York Memo students moving to Scarlett Heights

After the devastating fire(s) at York Memorial C.I., students have been accommodated in empty space at nearby George Harvey C.I. Despite the convenience of the temporary accommodation being so close, Memo students apparently weren’t happy sharing and so beginning in September, they will be moving to the former Scarlett Heights Academy at 15 Trehorne Drive in Etobicoke. This will be an added commute for the thousand or so staff and students but the school was empty and apart from repairs for some water damage, should be ready in September.

The routes from York Memo to Scarlett Heights. From Google Maps. Click to enlarge.

Walking that distance takes over an hour and cycling is too dangerous given our lack of cycle lanes. What this will do to Weston’s traffic and transit remains to be seen but fast food outlets in the Royal York Plaza will no doubt be pleased.

Sullivan documentary shines light on poverty.

Last night, former NDP MP Mike Sullivan presented a 45 minute documentary, created as part of his masters degree work at York University. The documentary, entitled, ‘Being poor makes you poorer’, focussed on the plight of the poor, with appearances by ACORN Canada activists, Ebony Menzies and Jeffrey Stern who are on the Ontario Disability Support Program. Also in the documentary were Toronto Danforth NDP MPP Peter Tabuns and poverty activist John Clarke.

Yafet Tewelde, York South-Weston’s federal NDP candidate in the upcoming election attended and took part in the question and answer sessions.

Mike Sullivan, Yafet Tewelde, Ebony Menzies and Jeffrey Stern take questions from the audience.

Sullivan said his focus was originally going to be the Carbon Tax and its effect on the poor but then it expanded to cover other areas of concern such as the banking industry, payday loans, food banks, car insurance and the rising cost of living.

The event was organized by Riley Peterson who is Yafet Tewelde’s campaign manager.

Options For Homes update.


Options For Homes is a non-profit condo developer with a building called ‘The Humber‘ under construction at 10 Wilby Crescent in Weston. To say that they are bullish on Weston is a bit of an understatement but they have a history of choosing and building in ‘up and coming’ neighbourhoods, calling themselves urban pioneers. Here is their take on the Weston neighbourhood.

Read this April 2019 article about why OFH thinks we are in that category. They also have a YouTube channel dedicated to Weston.

The building is expected to open in late 2021. According to OFH, over 120 people have purchased an apartment in the Wilby condo and the building is 50% sold. Options says it’s a good time to buy.

Read more here.

 

Weston school budgets face cuts

Weston’s schools are facing budget cuts under the new PC government. The French immersion and the IB program will both be trimmed if the budget goes ahead. The late-start French program also faces complete cancellation.

French immersion students in grades 4 through 6 who catch buses to Valleyfield in Etobicoke will no longer be able to. The draft budget says “the cost of delivering French Immersion (FI) and Extended French (EF) in its current form is so high, that a complete reduction in transportation services is needed to operate the programs with budget.”

The TDSB also says that they will be reevaluating the French programs. Our area is unusual, because we have late-start French immersion, and students start in grade 4 rather than in senior Kindergarten. The TDSB says that they will be looking at “existing entry points” to “provide a better experience for all students”.

Weston CI offers an International Baccalaureate Program, which gives advanced standing at university to high-achieving students. That program will continue to be offered, but “associated per-student fees will no longer be covered by the TDSB. [A] sliding scale will be created to support IB Diploma students who would benefit from financial support.”

In Peel Region, the IB fees are  $250 for grades 9 and 10 and $2700 for grades 11 and 12.

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.