This month began with 185th annviersary of Emancipation Day, the day slavery was abolished in Canada. August has been proclaimed Emancipation Month in the City of Toronto and the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit has organized a series of events to commemorate the abolition of slavery in Canada.
I would especially like to highlight Joshua Glover: The Opera, composed and conducted by local Mount Dennis resident, Colin Mendez. Based on the life of Joshua Glover, who escaped slavery and found freedom in Etobicoke, the opera will be performed for free in Little Avenue Memorial Park three times this month. The dates are still being confirmed so please stay tuned to Arts in the Parks for more details.
As we remember the abolition of slavery in Canada this month, let us continue to demand action against all forms of racism in our community.
Somali Mothers demand action on Gun Violence
The Somali Mothers Movement presented a series of recommendations to the Toronto Police Board to help prevent gun violence in our city, including building more trust and transparency between communities and police. Hours after their presentation, York South-Weston tragically lost Hanad Abdullahi to gun violence. I'd like to extend my deepest condolences to Hanad's family and friends. As our community mourns the loss of Hanad at only 16 years old, I stand with the Somali Mothers Movement and their recommendations to the police board, and I renew my calls on our Councillor to fund the youth hub in Falstaff that could have opened as early as next year. May we never become complacent when a child dies.
NDP Leader Visits York South-Weston
Last month I met with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, local NDP candidate Yafet Tewelde and residents of Rockcliffe-Smythe to discuss flooding in the neighbourhood. I am happy to hear the NDP's commitment to a $2.5 billion plan to update infrastructure and prevent flooding in York South-Weston and communities like ours across the country. Unlike current federal funding to municipalities, this money would have “no strings attached”, which means the flooding mitigation and infrastructure projects that have been talked about for decades in York South-Weston would actually get they funding they need to put shovels in the ground under an NDP government.
Road Safety Plan: Vision Zero 2.0
Last month Toronto updated Vision Zero, the Road Safety Plan for the City. While the new plan is a considerable improvement from the first draft, City Council - including our own City Councillor - decided to eliminate one of the most important recommendations: keeping pedestrians and traffic separate by installing sidewalks. In addition to advocating for more sidewalks in York South-Weston, I'm also calling on our Councillor to implement Vision Zero's recommendations at Weston and Eglinton, a particularly dangerous intersection that will only see more pedestrian traffic once the Mount Dennis LRT station is complete. Retweet if you agree.
Save Money on your Water, Waste and Property Tax Bill
If you are a low-income senior or a low-income person living with a disability, you may be eligible for a rebate on your water, solid waste and property tax bill. If you are a person undergoing home dialysis treatment you may also qualify for a water rebate under the Home Dialysis Water Rebate Program. Remember to fill out and submit this application before September 3rd, 2019. Please contact me if you have any questions or need help with the application.
Save Money on Basement Flooding Prevention
You can save up to $3,400 to install flood protection devices (like a backwater valve or sump pump) in your home by applying for the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program. While we continue to wait for the necessary and long overdue infrastructure our community needs to be protected from flooding, please make sure you take advantage of these programs to reduce the impact of flooding in your home. Contact me if you have any questions about this program or the application.
Apply for a Neighbourhood Climate Action Grant
Do you have an idea to make your neighbourhood greener? Up to $7,500 is available for resident-led climate action projects in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs). Eligible neighbourhoods in York South-Weston include Weston, Rustic, Mount Dennis, Keelesdale-Eglinton, Rockcliffe-Smythe and Beechborough Greenbrook. Find out how to get involved in your Neighbourhood Planning Table here and more about the Neighbourhood Climate Action Grant here.
Stand Up for Parkland and Community Benefits
The Dunpar Homes development proposal at 2650-2672 St. Clair Avenue West in Rockcliffe-Smythe would have been required to provide community benefits (Section 37) and parkland (Section 42), but Bill 108 dramatically reduces their obligation to do so. Sign this petition to call on Dunpar Homes to set an example for socially and environmentally responsible development in York South-Weston.