Our December Update
In the midst of this holiday season, I hope that everything you’re celebrating is full of love and light. It’s been a long year, and my wish for you is that you can rest and celebrate safely with your family and friends.
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is unfortunately a new reality for all of us right now, so as soon as you’re eligible, please book your third vaccine dose. If you are the parent or caregiver of a child aged 5 to 11, I hope you’ll get them vaccinated too. I was so proud of watching Ellis get his first dose and can’t wait for vaccines to be made available to kids under 5 so Sam can get his too.
The Ontario government just announced that third doses will be available to everyone 18+ who is at least three months from the second dose, starting next week. And COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are going to be made available at locations across the province; please get some for you and your family so that you can help to stay safe over the holidays and help to stop the spread of the virus.
Out and about in SpaFY
- Two weeks ago, I had a chance to walk Steven Del Duca around our riding. The Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party met up with some SpaFY residents in the City Place neighbourhood where we talked about raising a family in a tower community, and then we went to Scadding Court Community Centre, where we met with staff and learned about their innovative community work.
- I had a great time at Scadding Court assembling holiday hampers for seniors last week, and was pleased to contribute delicious cookies from Out of This World Cafe, a social enterprise at CAMH for consumers of mental health services facing barriers to employment. Mental health is an issue that I care deeply about and that my family has been personally affected by, so it was an obvious choice to support the work this fantastic business does.
- On December 6, I spoke at a gathering for the Spadina-Fort York federal Liberal Party riding association. I had a great time meeting with supporters, and appreciate the enthusiasm for my provincial candidacy in our awesome community.
- December 6 also marked the 32nd anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, and I was privileged to invite my friends at Next Gen Men with Liberal Party candidates from across Ontario as we work together to fight the causes of violence against women.
SpaFY issues I’m watching
- The Ontario Line: There’s a lot of unknowns about the potential disruptions caused by the construction of the Ontario Line subway, but newly released plans from the City of Toronto are concerning. Without having a construction partner for the line in place, it’s hard to know exactly what will be required, but there are currently some streets that could be closed off for up to seven years. I’m very concerned about the impact that this will have on businesses and residents of Spadina-Fort York, where seven of the downtown stops will be located. I’m reading the plans carefully to understand how pedestrian and cyclist safety will be maintained, and to see what plans are being put in place to mitigate disruptions for local residents and storefronts. We know that building transit is disruptive, but with a pending construction partner, there’s still room for refinement.
- $10/day childcare: Ontario is now the last remaining province without a childcare deal with the federal government, and the Ford government deserves a lump of coal in their stockings for this one. Ontario continues to have the most unaffordable and inaccessible childcare in the country; signing a deal with the federal government and contributing to COVID #SheCovery should be a no-brainer: If we want to have more women and mothers return to the workforce, we need to create a strong, healthy childcare system, and I’ll continue to add my voice to advocate for this deal to get signed sooner rather than later. If Doug Ford can’t get it done in time, we have the opportunity on June 2 to elect a Liberal government that will.
- Housing Affordability: I’ll be watching the outcomes of the housing affordability summit, just moved to January 19, which I hope will be positive and actionable. We have a housing crisis in this province, and I’m concerned the recently announced advisory group doesn’t include many of the necessary community voices: no tenants groups, or tenant advocacy groups. The people at that table are predominantly from the finance and investment point of view, who are not the only people we need to hear from.
As we approach the end of the year, there’s still time for you to receive a 2021 tax receipt for contributions to our campaign. (With the tax credits you receive, a $200 donation only costs you $50). I’m hoping that you can help build our momentum by becoming a donor – we can’t do any of this vital work without your support!
A very happy holidays,