This week, ONDP leader Marit Stiles and Housing Critic MPP Jessica Bell introduced a motion to call for rent control as a part of our party’s solution to the housing crisis in Ontario. Had it passed, this motion would have brought back real rent control on all housing units, ensuring we close the loophole that the Liberals and Conservatives supported. Our motion would have ensured all buildings would be rent controlled, including new residential buildings first occupied after November 2018; making rent gouging illegal between tenancies. I was proud to speak in support of this motion at the legislature on behalf of the residents of Toronto Centre.
Despite the ongoing housing crises, Ford conservatives opposed this motion, ignoring the needs of Ontarians.
Our leader Marit Stiles adds:
“Skyrocketing rent is pricing people out of their communities. This is why we are proud to advance a solution that will immediately help make housing more affordable for Ontarians and address one of the core issues propelling this crisis.”
We need real rent control in Ontario; we can no longer stand back and watch the skyrocketing rent prices in our cities. Please sign our petition and join me in adding your name to bring back Rent Control and Stabilization.
Stopping Bill 60 - Ford’s Two-Tier Health Care System
Ford’s harmful health care privatization bill reached third reading last night. It has been an uphill fight to stop this legislation with a Conservative majority controlling the House. Once again, I spoke in support of our public health care system in the debate. I remain steadfast in my support of tens of thousands of nurses, doctors and other health professionals fighting against bringing American-style health care into Ontario.
Ontario has world-class hospitals. Our healthcare is the envy of most Americans. It is part of our national identity. As Canadians and Ontarians, we take care of each other—I ran as MPP to ensure that the government takes care of its people. Not a province that shuffles the rich to the front and leaves behind those who need help the most.
Drag Queen Story Hour in Spadina Fort-York
Tomorrow, the Fort York Library will be hosting a Drag Queen Story Hour with the fabulous, Gila Münster. She will be doing an interactive program story hour beginning at 2PM, with readings of acclaimed and age-appropriate LGBTQ+ themed books and performing a few musical numbers. I encourage you to join if you have young children and are looking for something fun to do this weekend!
Please note that this is an in-person program for ages 0-6, and young children must be accompanied by a caregiver. Registration is required in-personal at the library, or by calling 416-393-6240.
Community Benefits Agreement Engagement Launch
Regent Park Revitalization on Phases 4 and 5 is well underway, with a rezoning application now before City Planning. An important part of this revitalization is the $26.8 million community benefits package that I was pleased to support as the former Toronto Centre City Councillor. The funds will be directly invested into the TCHC tenant community in Regent Park, and it is up to the local community on how to spend it!
In April 2023, TCHC launched a community engagement process in Regent Park that was co-designed with the Community Benefits Oversight Working Group (CBOWG) and Tridel, facilitated by Monumental Consulting, specialists in equitable city-building and participatory design. One of the outcomes is a new survey that all TCHC tenants in Regent Park are encouraged to fill out before June 16, 2023. Community animators will be going door to door to speak with residents about their priorities shortly, so please make sure you have your say in what’s next for Regent Park.
I was pleased to join the Regent Park community for the launch of the survey and a celebration of the remarkable contributions of the working group. I will always fight for our residents to promote an inclusive and equitable outcome for all.
Congratulations to everyone involved. It’s one more step to a stronger and even more vibrant neighbourhood!
Ontario Legislative Assembly Page Program
The applications for the Page program are now open until June 15, 2023. Each year approximately 150 grade 8 students from across Ontario are selected to participate in Ontario's Legislative Page Program. This unique educational program for students provides an opportunity to experience the provincial legislature in action and forge new lifelong friendships with peers from across the province. I encourage Toronto Centre residents to apply for this enriching opportunity. It will be my great honour to personally welcome you to the legislature.
The Great Outdoors Funding Programs
As you know, climate change is one of the greatest challenges in our world. It is an issue that I care deeply about and strive every day to improve. This is why I am pleased to share an existing and environmentally positive initiative with you.
If you are interested in making this world a little greener and cleaner, check out The Great Outdoors Fund’s 2023 grant-giving programs. The purpose of the grants is to generate voluntary funding from the private sector to assist public agencies and their nonprofit partners, and use these funds to maintain the well-being of the great outdoors. They are dedicated to keeping the environment accessible to people from all walks of life, regardless of age, ability, or socio-economic status, and fostering enjoyment and appreciation of nature.
If you are interested in applying, both their Unsmoke Canada Cleanups grant and Nettoyages Finilaboucane Canada grant applications will be closing on May 6.
Tareekh Pe Tareekh: Know Your Employment Rights
Interested in learning about your employment rights? The Tareekh Pe Tareekh – Know Your Employment Law Rights Public Legal Education Campaign is perfect for those who speak; Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and Tamil. Created by the staff lawyers from the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO), in partnership with other community legal clinics, they now offer short and accessible videos on basic employment law rights in Ontario.
Employers may take advantage of employees, using this as an opportunity to exploit those with language barriers or who do not know their rights. These videos are perfect for spreading awareness and beginning conversations about employment rights within Ontario’s South Asian community. You can find the videos either on:
Mental Health Workshop
West Toronto Ontario Health Team is offering free mental health workshops, beginning May 9! The workshops are designed to help you learn and develop skills to manage your mental health effectively. It is structured in a four-part series, where each week, you will learn to manage stress, live mindfully, overcome burnout, and discuss self-care. At the end of the four sessions, you will receive a certificate from the WTOHT and CMHA–Toronto.
Anyone over 18 years of age is able to register!
MPP, Toronto Centre