Statement on Provincial Funding Cut of $1 billion to Toronto Public Health

This afternoon, the Provincial Government announced that they are cutting $1 billion to Toronto Public Health over the next 10 years, effective immediately. This announcement is a direct attack on Toronto. The provincial government funds approximately 72% of Toronto Public Health's operating budget. The current Ministry of Health & Long Term Care contribution to Toronto Public Health is approximately $147 million a year.

Statement on Preserving our Character Neighbourhoods

Reckless development approved by the unaccountable Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) have been an ongoing challenge for Toronto's low-rise commercial businesses and character neighbourhoods for decades. I have made it my priority to fight for affordable housing and community-responsive policies that support special character and historic areas. To date, I am proud to say that I've had four significant victories on these fronts.

Statement from Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam on Provincial Government's Announcement on Consumption and Treatment Services Sites

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement from Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam on Provincial Government's Announcement on Consumption and Treatment Services Sites

Late this afternoon I was informed that the Province had quietly released its decision regarding which consumption and treatment sites would be approved to operate. The news, posted online at 4:00pm on a Friday, will have immediate impacts in the City and Ward 13 communities. I have been told that a number of sites will have to cease operating as of Monday.

Two of the sites that have had their applications refused are located in Ward 13. One is Street Health, located at 338 Dundas Street East and it is expected that they will have to cease operations on Monday. The Works, operated by Toronto Public Health (TPH) at 277 Victoria Street, has also had its application refused, but will be allowed to operate for some period of time with meetings planned between the Province and TPH in the next week.

Closing sites operating today, without a robust plan to address addictions and mental health in the impacted communities, is a disservice to neighbourhoods that have been asking for more help and puts lives at risk. In the Downtown East and elsewhere, harm reduction advocates, clients, and neighbours have been asking for wrap-around services and comprehensive care strategies that fully support those suffering from addictions. The solution to our problem is to build a pathway of care that lifts people up, not to close sites without a broader plan.

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Posted at 5:03pm, March 29, 2019

Chinese Canadian Leaders Stand Up Against Racism, Anti-Black Racism, White Supremacy and Islamophobia

This month, world leaders offered condolences to New Zealand after a deadly shooting rampage at two mosques killing 50 people and injuring many more. All of this was streamed live on Facebook. Prior to the shooting, he posted a 74-page so-called “manifesto” online.

The shooter identified as a "white nationalist" was fixated by racist conspiracy theories. He had been radicalized on the internet and mentioned several message boards and websites. He made repeated references to other right-wing extremists such as the shooter who killed six Muslim men in a Quebec City mosque in 2016.

Statement on City of Toronto Funding for Menstrual Equity

Today the Executive Committee voted to increase the 2019 Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Budget by a quantum of $222,359, to fund access to menstrual hygiene supplies for low-income menstruators.

Service Providers and Advocates Call for Free Access to Menstrual Products

Councillor Wong-Tam joined menstrual equity advocates at City Hall, on Friday morning, to call for increased access to menstrual hygiene supplies, for low-income menstruators. Represented at the event were staff from Kennedy House Youth Shelter, Sistering, Toronto Drop-In Network, Street Haven, The Period Purse, Windermere United Church, as well as program participants with lived experience.

Joint Statement with Councillor Troisi on 650 Parliament St.

Councillor Troisi and I are shocked to learn that the management of 650 Parliament St. has said that they will stop paying hotel accommodation for displaced residents of 650 Parliament St. after November 31, 2018.

Both Councillor Troiosi and I expect that Lehman Holdings, the landlord of 650 Parliament, and the property manager they do everything they can to make sure the displaced residents of 650 Parliament are looked after, which includes funding temporary housing and hotel stay.

These residents are homeless through no fault of their own. Many of been displaced for months with the building only reopening earliest May 2019. While many residents have been able to secure temporary housing, landlord-funded apartments and accommodations should be provided until residents are able to move back into their units or find other permanent housing.

Statement on Yonge Street Commercial Taxes

Yonge Street's small businesses are a vital part of Toronto's commercial mix. These shops and services are often run by locals, many of whom have owned their properties for generations. With a massive tax assessment increase in 2017, many of the businesses and owners faced having to close up shop or sell their properties to the highest bidder.

Statement on Supervised Injection Services in Toronto

Supervised Injection Services (SIS) are a critical piece in both saving lives and reducing the city-wide impacts of the opioid crisis that is gripping cities across North America, including Toronto. Without SIS, vulnerable users will turn to injecting alone in secluded areas. That risks adding to the thousands of people who have lost their lives to preventable overdoses in Ontario.

Statement on Planned Anti-Islam Event at Nathan Phillips Square

I stand with Toronto's diverse communities in rejecting hate and division. News of an anti-Islamic event being planned for Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday, August 11 is a disappointing reminder that, as far as we have come as a society, many still cling to violent prejudice. We must continue to come together in the spirit of cooperation and pluralism to show strength and solidarity with those being targeted.

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