Shakespeare in Action needs you!

Shakespeare in Action, Weston’s newest arts group, is looking for volunteers. They’re looking for a few ‘Front of house’ volunteers to help with some student matinée performances—about which more anon!
The volunteers are needed from “April 29-May 18th – daily Mondays through Fridays, as well as Saturday May 4th and Saturday May 18th” starting at 9:15 am, for a couple of hours. The hours are eligible for high-school volunteer credit.
Photo from SIA

School still sitting empty

The dispute between St John the Evangelist and Metrolinx has reached City News.

City says the school is empty because Metrolinx and the TCDSB can’t agree on—of all things—construction of the playground.

The school was supposed to be finished by September, 2018. If an agreement is not signed by tomorrow, the school’s opening may be delayed again.

St John students have been bussed out of town for the past 8 years.

 

 

Ford drives the gravy train

Doug Ford’s government has announced plans to mess with transit in Toronto. Again.

This time, instead of as well as messing up the Scarborough subway, they’re going to mess up the Eglinton West LRT in Mount Dennis.

In a letter to the city, the province said they would like to bury the Eglinton West Extension, which will go from Mount Dennis to the airport. They also say that this had never been considered before.

This, of course, is nonsense. It’s astonishing nonsense. It’s mental. It boggles my mind to think that:

  1. The province thinks they have a great idea—bury the trains—that nobody has thought of before.
  2. They couldn’t be bothered to google to see that it’s a terrible idea—and had already been considered.

In a subsequent letter, the province said so. (They did not explain, however, how a part-time blogger knew more about transit planning than the Ministry of Transportation.)

Where this leaves us with respect to transit planning is anyone’s guess. But the Globe has a few choice things to say about the letters:

They reveal a provincial blueprint that will result in less new transit, built more slowly and more expensively.

What’s more, they suggest a provincial scheme so ill-considered it could have been developed between courses of a boozy lunch, and so thin it could fit on the back of a cocktail napkin.

What does the province want? Basically, to rip up years of Toronto Transit Commission planning and restart at zero.

 

Open for business

Premier Doug Ford has returned from Florida with some new inspiration provided by Canada’s ‘11th province’. Doug seems to take his cultural lead from either Chicago where Deco Labels has a branch plant, or his Florida compound (Mar a Fordo?). According to rumours, the premier wants to truly make his mark on Ontario by re-jigging our licence plate motto. Some of us oldies can remember when it was ‘KEEP IT BEAUTIFUL’ and then the current, ‘YOURS TO DISCOVER’. Hell, I can even remember when we had to change the damned plates every year – everybody at the same time, front and back – in the middle of winter! Imagine the line-up at the liquor store on Christmas Eve – changing plates was similar, except people had to line-up outside and there was no booze at the end.

The trial balloon floated on Friday indicates that Mr. Ford is keen to change the slogan to a more capitalist, ‘OPEN FOR BUSINESS’. He also wants to get rid of that pesky front licence plate (just like Florida). One immediate benefit will be to give parking officers a little more in the way of exercise.

Perhaps readers can help Mr Ford come up with a better and more creative slogan for our car’s er, plate. Kindly place your suggestions in the comments section here, or on Facebook. Remember to keep it beautiful clean.

Foodshare loses 20 student positions; funding for school summer programs in question

The PC government has eliminated a program that gave 20 vulnerable students work and free-time programming at FoodShare Toronto. Summer jobs at Toronto schools are also on hold because the province cut $25 million from education programming.

Foodshare is located just outside of Mount Dennis. It “ prioritizes students who are behind in credits, newcomers, students from low-income families, racialized students and students with learning disabilities”, according to Faisal Hassan, who criticized the decision to cut funding at Queen’s Park this week. The students are “employed, supported and mentored”. FoodShare  provides “them with the opportunity to earn money, job skills and up to two co-op credits.”

Hassan asked the Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, why the government is “turning its back on organizations like FoodShare, which arm students with the skills to allow them to succeed in today’s workplace”.

Thompson repeatedly dodged the question. Instead of answering with details about FoodShare or the Focus on Youth program, she spoke rather nonsensically about McDonald’s accepting applications over Snapchat—apparently not noticing the irony of putting screens and grease over Foodshare’s focus on healthy fruits and veg.

UrbanArts news

Today is the last day to visit Weston Road Flows, the art and audio installation at UrbanArts’ 5 Bartonville location.

Juvon Taylor

In other news, UrbanArts will soon be reopening in Weston; they picked up the keys this week to their Weston Common Cultural Hub location.

 

 

Upcoming events

Speaking of cleanups, tomorrow, the Mount Dennis Community Association and supercoffee will be hosting the first of several community beautification event at Jane and Pinehill. If you’re interested, you can meet the group at 10 am at Bartonville and Jane. Bags, gloves, volunteer hours, and coffee coupons will be provided!

The MDCA’s cleanups will continue every Saturday in April.

On April 13, the city will host our local community environment day. You can drop off your nasties and pick up compost and containers at Eglinton Flats.