Yvan Baker

Yvan Baker
Member of Provincial Parliament
Etobicoke Centre
Spring 2015
A message from Yvan
Since my last newsletter in the fall, there have been many developments in Etobicoke
Centre and at Queen’s Park.
Locally, a number of important events organized by members of our community have
taken place. In addition, I had the opportunity of hosting an open house at our new
constituency office in November, several Seniors’ Advisory Group Meetings, and the
New Year’s Levee and Community Recognition Awards.
Recent Events..................... 2
Recognition Awards......... 4
Queen’s Park Report........ 5
The Levee was an opportunity to come together as a community and, through
our Community Recognition Awards, showcase the hard work of people making a
difference in Etobicoke Centre.
Fiscal Responsibility and
Value for Taxpayer Dollars
At Queen’s Park the Government introduced 19 pieces of legislation in the fall sitting,
including nine pieces of legislation that passed into law before the Christmas holidays.
Jobs and the Economy
In this spring newsletter you will find updates on recent events in Etobicoke Centre.
You will also find more information on the progress being made at Queen’s Park
on issues that matter to our community, and about how you can get involved in
discussions that I host in the riding, whether at an upcoming Seniors’ Advisory
Group Meeting or in some other forum.
Accessible Communities
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with feedback or suggestions. My staff and
I are committed to serving the constituents of Etobicoke Centre in any way we can.
Please contact us any time. We are here to help!
Health Care
Preparing the Provincial
Seniors’ Advisory Group
Meetings .............................. 8
Constituency Services..... 8
Yvan Baker, MPP
Etobicoke Centre
LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN HELP. Constituency Office:
Suite 106, 4800 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M9A 1B1 | Tel: 416-234-2800
[email protected] | www.yvanbaker.onmpp.ca| www.facebook.com/yvanbaker
Recent Events in
our Community
In the last few months, a number
of important community
events were put on by local
organizations. Below is a sampling
of just some of these events.
St. James Food Basket
In late October, I had the opportunity
to visit St. James United Church for
the church community’s weekly ‘Food
Basket’. Every week, St. James United
Church works with the Daily Bread
Food Bank, Second Harvest and local
suppliers, to provide food items to
individuals and families in need.
For more information:
Korean Culture
Every year, the Korean Canadian
community organizes the Korea
Canadian Heritage Awards,
showcasing the contributions that
individual Canadians have made
to the community and to Ontario.
Recently, I participated in this event
and joined a number of constituents
at the celebration of the National
Day of Korea and the Korean Film
Festival in November.
Remembrance Day
Hundreds of people from our
community came together on
Remembrance Day at the Etobicoke
Civic Centre and other locations in
our riding, to remember the men
and women in uniform who have
served and continue to serve so that
we may live in peace and prosperity
here in Canada. I had the privilege
of laying a wreath at some of these
Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre
commemorations on behalf of the
Government of Ontario.
Day at the Races in
Support of Applewood
Shaver House
This annual fundraising event
benefits the James Shaver
Woodsworth Homestead
Foundation to help maintain the
historic Applewood Shaver House
in Broadacres Park, protecting
Etobicoke’s important cultural
heritage for generations to come.
Meeting with St. James United Church Minister Rev.
Norm Hennig-Pereira and Food Basket organizers Marie
Truelove and Lynn Parker.
For more information:
Celebrating Albanian
In November, the Albanian Canadian
Community Association of Toronto
held a special reception at Queen’s
Park celebrating Albanian Heritage
Month. The reception highlighted
wonderful elements of Albanian
culture and took place days after
the raising of the Albanian Flag in
recognition of the 102nd anniversary
of Albanian independence.
Joining members of the Korean-Canadian community
and Mr. Jinsoo Lee, Consul General Mr. Kwang-Kyun
Chung, and MPPs David Zimmer, Michael Chan, and
Monte Kwinter for a group photo.
For more information: www.albcan.ca/alb
Markland Wood
Homeowners Association
Christmas Caravan
The annual Markland Wood Christmas
Caravan saw countless members of
Etobicoke Centre come together to
give back to those in need. Furniture,
clothing, and food were generously
donated by residents of Markland
Wood to local organizations such as
the Furniture Bank, Goodwill and
the Daily Bread Food Bank. I had the
chance to join volunteers in picking up
donations throughout the community.
For more information:
Laying a wreath at a Remembrance Day ceremony on
behalf of the Government of Ontario.
Markland Wood Homeowners Association President
Georgina Balascas and Treasurer Michele Mahar with
Santa at the Christmas Caravan.
Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre
Speaking at the Albanian Heritage Month reception at
Queen’s Park.
Joined by President Joana Kuras of the Lithuanian
Canadian Community, President Andris Kesteris of the
Latvian Federation in Canada, and President Juliusz
Kirejczyk of the Canadian Polish Congress Toronto at the
annual Canadian Polish Congress New Year’s celebration.
Rotary Club of Etobicoke
and Rotary Club of
Toronto West
Canadian Polish Congress
Annual New Year’s
In December, the Rotary Club of
Etobicoke recognized current and
past Paul Harris Award winners
for their community work and in
January the Rotary Club of Toronto
West hosted their 16th Annual Youth
Impact Awards Dinner. I would
like to extend congratulations to all
of those recognized during both of
these awards ceremonies and thank
all Rotarians for their devotion to
our community in Etobicoke and to
‘Service Above Self ’.
In January the Canadian Polish
Congress (CPC) hosted their annual
New Year’s Celebration. Those of
us in attendance were treated to a
keynote address on the history and
contributions of the Polish community
in Canada, including those of
constituents of Etobicoke Centre.
Royal York Gardens
Tenants’ Association
In January I joined Omar Farouk and
members of the community at the
IMO for Eid Milād-un-Nabī before
touring the new gymnasium currently
under construction at the centre.
Once completed, the gymnasium
will provide a much needed common
space for people of all backgrounds,
particularly youth, to come together.
Recently I had the chance to sit
down with members of the Royal
York Gardens Tenants’ Association to
discuss a range of issues of concern,
specifically those impacting tenants. I
learned a lot from the association and
look forward to working together on
these issues.
For more information: www.rygta.com
Rathburn Area Youth
(RAY) Holiday Party
With Imam Omar Farouk at the new IMO gymnasium
currently under construction.
In December, the Rathburn Area
Youth (RAY) Project hosted a holiday
party. This organization provides
services such as cooking lessons and
sports programs for youth aged 13
to 24 in the communities of Central
Etobicoke. Beyond the festivities,
I was able to sign their pledge to
end violence against women and
had the pleasure of meeting Vanessa
Cummings, one of the RAY Program
Parent Volunteers of the Year.
For more information: www.kpk.org
Eid Milād-un-Nabī at the
International Muslims
Organization of Toronto
Finding a Cure for
Alzheimer’s Disease
In its 25th year, the Alzheimer
Society’s Walk for Memories is
Canada’s largest walk for Alzheimer’s,
and an important source of
fundraising. I was pleased to join
former MPP Donna Cansfield in
supporting this important cause.
For more information: www.lampchc.org/
High-fives with Keddone Dias, supervisor of Rathburn
Area Youth.
Joined by former MPP Donna Cansfield at the Alzheimer
Society’s Walk for Memories in support of Alzheimer’s
research and care.’
Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre
In January I had the privilege of
presenting the 2014 Community
Recognition Awards, recognizing
the positive difference being made
by individuals and groups in
Etobicoke Centre.
Recipients were selected by a
community Selection Committee
from a group of candidates nominated
by people and organizations servicing
Etobicoke. The awards were presented
at my Holiday Levee and were
awarded to people living, working, or
volunteering in our riding who have
made a real difference in the lives of
the people of Etobicoke Centre.
2014 Community
Recognition Award
Brian Brennand • Oksana Cherchyk •
Jim Fielding • Bruce Gleeson • Barbara
Hayworth • Odile Sahl • Ted Scott
• Florence Thiffault • John Varley •
Bill and Mary Wilson • Dr. Ronald
Groshaw • Sharon Bradbury • George
Alexandris • AnQi Chang • Elizabeth
Ditchev • Gayasha Perera • Mary
Klamas • Helen Kerekes • Lydia Lelyk
• ESS Congregate Dining Volunteers •
Matthew Barrett • Johnathan McAvoy
• Kathy Huang • Victoria Li • Kirby
Wong • Daniel Bogue • Mary Green
• Luke Lynch • Rose Wang • Sandy
Simmons • Wendy Samuel
To learn more about this year’s recipients
or to see photos and videos from the
2014 Community Recognition Awards
and to read more about this year’s
recipients, visit my website at
Presenting the 2014 Community Recognition Awards
Ontario Medal for
Firefighter Bravery
Recipient Anthony
In November, firefighter Anthony
Colabufalo, a constituent of
Etobicoke Centre, was awarded
the Ontario Medal for Firefighter
Bravery for helping to save the lives
of three other firefighters while on
duty last spring.
It was important to me that Anthony’s
story also be shared with those in his
community in Etobicoke Centre, so
I was so pleased that Anthony was
able to join us at the Community
Recognition Awards so that he could
be recognized.
For Anthony’s story visit: news.ontario.
Organ Donation Recipient
Ann McGuire
In late January, Ann McGuire, a
resident of Etobicoke Centre, and
organ recipient, visited me at my
constituency office and shared her
inspiring story. Ann is an active
volunteer with the Trillium Gift
of Life Network, the agency of the
Government of Ontario responsible
for organ and tissue donation and
transplant. Ann’s story demonstrates
what a difference all of us can make
by registering as a donor.
Registering as an organ donor takes
just two minutes online.
To become an organ and tissue
donor, visit www.beadonor.ca
or any ServiceOntario location.
Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre
Passage of Key Legislation
During the fall sitting of the Legislature I debated and
supported a number of bills that I believe will improve the
quality of life for those living in Etobicoke Centre. This past
fall, a total of nine bills were passed into law, including:
Sector and MPP Accountability Act: Broad legislation
providing greater oversight of government, making many agencies
of government more accountable and offering greater transparency
into how your tax dollars are spent.
Business Climate Act: Will cut red tape and reduce
regulatory burdens that cost businesses time and money.
3.Stronger Workplaces
for a Stronger Economy Act: Ties future
increases of the minimum wage to the rate of inflation.
Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act:
Will reduce auto insurance fraud and help to lower auto insurance
rates across Ontario.
Standards Amendment Act (Leaves to Help
Families): Employment protection for families providing care to
loved ones in times of need.
Fiscal Responsibility
and Value for
Taxpayer Dollars
I made a commitment to the constituents of
Etobicoke Centre to contribute my business
experience and knowledge of finance to
increase the value we get for taxpayer dollars
and to strengthen fiscal accountability and
responsibility in government. Below is an
overview of some of that work:
Leading Passage of the
Public Sector and MPP
Accountability Act
This fall, I joined Minister Deb Matthews in
debating this bill extensively in the Legislature,
and led the work at committee to strengthen the
Bill before its passage in December.
The Public Sector and MPP Accountability Act
will make government more accountable and will
offer more transparency around how your tax
dollars are spent. This legislation will:
• Strengthen accountability of municipalities,
school boards and publicly funded universities
by providing the Ontario Ombudsman with
oversight of those entities.
• Establish a Patient Ombudsman to assist patients
in resolving concerns involving Hospitals, LongTerm Care Homes and Community Care Access
• Give new investigative powers to the Provincial
Advocate for Children and Youth for matters
related to services provided by children’s aid
societies and certain residential licensees
With Ministers Del Duca and Sergio announcing the launch of the Community Transportation Pilot
Grant Program at Centennial Park Place in Etobicoke Centre.
• Protect our tax dollars by reigning in public sector
compensation so more funds are directed towards
the services you rely on
• Require that public sector
organizations publish their business
plans and that provincial politicians
post expenses online, giving taxpayers
a direct look at how tax dollars
entrusted to government are managed
• Provide the Integrity Commissioner
with increased investigative powers
I was proud to lead the passage of
this bill in the Legislature because it
takes important steps to build a more
transparent, open and accountable
Jobs and
the Economy
Making Sound
At Queen’s Park I have been
utilizing my background in finance
to assist the Ministry of Economic
Development, Employment and
Infrastructure as they continue to
develop new evaluation tools to
help make investment decisions
supporting economic development.
These tools will help the Government
determine the best investments to
make to bolster our economy and
create jobs for Ontarians while
protecting our bottom line as we
work to eliminate the deficit.
Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre
•Work Experience for High School
Graduates: Rolling out in 2015, the
Experience Ontario program will
help high school graduates to gain
valuable work experience through a
nine-month paid community work
and service program.
and private transit operators, to coordinate local transportation services,
so more rides can be provided to more
people, and to more destinations.
•Job Placements for Youth: The Youth
Jobs Strategy, already supporting
more than 25,000 job placements
for young people, is being expanded
to help connect more youth with
job opportunities. The Youth Jobs
Strategy is giving youth valuable
experience in the job market and
preparing them with a strong career
outlook in a competitive economy.
In November, the Government of
Ontario announced the appointment
of the Mental Health and Addictions
leadership Advisory Council
to provide expert advice on the
rollout of the next phase of the
Comprehensive Mental Health and
Addictions Strategy.
An essential ingredient of a strong
community is accessibility. In the fall
I was pleased to welcome Ministers
Del Duca and Sergio to Etobicoke
Centre as we announced the launch
of the $1 million, 2-year Community
Transportation Pilot Grant Program.
This program will provide funds
to municipalities to partner with
community organizations, such as
health and community agencies,
transit agencies, school-bus operators
Health Care
The strategy’s goal is to improve
access and decrease wait times
at facilities like the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health in
Toronto where the government has
made an investment of $2.75 million.
The strategy is also providing more
supports for youth struggling with
eating disorders and includes a
partnership with the province’s
public health units to increase
awareness, fight stigma, and promote
mental health in schools and
workplaces across Ontario.
With an estimated 20 per cent of
Ontarians experiencing a mental
health issue during their life time,
this strategy is an important step.
Targeting Youth
As a former university educator
and business owner, there are
few issues that concern me more
than youth unemployment
and underemployment. The
Government of Ontario is making
targeted investments in combating
youth unemployment and
With MPPs Vernile, Milczyn, Hoggarth, Albanese, and Wong in London, Ontario for pre-budget consultations.
Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre
With Minister Duguid and MPPs Martins and Dong during a pre-budget telephone town hall in February with constituents of Etobicoke Centre and other Toronto ridings.
Preparing the Provincial Budget
Before the Legislature rises again for the summer, Minister Sousa will bring forward the 2015 Budget, which will outline the
Government’s plan to address key priorities while taking steps to balance the budget by 2017/18.
I have worked through a number of different avenues to garner your feedback and that of other Ontarians on what these
priorities should be.
In January I joined my colleagues on the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs as we made stops in
Fort Frances, Sudbury, Ottawa, Cornwall, Fort Erie, London, and Toronto to hear from a diverse group of Ontarians
about what should be included in the provincial budget. That feedback has been gathered into a report to be tabled to the
Legislative Assembly so that Minister Sousa can consider this input as he prepares the budget.
Delivering a responsible plan will ensure that we can continue to create a strong business climate and robust health
care and education systems for Ontario families for years to come. Many of you shared your priorities during a budget
consultation telephone town hall in February and I have passed along these concerns to Finance Minister Sousa as he
prepares the 2015 Budget.
I would like to thank those who participated in these public forums for your valuable insights on our path forward. I look
forward to continue working with you to ensure Ontario is headed in the right direction.
Yvan Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre
April 13th &
May 4th, 2015
Eatonville Library
350 Burnhamthorpe Rd
Join us for our Seniors’ Advisory
Group Meetings
Since September, the Seniors’ Advisory Group has been meeting monthly at
Eatonville Library to discuss issues important to seniors in Etobicoke Centre. These
meetings offer an important opportunity to voice concerns, share ideas, and come
together to learn more about the services available to seniors in our community.
June 8th, 2015
Plast Huculuk Centre
516 The Kingsway
In recent months the Advisory Group has discussed safe winter driving practices,
received an introduction to the Etobicoke Historical Society, and learned about
the important services offered by the four Community Care Access Centres that
serve Etobicoke Centre. I hope that you will be able to join us as we cover more
important topics to seniors in our next few meetings and our annual Seniors’ Tea
before we break for the summer.
We Are Here to Serve You
Nothing is more important to me as a Member of the Ontario Legislature than
advocating on behalf of the people of Etobicoke Centre. That is why I was so
pleased to host the members of our community at my Constituency Office Open
House in late November.
My staff and I are committed to serving all constituents of Etobicoke Centre in any
way we can.
For a list of just some of the services my constituency team and I can provide to
you, please visit my website: www yvanbaker.onmpp.ca/NeedHelp.
Constituency Office:
Suite 106, 4800 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M9A 1B1
Tel: 416-234-2800
[email protected]