Gleaner

Serving Toronto's most liveable communities with the Annex Gleaner and Liberty Gleaner

FORUM: Premier Ford’s land use planning agenda is a big worry (May 2021)

June 15th, 2021 · No Comments

The good, the bad, and the ugly of a government run amok on planning policy

By Jessica Bell

Since becoming premier, the Doug Ford government has rewritten many of the laws and regulations that decide how we build and what we build. These developer-friendly changes help Doug Ford’s donor base reap record profits, but their impact on people, the environment, democracy and our affordable housing goals is mixed. And I’m being nice here.

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Tags: Annex · Opinion

NEWS: Tenants at risk of eviction (Apr. 2021)

May 12th, 2021 · Comments Off on NEWS: Tenants at risk of eviction (Apr. 2021)

Critics see government’s “protections” as toothless 

By Nicole Stoffman

Seven percent of Ontario tenants, or 98,000 families, can’t pay their full rent because of pandemic-related job loss. They are accumulating rent arrears that many will never be able to repay, according to the Federation of Rental Providers of Ontario (FRPO). In the Annex alone, 16 eviction applications have been made since November. 

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Tags: Annex · News

FORUM: Mr. Ford cuts into the future of public services (Apr. 2021)

May 12th, 2021 · Comments Off on FORUM: Mr. Ford cuts into the future of public services (Apr. 2021)

Budget bright spots come with a grain of salt

By Jessica Bell

The Ford government released its 2021-2022 Budget on March 24. The government will spend $186 billion next year, a cut of $4.8 billion from the previous year.

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Tags: Annex · Opinion

FORUM: Vaccines, development, judicial reform dominate Queen’s Park (Mar. 2021)

March 26th, 2021 · Comments Off on FORUM: Vaccines, development, judicial reform dominate Queen’s Park (Mar. 2021)

Massive power grab by Ford with Omnibus Bill 245 

By Jessica Bell

I was sitting near MPP Sol Mamakwa in question period, when Premier Ford accused Ontario’s only Indigenous MPP of jumping the vaccination queue after he flew into a remote community to be vaccinated.

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Tags: Annex · Opinion

FORUM: To curb COVID-19, Ontario must protect workers (Feb. 2021)

March 5th, 2021 · Comments Off on FORUM: To curb COVID-19, Ontario must protect workers (Feb. 2021)

Ontario lags behind other jurisdictions

By Jessica Bell

I am concerned the Ford government is opening the economy too fast, setting the stage for another round of illness, preventable death, overwhelmed hospitals and lockdowns. We must make decisions based on what’s best for our public health. When we reopen, we must reopen carefully and slowly, with safety first and foremost in mind. We must make Ontario’s workplaces more safe.

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Tags: Annex · Opinion

FORUM: St. George Community Living was a preventable tragedy (Jan. 2021)

January 27th, 2021 · Comments Off on FORUM: St. George Community Living was a preventable tragedy (Jan. 2021)

For-proft LTC home in University-Rosedale has Ontario’s largest COVID-19 outbreak

By Jessica Bell

St. George Community Living, which is located  in my riding of University-Rosedale, now has the largest COVID-19 outbreak in Ontario. As of January 5, 84 residents and 51 staff have COVID-19, and 6 residents have died. The staff and residents need help now, and we, as a society, need to change the laws of our province to stop these preventable tragedies from happening again.

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Tags: Annex · Opinion

NEWS: Area long-term care homes and COVID (Dec. 2020)

December 21st, 2020 · Comments Off on NEWS: Area long-term care homes and COVID (Dec. 2020)

There have been many outbreaks in long-term care homes across Ontario, including ones within the Gleaner’s distribution area. According to the province, Vermont Square, Kensington Gardens, O’Neill Centre and St. George Care Community have all experienced coronavirus outbreaks but have recovered since.

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Tags: Annex · News

FORUM: Ford’s fall agenda deeply flawed (Dec. 2020)

December 21st, 2020 · Comments Off on FORUM: Ford’s fall agenda deeply flawed (Dec. 2020)

Environment, evictions, schools dominate final days of Queen’s Park 2020 Session

By Jessica Bell

Queen’s Park closed for the year on December 8. Here are the legislative highlights from the final few weeks:

The Ford government continued trampling on Ontario’s natural environment. Government Bill 229 stripped the power of local conservation authorities to protect water quality and floodplains from development. 

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Tags: Annex · Opinion

FORUM: Waiting on a second-wave plan from Mr. Ford (Oct. 2020)

November 2nd, 2020 · Comments Off on FORUM: Waiting on a second-wave plan from Mr. Ford (Oct. 2020)

Development proposals sneak through during crisis

By Jessica Bell

The cooler weather has arrived, but there is no respite from the coronavirus. The second wave has begun. The spread of the new coronavirus, the need for affordable housing and concerns about development along with developer and affordable housing pressures, are the key issues I’m hearing about this season.

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Tags: Annex · Opinion

FORUM: What can we do to fight for safe public education? (Aug. 2020)

September 9th, 2020 · Comments Off on FORUM: What can we do to fight for safe public education? (Aug. 2020)

Premier’s plan creates chaos, sows division

By Jessica Bell

Since school closed in March, our family has been struggling with the impossible job of full-time work and full-time parenting our two school-aged children. I, along with the parents of Ontario’s other two million school-age children, have been waiting for the Ontario government to release its back-to-school plan. However, its release — just weeks before school is scheduled to begin and without any serious consultation with the community — brought feelings of relief, anxiety, hopelessness, and rage.

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Tags: Annex · Opinion