News in Brief for Feb. 20, 2018

Dr. Rima Berns-McGown is expected to be the provincial NDP nominee for Beaches-East York after this Thursday's meeting. PHOTO: Contributed

The Beaches-East York NDP will select their candidate for the upcoming provincial election Thursday, Feb. 22 at a meeting at the Beach United Church, 140 Wineva Ave.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath is a special guest at the event, which begins with registration at 6 p.m. and the meeting at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is open to everyone, but in order to vote at the meeting you must be a member of the NDP in good standing, living within the boundaries of the provincial riding of Beaches-East York.

As of late last week, there was only one official declared candidate, Dr. Rima Berns-McGown. The 25-year Beach resident, whose work has focused on anti-racism and diaspora studies, announced her candidacy earlier this month, writing on her website,, that the Beach needs a “game-changer”, and that her “entire life’s work – as a university lecturer, a researcher and a writer – has been about creating a society that works for everyone who lives in it.”

Party rules state that nomination documents must be received by the party’s provincial office at least 10 days before the nomination meeting.

Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and MPP Arthur Potts are co-hosting an Anti-Racism Town Hall on Feb. 22 at Grant AME Church, 2029 Gerrard St. E.

They’ll be joined by MPP Michael Coteau, who heads up the province’s anti-racism directorate, and Mississauga MP Iqra Khalid, who drafted a private member’s motion aimed at condemning Islamophobia and other kinds of discrimination. Representatives from local group East Enders Against Racism and STAMP, Standing Together Against Mailing Prejudice, a group organized to stop the delivery of controversial publication Your Ward News will also be in attendance.

The meeting is particularly relevant on the heels of last week’s racist vandalism of the Leuty Lifeguard Station, but has been in the works for months as a way for local politicians to hear from and provide information to constituents who have been contacting local political offices looking for ways to help or take action in the midst of discriminatory events.

The Grantful Food and Fellowship Soup Kitchen celebrates its 1st anniversary on March 3 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2029 Gerrard St. E.

The soup kitchen and pantry opened last year in response to those in the community experiencing food scarcity and the March 3 event hopes to further raise awareness as well as raise money for the continued operation of the program.

“Since the non-profit’s inception we have served over 2500 hot meals, served 50 families bi-weekly at our food pantry, clothed 15 school age children/40 adults, shipped boxes of clothing, baby food and non-perishable items to Jamaica and Barbuda and prepared 100 Christmas hampers for our clients,” writes soup kitchen executive director Loy Pinnock Brown. “This year we plan on feeding more families and spreading more love.”

To find out how you can help, contact organizers at 416-690-6169 or visit

Ward. 32 Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon and Toronto city parks staff are hosting a community consultation on the future of the Donald Summerville Playground, also known as Pirate Park, the park next to the pool.

The city-led meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Balmy Beach Club, 360 Lake Front. Kids are welcome at the meeting.

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