Community News Update - September 18, 2023

Dear Community,

Spurred by the hateful comments made by Minister Lecce and Premier Ford, a number of folks with hate in their hearts have planned protests across our province this week targeting 2SLGBTQIA+ youth and their teachers.

Hate like this has no home in our communities, and that includes our schools. Everyone, including youth, deserves to live their lives authentically and free from threats of violence. 2SLGBTQIA+ youth have a right to safety and love, and should not be treated as political pawns to bolster this government's transphobic agenda.

We need to band together to ensure queer and trans youth have the opportunity to become queer and trans adults!

Enough is enough!

Folks from the queer communities and their allies have planned peaceful counter protests to overshadow these acts of hate with acts of love. See here for more information!

If you choose to attend, the OFL has compiled some safety resources that may be of use:

Safe Protesting: A Guide to Your Rights

Safety Tips for 2SLGBTQIA+ Youth

Safety Plan Checklist

See here for a more general guide on confronting and preventing hate in Canadian schools.

This weekend, I stopped by the Wychwood Barns Community Association's Music at the Barns, celebrating its third year!

Thank you to everyone who made this event possible!

I also had a fantastic time at the Christ Church Deer Park Rummage Sale - so many goodies!

With fall just around the corner, our friends at The Appletree Group are making the most of it through the last few weeks of their Davisville Market at June Rowlands Park (220 Davisville Ave.)

On top of an incredible selection of goodies by local vendors, they're also hosting special events each Tuesday for the next three weeks. Each is sure to be a beautiful afternoon or evening, celebrating another successful summer of this community treasure and welcome in a new season. 

See below for details & click here to follow along with The Appletree Group for updates.

Tuesday, September 19 @ 5pm: Jazz in the Garden
Tuesday, September 26 @ 5pm: Make your own AppleTree T-shirt!
Tuesday, October 3: #DavisvilleDiversity Community Supper

We're one week out from the legislature's return, hot off the heels of a scandalous summer. To say the least.

From shortchanging public spending by $7.2 billion to padding the pockets of a select few of his friends to the tune of $8.3 billion, Doug Ford has much to answer to.

But most important to me is what questions and concerns YOU want answers to. Whether it be healthcare, housing, education, social services, transit - you name it - I want to hear how these billions of dollars could be better invested in you, your family, and our community. 

Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

On October 2nd at 5PM, join the folks from No Demovictions and other affordable housing allies as they rally at Toronto City Hall on International Tenants' Day!

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.


Doing their part to tackle growing food insecurity in our community & beyond, Frankel Lambert Outreach Committee's (FLOC) food table at Marian Engel Park is back this Saturday.

Whether you've got donations to spare or need some extra groceries to get you through the week, come on down between 11AM to 1PM to take what you need and leave what you don't. No questions asked!

On September 21 from 5-8PM, join the folks from FLOC for a garden harvest and peace event made possible by the TD Park People Grant!

Join us next week for some fabulous poetry in the parking lot!

Mark your calendars for the upcoming North Toronto Group of Artists Fine Art Tour & Sale!

Learn more HERE!

Mark your calendars! Bloom Bar Studio is hosting a COMEDY CABARET on Thursday, September 28. Tickets are $20 and include a welcome drink!

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, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's


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