Rob Ford will likely cut funding to Weston

On Thursday night, Rob Ford, the mayoral front-runner, said that he “hasn’t seen the benefits” of money sent to Toronto’s 13 priority neighbourhoods. Weston–Mt. Dennis is one of those neighbourhoods.

In a debate with the other mayoral candidates, Ford said “I haven’t seen the benefits from these initiatives. As you know, I coach football in a priority neighbourhood and I haven’t seen the benefits. I wouldn’t commit to anything… If we aren’t seeing results…. I can’t sit here and say I’m going to keep throwing money away at an issue that’s not getting results.”  According to The Star, he said “that as he has not yet seen any proof the initiative is working, he has trouble committing millions of city dollars to the program.”

Outgoing mayor David Miller says that scrapping the investments would be a “tragedy”. He says “the mayoral candidates should be competing to say how much more money they’ll put in. That’s how important it is”. He watched the debate with “incredible frustration and distress because what I see is candidates who want to tear this city down”.

The priority neighbourhood plan was started in 2005, and Weston–Mt Dennis was added to the list in 2006. The idea is to strengthen the most vulnerable neighbourhoods in Toronto by improving their community groups and social infrastructure , things like parks and play areas. The Jane St Hub, which will open next week, came to Weston as part of the initiative.

Joe Pantolone said “‘I would extend it, and I would expand it. The 13 neighbourhoods project has been very successful.”

George Smitherman extolled the community health centres he helped start as Health Minister and criticized the instability of funding to the neighbourhoods. He said, though, that funding shouldn’t be restricted to the 13 neighbourhoods:  “I support priority neighbourhoods…. But I’m interested in priority people. I think you have to sustain those funds for priority neighbourhoods. But don’t stop there… It’s not good enough to tell those young people that are struggling to find community space [in other areas] that because they’re not on the list, they don’t matter”.

Rocco Rossi criticized Ford to loud applause and said “the programs are working and need to be expanded.”

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

2 thoughts on “Rob Ford will likely cut funding to Weston”

  1. Is there proof that the money is working? Mr. Ford may be right. I don’t think there is much proof.

    Even though the statistics show that crime is down in the area (thanks for the stats Adam), it seems like they are up. There have been murders/shootings in the area lately – I certainly don’t feel as safe as I once did. I know that it is important to have services and programs for our at-risk youth, but maybe what we need is to clean up the area and take it back. Unfortunately, the youth who take part in the programs offered by local agencies are not usually the ones who are/would be involved in crime. The city should get tough on crime. I realize that the extra funding does not only go to the youth, but we really need to do something.

    Maybe Rob Ford would put the money to better use??

  2. Why don’t you and Rob Ford go actually do some research and stop reading the Sun and watching Fox news. Jesus. Look at every major American city for proof that “Getting tough on crime” never, ever works – unless you think our money would be better invested in the full to capacity jails it creates.
    Trying to push people out that are victims of the economic situation our society positions people in, is pretty selfish.

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