Community News Update - September 8, 2021

Dear Community,

Tomorrow morning, students across Ontario will be returning to their classrooms for another school year. Teachers and education workers will be back at work, doing their best to help the students navigate through these challenging circumstances.

Our education system should be better prepared for this school year.

Sadly, because of inaction from the Ford government, I am concerned that our school system is not ready for another year of pandemic education. Despite over a year of calls from your Official Opposition, and concerned stakeholders, we have yet to see the real action that we need.

In response, this morning I was joined by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, along with our Education Critic, Marit Stiles, the MPP for Davenport, and a group of local parents and their children, for a press conference outside of J.R. Wilcox Community School about the need for a safe September.

Our key demands are clear, reasonable, and endorsed by experts.

We need:

  • Mandatory vaccination for teachers and education workers
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Mental health supports
  • A comprehensive rapid testing plan
  • Proactive work to ensure we're ready to roll out vaccines for under 12's as soon as it's approved by Health Canada
  • Improved ventilation in all schools with standards

If you’d like to watch this morning’s press conference, click here.

Regardless of the challenges ahead, I want to send a huge thank you to all of the parents, teachers, education workers, and school boards, who are all going to be working hard to make things work this year for students across Ontario. I am also wishing a happy, healthy, and productive school year to each and every student in Ontario!

Today, Ontario reported another 554 cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, of those cases 319 of them occurred in people who were unvaccinated. This morning’s case count is once again below the seven-day average – which now stands at 732 cases. While it is too early to say anything for certain, it does appear that in the past few weeks our new cases of COVID-19 have begun to plateau in this fourth wave.

Of course, one of the most important metrics to track these days are vaccinations. Yesterday, a little over 38,000 doses of COVID-19 were administered in Ontario, and if you’re eligible, but still haven’t got your shot, please register for your vaccination today.

Click here to register for a vaccine appointment.

As a reminder, this weekend my office will be hosting another set of Community Food Tables at our four locations around the riding. Just like the last two weeks, this week will be special as we will be collecting and distributing back-to-school supplies at the tables.

So, if you’re in need of back-to-school supplies, or you’re able to chip in, please make sure to come by.

We’re also of course once again looking for volunteers who can help out! It’s always a terrific time, and if you would like to sign up for a shift, you can use one of the links below!

Marian Engel Park - 285 Melita Ave. (Christie St. and Melita Ave) 
Click here to register to volunteer.

St. Matthew’s United Church - 729 St. Clair Ave West. (St. Clair Ave W. and Rushton Ave.)
Click here to register to volunteer.

Cy Townsend Park - 455 Winona Dr. (Vaughan Rd. and Winona Dr.)
Click here to register to volunteer.

Oriole Park Community Garden - 201 Oriole Parkway (Located near Lascelles Blvd. At the south entrance to Oriole Park)
Click here to register to volunteer.

In local community news, I am thrilled to share that the Hillcrest Village Community Players theatre organization that launched last week has officially shared what they will be putting on for their first production: Anne of Green Gables the Musical!

In their own words: The story follows the precocious and imaginative Anne as she captures the hearts and minds of the small farming community - and her new-found family - simply by the virtue of her own pluck and personality. This original, glorious adaptation - now firmly embedded in Canadian national culture and musical theatre canon - continues to enrapture audiences across the world with its rich score and a rare, affecting story for all ages. (Concord Theatricals)

They will also be hosting auditions (performer and orchestra) and are currently recruiting volunteers to help with the production as well.

If you’re interested in getting involved – you can find all the details on how you can audition, and get in touch with the Hillcrest Village Community Players to volunteer by clicking here.

Finally, after the press conference this morning, I found myself along St. Clair Ave West and stopped by to check in with the teams from The Stop who were running their Wychwood Open Door program just outside of St. Matthew’s United Church, as well as a quick visit to the Eritrean Community Centre that operates inside St. Matthew’s.

Both organizations are integral parts of our community and often operate without much fanfare, doing their important work, day after day.

For those who didn’t know, the Eritrean Community Centre provides a range of important services to Canadians of Eritrean descent, as well as newly arriving Eritreans in Canada.

If you’re interested in learning more about their work, check out their website here.

While they work inside, just outside the walls the Wychwood Open Door were providing hot meals to those in need, as they have for many years at St. Matthew’s. Despite COVID-19 forcing them to operate outside, they’re still putting together delicious meals and creating community, just like they always have.

If you’d like to learn more about their work, click here.

This evening I’m sending a big thank you to both organizations, and everyone who works to make our community the beautiful place it is.

In Solidarity,




Latest posts

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

Take action

Bring Back REAL Rent Control!
Close the Gap

Sign up for updates

Find us on social media

Make a provincial donation

Make a federal donation