(618) Rob Ford’s time of need

AufstehbettWondering what the chances are the subject of this blog posting will read, or heed, it’s wise words.  Maybe a vulnerable stretch away from the public in a hospital, recuperating from himself as much as anything else, will give what’s left of the man some perspective.  It’s easy to be cynical, isn’t it?

I’m happy for Rob Ford in his time of need
Matthew Remski

image: Böke-14 via Wikimedia Commons

(615) Toronto elects…

srfLess than two months from now and the fourth-largest city in North America will have a new mayor.  The mainstream candidates have shown relatively little interest in social conditions and the incumbent rich guy mayor has been violently clueless all his life on that file.  A piece in the Toronto Star this week suggests this disinterest in social reality amounts to a throwing away of votes by those in a position to challenge the sitting mayor.  Pretty dumb, if you ask us.

Chow should become a social justice crusader: Keenan. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio cruised to victory on a populist platform that emphasized taxes on the rich. Why not try that here?

And while we’re on the gruesome topic of RF:

Will work for crack: Rob Ford’s illegal unpaid internship scam youthandwork.ca

image: Ian Irving via Wikimedia Commons

(610) GTA child poverty

Emoticon Face Frown GEA report released this week had us cringing.  Why?  Because across Toronto about thirty to forty percent of children live in poverty.

Toronto child poverty rate at ‘epidemic’ levels. Toronto activists call on city mayoral candidates to address Toronto’s “epidemic” child poverty rate which is the highest in Canada, tied with Saint John, NB

image: Granny Enchanted via Wikimedia Commons


(606) Bulking up the po-po

BearcatPolicing and community protection are important commodities.  Are the authorities dispensing these things in Canada immune to American trends?  Doubt it.  We aren’t reassured much by our memory of the G20 conference in Toronto in 2010 for starters.  Shouldn’t we be “bulking up” the social workers, drop in centres and school boards?

Canadian police forces bulking up with armoured vehicles
Montreal Gazette

‘We call it a rescue vehicle': growing number of Canadian police forces bulking up with armoured vehicles
National Post

Militarized policing in Canada under scrutiny following Ferguson protests
Edmonton Journal

image: Lenco Bearcat Combat Ballistic Tactical Transport vehicle by Sdlewis via Wikimedia Commons

(598) Bye bye Bell

a069026-v8Bell Canada has put an end to a high profile management internship program.  One of the oldest nameplates in corporate Canada has brought legal risk and embarrassment upon itself  with the extent and character of the unpaid employment it has played host to.  A former intern has brought legal action against Bell in part of what appears to be a general backlash against internship.

Bell Canada cancels massive unpaid-internship program. The unpaid work program is part of an ongoing federal labour dispute involving a former intern seeking back wages thestar.com

image: Library & Archives Canada

(588) Suburbabetes

800px-Sugar_2xmacroDiabetes rates have been mapped in detail for the first time for the province of Ontario and the results published.  For the Greater Toronto Area the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) maps draw your eye to such places as Brampton and Rexdale, which is to say the sprawl.  The ethnicity, incomes and behaviours of those with this illness in such communities is further established as well. Alarming.

New map reveals diabetes hot spots in the GTA.  Massive study finds nearly half of Ontario’s 1 million cases are in the GTA, with ethnicity a major factor

image: sugar crystals taken by Lauri Andler (Phantom) via Wikimedia Commons

(586) Tory time wasting

Beans4Canada’s federal Tories have gone after a variety of activist/non-profit groups by throwing costly, distracting audits at them.  Overspending on political activity seemed to be the justification.  A much ignored “snitch-line” and hours of accounting effort later it turns out there’s not much to see.  Probably its safe to say the Harper Conservatives just don’t like what the targeted groups are saying.  This piece from Press Progress contrasts the Robocop-like eagerness of the feds when it comes to bean counting the non-profits and their disinterest in the questionable approaches of large corporations and the wealthy to tax avoidance through overseas money-stashing.

CRA is hunting down charities while millionaires screw around in the Caymans

image: beans by Amada44 via Wikimedia Commons