Jill Andrew MPP, Toronto–St. Paul's

Government of Ontario

Community News Update - August 19

Published on August 19, 2020

Dear Community,

It is genuinely difficult to overstate the importance of our school reopening being executed safely. For students, teachers, education workers, custodians, and the broader community’s sake, it is essential that there are no corners cut when schools in Ontario finally reopen. Sadly, so far, the Ford government has yet to come to the table with the services and supports that our schools need to be able to operate safely.

While this government continues to tack on small additions to the reopening plan, what they really need to do is go back to the drawing board and address the crucial pieces that their plan is missing. Important pieces, like proper ventilation, ensuring that everyone has access to a smaller class and figuring out a bussing system that will not force students to forgo physical distancing from one another - must be implemented. Sadly, we are running out of time to make these changes before the school year is set to begin, and we could very well see the start of the school year be delayed, which would in turn leave parents scrambling once again to secure childcare.

There really are not words for just how badly this has been handled by the Ford government, and our community has been very vocal in expressing their frustration with the government’s management of this file. In response to this outcry, I am going to be participating in two events. First, tomorrow at 3:30PM I will be part of the Back2School Panel Discussion being hosted by Seed & Sprout to give an opportunity for 2SLGBTQ parents and caregivers a chance to raise their questions and concerns about the reopening plan. You can find out how to access this online event here.

On Monday next week, I will be hosting a one-on-one discussion with Education Critic Marit Stiles on Facebook Live, as we dissect where we stand right now, what we think September will look like, and how we can fight back against this government. I have also invited Education Minister Stephen Lecce to participate but have heard nothing back.

If you’re interested in tuning in, you can RSVP on Facebook or on my website.

Click here to RSVP on Facebook – event begins at 6:30PM on August 24
Click here to RSVP on jillandrewmpp.ca

Tonight from 6-8PM the City of Toronto will be hosting an online Community Engagement Session about the shelters that are now operating in Midtown Toronto. I have written extensively about this situation, and I want to encourage everyone to tune in tonight to hear from our city’s elected leaders and staff about what steps are being taken to ensure that the residents receive every ounce of support that they need. If you are interested in tuning in, please click here.

While I will write more thoughts in my Friday newsletter about the shelters, for today I want to share a sombre statistic that has been circulating in the press today. So far in 2020, Toronto has seen more than 130 suspected opioid overdose deaths.  This is a tragic statistic and something that deserves so much more attention than it has received. The opioid crisis is right here in our community and it is vital that we follow the direction of experts and invest in harm reduction strategies that we know save lives.

I’m happy to share another reminder that this Saturday we’ll be back up and running our four community food tables, and as always, we’re looking for volunteers! If you are interested in helping, please click on the links below in this email!

Finally, National Convenience Week is set to begin on August 31, and I want to shine a light on some of the incredible convenience stores that we have here in our community. I am reaching out to you to ask you to please email my office at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca and let me know about your favourite convenience store in Toronto-St. Paul’s. I will be going through all the submissions and I’ll be working on a creative way to honour the nominees!

In solidarity,

Jill

 

Table Locations for Saturday August 22

St. Matthew's United Church from 11am to 3pm
729 St. Clair Ave W ( located at St. Clair West and Rushton)
Click HERE to sign up!

Oriole Park Community Garden from 11am to 3pm
201 Oriole Parkway (near Frobisher and Lascelles) 
Click HERE to sign up!

Cy Townsend Park from 11am to 3pm
455 Winona Drive (corner of Vaughan and Winona)
Click HERE to sign up!

Marian Engel Park from 11am to 1pm
285 Melita Ave (just west off of Christie)
Click HERE to sign up!