Tomorrow is set to be an exciting day as Ontario NDP Leader, Andrea Horwath will be visiting our community. While I would have loved to have this trip without the pandemic that we’re all living through, I’m also glad to be able to show Andrea how strong our community has been throughout this ordeal. It’s also an important opportunity for us to shine a light on some of the key issues that are top of mind right now.
To highlight this work, we will be visiting a special Community Food Table that we’re organizing for 1:30M just outside St. Matthew’s United Church (729 St. Clair Ave W). We’re going to have a number of our volunteers on hand – and all are welcome! We will be ensuring everyone in attendance is wearing a mask and is keeping their physical distance from one another. If you would like to attend, we simply ask that you register here.
We will beginning our day with a press conference to address the reopening plan for schools that has been put forward by the Ford government. I have heard from dozens of parents about their fears, that the proposed plan still leaves students in cramped classrooms where physical distancing will not be possible. Next, we will be going to Little Jamaica, and checking in with a number of small business owners in the area, as well as taking a trip down Reggae Lane.
Little Jamaica is a true gem in our community and a place steeped in historical and cultural significance. Sadly, last night it was struck by violence with a shooting that left six people injured. There is a lot I want to say about violence in our community and today I released a full statement in response to the shooting that you can read here.
To summarize my thoughts on this issue, let me simply say this:
Violence has no place in our streets – and people deserve to be safe in their homes, businesses, and their community. My heart goes out to everyone who’s been impacted by this recent shooting, and to anyone who has been a victim of crime. Our community has been very clear for many years that we’re ready to do the work that it will take to end the violence – and that means addressing its root causes.
We need to ensure that we’re providing a full slate of resources, including education, mental health and addictions support, affordable housing, and providing culture and youth programming and community spaces. All supports that are not being prioritized by the Ford government.
Finally today, COVID-19 is still among us – and in recent days we have continued to see case numbers rising in Toronto, Ontario and around the world.
In response to this, I am urging caution – but not panic. We need to stick to the key principles that we’ve been practicing. Maintaining our physical distance from those outside our bubbles, washing our hand frequently, wearing masks in public, and checking in on those in our community who need support the most. Ultimately battling COVID-19 will be a marathon, not a sprint.
Special Community Food Table
with Andrea Horwath!
Join us this Thursday at St Matthew's United Church at 1:30PM for a special edition of our Community Food Tables with Andrea Horwath!
>>> Click here to Register! <<<