Pivoting to Spiders

Note to readers: I am taking a hiatus from the whole City Hall thing. I’ll soon be cancelling all your recurring Paypal donations and putting the Patreon on hold.

It’s not about money or the work or anything. It’s just an existential despair thing, you know?

Thank you for your support over the years. I could not have done it without you.

If you want the long version, here you go. Continue reading Pivoting to Spiders

Not Another Fucking Budget Overview

I’ve lost my passion for covering the City budget. Partly the clinical depression, I think, but also—it just never changes. There’s only so many times you can write another fucking “after the City Manager warns Council they can no longer ‘kick the can down the road’ for another year, Council votes to kick the can down the road” piece. It’s all too predictable. Continue reading Not Another Fucking Budget Overview

The Cheat Sheet: January/February 2018 City Council (Extra Special Low Effort Edition)

On this meeting’s agenda: waterfront transit, a Rail Deck Park development proposal, various TCHC issues, self-driving cars, cryptocurrency, a new revenue tool, and, of course, tree removal applications.

Several items were deferred from the last meeting; check my previous write-up. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: January/February 2018 City Council (Extra Special Low Effort Edition)

Why I Haven’t Been Writing Lately

…I’m really depressed. Yeah, that’s about it. Yes, it’s taken me several months to get around to writing this, and sorry for any sloppiness because I’m just dashing this off before going to Tim Horton’s because the faint hope of winning a free coffee is the only thing that can get me out of the house today.

Continue reading Why I Haven’t Been Writing Lately

Poverty infrastructure

In Desmond Cole’s story on the City staff report on homelessness, he concludes,

Toronto’s shelter system was never designed to meet the needs it now struggles to address. According to the report, shelters now sometimes serve as permanent or semi-permanent housing for people who should ideally be in some form of assisted-living housing.

And it occurred to me, not for the first time, that this is a defining feature of our poverty infrastructure, a. k. a. the social safety net. Homeless shelters, food banks, and distress lines were only ever meant to be emergency measures. But all of these services have regular users because there is nothing else there to meet people’s basic needs. Instead of permanent affordable housing, people use shelters. Rent is so high that people are chronically unable to afford food, so they rely on food banks. Because adequate preventative mental health care is inaccessible, they call the distress line number posted up by the Bloor Street viaduct for suicidal jumpers.

It is a strained and unsustainable system that various levels of government, which ostensibly want to wipe out poverty, are slowly divesting themselves of, and “downloading” to private enterprises or individuals.

We have essentially refused to hire family doctors, and if anyone gets sick there is no help until you are in such critical condition you need to go to the emergency room. And because the emergency room is only designed to get you out of emergencies, no one will help you get healthy enough so that you don’t need a doctor at all.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled wankery about transit funding. Good night.