(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

(1173) Australia minimum


Australia’s minimum wage has risen by an amount just ahead of inflation and so is now $18.29 per hour.  Living wage territory, just about.
One hundred Australian dollars is worth one hundred Canadian dollars and six cents, by way of comparison.  This feature discusses the increase from several angles, most of which will be familiar to Canadians.
Fair Work Commission rules minimum wage to rise by $22 a week
smh.com.au
Shrewd businesses support $15 minimum wage and decent work
thestar.com

(1172) Ferris Bueller face first into the economic meat grinder of American reality


Lake County, Illinois is apparently not what it used to be.  In the 1980s it had been well off for so long it was the natural setting for a flamboyant but really kind of annoying movie about the problems of an affluent white youth.  Half of the movie is an excuse to look at a red 1965 Ferrari 250 California GT and there’s also some whacky moments as young Ferris gyrates selfishly between parents, friends and his love object.  Why it ever became a cult classic, though, is beyond us.  Now, this not being a film blog anyway Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is only here as an entry point to a new Lake County that represents a changed American sprawl.  If it were made today this movie would have a more realistic title like Ferris Bueller’s Permanent Layoff.  The car would be a rotted out Geo Metro, too.
Ferris Bueller’s daily grind: how poverty in Chicago went suburban. On the surface, Lake County, Illinois – the setting for John Hughes’ 1980s films of affluent suburban angst – is all detached houses, swimming pools and malls. Hidden from view, though, is the growing need
theguardian.com
image: Carmen B via Wikimedia Commons

(1171) Bike up the GTA


Cycling for transportation is easy on your personal finances and your carbon footprint.  Scale that to the population of your community with, yes, a little help from the Infrastructure Department.
What Mississauga and Scarborough need to encourage more cycling in suburban areas. Advocates say separated bikes lanes are needed in both areas to make cyclists feel safe
cbc.ca/news
image: Mikael Colville-Andersen via Flickr/CC

(1169) Sunny basic

Today was a sunny, pleasant one and good for some clear thinking on basic income.  We like the ‘and stop being oversold’ part as much as the part where it is not all about  money and poverty.
A basic income really could end poverty forever.  But, to become a reality it needs to get detailed and stop being oversold
vox.com
All of the problems that universal basic income could solve that have nothing to do with unemployment
quartz.com