WiTOpoli Weekly: Friday, August 21

 A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

WiTOpoli Weekly: Friday, September 26

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

  • This week, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam tweeted a photo of a threatening letter she received containing racist and homophobic slurs. Wong-Tam, who is Toronto Council’s only openly gay member, explained that she shared the letter publicly because “it’s very important for us to name it and try to change it”. A copy has also been sent to the police.
  • In response to a Canada Public Safety Report released this week on the effect of human trafficking on Aboriginal communities, rabble.ca published this opinion piece which provides useful background for the report and suggestions for how such studies can be improved.
  • In a recent Toronto Star column, writer Heather Mallick posed the question “Why can’t Canada build a feminist?“, after attending a reading by British feminist and author Caitlin Moran. The Canadian Twitterverse was critical of Mallick’s suggestion that Canada does not have an active feminist community, while some were disappointed Moran was invited to speak at the Toronto Reference Library, given the transphobic, ableist and racist comments she’s made in the past.
  • In two separate instances, Olivia Chow was confronted by racist comments during this week’s mayoral debates. She was told to go “back to China” by one attendee and referred to as “creeping jihad” by another protestor. Chow said comments such as these “point to bigger issues the city faces, including racial profiling”.
  • After groundbreaking Black female showrunner Shonda Rhimes was called an “angry black woman” in a recent New York Times piece, activist Janet Mock responded with this essay in honour of her favourite TV feminist, Claire Huxtable.
  • In response to Emma Watson’s UN speech on gender equality, some were impressed, some were inspired, and some folks had a few suggestions.
  • Oh, and you might’ve heard we launched a new election resource called the Position Primer, which provides issue-by-issue comparisons of council candidates’ views in each of Toronto’s 44 wards. Read all about it in the Toronto Star and CityNews, and help us spread the word!

WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, September 5

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

  • Polls are showing that Olivia Chow has fallen to third place in the Toronto mayoral race, behind John Tory and Rob Ford. The Toronto Star argues that this may be due to the falling popularity of the NDP and the rise in Liberal support in Toronto. Although Chow has tried to make her campaign “free of party politics,” she will be hoping for a large NDP turnout on election day.
  • Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she has not heard from or spoken with PM Harper since March, even with her re-election more than two months ago. She admits that she has not “specifically asked for a conversation,” but that she hopes to create a good working relationship between the provincial and federal government. Premier Wynne also stated that she will be supporting Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau, during the upcoming federal election.
  • Olivia Chow has announced that, if elected as Toronto mayor, she would raise the land-transfer tax on high-end homes. Chow argues that raising the land-transfer fees by one per cent on homes worth more than $2-million would create an extra $20-million to fund school nutrition programs, as well as engineering studies to improve the TTC.
  • This week, Ontario students returned to school and full-day kindergarten programs are already facing difficulties. Educators and parents have already filed many complaints with the Ministry of Education about the large class sizes. While Ontario daycares must limit sizes to only eight children per one educator, and primary school classes can only have 23 students, there is currently no set limit for students in kindergarten classes.
  • After being treated for tongue and throat cancers which doctors say were caused by HPV, Conservative MP Peter Kent is now speaking out in favour of funding HPV vaccines for boys. Some provinces already vaccinate girls for free, but there is no funding at the moment to vaccinate boys. Kent says that he will speak to Health Minister Rona Ambrose about this idea, and will continued to do what he can to raise awareness of HPV and its links to cancer amongst men and women.
  • On Thursdaythe top four mayoral candidates met for a lunch debate organized by the Toronto Region Board of Trade and the Globe and Mail. Gathered in front of a sold-out crowd of business leaders, candidates used the opportunity to challenge each other on their respective funding proposals for transit, while also discussing youth unemployment and affordable housing.

WiTOpoli Weekly: Friday, July 18

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

  • Over 1,000 people took to the streets last Saturday for SlutWalk Toronto. The now-annual parade began as a protest in response to comments made by Toronto police Constable Michael Sanguinetti, who suggested that “…women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” After just three years, SlutWalks are now being organized in over 200 cities around the world.
  • Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow has promised to lobby the federal government to ban handguns in the GTA. This sparked discussion in the #TOpoli Twittersphere about the implicit and explicit racism often afoot when we talk about (and build public policy around) gun control – including this response from Ward 2 Council candidate Andray Domise.
  • The provincial Liberals are resubmitting the budget that triggered last month’s election, which includes ambitious new initiatives such a province-wide pension plan and a pledge of $15-billion for GTA transit.
  • The last Morgentaler Clinic in the Maritimes shuts its doors this week, but the fight to save it continues. Over $100,000 has been raised to support Fredericton’s sole private abortion clinic, which has been forced to close due to the provincial government’s refusal to fund its services.
  • Bitch magazine’s profile of Lucy Flores —who’s running to be the first Latina Lieutenant Governor of Nevada —showcases this “new kind of role model for Latina women” and reveals how “her own lived experience becomes the basis of her progressive agenda for social change.”
  • Britain’s PM David Cameron is expected to promote as many as 12 women to his cabinet and the lower ministerial ranks as part of a major reshuffle. Cameron has frequently been criticized by the lack of female representation in his Conservative party