Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Sunday, June 08, 2014

2014 Ontario election

Fear and loathing in the 2014 Ontario election

While the anti-rackets squad of the Ontario Provincial Police was asking the Liberals to hand over documents related to a gas plant scandal that cost tax payers over $1 billion dollars, the Toronto Star was endorsing the Liberals.

Toronto’s largest newspaper never questioned why Kathleen Wynne refused to hand over those documents to the police investigation.  Instead of questioning Kathleen Wynne, who as Liberal cabinet minister and Dalton McGuinty’s co-campaign chair, signed the document that led to the gas plant scandal, the Toronto Star endorsed her and is demanding Torontonians forget about ongoing Liberal scandals.

The Toronto Star says we need to do that to stop Hudak this 2014 Ontario election.  

Stop Hudak in Toronto?  The Toronto Star editors and columnists know full well Hudak doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of gaining any seats in Toronto.

For example, look at the last election results here in  Parkdale-High Park:

Ontario general election, 2011
New DemocraticCheri DiNovo18,36546.20+1.57
LiberalCortney Pasternak14,87737.42+8.13
Progressive ConservativeJoe Ganetakos4,66811.74-3.06
GreenJustin Trottier1,3253.33-6.36

Need I say more?

The only two political contenders in Toronto ridings like Parkdale-High Park, are the NDP and the Liberals. The Liberals had their chance here. We had a Liberal MP, MPP and City Councillor for years.  Under the Liberals, Parkdale was rife with corruption including drug dealing, street prostitution and slumlords that ruled the riding.

Under the NDP, Parkdale has changed.  We have more families, more school programs, more community and arts initiatives, farmers markets and many more creative spaces.  If you live here, you only have to look around to see that.  So while Parkdale's community spaces got a whole lot better, the Liberals just got a whole lot worse.

There was e-health that cost tax payers over $1 billion.  Then there was the gas plant scandals that cost more than $1 billion public dollars.  And then there was ORNG, which costs tax payers millions of dollars.
But wait, that's not all. The Liberals announced that our hydro rates will be going up 42 per cent.  The same goes for increases in natural gas to heat our homes. All this while we are stuck in traffic and our transit system is barely able to keep us moving.

How can we afford to elect the Liberals?

So in comes the Toronto Star to fear monger.  'But if you don't vote Liberal, then the Hudak boogeyman will come to getcha.'  Uhm...what about the NDP?  No! says the Star, they will join Hudak in a coalition.  The loathing against the NDP took off from there even though this cockamamie idea was hatched entirely in the confines of the Toronto Star without a single iota of truth to it.

Again, Hudak doesn't stand a chance in downtown Toronto.  Second, Toronto already has a pretty solid slate of NDP MPPs to make sure Toronto has a strong voice at Queen's Park.

Right now Toronto is defended by 5 NDP MPPs.  There is Cheri DiNovo in Parkdale-High Park. Jonah Schein next door in Davenport.  Rosario Marchese in Trinity-Spadina, Peter Tabuns in Toronto-Danforth and Michael Prue in the Beaches.  All of these folks have stood up for Toronto and have the experience to continue being effective MPPs to fight for the priorities of Torontonians.

Look at the NDP's Toronto plan:

  1. No Jets
  2. Free Toronto from the OMB
  3. Clean Trains Now
  4. Condo Reform
  5. Down-town relief line
  6. Alternative voting system for Toronto
  7. Line Nine environmental assessment
Compare this to the Liberals.  Kathleen Wynne has refused to say no to jets on the waterfront. The Liberals imposed the pro-big developer OMB on communities. Kathleen Wynne during the Leaders debate recommitted to diesel trains, not clean trains.  And the Liberals have never delivered on Condo reform to make sure condo owners are protected from shoddy deals with developers.  And after more than 10 years of Liberal government, we are still stuck in gridlock in downtown Toronto without any transit relief.

I had to write what I have noticed is missing in virtually all of Toronto's media.  I hope you will think carefully and make up your own mind this 2014 Ontario election.

Your riding depends on it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yuppies looking for a rumble in Parkdale

Parkdale is in trouble.  Again.  This time the trouble comes from yuppies who want to turn Queen Street from Dufferin to Roncesvalles into a club zone, with restaurants and bars colonizing the strip.

That's what I heard tonight from a vociferous group at Parkdale's community consultation meeting put on by city councillor Gord Perks and City of Toronto planners.  The meeting was about a Queen Street West restaurant study done by City planners.  The study and ongoing community consultations were made possible because of an Interim Control By-Law putting a moratorium on new bars, restaurants and second floor expansion for one year on Queen Street West in Parkdale.

Three individuals who said they lived here for more than 20 years wanted the interim control bylaw to be rescinded.  It wasn’t clear why they wanted to get liquor licenses pushed through without community consultation other than they approved of the changes on Queen street so far.

It soon became clear that in the room of about 45 people, a swarm was forming with one thing on their mind.  Trash the regulations and controls in Parkdale and make room for what the free market wants.  The swarm descended on Perks attacking him for approving the control bylaw and not informing them before it was put in effect.  One woman, of the three self-proclaimed long-term residents, said she would never have allowed it were she informed of it first.

As Perks said, the interim control bylaw exists to allow the City to study the rapid changes in Parkdale.  And equally as important, to allow for community input about what kind of businesses Parkdale residents think would best serve their local needs.  Without the interim control bylaw, only those with the means to set up businesses in Parkdale would dictate what happens to Queen street without any community consultation at all.  Essentially, residents would be left out of the decision-making process about what happens to their own community.

Judging from the hostility of about half the room towards the control bylaw, many who attended the meeting were angry they weren't being allowed, or their friends weren't being allowed, to get their liquor licenses in Parkdale.  As if it were a right.  They seemed offended that Perks would dare support a pause on the free market from acting on Parkdale's development.

Essentially they wanted Perks and the City out of the way.  But in this case.  In this one instance, Gord Perks represented the interests of the majority of people who live in Parkdale to allow us a say about what happens along our part of the Queen street strip.

There were people in tonight’s meeting that didn’t agree with the hostile swarm.  One young woman said that as it stands, she’s already left out of the restaurants and cafes along Queen street because she just can’t afford it on welfare.

Another woman said Queen street needed small shops, groceries, bakeries and variety stores, shops that make a neighbourhood.   Not just bars and restaurants.

A man who said he lived in Parkdale for 40 years said that he didn’t understand the problem with having time to think about which shops would best serve Parkdale.  With a wife and kids, he said he also enjoys the occasional restaurant and café along Queen street but that it doesn’t make sense for any neighbourhood to have only bars and restaurants on its main strip.

At close to the end of the meeting, a woman who was adamantly against the control bylaw and the City study, was offended I was filming the public meeting.  And her in particular.

According to another woman who was watching, the woman who came up to me was close to knocking down my camera and computer.  The woman who was watching said she wanted to be a witness in case the police were called.

That’s the way it went down tonight. 

This small swarm of people if left unchecked can bring down Parkdale if they are allowed decision-making power.  If Gord Perks gets only their feedback, we may be going back in time to when Jimmy’s tavern and the Green Dolphin faced each other at Queen and Lansdowne. 

But the folks at tonight’s meeting either don't know Parkdale's history or they just don't give a damn.  They think that somehow being higher end bars and clubs means people won’t get drunk, they won’t get loud, they wont fight and they won’t piss or vomit outside of the club, bar or restaurant. 

Ask the residents around the bar area of Ossington between Queen and Dundas if they’re happy with the noise at night.  Why did the club district have to leave the downtown area?  Good times for residents?

While these people tonight largely pretended to be genteel, they are thinking like gangsters.  From the woman who wanted to shut down my recording of the meeting, to the individuals tonight with a middle-class veneer who were offended at a control bylaw that allows for community consultations, what they really meant was this:  “Dont' stand in our way!  Got it?"

No.  Too many people tonight were there to push though liquor licenses in Parkdale and were offended that the community should be consulted about development in our own neighbourhood.  

Like I told a guy after he finished pissing on my house during Nuit Blanche… we live here.  

Lady, you can try to shut down me down, but you’re not going to ram through what you want on the rest of this neighbourhood.  We live here.  We vote.  And we participate.  Whether you like it or whether you don’t.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Federal Election 2008

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Homelessness Marathon

Covering issues as the affordable housing disparity crisis, the crisis of disenfranchised youth not handled by teh system, the true invisibility of homelessness (they don't all look obvious for one!) , how issues such as health, welfare cuts, trauma and drug abuse, coping mechanisms, mental health, trust of services overlap and interrelate, issues, the beaurocracy of an 'address', shelter service or rather, the inadequacy therof...

Good stuff if you've got the type of open mind needed to peer into some truth.

For those who are unfamiliar with some of the dynamics that might visit those less fortunte living in Parkdale... or willfully ignorant of them.

The link

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Money-strapped in the new year...?

Feeling sniffly?
Finances as compromised after yer Chistmas spend-a-thon as yer immune system?

Don't worry.
It's probably that bug that's going around...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

BOXING WEEK SALE... refund bonanza!

Wanting to get away from the Rat Race?

Feeling hip, techy, savvy 'cause you got an iPod?
Got that Nike running tracker thing, too?

You've left the "Rat Race".

You're now a rat running in a cage.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Boxing week sale... Refund gift bonanza!

"DataDot DNA" Microdots that can't be seen, size of a grain of sand.

Supposed to help with tracking down property.

... Why the hell does it have the word "DNA" on it...?


You DO know RFID chips can fit in the dot over an "i" on a printed piece of paper, can be machine-washable and be embedded into clothing, right?

I mean, if you REALLY wanted to, you can take the technology to its , right?

Welcome to the politics of attrition..