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Mary Ann Shadd Cary: Canada’s first African American female editor

“I have broken the editorial ice.”

This famous quote was spoken by the first Canadian African American female editor, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, in 1853 when she started her anti-slavery newspaper, Provincial Freeman.

The Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.) featured Shadd throughout the month of February for black history month, allowing kids and families to print their own copy of her newspaper as part of the historical tour. A presentation is also offered year-round to school groups on Shadd’s life.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Courtesey of National Archives of Canada
Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Courtesey of National Archives of Canada

Shadd was born into an activist family in Wilmington, Delaware that helped run the Underground Railroad. They moved to Windsor, Ont. in 1850 after the Fugitive Slave Law — which ordered all slaves returned to their masters and charged those who helped slaves run away — was passed. She opened the first racially-integrated school in Windsor and also created educational booklets about why African Americans should move to Canada for a better life.

Public Officer at the Mackenzie House, Danielle Urquhart said, “Mary Ann had attended a conference in 1851 at St. Lawrence Hall. She was impressed by Toronto. She felt it wasn’t as racist and it never had segregated communities. Toronto was also not a border town where you might be caught by slave catchers which made it safer.”

Photo provided by City of Toronto, Mackenzie House
Photo provided by City of Toronto, Mackenzie House

In 1853, Shadd founded the Provincial Freeman, Canada’s first anti-slavery newspaper and the first newspaper to be run by an African American woman in North America. The byline of the newspaper was “Devoted to antislavery, temperence, and general literature” and she advocated all three topics passionately. The newspaper was a daily digest, which included interest articles, poems, and tips on how to acculturate oneself to the Canadian lifestyle and weather. “She also connected family members because people became separated when they were traveling on the underground railway. You could run an ad and find your family once you arrived,” said Urquhart.

When Shadd first released the newspaper, she changed her name to M.A Shadd because she anticipated she would be met with resistance as a female editor. “She received death threats,” said Urquhart. “For her personal safety, she brought a friend named S.R Ward to act as a figurehead, but she kept publishing. She remained the editor and when things calmed down, she resumed her public role as the sole publisher.”

Urquhart explains that Shadd was not only facing racism as an editor of a newspaper, but also received judgement as a woman in a leadership role in the mid 1800’s. Shadd did not back down to though.

In 1856, Shadd married a Toronto barber named Thomas Cary. They had a very progressive relationship and he took on most of the familial duties so that Shadd could follow her dreams. “He would be at home with the kids while she went on lecture tours,” said Urquhart. While Shadd was on lecture tours her sister, Amelia Cisco Shadd, who was also a part of the antislavery movement, ran the newspaper.

Photo provided by City of Toronto, Mackenzie House
Photo provided by City of Toronto, Mackenzie House

William Lyon Mackenzie, the namesake of the house, was also a publisher at the same time as Sadd and advocated for social justice.“They were publishing at the same time and we were equipped to do this with a printing press and she lived in this neighbourhood. We wanted to figure out a way to interpret black history and she was a great choice,” said Urquhart.

Sadd was an intelligent and brave woman who was unwilling to compromise herself despite obstacles of race and gender. She became a teacher, a journalist, and went on to get a law degree at age 60. Shadd is a heroine to all women trying to make a difference in this world. She also paved the way for future female African American journalists, as exemplified in when she proclaimed courageously: “Shake off your shackles and come to Canada.”

PM Justin Trudeau to attend 2016 Toronto Pride Month

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, will be the first leader in Canada’s history to attend the Toronto pride parade on July 3, 2016.

The Prime Minister has previously attended pride parades in both Vancouver and Toronto, but this is his first pride event as the leader of Canada. He tweeted in response to Pride Toronto announcing Trudeau’s involvement, “Very looking to being there again, this time as PM.”

Trudeau will attend alongside Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Mayor John Tory. Since 1995, Barbara Hall established the tradition for the head of city council to march in the parade. This was only broken once in the past 21 years by previous Mayor Rob Ford.

Toronto Pride has a somber history. The first registered LGBTQ pride gathering occurred on Feb. 5, 1981, after the bathhouse raids or “operation soap”, a massive police raid of bathhouses on Church and Wellesley meant to silence the LGBTQ community under the bawdy-house law. The raids were followed by a great show of support and protests throughout the streets of Toronto.

In 1984, Pride was celebrated for the first time on Canada Day and became a fixed tradition. Mayor David Crombie, the mayor at the time, wouldn’t officially recognize the event. It wasn’t until 1991 that Toronto Pride Day was approved by the city. In 1998, Pride Week became official.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s attendance will be a welcome addition to the festivities as thousands of people will gather this coming June to celebrate Toronto’s first pride month. This month-long celebration will feature specialized events and programs around the city, finishing with the 10-day Pride Toronto festival between June 24 and July 3.

Having all three levels of government attend the event is amazing —and surprising. To quote the Prime Minister himself, “It’s 2016”. Why hasn’t a Prime Minister attended Toronto’s pride parade before now? That’s a question worth answering.

Why not use tolls and fees to fund green projects?

Over the last few months, the City of Toronto and the Ontario government have made some amazing announcement focused on green energy, infrastructure, and public transportation. The most recent announcement was made Tuesday: the Ontario government released $750 million in funding (in the form of a green bond) for environmentally friendly, low-carbon infrastructure projects, the majority of which would be dedicated to transit in the GTHA.

These investments are a good thing. A great thing, even. This city and this province must invest in infrastructure and transit. But, where is this money coming from?

A green bond is a great tool to raise capital for projects with environmental benefits, but eventually the bond holders need to be paid back. Investors provide funds for these projects and the government guarantees a return for each investor. When asked by Women’s Post if there was a plan to pay back these investors, this was the response given:

“Ontario’s Green Bonds rank equally with Ontario’s other bonds,” a spokesperson for the Ontario Minister of Finance said in a written statement. “Payments of principal and interest will be a charge on and payable out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Ontario and not tied to the revenues of any particular projects.”

Luckily, the maturity date for the green bond is in 2023, which means that the government has time to educate the public on the need to come up with the revenue for these investments. And it will be interesting to see what forms of repayment they create.

Tolling — while under both the provincial and municipal responsibility depending on the road — would be an ideal form of revenue. Ontario is starting a pilot project in the summer that will allow single-occupancy vehicles to use the High-Occupancy Vehicle lane meant for carpooling. Vehicle owners will be able to purchase a permit and pay a toll for its usage. This is the first time a responsible government has risked their positions to do the right thing.  Toronto is a long way off, with only a handful of councillors willing to stand up for the revenue tools Toronto needs to pay for the capital projects the city has committed to.

The money collected from these tolls can be used to fund the  the relief subway line which will provide an alternate east-west route to the Gardiner. Council has to make the bold move to call for other user fees – tolls, carbon tax, parking increase – so that property owners won’t carry the full burden of our capital deficit.

Both the city and the province are trying to find money in the budget — which amounts to shuffling through the same insufficient funds that caused our infrastructure deficit.   Toronto councillors will need to show the bravery their province counterparts have demonstrated in committing to high occupancy toll lanes.  The obvious solution is to use existing green projects such as tolling, congestion fees, or even a carbon-tax , to fund infrastructure investments.

The biggest problem facing all levels of government is that most Canadians want the infrastructure but they don’t want to pay for it.   The province is doing an amazing job ensuring that transit and green infrastructure is built, but Canadians have to start doing our part.

Let’s support the use of tolls, congestion fees, carbon taxes – whatever our council might bravely suggest — and start investing in Toronto’s long-term future.

Building community

The Women’s Post office is a hub of activity, but unlike most media companies our work revolves around the stories we write and the charity work that our publisher, Sarah Thomson, is focused on at Civic Alliance and the Transit Alliance. Readers will notice that while we carry the usual fashion and passion stories we also write about city building – creating strong healthy communities. We believe that the future is shaped by the passion and commitment we put into building community and that each one of us has a duty to give back to the community. And we hope that you the reader can share in our passion.

This year the Transit Alliance is working on a series of seminars focused on educating our public servants at the municipal level with the goal in to update the entrenched procedures and processes that are no longer competitive or productive. The focus will be to share new ideas, and new ways to structure our large infrastructure projects in order to ensure efficiencies.

To that end our first seminar on Feb. 16, 2016 will involve a lot of terrific infrastructure leaders donating their times to moving our region forward. With the help of terrific leaders like Bert Clark, CEO of Infrastructure Ontario and Bruce McCuaig, CEO of Metrolinx who are both committed to building our communities. Tickets are available here.

The Transit Alliance will once again host the Toronto Region Vision Summit in April our goal is to develop a 50 year vision for the entire region. If you would like to take part early-bird tickets are now on sale here.

The Transit Alliance is also working on a series of education campaigns. Each campaign is focused on a key issue essential to unlocking gridlock and creating stronger and safer communities. The campaigns cover the need to fund infrastructure with user fees like tolls; the importance of the smart relief subway line; and updating our safety standards for road hardware and making our roads safer.  If you would like to help the Transit Alliance, or take part in our initiatives, please become a member here.

This year Civic Alliance will be focused on educating the public on the environment and the importance of lowering our carbon footprint in housing, as well as the use of electric vehicles.

We hope you enjoy the work we are doing and will join us in our effort to build a safer, stronger Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Mayor Tory creates a win for Scarborough transit

When it comes to transit in Toronto the Scarborough subway line has been the most contentious issue over the past decade. Ridership numbers barely supported the need for a four stop subway, and the lack of transit further west left a gap in the transit map that shamed many.

The plan brought forward today by Mayor Tory and Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat is one that will fill in the transit gap west of McCowan. Not only does it rely on well thought out research by transit experts in the form of the Eglinton LRT extension east to the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, but it also allows a high-speed subway extension from Kennedy to the Scarborough Town Centre.

Creating a one-stop subway line will free up funds (subway stations cost approximately $200 million) to allow the addition of a 17-stop extension of the Eglinton LRT east to connect five high-priority neighbourhoods in Scarborough.

The new plan will bring rail transit to 64,000 people in Scarborough who currently aren’t using it. And the plan unites those wanting subway with those wanting LRT on council. It is a transit plan founded on informed, good judgement from transit experts that was designed to build consensus rather than create division at city hall.
With this plan for Scarborough transit, Mayor Tory might accomplish what no other mayor in the past few decades has — unite the city around a transit plan that everyone can support. His plan is the right, reasonable, and responsible approach to building the transit Toronto so desperately needs.

LGBTQ2S homeless youth shelter announces its arrival

The Sprott House is catering to a specific need — to provide a safe shelter for young people within the LGBTQ community. Unfortunately, there are not many shelters that offer these type of safe spaces, which is why Kate Miller, director of the YMCA Sprott House, was pleased to announce the new homeless youth shelter Thursday.

“Having a staff that has that experience with the LGBTQ community and having a place where help can accessed is essential,” she said.

The facility will provide 25 beds for Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgender Queer Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth aged 16 to 25 who are in need of shelter and resources. Each individual will be granted housing for up to a year and will have access to counselling, health centre referrals, and education planning, in addition to a personal room and washroom.

“For the residents who live here, they have access to a full-time outreach counsellor as well as doing outreach with organizations that they want to be able to work with outside of the shelter,” said Miller.

Alex Abramovich is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and is specifically studying homelessness among LGBTQ2S youth in Toronto. He has been a great motivator for realizing that homeless LGBTQ2S youth require specialized resources and staff with particular training. Abramovich’s research was presented to city council in 2012 and resulted in the 2013 Street Needs Assessment, which analyzed the homeless demographics within the city.

The 2013 Street Needs assessment revealed that approximately 21 per cent of the street youth in Toronto identify as LGBTQ2S in Toronto, and that a significant part of the homeless demographic is aboriginal and two-spirited, a population that has been often ignored in past discourses and research.

Abramovich is a passionate advocate for homeless LGBTQ youth and the Sprott House. According to his research, homeless youth that identify as LGBTQ2S experience transphobia and homophobia within many youth shelters. This is exemplified when a transgendered person is called a liar because of the gender on their identification.

As well, young transgendered individuals require certain medications for hormones and gender therapy treatment and can resort to unapproved street hormones that cause devastating health effects.  According to Abramovich’s study “No Safe Place to Go”, “the lack of specialized health care services for transgender youth often results in youth turning to unmonitored street suppliers for transition-related treatment (e.g. hormones, silicone injections), which can have severe health complications”.

This YMCA Sprott House also advocates on behalf of the aboriginal two-spirit (2S) community, which is often ignored in youth shelters.

“I’m part of the group advising different types of programs and the intake process,”Abramovich said. “It is absolutely critical that we include two-spirit youth as well. Two-spirited youth have been forgotten for so long. They are absolutely included in the program.”

The YMCA Sprott House will also provide avenues for further homeless LGBTQ2S research. Abramovich explained that he looks forward to working with the Sprott House to create a research study that assessed the suicidality and depression of the youth upon entering and exiting the shelter program. “This will allow provinces across the country to replicate the research model if it is successful,” Abramovich said.

Overwhelming support on behalf of the community and Toronto has been demonstrated for the LGBTQ2S youth housing project. Mayor John Tory was present at the announcement and said, “The neighbours came forward to say they wanted to help to make this happen, they wanted to make friends, they wanted to make partners and be real neighbours. That is the true spirit of Toronto. That is the true example of the values that motivate us in the city and what makes this city so great.”

The YMCA Sprott House is a leading example of the importance for more LGBTQ2S-focused housing projects across Canada. Currently, the LGBTQ RainCity Housing in Vancouver has 900 beds for homeless youth, but has dedicated a section of the shelter to the LGBTQ community. Aura Host Homes foster parent program in Calgary also has a program that matches LGBTQ kids to specific parents that are LGBTQ friendly. Hopefully, more programs will open as a result of the success of these new initiatives in Canadian urban centres.

“The YMCA Sprott House is absolutely critical to meet this population’s needs and to provide inclusive, affirming and safe spaces,” Abamovich said. “It sets an example for Canada. It makes it very clear that LGBTQ2S youth belong and are cared for and that they can be their full authentic selves. I have never felt more proud of our city than this morning.”

Trudeaumania takes over Toronto

Photo taken by Katherine DeClerq

Trudeaumania is real.

Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid a visit to Toronto’s city hall to meet with Mayor John Tory. It was the first time in 18 years a prime minister visited the institution, but that wasn’t why people were so excited. It was because they had the opportunity to get close to the celebrity politician.

The media struggled to stay up with Trudeau and Tory as they walked from Queen St. up to city hall. People sporting bright unicorn Trudeau sweatshirts were running through the crowd, trying to get a selfie with the sexiest head of state in the world, while scores of young women stood in his path screaming his name.

One cameraman made a wrong step and slipped on the skating rink in the square. Reporters ran — and I mean sprinted — around the crowd to get better view of the prime minister, just to run face-first into a father holding his kid, trying to get a glimpse of the people at the center of the spectacle. Personally, I was elbowed in the head and shoved into a snow bank.

“Oh my god, it’s Justin Trudeau!” screamed two jumping girls as he made his way into city hall. I have to say I was impressed with the strength of the prime minister’s security force, dawning the stereotypical sunglasses and earpieces, trying to keep everyone at bay. What a job.

After the screaming died down and the swooning stopped, the prime minister got up on stage with the mayor and opened his mouth to talk. And talk he did — although he didn’t say much. In fact, he hardly said anything worthwhile.

It was obvious the prime minister didn’t want to make any promises during this visit, despite the mayor’s attempts to indicate otherwise. There was no mention of a commitment to the SmartTrack or the Yonge Relief Line, and he didn’t even touch on the $2.6 billion promised to the city for transit.

“We are in the middle of pre-budget consultations.” Trudeau said when a reporter asked when we could expect a cheque for infrastructure. “The infrastructure investments that the mayor is counting on are not a problem, they are part of the solution that Canada is facing.” What that means…no one knows.

Really, the only thing Justin Trudeau reiterated was his government’s pledge of $60 billion over the next 10 years towards green and social infrastructure, and public transit. There was no elaboration. Where will the money go? What are the government’s priorities? All are excellent questions that remained unanswered. The rest of the 10-minute question period included the Prime Minister dancing masterfully around each media inquiry, citing what seemed to be election promises and vaguely mentioning the Liberal’s commitment to job creation, economic growth, and international relations.

But, that didn’t matter to the fans. As one grown man standing behind me in the crowd said: “Wow, his hair really is great!”

And I guess that’s all that mattered.

Photo by Katherine DeClerq

5 reasons New Year’s Eve sucks

New Year’s is an exciting, life-changing annual event, meant to remind us of the people we love in our lives and the potential future that awaits us all. Right? Wrong! It’s all a sham. The reality of New Year’s Eve is an evening full of failed resolutions. There will be a crappy party, which will inevitably result in an even crappier hangover. For all of those pessimists out there, read ahead. For all the optimists, read ahead and we will convert you to our ways.

Here are the five reasons why New Year’s eve sucks:

Goals

1. The New Year resolutions

On the night of December 31, people try to forget the mistakes of the past year and press the restart button. They do this by creating a long list of unattainable goals that they will then spend the next month madly working on before giving up entirely. This is an attempt to make ourselves feel better about all the terrible things we’ve done the past year (ate a dozen donuts in one sitting, laughed at a friend’s obvious discomfort, skipped work just because we felt like sleeping in), and honestly, it isn’t going to work.

Goals such as trying to lose 50 pounds in record time; promising to donate all of your coffee money to charity; or attempting to keep the deep recesses of the closet sparkly clean is not going to happen—and it will only make you miserable. Toss the resolutions out the door ladies and gents, and with it that overwrought expectations of your desired perfection. We are great how we are today, enjoy the present and be mindful of how your actual attributes can help you plan for a great future. And eat that chocolate cake! It won’t kill you.

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2. The inability for any New Year plans to actually work out

Every year, people make amazing plans to attend some friend’s party at the uppermost northern tip of the city, with the thought that they will magically make it down to the innermost downtown core for the countdown, all while enjoying the company of several wonderful friends they see once a year. What actually ends up happening is one of the parties gets canceled and friends are late. The one commonality is that really drunk friend (or work colleague) spills red wine on our beautiful new dresses because they cannot hold their liquor.  The epic plans made each and every year are often too over-the-top and are ridden with expectations of life-changing proportions. Instead, this year, we suggest attending ONE party with ONE group of friends. Sadly, the one person who gets too drunk and spills their drink is inevitable no matter the plans made—in fact, we hope it is you!

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3. The glaring reflection of your relationship status 

The most stressful aspect of New Year’s eve for singles worldwide is the midnight kiss. The thought of everyone kissing their significant others around you — you are left with just a bottle of wine and a face full of tears. It is a nightmare. Seriously, we’ve all dreamt about it. The entire New Year’s eve affair is a concoction made by coupledom to judge singles and leaves many choking down Chinese take-out crying at home when the ball drops.

The good news is that we can fight back! When the countdown arrives, here are a few suggestions to wreak a little midnight havoc. Options include running around topless hollering “down with the patriarchy!” Another choice is to quickly sneak up on your coupling friends and give them a look of irresistible pity so you get two lovely cheek kisses. My third and favorite option is to bring another single along with you and toast to your beautiful independence. This also gives you a pal to snicker with when all of the couples start to bicker after New Year’s when too many drinks have been consumed.

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4. The commute

On New Year’s, everyone is out and about, trying to run from here to there. They will also be very, very drunk. Enough said. Hiring a taxi or an Uber will be out of the question (the wait can be up to two hours or longer!). Despite some transit systems offering free service that night, the commute will still suck. Busses and streetcars will be packed with screaming people drinking out of paper bags. You either have to embrace it with your own paper bag, or just stay home with Chinese take-out. Better yet, stay at ONE party like a normal person, and ask that friend to stay the night.

 

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5. The wardrobe

The glitz of the New Year’s wardrobe is blinding. Short expensive dresses in the middle of winter that sparkle like a disco ball, paired with nine-inch heals to match. These are a hazard ladies! On the other hand, the glitz is a great road reflector and does help to protect against vehicles hitting you. Besides enhanced highway safety, the sparkles and short dresses have got to go. It’s not worth it to purchase an expensive cocktail dress you’ll only wear once, only to have some drunk stranger spill their cheap alcohol all over it. We would opt for a fun, casual outfit that we can move and groove in. Also something a bit warmer than a skimpy outfit — we live in Canada, please dress like it.

 

Overall, I hope you  all take this advice seriously. New Year’s eve can be a great night. It really can. We are not completely pessimistic about the affair. If you remove the intense expectations, over-the-top plans, hope for an imaginary romance, and the glitzy dresses, it will be wonderful evening you will never remember. Because you will be drunk — that part we approve of. To quote the characters of Friends: “Cheers to a Lousy Christmas and A Crappy New Year!”

brace-yourselves-new-years-hangover

Awesome Toronto holiday markets the weekend before Christmas

It may not snow this Christmas, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get in the holiday spirit! This is the last weekend before the holidays — a daunting fact for those of us who have not finished their Christmas shopping. It also means it is the last weekend to enjoy the wonderful holiday markets available throughout the city of Toronto! Here are five of the most popular winter markets open this weekend. Enjoy!

Toronto Christmas Market

 The Historic Distillery District- 35 Lower Jarvis St.

The Toronto Christmas Market is a long standing annual tradition in Toronto and features a variety of holiday events for people young and old. The market is free from Tuesday to Friday and costs $5 on weekends — the money goes to the food bank. Festive holiday music is sung daily by carollers and multicultural and several activities including carnival rides, photos with Santa, and walking tours through the Distillery district.  Vendors will be selling Christmas ornaments and other festive items, including some unique foods. We highly suggest the hot chocolate from Maisonnette, or as they call it, “the drink of the Gods.” Don’t forget to stop at the beer garden when you tired of shopping, or try some mulled wine near the bonfire.

Christmas Market By Kaeleigh Phillips
Christmas Market By Kaeleigh Phillips

Crown Flora Holiday Market

 1233 Queen St. W

The Crown Flora Holiday Market is an annual event in Parkdale, and will be hosted this year on Dec.19 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Local artisans in the neighbourhood will gather together and offer Torontonians a variety of gifts for the holidays. There will be over 60 different vendors selling hand-made goods like paper cards, ornaments, and delicious treats. The event promotes neighbourhood solidarity and opposition to rising rental prices in the area — in addition to celebrating the holidays of course. Gift ideas include wooden ornaments and bowls for plants as well as salted caramels. The best part, free admission!

Union Station Holiday Market

65 Front St. W.,

The Union Station Holiday Market is a pop-up that appears at this busy commuter station from Nov. 30 to Dec. 20. This market is great for people who have limited time to shop. On weekdays, it is open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m and is open on the weekends from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. There are a collection of vendors at this market including OCAD students selling art pieces. Bath products, holiday socks, retro sweaters, and jewelry are good options in addition to several other items.

Trinity Bellwoods Flea

824 Dundas St. W.

The Trinity Bellwoods Flea is a market that runs this weekend only, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A collection of 75 vendors and artisans (over two days) will come together to provide one-of-a-kind gift options. Admission is free and gift wrapping is also free if customers spend over $50. Scented candles, scarves and handmade jewelry are among some of the fantastic items you can pick up from the Trinity Bellwoods Flea.

http://www.trinitybellwoodsflea.com/
http://www.trinitybellwoodsflea.com/

Evergreen Brickworks

550 Bayview Ave.

Evergreen Brickworks Winter Village has a plethora of events to celebrate the holidays that advocates in the spirit of sustainable Christmas shopping. This market is open until Dec. 23 and is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Local vendors, craft events, and a village skating event with a holiday D.J. are all included in the weekend festivities. Families can take part in nature walks (toured or self-guided) or watch a holiday-themed play. You can even learn how to make holiday preserves! The Winter Village goes above and beyond for the holidays and is worth a visit.

 

Do you have a favourite Christmas market that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Mayor Tory has the gonads of a lion!

 

This week the Mayor announced a .5% increase in property tax to be dedicated to a City Building Fund. That amounts to an average of $13 a year for each property owner – or the cost of two large lattes. The levy will be dedicated to a fund for affordable housing and transit.

While .5% isn’t a lot to most residents, in the minds of the mentally below average individuals who once filled the halls of Ford nation, it is an affront worse then the scowling face that greets them each morning in the mirror.

Even with a small .5% levy dedicated to housing and much needed transit imperatives, I expect a few idiots on city council to complain. The roosters from the right will crow that a measly $13/year is too much. They’ll accuse the Mayor of running a “tax and spend” government, but with brains the size of chickens and penis’s to match, these dolts of dumbness don’t understand that their idiotic lack of investment in transit, caused the very gridlock their SUVs sit in today. Their refusal to invest in affordable housing decades ago created a shortage of housing and while this may have increased the value of their suburban homes it has done little to ease the cost of living and left an expense on their children that will take decades to pay down.

There will be lunatics from the left – who will claim the poor can’t afford a .5% levy. They will hope that nobody points out that the poor don’t own property so won’t pay it. These champagne socialists, stingy with their pennies will chide the Mayor more because they don’t want to give up two lattes a year, than out of any true desire to help those less fortunate who desperately need the affordable housing and transit services that this levy is dedicated to building.

Chicken brains and lattes swillers aside this .5% property tax levy is a small drop in the bucket of what is needed to fund the capital projects Toronto requires. From the relief subway line, to revitalizing social housing and repairing the Gardiner, Mayor Tory is taking the first step in creating a dedicated City Building Fund.