Pols announce funding for affordable seniors’ housing in Weston

MP Ahmed Hussen annnounced that the federal government would be giving a “$35 million low-cost loan to help construct 126 new rental units as part of a 15-storey development located at 2346 Weston Road”

The affordable apartment building has been promised since at least 2018 on a long-vacant property. The plan hasn’t always been well loved.

Hussen announced the loan with a who’s-who of politicians, including Councillor Nunziata and John Tory.

There’s always time for politics for Hussen

Ahmed Hussen, our MP and Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, said that Service Canada is stopping in-person service “so that we can redeploy our focus to online and telephone services to better serve Canadians.”

That is not what the Globe and Mail says. The service centres are closed because “employees en masse refused to work”.

The Globe says

The government bent to pressure Thursday evening from the Canadian Employment and Immigration Union….The centres were crowded and efforts to control the traffic resulted in long lines outside and sometimes irate visitors, she said. In recent days, so many missed work that 187 centres closed on Thursday – almost 60 per cent of the network.

This is politics, but it isn’t just politics. The CDC says that in an emergency, government should “Be First, Be Right, Be Credible”.

Hussen just burned a little bit of credibility in a time when the needs it most.

 

 

Hussen announces housing–but not in YSW

Our MP, Ahmed Hussen, has been very busy in his new role as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Last week, he announced “700 new homes in 5 communities across Canada, 34 units renovated, [and] over $200 million invested.”

He may be understating things. Developments have been announced in at least six communities: PEI, Toronto, Stratford, Moncton, Saskatoon, and Bedford, Nova Scotia. Announcements for Brampton and Thornhill were also planned.

No affordable housing plans have been announced in Weston, but MP Adam Vaughan did claim that it was in our riding. It’s actually in Emery Village. (He also tagged the wrong Ahmed Hussen.)

 

Report on Mount Dennis Eco Group meeting.

Megan DeLaire at Toronto.com has written a report on the recent meeting of the Mount Dennis Eco-Neighbourhood group. Mount Dennis through their community association has spearheaded a drive to make Weston’s southern neighbour into a net-zero community.

What is a net-zero community? The term isn’t clearly defined but in general, it’s a place where total carbon emissions are reduced to zero through conservation, by changing energy sources and by generating a surplus of non-carbon based energy that is used to offset carbon emissions. It’s a laudable goal and a determined group at MDCA has been pushing it for several years with considerable success. The gas-powered generating station that was to supply the Eglinton Crosstown with emergency power was nixed in favour of a large battery. This was thanks to concerns expressed by the MDCA and others that not only would the generator pollute the neighbourhood, it would also be used during times of peak demand, adding to local pollution levels..

It’s refreshing that all three local politicians seem to be behind this endeavour, MP Ahmed Hussein sent greetings by video message, MPP Faisal Hassan is strongly supportive and local councillor Frances Nunziata spoke to the audience. Nunziata seems open to supporting net zero in new buildings which is a good thing. This will be more expensive up front but the cost savings and lower pollution levels will last for the lifetime of a building. Check out this building in London Ontario.

From CBC.ca.

Read Megan’s report here.

Hussen shuffled into new position

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed his cabinet yesterday, and Ahmed Hussen, our MP, was moved to the Department of Families, Children, and Social Development.

The move may come as a relief to Hussen, whose position as Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship was very contentious. A loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement has allowed 23,00 people to enter Canada and claim refugee status, placing his department under scrutiny and contributing to the Liberal’s loss of seats in Quebec.

He had a strained relationship with his provincial and Conservative counterparts before the PM took him off the refugee task force and gave the responsibilities to Bill Blair.

From Wikipedia

Local Tory candidate reflects.

Conservative candidate Jasveen Rattan on the campaign trail. From Instagram.

York South-Weston is a tough nut to crack for Tory politicians. The riding, both federally and provincially, has consistently elected Liberals with the occasional NDP exception. MP Mike Sullivan, MPP Paul Ferreira and current MPP Faisal Hassan are the three exceptions.

Last year, Conservative candidate Mark DeMontis came within a whisker of winning in 2018’s Big Blue Wave courtesy of Doug Ford and Kathleen Wynne. Local man DeMontis, with a compelling back-story, courted the area politically and there was speculation that had he stuck around for another campaign (namely the recent federal one), he might have been able to pull off a victory. In June, DeMontis announced he had moved on to focus on his role with the Ontario Government thus making way for candidate Jasveen Rattan.

As an unknown parachute candidate from Mississauga and without a Big Blue Wave to propel her, she faced an uphill task eventually finishing a distant second to incumbent Liberal Ahmed Hussen. In the article, Rattan frames her result as the most successful for a federal Tory in over 40 years but in reality, her vote total and share of the popular vote were almost identical to those of 2015 Tory candidate James Robinson.

TVO’s Steve Paikin has written an article dealing with the Tories’ recent loss and focusses on Ms Rattan and York South Weston. In the article, Ms Rattan states that the people of York South Weston need help. I wonder if she will be providing that help between elections (along the lines of Chiara Padovani and Yafet Tewelde), or whether we can look forward to yet another new Tory face to contest the next election.

Read Steve Paikin’s article here.