Tag Archives: Ontario

(1262) Donut wages in the sprawl

Not surprising that a truly inescapable structural feature of the sprawl around us is now closely and directly associated with what this blog has been on about, and in a very public way.  In all their brown brick glory Tim Hortons outlets are usually located with predictability, outside the malls anyway.  Timmy H’s are most often found at a major intersection with commercial/industrial zoning nearby and a twelve pump gas station out front.  Cars are everywhere, six for every last Dutchie it would seem.  Lined up around the building and into the street sometimes, idling as their owners anticipate a hit of caffeine and sugar from the little sliding bay windows at the side.  With lots of parking and cars grinding or flying by depending on the time of day we have never found these outlets pedestrian or bike friendly.  They can be a challenge in a car.
There’s hostility inside the doors, too.  The product is popular enough but we mean all the people working hard for too little money day and night.  Like other corporate employers Tim’s has gotten riled up at having to pay living wages this month.  Pathologically selfish franchisees and the rationalizers at corporate office are now stuck with the label of tip stealer, benefits gouger and paid break abolisher.  How’s that for some great publicity?  This pooh-sandwich is slick corporate talent in action?
A few pennies passed on to the customer would have avoided shareholder nightmare ka-ka like this: #boycottTimHortons
Timmy Ho’s you rock!
Tim Hortons can tug heartstrings, but it must also do right by its workers
thestar.com
The biggest right-wing myths about raising the minimum wage, debunked. The combined weight of research, history, and economic expertise shows that giving low-wage workers a raise is a net positive
pressprogress.ca
Why Tim Hortons doesn’t deserve your sympathy
tvo.org
‘I was furious’: One man’s stand against Tim Hortons, a brand in crisis
metronew.ca
Tim Hortons controversy shows Canadians are ‘addicted to a low-wage economy,’ says author
cbc.ca/radio/as-it-happens

Image: Corey Buffet via Flickr/CC

(1259) Please sir, can I have another?


Going by Twitter alone it looks like the first big Canadian corp to shoot itself in the head over the recent increase in the Ontario minimum wage is that inescapable coffee chain named after a hockey player who died driving drunk in the 1970s.  Maybe jacking up the nation’s blood sugar every morning is harder than it looks?
Tim Hortons heirs cut paid breaks and worker benefits after minimum wage hike, employees say
cbc.ca/news
image: Mary Crandall via Flickr/CC

(1235) Industry Street

Daniel Rotszstain wrote recently about the way several non-profit agencies have arranged themselves in what was once a manufacturing area in Toronto.  They can’t afford the central city and there’s needs in the older suburbs.
Urban planners: please pay attention to this.
How a strip of warehouses became a community hub.
Low rents and large buildings have drawn not-for-profit organizations and new life to Industry Street in the former
city of York
theglobeandmail.com

(1234) On the lighter side…


”Action is what matters.” -Gene Simmons, 2017

Two comic efforts at understanding North American economic reality brought some laffs to the suburban-poverty.com bunker complex this week.  Unintentionally hilarious, but no less instructive for that, is a hot new self help book from KISS front man Gene Simmons. The second, a sharp strike from Rick Mercer.
To understand Gene’s book, picture an elevator shaft as black as On Power’s faux leather cover at the bottom.  Ayn Rand chugs a mickey of rye whiskey on an empty stomache, takes two or three hits off a crack pipe and tosses herself down the elevator shaft.
Mercer’s rant about Ontario’s coming move to a higher minimum wage is a little more to our liking.  Together, the two efforts tackle powerful myths about life here.
editor’s note: let’s give Gene props for urging us to read books and self educate.  He’s right, there are no excuses when all the knowledge of the world is available to us on the screens in our hands.

(1228) GTA income & equality update

For low income neighbourhoods to increase from 9% of a place to  51% of a place is a pretty crap reality.  Welcome to Brampton and Mississauga, once showpieces of growth and consumer choice.  Really, if you know anything about social conditions here the update to a 2015 United Way report will not surprise you.
Toronto region becoming more divided along income lines
thestar.com
And oh boy, the reports are never in short supply for long.  From late September: word about older citizens and others in food difficulty.
Who’s Hungry in Our City? 2017
North York Harvest & Daily Bread Food Bank
Not working isn’t the cause of all this.  In case you were wondering about 60% of those in poverty in Canada are in work.
Canadians for Public Justice 2017 Poverty Trends
cpj.ca

(1225) Unaffordable Mississauga


A draft policy document has been released by the City of Mississauga regarding housing affordability.  Basically, the middle class can’t handle it here any more, at least not via wages alone.
Not expecting this to become a big spend ticket soon and even a reasonably well off municipality cannot go it alone on the affordable housing file.  Thing is, those middle class workers presumably still have some role to play in the economy.  If they aren’t going to be hard pressed, stressed out and even driven off by the cost of housing then something will have to be done.
The middle class can no longer afford housing in Mississauga
insauga.com