Daily Archives: August 14, 2009

Yes to worker pay cut, no council cut

Non-union employees get pay freeze, councillors keep their own wage hike
Mayor Miller and some councillors give back their pay increase to city
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally published April 27/09 for Town Crier.)

Members of the city’s Executive Committee froze inflationary pay hikes for non-union employees but voted not to do the same for themselves.
By rejecting a motion put forward by councillors Case Ootes and Karen Stintz to freeze all city politicians salaries for 2009, the issue won’t go on to city council for a vote. 
“We asked for a salary freeze and Executive Committee did not take that position,” said Stintz after committee’s vote on April 7. “The issue is dead.” 
Nonetheless, council members can still voluntarily donate their 2.42-percent cost of living increase to the city. 
As of April 8, Mayor David Miller and 16 councillors have agreed to do just that, said Celine Chiovitti, acting director of pensions, payroll and employee benefits at city hall. Continue reading


Poor in Toronto getting poorer still

United Way report tracks where poorest live and what’s needed to help
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally published May 13/04 for Town Crier.)

Regent Park is home to two of the very poorest of Toronto’s 522 neighbourhoods. 
This may not be a surprise, but what is disheartening is a higher percentage of the community is poor compared to 10 and 20 years ago and of those, who are poor, their level of poverty is more severe. 
Poverty levels are defined, in this case, using Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-offs (LICO). A two-parent family with two kids living on a combined income of $36,247 or less is considered poor. 
In the United Way’s ‘Poverty by Postal Code’ report released on April 5, it defines four levels of poverty from lower, moderate, high (2x national 1981 average) and very high (more than 3x the national average). It compared 1981, 1991 and 2001 levels of poverty. 
In one of Regent Park’s communities, 72.8 per cent of families are living in very high poverty.
But unfortunately, this is not an anomaly. Continue reading

Toronto social housing in disrepair

Social housing gets millions for repairs

WORKERS tear out the tiles from a shower at 2 Brahmns Ave.

TCH gets $36 mil for upgrades
Money for new kitchens and baths
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally published July 23.08 for Town Crier.)

She waited 30 months to move into her social housing apartment, including a month-long stay in a shelter fleeing an abusive relationship.
But when the 22-year-old North York resident and her toddler got their new apartment in May she discovered the toilet flooded her bathroom floor and leaked into the unit below. 
It was fixed, but the problem returned. 
Soon the single mother, who asked not to be identified, won’t have to worry about her downstairs neighbours every time she flushes. 
Thanks to $36.4 million in provincial money to tackle a backlog of repairs to social housing in Toronto, she’ll be getting a new bathroom. Continue reading