(1181) Taking public control


Handing off public assets and revenue sources in exchange for a short term cash hit or cost saving has never seemed like a hot idea to us.  While partnerships between public entities and corporate power appear to be balanced and sensible compared to the outright sale of an asset there is still reason for high level caution, as this article shows.
Financiers are now controlling public works, much to the public’s confusion
utoronto.ca
image: Ken Lund via Flickr/CC

(1178) This week in Ontario poverty


Here’s a hint or two at what poverty was like this week in Canada’s richest, most populous province.
Job vacancies in Windsor-Sarnia some of the lowest paying in Ontario
windsorstar.com
Hamilton’s poverty activists clash with business groups, Tory MPPs over labour reforms
hamiltonnews.com
Women, recent immigrants to see big benefits from minimum wage increase.  Of the 633,000 people who would receive raises in Toronto, 58 per cent are women and 17 per cent are recent immigrants
thestar.com
Demanding a fair share. Protecting worker’s rights in the on-demand service economy
ccpa.ca (links to 26-page .pdf file)
image: Peter Vanderheyden via Flickr/CC

(1177) FCM document for poverty strategy


Consultations within Canada’s federal poverty reduction strategy can count an impressive and sensible report from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities among the front rank of contributions they have seen.  For us it worked pretty well as summer reading material, too!

Ending poverty starts locally. Municipal recommendations for a Canadian poverty reduction strategy
fcm.ca (17 page .pdf file)

(1176) Tonawanda moves forward


Between the Niagara River and Route 266 in Tonawanda, New York sits the blocky red hulk of the Huntley Generating Station.  For most of a century it brought the power to a series of major industrial customers that gave the town and the region much if its economic life.  And a robust life it was.
Until it wasn’t.  Like many towns throughout the American rust belt, Tonawanda is fully compelled to face a mixed new post-industrial reality.  While not easy it looks like the town, directly north of Buffalo, has the beginnings of an interesting and powerful template for moving itself forward into an economy after coal-fired electrical plants and manufacturing.  It’s always very nice to find positive stories and this seems to be one worth considering.
Rising from the ashes, a Buffalo suburb ends its dependence on coal
Grist/billmoyers.com
image: Deutsch Fetisch via Wikimedia Commons

(1174) Suburbs matter to cities


US president 45’s inaugural address entered America’s uneven popular culture almost before he finished it, full, as it was, with references to urban social disaster.  The Donald’s portent-laden words seemed to reinforce and reflect still widely held beliefs about US communities, ones that deny urban success stories and suburban difficulty.  With that in mind, we read with tons of interest a recent survey of US city-watchers, and what they feel their issues are..
What’s the greatest risk cities face?
politico.com
image: Sean Davis via Flickr/CC