February 10, 2009
I hope you all have had a fine couple of weeks and that you are noticing that the days are getting longer—the promise of spring thaw!
I want to share a few things that have happened in the riding. Before I do that I want to acknowledge that I know there is a lot of bad news in the press—the province is experiencing the challenges that are facing people and jurisdictions around the world. Our government is determined to tackle these challenges head on. We know that we need to facilitate economic transformation and I’ll be talking more about that in the days to come.
Click here to view the speech made recently by the Premier on the economy and our response.
Youth Forum in Don Valley West
Last Tuesday, I was very pleased to be able to bring together about 50 high school students from Don Valley West schools to talk about issues of school safety. Students from Marc Garneau Collegiate, Leaside High School, York Mills Collegiate, Etienne Brule, St. Andrews Junior High and Windfields Junior High School took part. We were very lucky to have teachers, community police officers from 54, 53 and 33 Divisions, Trustee Gerri Gershon and community representatives spend the day listening and responding to students.
I think everyone at the forum agreed that the issues of bullying and cyberbullying, trespassing in our schools, family issues and external community issues all have an impact in our schools but that students are aware and articulate in describing them. As the local MPP and as the Minister of Education, it is my responsibility to work with all the adults and students involved to find resolutions to the problems that arise, but I also believe that we should find regular opportunities to engage students in discussions about safety issues within the walls of the school and in the surrounding community. Many thanks to all who attended!
Sultans of Science and Journey to Mecca
On the same day, in the evening, I had the privilege of attending an event to mark the opening of this very exciting exhibition and film preview at the Ontario Science Centre.
“Sultans of Science” is a remarkable exhibition that originates in Dubai and brings to our own community a beautiful and inspiring illustration of the story of Islam and Science.
The film “Journey to Mecca” is a breathtaking IMAX tale of one man’s pilgrimage to Mecca exploring the meaning of that most private religious experience acted out in a most public way.
Both of these help us in our diverse province to consider our shared humanity—I encourage you to visit the Science Centre in our own Don Valley West community to experience both of these. The exhibition and the film will be at the Science Centre until May 10th.
Finally, the second annual Family Day holiday is coming up on Monday, February 16th. Family Services Toronto, the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, LGBTQ Parenting Connection, and the Jewish Family and Child have launched a great initiative to celebrate the beautiful diversity of families in Ontario.
They are asking all of us to submit photos of our families to their website before February 16th. Family means different things to different people. Families are made up of people related by blood, adoption, fostering, marriage or friendship. They are people whom we love, people we live with, people we support and people who support us. Families come in all shapes, colours and sizes.
I encourage you to look at the warm array of photos already posted and join me in posting your own family photo at www.familydaytoronto.org.
And then I hope that each and every one of you will have the opportunity to enjoy your family on or around Family Day!
All the best,