Conservatives catch Wynned of ARL waste

The Conservative critic of the Pan Am Games, Rod Jackson, put out a press release yesterday tearing into the mismanagement of the UP Express.

Your humble correspondent rarely includes press releases in their entirety, but this is a doozy:

The Union-Pearson Air-Rail Link was designed to be a legacy project which would make travel to Pearson airport cheaper and easier. Instead, its mismanagement by the provincial Liberal government will leave it standing as a legacy to McGuinty-Wynne waste.

“The ARL has been rushed by this government and it has cost Ontarians hundreds of millions in wasted dollars,” said MPP Rod Jackson. “Metrolinx officials have even confirmed that the ARL could have been electrified in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games. Instead, they’re spending taxpayer’s money twice.”

Estimates suggest that converting rail lines from diesel to electric would take around three years to complete, provided an environmental assessment was in place. Metrolinx currently plans to electrify the ARL by 2017, starting the electrification process in 2015 after the Pan Am Games.

“The Games were awarded in 2009. If electrifying the rail line was a 3-year process, this Liberal government could have easily electrified the line in time for the Pan Am Games, saving themselves from having to spend money on diesel in the first place.”

“This McGuinty-Wynne government clearly stands for two things: red tape and waste. The ARL is a perfect representation of that Liberal ethos.”

“First, red tape turned a 3-year retrofit into an 8-year retrofit. Second, that red tape led directly to the waste of up to $456-million being needlessly spent on the ARL prior to electrification costs in millions.”

“Premier Wynne has demonstrated that she will continue in the footsteps of her predecessor Dalton McGuinty by showing a lack of responsibility in handling the public purse,” concluded Jackson.


Sexual assault at Jane and Church

Police are looking for a suspect after a woman was sexually assaulted at around 3:30 am on Sunday.

Police say that the 22-year-old woman was approached from behind, knocked to the ground, and then assaulted. She was not injured.

The suspect fled south on Jane. Police are looking for a “Male, white, 5’8” to 5’10”, 169 lbs to 189 lbs, black collar length hair.”

Your chance to weigh in on culture in Weston

The City of Toronto is surveying residents about the cultural events and spaces in their communities (hint: there are few in Weston).

This kind of survey drives me up the wall:

  1. If it’s taken seriously, the rich get more cultural money. After all, the rich work in offices and have computers at their desks all day. The rich have newspapers and groups to direct people to the English-only survey.
  2. If these surveys are not taken seriously, they give the appearance of accountability where none exists.

So, go Westonians. Tell the city what you think about the arts, culture, and historical spaces in our fair village.

1a. Honest, to Christ. Who asks these questions? Here: “Do you feel that arts, culture and heritage offerings are physically, financially and geographically accessible to you?  Arts, culture and heritage offerings are defined as films, live music, theatre, dance, literary events, art galleries/displays, museums or heritage displays.”

Tell me now, is that an easy-to-answer question for someone with English as a second language? Could the navel-gazing ‘community facilitator’ behind this not have said: “Do you go to movies, concerts, or other performances? Do you go to museums?”

So help me god, I’ll bet 10:1 this is some PhD candidate doing “action research”. Any takers?

This is the sort of crap that ensures that the Wychwood Barns and the Evergreen Brickworks go to the richy-rich hoods, while we get, what? A train station? I could murder someone.


Man, I would have killed for a chance at this when I was a kid: Weston Wheels, the awesome bike-repair shop run by the Learning Enrichment Foundation, is offering training and a free bike to six young people from the community.

Do you think I could pass as 19 if I used my old lady’s Q10 and Retinol? She spends enough on it that it should work wonders.



“Massive” flooding at Weston Memorial

There’s been a “massive” flood and a broken water main at Weston Memorial. The students have been taken to Weston CI for the day, and activities have been cancelled.Perhaps, like all the fire alarms in exam week, it’s just a coincidence, but the big EQAO test grade threes was supposed to be today. It will be rescheduled.


Carrying Place plaque unveiled.

Alongside the busy traffic on Weston Road, a ceremony was held by the Weston Historical Society (WHS) Saturday to dedicate a plaque commemorating the European discovery of the Carrying Place Trail. The plaque, a brainchild of WHS, was partly funded by a grant of $1000 from Metrolinx.

The trail was a route that followed the eastern banks of the Humber River used by Aboriginal people between Toronto and Lake Simcoe. The plaque, on the corner of Weston Road and Little Avenue is right on the original trail and commemorates Weston’s place on the trail as well as the countless generations of Aboriginal people who lived here before being displaced by European settlement. Elder Garry Sault of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations along with Carolyn King, co-chair of the New Credit First Nations Cultural Committee led a traditional Aboriginal blessing with smudging and drumming and later spoke about the history of the natives who lived in the area.

Elder Garry Sault of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations leads a traditional Aboriginal blessing with smudging and drumming.
Elder Garry Sault of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations.

Mary Louise Ashborne spoke of the vast amounts of wildlife that populated the area until made extinct (e.g. passenger pigeon) or decimated by hunting or pollution (e.g. Atlantic salmon). Several Weston VIPs were in attendance – almost outnumbering the public who chose to attend.

L to R, facing camera, Councillor Frances Nunziata, BIA Chair Masum Hossain, Suri Weinberg-Linsky, Weston Historical Society President, Mary Louise Ashborne, MPP Laura Albanese, MP Mike Sullivan.
L to R, Humber River Guardian Madeleine McDowell, Cherri Hurst (WHS), Carolyn King, Elder Garry Sault.

Mike Sullivan spoke about his private-members bill to restore protection to the Humber, designated a Heritage River in 1999. He is concerned that oil pipelines that cross the Humber may more easily spill their contents into the river thanks to recent federal legislation that loosened environmental protection for the river.

The unveiling was followed by a Jane’s Walk hosted by the WHS, south along the Humber pointing out places of historical interest along the way.