By PAT WATSON
There is a solution floating out there that promises to be a revolution against poverty. First, an analogy: If you all agree that shelter is a condition for healthy living and a human right, then we should also agree that we must provide the means for ensuring that standard. That means we mutually ensure the universal provisions for shelter. There is no sense in saying, ‘Well, we all must have shelter as a right, but regarding procurement of the means then you’re on your bro.’
Which brings up the recent discussion coming from the provincial government on running a pilot project on ‘mincome’. That’s the term being used to refer to the idea that every household be provided with a guaranteed basic income.
The Ontario Liberal government is now doing a search for the right community in which to proceed with a pilot project on mincome payments.
This wouldn’t be the first time such a social experiment has been done. A similar pilot project took place in
– See more at: http://sharenews.com/have-you-heard-of-mincome/#sthash.Yxxq7wln.dpuf
By PAT WATSON
Mould, leaking ceilings, broken windows covered with cardboard, leaking rusty plumbing. Any of these could be describing housing conditions on any one of the poorly supported reserves where indigenous people live in Northern Ontario. But they also describe conditions crying out for attention within the properties managed by the City of Toronto.
The list of problems would also have to include the rate of violent crime that occurs on or in the vicinity of public housing property, which exceeds the rate in other parts of the city.
Is it too far a stretch to characterize City management as a slumlord?
Here is what the mayor’s Task Force looking into the crisis we call Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) came back with: “TCHC is an organization that, because of its history and structure, is unsustainable financially, socially and from an operating and governance perspective.”
Yet, rather than do away with this whole enterprise, the Task Force has come back with two main recommendations about the structure of the organization, both of which would mean keeping TCHC in existence in one form or another.
The Task Force has recommended changing the name of TCHC to NewHome. NewHome, old home, what’s the difference if it looks and functions no differently?
– See more at: http://sharenews.com/maintaining-public-housing-status-quo-wrong/#sthash.4b51f6RC.dpuf
Pat Watson is the author of the e-book, In Through a Coloured Lens.
Hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists have demonstrated outside the Fourth Precinct police station in North Minneapolis since Jamar Clark, 24, was shot by an officer on November 15. On November 23, five protesters were shot near the demonstration. The following day, I photographed demonstrators and asked them all one question: What are you afraid of? […]
Ethnic vilification: fear, hate and political gamesmanship
By PAT WATSON
Stephen Harper, pragmatic arch-conservative and the current prime minister of Canada, has put a considerable amount of resources, meaning tax dollars and legal maneuverings, into denying legal rights to Canadian-born Omar Khadr.
Khadr, now 28, has just been released from a Canadian prison, after serving time for his involvement at the age of 15 in a gun battle between U.S. soldiers and al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. During the battle, Khadr, who was taken to Afghanistan by his father, is said to have lobbed a hand grenade that killed an American soldier.
The Khadr family had a history of close ties to the 9-11 boogieman, Osama bin Laden, and history will show that, at 15, Omar Khadr was the youngest person held in the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba among purported Islamist terrorists and various others thought to have been involved with al-Qaeda.
More recently, after Khadr’s imprisonment and legal battles arose in the public mind, the threat of the Islamic State (IS) movement has also emerged. Before long, Canadian soldiers who had been returning home from their mission in Afghanistan were then assigned to respond to the IS threat.
A striking feature in all of this to many observers regarding the Omar Khadr case is
– See more at: http://sharenews.com/ethnic-vilification-fear-hate-and-political-gamesmanship/#sthash.7uTlsC8q.dpuf
Harper budget signals need for a new kind of public servant
By PAT WATSON
Dear group of people who will become the next federal government of Canada, we the struggling class would like you to do something for the votes we are trustingly about to give you in our desperate attempt to sweep aside the current group.
We want you to know that we are in need of your absolute commitment to our wellbeing. We are having a hard enough time meeting all the financial demands to keep maintaining the basics of life placed on us daily.
We want you to know that the reason we can’t take advantage of the current government’s tax-free savings plan, now being increased from the generous $5,500 annually, is that we can’t even save $500 annually. That’s why we don’t go to the movies; that’s why we don’t buy magazines; that’s why we don’t even dare to buy a bunch of flowers to brighten up our homes.
We want you to know…