Russ Ford's Blog

Blog on Hold

For the past few years I have been using this space to write a weekly blog about issues that affect our community. The original intent was to provide an insight into how broad government policies can impact a community and its members.

Clearly by the growing number of people who now read this blog, it has struck a chord and I am grateful that you have taken the time to read it.

Needed: An Equity Strategy for Toronto

This week the City unveiled its new priority neighbourhoods, now called "neighbourhood improvement areas" as a concession to some who found the "priority neighbourhood" designation disturbing.

No matter, the brain child of former mayor David Miller seems, with rare exception, to be well supported by all parts of the political spectrum.  The once controversial experiment in social equity ahs clearly proven its worth. The 13 priority neighbourhoods received an additional $225 million between 2005 and 2011.

There is no Charter in Arizona

I recently spent  a week in Arizona.  I knew nothing about this part of the world.  What I found was an incomparable climate and a very beautiful natural habitat.  It would have been the perfect vacation had I not turned on the television set.

What I learned from television is the not very beautiful side of the state.  The state legislature had just passed what came to be known as the "religious freedoms bill."

There is no freedom under the religious freedom bill.  On the contrary it is state supported bigotry.

Bureaucratic Bullying

Today's blog is a story of courage.  It is about  Sue Williams, a woman who decided to put the interests of her clients ahead of her own and paid the price.

You have likely never heard of  Sue.  She is not an entertainer, athlete or politician. She is an occupational  therapist  working in Guelph.

Transform This

I spent a considerable amount of time this week meeting with CHC colleagues from around the province.  Much of our conversation centered on the so called "transformation agenda".

If you do not know what that is, do not worry you have been living in a cave.  Unless you work in government or  receive government funding, you won't know.  There has been  no transparency or public consultation.

Getting Around in the Lakeshore- or not

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being one of the three panellists on a transit forum in south Etobicoke.  The other two were Mike Olivier and the host George Takach.

This is the second community forum held by George and I think it is safe to say both have been highly successful.  Anything that promotes community engagement is  a very positive thing to do.