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Hello, my name is Melissa Graham, I’m a candidate in Toronto municipal election this year, in Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

The following statement is not just to address the amazing people following and supporting my campaign, but to my friends and family across Ontario.

The Big Smoke is in trouble Ontario, and we need your support.

Premier Doug Ford is trying to cut our city council, by nearly half, and we need your help to stop that from happening.

If Ford succeeds in passing these changes, it would mean that every city council member would be responsible for a population the size of the City of Thunder Bay.

Now I’ve been in Thunder Bay. It is a beautiful, diverse city on the shores of Lake Superior, with a strong indigenous community, a college, a university, a law school. They have unique cuisine like pet-a-han, and Persians. I’d love to represent a city like Thunder Bay if I lived there, but it’s simply too big and diverse for one person to represent. In fact they have 13 councillors serving an area, that Ford wants one person to serve here in Toronto

My Ward will still exist if this goes though, but being a City Councillor is a about a lot more than what goes on at city hall. City Councillors are the people you go to when your driveway keeps getting snowed in, or your housing provider won’t fix the elevator in your building. It’s about taking those calls every day, knowing what you community needs, and finding innovate solutions to meet their needs.

Our Premier wants us to believe this will save the province money, but a City without effective democratic representation can’t function efficiently. It also goes against principals of the Supreme Court of Canada.

That’s why I’m asking you Ontario, to think about what your democracy is worth, and contact your MPP today, especially if you live in a conservative riding..

With your help your local MPP can reject this plan, and we can get Premier Ford’s attention back on the province of Ontario where it should be.

Thank you for your support, and remember to vote on or before October 22nd!

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Melissa Graham

City Council Candidate for Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Strong Communities, Real Action

 

The 7th Annual Toronto Disability Pride March Saturday, September 23, 2017 Starting at Queens Park (111 Wellesley Street West) and marching to the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson (99 Gerrard Street East) from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Why we’re Marching: To bring recognition of the struggles and value of people with disabilities as we fight against ableism … Continue reading About the March

via About the March — Toronto Disability Pride March

Starting at Queens Park (111 Wellesley Street West) and marching to the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson (99 Gerrard Street East) from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Please note: accessible washrooms are not available at Queen’s Park. Please see information on accessible washrooms on the route page.

Why we’re Marching:

  • To bring recognition of the struggles and value of people with disabilities as we fight against ableism and other forms of oppression.
  • To be visible and show that we have a voice in our community and a right to be heard by taking to the streets.
  • To celebrate and take pride in ourselves as a community of people with disabilities.

Be Loud, Be Proud, Come March with Us!

Find us on Facebook and Twitter @DisabilityPM

We need volunteers and marshals for the march! If you have experience that is great, if not we still want you! If you aren’t sure what a marshal does, here’s a brief description. Please fill out the volunteer form if you are interested.

Some  things you should know if you plan to attend.

The Toronto Disability Pride March aims to promote a cross-disability atmosphere, that also recognizes other forms of oppression such as race, class, gender, sexuality, sanism, etc.  We believe the disability movement is strongest in a harmony of voices, not one homogeneous voice. We ask all those who plan to attend the march to respect this approach and the other people within the space of the march.

Have Questions? email us at torontodisabilitypride@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at 4:00pm
Please join us at Yonge and Bloor Station, Toronto, Ontario


D!ONNE Renée is the organizer behind this event. If you have any questions, want to throw your virtual support behind her, or have comments, reach out to her via email or on Twitter at @OnElectionDay.

Click to listen to audio announcement.

The announcement reads:

Accessibility is a Right — Not an Option

On Wednesday, August 31, 2016 – Between 4pm – 8pm, on behalf of community and Public interests, an #AccessibilityNow! TTC campaign/protest will take place starting in the Yonge and Bloor area to raise issues concerning discrimination based on disability, barriers, and ableism in transit and its services.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act sets out the interpretation for “barriers.” Too many barriers exist within the TTC. It is not acceptable to take a “minimum/at least” approach in improving access for all. The standard should be a model that reflects an equal to or greater than the access that is currently available, model. The equal to or greater than the access that is currently available model is a model of equity and equality.

People have a right to access public systems; in this right, people should feel that they have the option to be free to choose whether they access those systems or not. We are all not free just to be.

Approximately 35 out of 65 subway stations are “partially accessible,” on good days. Functioning equipment = good days. “Partially accessible” means that all patrons don’t have the option to access the system for lack of elevators, Braille information and helps, proper signage (large print, clear, large-enough digital boards), functional escalators, inaccessible entrances/exits (now including Presto Card gates and readers) to subway stations, buses, streetcars, and extraordinary Wheel Trans wait/scheduling. Plus the TTC worsened accessibility when they began replacing the names of Toronto’s subway lines with confusing numbers.

TTC (and transit across Ontario and Canada) must be proactive in its operations and provide equality in its services and not discriminate against anyone, including people with disabilities and/or people requiring accessible access in order to use its systems. TTC was able to find money to implement Presto Card systems into its subway, bus, and streetcar services even though the gate systems being used at subway and bus stations are all not accessible; but TTC seems to be unable to be actively proactive in ensuring that all areas of TTC are fully accessible.

While this event will take place in downtown Toronto, the issues and concerns being raised affect all of Ontario and Canada. We want everyone to have the ability to travel independently, or in group, as we so choose.

We want a barrier-free Canada.

Will you help?

Will you join the protest and invite others to do so too? Will you gather with community in accessibility advocacy? #AccessibilityNow #GetItRight #AODA #AODAFail