Russ Ford's Blog

Giving Thanks For A Job- For Any Job

This is the weekend for  giving  thanks for all of the good things in our life.  My daughter for example, should be giving thanks for having a job.

After graduating from university she went through a period of unemployment which ended when she got a job in a sandwich shop/bakery. She is earning just above minimum wage and has no benefits.

The Seeding of Local Democracy

Last week I got the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of Toronto Neighbourhood Centres  (TNC).

For those of you unfamiliar with TNC,  and I suspect that is most of you, it has a rich history of service in Toronto. Founded in 1918,   TNC was originally a loose federation of the four  downtown settlement houses that played such a dominant role in providing settlement services to those who chose to call Toronto home. 

Health Care's Real Iceberg

Ryan Meili does not wear a beret. In fact  I doubt he  even owns  a Che tee shirt. He does not  emphatically wave his arms while speaking. Some revolutionary
Ryan Meili does wear a suit, speaks softly and is a doctor from Saskatoon. With no political experience he ran for the leadership of the Saskatchewan NDP, the province's natural governing party  and finished second.   His campaign was based on the social determinants of health.  Yes, some revolutionary.

Inequality and the Public Transit Debate

I recently read an article in which it was claimed that the United States (and I assume Canada) is now a "post racial society".

The argument is that while the United States institutionalized racism early in its existence through slavery, such notions of racial superiority do not exist today and even the President is Black.

I suspect the author is neither Black or a member of one of our First Nations.

Planning for people and why saving a church matters

Wesley Mimico United church is in survival mode.  It  has a building built for the size of congregation it had, not what it has today.

But rather than succumb to the wreckers ball, the church is trying to reposition or reinvent  itself by creating a building that will also house seniors  and have  community  space. Yes, it will still be a house of worship but it is also trying to be relevant to the needs of the community.

The Jamaican Paradox

I am still in Jamaica.  Not literally of course, I am writing this from my computer in south Etobicoke.  It is hard to say if my trip which I described in my previous blog, will be life changing but it has certainly  changed my perspective on the world.

Over the past week I have met a few Jamaicans who now live in Toronto.  Without exception all asked me how I enjoyed my trip.  I think they thought I was going to respond by talking about the great  beaches, friendly people and tasty cuisine.