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NDP Ontario Press Conference in Regent Park
By Dawar Naeem
(Dawar is a journalist with the Focus Media Arts Centre)
On April 21st 2022, the NDP leader Andrea Horwath held a press conference at Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street in Regent Park, Toronto. The Party Leader was accompanied by the Co-founders, Dr. Hava Starkman and Dr. Nour Bakhache of Cover ContraceptiON, which is a grassroots, non-partisan, volunteer-run campaign with the goal of providing universal, no-cost contraception to all those in Ontario.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says people are struggling with a high cost of living, and shouldn’t have to spend $30 a month for birth control. Horwath says her plan would cover all prescription contraception, including emergency birth control such as Plan B, the pill, intrauterine devices, implants, shots, patches and rings. OHIP already covers vasectomies and tubal ligations.
Andrea Horwath didn’t mention the cost of this plan, but says the NDP will release that information soon. Horwath says she will have more announcements to make about pharmacare during the election campaign.
In a low income community like Regent Park, there are many residents who can benefit from such a policy. It will help lift a financial burden from residents who need contraceptions and other Birth Control prescriptions. Currently, an intrauterine device (IUD) can cost $75 to $380, oral contraceptive pills can cost $30 per month, and hormone injections as much as $180 per year. These costs are a significant barrier to accessing contraception for many people across Canada and specially in low income communities like Regent Park, and fall particularly on women and people who can get pregnant.
The NDP leader also mentioned that if NDP wins the election on 2nd june, the Party will raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour.
Focus Media Arts (formerly Regent Park Focus) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1990 to counter negative stereotypes about the Regent Park community and provide interventions to high risk youth living in the area.
We are motivated by the belief that participatory media practices can play a vital role in addressing local needs and development priorities, as well as support the work of building and sustaining healthy communities.
Today FOCUS Media Arts Centre serves as a community learning centre for new media, digital arts, and radio & television broadcasting. We provide a community facility dedicated to the training and mentorship of young people and the engagement of community members of all ages.
Address: 38 Regent St. (Lower Level) - Toronto, Ontario, M5A 3N7
Phone: Phone: 416-863-1074