Russ Ford's Blog

Jamaica- No Worries?

Welcome back. My readership  significantly increased over the summer when I was not writing.  I am sure there is a lesson in there somewhere.  

 This week I am starting off with a piece concerning how I spent my summer vacation.  But it is not a travelogue. In fact I guarantee none of what I have to say will ever grace the pages of the travel section of our newspapers.

I was one of 13 Toronto people who went to Jamaica under the auspices of Creating Global Citizens (CGC).  Let me steal directly from their website.

Summer blogs

Well the sun is shining and my tennis raquet is waiting.

So I will be taking a leave from blog writing and I will be back on the Sunday before Labour Day  with my weekly view of the world.

I want to thank all of you for reading. I started off with a few readers now i must be around 600 hits on average each week.  

It is very humbling to think that so many people think you have something useful to say.

Anyway enjoy the summer.  You can follow me on twitter if yoiu want

@russjamesford

Will Anyone Stand Up to Toronto Public Health's Power Grab?

This week Toronto Public Health (TPH)  announced that its attempt to take control away from community agencies for speech and language services will be before the Board of Health at its July meeting.

Taking it before the Board of Health is a request LAMP  has made for more than two years. We see it as the only opportunity parents will be given to comment on the services that directly affect their children.  This is an opportunity to get this arrangement out of the back rooms and into the public domain.

Transit Policy is About Equity

The American think tank, The Brookings Institute, has just come out with a new study on poverty in the United states.

It concluded that poverty is growing everywhere but the area of fastest growth are in the suburbs of the big American cities.  While such a finding is consistent with  the research done in Toronto, it certainly challenges our historic notion that American inner cities are rotting and the suburbs are dominated by white picket fences.

A Successful Program that Won't Come to Ontario

Let's start with what I would consider fairly benign statements about youth violence.

1) We cannot arrest our way out of the problem

2) No kid grows up aspiring to be a gang member

3) The roots of youth violence are embedded in issues of poverty and racism.
If you agree with those statements, you must as I do, simply shake your head when you look at how we have responded to the issue of youth violence.

Are We Headed for Another Summer of the Gun?

This past week I was one of three executive directors to meet with Dr. Alvin Curling who is currently working as strategic advisor to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

We were there to talk about "The Roots of Youth Violence" a report that Dr. Curling co-authored in 2008 in response to the growing level of gun violence in Toronto .