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
Because I’m really tired of the clever arguments and coy dancing around double standards, even from my own “side”:
These are the facts as I see them. I am not here to “start a conversation” or provide balance or engage in debate. These are the principles that guide my thinking.
The leading lights of Canadian media are obnoxiously racist. Continue reading Just a Little Sunday Afternoon Rant About Racism In the Media
First things first: I hate elections. Suddenly people you could have a normal, genuine conversation with start saying nothing but party talking points. You have to pretend to take debates and campaign promises and interviews seriously, as if they could tell you anything about how the candidate will actually govern in real life. And you can just speculate about any old bullshit that comes into your head and pass it off as serious political analysis. It’s insultingly easy to be an expert on things that haven’t happened yet.
So this is my caveat: 100% of this post is my completely unfounded opinion and by spending energy writing it all I have done is bring the universe infinitesimally closer to heat death. Continue reading On the Campaign Trail in Lake Wobegon
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.
Wednesday, June 6, City Council meeting 24
Recap of this morning:
A bunch of councillors throwing hissy fits over the injustice of paying 5¢ for a plastic bag in a perfect microcosm of how conservative governments dismantle themselves by becoming so inefficient they’re not worth having around.
How this got started:
Berardinetti proposed having businesses donate the proceeds from the plastic bag fee to suitable groups, like environmental organizations.
This wasn’t a total dick move, so other people on the Executive Committee added a bit about rescinding the fee altogether.
(So wait, you may say. Are they proposing to get rid of the fee and donating the profits from the fee, in the same motion? Isn’t that kind of confusing? Yes, yes it is.)
And then Perruzza floated the idea of going in the other direction and banning plastic bags (as some cities have done), which made everyone freak the fuck out.
Ridonkulous arguments floated so far:
- Scrapping the bag fee kills jobs at plastic recycling plants (Del Grande)
- Dog poop!!1!!11 (Lindsay Luby)
- If fee proceeds are donated to charity, people will buy EVEN MORE bags (Shiner)
- Grocery stores aren’t giving out paper bags, so… (Di Giorgio?)
- The bag fee is bankrupting corner stores and enriching big chains like Loblaws
As I type, the debate is still going on. FUCK EVERYTHING I’M GOING OUTSIDE.