Last Saturday, a coalition of social services agencies and community groups hosted a community meeting to encourage local residents to vote to protect public services. The event took place on Tuesday, October 12, 6pm – 8pm at Valley Park Middle School, 130 Overlea Blvd, Toronto.
Check out photos from the event. The photos were taken by Leanne Wilkins, Jess Bell, and Maya Bhullar.
Many local candidates for city council and school trustee came to table at the event, which was attended by approximately 100 local residents. Those in attendance included long-time progressive school trustee incumbent, Stephnie Payne, and Anthony Peruzza. In an unusual but sensible twist to the typical candidates-event, candidates were asked to table at the event and listen to residents’ concerns.
Residents were asked to break out into small groups and discuss and then report back on issues that were important to them. Priority issues included efforts by the province to remove emergency and acute care facilities from the nearby York Finch hospital and transfer them to a soon-to-be built hospital further way.
Other key issues included addressing youth and seniors issues, creating good green jobs for local community residents, who experience much higher unemployment rates than other regions in Toronto, and improving the community’s schools. According to school trustee, Stephnie Payne, one of the key issues with schools is the province’s failure to adequately fund Toronto’s schools. “We need money to repair buildings,” she said. Two students in attendance at the meeting complained about the lack of access to sports equipment.
Congratulations to the local community groups for going all out to organize such a successful and well-attended event. They are now working hard to translate enthusiasm at the event into votes at the poll.