Every Remembrance Day, I wear my poppy to remember the brave men and women who served and continue to serve our country. As a social worker, I wear my poppy to remember the many veterans I've worked with at food banks and drop-ins across Toronto, and to remind me of how much work we must do to build a fair city. Fighting for this country shouldn't mean fighting to survive when you come home.
As a graduate of York Memorial Collegiate Institute, I also wear my poppy to remember the students who fought in World War I and II, and today I'm reminded of the work that must get done to restore the high school that was built as a tribute to those students and has since served as such an important part of our community for so many students after them.
Remembrance Day is an important day for York South-Weston. The Annual York Remembrance Service will take place at the York Civic Centre and the Last Post Service will be held at Westlake Memorial Park to remember the three Westlake brothers of Mount Dennis who perished in World War II.
Lest we forget,
Recent Gun Violence in Our Community
My heart is heavy after several shootings in our community, including one where 5 teens were injured in Clearview Heights. My thoughts are with the victims, their families and community as we hope for them all to recover. I'd like to sincerely thank our emergency services for responding quickly. While these services are crucial for responding to violence, investing in services and opportunities for children and youth is the only way to prevent crime from happening in the first place. I will be closely following the upcoming budget process at City Council, and advocating that our local government follow through on their commitments to the children and youth of Toronto by fully funding the Poverty Reduction Strategy and Youth Equity Strategy.
The Snow Removal Divide Continues
Last winter the Toronto Star investigated unequal snow removal in Rockcliffe-Smythe, just one of many neighbourhoods in York South-Weston and Toronto that are under-served by the City's sidewalk snow removal. With this winter's first snowfall came a disappointing decision from City Council. Despite Councillor Mike Layton's continued efforts to address the issue of unequal snow removal services, he did not receive enough support - not even from our own Councillor - to bring the issue to Council, which means addressing this important safety issue has been delayed another winter.
York South-Weston Neighbourhood Planning Day
Every year, the York South-Weston Neighbourhood Improvement Area Network updates their Strong Neighbourhood Strategy. If you are a resident of Weston, Mount Dennis, Keelesdale-Eglinton or Beechborough-Greenbrooke you are welcome to attend and participate on Saturday November 30th at the Keele Community Hub. If you live in Rockcliffe-Smythe or Rustic, scroll down to the community calendar for information about your upcoming neighbourhood planning meetings.
Petition Update: Affordable Child Care
Thank you to everyone who signed this petition. Premier Ford has scaled down his plans to cut $15 million in child care funding in Toronto, and will now only cut up to $5 million. Although this reduction in cuts is a victory, it appears Ford's plans to cut $15 million in child-care subsidies are simply delayed until 2021. Add your voice and stand up for affordable child care in York South-Weston here.
Lived Experience Advisory Group
The Poverty Reduction Strategy’s Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG) uses their personal lived experience with the realities, conditions and impacts of living with poverty to inform the effective development, implementation, and monitoring of the City’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Applications will be accepted until November 29, 2019.