Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Sunday, June 20, 2004

NDP candidates party

Went to an NDP candidates party.

Old Ed Broadbent was there with Jack Layton
and each and every NDP candidate for this
federal election, including Peggy Nash,
the NDP's candidate for this riding.

I have serious reservations when it
comes to the NDP, particularly the Ontario
NDP, since we know what they were like
when they were in power in this province
under Bob Rae.

But my reservations becomes resistance after
NDP folks like Toronto City Mayor David Miller
are elected to office and then ignore folks
from Parkdale and give the police a $40 million
budget increase while our neighbourhood is
starved for funds.

The police budget for 2004 is close to $700
million even while Toronto's crime rate is one
of the lowest of any city its size in the world
and our crime rate is decreasing.

Miller's move to increase police funding
while not funding community programs
will come back to haunt him because now our
community recreation centre may be closing
weekends due to a lack of funding.

Our rec centre already has a scarcity of
programs for the kids and for youth and now
they will be closing weekends all because they
have no city funds to operate.

The social democratic mayor of this city ignores our
community's state of delapidation, and in turn
supports the police force which has been charged
with several counts of corruption by the country's
national police force, the RCMP.

This week we will find out what the rec centre
will do. If they are compelled to shut down
weekends because of a lack of funds that means
we should hold a protest festival holding Mayor
David Miller accountable for the strangling of
our rec centre.

What irks me the most about the NDP is their
lefter and smarter-than-thou attitude. Some NDP
members protect Miller by claiming he is playing
a complicated game at City Hall where he will be
reigning in the power of the police while
supporting communities.

Well, that's nonsense and comes from a religious
belief in a party because there's nothing else
poor people can count on. Giving the police
$40 million and then ignoring neighbourhoods
that very much need help is sacrificing
the people of our neighbourhood for the
'intelligent'game of a crafty lawyer who
thinks he can play political chess at City Hall
without the backing of the people of that made him

This week we find out what happens with our
rec centre. If it shuts down weekends and does
not have summer programs for the kids, we should
make Miller pay a political price for sacrificing
this neighbourhood. And a mass festival
in Parkdale protesting cuts to our communities
due to Miller's decisions would be a good start.

I am not a party activist. I would hope
I could be a neighbourhood or even community
activist. And as such, I believe we should hold
all of our representatives accountable to our needs.
That's the reason we put them up there in the first

It doesn't matter if those politicians are
tories or the NDP. If they're not serving our
needs, then they are not doing a good job and
we have a duty to protest them right out of power.

The Liberal incumbent for our riding
Sarmite Bulte will hopefully be ousted by
Peggy Nash. Then it will be David Miller's
turn during the following city election if he
keeps up his municipal policies of
starving neighbourhoods of funds, failing
to prevent the eviction of homeless people out
of their street shelters in the name of the law,
not providing them with adequate
housing and then giving the already over-funded,
abusive and corrupt city police force, the
largest spending increase in the history of

And Miller is an NDPer? At least we can rest
assured the NDP will not be in power in this
country, not after the 2004 federal election
anyhow. But at the very least, these NDPers
can be good critics in the house of commons.
A vote to put NDP candidates in the critic's
seat is a vote put to good use.

See how supportive I am of the NDP?