“We will fund it out of the existing projects that the government has.”
PM Paul Martin on the $9-billion health care package he announced Monday. The cash would be dandy, of course, but isn't this the dude who backtracked on pharmacare and cut to ribbons provincial transfer payments? Talk about purchasing an election.
Loblaws sneaks into Kensington
First Maple Leaf Gardens. Now Kensington Market. Supermarket giant Loblaws is threatening to put local food merchants out of business with a 5,000-square-foot grocery store slated to carry its goods in the bohemian enclave. It'll be called Freshmart - and a former local, Martin Zimmerman, will keep shop. Is this a sneak attack? Just a way of getting Loblaws into the area without freaking out local residents worried by gentrification? Think of what happened to Nike's foray into the neighbourhood under the guise of something called Presto. Déjà vu.
Chump change for disabled
Speaking of the provincial budget, the 3 per cent increase to social assistance rates amounts to chump change. Rates for Ontarians on disability have been frozen since 93, while Ontario Works recipients saw their payments slashed by 21.6 per cent in 95. For a single mother with one child, 3 per cent amounts to an increase of $28.71 a month, barely enough for a bag of diapers and a carton of milk. Some 600,000 people are living on social assistance in the province.
Sanctuary for U.S. GIs
Kudos to David Suzuki, Naomi Klein, June Callwood and other prominent Canadians now demanding that the feds offer refuge to U.S. war resisters. Says Callwood, "From the time of the United Empire Loyalists to the draft resisters of the Vietnam War, Canada has been providing refuge to Americans. We have a moral obligation to continue to do so." Moral obligation. What a concept.
The corruption charges plaguing police union board members have the executive tinkering with the scary - and downright stupid - idea of dragging former prez Craig Bromell out of retirement. Not that it would do loads to scrub the union's tarnished image, since it was Bromell who hand-picked his now disgraced successor, Rick McIntosh. Bromell was himself facing criticism over his spending on pricey dinners and nights out on the town, presumably on union biz, before he left. The devil you know...?