thank our great community member Caroline for bringing this initiative to my attention!

Here’s what Caroline had to say:

“Three years ago, a small group of neighbours in the Humewood/St Clair West community started a fundraising campaign for a scholarship fund to support young women served by Humewood House (now known as the Humewood Campus of the Massey Centre).

Over the initial two years of the campaign, a total of $5,000 was raised to help young mothers pursue post-secondary education at accredited colleges and universities. Last year five scholarship recipients received $1,000 each to use towards their education. This was money our community raised. The funds raised go to the Humewood Community Scholarship recipients to prepare for a better future for themselves and their children.

The fundraising campaign for 2021 has now started and will continue until December 31, 2021. If you’d like to contribute, a donation can be made online (tax receipts will be provided): https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-massey-centre-for-women/p2p/Scholarships/

Thank you in advance for supporting this local initiative!”

Finally today, I want to send my best wishes to Kym Klopp and the team at Ecoexistence on their 14th anniversary, happening tomorrow! To celebrate they’re going to be offering discounts and doing giveaways. You can find out more on their Facebook page by clicking here.

In Solidarity,

Jill

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