Wednesday was National Housing Day and we had an incredible and action-packed day at Queen’s Park.
My colleagues MPPs Jessica Bell, Chris Glover, and I were joined at the Legislature by more than 80 clients, workers, and advocates from affordable housing and shelter organizations. We held a press conference calling for the government to invest in deeply affordable housing, which you can watch here.
During question period, the Ontario NDP caucus themed our questions around housing, asking about housing affordability, non-market housing solutions, and domestic violence shelters. You can watch me ask the government how they let the Landlord Tenant Board fall into crisis here.
It is frustrating that this government is continuing to push the financialization of housing and cutting costs for for-profit housing providers without a dedicated plan to help non-profit or co-op housing organizations. Housing is a human right, not just an investment. We know that we need a mix of housing options that include deeply affordable, supportive, co-op, and non-profit models. We also need real rent control and to at least double ODSP and OW payments.
So many of the pressures that we are experiencing in our communities and on our social services would be lessened if more of our most vulnerable and marginalized neighbours had secure housing and were lifted out of poverty. My ONDP colleagues and I will keep pushing for these proven solutions and lifting up the voices of experts like the ones we were joined by on Wednesday.
Dreaming of housing and justice for all,
MPP, Toronto Centre
SAVE THE DATE
TCNDP Holiday Party
Please save the date to join the Toronto Centre NDP for our annual holiday party on the evening of Thursday, December 14th.
I will share details soon, but until then, get ready for great food, giveaways, festive cheer, and of course, excellent conversations with neighbours!
Election Day in Kitchener Centre
There is a provincial by-election happening in Kitchener Centre right now and election day is this Thursday, November 30th!
This is an NDP seat, but the race is going to be close. We need all the help we can get to keep Kitchener Centre Orange and elect Debbie Chapman.
If you can make it down to Kitchener or make some phone calls from home for even an hour or two on Thursday it would be a huge help. If you need a ride please let me know by replying to this email.
Election Day in Scarborough Southwest
There is a municipal by-election happening in Scarborough Southwest right now! Advance polls are open this weekend and election day is this Thursday, November 30th!
This race is incredibly important - it will decide whether the progressives and our mayor, Olivia Chow, hold the balance of power in at City Council. Our progressive champion in Scarborough Southwest is Kevin Rupasinghe. Kevin is an exciting young progressive who will be a strong voice for Scarborough.
If you can make it to Scarborough or make some phone calls from home for even an hour or two this weekend or on Thursday it would be a huge help.
Trans Day of Remembrance Flag Raising
On Monday, a wonderful group of trans folks and their allies came to Queen’s Park to mark Trans Day of Remembrance by raising the Trans flag. On this solemn day, we remember those gone too soon and recommit to creating a world where every Trans person is valued and safe.
You can watch the flag raising here:
The Ontario NDP will always fight for the rights and respect our Trans community deserves.
Thank you, Toronto Pflag, Cheri DiNovo, and our other guests for joining us. Your message of parents protecting Trans kids with love and support is more critical than ever.
Watch me ask Doug Ford to take action and protect trans communities here:
Justice for Soleiman Faqiri
Soleiman Faqiri died while in the custody of the provincial correctional system after a mental health crisis. He was beaten, pepper sprayed, and restrained face-down, leading to his death. This violence is unacceptable and heartbreaking. His family is still waiting for truth and justice in his case.
Ontarians deserve systemic change in our justice systems. And people in mental health crisis deserve help, not violence. You can watch me ask Doug Ford to fix our justice system so that another tragedy like this doesn't happen again here.
Fill Judicial Vacancies
Internal government documents show that on November 19, 2021, the Attorney General was notified of an imminent judicial vacancy in Cornwall. Two years later, that vacancy is still not filled. Is the Attorney General stalling because his conservative candidate choice was not on the list of qualified recommendations?
This government has a shameful record of placing their less-than-qualified friends in cushy political appointments. It is frustrating to see this continue even after multiple bombshell scandals from this government.
You can watch me ask the Attorney General why he hasn't filled this vacancy here.
Renovictions at 30 Charles St E
Tenants at 30 Charles Street East are being renovicted and harassed by their horrible landlord. I was proud to join my colleague, MPP Jessica Bell, to stand alongside tenants and their call for justice.
If you see Harrington Housing — a "student" housing provider — start to take over units in your building, contact my office at [email protected]. Harrington Housing is abusing tenant rights AND city bylaws — we must hold them accountable!
Watch a video of the demonstration outside of 30 Charles St E here.
ONDP Plan for Free Contraceptives
I am thrilled that on Thursday, our Leader, Marit Stiles, shared the Ontario NDP’s plan to expand OHIP to cover prescription contraception and remove cost barriers that limit people's ability to choose their reproductive health and family planning.
Do you have a story about how access to contraception affected your life? Or the impact that free contraception would have made for you? Share your story here!
Sign the petition to support access to free contraception here!
I couldn’t agree more with Marit when she said, “This is an exciting and long overdue initiative that I’m so proud our NDP team is putting forward. This is a truly non-partisan and common-sense way to ensure that everyone who needs it has full access to reproductive planning and choices.”
NDP MPP Jennie Stevens tabled this motion for International Women’s Day in 2023, which will be debated at Queen’s Park on November 29, 2023. Stay tuned for updates!
If enacted, this change would follow in the footsteps of the provinces of British Colombia and Manitoba. BC launched their program recently, and in the first six months, it was accessed by thousands. Manitoba announced their plan just last week, and I am excited to hear about their outcomes. So many incredible advocates are working to make sure Ontario joins this leading initiative, and the Ontario NDP is standing with them to make it happen.”
Community Events & Info
Holiday In the Patch
Cabbagetown is an amazing community, so let's celebrate it! The Cabbagetown BIA is proud to present a day to celebrate the people and businesses that make Cabbagetown so special. We will be inviting the community to join us once again on Saturday, December 2nd, for Holiday in the Patch - a day of caroling, live music, photos with Santa, and lots of fun for the whole family!
This fun FREE event takes place Saturday, December 2nd, 12 PM - 4 PM across The Cabbagetown BIA, along Parliament Street!
Get into the spirit of giving with toy drives happening in our communities. Please bring new, unwrapped toys to be given to children in need in our communities.
Drop off new, unwrapped toys to 51 Division any time during the holiday season.
Support the CP24 CHUM Christmas WISH toy drive to bring a little extra joy to children in our community this holiday season.
Help Santa and his elves by donating a new, unwrapped toy at Queen's Park Circle and Berczy Park during The Original Santa Claus Parade on November 26th.
Regent Park Film Festival
The 21st annual Regent Park Film Festival is finally here! The festival runs from November 23 - 26, so get out and see a film this weekend.
See their full lineup and schedule and get free tickets through their website here.
Queer East Social Fa-la-la-bulous Festive Market
On November 29th, join Café ZUZU for the Queer East Social Fa-la-la-bulous Festive Market will bring together local Queer & Trans organizations to mingle with like-minded individuals and support Queer owned and/or operated businesses while having fun!
Complimentary: Polaroid Photo Room & local Queer DJ spinning pure honey.
On the Beats: DJ ThirdEye
Artist Selection: Draw-A-Dot Programmed
Market open: November 29, 4 PM - 10 PM
Social & bar open: November 29, 6 PM - 10 PM
Location: Café ZUZU at 555 Dundas Street East
12+ artists, retailers, bespoke crafts-people, paired perfectly for the gifting season
Event is Rain or Shine
Assaulted Women's Helpline
November is Women's Abuse and Family Violence Prevention Month. If you or a woman you know is facing violence, the Assaulted Women's Helpline does incredible work to support women who are in violent or abusive situations. You can visit them at AWHL.org or by phone at 416-863-0511
Intimate Partner Violence has been declared an epidemic in 30+ municipalities, and I am working hard to have it declared Ontario-wide. If you have stories that you would like me to share in the legislature please reply to this email.