Community News Update - October 13, 2023


Dear Community,

The horrific events of the last week have been painful and challenging for all of us, but especially for our neighbours in our Jewish and Palestinian communities with ties to the region affected.  Many are trying desperately to reach their families. The human cost of this conflict is mortifying and heartbreaking. 

I am also disheartened to see threats of violence being levelled at the Jewish and Palestinian communities here in Ontario, Toronto—St. Paul's and beyond, and to see an uptick of antisemitic and anti-Palestinian rhetoric.

I will not stand for acts of violence against ANY of our community members. Toronto Police have indicated that there will be an increased police presence at Jewish and Palestinian gathering places across the city. You should also know that police are assuring the community that there are currently no credible threats.

Every single one of us who calls St. Paul's home has a right to be safe in our homes, in our places of worship, our local places of business, and our community. Our kids in our beautiful community must be safe at school.

These are difficult times. We must treat each other with compassion and empathy. Please, if you can, take a moment to check in on your neighbour in whatever capacity that may look like. We all must look out for one another.

As we head into the weekend, please let us try our best to offer, receive, and model community care and compassion as best we can.

Even in this crisis many of our more familiar problems remain. As much as we pretend the pandemic is "over", it isn't for hundreds of thousands of Ontarians living with long COVID. Lesley Stoyan, one of our very own in St. Paul's struggles with the physical, emotional, social, and financial effects of this illness. Yesterday, I wrote the Premier and Minister of Health on behalf of Lesley demanding a provincial strategy to get her and ALL Ontarians suffering from long COVID back to their FULL and healthy selves.

You can read my full letter to Premier Ford and Minister Jones on Twitter.

To no one's surprise, Minister Surma is keeping the facts on Ontario Place locked away. Ontario Place's financial annual reports have not been made public since 2018. You heard that right - 2018! Community, you deserve to know what's happening with this beloved public land. Full stop. Oshawa NDP Critic for Infrastructure said it best: "We don't need to privatize to revitalize Ontario Place."

On Monday, your Ontario NDP will be tabling our opposition motion to ensure the public land of Ontario Place is kept public! You can read the full press release HERE.

Tomorrow, October 14, starting at 11AM, I'll be speaking at the Endometriosis Events' rally at Queen's Park. A BIG thank you to our St. Paul's community members, Tami and Leah, for organizing this event.

Click here for full details or to RSVP. I hope to see you there!

This Monday, October 16 at 10 AM please join the Ontario Autism Coalition (OAC) on THE LAWN at Queen’s Park. It’s time to hold Premier Ford accountable for his promise to get the Autism Program up and running for the more than 60,000 children still on the waitlist.

A HUGE thank you to the OAC organizers for your HEARTwork! You can RSVP to the event HERE.

Icon Talent Partners is offering a fellowship for BIPOC community members! The deadline to apply is October 18th. More information can be found HERE.

Over a span of four days in our city, there were seven preventable overdose deaths. Please let this be the sign you need to carry a Naloxone kit.

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 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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