Tag Archives: Toronto

City funding for Pride Toronto

Mayor says wait until parade’s over to vote on funding
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 18.)

Mayor Rob Ford said the city will wait to see if Queers Against Israeli Apartheid participates in the Pride parade before the city decides whether to fund it. Francis Crescia/Town Crier file photo.

Mayor Rob Ford is taking a wait and see attitude before deciding if Pride Toronto should receive city funding this year.
For Ford, the funding issue hangs on whether the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid participates in this year’s Pride festival.
If the organization doesn’t participate, then Ford said that Pride Toronto can still get a city grant of about $125,000.
“Last year council agreed if they don’t (participate), they (Pride) will get their money after the parade. That’s what we agreed on,” the mayor said at an April 15 media scrum. “If they (group) does march in the parade (Pride) won’t get their money.”
The city also provides in kind services for police security and clean-up worth around $250,000. The mayor did not know if those city services would be impacted if Queers Against Israeli Apartheid aka QuAIA participates in the parade.
QuAIA issued a statement April 15 announcing that it would not march in the parade, but would instead participate in activities outside the parade. It said now there will be no excuse not to fund Pride.
“Rob Ford wants to use us as an excuse to cut Pride funding, even though he has always opposed funding the parade, long before we showed up,” stated Elle Flanders with Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. “By holding our Pride events outside of the parade, we are forcing him to make a choice: fund Pride or have your real homophobic, right-wing agenda exposed.”

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Kippendavie Beach condos approved

City, residents and developer reach deal
Toronto council approves Kippendavie Ave project
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 14.)

These homes will be demolished to pave way for at least 60 condo units on Kippendavie Ave. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier file photo.

The city approved a settlement for the Beach development at 66-76 Kippendavie Avenue.
Developer Worsley Urban Partners first proposed the condo project in 2009 but due to council’s lack of a decision in a timely matter, the developer appealed directly to the Ontario Municipal Board.
So this new settlement was an 11th hour deal considering 1 board pre-hearing looming April 19.
The city, Kew Beach Neighbourhood Association, Toronto District School Board and the developer met with a city-funded mediator on April 6 and came away with a settlement, which was approved by council without debate on April 12.
Beach Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon said that all parties compromised to reach this agreement.
“I am happy everyone can get on with their lives and have worked really hard especially the community,” she said hours April 12 vote to approve the project. “But I am worried about the size and the (area basement) flooding.”

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Layton’s Toronto-Danforth seat looks safe

Will be a challenge for Grit challenger to oust NDPer Layton
Liberal candidate Andrew Lang makes 2nd attempt win seat
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 8.)

Jack Layton at any NDP rally in March at Toronto's Wychwood Barns. Tristan Carter/Town Crier file photo.

The Green Party’s Elizabeth May notwithstanding, it’s safe to say that federal party leaders easily win their seats in the House of Commons seat whether or not they’re present in their riding during an election campaign.
If that’s a given, then the Toronto-Danforth race is Jack Layton’s to lose. Not only is he party leader of the New Democrats, he’s an incumbent who’s represented the riding in some form or another since 1994. Still, Layton has challengers from all the major parties, including Liberal Andrew Lang, who ran unsuccessfully against Layton in 2008.
“The longer you are an incumbent the more people become comfortable with you,” says Nelson Wiseman, a politics professor at the University of Toronto. “The longer you are a party leader, the more it contributes to your credibility.”
Layton became party leader in 2003 and in 2004 he beat incumbent Toronto-Danforth Liberal MP Dennis Mills. Layton was re-elected in 2006 and 2008.
As expected, Layton has been criss-crossing the country since the election writ dropped on March 26.
“I am grateful for the understanding of my local constituents that I can’t campaign as often in Toronto-Danforth, but I make up for it between elections by being in my riding frequently for events,” Layton said from British Columbia on April 7.
Layton served on Toronto City Council and Metro Council from 1982 to 2003 before entering federal politics.  Continue reading

Ford cancels Finch rapid transit

Mayor Rob Ford opts for enhanced buses service
Cancels approved, funded Finch light rail transit
But promises FInch subway within a decade
Kris Scheuer and Agnes Ramos
(Written for Town Crier April 1.)

No LRT here: Finch transit riders line up for busy buses. Photo by Agnes Ramos/Town Crier.

It is past rush hour at Finch Station on a colder-than-usual April morning, but the corner where bus commuters wait for the 36 Finch West bus is still a hive of activity.
Lines form, and people wait.
The bus route that travels from Yonge all the way past Kipling in Toronto’s west end is the busiest bus route at the station, and frustration among riders is growing as the clock ticks on.
Robert Laws, 47, who has been a TTC rider for over four decades, says the bus route is deplorable.
“It’s the worst service I’ve seen in this city,” he said. “It takes me twice as long traveling the same distance than in any other part of the city.
“Obviously something needs to be done about this issue.”
It’s a familiar complaint among Finch West commuters, and one they worry isn’t going anytime soon, now that the city has effectively cancelled a once sought-after plan for light rail on Finch.

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Hubbard social housing fixed up

Toronto Community Housing renovated 42 Hubbard Blvd
While housing nearby for sale, this site gets $4 mil reno
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 7.)

Kew Beach resident Deborah Beaven will be moving back to renovated Toronto Community Housing apartment complex at 42 Hubbard Blvd. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Deborah Beaven can’t wait to move back home to her Toronto Community Housing apartment at 42 Hubbard Blvd.
She’s lived at the 27-unit Kew Beach apartment complex for over two decades, but all the tenants were moved out two years ago when mould was found throughout the building.
This summer she and any of the previous tenants who wish to return will be moving back home.
“I am down there every second day watching it (construction),” said Beaven. “I am marking the days on my calendar. I miss being in my home. I miss my neighbours of 22 years.”
Beaven was one of the lucky ones as she was relocated only seven blocks away.
“But it’s a world away,” said Beaven, who was the 42 Hubbard’s tenant rep for seven years.
She said through phone calls, emails and Facebook connections she gathers that 80-85 percent of previous tenants plan to return to the Hubbard building, which offers a mix of rent-geared-to-income and market rent apartments.

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Toronto Community Housing selling properties

Case Ootes lone board member votes to sell 22 homes
City-owned housing provider to make millions
Money would be used to fix crumbling housing stock
Kris Scheuer
(Written April 6 for Town Crier.)

Case Ootes explains his vote to sell 22 social housing properties. Kris Scheuer/Town Crier photo.

Case Ootes, the one man board at Toronto Community Housing Corporation, voted today to sell 22 single families homes in the portfolio that could net the corporation up to $15.7 million.
Some who came out to the meeting asked Ootes to defer the decision until a full board is in place this June. But Ootes said he’s acting on recommendations of the previous board to sell these homes including beachfront property on Hubbard Boulevard that are too costly to maintain.
A staff report this issue states the net profits from the sales should be used to tackle the backlog to fix up existing community housing across the city which Ootes pegs at close to $600 million.
“I made the decision based on the fact this corporation is facing serious financial problems,” he told the media after the meeting. “There are almost 2,000 vacant units in some form of disrepair. Money is needed to repair these units.”
But selling all 22 homes, which contain 29 separate units, won’t be a cakewalk.
Currently, 15 of the 29 units are occupied by tenants with most of them paying market rent. The market rent tenants can’t be kicked out by any new owner unless they or their families plan to live in the homes.
“Most buyers do want (houses) to be vacant so it will be more difficult to sell,” said Ootes.  Continue reading

John Carter wins Agnes Macphail Award

Avid volunteer dedicated to East York community
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier

L-R: Last year's winner Bill Pashby congratulates 2011 winner John Carter. Photo courtesy City of Toronto.

As one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Agnes Macphail Award and ceremony, John Carter did what he has done every year since the dinner began: He showed up early to help set up a display.
This year he had another task to complete: receiving the award himself.
His demonstrated dedication is what led the awards committee to name Carter the 2011 recipient of the Agnes Macphail Award, bestowed annually on a member of the community who has made positive contributions to the East York community.
“I’m quite excited about it,” he said hours before the dinner. “There were 18 others who won it before and I’m part of that illustrious group.”
In the 1990s, Carter was one of the forces who pushed the former East York city council to honour Macphail, Canada’s first female federal politician.
Carter has also been one of the leading advocates pushing to have the Leaside home where Macphail lived at 2 Donegall  Dr. preserved as a heritage site.
And he successfully pushed for a park at Pape and Mortimer avenues, to be named after Macphail.

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Green Party federal candidates 2011

Green candidates seeking federal seats in Toronto
Kris Scheuer
(Updated with all candidates nominated.)

Sonny Day is the Green Party's federal candidate in York South-Weston.

It’s election time with another federal vote on May 2.
I have posted information on the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP candidates as they become known who are running for federal seats in Toronto ridings.
But this post focuses on Green Party federal candidates running for 22 seats in Toronto:
1)York Centre Green candidate Rosemary Frei.
2)York South-Weston Green candidate Sonny Day.
3)York West Green candidate Unblind Tibbin.
4)St. Paul’s Green candidate James McGarva.
5) Scarborough-Rouge River Green candidate George Singh.
6)Scarborough-Guildwood Green candidate Alonzo Bartley.
7)Scarborough Centre Green candidate Ella Ng.
8)Scarborough Southwest Green candidate Stefan Dixon.
9)Scarborough Agincourt Green candidate Pauline Thompson.
10)Etobicoke North Green candidate Carman Roberts.

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Conservative federal candidates 2011

No Conservatives MPs with federal seats in T.O now
But these Tory candidates hope to change that
Kris Scheuer

John Carmichael is running for the third time as a Conservative candidate in Don Valley West.

The federal election is May 2, and the Conservatives want a seat in Toronto.
I will also post all candidates running for the LiberalsGreen Party and NDP as they are nominated.
This post focuses on Conservative candidates running for federal seats in the 22 Toronto ridings:
1)York-Centre Conservative candidate Mark Adler.
2)York South-Weston Conservative candidate Jilian Saweczko.
3)York West Conservative candidate Audrey Walters.
4)St. Paul’s Conservative candidate Maureen Harquail.
5) Scarborough Rouge-River Conservative candidate Marlene Gallyot.
6)Scarborough-Guildwood Conservative candidate Kazimierz “Chuck” Konkel.
7)Scarborough-Centre Conservative candidate Roxanne James.
8)Scarborough Southwest Conservative candidate listed as Gavan Parachothy on the Conservative’s site.
9)Scarborough-Agincourt Conservative candidate Harry Tsai.
10)Etobicoke-North Conservative candidate Priti Lamba.
11)Etobicoke-Centre Conservative candidate Ted Opitz.
12)Etobicoke-Lakeshore Conservative candidate Bernard TrottierContinue reading

Liberal federal candidates 2011

Who’s running federally for Grits in Toronto ridings
Kris Scheuer

Rob Oliphant is seeking re-election as the Liberal Don Valley West MP.

It’s election time with another federal vote on May 2.
I have posted information on Conservatives, Green Party and NDP candidates as they become known who are running in for federal seats in Toronto ridings.
But this post focuses on Liberal candidates running for federal seats in 22 Toronto ridings:
1)York-Centre incumbent Liberal MP Ken Dryden.
2)York South-Weston incumbent Liberal MP Alan Tonks.
3)York West incumbent Liberal MP Judy Sgro.
4)St. Paul’s incumbent Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett.
5) Scarborough Rouge-River Liberal candidate Rana Sarkar.
6)Scarborough-Guildwood incumbent Liberal MP John McKay.
7)Scarborough-Centre incumbent Liberal MP John Cannis.
8)Scarborough Southwest incumbent Liberal MP Michelle Simson.
9)Scarborough-Agincourt incumbent Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis.

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