“Do we need a tsunami, a hurricane or an ice storm to get some action on housing?”
Street nurse Cathy Crowe wants to know just how committed the Grits are to fighting child poverty -- last week's budget failed to allot a single new penny for affordable housing.
Heady hate stats
In its annual cross-country audit of anti-Semitic incidents released last week, B'nai Brith's League for Human Rights reports that there were 935 incidents of anti-Semitism in 2006 -- a 12.8 per cent increase over the previous year. According to the Jewish org, the numbers mark an all-time high in Canada, a twofold increase over levels just four years ago. The vast majority of incidents (97 per cent) involved harassment and vandalism. The picture in T.O., though, isn't nearly so clear. According to B'nai Brith, the number of violent incidents in the Toronto region (16) remained the same as in 2005. According to the Toronto police hate crimes unit, which released its report the day after B'nai Brith's, it's the black community that is the target of most hate crimes, 48 of a total 162 occurrences recorded in 2006, versus 28 against the Jewish community. While the police documented an increase in hate crimes of 23 per cent over 2005, that 162 total is the fourth-lowest since police began collecting stats in 93. Go figure.
Miller's landfill backfil
Toronto has avoided a nasty court fight with the Oneida of the Thames First Nation after agreeing to a deal that will allow the city to move forward with plans to run a landfill next door to the London-area native reserve. Mayor David Miller had no choice. Besides, how would it look if the same guy who led the fight against shipping our garbage to an abandoned mine up north ignored native concerns over messing with the cleanest underground aquifers in all of North America?
Bob Rae does Rosedale
Those still wondering why Bob Rae decided to slum it again in electoral politics got their answer during his victory speech at the Liberal nomination for Toronto-Centre Monday, March 26: Mike Harris. Rae was at his rhetorical best eviscerating the record of the neo-con who tossed him out of the premier's office. "We had 10 lost years under Harris where not a bed, not a single unit of affordable housing was built," he said, his finger jabbing the air in front of him. "I don't want to see the same with Harper." Since he's drafting the Liberal election platform, can we consider this a preview?