There is a saying that ‘All politics is local‘. Here in Weston, we are blessed with politicians and three levels of government that don’t neglect to tax us in various ways yet seemingly invest little in our neighbourhood.
This is my personal list for our politicians and even for the citizens of Weston. Readers are encouraged to add their own contributions.
There is much that is wrong with Weston and at the same time reason for optimism. Weston looks tired and could be so much more. Nobody likes to shop in a run down area yet customers are the life blood of stores. The type of main street layout seen along Weston Road is the basis of revitalization in Bloor West Village and other parts of the city. It’s one thing to attack political opponents for criticizing Weston’s appearance but as recent Council candidate Dory Chalhoub pointed out, the reality of litter strewn streets, empty stores and dilapidated signage stares us in the face every day.
Bicycle (and skate) maker CCM went bankrupt in 1983 and yet we still use the slogan ‘Home of the Bicycle’.
Our slogan could just as legitimately be ‘Home of the Skate’ or ‘Home of Bankruptcy’, or even… ‘Home of the B.I.A. (Weston Village Business Improvement Area is one of the oldest and has been going since 1979).
Weston BIA Resolutions:
1. Come up with a plan to replace the tired bicycle logos and ‘Home of the Bicycle’ slogan with something more meaningful to Weston – perhaps along the lines of our proximity to the Humber and beautiful parkland.
2. Encourage BIA members to take advantage of the City of Toronto’s financial support for sign replacement.
3. Members should keep their properties in good order and clean up litter on a daily basis.
3. Work on schemes that will boost attendance at the Weston Farmers Market.
4. Stores that sit vacant for months on end do nothing for the community and lower custom in remaining stores. Contact owners and find creative ways of beautifying vacant storefronts and using empty space.
Frances Nunziata: Resolutions:
1. Focus on the appearance of Weston through the B.I.A. and similar organizations as well as money from the City.
2. Work to reduce litter and visual pollution along Weston’s business areas.
3. Revitalize the Weston Farmers’ Market.
4. Find ways of dealing with empty storefronts that plague our business districts.
5. Continue to look for ways to bring meaningful and well paid employment to Weston.
6. Encourage and facilitate completion of the Humber Trail from Mallaby Park northward.
7. Encourage 12 Division officers to get out of their cars and walk the streets of Weston.
Laura Albanese: Resolutions
1. Use your position to get the Weston Farmers’ Market in on the LCBO pilot project (even though it’s now beginning its second year). This would surely boost attendance.
2. Continue to press Metrolinx to electrify the UP Express and the Kitchener GO line. Also continue your efforts to lower fares on the UP Express with the goal of creating an above ground commuter line that will serve communities along the way.
3. Look for grants that will elevate the poorer parts of the riding and encourage education and prosperity.
4. Look for a way to establish a government office in Weston. This will boost employment and stimulate local business.
5. Investigate the possibility of attracting a community college or university campus to Weston.
6. Work with Councillor Nunziata to encourage and facilitate completion of the Humber Trail from Mallaby Park northward.
Mike Sullivan: Resolutions
1. It’s great that you have a constituency office here in Weston. Set an example by freshening the paint and landscaping its exterior. Use the business directly across the street as your model.
2. Continue to bring matters pertaining to Weston to the attention of the community and the appropriate representative. No, your party is not in government; we get that. Yes, we understand you’re a federal politician, not a provincial politician or the city councillor. As an MP, your mandate is to help and facilitate matters for all your constituents and not be hung up about jurisdictions.
3. Work in conjunction with colleagues from the other levels of government to reduce the levels of crime and poverty in Weston.
4. Call attention to the role of payday loan companies and their predatory effects on the poor.
4. Continue to call attention to the Harper Government’s attack on the environment with particular emphasis on how it affects Westonians.
Citizens of Weston: Resolutions
1. We need to stop lamenting the past glories of Weston and move on. We have an active Historical Society that helps us celebrate the past. The only thing we can change is the future.
2. A vibrant shopping district needs people who will take the trouble to patronize its stores. Don’t expect stores to sell us what we want without actually visiting and spending money.
3. Crime levels in Weston are lower than in many areas of Toronto. Get out of the SUV. The walk will do us good.
4. Politicians have no idea what we think unless we tell them. Don’t be shy.
Weston Business Improvement Area: Phone: 416-249-0691
Laura Albanese: Phone: 416-243-7984
Frances Nunziata: Phone: 416-392-4091
Mike Sullivan: Phone: 416-656-2526