For years we’ve heard that VIA Rail would love to stop their four daily trains in Weston but that they’re being thwarted by Metrolinx who say that there wouldn’t be enough time for VIA trains to transfer passengers on and off without disrupting UP Express and GO Train schedules. The stop would be an incredible convenience for Weston Residents, would slow the train down as it roars through Weston and would allow eastbound VIA passengers destined for Pearson Airport a short cut instead of having to schlep all the way downtown.
If you go to the VIA Rail site however, they’re still posting Weston’s station address as 39 John Street so maybe an awareness of the new location would indicate a more sincere wish for a Weston stop. Either way, it’s beginning to look highly unlikely that a the devolved passenger arm of a corporate Father of Confederation™ and the mighty execs of Metrolinx will get together to make life easier for actual passengers.
Maybe this is a problem that an election promise could solve.
On Sunday April 24, there will be a park clean-up organized by Brian MacLean who is also leading a campaign to set up a permanent memorial to the Hurricane Hazel victims, many of whom perished in a community now occupied by Raymore Park.
Please meet by the pedestrian bridge across the Humber between Raymore and Lions parks at 10:00 a.m. Note – the Raymore parking lot is closed to traffic. There is street parking on Tilden Crescent or the Lions Park lot is open – it’s a short walk from there to the footbridge that crosses into Raymore.
Mike Ford has had a wildly successful political career. He began as a Toronto school board trustee in 2014, became a Toronto city councillor two years later after the terminal illness of his uncle and former Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford. Now at the ripe old age of 28, Mike Ford has announced he will be running as a candidate for the Progressive Conservatives in the provincial election on June 22. His other famous uncle, Premier Doug Ford holds Etobicoke North and family friend Kinga Surma has Etobicoke Centre – the next nearest local seat is York South Weston where incumbent Faisal Hassan is enjoying a successful first term.
Many naysayers claim that Ford has succeeded on the coat tails of his two famous uncles. That may well have been true at the start of his career but Mike Ford has shown himself to be a good listener and sincere advocate for his constituents while his council votes tend to be on the conservative and frugal side.
No Progressive Conservative candidate has won the York South-Weston seat since the riding was created in 1999. Mark DeMontis came close in 2018 with 33% of the vote compared to 36% for the NDP’s Faisal Hassan. PCs must be confident that Ford has a good shot at the seat as he is a local boy having been raised across the river in Etobicoke; there’s that magic Ford name and no doubt there will have been some local polling to scope out possibilities.
A Mike Ford win depends on a good connection with voters and a reasonably sized Blue Wave hitting the province. That might just happen. According to 338Canada Projection, the PCs currently poll at 37% support to the Liberals’ 28% and the NDP trails at 25% – with the usual caveats that anything can happen between now and June. In recent months, Doug Ford seems to have moved his party to the centre, is now in favour of lefty things like a higher minimum wage – he’s even encouraging electric cars. His removal of the mask mandate from much of daily life has pleased his base and infuriated the provincial Liberal and NDP parties. At the same time, Ford is positioning himself as the best friend of the federal Liberals and the man who can work with them. The main strategy seems to be to attack the NDP while giving the Del Duca Liberals nowhere to go.
My prediction; a tough local fight that will push both Faisal Hassan and Mike Ford to their limits. Will the Ford name nudge the younger candidate over the top or will it be a liability? There is no doubt that the riding will be well served by whoever gets in. Hassan is accessible and has worked hard during his term, setting up a storefront office on Weston Road right in downtown Weston. Mike Ford will have enviable connections.
One thing for certain; this will be a devastating loss for one of these two candidates.
In 2017, A company by the name of Entuitive Engineering got the contract to move the Kodak 9 building several hundred metres. This was to allow a new basement to be fitted in readiness for the building’s new role as part of the Mount Dennis Station on the Crosstown Line. The details of the move and other interesting tidbits are in this Urban Toronto posting. Weston Web has more here and here. The Urban Toronto article is here.
There once was a time when roughly speaking, the NDP stood for working people and the Conservatives represented the business classes. The Liberals would carve out the middle, blowing left and right as it suited them.
The Truckers’ Convoy has illustrated a profound shift in those positions. No longer is the NDP the party of the working class. They, along with the Liberals have for some reason decided to vilify the truckers, repeating the lie that they’re a bunch of yahoos, racists and ____phobes (fill in the blank with your choice of prefixes).
The Liberals are currently on the left as well and using the Covid emergency have managed to exercise control over nearly all of Canada’s media outlets. The legacy press has been supported financially through the pandemic with the expectation that the government’s messages would be reflected uncritically. It’s not a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you and with strings attached to the funding, the Liberals have turned almost every media outlet into a state mouthpiece since the money started flowing. If you’re wondering why the Sun and National Post are so pro-government, it might have something to do with the $1.3 million government donation to parent company Postmedia.
Most recently the Liberals have co-opted the press to declare that the truckers have (amongst other atrocities) disrespected the Ottawa War Memorial and the statue of Terry Fox. They have waved swastika and Confederate flags, have openly defecated and urinated in the streets, have stolen from food banks and generally terrorized the people of Ottawa.
Can any of this be true? Yes but in rare and isolated instances and by focusing on isolated unrepresentative occurrences, the government has been able to lie about the true nature of the demonstration in an attempt to sway public opinion. When the same distorted view is reported and repeated by so many outlets the big lie is created.
Is there another side to the story? Going outside the legacy press, there are several bloggers who have reported and even broadcast live from the protests and they tell a different tale. Here’s a sampling of YouTube channels (and a blog) that are presenting a completely different version of the protest. Naturally these people aren’t government funded and that’s why they may be more honest and credible.
It’s essential that news is reported accurately and contrary opinions can be aired. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right – it’s only with the exchange of views that a dialog can exist and opposing sides can come to an understanding.
Yesterday, Councillor Nunziata issued an email reminding people and businesses about snow removal and being good neighbours. At the end, she gave the word to businesses:
Finally, business owners must clear the adjacent sidewalk of snow or ice within 12 hours of the end of a snowfall, as per the Snow and Ice Clearing Bylaw. The fine for not clearing snow from public property can be up to $135.
Walking around Weston today, it seems obvious that some major corporations, for example, Bell have failed in their duty to clear their sidewalks.
No doubt a fine of $135 is very small potatoes for the mighty Bell corporation but forcing pedestrians to walk in traffic is very bad for public relations. They might want to uncover their missing sidewalk along Hickory Tree Road too.
CEO Phil Verster is featured on a ‘year-end wrap up’ Metrolinx video in which he talks about the Eglinton Crosstown Line’s progress to date and where it is heading next. The video has lots of dreamy drone footage and overhead shots of Mount Dennis and other stations.
“Our goal remains the same: to deliver modern rapid transit to Toronto’s Eglinton Avenue. 2021 saw us make strides in delivering upon that goal with significant progress made to the 19 kilometre transit line.”
While Mr Verster claims that construction crews are nearing completion on a number of key locations, he fails to give many details or indeed when exactly the public may begin to use the line.
If it was good news, no doubt he would have told us. As one wag noted in the comments, “Even the year end video is late.”.