Mayor Tory gets on board

From the mayor’s Twitter account.

Today’s announcement from the mayor (standing behind what looks like a sign recycled from a Rob Ford presser) is to the effect that empty stores should not continue to receive a property tax rebate.

Here at Weston Web, we are grateful that the mayor has obviously been using our search feature and reading back issues. We pointed out the unfairness of this tax situation back in 2013.

Hopefully, hizonner will check through Weston Web for more hints on how to do things better in Toronto. Perhaps that will help boost his dismal 55% popularity rating.

Ezra Levant praises Ahmed Hussen

Ezra Levant is a an abrasive right-wing commenter on all things political. He reports for Rebel Media and has a lot to say about the Liberal government – most of it sharply critical. On Friday, he had a few things to say about our MP Ahmed Hussen’s recent promotion. In Levant’s video piece from last Friday, January 13, he shows Hussen in extracts from CSPAN, testifying in 2011 to a U.S. Congress Homeland Security committee concerned with the radicalization of recent immigrants, particularly those from Somali communities south of the border. In the first clip, he states,

I’m a Canadian Muslim who is proud of his faith and heritage, and I truly believe that the Canadian and American values of liberty, democracy, rule of law, human rights and respect for minorities do complement and work neatly with the tenets of my faith.

Levant likes Hussen’s stance on immigrants and their need to adopt Canadian values. Levant thinks that this viewpoint is in sharp contrast to the one held by the the Liberal Party and in particular, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The video is posted below. Thanks to commenter ‘Westonarian’ for the tip.

 

We’re number 12!

A typical day on Black Creek. From google.ca

As many readers will attest, the stretch of highway along Black Creek Drive between Weston and Trethewey can be a long, tough and tedious slog. Apparently it’s the 12th most congested piece of roadway in all of Canada. It begins as the 400 South and like the 427, was originally intended to bulldoze a path all the way down to the Gardiner. The 1970s got in the way and put a stop to further division and demolition of neighbourhoods. Black Creek drive was the best 1980s road builders could come up with in the space already cleared. This hybrid stretch today is as much fun in rush hour as a hemorrhoid transplant.

The vision from the 60s. From gettorontomoving.ca

Unfortunately, the money saved wasn’t channeled into public transit and today, instead of making transportation decisions around data, our wise leaders are spending billions that we don’t have on a Scarborough Subway that we don’t need.

Read the Star’s article on the topic here.

Apparently nothing changes in Toronto. Our Mayor’s big idea? According to CP24, tweak the lights; oh, and maybe have someone direct traffic. That’ll do ‘er.

Want to be depressed further? Read this article about the refusal of our council (and councillor) to consider data and need over political expediency.

Hussen promoted to Cabinet

Ahmed Hussen speaking in Parliament. Screen shot from YouTube.

In a cabinet shuffle announced today, newly minted MP Ahmed Hussen has been promoted to Immigration Minister and becomes the first black and Somali-Canadian member of the Trudeau cabinet. Hussen will take the place of John McCallum who has been appointed Ambassador to China.

Hussen came to Canada from Mogadishu as a 16 year-old and later managed to put himself through York University, earning a B.A. He worked in provincial politics before standing in the 2015 general election for the Liberals.

As a rookie MP, his rise to cabinet has been meteoric by any standards. York South Weston is already represented by influential representatives; the Speaker of Toronto Council, Frances Nunziata and the provincial Minister of Citizenship, Laura Albanese. Let’s hope this increased power and influence translates into some positive results for York South-Weston.

CBC has the full story here.

Red light camera coming to Weston and Lawrence

From 730.ca

There is a list of 79 proposed red light camera locations for 2017 and the busy, diagonal intersection of Weston Road and Lawrence is on it. The cameras cost around $100,000 each but no doubt recoup more than their cost in the long run. Many pedestrians use the intersection and the camera may make things safer for them.

Red light cameras only photograph vehicles that enter an intersection after the light has turned red. Motorists nabbed while running a red light are politely requested to cough up a $325.00 fine. For the last five years, Toronto has run 77 RLCs and their statistics are here. Based on the data, accidents at intersections have been significantly reduced where RLCs are used. There is a FAQ list here.

Hopefully, this is not the only council decision that will be based on data this year.

The shrinking Farmers Market

There only seems room for about 11 traders in this image from Artscape.

I know it’s just an artist’s drawing but the image posted on Artscape Weston’s site does not give the impression of a big enough space available for the market. Will it be possible to shoehorn the traders from the 2016 market into the 2018 one in the new Hub location?

The Market in its UP Express location off Weston Road in August 2016.

My suspicion is that the space will not be sufficient leading to either a loss of traders or the market simply moving to another location.

Here’s an overhead look at the old market.

An overhead look at the market a couple of years ago before moving to the UP Express lot. More than 40 stalls were being rented. (Apple Maps)

The market was to have been an important component of the Hub. Traders cannot be forced to use the space if they believe that it won’t be worth the effort, or if there is no room to set up an adequate space. Additionally, in the past, stall holders were able to overflow their pitches without penalty. If space is tight, such flexibility will be impossible.

Nunziata votes for tolls

Nobody has ever accused Frances Nunziata of lacking guts. Yesterday she took a principled–and unpopular–position, and voted in favour of road tolls.

Your correspondent, being rational, is pro-toll (and anti-car). Tolls are a tax on congestion and pollution. Further, at least some of their burden will fall on people not from the 416. We bear the costs of commuters driving here; I feel quite entitled to discourage them.

The other options to close a funding gap were a 10% increase in property taxes or selling off Toronto Hydro.

Tolls are divisive: the NDP, bizarrely, is against them, preferring unnamed “better funding options”. The Conservatives, predictably, oppose them, saying “families, commuters, everyone is really feeling the pinch… life is just becoming harder and more unaffordable”–even though this is simply not true: the inflation rate was a virtually undetectable 1.1 percent last year.