All posts by subu7023

I'm a (mature) student of the social services with some background in publishing and a degree in history. I've seen suburban poverty through involvement with a drop-in centre.

(1089) Fifty billion dollar ‘tax gap’


If two reports, one private and one governmental, are to be believed, Canada’s federal government is shorted to the tune of fifty billion dollars a year in taxes that don’t get collected.  This loss includes aggressive tax evasion and questionable offshoring of assets.  Ouch!
For starters, ten per cent of that money would get a nice housing program off the runway pretty quick.
Canada misses out on nearly $50 billion in tax each year. Even the high-end gap estimate may be too low
thestar.com

(1088) Aging apartment stock


Residential buildings for Canada’s working people don’t appear to be much like fine wines when it comes to aging.
This strong piece from The Tyee looks into what kind of shape the places we rent are in.  You might be surprised to know just how old most of our apartment structures are.  Condition needs to be considered right alongside availability when it comes to the rental stock.
Should old rental buildings be saved — or sacrificed?
A building boom decades ago is still housing half of Canada’s tenants. But time is running out on a generation of apartment buildings

image: Ian Muttoo via Flickr/CC

(1086) Paying for all the nice things


Two features from well-regarded Canadian magazines about how we might produce cash for things of public good:
Canada is ready for toll roads and carbon taxes.  A majority of voters now favour user fees, but cowardly politicians are getting in the way
thewalrus.ca
Ontario is proving that taxing the one per cent works. Despite decades of tax cut rhetoric, you really can ask the rich to pay more taxes. Ontario did, and high-priced talent didn’t flee the province
macleans.ca

image: Marc Falardeau via Flickr/CC

(1085) Prepared Housewives


Walk Score is an online software tool that assesses the basic characteristics of any address in Canada or the United States given to it.  Your neighbourhood is rated by an algorithm between 0 and 100 for ease of access to a list of general amenities, such common sense things as schools, cinemas, bus stops.  Its intentions are generally progressive and supportive of the idea that a walkable community is simply nicer to live in and easier on the environment and therefore more desirable.  Walk Score is often used by people looking for a new neighbourhood and it can be quite fairly said to be a barometer of the quality of life in a given place.  A strong Walk Score, would reflect the humane values of urbanist Jane Jacobs.  A low Walk Score might be reflected in a less salubrious environment.
So, it was a little disorienting to come across a Texas mom’s utilization of Walk Score today.  All those people nearby in your dense, cross-connected community?  Well, if things got tough they might just kill you and eat your brain, right?  If there was a pandemic, a civil war, an infrastructure and economic crash all at the same time you want to be ready, right?  You need maximum info on where to be when things get even dumber than they already are.
Jamie, who seems super nice and obviously really loves her kids, blogged about the way she applies Walk Score to her preparations for the coming apocalypse.  Walk Score provides her with intel on her kind of community.  The index tells Jamie where she doesn’t want to be.
This is almost a mirror opposite use of Walk Score for assessing resilience.  Flying deeper into the century, each to their own anxiety, we suppose…
Walk score.  One test preppers want their home to FAIL! 
prepared-housewives.com
See also:
(771) A privileged doom: suburban preppers
(39) Suburban survivalists
image: Jeremy Brooks via Flickr/CC