As we reach the end of another week, let me start with a sincere word of thanks to everyone in our community. This community has stepped up to the plate, in the face of genuinely terrifying adversity and has approached a global pandemic from a place of love and care. The empathy of our neighbourhood knows no bounds, and I am honoured to represent you.
A fantastic example of this has been the Community Food Tables that my office now organizes at four locations across Toronto-St. Paul’s. Since the beginning of the program, we’ve only seen more and more people interested in getting involved. We have had over 100 people volunteer their time to help out with the tables, and many more who have received or donated food through the project. It has been incredibly to see this program take off, and we are now actually looking to start a fifth table soon – so stay tuned!
If you’re interested in dropping by to donate or pick up food, the four locations that will be opening up will be located at Cy Townsend Park (Vaughan Road and Winona), St. Matthew’s Church (St. Clair W and Rushton), Oriole Park (next to the community garden), and of course in Marian Engel Park (Near Melita and Christie). For full addresses and details, just look below the letter in the email!
Earlier this week, the government passed Bill 195. This bill gives sweeping powers to the government to extend emergency orders in Ontario for up to two years, with little to no oversight. It is especially concerning as the bill was passed as fast as possible without any public consultation, and the government immediately followed that by adjourning the legislature. Earlier this week I rose in the house to share my frustration with how this process has done down, you can watch the video of me addressing Bill 195 here.
This is simply never the way that a government should operate.
Sadly, we see behaviour like this time and time again, and it erodes the trust that the public has in our electoral democracy. Another example of this can be seen in the Auditor General investigation about a Ford government spending claim that was misleading, regarding autism support funding. In this case, it was $174 million that this government claimed would be going to families – when it wasn’t. Right now, when we’re facing a global pandemic, it is more important than ever that we are able to trust the information that is coming from the government.
Finally, today, as we continued to move forward towards reopening, we all need to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At the moment, infection levels are dropping, but if we don’t stay focused on beating COVID-19 that could change quickly. COVID-19 is no less infectious, or deadly than it was in March, and remaining vigilant remains of paramount importance.
A trend that remains concerning, is that over 60% of new cases are being discovered in people under the age of 39. As we approach another beautiful weekend, I’m sending a reminder to all the young people in our community that even if you are at a low risk, you could infect someone who is not.
Fighting COVID-19 is about working together.
If you have a positive story from our community OR a virtual event you're hosting that you want amplified, please email us at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca.
Birthday, Anniversary Greetings
During normal times, my office sends out congratulatory scrolls to folks across the riding to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones! While we're taking physical distancing measures, I will be continuing this digitally. If you have a birthday coming up in the family and you would like a special video message from me, please email us at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca. And if you should decide to share your video on social media do tag us @JillsLastWord on Twitter and Jill Andrew - MPP, Toronto-St. Paul's on Facebook.
Calling Local Artists
If you are local artist, and you have a piece of work that you’ve been putting time into, we would love to share it with the community! We know that #ArtsSavesLives and minds especially during traumatic times. If you’re interested in sharing your art please email us at JAndrew-CO@ndp.on.ca
ALL art submitted MUST be accompanied by a short artists statement (50 words or less) to help contextualize the art. Additionally, there are no guarantees that submissions will be included in the newsletter. Thank you for sharing your work with us and our community."
Table Locations for Saturday July 25
729 St. Clair Ave W ( located at St. Clair West and Rushton)
Oriole Park Community Garden from 11am to 3pm
201 Oriole Parkway (near Frobisher and Lascelles)
Vaughan and Winona from 11am to 3pm
529 Vaughan Road
Marian Engel Park from 11am to 1pm
285 Melita Ave (just west off of Christie)
News and Updates
Here are today’s new developments:
Several unions are calling on the Ford government to get for-profit companies out of long-term care, in light of reports that homes run by for-profits have had worse outcomes amid the pandemic. The NDP has been pushing for the same.
Parents, teachers and school boards have expressed increasing frustration with the Ford government's failure to provide details on a safe reopening of schools, or funding to ensure schools can meet new health restrictions. The Education Minister is expected to make an announcement on the reopening next week. The NDP's emergency action plan for a safe return includes more funding for schools and child care and job-protected leave for parents.
Solutions we’re pushing for:
Doug Ford needs to come clean on a secret deal his government signed to contract out COVID-19 testing in Windsor-Essex.
Monique Taylor and critic for Indigenous Relations Sol Mamakwa call for an emergency investigation into deaths of children in care since the pandemic began.
Doly Begum and Education critic Marit Stiles urged Ford to reverse course on his pursuit of a hybrid back-to-school model they say will hurt children and families, and to open more child care spaces.
Carole Thomas Mandel
'Fruit Trees in Bloom'
“Art illustrates and communicates our common humanity in good times and in times of despair. Art history connects us to our past.”
You can also find me in the Members’ Gallery with the Botanical Artists of Canada at: