Faisal Hassan, our usually-quiet MPP, had a busy week. He tabled a motion that aims to create 27,000 paid internships for young Ontarians—and, surprisingly, the conservatives said they’d support it.
The goal is to help people get experience and move into paid employment:
The issue is particularly pressing in my riding of York South–Weston, where high rates of youth unemployment create a skills gap, resulting in epidemic rates of adult unemployment and underemployment.¹
The internships will be for students, but also for recent graduates and the unemployed—Hassan said the placements would be “awarded based on need and merit, not merely a further privilege afforded only to those who have already led privileged lives.”
Five other MPPs, including three Progressive Conservatives, spoke to support the motion.
Hassan also presented a petition to support parents of children with autism, and asked the PCs why they are “abandoning” and “making life harder for” children with autism.
Hassan was responding to the recent changes in autism programming announced by the PC government. The changes will increase funding but spread it out over more children, to reduce waitlists. Hassan hosted a meeting two weeks ago on the subject.
¹ I’ve heard this, and variations on this, for years (for instance, that we have the second-poorest postal code in Ontario. Does anybody have any actual data to prove this?
Faisal Hassan, our MPP, will be hosting a community meeting on the cuts to autism services. The meeting will be this Saturday, at 2 pm, at the Jane Street Hub.
The Progressive Conservative government is reimagining the province’s autism plan, and replacing money given to health agencies with money given to parents. The goal is to reduce waiting lists, but a side-effect will be reduced funding for those already receiving services.
Chiara Padovani will be hosting an office launch today at 1289 Weston Road at 1 pm (Sorry for the late notice; it’s been a busy week and this slipped by me).
MPP Faisal Hassan will be a guest speaker.
Hassan’s support for Padovani caused a stir this week, when Frances Nunziata accused Hassan of impropriety at a meeting to discuss gun violence.
Sadly, our recently elected MPP has used his time addressing those in attendance to promote his preferred candidate in the upcoming elections, while she hands out campaign literature to those in attendance. #ysw#topoli
On Twitter, Nunziata said on that “There is a time and a place for campaigning…a meeting to discuss serious issues facing the community, with a father who lost his son last week to violence and mothers fearing for the safety of their sons in attendance is not one.”
In the past, Nunziata has campaigned with Laura Albanese, our former MPP.
Jennifer Keesmat, mayoral candidate and Toronto’s former city planner, visited Weston this weekend, and hung out with our NDP MPP Faisal Hassan. She also met Chiara Padovani, who hopes to become our city councillor.
Is this the start of an allegiance? I’m tempted to enquire, but it’s one of those questions I don’t really want an answer to.
Your correspondent has heretofore not been a Keesmat supporter, because he has a long memory and will not forgive her for shoehorning a 29-storey tower into 22 John St, and (incorrectly) papering the decision with the tall building guidelines.
But this is an enchanting possibility: a sharp left turn, a unified front, and a clean break. I’m not yet in favour, but I could be.
What a fun way to kick off the long weekend in Toronto at the Weston Farmers’ Market! Had a great time talking with residents and local farmers this morning – an excellent event for the Weston community. @WestonBIA#Keesmaat4Mayorpic.twitter.com/qAbbanZAcL
Faisal Hassan, our newly-elected MPP, has had a busy couple of weeks in the House. He argued against legislating York faculty back to work, and he brought up the proposed meat-packing plant in Rockclife: “Instead of a long-awaited park being constructed in the community, the lot was sold through a closed-door bidding process. Now there will be no chance to modernize the area. That means no stores, no small businesses or even a park.”
To the new PC government’s credit, they listened to his concerns. I must say, I am very surprised.
Hon. Jim Wilson: To the honourable member: Certainly we’d be very interested in learning more details about this case….
I will certainly work with you and get back to you and answer your questions fully to the satisfaction hopefully of yourselves and your constituents. Please send us more information.
Hassan was also nominated to a rather dry-sounding role on the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly, which oversees bills, “agendas, Hansard transcripts and meeting notices.”
We’re officially in the summer doldrums – at least I am. Adam’s still incredibly productive.
In spite of having a new premier with his early announcements and the delicious prospect of October’s civic election, my side of Weston Web’s virtual office is eerily quiet with ceiling fans gently moving stale air over the desks, typewriters and silent telephones.
Before the civic election campaigns begin in earnest, this might be a good time to take a breath and reflect on some of the almost 3000 articles that have appeared on Weston Web since Adam began publishing in 2010. Incidentally, every article written on Weston Web is still available and can be searched by topic or date.
WestonWeb uses WordPress which keeps statistics on the number of times each article is viewed. Interestingly, some articles have a life of their own and are constantly being read – even years after publication. Many of these most popular articles were written by student writers who are paid a small stipend for their efforts.
Grab a beverage and get comfortable; here’s a list with links to the 20 most popular Weston Web articles of all time – in reverse order. You’ll have to supply your own roll of the drums.
19. Weston Wins. February 2016. This is about former Premier Wynne’s (those were the days, remember?) decision to lower fares on the UP Express that resulted in dramatically increased ridership.
18. Drake general store pop up hits Mount Dennis. December 2016. Whenever you have an article with the words ‘Drake’ and ‘Weston’ in it, there’s bound to be lots of interest. Sadly for Drake fans, this was a Drake Hotel pop up.
16. 5 buildings to be ashamed of in Weston. May 2010. As a mark of Weston’s transformation over the past eight years, all of these buildings have disappeared entirely except for the Plank House which continues to sit empty and unloved.
15. TV show filming in Weston. March 2011. An interesting article on Weston’s film operations at the time. Scroll down to view an informative comment from Weston Historical Society’s Martin Proctor.
4. P&M: Ready for the Move. January 2015. The story of P&M Restaurant in the weeks before moving to its spanking new location in May 2015.
3. Irving Tissue expanding. July 2012. Irving Tissue is the last of the big employers on Weston Road and guest writer Laurie Mace covered the proposed expansion of the plant.
2. Scarlett Heights Academy to close. October 2017. There has been intense interest around the closing of this school which is not strictly in Weston but obviously of interest to residents locally.
1. Ahmed Hussen wins YSW Liberal nomination. December 2014. The dramatic federal Liberal Party nomination of Ahmed Hussen astonished pundits who expected former councillor Bill Saundercook to win. This story has been accessed more than 2000 times.
Just a couple of observations: the restaurants reviewed in our top 20 are still in operation. If you want them to stick around, keep patronizing them. It’s easy to forget that Weston has undergone some quite remarkable changes in the past eight years with more still in the pipeline. With large numbers of people about to make Weston their new home, the next few years will be interesting.