Community News Update - September 27, 2023

To those that say "no news is good news", I say, "meet Phil Verster".

Earlier today, the Metrolinx CEO was at Union Station to deliver just that; no news. But this was far from good for our St. Paul's community members who, for 13 years now, have felt the brunt of the endless transit project's construction. Whether financially, as has been the case for local business owners, or mentally as neighbouring residents deal with non-stop congestion and noise pollution at any and all hours, the toll is too damn high.

But Verster's non-announcement let us know, this government does not care. More, they have no clue what they are doing. This project, from start (under the Liberals) to unfinished (under Conservatives), is a collassal and costly disaster, through and through.

Your Ontario NDP released a statement immediately folllowing, demanding Verster be fired from his post and the Ford government work with our community to provide resolve, starting with abandoning the failing P3 model entirely.

Read the full release here.

While the Ford government fails our community's commuters, they're doing no better for workers either. 

Earlier this week, in debate on their erroneously titled "Working for Workers Act", I asked the new Minister of Labour, Immigration, and Skills Development how this legislation will work for workers like TVO producers, locked-out ACTRA performers, or Jamaican farmers, who earlier this summer, were handed a ticket back to their home country after rightly protesting unsafe work conditions. While the government's bill ensured they had their passport in hand, it did nothing to hold exploitative employers accountable.

Watch the clip here, including the Minister's response.

In advance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this Saturday, I joined Indigenous leaders at Queen's Park as they raised the Survivors' Flag, in memory of the far-too-many children lost to the cultural genocide at Residential Schools. Miigwetch to the many who joined yesterday's ceremony, and Ontario Native Women's Association for their important work.

It was a beautiful ceremony that spoke to the trauma and resilience that lives in Indigenous people and the responsibility we have, as settlers, towards true reconciliation. What is more than a word. Certainly more than a day. But a verb. A call to action for each of us.

On Saturday, I invite you to join me in honouring the strength of Indigenous communities, while also acknowledging the egregious ongoing histories of colonization, forced assimilation, residential schooling, MMIWG2S, and cultural erasure. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an opportunity for education, dialogue, and a renewed commitment to creating an equitable future for all, one where reconciliation is at the forefront of our national consciousness.

To this day, First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Ontario continue to face barriers to basic rights that many of us across Ontario take for granted. Whether it's accessing health care services, including reproductive health care, having reliable access to safe drinking water, experiencing the criminal justice system, or accessing housing, Ontario has a long way to go to recognize and uphold the full rights of Indigenous peoples.

As we gather together this weekend, I hope you'll join me in recognizing the importance of being honest about our nation's history. Folks wishing to learn more about the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada may consider this MOOC by University of Alberta.

Monday, when the House resumed session, many across our communities were observing Yom Kippur. On Tuesday, I joined the second rally to save public health care!

Thank you to Rabbi Schachter from here in St. Paul's for ensuring our collective fight includes Jewish voices!

Yesterday, I was honoured to join the Abraham Global Peace Initiative (AGPI) at Queen's Park for the launch of their Not In My Name exhibit; a powerful educational tool working to combat antisemitism in telling the full history of the Holocaust, including Canada's past, present, and future role in ensuring history is never repeated.

My deep thanks to Avi Benlolo, Founding Chair and CEO of AGPI, for having me. It was great to see our incredible School Trustee, Shelley Laskin there too, as well as other TDSB representatives.

Learn more about the Not In My Name exhibit and AGPI here.

Hot off the heels of a scandalous summer, I know Ontarians are ready and waiting to hold Ford to the fire for his shady antics. 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, he has much to answer to.

But what's most important to me is YOU, community. Whether it's healthcare waittimes, crumbling schools, astronomical housing costs, transit delays - you name it - I want to hear how EACH DOLLAR 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!

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!

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's

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Community News Update - June 21, 2024

Dear Community,

Join me and Save Ontario's Science Centre on Sunday in Wells Hill Park to speak out against Doug Ford's scheme to move the Ontario Science Centre to Ontario Place, which has now led to the surprise closure of the Science Centre.

This benefits no one. Not the people of Toronto who are losing a beloved insitution or the 400+ employees of the OSC, many of whom will lose their jobs.

Meet us in Wells Hill Park at St Clair and Bathurst to tell Doug Ford NO.

RSVP here

Community News Update, June 14, 2024

Dear Community,

The house rose early for the summer on Thursday last week, so it's been a full week of community events.

QUEEN'S PARK NEWS

Raise ODSP and OW Rates

Before the house was adjourned early by the conservative government, I was proud to table a petition calling for the doubling of ODSP and OW rates in Ontario.

Recently, I heard from Disability Without Poverty - Ontario at their Queen's Park Lobby Day. People with disabilities in Ontario are struggling to make ends meet. Enough is enough. It's time to raise the rates!

Thank you to Dr. Sally Palmer for sharing this petition with my office. I will continue to stand with you until these demands are met.

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