Community Recognition Awards 2023
Nominations are now open!
It's time to recognize and thank individuals and groups for their outstanding efforts in our community.
This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the amazing things that people are doing to help others and that make the Spadina-Fort York riding such an incredible place to live.
Nominations are for the following categories:
- COVID Hero
- Community Leader
- Business Leader
- Youth Leader
- Arts & Culture Leader
- Indigenous Leader
- Disability Advocate
- Seniors Advocate
- Environment Advocate
Nominate someone today by clicking here!
Deadline for nominations is Tuesday, January 31, 2023.
Coffee with Chris
Do you have an issue that you would like to discuss? Join me Friday, February 10, 8-10 am to share your concerns, or just drop by to say hello. Sign up here.
Fighting Health Care Privatization Town Hall
Thank you to everyone who joined me for this discussion on the government’s plans to expand surgeries in private-for-profit clinics.
My NDP colleagues and I will use every tool available to protect our publicly funded health care system. Sign my petition here.
I want to hear your story. Have you paid for any health care services at a private clinic? Please share your story here.
Webinars, Conferences, Consultations, Town Halls
Participate in 2023 Pre-Budget Consultations
The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is now accepting requests to appear in pre-budget consultations. If your group is able to travel, consider applying for a hearing outside of Toronto and Ottawa. This will give you a better chance at securing a spot. Sign up here.
If less than 25% of the slots filled in a location, the subcommittee can cancel and reschedule applicants elsewhere on an alternate date where possible. Deadline for written submissions is Tuesday, February 14 at 7:00 pm.
Affordable Housing Webinars
New Build Affordable Rental Housing Development in Toronto
January 26, 6:30 pm - Register here.
FoSTRA invites you to the first in a series of free educational events on the theme of Housing for All. Mark Richardson, founder of HousingNowTO.com will lead the discussion. Ask questions about affordable rental housing in our area. Learn about our priorities. Find out how you can get involved and have your voice heard.
How to Put Affordable in the Missing Middle
February 6-9, 12:00 pm - Register here.
A four-part webinar series presented by the School of Cities, City Building TMU and ULI Toronto.
The Ontario government is changing exclusionary zoning, and many municipalities, including Toronto, are rolling out programs specific to adding units to single-family properties such as multiplexes and backyard or laneway suites. But will these programs lead to significant housing supply? Will any of these homes be affordable?
Black Health Fair and Wellness Summit
You're invited to attend the Black Health Fair & Wellness Summit! Join us for free health checks, demos, expert health panels, info sessions and more.
Stay for giveaways, children's activities, food, and music for the family. Free admission - all ages are welcome. Register here.
Under Gardiner Public Realm Plan Open House
Join The Bentway and the City of Toronto for a drop-in Open House to learn about the latest ideas for the land under the Gardiner Expressway. Taking place Tuesdays from January 17 to February 7 at The Bentway Studio, 55 Fort York Blvd. RSVP here.
Women of Courage Project
A storytelling initiative for racialized immigrant women, aged 40 and over. This is a FREE 7-week online workshop meeting every Tue & Thu between 6 – 8 pm. Three facilitators will cover: storytelling, anti-racism, and self-care. As racialized immigrant women, our stories navigate and live in the Canadian landscape dotted with systemic racism. Therefore, anti-racism and self-care are integral parts of the training. Participants will also have access to one-to-one appointments for: storytelling, digital skills, writing coach and mental health support. Details here.
Condominium Authority Tribunal Consultation
The Condominium Authority of Ontario has created a survey to consult on upcoming expansion of the Condominium Authority Tribunal’s (CAT) jurisdiction. The key questions are related to:
- Further expanding the CAT’s jurisdiction to encompass additional types of disputes
- Feedback on the CAT’s current processes and any potential best practices the CAT could consider
The survey should take between 15-30 minutes to complete, and can be completed anonymously. Click here to complete the CAO’s Consultation Feedback Survey.
The riding of Spadina-Fort York has more condos than anywhere else in Canada. Thousands of residents live in condo apartments along the waterfront and throughout downtown Toronto. I have heard from constituents complaining about many issues related to condo board governance, fees and other problems arising for condo dwellers. I encourage you to write to my office at [email protected] to share your experience and help us advocate for solutions.
Waterfront Strategic Review
The City of Toronto has released a report on its Waterfront Strategic Review Update. The review includes a public consultation and engagement on what a renewed vision of the City’s 43 kilometers of waterfront would be.
Ontario Digital Privacy Consultation
The Ontario Government released a white paper outlining proposals to strengthen privacy protections across the province. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is seeking to address gaps in Ontario's legislative privacy framework and to establish comprehensive, updated rules to protect privacy rights and support innovation. There has been some concern around the move from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce - read more here. I urge you to review the white paper, and send in your comments to the Government, as well as a copy to my office at [email protected] so we can advocate for your recommendations. More information is available here.
I want to thank everyone who joined me for this year’s Holipalooza event last. If you missed it, you can view the recording here.
Emergency Press Forum on Bill 39
On Thursday, November 24 at 9:30 am, MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam and I held a virtual press forum on Bill 39. Included in the list of those deputing is former mayor David Miller, former councillor Mike Layton, Councillor Josh Matlow, Councillor Jamaal Myers, and other experts.
Watch the recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9P2k1vOt9k
Health Care Town Hall
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Health Care Townhall. Watch the recording here.
The Schools We Need
Thank you to everyone who joined me for the Schools We Need discussion on March 29. If you were not able to attend, watch the recording below:
Black History Month Speaker Series
- In 1990, Zanana was the first woman of African descent to be elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. In her appointment as Minister of Community and Social Services, she made history by becoming the first Black woman to hold a cabinet position in all of Canada. She helped shape public policy for marginalized women and led social welfare reform. Her efforts enabled the passing of Ontario’s first mandatory Employment Equity Legislation bringing protection to women in the workplace. Prior to that, Zanana served as a Toronto public school teacher and principal. After retirement, she served as a volunteer on boards and committees including Harbourfront Centre, the YWCA and Centennial College. Watch the interview here.
- Olive is the award-winning author of 18 books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children’s literature and other published work. Her many awards include Canada’s Writers Trust Matt Cohen Award for Lifetime Achievement, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies and the Gold Medal of the Institute of Jamaica. Her work has been taught internationally and is widely translated. Olive Senior is from Jamaica and lives in Toronto. Watch the interview here.
- For the past 40 years, Donna has been building the Alexandra Park community, first at Ryerson Public School, then as the Director of the Alexandra Park Community Centre. In her roles, she has created a centre that is a constant hive of activity with culinary programs, children’s camps, after-school programs, student mentoring, seniors’ dance classes, and an EarlyON drop-in centre for moms and tots. She also created black heritage classes for black students who did not see themselves, their history and experiences reflected in the school curriculum. The city is currently revitalizing the Alexandra Park area and the young leaders Donna helped mentor have given the community a voice in determining the criteria for the revitalization. Watch the interview here.
- Jill is the Member for Provincial Parliament for the riding of Toronto-St. Paul’s and serves as the Ontario NDP Culture Critic and Women’s Issues Critic. She is also a member of the Ontario NDP Black Caucus, the first of its kind in Ontario legislative history. Jill is the first Black, Queer person elected to the Ontario Legislature. Since then, Jill has been a leading voice on issues of gender, race and social justice, the housing crisis, healthcare inequities, education and the immeasurable benefit of arts and culture to our communities and to physical, mental and social health.
Community Recognition Ceremony 2022
Thank you to everyone who joined my virtual Community Recognition Ceremony recognizing individuals and groups for their outstanding efforts in the community. You can watch the recording here.
Below is the list of this year’s recipients:
- Dr. Nabila Nashid
- Dimitri Hughes-Panou
- Evangel Hall Mission
- Bruce Weber
- Ruth Williams
- Sylvia Grady
- Alessandra Cannito
ARTS & CULTURE ADVOCATES
- Ron Hawkins
- Ruth Howard
- Charlotte Duffy
- Djanka Gajdel, West Queen West BIA
- Project Recover
- Hazel Rivera, CityPlace Residents Association
- Ocean Ruel
- Aditi Soin
- Norman Osokin
- Javon Samuel
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY LEADER
- Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction
- Kim Curry, Seeds of Hope
- Darren Pereira
- David Chan
- Gillian Cullen
- Ulla Colgrass
- Aaron Weiss
- Hans G. Bathija
- Nicole Sparks-Barnes
- Anna Baranowski
- Phylis Coles
- Alice Norton
- Heather Gardner
- Julia Rigato, Liberty Village BIA
- Ed Hore
- College Montrose Children’s Place
Thank you to everyone who joined my Holipalooza virtual event on Saturday, December 11. It was a fun way to end a very hectic year!
Newchoir team Scott and Alison join “Santa” for some holiday fun!
Condo Town Hall
Do you own or rent a condo?
Are you getting what you paid for?
MPP Glover will be introducing new legislation to increase transparency in the condo industry. Condo experts will be available to take your questions.
If you missed the event, watch the full discussion here.
The Fentanyl Epidemic Panel Discussion
I was joined by Dr. Leslie Buckley, Chief of the Addictions Division at CAMH, Kim Curry of Seeds of Hope, and Marcell Wilson from One by One Movement for an intimate and enlightening discussion on the opioid crisis.
Call on the Ontario government to declare the opioid overdose crisis a public health emergency: Sign our petition here.
The following article was written by a journalism student who attended the panel discussion:
Community leaders meet to address Toronto’s fentanyl epidemic
“Using fentanyl, it’s often like Russian roulette,” says executive director of the Seeds of Hope Foundation
November 4, 2021
A panel of community leaders met to discuss Toronto’s fentanyl epidemic Wednesday evening, hosted and moderated by Chris Glover, the MPP of Spadina-Fort York.
The event was held virtually, with over 50 people in attendance on Zoom, YouTube and Facebook Live.
In 2020, the opioid crisis was responsible for more than 2,400 deaths in Ontario alone. Fentanyl has been a particularly deadly contributor to this. According to CAMH, it is up to 100 times stronger than morphine—even a small amount can cause an overdose or death.
“Fentanyl also acts as easy access to suicide,” said Kimberly Curry, the executive director of the Seeds of Hope Foundation. “There’s also been a lot of people using fentanyl to kill one another.”
“There’s so many accidental overdoses it’s easy to hide a murder using an overdose of fentanyl,” said Tony , a community member with lived experience of the crisis.
“In some cases that I know for a fact, it was obviously a murder—everyone in the hotel knows this person was murdered. There’s no investigation, and it always comes up as an accidental overdose on the coroner’s report.”
Joanne is a community member and advocate who has personally struggled with an opioid addiction. Her biggest fear is that her family will think that she died of an accidental overdose if she happens to touch or breathe in fentanyl second-hand.
She described how she’s previously “had to run away from someone casually smoking it by the door” of one shelter.
“Some of the time there’s children in these areas,” she said. “I don’t feel like Toronto is really realizing that we need to help the addicts use in safe spaces, instead of having someone slink around the corner.”
“Using fentanyl, it’s often like Russian roulette.” Curry added. “Unbelievably we talk about, and people talk about how many times they’ve died and come back to life. And it’s pretty scary being on top of someone with blue lips and wondering if that naloxone is gonna work.
“The human impact of this is devastating.”
Curry describes the “devastating” human impact of the opioid crisis.
“Most of the users I know from my time end up penniless and homeless,” said Marcell Wilson, the founder and president of the One by One Movement. “Users and clientele in some cases can’t pay debts, and this leads to violence.”
“At one point every user will hit rock bottom and try to get help, and actually find that there are very little resources.”
Many of the advocates criticized safe injection sites for not being open in the late nights to early mornings when the need is greatest. They also described a shortage of medical detox beds, and stressed the need for safe supply.
“It’s the only way to go,” Tony said. “And it’s the only way to get the money and the violence and the gangs out of the picture.”
“90% of the deaths could be avoided right there.”
There are also challenges in providing the necessary “patchwork” of care to help someone recover, as CAMH’s chief of addictions Dr. Leslie Buckley described.
“It’s really hard to fix something with just a medication that’s been so powerful, like trauma,” she explained. “Therapy is needed too and sometimes it’s hard to find enough therapists and get someone the kind of one-on-one support that they might need.”
But advocates say that getting the government resources needed to adequately address this crisis has proven difficult.
“In the street culture, the usage of fentanyl is overly normalized,” said Joanne. “In the boardroom, it’s almost ignored.”
“We absolutely need to make sure that governments are aware of what’s happening,” said Glover. “We will keep pushing on this issue because this is an absolute crisis that is taking, you know, in Canada, taking more lives than the pandemic, and we need to bring an end to this.
“And it is solvable. We have the solutions. We need to build the political will to actually implement and fund those solutions.”
A petition calling on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to declare the opioid overdose crisis in Ontario a public health emergency was created by Glover’s office and shared at the event.
Toronto Board of Health Meeting, Nov. 16, 2020. Agenda and Notes. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2020.HL23.2
The Fentanyl Epidemic: A Panel Discussion. Hosted by MPP Chris Glover. Replay available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lCZipSzLIY
CAMH Pamphlet on Street Fentanyl. https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/guides-and-publications/straight-talk-fentanyl.pdf
Stop Overdose Deaths - Petition. https://www.chrisglovermpp.ca/stop_overdose_deaths
One by One Movement website. https://www.theonebyonemovement.com/about
Seeds of Hope Foundation website. https://www.seedsofhope.ca/overview
Aloysius Wong is currently a freelance journalist and Master of Journalism student at X (formerly Ryerson) University. You can contact him or pitch him news tips at [email protected]
Community Recognition Ceremony 2021
On Saturday February 6, 2021, I hosted my virtual Community Recognition Ceremony and was joined by more than 120 community members via Zoom and social media. It was a wonderful opportunity to recognize and celebrate the amazing things that people are doing in the riding. Thanks to all of you who attended and to Phusion and Newchoir for their uplifting performances!
For those of you who were not able to join, you can view the recording here.
Congratulations to all the award recipients:
Outstanding Youth Leadership:
Angela Bischoff, Director, Ontario Clean Air Alliance
Community Building through Arts and Culture:
Isorine Marc, Executive Director, Jamii
Rob Sysak, Neighbourhood Director, West Queen West
Sri Selvarasa, Manager, Little India
Angelo Bertolas, Co-chair, York Quay Neighbourhood Association
Eli Brown, Founder, Shine the Light On
Richard Dunwoody, Executive Director, Project Recover
Bill Dyck, Toronto Alliance Church
Carolyn Johnson, Co-chair, York Quay Neighbourhood Association
Suzanne Kavanagh, St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, West Don Lands Committee
Alicia Liebregts, Liberty Village Cares
Curtis Priest, Garment District Neighbourhood Association
Joan Prowse, Chair, Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association
Cynthia Wilkey, West Don Lands Committee
Outstanding Community Service from a Group:
Alexandra Park Volunteer Cooking Team
Spadina-Fort York Community Care Program Volunteers
Outstanding Leadership in the Chinese Community:
Simon Zhong, Executive Director, Toronto Community & Culture Centre
Outstanding Community Leadership:
Mohsin Khattak, Director, Scadding Court Community Centre
Donna Harrow, Executive Director, Alexandra Park Community Centre
Kevin Lee, Executive Director, Scadding Court Community Centre
Community Town Hall 2020
Thank you to Olivia Chow and to everyone who joined me for the Community Town Hall. Most of the conversation focused on the issue of homelessness. If you weren’t able to participate, you can listen to the recording here.
Ontario Line Town Hall 2020
Thank you to everyone who joined me last week for this very informative discussion with Metrolinx representatives. If you missed the meetings, you can view both recordings on my Youtube channel here and here. I have included some helpful links about the project below:
- Ontario Line – Environmental Assessment Process Overview here
- Draft Ontario Line Environmental Conditions Report here
- Ontario Line Initial Business Case here (includes information on ridership projections)
More information about the Ontario Line can also be found here including an option to sign up for e-newsletter updates from Metrolinx here. The Metrolinx Engage website here also hosts detailed information about the project including neighbourhood-specific updates on the “Get Engaged” page here. You can also submit questions directly to Metrolinx here or post comments or questions on the public forum here.
Anti-Racism Town Hall 2020
Click this link to watch our discussion as we answered questions from a live audience submitted via chat, and we discussed how Ontarians can take part in the growing anti-racism movement.
Support Chinatown Town Hall 2020
If you missed this event, the full video is available here.