(635) Roomy GTA [Report]

wellThe Wellesley Institute released a report last week tying the hyped up real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area to illegal suburban rooming houses.  In our opinion this issue really got going in the 1980s – the depth and extent of it must be nothing less than awesome now.

Toronto’s affordable housing shortage sparks growth of illegal suburban rooming houses theglobeandmail.com

Toronto suburban rooming houses: just a spin on a downtown “problem”?
Wellesley Institute

(629) Toronto tenant shuffle

800px-For-rent-signImagine a powerful public agency keeping the GTA’s landlords on their toes.  An agency that made sure of the heat and lighting, that the hallways were clean and fresh and your tenancy secure and reasonable.  This agency would move fast and hit hard on behalf of tenant’s rights.  Bad landlords would tremble lest they ran afoul of the agency’s men and women, its powerful inspectors.  There would be massive fines if everything wasn’t kept the way it should be in a first world country.  A country where renting didn’t mean a tenant was like some stupid colony to be exploited by a great power in the form of their landlord.  Maybe someday Toronto, maybe someday.

When the landlord asks for your apartment back

(626) Stagnant incomes

-Wash_your_hands_before_touching_your_eyes-_-_NARA_-_516048Here’s ready-to-use ammunition for your next firefight with a neoconservative.  So much for recovery: incomes in Canada and the United States are not going anywhere.

image: District of Columbia Society for the Prevention of Blindness poster via NARA/Wikimedia Commons

(625) The Naked truth about poverty

bifnakedSeeing and hearing those in poverty is so important.  Artists have a way of amplifying the signal – thanks quite often to lived experience.  Bif Naked lends a hand to the Welfare Food Challenge.  Twenty-one dollars a week for food: three bucks a day.  Welcome to welfare living in Vancouver.


Bif Naked takes on challenge to highlight low welfare rates in B.C.
globalnews.ca with video 2:06

image: Bif Naked via Instagram

(622) Neoliberal hooliganism: suburban medieval

fordleafsYoga would seem to have a power to clarify political and moral reality.  Even that turbulent, nasty mess called Rob Ford can be brought into focus and understood if we stretch and relax and remember to breathe well beforehand.  From Matthew Zaremski’s blog we again read sound words on our burger king.

Rob Ford, emotional whiplash, and the suburban medieval

(621) NDP to call for $15/hr minimum wage

133842208_a71fe95c33_zWhen Parliament resumes the NDP intend to propose a minimum wage law for federal employees designed to bring working people out of poverty.  Great to see a major politician advocating for economic justice.  Especially right after the Tories ratified a nightmare of a trade agreement with China that gives away the shop.

Tom Mulcair says he will propose $15 federal minimum wage. Liberals scrapped the regulation in 1996 cbc.ca

Stephen Harper sells Canada: China can secretly sue to repeal Canadian laws
Boing Boing

See also: (581) Minimum wage up one penny since 1975

image: Brooke Novak via Flickr/CC