Tag Archives: Torontonians

Toronto a day in the life 13

Are Torontonians rude?
Is it the consequence of living in the big city
What is making us so indifferent to people around us?
By Kris Scheuer

An extreme example of litter during '09 T.O summer strike. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

I am a born and bred Toronto resident who’s called this beloved city home for all my 40 years.
But really people, are we getting ruder?
I am not perfect, by all means, but I TRY to be considerate of others. And I find examples of people in this city who seem so very oblivious to others who share this same public space.
Case in point, and this is something I witness almost daily, littering. I see people tossing items from their hands in such a blatant way that it goes beyond not being able to find a trash can. It’s as if people are making a statement, “I don’t care about the city, environment or anyone around me.”
On Friday afternoon I was on a lunch break and was on the southwest corner of Yonge and Dundas on my way to city hall south.
As I approached the mall, I saw two 20-something women walking towards me when one tossed a water bottle towards the Eaton’s Centre (now Sears).
I thought maybe she was aiming for a garbage can, but missed. As the plastic bottle hit the side of the H&M clothing store, I saw that no there was no garbage can. She never intended for it to end up anywhere but the street. And she did not even offer a backward glance to see where her discarded item landed. Continue reading

Increasing Toronto’s voter turn out

Don’t like your choices for council, mayor?
Run, encourage good candidates to register, then vote
By Kris Scheuer

What if no one voted in the next election? What if we boycotted the election as a political statement and thumbed our noses at the whole lot? What would happen then?
Sure it has never happened yet, but you have to wonder what is at the root cause of why more people don’t go to the polls.
Voter apathy is nothing new, as anywhere from 36 to 47 per cent of those who have the legal right to elect a provincial rep choose not to show up to the party.
In the 2006 Toronto election voter turn out was a lousy  39.3 percent across the city.
Some circumstances appear to shift this such as in ward 26 where there was no incumbent and 15 candidates ran. In that ward, voter turn out was 52 percent, which was the highest anywhere in the city that election.
So why do so few eligible voters exercise this right? Is this because citizens don’t care who is elected? Or is it a political statement? When we don’t vote are we trying to send a message “why bother to cast my ballot when none of the candidates vying for my vote represent my views?”
So why is Toronto’s voter turn out is so low? What motivates you to vote? Continue reading

Future mayor listens to Toronto

How next mayor can relate to Torontonians
Sharing a meal, public forums, citizen debates
By Kris Scheuer

I was watching the new Kids in the Hall comedy show premiere tonight and it gave me ideas of how Toronto’s next mayor can best relate to and get input from the public.
Give me a second to explain my ideas here.
One of the main characters on the new show is Mayor Larry Bowman of Shuckton played by comedian/actor Bruce McCulloch. He plays a sleazy mayor so I am not suggesting Toronto elect this character in the 2010 race. But he did something that at first seemed like a good idea.
He walks into the local diner and says, “who’s it gonna be?” I assumed mayor Bowman was going to pick one local Shuckton resident to share a meal with. It didn’t turn out that way, but it got me thinking of ways the next mayor could engage the public. Continue reading

Candidates for Toronto Election 2010

First day to register and dozens sign up early
Some incumbents back again and challengers line up
By Kris Scheuer
(See update here
.)

Today, Toronto’s municipal election race officially started with candidates filing nomination papers at city hall.
FAMILIAR FACES
So far, some incumbents have made it clear they want to be re-elected including: councillors Janet Davis (Ward 31), Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38), Mike Del Grande (Ward 39), Paula Fletcher (Ward 30), Adrian Heaps (Ward 35) Norm Kelly (Ward 40), Joe Mihevc (Ward 21), John Parker (Ward 26), Gord Perks (Ward 14), Bill Saundercook (Ward 13), Cesar Palacio (Ward 17) and so far none of them have any challengers.
HOT RACES Continue reading

Strike saved city 33 million

How should city use the savings?
What’s your wish list: rebates or spend on services?

(Written Oct. 6 for Town Crier. Oct. 26 UPDATE.)

You remember the 39-day strike this summer? At the time I wrote this, city figures stated the government saved $33.1 million during the labour unrest.
So what should be done with this money?
The main three options for the city are to issue rebate cheques to residents, use it for specific programs or fold the windfall into general revenues. My preference is to use some of the money to bring down a planned garbage rate hike and if that’s not possible then instead put the millions towards balancing the 2010 budget. But I’d want to know how the money was specifically spent. Continue reading

The good, the bad and the smelly

Evidence from garbage strike is we still have long way to go in conservation quest
(Originally written July 17 by Kris Scheuer for Town Crier.)

Conservation and consumption.
There’s both good news and a shocking reality check when it comes to how much we conserve and consume in Toronto.
We are becoming more aware of ways we can cut back on our use of everything from energy to plastic bags.
But on the other hand, the garbage strike that hit the city at midnight June 22 made it oh so obvious that we are still producing far too much waste.
While it’s true that as the clock struck midnight, it had been two weeks since the last regularly scheduled garbage pickup for some folks, there were already reports of people illegally dumping waste in parks like Christie Pits on day 1 of the strike.
Continue reading

Toronto cracks down on illegal dumping

City has issued thousands of fines, hundreds of tickets during garbage strike

By Kris Scheuer
(Originally published July 15/09 for the Town Crier.)
Some Torontonians are not bothering to take waste to temporary mini-trashe sites and are dumping garbage instead.
Now the city is cracking down.
“We have now issued 328 fines and over 6,800 warnings have been issued,” Geoff Rathbone, general manager of solid waste management services said at a July 15 city press conference. “Many of those have been issued at the temporary drop off sites and transfer stations but also on streets.”
Leisa Tjoeng, a spokesperson for the city, specified that 6,849 illegal dumping warnings had been issued as of the morning of July 15. Fines start at $380 a pop.
While the city is not removing garbage from temporary neighbourhood dumps, the city is cleaning up litter and illegally dumped trash during the labour disruption where possible.
Rathbone added, “We are using our management staff at both transfer stations and temporary drop off sites and where resources allow on streets to clean litter for special events and on a periodic basis on regular streets.”