Clean Train rally tomorrow

The indomitable Clean Train Coalition is having another rally tomorrow morning outside Metrolinx’s headquarters. The rally is to give one more push for electric trains on the airport link.

Metrolinx is having a board meeting to consider many things; the cryptic item “Procurement” is on the agenda.  Metrolinx has said that they will buy diesel trains soon, then convert them to electric trains 8 to 10 years from now.

The coalition is having none of it, and they are threatening to unseat the Liberals along the track—Laura Albanese among them.

Talking about trees

The Weston Historical Society is inviting all Westonians to a discussion of our natural heritage on Wednesday night, at the Westminster United Church on William St.

Edith George will be discussing  the beautiful trees in Weston and how we can preserve them. The presentation is free, and refreshments will be served.

Heritage Trees

With Guest Speaker

Edith George

Wednesday 2nd February 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

at Westminster United Church Hall, 69 William Street, Weston

Politicians, What Have You Done For Weston Lately?

Weston has had a raw deal in the past few decades. Our ‘village’ has lost nearly all of its industry, historic properties have been demolished to make way for unattractive developments, and the area has become depressed. The once attractive main street has been infiltrated by payday loan/cheque cashing companies, dollar stores, and other detritus of hard times.

Weston gets no respect. The airport link as originally proposed was never intended to stop in Weston. When the TTC wants to save money, Weston services are cut. When Metrolinx needed to expropriate properties as part of the airport link, the way they dealt with homeowners was reprehensible and high handed. Drug related gangs of criminals seem to operate freely without much fear of capture. There is apprehension on the part of many people about being a victim of crime. While there are many beautiful homes in Weston, there is a large amount of ugly low-income housing both public and private.

Throughout all of this process, federal, provincial and municipal politicians have collected their generous salaries and tut-tutted about the sad state of affairs: “What a shame and we’re doing all we can; by the way, don’t forget to re-elect me as I’m really concerned about unemployment—mine.”

With one election under our belts and two more on the way, perhaps it’s time that the citizens of Weston asked our politicians: what have you done for Weston lately? Sitting on committees and attending conferences in glamorous places doesn’t count. What really counts are results bringing prosperity and hope back to Weston and eliminating the conditions that encourage crime, namely unemployment and lack of opportunity.

Here are some of the things that Weston could benefit from:

  • Improved education and workforce training
  • Decent housing
  • Help for struggling retailers and small businesses
  • Doing something about empty commercial properties
  • Police on the ground, not in cars
  • Politicians actively working on our behalf.
  • Encouragement and support for local initiatives such as the Farmers’ Market
  • Community facilities such as an indoor pool
  • Better communication by politicians about what they are doing for the community

There is no desire to malign individual politicians by lumping them together as a group. Perhaps everyone is doing the best they can. It would certainly be appreciated if our individual representatives would take the time to outline plans for Weston to their employers, the people.

You may wish to contact them individually, here are their contact details:

Federal MP Alan Tonks,
2534 Keele St
Toronto ON  M6L 2N8
Phone: (416) 656-2526
Fax: (416) 656-9908
Email: [email protected]

Provincial MPP Laura Albanese
Unit 102
2301 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M6M 3Z9
Tel: (416) 243-7984
Fax: (416) 243-0327
Email: [email protected]

Councillor Frances Nunziata
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West, Suite C49
Toronto, ON  M5H 2N2
Phone: (416) 392-4091
Fax: (416) 392-4118
Email: [email protected]

Report from the John St bridge committee

Mark Dos Reis sends the following note along from the John St bridge committee, which is meeting with Metrolinx to help design the pedestrian bridge over the tracks.

John St Pedestrian Bridge Committee Update

As a member of the Community Advisory Committee, we’ve been asked to share the Committee’s work with the Weston community.  The Committee will be meeting on a monthly basis for the rest of this year and have specific milestones throughout the year in relation to the design and final recommendation of the John St. Bridge.

The first meeting took place on Thursday January 20.  The Committee consists of various members of the Weston Community as well as our elected representatives from the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government.  Laura Alabanese and Alan Tonks were in attendance for this meeting, as well as a representative from Frances Nunziatta’s office (she was unable to attend this meeting due to the City’s budget planning meetings, but will be there for the rest of the meetings).  In total there were about 25-30 residents and politicians in attendance representing the neighbourhood.

The mandate of the committee is as follows:

  1. Recommend the content for a design brief for the John St. Bridge
  2. Review of initial design concepts for the bridge (10 in total)
  3. Shortlist the concepts to three which will be shared with the community
  4. Review the results of the community vote
  5. Recommend one design project for Metrolix to implement

Important milestones in 2011 include the finalizing of the design brief in April, the election of the 3 design concepts in July, and the final decision recommendation in October/November.  Its important to note that this committee will only be delivering a recommendation and the final decision on the design of the bridge will ultimately be made by GO and Metrolinx.

Weston Memorial needs your help

The Weston Memorial Annual Fun Fair needs volunteers and donations. The fair will be on June 2, and the planning committees are looking for people to help out both in advance and on the day of the fair.

The school needs people to help with

  • Ideas
  • Raffle Donations
  • Lootbag donations
  • The bake sale
  • Setting up, running events, and tidying up

Last year’s event raised about $5000 for new school computers, and it was a total blast. There were sack races, snacks, bouncy castles, music and more.

If you or your company want to contribute, call Cristine Ramos at (416) 614-7177.

Governor General Comes To Weston

Friday January 14.

This afternoon, Canada’s Governor General, David Johnston flew in from Ottawa to lend support to the Habitat for Humanity project at 1500 Weston Road. The complex of 20 energy efficient townhouses will provide safe, decent and affordable homes for 96 people currently living in sub-standard housing in Toronto.

Governor General David Johnston chats to a Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

The Governor General’s support came in the form of adding his presence to the Habitat For Humanity project thus providing moral support but he is no slouch when it comes to hammering a nail and laying down flooring. He worked on the second floor of a home that will be completed this spring.

His Excellency nails down a floor to the delight of assorted photographers.

The townhome complex is being built almost entirely by volunteers from the community as well as the eventual homeowners.

Governor General David Johnston talking with volunteers.

After putting in his work shift, his excellency moved to a marquee where he chatted informally with volunteers and community partners.  Later, he spoke about the contribution that Habitat For Humanity has made in many countries around the world and the dedication of volunteers who lend their muscle and expertise. Habitat For Humanity is an international non-profit organization dedicated to providing safe and decent housing at a reasonable cost.

His Excellency speaks to volunteers and Habitat staff.

The first residents will be moving in on Saturday and others will be moving in as the units are completed. A resident who will be among  the first to move in described her excitement and feeling of accomplishment and thankfulness at being able to move into a home of her own. The head of Habitat in Canada, Stewart Hardacre said that in his experience children raised in Habitat homes consistently graduate from university.