This weekend at "Ford Fest," Doug Ford decided to double down on his disregard for the rights and dignity of trans, queer, and non-binary students in Ontario, taking aim not only at students, but at their educators and the school board to boot.
There is no room for hate like this in our school system OR our government.
Sure, this is a strategic attempt to distract from the ongoing Greenbelt scandal, but the people of Ontario can hold two things in their mind at once: contempt for Ford's litany of lies and his rhetoric putting 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in danger.
Don't think we haven't noticed that Ford and his fellow Conservatives seem all too eager when the month of June rolls around to hold a few rainbow flags, say all the right things on Twitter, walk a few steps in a parade, but when Pride is over it's back to the business they know best: ensuring Ontario is a hostile home to any number of vulnerable communities.
Our students deserve better than a leader who promotes intolerance and prejudice - who deals in phrases like "indoctrination" rather than promises of safety or community. Do better, Ford. Our kids are counting on you.
Hats off to the Eglinton Way BIA, their partners, and the many OUTSTANDING artists for bringing such a display of talent to our community! This weekend's Art Walk was yet another testament to the power of investing in public arts activation, local artists, and small business community-driven collaborations.
This weekend was also the Tarragon Village Community Association Summer Social! It's always the highlight of my week to be back in community with so many folks and have the opportunity to celebrate a beautiful and bustling neighbourhood!
The legislature is set to resume on September 25 and after one of the most damning summer's Ontario politics has ever seen, it's sure to be a start like none other.
With all that's gone on with the Greenbelt, it's easy to lose sight that Ford's privatization plan is still near the top of his agenda. As is your Ontario NDP's fight against it, echoing the voices of Ontarians who refuse to let profit take hold of their fundamental human right to accessible, affordable, and equitable healthcare.
As a show of our strength to set the tone of the upcoming session, the Ontario Health Coalition is holding a major protest this day. Starting at noon on September 25, you are invited to join myself, your Ontario NDP, and allies of public healthcare to show Ford that his agenda is not Ontarians. That we are saying no to privatization and WILL say no for as long as we have to.
See details here.
Notably, this day also falls on Yom Kippur, meaning the Jewish community aren't able to attend this important action as they observe this holy day. As such, our own community's Rabbi Shalom Schachter has seen that the Ontario Health Coaltion will also host a second rally on Queen's Park front lawn the following day (September 26 at noon) in order for Jewish Ontarians to participate. Thank you, Rabbi for ensuring that this call to action is inclusive of Jewish voices.
Yom Kippur is the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar. It is a day spent in self reflection and prayer on how we can live more respectful and caring lives. We abstain from acts of pleasure and dominance over one another and nature. Each of us accepts as an individual our collective responsibility for the wellbeing of everyone in society and for the planet. We have a responsibility to protect the work of Creation for future generations. We have a duty to ensure that everyone has the basic services to live a respectful life.
In our prayer titled Unetaneh Tokef we recognize that not everyone will survive the year. We recite; Mi Yichyeh u'Mi Yamut - who will live and who will die; Mi va'Ra'av u'Mi Va"tzama - who will die from hunger and who will die from thirst; Mi Yishaleiv u'Mi Yityasar - who will have access to all they need and who will be deprived.
The prayer ends with a recognition that our future is not cast in stone, that we have the ability to change our destiny and that deeds of social justice can provide relief.
During the Yamim Nora'im the Days of Awe consisting of the time period from Rosh Hashana the Jewish New Year to Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement, we recall that all humanity is created in the Divine Image and that our collective actions have consequences. Every person deserves access to basic public services whether to food, shelter, education or health care.
The public rallies outside Queen's Park have been organized because the current provincial government is seeking to privatize much of health care. We know that privatization of health care reduces the quality and quantity of health care. Private provision of health care is more expensive and therefore reduces the capacity of the provincial government to finance other basic services such as food, accommodation and education.
The annual opening of the Legislature is a day when ordinary citizens have the ability to meet outside Queen's Park to express their views on the priorities of the government. It is an essential element of the democratic process. This Government has chosen to move the date of the opening of the Legislature to Yom Kippur, which will deprive observant members of the Jewish community of the opportunity to participate in this vital democratic event. Out of respect for our community the Ontario Health Coalition is organizing a second rally on September 26, the day after Yom Kippur, to enable Jews who spend Yom Kippur in synagogue to come to Queen's Park to express their views to the Government. Members of other faith communities will attend in solidarity as well as members of the Legislative Assembly.
If you care about the future of health care please make plans to be at Queen's Park on September 26.