May 11

Private sector waterfront development is short-sighted, says private sector

This weekend saw architect Jack Diamond take to the Globe & Mail to absolutely tear into recent comments made by Doug and Rob Ford, wherein they referred to Waterfront Toronto as a boondoggle:

To call such wise public-sector investment a boondoggle is, at best, to exhibit a profound lack of understanding of the role that government should play. At worst, it is a result of the myopia caused by an ideological disease. It demonstrates a total lack of appreciation of the different roles that should be performed by government and the private sector. That the two can operate to mutual advantage is the ethos of Canada at its best. To act contrary to that precept is to diminish our political patrimony. To complete an often incompletely quoted aphorism – history repeats itself if we don’t learn from it.

via Ford’s short-sighted vision of Toronto’s waterfront – The Globe and Mail.

Damn. Remember, too, that Diamond works primarily with private sector developers. He very much is the private sector.

Still, though, I’m sure there’s someone out there in the private sector — someone who probably doesn’t use as many big, complicated words — who shares the dream of turning a heritage generating station into a football stadium.

Feb 11

Member of mayor’s football team finds support in city-funded shelters

InsideToronto published a story that only tangentially relates to the mayor and city politics this week, but I thought it worth highlighting. Written by Cynthia Reason, it’s the story of Etobicoke youth Kurstin Jones — not his real name — who was homeless until he found Youth Without Shelter:

After nearly a year living at Etobicoke’s only youth shelter – more than nine months of that time spent studying in YWS’s Stay in School program – Kurstin’s life is now back on track. He’s just one credit shy of his high school diploma, he’s got a $17/hour factory job lined up, he’s reconciled with his mother and now counts her as his best friend, and he’s got a serious girlfriend.

As Executive Director Wendy Horton put it: Kurstin is one of the ones who’s ready to take the leap towards independence.

via InsideToronto Article: AT ISSUE: Youth shelter gets kids back on their feet.

Jones is 19 now, and the article notes he played (but never saw much game time) for the Don Bosco Eagles. He even slept on the bench by the football field some nights when he had nowhere else to go. By my math, his coach during this time would have been then-councillor Rob Ford. He’s coached the Don Bosco Eagles since 2001.

Youth Without Shelter receives operating funding from the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto.

This story could come in handy if (when) the mayor starts making moves towards cutting funding for community shelters.