Tom Parkin for Parkdale-High Park

Fundamental change — and a green new deal

I’m running to be our NDP MP to bring Parkdale-High Park communities together with labour and environmental movements into a Green New Deal — one that can reverse the growing disrepair of our schools.

I want fundamental change and a Green New Deal. Join me.

After decades of cuts, Toronto’s public buildings, like schools and social housing, have billion-dollar repair backlogs. They don’t have the energy efficiency we need to reduce carbon emissions.

Last Saturday I was knocking on members’ doors along Runnymede Road and passed Runnymede Public School. It’s a place I know well — my wife and I spent many hours at the parent nights and packed school concerts. We’d race there from work to pick up our kids when they were sick or hurt. I looked across the road and saw a powerful symbol of our situation.

Runnymede Public School is a strong community hub. It’s also an powerful symbol of how we’ve failed to invest.

The original building has high ceilings and big windows. Later there was an addition — in that modern 1960s style, like there was in so much of Ontario, when colleges and universities, transit and social housing were built.

But in recent decades, politicians and business leaders have told us to settle for portables dropped onto kids’ play spaces. At Runnymede PS, portables have been on-site for decades. And next, Doug Ford will have students learning in isolation at home with on-line classes.

While millionaires have become billionaires and corporate tax cuts have reduced public investment, our schools and other public spaces have suffered.

We need a fundamental shift in power — from corporate lobbyists to people — to restore our ambitions. And we need to roll-out a Green New Deal to make our ambitions real.

I hope you are with me. Fundamental change and a Green New Deal are urgent. It’s not about one of us — it’s about all of us coming together. 

Happy mothers’ day!

For many years it’s been a hard day for me — my mom died way too young from cancer. She was an incredible and independent woman — and a trailblazer for other women. She was the only woman in her medical class. In the 1970s she worked at the Bay Centre for Birth Control.

I think about her and miss my mom everyday. She made a big imprint on my values and life ambitions. She was a big force for me and my two sisters.

Now mothers’ day is about my wife — the mother of our three daughters. I love all four. I’m proud to be husband to one. And dad to the three others.

To all moms — happy mothers’ day! And for all of us, it’s a day to reflect on what we owe generations before — and what we owe the generations to come.

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My wife, daughters and me, last summer.

 

 

If the SNC-Lavalin scandal proved one thing, it’s that corporate lobbyists seeking special deals get a warm reception in Trudeau Ottawa. SNC lobbied to get their own legislation creating an alternative to a trial. They lobbied to get the penalties dropped. They even lobbied to have the Prime Minister and the Clerk of the Privy Council pressure the Attorney-General to cancel their trial.

NAC

NAC shifted power to women

But shutting down the power of lobbyists isn’t enough. We need to shift power closer to the people — to communities, movements and workers.

Canadians need fundamental change — and a green new deal. That’s why I’m want to be your Parkdale-High Park NDP candidate. Read more at www.tomparkin.ca

Formed in the 1970s as a coalition of grassroots feminist organizations, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women was part of an important fundamental power shift — one we can learn from.

NAC has been led by many strong leaders with various political leanings, including important left-wing voices. NAC made a big impact in changing laws and rights for Canadian women. Whether it was violence against women, equal pay issues or reproductive choice, NAC didn’t just talk about it in Ottawa, they mobilized on it across the country — that’s what movements do.

In the early 1990s, NAC was receiving $13 million a year in base funding to continue their activist work. But in 1993, Conservative PM Brian Mulroney cut their funding by $3 million, causing layoffs and turmoil. In 1998, Liberal PM Jean Chretien eliminated all base funding.

NAC fundamentally shifted power — and it’s the kind of power shift we need more than ever. Ottawa gives away billions in corporate subsides. Instead let’s invest in grassroots organizations — of feminists, or activists for the environment or against racism and poverty. Strengthening movements is part of a fundamental change to power.

More information about National Action Committee on the Status of Women

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Handing out “Stop Ford’s transit cuts” flyers at the Runnymede subways station this morning.

People in Parkdale-High Park are well-informed about their community — partly because we keep them informed. This morning, transit riders were gladly taking information about Ford’s proposed plan to split up their public transit system and take over their subway.

The TTC Riders’ information pickets across the city this morning were like deja vu for me. I used to be the research director of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents most TTC employees. Working with other unions and community groups, I was deeply involved in the fight to stop wheel-trans privatization. I’d rather have a government on my side that expands TTC!

The TTC privatizers are always at it — and so are we.

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My wife, daughters and me. Our kids have lived here their entire lives.

My kids have been raised in Parkdale-High Park — in the public parks, pools and schools. Public spaces and services are critical to our community — and bring a measure of equality in an increasingly unequal city.

My wife and I have lived in South Parkdale and Bloor West. It’s a strong community because there are so many activists contributing to making it strong. It’s that community activism we need connect with to win this fall.

July 17, 2019 — Go stand on the Bloor-Yonge platform at 8:30am. Or drive through 404 and 401. Take the King streetcar. Or the McCowan North bus.

This city doesn’t work right.

Former Mayor Rob Ford takes most the blame. But every Mayor and Premier since Transit City has contributed to the mess.

The city is growing. But TTC ridership is falling. That is a big threat to Toronto’s future. Progressives at city hall and Andrea Horwath’s NDP opposition at Queen’s Park need to work together like never before to fix this. Because no one else seems to care. Continue reading

July 9, 2018 — On March 5, 2011, about 10:00pm, Jeune Sterson and Louis Frantz were hanging election posters for a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections. Haitian police abducted them. And their lifeless bodies were found the next day. In June that year, Serge Démosthène was arrested by Haitian police and died as a result of police torture.

A United Nations report addressing the deaths of Sterson and Frantz stated the UN Stablization Mission in Haiti “regularly receives reports of killings involving the Haitian National Police (HNP). In some instances, these allegations appear to indicate that a number of HNP officers have committed extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.”

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