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: tonksa@parl.gc.ca

Provincial MPP Laura Albanese
Unit 102
2301 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M6M 3Z9
Tel: (416) 243-7984
Fax: (416) 243-0327
Email: lalbanese.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

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: councillor_nunziata@toronto.ca

4 thoughts on “Politicians, What Have You Done For Weston Lately?”

  1. Roy,

    another well written and thought out article. Reading the authors articles and readers comments, on this website, makes it clear to me that residents care and want to see change. I can see many Weston residents want to be engaged in the execution of change.

    Nazaar Shadir

  2. Thanks Nazaar, we have a dynamic and interesting community that needs some TLC as well as intelligent supportive and active politicians.

  3. Roy,

    An excellent article. Owners of empty commercial buildings are trying to do something but heritage groups get in the way. If a building is run down why shouldn’t the owner bring it down so that the property maybe sold and developed. I really think the once beautiful village of Weston is a prime example of what happens when you introduce low income or subsidized housing…..

  4. John, I think if we can intelligently hang on to our many heritage buildings, perhaps they’ll see us in good stead when the crappy housing is gone, and it will go eventually. The new Go and airport link station will boost interest in living in Weston as it is only a 17 minute journey to downtown, way faster than the subway and the airport trip will make Weston attractive to airport personnel.
    Developers will be falling over themselves to renovate existing structures and build sympathetically once the money returns.

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