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.
November 3-27: Solo Art Show: At the Intersection of Nature + Architecture
November 11: York Remembrance Service
November 14: Runnymede Shelter Open House
November 14: Rustic Community Network Meeting
November 15-16: Sound & Fury by Shakespeare in Action
November 16: Weston Library Turns 105!
November 22-23: Sound & Fury by Shakespeare in Action
November 24: Frontlines Annual Holiday Brunch
November 24: Weston Santa Clause Parade
November 29-30: Sound & Fury by Shakespeare in Action
November 30: York South-Weston Neighbourhood Planning Day
The beginning of September is marked by Labour Day, a day to celebrate the progress of workers' rights across Canada and around the world.
For many, the beginning of September is also marked by the first day of school. I remember when teachers and educational workers stood up to defend public education in the late 90s under Conservative Premier Mike Harris. This labour day, I'm standing with education workers, parents and students working hard to protect the right to education in the face of harmful cuts by Conservative Premier Doug Ford.
Our children deserve better, and together we can demand better.
NDP Supports a Federal $15 Minimum Wage
On Labour Day, the NDP announced their commitment to a $15 Federal Minimum Wage. For years, Yafet Tewelde and I have been fighting for $15 and Fairness, which is why this announcement is just one more reason I know he'll make a great MP for York South-Weston in the upcoming federal election. If you haven't had a chance to meet him, I encourage you to come by his campaign office opening on Saturday September 21st!
Mount Dennis in the News
Transit connections in Weston-Mt. Dennis offer new possibilities to solve chronic problems
Excerpt from The Toronto Star: Lifelong area resident and tenant Chiara Padovani, 31, [is] mindful of the connection between hunger and housing, [and] has been working with tenants in the area over the past year to create a York South-Weston tenants network. “Even though there are a lot of challenges in the community, tenants and other community members are getting together and demanding better,” she said in her office, located in a sprawling industrial warehouse on the former Kodak lands that holds numerous other community organizations. “That’s what I find really exciting about this process. I have seen people step up and come together.”
Have Your Say in Toronto's Child Care and Early Years Programs
Toronto Children's Services would like to hear from you about how you find, learn about and participate in child care and early years programs and services. Adults can complete the survey here and children can complete one just for kids here.
Stand up for Affordable Child Care
Last month, Premier Ford announced that his harmful cuts to child care and health care will be going ahead next year. Too many families in York South-Weston are already struggling with the highest child care fees and the longest waitlists in the country. Our kids deserve better! Sign this petition to urge the Province and the City to fund the child care programs that our kids deserve.
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.
WHAT’S ON IN YSW THIS MONTH?
September 7: Weston Farmer's Market
September 12: Humber River Heritage Talk
September 12: Rustic Community Network Meeting
September 13: Fall Festival
September 14: Joshua Glover: The Opera in Little Avenue Memorial Park
September 14: Weston Farmer's Market
September 15: Joshua Glover: The Opera in Little Avenue Memorial Park
September 21: Yafet Tewelde's Office Opening
September 21: Weston Farmer's Market
September 21: Joshua Glover: The Opera in Little Avenue Memorial Park
September 28: Weston Farmer's Market
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.
Summer is here! There's a lot going on in York South-Weston this month, and as you're enjoying the weather remember to stay cool with these tips from the City.
Welcome to my York South-Weston Community Newsletter! I've always been so proud to call York South-Weston my home and I've created this monthly newsletter to help us stay informed, connected and empowered to take action to continue to improve the community we all call home. If there's anything you'd like to add or contribute to this newsletter, please let me know!