Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Toronto - City of Poverty

Shocking News? Rich get richer, Poor get ... more populous
Is there a Class War in Toronto?

T.O. Turning Into a City of Poverty?  A Torstar story in today's Metro, a partisan shot at Rob Ford as the lead-in photo. Nearly TWO-THIRDS of residents will be in the low income bracket by 2025 The Globe and Mail story is: Shrinking Middle Class Makes Toronto a City of Socioeconomiuc Extremes

The Toronto Star story on this is HERE

Juxtaposed in the free Metro paper is this story: Rob Ford and the Politics of Class Warfare in which an opinion piece by the "SpinDoctor" claims there "appears to be a deliberate attempt by the Ford administration to start a class war in which someone NOT using a car in Toronto is somehow classed as elitist". Essentially, we are told the right-wingers are using the same old trick as Mike Harris when he scapegoated those on welfare. Perhaps this is why Ford's first priority is getting rid of the vehicle tax in Toronto, especially as he proclaims the "war against the car" in Toronto is over and that there will be no more "gravy trains". It plays to this mythos.

What I find astonishing is how very, very few candidates running in the just finished city elections even talked about poverty in Toronto. Food banks and hunger were not mentioned either (except by me, as far as I can tell).

The big issues were Transit (maybe because the increasing army of low income service industry workers need it to get their measly pay?), Cycling (maybe because people cannot afford transit fares or service disruptions?) and Development - which is a catch-all term for whatever you want it to be. I'd bet people who wanted development addressed really meant they want better jobs and affordable housing. The iuntolerance for the "Gravy Train" was probably voters who see highly/overpaid politicians getting many perks they could never afford.

Will anyone now in power notice this issue of poverty and class separation?
Time will tell.

***Update: Here is another link that spells trouble for the future High Health Care Costs Directly Linked to Poverty "Some twenty per cent of Canada's spiralling health-care costs can be directly attributed to low income and education levels"

So, Toronto's future is one of rising poverty, class warfare and declining health. Wonderful...