Tag Archives: Ontario

(1293) Beertario


Looks as if we are not the only ones who feel an almost homonymic gravity of some kind drawing the phrases ‘buck-a-beer’ and ‘go fuck yourself’ into the same orbit.  This piece captures the general atmosphere of a hyped up, hot, and violent summer in a province that needs a sex-ed snitch line like it needs another massive forest fire.
Please read and share this powerful piece.
What buck-a-beer feels like to an alcoholic. I’ve been sober for five years, but my province is being led by a politician who seemingly prioritizes cheap beer over other, more urgent, issues—and it sucks
flare.com
image: Tatsuhiko Miyagawa via Flickr/CC

 

(1292) Ontario basic income pilot cancellation


If Ontario’s new Drug Ford government thought they could just cancel a large scale test of a basic income program and everybody would just forget about it they may be disappointed.  What an embarrassment.  Where’s all this business intelligence Ford is supposed to have?  Poverty is bloody expensive and Ford gave indications during the election campaign that the pilot would be respected.  This cancellation represents a total poverty of imagination and total failure to embrace reality and deal with complexity.
A buck a beer?  Go fuck yourselves.  One of their own party elders wrote the paper the test is based on.  Senator Segal is quite eloquent here on CBC regarding the cancellation.
Scrapping basic income pilot ‘horrific,’ former Tory senator says
cbc.ca/news
image: HiMY SYeD via Flickr/CC

(1291) Bit late, bro


Political illiteracy is rocket fuel for neoliberalism and populism.  An example surfaces par excellence via CBC.
To wit, a well enough meaning doofus, with plans to go to business school now in tatters, blithely describes the crash entrance into his life of a new reality in the form of Doug Ford with a machete.  Honestly, what the hell is wrong people?
Ontario PC voter worried about family’s future without basic income pilot
cbc.ca (audio 6:23)
image: Alex Guibord via Flickr/CC

(1290) On the poverty trail

A winter view of the Wentworth Stairs, Hamilton escarpment.
In a balanced community, the trails and parks are major assets.  Greenery and recreation outside are important to so many things, from the development of children to cleaning the air we breathe.  Scenery and recreation are fairly described as necessities.
Something is off when such assets are pressed into use as places to live.  Anyone travelling to Los Angeles lately will have been struck with the scale of urban outdoor living there.  It seems like much of the city has been commandeered by raggedy tents and tarps stretched between poles and sticks to define some privacy for people experiencing socio-economic difficulty.
Such encroachment is problematic in a host of ways.  Safety and hygiene are a challenge for the homeless, to say the least.  Outdoor living in parks and along trails also reduces the pleasure and benefit of such places on the part of others.  It can eliminate that pleasure and benefit completely in some cases.  So, in the best uncomfortable-to-read tradition of this blog we therefore link you to a newspaper item about Hamilton, Ontario.
Hopefully, this issue will receive some sensible amelioration.  Just as the smoke from burning fires in the north seeps across the horizon a sense of psychological uneasiness with the social prospects for Ontario swirls outward as the primal, humid days of Premier Ford’s era unfold.
Hamilton’s ‘out-of-control’ rental market is pushing more homeless to camp out in parks and on streets, advocates say
The Star/Hamilton Spectator on msn.com
image: Colin Payson via Flickr/CC

(1285) Feckless Doug


Whatever your reaction to Doug Ford’s personality and speaking style he is probably best understood to be an advocate of neoliberalism.  Perhaps he’s for a tad more vigorous regime of that than Kathleen Wynn has been during her tenure.  Either way, a political change is imminent in Canada’s largest province and like voters all over the west for decades now we are confronted with a picked over buffet of options and must choose the least ptomaine-inducing one.
Remember to vote, friends and folks.  Above all, remember your interests.
Battle lines drawn over wages, jobs.  Low-wage work force has seen ranks grow rapidly, but parties differ over how to deal with it
thestar.com
image: Scazon via Flickr/CC

(1274) Words from Ontario basic income trial


Ontario’s basic income pilot has begun to produce some observations and anecdotes.  A thorough, high level analysis will need to be done at the conclusion of the three-year, three-community trial but expectations are high.  The pilot project is not quite a full-on basic income, more of a test apparatus designed to gather evidence of what actually happens in the lives of a recipient.
Yes, there is still a fair bit of naysaying and skepticism out there.  Some of it from surprising directions like a major anti-poverty activist here in Ontario and from union figures.  Another hurdle may be the upcoming provincial election.  All kinds of right wing critters and neoliberal reactionaries are looking for power, for gravy trains to stop, as it were.  The pilot project may be an early target in the election and for whoever gets into the premier’s office.  In the meantime, words from the participants are appropriate.
From ‘barely surviving’ to thriving: Ontario basic income recipients report less stress, better health. The three-year pilot project, which began last summer, is testing whether no-strings-attached cash support can boost health, education and housing for people living in poverty
thestar.com
image: Hefin Owen via Flickr/CC

(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