Back in May, I blogged about a family in my area who faced a nightmare: social services had threated to remove their child from their home. Both parents have disabilities, and although they had proved themselves completely capable of taking care of a baby, Children’s Aid said they must hire round-the-clock assistance, or the family could not stay together.
When the story came to light, there was a huge outcry, not only from the disability community but from the general public, too. Children’s Aid backed down, and, according to this follow-up story, has become their support and their ally.
As the title says, here are some things I thought about while I was taking a blogging break.● Marvin Miller died. Miller should be a hero of both the labour movement and baseball history. He should also be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Anyon… . . . → Read More: wmtc: walmart workers, marvin miller, rob ford: important stuff that happened while i wasn’t blogging
The Harper Government has spent nearly $30 million promoting The War of 1812, all part of its overall effort to re-brand Canada as a “warrior nation”. History is always worth remembering, but who tells the story? What’s emphasized and what’s forgotten?… . . . → Read More: wmtc: in mississauga: a people’s history of the war of 1812
The War Resisters Support Campaign presents “TELLING OUR STORY: A Fundraiser for U.S. Iraq War Resisters”, at Innis College Town Hall in Toronto, Friday, December 7, at 7:00 p.m. This very special evening features author Noah Richler reading from his n… . . . → Read More: wmtc: in toronto: a fundraiser for iraq war resisters, featuring noah richler
Last week, I blogged about the ongoing pattern of harassment and discrimination against people who express solidarity with the Palestinian people. This isn’t in the same universe as the oppression endured by Palestine every day; nonetheless, it’s a violation of our own civil liberties and rights, and raises a huge obstacle to disseminating accurate information about the situation in Gaza and elsewhere.
When powerful institutional forces are heavily invested in repressing information, for much of the public, that information will remain invisible or be seen as suspect and dangerous. In other words, when someone like Immigration Minister Jason Kenney constantly
. . . → Read More: wmtc: first they came for pride: city of toronto vs free speech
As you may have heard, the ship The Estelle, sailing in international waters, was illegally boarded by the Israeli navy, and its occupants taken into custody. Among those being held are Jim Manley, a Canadian, and a former New Democrat MP.
The Estelle is part of the Freedom Flotilla movement, which seeks to draw attention to the illegal blockade of Gaza, to stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. The 30 activists on board The Estelle hailed from Israel, the US, Canada, Israel, Norway, and Sweden.
In a story about the
. . . → Read More: wmtc: illegal detention abroad, censorship and media propaganda at home: solidarity with palestine under attack
See below for actions you can take to help US war resister Kimberly Rivera.
We had an amazing community meeting in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto last night.
More than 200 people crowded into the Parkdale United Church basement to show their support for their friend and neighbour Kim Rivera, and to voice their disgust at the Harper Government for its callous, wrongheaded decision that Kim and her family leave Canada.
Rivera – an Iraq War veteran who refused a second deployment and came to Canada with her family in 2007 – has been told she must leave Canada and
. . . → Read More: wmtc: let them stay: action alert: what you can do to help stop the deportation of war resister kim rivera
Please attend an emergency community meeting to support U.S. war resister Kimberly Rivera and her family!
WHEN: Wednesday, September 5, 7:00 PM
WHERE: Parkdale United Church, 171 Dunn Avenue, Toronto
WHY: STOP THE DEPORTATIONS!
When Kimberly Rivera saw with her own eyes the devastation of war, and the trauma it inflicts on children and families, she followed her conscience and refused to go back. Instead, she and her husband and their (then) two children came to Canada.
Since that day in 2007, the Riveras have been fighting to live their lives in peace. But despite the widespread support of
. . . → Read More: wmtc: stand with the riveras! emergency community meeting weds sept 5 in parkdale
If you’re in Toronto, you have a unique opportunity to hear the voices of war resisters as you have never heard them before.
The Foundry Theatre Company has taken the transcripts of Jeremy Hinzman’s hearings before the Immigration and Refugee Board, and statements by members of the War Resisters Support Campaign, among others, and forged them into a play. “The Hearing of Jeremy Hinzman” will be presented as part of Summerworks, in six performances, beginning today.
WHERE: The Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen St West (at Dovercourt), Toronto
WHEN: See performance schedule.
Members of the War Resisters Support Campaign will be
. . . → Read More: wmtc: now at summerworks in toronto: the hearing of jeremy hinzman
Before I begin a series of political posts, here’s a personal-consumer post. I highly recommend the Toronto store Secrets From Your Sister to anyone in the GTA in need of bras or lingerie.
When you move to a new city, you have to find new everything. A new doctor, dentist, vet, hair stylist. A place to buy dog food, a place to buy sneakers, a favourite spot to meet a friend for lunch. I know people who will only get their hair cut when they visit the city they used to live in! Not me. I want everything to be
. . . → Read More: wmtc: secrets from your sister, one awesome store
Why should Quebecers have all the fun? If you’re in the Toronto area, you can join a Manif Casserole tomorrow, May 30. People are gathering at Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin Street, around 8:00. Bring something to bang on and something to bang with (i.e. a pot and a wooden spoon).
There’s a Facebook event here, but it’s more important just to be there.
On Saturday, May 26, Brigette DePape, the former parliamentary page who disrupted the 2011 Throne Speech, will speak on a panel discussing how we can make her two-word protest a reality. The panel also includes:
• Tasha Peters, an Ottawa-based organizer, activist, and member of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition. With others in her community, she facilitates popular education on direct action and anti-oppression.
• Ben Powless, a Mohawk citizen from Six Nations in Ontario who works with the Indigenous Environmental Network and Defenders of the Land, and is a founder of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition.
• Hadayt Nazami,
. . . → Read More: wmtc: what are you doing next saturday night? join the discussion: "can we stop the harper agenda?" featuring brigette depape
This story makes me so angry and frustrated. I can only imagine how the parents feel! I’ve reached out to some activists I know who are people with disabilities for suggestions on how we can support this family. A disabled couple in Mississauga are fighting to keep their newborn son after social workers threatened to take the boy away unless he receives round-the-clock care from an “able-bodied attendant.”
Maricyl Palisoc and her partner, Charles Wilton, are the parents of a healthy month-old baby boy named William. Both parents have cerebral palsy, a disorder that limits their motor skills and
. . . → Read More: wmtc: memo to children’s aid: people with disabilities can be capable parents
With the Toronto Public Library workers back at work after a ten-day strike, here is an assessment of their settlement, from a TPL librarian (my friend and comrade) who is active in the union. The lesson is it’s better to fight than to run away when you are a city-worker union dealing with the Tory assholes that dominate these days.
We got a better deal than anyone else in TO, with a host of concessions beaten back and even a couple of small improvements to benefits.
However, we still gave up too much on the job security provision. Partly, we
. . . → Read More: wmtc: the lessons in tpl’s struggle
An open letter from my friend and comrade Jonathon Hodge. See below for picket schedule.
Many of you are library users, or know someone who is, and so many of you are affected by the current work stoppage at the Toronto Public Library. Those of us who work in the library system do not take this step lightly.
The Toronto Public Library Board is pursuing a course that will severely undermine the library services that Torontonians hold dear. Already, budgets cuts have resulted in the loss of over 100 full-time equivalent positions, including the entire office for services
. . . → Read More: wmtc: how you can support striking tpl workers
As you know, the staff of the Toronto Public Library is on strike.
Rob Ford is using the financial crisis as an excuse to “privatize everything that isn’t nailed down” (his words), including the library. Branch closures are still an issue. Service cuts loom. In times of austerity, working people need the library more than ever – and the library should be free, public, and open to all.
A quality library means quality staff. More than two-thirds of TPL staff is part-time, working without benefits and often without adequate hours to make ends meet. Today at noon, library workers and
. . . → Read More: wmtc: support your local library – support tpl library workers!
Today is International Women’s Day.
We’ve come a long way.
And we’ve still got a long way to go.
Globally, the picture looks much worse.
See the current issue of Socialist Worker for a collection of IWD stories, including one by yours truly.
At today’s IWD March in Toronto, the theme is “Reclaim Our City: Together We Are Stronger!” Details here.
I’m posting this for Googleability.
If you’ve received an excessive water bill, there may be an error in your reading, even if the water meter is working correctly. My partner and I recently filed a small claims lawsuit against the Region of Peel to recover excessive water charges we were forced to pay. The judge awarded us a full refund, plus court fees, plus money for our time and effort, plus interest.
If you have received a water bill that is 10 times (or more) your normal rate, and there are no leaks or plumbing issues in your home, and
. . . → Read More: wmtc: you can fight your excessive water bill
Win? That doesn’t even begin to describe it. This was a rout. When the smoke cleared, we were celebrating and they were gasping for air.
$429 and change that we should never have been charged? Check.
$175 in court costs? Check.
But wait, there’s more…
$100 for our preparation time,
$400 for our inconvenience, for a grand total of $1104.47 plus interest. Not credits on our account, either. Cold cash, baby!
The judge said, “Frankly, I’m surprised that Peel’s legal department would have let this go this far. You could have offered a settlement just to expedite this.
. . . → Read More: wmtc: in which we kick peel’s butt!
Remember our crazy water bill? And how tried to fight it?
In the end, we had no choice. We had to pay the bill or Peel would have disconnected our water. After that, our only recourse was to file in small claims court to try to recover the excess payment. We did so, and we had a mandatory (and useless) settlement conference. The trial is tomorrow.
Allan has been working on our case for a long time and is beyond sick of it. Being a classic pessimist, he is convinced we will lose and just wants to get it over
. . . → Read More: wmtc: our day in court