Daily Archives: August 19, 2009

City funds drug prevention programs

Toronto council cash for 42 community programs
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written Aug. 14 for Town Crier.)

It’s about steering Riverdale youth and women away from drug abuse.
Programs offered by two area community centres will share in $830,000 approved by the city on Aug. 5 for 42 projects aimed at drug-abuse prevention.
The South Riverdale Community Health Centre received almost $28,000 for its 52-week Counterfit Women’s Harm Reduction Project. The program will employ five people to do outreach, develop workshops and consult with various groups like police and Children’s Aid Services.
The Ralph Thornton Centre got nearly $18,000 for a 25-week program called A Photo Voice Project for Youth, which involves teens mentoring youngsters and building their leadership skills.
Winnie Lee, program director at the Ralph Thornton Centre on Queen St. East, says the project includes workshops on drug-abuse prevention.
“We aim to build up (participants’) self-confidence and problem-solving skills that are conducive to leading a drug-free life,” she says. Continue reading

501 Queen streetcar route split in two

The 501 Queen streetcar. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Pilot project aims to cut number of short-turns on city’s longest streetcar route
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written Aug. 15 for Town Crier)

The 501 Queen streetcar route will be split for a trial period from Oct. 19 to Nov. 20 in an attempt to reduce the number of short-turns that have been plaguing the line. 
The TTC wants to see if their experiment improves the line’s current service.
Streetcars originating at Neville Park going west will end the route at Shaw St. Meanwhile, streetcars coming from Humber or Long Branch heading east will wrap up at Parliament St. 
Rocket riders who want to continue their journey along Queen will need a transfer to another streetcar travelling in their desired direction.
Beaches-East York councillor Sandra Bussin said she is very pleased the TTC has agreed to the solution. “I’m convinced this is probably the only option that will work,” she said. “It’s the longest streetcar route in Toronto.” Continue reading

Daycare, garbage, EMS essential services?

Toronto councillor wants these city services deemed essential
The issue will be up for debate at power Exec Committee Sept 8
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written Aug. 7 for Town Crier.)

Enduring 39 days without trash pick-up, city-run daycare and full emergency medical service wasn’t anyone’s idea of a great way to start the summer.
While Torontonians don’t want to see another strike like it anytime soon St. Paul’s councillor Michael Walker wants to go a step further. 
He doesn’t want them to strike again … ever.
The midtown rep thinks its wrong and is advocating for essential services status for all these city programs. 
Walker brought forward three motions to city council Aug. 6 to ask that the province mandate daycare and children’s services, garbage collection and EMS as essential services, like police and fire, which would legally prohibit striking.
There was no debate on any of his recommendations, but rather these motions were referred off to the Executive Committee’s September 8 meeting.
Walker outlines his argument for each programs being declared essential. Continue reading