image: Food Central at the recently renovated Square One shopping centre in Mississauga, ON by TheAmazingMino via Wikimedia Commons
Diabetes 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.
image: sugar crystals taken byvia Wikimedia Commons
Canada’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.
image: beans by Amada44 via Wikimedia Commons
American public policy group Demos suggests a mechanism to chop child poverty in half. You replace child-related tax benefits with a direct monthly benefit. In a world blurry behind stale right wing fog Demos is a refreshing breeze.
Linked below is an article with a couple of embedded videos about post-sprawl community design in which a number of Jane Jacobsesque things about how we might arrange North American life going forward are said. The item, from canada.com, is great stuff. With such pieces there is a sense of urgency about global warming, obesity, fossil fuel consumption and aesthetics. Attractive examples of walkable streets on which we’ll do our less car-dependent living are usually presented and it all makes sense in a self-evident way. One question though: why does this material always just sort of float there in a bubble? There’s barely ever any mention of poverty in these items. Sprawl repair and post-suburban suburbia is quite often presented as if social conditions were irrelevant. A little strange since the advocates of New Urbanism and higher density living might increase support for their projects on the basis of them being economically easier than sprawl as we know it.
image: based on photo by Tom Thiel from Wikimedia Commons
Recent findings from Statistics Canada indicate that minimum wage in 2013 dollars has risen over the last three decades by the face value of a now defunct copper coin. So, this means we can stop researching and debating the minimum wage and put it up to fourteen or fifteen bucks per hour immediately, right?
image: Picas via Wikimedia Commons
Are Canadians worth 20k a year guaranteed? ctvnews.ca
image: A Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) skimming over ice at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary in Calgary Alberta. Photo by Chuck Szmurlo via Wikimedia Commons
The Montreal Gazette takes a look at that beautiful idea: the guaranteed income. This mechanism is the subject of the 15th International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network happening in Montreal over the weekend. Wouldn’t it be amazing?