Queen's Park, October 17, 2018 - "Over the last week, in London, two reports were released that have the potential to completely transform my community: London Community Foundation’s Vital Signs and the Middlesex-London Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy. The two reports provide a powerful call to action and share a vision of a caring, connected and inclusive future where all citizens feel they belong.
The call to action comes from statistics that are stark and troubling:
—More than 70,000 Londoners are living in poverty, including one in four children;
—Only three in five working-age Londoners are working or looking for work, one of the lowest participation rates in the province;
—Almost half of all London tenants are spending more than 30% of their monthly income on rent; and
—Almost 6,000 people in London and Middlesex use injection drugs, with the harms of substance use disproportionately experienced by Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ and people living with mental illness.
The shared vision recognizes the importance of addressing social determinants of health and strengthening individuals’ sense of belonging and connection. As Vital Signs points out, belonging is the glue that holds our community together.
Londoners are committed to achieving this shared vision, but we can’t do it alone. Today, I call on the government to join with my community as a full partner. Provide us with the resources and policy changes necessary to end poverty, tackle inequities and help London to thrive."