Homelessness in Canada. What is the next action?

So everyone is clear I am not an expert in any of the following, it’s just a collection of thoughts and comments that has been spinning around my head the last few days. If you find it useful then it’s a good thing.
Over the last 40 years the homelessness problem in Canada has gotten much worse.

In most provinces and federally, governments of all political sides have not been able to solve the problem. I have become much more aware of this issue thanks for the efforts of groups and individuals to let all Canadian’s know. Homelessness like health are seems to be a very polarizing and complex issue that many citizens would rather leave for someone else to try and find the solution for.

After 40 years we need to & tackle this seriously.

We have had countless studies and trials program showing that the simple fact of providing the homelessness with sage affordable house ultimately solves many problems. It’s also been proven to be cheaper for government and ultimately taxpayers in the long run. Why are we not embracing this approach more?

Political parties of all sides have to work together on this problem. This is not a left vs. right issue. This is an issue that just needs to be solved. Just because the other party has an idea to help move this issue forward does not mean it is wrong. Parties have to realize they are working for all Canadian’s not just the ones that voted them into power. At the same time citizens expect their government to be as transparent about moving these issues forward. Sometimes the choices may not be popular, but is that because citizens have been told things that make for a good sound byte but in reality is stretching the truth? We have seen that through all levels of governments and from all political parties, no one side has a lock on being transparent to the people.

In the case of homelessness we have a solution that gives the people the help they need (making the left happy) and ultimately saves money in the long run (which makes the right happy) Why are we not going forward with this?

Some random notes

  • One reason we need a national strategy is that if one province or local community does a great job in solving homelessness what is to stop everyone from showing up at their doorstep? It needs to be a national response.
  • Some have said there is something about having larger regional hubs.
  • There will always need to be some short of shelter system for emergency and crisis issues.
  • Cost of rental accommodation is out of proportion to what people can afford.
  • Could a basic income strategy help with this and still be cheaper in the long-term?

 

Thanks to some great people such as Cheryl and Abe there are some great resources to learn more about this issue. And these folks are much more knowledgeable about this important issue then I am.

London Homeless Coalition

London CAReS

The Homeless Hub, state of homelessness report for 2014

City of London Homelessness and housing plan

Posted in Life, Random Thoughts Tagged with: , , , ,

Orchestra London Woes

logo_orchestralondon_wht

Many have already commented about the news of Orchestra London. I’m probably just going to echo what a few others have said but I need to get my thoughts into this.

For years Orchestra London has had challenges. They have attempted to move (although slowly IMHO) to try and bring a new audience base in. Centennial hall is not the ideal venue for this sort of event. I echo what many say, I tend to avoid going to events there as the seating is just so darn uncomfortable.

What angers me the most is that it looks like someone knew of growing problems in the early summer. And yet it was kept quiet, I assume one of the reasons would be because of a campaign for Mayor starting up.

Relying on a single large source of funding is always a risky thing. When the funding fails to come through, stalling on your required financial report shows a lack of transparency to your own staff, the city and the public as a whole. There are many other groups and organizations that get city funding. This sort of thing unfortunately tars them with the same brush in some circles.

This has put council in a no win situation. Hopefully at the very least a solution can be worked out by council and staff to prevent this from happening again. For now I hope the following happens;

The City Of London;
From what I understand that city is on the hook for some of this amount owing. At the very least pay the staff what they are owed, and honor any other financial commitments as is required. It’s going to cost us far more if lawsuits start flying.

If financial reports are late then alarm bells need to start going off. (For the record I don’t know if was happening).

Orchestra London;
Do not extend any more funding until a plan can come up from an organization that hopefully can rise from the old. The artists themselves are starting to represent themselves on social media and this can only help to showcase what the orchestra does.

Look at relationships with other arts and community organizations in town as well as other Orchestra’s in the area.

Find ways to bring the music to people who may have preconceived notions. For example many people love movie soundtracks but then say they have never listened to classical music.

 

Update Dec 18th 2014

Council has decided to follow’s staff advice and not pay any more funds to Orchestra London.  This is does not surprise and in light of more information since I wrote the original post it makes sense.  This is definitely a case of what I would love verses what is sensible for the community.

 

Posted in Random Thoughts, Rants Tagged with: , ,

Post election

cityhall-1

I remember four years ago when the municipal election results came in, I was disappointed in some of the results, but I did have hope that as in the past council could work together to service the citizens of the city.

My hopes were dashed a few short months later when we saw the push to 0% on the first budget. Many people noticed that some on council seemed woefully unprepared for meetings. Many seemed to have not even read the reports and agendas that were presented to them. There also seem to be much polarization with a voting block known as the Fontana 8. Party type politics seemed to have arrived in our city.

Compare that to this election night, as the votes started coming in there was a sense that something big was happening. Within a very short time the atmosphere turned electric as people realized that many changes were going to happen.

In the end things turned out better than I hoped. Some races were surprise upsets, some the margin of victory was greater than expected.

Hopefully this new council with many new faces and a new Mayor can start working better together and bring some new ideas that will benefit all in London and area. People have said with so many new faces it will be a steep learning curve and I agree but the city has a good staff who know their stuff. Hopefully this council will listen to them more.

One last thought,  it is still important to keep this level of engagement continuing, not just for us citizens but for those who are serving on council.  Having an idea on what we as citizen’s of this great city are thinking will only help them in the difficult decisions that lie ahead.

 

 

Posted in Politics, Random Thoughts

2014 City Council Endorsements

Well after a very long and notable campaign, we are finally at the end of it. There have been some positive and negative things in this campaign cycle and hopefully we can all learn from it. Thanks should be given to everyone who put their name forward as well as the countless hours put in by the volunteers in each campaign.

The following is who I would vote for if I lived in every ward.

Ward 1: Michael van Holst
Ward 2: Nancy McSloy
Ward 3: Mo Salih
Ward 4: Jesse Helmer
Ward 5: Kevin Labonte
Ward 6: Mike Bloxam
Ward 7: Josh Morgan
Ward 8: Paul Hubert
Ward 9: Anna Hopkins
Ward 10: Virginia Ridley
Ward 11: Stephen Turner
Ward 12: Peter Ferguson
Ward 13: Tanya Park
Ward 14: Jared Zaifman

And finally for Mayor: Matt Brown

Most importantly, please get out and vote.

Posted in Politics

Follow me on Twitter

Donate

Thank you for your support.

Archives

Categories