This is an except of the Globe and Mail:
ELECTION: This is why I’m voting for Rob Ford
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail
Name: Connie Harrison
Occupation: Student and volunteer, currently on the Ontario Disability Support Program
Neighbourhood: St. Jamestown
My ride: Walking, riding the TTC
My last mayoral vote: David Miller in 2006 and 2003.
My political identity: “Left-of-centre.”
My top issue: Improvements to Toronto Community Housing and city shelters
Connie Harrison says with a laugh that she knows she’s not a typical Rob Ford supporter.
A mother of three grown children, including a severely autistic son, Ms. Harrison is a part-Aboriginal cancer survivor who lives in a social-housing tower in the blighted St. Jamestown projects north of Cabbagetown.
In other words, she benefits from precisely the kind of public programs that could fall under the axe in a Ford administration. But she’s sure that if Mr. Ford were wielding the blade he’d have the guts to tell her straight that cuts were coming. That endears him to her.
“His language is plain and blunt and to the point,” she said. “He doesn’t use words like ‘partnership,’ ‘engage,’ ‘liaison,’ all the fluff words we’re using over the last decade that were probably invented by consultants so they could charge more money.”
The Etobicoke councillor’s style is infinitely preferably to David Miller’s, she says, citing one of the outgoing mayor’s legacy programs to retrofit concrete high-rises across the city.
“Oh god, if I could show you some city documents from the recent tower renewal, it’s all just fluff language to make people get baffled,” she said. “It’s a softener for the gentrification that’s coming in. I just wish people would say, ‘Guess what, guys? You’re being gentrified. Your buildings are probably all going to be torn down in a few years, so start planning now.’ I wish someone had the balls to tell me that. I think Ford would.”
Having seen up close some of the programs the city runs for the needy, Ms. Harrison is incensed at the waste and inefficiency, something she believes only Mr. Ford could change. His “frugality” is one of her favourite things about him. She likes that he supports portable rent subsidies to cut down Toronto Community Housing’s legendarily long waiting list.
This is my Response to Myself 1 year later.
Over a year ago I voted for you in the hopes that you would help clean up the mess that is TCHC and help defend the vulnerable tenants. As a TCHC tenant at that time I felt I had no voice with the former mayor and the city councillor. All of our concerns were just ignored and I actually felt bullied by the TCHC and the former city government. So what do you do when you are being bullied you call in a tough guy to chase the bully away and make things right. That’s what I wanted you to do. Make things right for the people of TCHC who depend on this housing as their precarious perch in this city.
I was thrilled when you kicked out that previous board that had presided over the misery with heartlessness and indifference. I waited with great anticipation for reforms and restructuring that would actually make a difference. What I got was a new board full of real estate people who didn’t seem to want things to change but were content for the buildings to remain derelict and bug ridden The Lesage Report was obviously forgotten as more senior tenants were threatened with eviction and only by the action of reporters were these matters brought to light
TCHC is still a horrible mess and selling a few properties at fire sale prices will not fix this. It will just be a few drops back into the bucket and assets lost forever. I propose that there be a moratorium on all sales until we have a clear picture of where we are going with public housing and what is needed to make it happen. It may be that TCHC has to be broken up into workable components and that more portable subsidies have to come on line. But for now an exploration committee should be set up to explore what this future looks like The current picture is a nightmare so it may take a lot of work to see who needs to be brought on board and how this discussion will be carried out. Mayor Ford you cannot shoot up Dodge City and say sell sell sell you have to work to make it viable. It’s not a Lego set; its buildings with living breathing people and it’s in bad need of reform that will make Toronto the good livable city it once was where people of all incomes could live.
Get moving on this new super committee that will have a timeline and deliver results but in the meantime leave housing alone till a plan is proposed.