Nunziata supports Tory’s changes to policing

In her most recent email circular, Frances Nunziata says she supports Mayor Tory’s proposed changes to policing in Toronto. The changes

The changes are in three categories:

  1. Creating “alternative service delivery models for community safety response, particularly for individuals experiencing mental health crises, which would not involve police officers attending the scene”
  2. Managing a “fundamental re-alignment of the City’s budget priorities that focuses on the most marginalized in our community, to ensure they have the supports they require to address the root causes of crime”.
  3. Implementing “in full” recommendations to “stamp out discrimination in policing and improve response to people in crises” and review the police budget line-by-line with the Auditor General.

Tory also wants the police to wear body cameras by January 1, 2021.

Nunziata said that she supports the mayor’s recommendations. “They provide a comprehensive framework for a calculated approach to reallocating police funding toward community-led crisis intervention programs, and propose to re-align the City’s budget priorities to put an even greater focus on a robust system of social supports and services, including ongoing investments in Black, Indigenous and marginalized communities.”

She also sits on the Toronto Police Services Board.

Nunziata opposes defunding the police

Frances Nunziata opposes defunding the police—the international movement to reduce police budgets and redirect the money to other social programs. Her position is nuanced, though: she does believe “there are concrete ways in which the City can improve on emergency responses and replace armed police officers with mobile, community-based crisis programs to de-escalate and triage non-criminal incidents”. She also says that she supports funding for social programs as alternatives to the criminal justice system.

Nunziata says she will oppose a City Council motion that would cut the police’s $1.22 billion budget by 10%.

In an email forwarded to me, she said:

Our society is coming to a touchstone moment for a necessary shift in the way we approach racial injustice, policing, and crisis response. I have been genuinely inspired by the spirited dedication and motivation I am seeing and hearing from residents – and especially youth – across our city. This is a time to express emotions, have what are often considered those ‘uncomfortable’ conversations, and address what comes out of these conversations in engaged, thoughtful and effective ways.

I do not support the motion to defund the Toronto Police Service by ten percent. While I appreciate the emotion behind it, I do not agree with the recommendations.

There is undoubtedly a need to engage in the conversation and indeed take action on the issues and injustices that are being discussed, but I do not believe that this motion is the way forward.

I wholeheartedly support allocating funding for community-led alternatives to policing and the criminal justice system, anti-racism education, programs identified in the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy, childcare, affordable housing, Tenants’ Defence Fund and food security.

There are still a number of days before City Council and I am listening to all sides of the conversation.

At the Toronto Police Services Board meeting on June 19th, a Motion by Board Member Uppala Chandrasekera was put forward with recommendations for the Board related to current events. The Board referred the report back to the Chair to allow time to engage in broad public consultation on it. I look forward to hearing these discussions.

I do believe that there are concrete ways in which the City can improve on emergency responses and replace armed police officers with mobile, community-based crisis programs to de-escalate and triage non-criminal incidents involving mental health, addictions and homeless individuals. I also believe that these solutions should be decided in consultation with Black, Indigenous and People of Colour community-led organizations and mental health, restorative justice and legal experts.

 

Bikeshare in Weston Lions Park

I do believe that Weston has finally arrived. We just got our very own Bikeshare station, at Weston Lions Park.

On June 16, Bikeshare announced their new station, with 23 parking spots (but only 4 bikes as I write this).

Bikeshare bikes
Photo by Bikeshare

Though I’m delighted, I won’t claim I follow the logic: Bikeshare rides nicely fix the last-mile problem for commuters and tourists—how do you get from a subway stop to your meeting? It’s less clear what they’ll be used for here, since we are well removed from the rest of the system, the docking stations are not at the UPX, and rides get a bit expensive  after the first 30 minutes.

Perhaps they’re meant for touring the beautiful bike paths beside the Humber River, and that’s a great use for them! I’ve loved renting bikes in cities I get to visit. I just can’t imagine that many tourists coming here (yet!).

While Weston got bikes first, Bikeshare says they’re expanding to Mount Dennis and Rockcliffe-Smythe this year. The details are hard to find, but I’ve asked.

The system now has 6,850 bikes and 625 stations across the city.

 

 

 

Thames River Melons delivers

I don’t know how I missed it, but Thames River Melons, which for my money has the nicest produce at the Weston Farmers’ Market, now delivers.

They are offering  three sizes of produce boxes, with selections depending on harvest–but you can expect “a mix of strawberries, zucchini, new potatoes, green onions, carrots, beets, peas, beans, raspberries, blueberries, sweet corn, garlic, muskmelon, and watermelon.”

The small box is $25, the regular is $50, and the large is $75. You can order extra flats of Ontario strawberries too. And thanks to a friend, I had some today. None finer.

Raspberry, blueberry, and mixed-berry flats are coming in late July.

UrbanArts responds to tensions in USA

This week’s newsletter from UrbanArts is long and worth a read.

Marlene McKintosh, the Executive Director, wrote an introduction on the role of UrbanArts in preventing and healing anti-Black racism:

The collective and individual traumas being experienced are extremely challenging. Anti-Black Racism is a public health crisis and we need more community-based resources to support the critical work we do with our Black residents and other racialized groups in York South-Weston. The work required to combat societal injustices cannot be done by the Black community alone. We need the dedicated support of all our community members, businesses and all governmental levels to work alongside Black communities. 

BIA is hiring

The Weston BIA is looking fo r a Westonian to pick up litter from the sidewalk and benches for one hour per day, 6 days per week, for $17 per hour.

For more info, call Marion at (416) 249-0691.