Government of Ontario

Chris Glover

MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Stay in the loop

Latest Update

Published on May 9, 2024

Dear Neighbours,

Yesterday, I attended a demonstration at Kensington Community School. Parents are very concerned that the school will be losing two teachers which will create a 4/5/6 split class in the upcoming school year. A three-grade split class means that a single teacher will have to design and teach three different lesson plans every day, as well as supervise and teach a class of students with vastly different learning and developmental needs. The students at Kensington and across the province deserve better.

Kensington Community School is concerned about a three-grade split class in September

Schools are being forced to make difficult decisions like this one mainly due to funding cuts in education. Since 2018, the government has made an inflationary cut to education funding of $1500 per child. Ontario will have almost 5,000 fewer educators in 2024-25. See more on this below.

Thanks to the grade 5-6 students at Ryerson Community School for their amazing art that’s now adorning my office window!

Fans of Margaret Atwood take note! Saturday is World Migratory Bird Day. On Friday, May 10 at 9:45 am, I am holding a rally calling on the government to mandate bird-safe windows on all new buildings in Ontario. The rally will feature the release of a video endorsing the mandate for bird-safe windows by Margaret Atwood! Please join me if you can. Details below. You also can sign my petition here.

Therme Canada released a social media video showing couples walking through a complex of dark rooms and arriving in a room to watch videos of trees on ceiling-mounted screens. The Ontario government is spending $650 million tax dollars to cut down 800 real trees so people can pay money to watch videos of trees. Watch my question in the legislature here.

I asked in Question Period: “Why is the Ontario government spending $650 million tax dollars to cut down 800 real trees so people can pay money to watch videos of trees?”

May is Asian Heritage Month, a great opportunity to recognize the many contributions of the diverse Asian community across the country.

May is also Jewish Heritage Month and we are fortunate to live in a city that is rich with Jewish heritage. Despite the strides we’ve taken, antisemitism remains an issue we must all work together to address and redouble our efforts to safeguard the well-being of every member of our community by eliminating hatred in all its forms.

  

There are so many events happening this month, including the opening of farmers' markets across the city. See the listing below, as well as an updated list of my Fun Things to Do!

Wishing all the moms a very Happy Mother's Day!

Take care,


Latest News

Bird Safe Windows Rally May 10

Fans of Margaret Atwood take note! Saturday is World Migratory Bird Day. On Friday, May 10 at 9:45 am, I am holding a rally calling on the government to mandate bird-safe windows on all new buildings in Ontario. The rally will feature the release of a video endorsing the mandate for bird-safe windows by Margaret Atwood! Please join me if you can just outside the Ministry of Finance at 7 Queen’s Park Cres E. Sign my petition here.


Education Funding Formula Still Below Rate of Inflation

The Ministry of Education recently announced its education funding for 2024-25 along with significant changes to Ontario’s funding formula. More funding will be “enveloped” meaning it cannot be moved from one category to another, and the new funding regulations will also require school boards to publicly post things like how much funding they received in each category, how the funding is being spent, and information about class sizes. The information will be included in a provincial dashboard so that users “will be able to compare this information between school boards, to a regional average as well as to the provincial average.”

The Core Education Funding Projections show that the provincial average funding per student will increase by 1.9%. But the annual inflation rate is 2.9% which means this increase will not cover all the increased costs.

While the government claims record investments in education, the reality is that, in 2024-2025, Ontario will have almost 5,000 fewer classroom educators than it would have had if the funding formula hadn’t changed since 2018-19 under his government. This underfunding is preventing our children from getting the learning and mental health supports they need resulting in a challenging and unsafe learning environment.

My colleagues and I in the Official Opposition are calling on the government to substantially increase funding for public education in Ontario so that every child receives the high-quality education they deserve, regardless of their family’s income.


New Cell Phone and Vaping Policy in Schools

The Ministry of Education has announced a new cell phone policy for schools to be implemented in the fall of 2024. Details here.

Provisions in the policy include:

  • Cell phones must be on silent and out of sight in all classes
  • Cell phones will be immediately surrendered to the teacher if students do not comply
  • Cell phone use is restricted for the entire school day for students in kindergarten to grade 6
  • Students in Grades 7 to 12 may use their phones during breaks and at lunch
  • Social media sites will be banned on all school networks and school devices
  • Educators and staff will not use personal mobile devices during class for non-work-related reasons
  • Report cards will include comments on students’ distraction levels in class

The province is also making changes to the Provincial Code of Conduct for schools. They will be setting up a task force of “education partners, parents, students and health experts” to help implement it.”

While I agree that the increase of time that young people are spending on social media is very concerning, this new policy cannot take priority over properly funding our schools. We need smaller class sizes, more teachers, education assistants and supports in our classrooms to ensure students are engaged and spend less time on their cell phones. 


Federal Housing Funding Revoked from Ontario Government

After months of threats, federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser announced that the government will no longer be sending Ontario $357 million for affordable housing projects. The minister said Ontario has an insufficient plan for building affordable units and is lagging far behind other provinces.

Ontario and the federal government entered into a 10-year agreement in 2018 that included $5.8 billion in cost-shared investments. Ontario promised to build almost 20,000 units of social housing, but has shown no progress toward reaching that goal. The province’s proposed 1184 units by the end of 2024-25 leaves over 18,000 units to be built in only three years.

Instead, the federal government will be sending the funds directly to municipalities and local service managers. Ontario will not be refunded any money that has already been spent and will have less control over what is built.

I am not surprised that the province has not been able to meet its commitment to affordable housing in Ontario. But I am hopeful that the City of Toronto will be more successful in meeting its goals for truly affordable housing in the city.


City Review of Dogs Off-Leash Areas

The City of Toronto is looking for feedback on ways to improve its 70+ dogs off-leash areas. Take the survey here until May 24, 2024.

The City will be hosting three virtual stakeholder meetings:

  • May 9, 2024; 6:30-8:30 PM (re: location)
  • May 16, 2024; 6:30-8:30 PM (re: design)
  • May 23, 2024; 6:30-8:30 PM (re: user experience)

Register for the meetings here.


2024 Census Test

Statistics Canada conducts a census test to evaluate the new and modified questions in the questionnaire, as well as the collection procedures and tools, in preparation for the 2026 Census of Population and the 2026 Census of Agriculture. The census test will take place between May 6 and June 28, 2024, spanning across all 10 provinces. Details here.

Testing ensures that quality data are available in 2026 to support decision-making across a wide range of services and programs in areas such as employment, education, public transportation, and health care.

The data collected in the census are used in setting electoral boundaries and calculating federal, provincial, and territorial transfer payments, for example. They also inform the development of government policies, programs, and processes that directly impact constituents.

Approximately 198,000 households and 10,000 agricultural operations have been randomly selected to participate in this test. Since accuracy depends on complete information, each household selected to participate in this test must, by law, provide the information. Answers are collected under the authority of the Statistics Act and are kept strictly confidential. They will not be shared publicly or stored for future access.


Visit a Local Farmers’ Market

Farmers’ markets are starting to open up! Here’s a listing of the ones in and around the riding:


CLIMATE CORNER

What’s good for the planet is good for your health

By Seniors for Climate Action Now!

And vice versa. Our ongoing reliance on fossil fuels is heating up the planet, resulting in climate catastrophes. People die in heat waves, floods, droughts and fires.

Aside from catastrophic events, it is important to acknowledge the specific health effects of fossil fuel extraction: the tar sands, its effluents, the destruction of natural habitats due to extraction – and even the health effects in homes which use gas for heating and cooking.  Gas stoves, for example, emit pollutants that irritate human airways. Spadina-Fort York residents may also be wondering what a warm February will mean to local farmers (and fresh food prices) as climate change wreaks havoc with local crops. 

Fossil fuel extraction

The development of Alberta’s oil sands (AKA the tar sands) has increased levels of cancer-causing compounds in surrounding lakes well beyond expected levels. The documentary, H2Oil, revealed this effect in 2009.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, extracts methane from the ground. Over 20 years, methane is 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the atmosphere. And each fracked gas well can use tens of millions of litres of clean water that is then permanently contaminated. And, oh, yes, they cause earthquakes.

Wildfires 

When forests are cut down, they release stored carbon into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. When forests burn, they also cause CO2 emissions. In fact, wildfires in Canada produced 23% of the global wildfire carbon emissions for 2023.

These wildfires also eliminate animal and bird habitats. As animals seek new habitats, the animal/human barrier breaks down, leading to what are called zoonotic diseases, like bird flu and COVID 19.

Far from the site of the fires, smoke travels thousands of kilometres, causing respiratory distress from its particulates. Toronto felt these effects in 2023 and we can look forward to more in 2024.

Spadina Fort-York

88% of riding residents live in mid-to-high-rise buildings and 58% are renters. People who cannot afford air conditioning are at risk for heat stroke during a heat wave. People who are unhoused do not have ready access to cooling centres.

We are faced with two challenges: how can we pressure governments at all levels to move rapidly away from our reliance on fossil fuels towards renewable energy; and how can we adapt to the changes we are already experiencing?

Keep reading the climate corner.  We’ve got some thoughts about that.

SCAN! Toronto is a regional group of Seniors for Climate Action Now!


MPP Scrolls for Special Occasions

Turning 30, 40, 80, 90 or 100? Celebrate a significant birthday with a certificate from my office.

Is there a new addition to your family? Send the name of your baby, the parents’ names and other relevant information and we’ll send a “Welcome to the World” certificate to celebrate this special event.


Chris in the House

Human Trafficking Bill Passes with All-Party Support

Richard Dunwoody and I at an Angel Tree at Billy Bishop Airport – every angel represents a survivor of human trafficking

I am very happy to announce that Bill 41 received Royal Assent in the legislature last week. Thanks to everyone who supported this bill, including Richard Dunwoody who has spent several years helping survivors of human trafficking. This bill provides a legislative framework to prohibit the collection of coerced debts, and prohibits coerced debts from being taken into consideration when determining whether to provide credit services or products to a victim of human trafficking.

Since 2021, the Concord Adex Survivors Fund, an initiative of the Seeds of Hope Foundation, has helped survivors of human trafficking. The fund provides safe, affordable housing and post-secondary education support for survivors helping to rebuild their lives post-exploitation. This holiday season, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will host three “Angel Trees” decorated with hundreds of angels representing survivors of human trafficking.


Below are some of my recent statements at Queen’s Park:

Ontario Place

  • Will Ontario taxpayers be on the hook if Therme goes bankrupt? Watch here.
  • MPP Bhutila Karpoche and I ask the government to work with Ontarians on the redevelopment of Ontario Place. Watch here.
  • Calling for more transparency on the redevelopment. Watch here.
  • Questioning the Therme timeline. Watch here.

Education Cuts

  • Decades of budget cuts to our schools. Watch here.
  • Petition from our local schools regarding staff cuts. Watch here.

Environment and Bill 69

  • Climate Critic MPP Peter Tabuns and I debating Bill 69, Reducing Inefficiencies Act and how development is taking priority over the environment. Watch here.
  • Impacts on Ontario Place and the environment. Watch here.

Health Care Privatization

  • The government’s funding of private, for-profit clinics will only worsen the health care crisis. Watch here.

Arts Funding

  • Culture Critic MPP Jill Andrew and I address the cuts to arts funding in Ontario. Watch here.

International Women’s Day

  • Actions the government can take for pay equity, including repealing Bill 124. Watch here.

Bill 39: Red Tape Reduction and Democracy

  • Is it not possible to build housing while still respecting the outcomes of our recent municipal elections? Watch my question here.

Debate on Bill 26: Misogyny in Post-Secondary Institutions

  • Statistics show that 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual assault on campuses. It’s a difficult discussion we need to have to raise awareness so we can change the culture. Watch my statement here.

The Impact of Interest Hikes on Student Loans

  • Ontario students have the highest debt rate and the lowest per-student funding in the country. We need to eliminate interest on student debt. Watch my question here.

Double ODSP Rates & Improve the Homelessness Crisis

  • CTV recently reported that at least two Ontarians with disabilities are choosing to die through Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) because they could not pay for housing that would reduce their suffering from their disability. Current monthly ODSP payments are 47.5 per cent short of the municipal poverty line in Toronto and 30 per cent below the province's poverty line. It is not possible to survive on these amounts in Ontario and many on ODSP are ending up homeless. I asked the Ford government to double ODSP rates. Watch my statement here.

Affordable Housing

  • Rents in Toronto rose 14.5% in 2021. Those in non-rent-controlled buildings are facing rent increases of $500/month. To say that housing under the Ford government is unaffordable is a huge understatement. Watch my statement here.

Environment

  • In January, my daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! Becoming a grandparent has further put into perspective how urgently we need to act on the climate crisis so future generations can have a sustainable world to live in. Watch my statement here.

Ukraine

  • We need to do everything we can to support the people of Ukraine in these incredibly difficult times. Watch my statement here.