I hope this newsletter finds you well!
Tabling the Gender Affirming Health Care Act
I just tabled my highly anticipated private member’s bill The Gender Affirming Health Care Act ahead of the Trans Day of Remembrance this Sunday. This Bill was originally introduced by my predecessor, MPP Suze Morrison, and is designed to ensure that Two-Spirit, Transgender, Non-Binary, Gender-Diverse, and Intersex people have accessible and competent gender-affirming health care.
I want to thank the ONDP 2SLGBTQI Caucus and my co-sponsors, MPP Jill Andrew, MPP Terence Kernaghan, and MPP Lise Vaugeois for their support.
I am determined to get this Bill over the finish line as soon as possible. On top of the damages faced by Ford’s budget cuts and attempts of privatization, limited OHIP coverages and continuous referrals, along with stigma and discrimination, make gender affirming health care inaccessible. This Bill could change that.
Tomorrow morning at 9 a.m., I am hosting a press conference with experts and people with lived experiences of Ontario’s broken gender affirming care system. You can tune in on my Facebook or Twitter page to watch!
I am creating additional strategies to get this historic bill passed that I cannot wait to share with you — please stay tuned.
Sign the petition to help support gender affirming health care in Ontario!
Healthcare Townhall Tonight
Tonight, at 7 p.m., I am hosting a virtual townhall discussing healthcare and our roles in protecting our healthcare system from Ford’s cuts and privatization efforts along with the Ontario NDP's Health Critic France Gelinas (Nickel Belt) and neighbouring MPP Chris Glover (Spadina-Fort York). We will be joined by expert guests from the Ontario Nurses Association and Canadian Doctors for Medicare.
Register here to get the zoom link! I look forward to seeing you there.
CUPE Re-Issues Strike Notice
Today CUPE re-issued a strike notice after days of negotiating showed that the government is refusing to fund and pay education workers fairly. I fully support what my colleague and the Ontario NDP Critic for Education MPP Chandra Pasma has said about this:
"Yet again, Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce are risking disruption to our kids’ school year by refusing to come to the table with a deal that provides our students with the vital support they need. We need to invest in our kids and our schools by ensuring that there are enough EAs, ECEs, custodians, library workers, and other education workers to keep our schools running safely and effectively.
We need to make sure every child is supported and that children with the highest needs are not left behind. Our kids and their families deserve investments in a safe, stable, and fully supported learning environment - something this government continues to be unwilling to provide.”
A strike is avoidable if this government is willing to pay education workers fairly and commit to adequate staffing levels. I urge them to bargain in good faith, respect education workers, and avoid a strike.
Congratulations To Our New City Councillor and Trustee!
Councillor Chris Moise is now set up as the new City Councillor for Ward 13. And Deborah Williams has hit the ground running to fill his shoes as our new TDSB Trustee. Congratulations!
Louis Riel Day
Our province is home to a large part of the Métis Nation and a significant Métis population whose strong and vibrant traditions and culture are important parts of Ontario’s history and its future. New Democrats are proud to join with the Métis Nation of Ontario and Métis people across our province and our country as we celebrate the life of one of the great founding figures of Canada — Louis Reil. I was honoured to join my NDP colleagues at today's flag-raising.
It is an honour to serve you and I remain yours in community service.