WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, February 19

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, November 6

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.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed 31 new cabinet members, 15 of whom are women. This will be Canada’s first gender-balanced cabinet (see the full list here). Plus, check out the TVO blog for some thoughts from WiTOpoli’s Alejandra Ortiz and others on gender parity in the cabinet.
  • Trudeau also announced that the long-form census will be reinstated, a key tool for researchers and city planners.
  • All 40 Toronto councillors endorsed TO Prosperity: Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy, marking a commitment to reducing poverty in 20 years. However, councillors largely disagree on how to fund the strategy.
  • Ontario elementary school teachers (ETFO) signed a tentative agreement with the province, avoiding a legal strike which would have included an extracurricular withdrawn. Secondary school teachers (OSSTF) employed by the Toronto District School Board, however, are engaging in a local legal strike action, as local issues remain unresolved, but extracurricular activities will not be affected by this job action.
  • Following a Toronto Board of Health report, Toronto councillors vote 34-3 in favour of a motion banning the use of hookah pipes in restaurants.
  • On November 5, Hydro One Ltd. hit the Toronto Stock Exchange with 15% up for sale. The sale of Hydro One shares is the first step in privatizing 60% of the electrical utility organization.
  • Auditor General will release a report by next spring reviewing the $3.75 million given by the Ontario government to three teachers unions for bargaining costs.

WiTOpoli Weekly: Saturday, October 10

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, June 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.

  • Happy Pride everyone! Lots of events will be happening around the city to celebrate the diversity along the gender and sexuality spectrums!
  • Toronto has released its new poverty strategy indicating that 30% of people living with disabilities, 33% of visible minorities, 46% of newcomers and 37% of female single parent families live in poverty. Questions remain as to whether the political will exists at City Hall to implement the recommendations.
  • In a similar vein a new report exploring Toronto’s transit deserts explores how inadequate transit reinforces existing inequalities and acts as a driver of the cycle of poverty.
  • Eric Andrew-Gee explores a “sliding scale” of minimum wage for cities with a high-cost of living as an attempt to mitigate the impacts of low-wages and high costs of housing. The CCPA argues that a living wage for Toronto rests around $16.60/hr in a two-income household.
  • The Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators will be meeting to discuss how to implement recommendations from their report to address systemic racism in Ontario Schools.
  • The Canadian Network for Women’s Shelters and Transition Homes released their report “Shelter Voices” in 2014. This report explores the successes and the challenges for organizations providing shelter and support to women escaping violence.
  • Indiegogo is hosting a fundraising campaign to complete post-production of Free Cece, A film exploring the epidemic of violence against Transgender women of colour.
  • There was lots of activity in the sub-committees around the city this week:


WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, January 16, 2015

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.

  • With a disciplinary tribunal currently underway regarding police actions during the G20, a judge ruled this week that Police Chief Bill Blair cannot be compelled to testify. The tribunal is reviewing charges against Supt. Mark Fenton for unlawful arrest and discreditable conduct for ordering mass protestor arrests.
  • After a week in which 4 homeless people died, the city has acquired 20 hotel rooms to be used as extra shelter space if usual shelters reach over 90% capacity.
  • A CBC report revealed that a Mimico condo developer failed to deliver on donations promised to the community, prompting John Tory to question the level of oversight for contributions made under Section 37. When new construction is approved, developers can make donations under Section 37 and it is often left up to the local councillor to decide where the money goes, but there is very little accountability in place to track these donations.
  • The TDSB has one month to respond to a critical report released this week detailing its need to review its governance practices.
  • This week, one of the two young men who plead guilty in the Retaeh Parsons case was only sentenced to one year probation. The other young man was previously sentenced in November with a conditional discharge. Both cannot be named because they were minors at the time crime was committed.
  • After reviewing the misogynist Facebook posts by Dalhousie Dentistry students, Halifax police will not pursue criminal charges.
  • On Monday, a report was released by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, outlining Canada’s obligation to address the socio-economic factors which perpetuate violence against indigenous women. The report emphasizes the importance of working with indigenous women leaders to address these problems, and also supports the call for a national inquiry into the murdered and missing indigenous women.
  • Torontonian Laura Reid is pushing to build a database where users can anonymously self-report their sexual assault experiences. Reid also started the website Whenyoureready.org , an online community where survivors can anonymously share their stories.
  • Health Canada has pushed back its decision on whether to approve an abortion drug called mifepristone. The drug has been used in 57 countries for decades and could provide women with easier access to abortions in remote parts of Canada, or provinces like P.E.I. where no surgical facilities exist.

WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, October 24

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.

  • Anonymous flyers were distributed in Trinity-Spadina this week attacking TDSB Trustee candidate Ausma Malik, claiming that she supports terrorist organizations along with other unfounded claims. Unfortunately, this is not the first instance in which Malik has been confronted with this hatred. She released a statement addressing the issue several weeks ago.
  • A study on voter turnout in Toronto municipal elections sheds light on how immigration or visible minority status may impact citizens’ likelihood to vote.
  • John Tory and Olivia Chow called on Doug Ford to apologize to Jennifer Pagliario after reports surfaced that he called the Toronto Star reporter “a little bitch”. Though Ford denies the incident, several confirmed the claim including CTV news VP Joanne MacDonald. Also, it should be noted that this is not the first time Ford has offended a female reporter.
  • A group of students addressed a TDSB committee meeting on Wednesday to raise their concerns regarding homophobic and transphobic tweets published by Trustee Sam Sotiropoulos. Over 200 students signed the petition presented at the meeting, arguing that Sotiropoulus has violated Ontario’s Accepting Schools act and the TDSB’s code of conduct.
  • In light of Harper’s failure to launch an inquiry on missing and murdered Aboriginal women, Aboriginal women’s leaders have begun developing new strategies to address gendered violence in their communities
  • After Toronto poet Emma Healey published a piece about an abusive relationship she endured with a professional colleague, author Stacey May Fowles elaborated on the backchannels that exist within the Canadian literary community as women try to warn each other about potentially threatening male writers. Toronto blogger Neville Park echoed a similar sentiment, describing how these backchannels operate in different tight-knit communities, including #TOpoli circles.

WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, October 10

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.
  • In response to tragic shootings that claimed the lives of three young men this week, six council candidates co-released a statement on how move forward from these events and prevent future violence.
  • A parent has officially complained to the TDSB regarding transphobic comments made by Trustee Sam Sotiropoulus back in August. The letter has garnered 90 additional signatures in support thus far.
  • On Monday, Canada’s new sex work bill passed in the House of Commons by a 156-124 vote. While Justice Minister Peter MacKay believes the bill represents a “paradigm shift” in Canada’s approach to regulating sex work, activist Terri-Jean Bedford believes the law will be found unconstitutional and isurging all opponents to express this to their premiers.
  • The Toronto Foundation released its 13th annual Vital Signs Report shedding light on various facts and figures that could inform city policies. For example, the report found an increasing gap between the city’s rich and poor, as well an increasing gender pay gap.
  • Abortion service providers in Maine have been welcoming an increasing number of clients from New Brunswick since the Morgentaler clinic in Fredricton was closed in July. The clinic was the only private abortion clinic in all of the Maritimes. New Brunswick activists are planning to put pressure on premier-designate Brian Gallant to address the region’s limited access to reproductive services.
  • Check out the Ethnic Aisle’s brand new Election Issue, including an interview with Toronto’s first black female mayoral candidate, Carolann Wright-Parks.