Toronto Centre City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has laid out some of the challenges faced by Canada’s largest city (population over 3-million); GTA over 6-million.
– We’re facing a financial crisis that could reverse all the progress we’ve made.
– Without support from the provincial and federal governments the budget won’t balance.
– 40,000 child care subsidies could disappear.
– Over 1,000 beds from long-term care homes might be cut.
– Toronto Transit services will be reduced by 50%.
– Our social safety net, affecting many working families, has cracks in it.
Ms. Wong-Tam goes on to say:
– The City of Toronto is facing a $1.9-billion deficit by the end of 2020.
– Toronto has found 513.7-million in savings, leaving a year-end shortfall of $1.35-billion.
– Without support from senior governments, property taxes could increase by 60%.
– Services could be cut devastatingly.
– The encampments we see across the city will continue to grow.
– Opioid overdoses could result in more deaths.
– Crime will no doubt increase and safety will decrease.
And there’s more:
– In July the provincial and federal governments announced a tentative $19-billion funding agreement to restart the national economy.
– Money will be distributed nation-wide to support testing and contact tracing, PPE purchasing, sick leave, child care, and funding for public transit. We haven’t seen those dollars yet.– Meanwhile Toronto is left spending hundreds of millions of dollars on temporary measures to help families get through the pandemic.
– There are evictions, business closures of shops, bars and restaurants, and the Canadian winter is getting much closer.
The city of HAMILTON, 45 miles southwest of TORONTO is taking on the litterers and graffiti spritzers, in a plan to clean things up. Councllor BRAD CLARK says “it just seems odd that we’ve got thousands of people driving around who are city employees and they’re not noticing these things.” He wants to enlist all 8,000 city employees to start reporting on litter and graffiti.“We’ve got thousands who are in vehicles driving every single day. If they see graffiti, if they see garbage bags piled up at the side of the road or in a ditch … why wouldn’t we direct staff to report them so the proper people can remove them?” Clark calls it having “eyes on HAMILTON.”Councillor Clark isn’t suggesting city workers should pick up illegally dumped garbage or erase graffiti themselves, unless that’s in their department. He just wants them to alert the fellow employees who are responsible for this job.Former TORONTO mayor ROB FORD attempted a graffiti cleanup and failed. TORONTO has roughly35,000 civic employees (union, non-union, part time, full time). That’s a force to be reckoned with. Maybe they could succeed, once the snow melts, and get rid of these eyesores. If it works for HAMILTON, maybe it’ll work for us. <PHOTOS – Toronto’s battle with graffiti>
ONTARIO, you voted this guy and his Progressive Conservatives in, and now a year later you’re not so keen. Too bad – Ford’s term will be up in 2022. He’s just getting started.
THE NUMBERS – Progressive Conservatives (PC’s) 34%; Liberals 32%; New Democrats 25%. DOUG FORD’s Approval Rating sank from 63% to 37%.
The Campaign Research poll was conducted between last Tuesday and Friday using a panel of 1,830 Ontario voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.
After decades of trying to get a leg up, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, birthplace of Confederation, home of Ann of Green Gables, has elected enough Green Party seats to form the province’s Official Opposition.
<ANNE OF THE OFFICIAL GREEN OPPOSITION, editorial cartoon by BRIAN GABLE, Globe and Mail>
<PHOTO by John Morris/Canadian Press/PA Images – PEI Green party leader Peter Bevan-Baker> On Tuesday night Islanders voted in their first minority government since 1890. The island province’s 153,000 people gave a much-needed boost to the Green Party. There are three Members (MLA’s) in the British Columbia legislature, three in New Brunswick, one in Ontario, and now nine (9!) in Prince Edward Island.WELL DONE, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND!
We’re so busy watching Trump that we sometimes ignore what’s going on behind our backs in this province and our city. The Green Party of Ontario has been watching however, and says Premier DOUG FORD’s destruction of the planet “is off the charts.”
In just one week FORD has – 1) appointed a climate-change denier to a high-ranking electricity position; 2) closed the office of the independent environmental watchdog; 3) cancelled all electricity conservation measures beyond 2020; 4) announced a multi-million dollar, taxpayer subsidized television ad campaign to fight federally-enforced carbon pricing. He’s also cut funding for much-needed supervised drug-use sites, in the middle of a crisis.
<“Climate change? What climate change?”
CANADA is warming up faster than the rest of the world, according to a report commissioned by the Canadian Environment and Climate Change Department. On average, the report says Canada’s climate has been, and will continue, to heat up at double the rate of global warming.Melting Canada will have serious repercussions for the entire planet. Think of future generations and the calamity they’ll inherit. DOUG FORD will be long-gone by then.
<“How To Build An Ark”, project leadership for the 21st century, by Martin Crump & Matthew Theobold. It’s available on Amazon>