Last week I stood up in the Legislative Assembly to speak up about the rise of antisemitism in Toronto-St. Paul’s and across Ontario. We have seen a number of disturbing incidents of antisemitism in Toronto schools, antisemitic graffiti on synagogues, and even assaults in this community over the past few years.
One thing that enables this hatred is the troubling level of ignorance about the Holocaust discovered in recent studies of students at Ontario’s schools. That’s why I called for a MANDATORY Holocaust and genocide education embedded in Ontario curriculums.
I know that many of you continue to watch the unfolding situation in Ukraine with horror. We don’t know how many Ukrainian and Russian lives have already been destroyed by Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion, but sadly we know that it is not over yet.
No aggressive war is ever justified, but claiming a need for ‘denazification’ in a country led by a Jewish president, and which in 2019 was the only nation other than Israel with both a Jewish head of state and a Jewish head of government reaches a new low.
I join all my fellow Canadians in urging the strongest possible measures to impose consequences on the Russian government and force them to change course. For Ontario, this means following NDP leader Andrea Horwath’s call for support for the Canada Ukraine foundation and a boycott of Russian products. https://www.ontariondp.ca/news/horwath-s-ndp-calls-funding-ukrainian-aid-russian-vodka-ban
Here in Ontario, we are down to 849 people hospitalized, and the number of new cases seems to have levelled off at a seven-day average of 1,885 new cases per day. This situation is still very concerning, and we all have to hope that we see a further reduction in cases and deaths soon. With that said, the following changes to safety measures are coming tomorrow (March 1):
If you have questions about how this impacts your business, the contact available is the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
By far the best tool we have to end this pandemic and make sure that this re-opening is the last one is vaccination. That’s why I was proud to help organize a pop-up vaccination clinic along with Ben San Juan from the For Youth Initiative and our partners at Women’s College Hospital.
We were at 504 Oakwood today, where first and second shots, as well as boosters, were provided to anyone from the community who needed one. If you missed this clinic and still need to get vaccinated, remember that you can book an appointment here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/ .
Finally, I know that many in our community are mourning the tragic death of Ike Kaja. I wanted to let you know about a scholarship fund established in his memory at the University of Toronto, you can read about the details here and consider donating if you have the means.