Beginning in October, there’s a great job up for grabs in the York South-Weston area. It pays $105,397 annually with an option to renew every four years. it also has generous benefits, expenses and severance payments. In addition, to ease the workload, the successful candidate has a staff budget of $224,264.25 to hire up to four assistants and if that’s not enough, an aide (summer student) for the summer.
The job itself involves irregular hours but offers great opportunities to improve the lives of thousands of people. You must be a Canadian citizen and either live or own property in Toronto. It costs $100 to apply. While it would be helpful to be a team player, apparently it’s not essential.
To make the job even easier to get, only about 40% of the people who are trusted with the all-important hiring decision ever bother to show up. This means that you need to convince just over 20% that you are the right person for the job.
Mike Sullivan says he went to his councillor for help; got nowhere and ended up doing the job himself.
After the latest storm to hit York South-Weston, a political one may be brewing. While out canvassing on march 14, Sullivan observed that the only working sidewalk under the Lawrence Avenue rail bridge was in a dangerous condition. Federal Member of Parliament Mike Sullivan is the opposition deputy critic for persons with disabilities and thought that even with the stretched resources of the city, after two days, something should have been done. According to Sullivan, he left a message with his councillor Frances Nunziata and after waiting a few hours with no action, Sullivan and his assistant Branden Valente did the job themselves. Sullivan described the process in the video below and is openly critical of the level of service given to York South-Weston which is a Priority Neighbourhood. While there’s no love lost between the two representatives, Sullivan’s action will resonate with those who feel that York South-Weston has been neglected for years.
Weston has had two ‘once in a lifetime’ storm events this year. All indicators point to more of the same. Weston is an older part of the city and the neglect of its infrastructure is painfully evident. The recent ice storm is still wreaking havoc in Toronto and Weston seems to have lost more than its fair share of power. Luckily our natural gas and water supplies are buried safely underground and have remained intact through all of this. Some homeowners with gas fireplaces have been able to heat their homes throughout this crisis and survive with emergency lighting.
Imagine if our gas supply was carried on overhead pipes. Apparently, Toronto Hydro can imagine this but can’t seem to understand that most civilized parts of the world have put their hydro lines underground.
In spite of Toronto Hydro having a huge number of people on the sunshine list, money spent on infrastructure has not been as forthcoming. We have become blind to the fact that most of our electrical supply is above ground. Not only is it vulnerable, it’s unsightly and ruins boulevard trees that have to be kept clear of power lines. The cost of an underground network has always been trotted out as the reason for our current (or lack of current) sorry state. Mississauga suffered minimal inconvenience in this latest storm precisely because most of their power lines are buried. Not only are overhead wires ugly as sin and reminiscent of the third world, they’re expensive to maintain and subject to calamitous and dangerous failure. Lives been put at risk, holiday celebrations have been disrupted, businesses have suffered during their biggest sales period and tonnes of food have been wasted thanks to powerless refrigerators and freezers.
If Toronto Hydro had instituted a policy of burying a percentage of its lines each year, along with ensuring all new homes had buried wiring, we would not have suffered this huge disruption. Again, we have been seduced by our own short-sighted desire for lower taxes and utility bills. Couple this with a failure on the part of Ontario governments of all three parties to oversee competent management of our electrical supply.
Of course, the rich haven’t suffered in all of this. Their generators are humming away merrily. It’s the poor and middle classes who bear the brunt of these events. The lower taxes and enormous salaries that supposedly attract business and competent leadership have done neither and have left us in a sorry state.
Once again, Toronto is in the news for the same reason – a failure of vision and leadership. Merry friggin’ Christmas.
The second reading of Davenport MPP Jonah Schein’s private members bill to electrify the Union Pearson Express was unable to withstand the combined vote of minority governing Liberals and opposition P.C.s. and was consequently defeated. Precisely what interest the Hudak Tories have in blocking the bill is a mystery because passing a private member’s bill would not have triggered an election. Perhaps they have their own plans for the line if they can form a government after a possible spring election. Besides, anyone looking to the Tories for cleaner air is likely a cock-eyed optimist. The Liberals’ excuse is that they have to wait for the environmental study (a.k.a. delay of game) before acting. The depressing Hansard transcript (including some lovely eye-rolling moments) is on Jonah Schein’s site.
It’s that time of year when politicians host intimate gatherings of the faithful (and not so faithful) electors of York South-Weston.
Here they are in chronological order:
Saturday, December 7 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Sullivan’s constituency office, 36 South Station St. The event is free and open to everyone. Refreshments will be served. Attendees are encouraged to bring along a donation of non-perishable food to support the Weston Area Emergency Support food bank.
Tuesday, December 17 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Albanese’s constituency office, 99A Ingram Drive. Join Laura Albanese, your Provincial Member of Parliament for some holiday cheer. Attendees are encouraged to bring along a donation of non-perishable food to support the food banks of York South-Weston. RSVP by phone at 416-243-7984 or e-mail, [email protected]
Saturday December 21st from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the York West Active Living Centre, 1901 Weston Road. Join Frances Nunziata, your Toronto City Councillor for a get-together and some refreshments. Santa will be there. Attendees may bring an unwrapped toy for the toy drive.
While some Westonians were watching Santa go by, others were cozy and warm listening to some stirring gospel music from TC3 (Toronto Children’s Concert Choir & Performing Arts Company) and their special guests, the U of T Gospel Choir.
U of T Gospel Choir.
TC3 recruits students between the ages of 7 to 18 from all over the city with the aim of enriching academic and artistic talents of their members. An impressive 90% of TC3 alumni continue to higher education after high school.
Founder and Choir Music Director, Reverend Denise Gillard expressed the hope that one day, TC3 members would be singing in the U of T Gospel Choir.
In addition to their busy touring schedule, TC3 will be performing on Breakfast Television in the next few days.
On November 15, and November 18th Toronto City Council voted to limit Mayor Rob Ford’s power.
On the 15th, council voted to take away his power to appoint members of the Executive Committee (similar to cabinet positions). That power was given to Deputy Mayor, Norm Kelly. Councillor Nunziata supported this move.
On the 18th council voted to cut the Mayor’s budget, remove his power to set the legislative agenda and remove his ability to fill vacancies of the civic appointments committee. Councillor Nunziata did not support this move.
In a statement, Councillor Nunziata defends her vote to support the mayor on the 18th. She likens the decision to one she made in the glory days of 1990, when she blew the whistle on corruption in the City of York. Her main argument is as follows
I believe that removing the powers of a Mayor who was duly elected, whether we like him or not, is undemocratic.
Unfortunately, this ‘respect for democracy’ is inconsistent with her vote on the 15th November to remove Ford’s power to appoint Executive Committee members.
While Councillor Nunziata seems to be sucking and blowing at the same time, at least she voted; unlike the endlessly amusing Giorgio Mammoliti who abstained on both days.
Let’s hope the councillor in her role as Speaker can do a better job of reining in the Ford boys and their antics in the next few months.