"I would like to that the TCHC Board of Directors for hearing me out today on an issue that should be of utmost importance to all employees at TCHC from the directors, managers, to the frontline staff and the tenant reps. The issue I will be discussing with you today is ethics. This is defined as the basic principles of right and wrong.
In an effort to confine today's discussion to the agenda items as requested I have decided to touch on a few pieces of information presented in the Monthly Presidents Report brief - Item 3a on the agenda.
We will begin with the Capital Expenditures of 250 million dollars. There needs to be an honest assessment made to calculate the actual cost of hiring contractors based on the lowest bid. The reason being that many are sub-contracting the work without leaving a clear site supervisor.
In addition, I have lost complete faith that the workers who have been hired to upgrade the plumbing throughout my building are actually qualified to complete the work. Not only have they damaged people's kitchen cupboards to the point of needing a complete replacements, broken dining room light fixtures, and scratched the enamel in people's bathtubs but they also managed to flood the unit they use as storage ...(Which just happens to be across the hall from me!)
Wouldn't you be concerned if a plumber didn't know how to turn off a tap? Yeah ... Me too.
Another ethical issue I have with capital expenditures is related to accessibility. How much taxpayers money would be saved if TCHC considered accessibility at the forefront of the design process? Not as an afterthought or a second phase like the rec room in my building (completed a year and a half ago without an accessible kitchen or proper ventilation), like the park (with was completed just before Christmas 2017 from money from the Partnership Opportunities Legacy Fund) , and like the parking renovations that are currently taking place where they have built barriers to previously accessible pathways.
You may be wondering where Toronto Community Housing could invest some of that money you saved. May I suggest security cameras? I have serious concerns about TCHC special constables boasting about 723 joint patrols with Toronto Police Services. Do you know that as a security guard for Burns Security decades ago we were required to complete one patrol per hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? That means that every single site had a total of 8,760 patrols per year (8,784 in a leap year).
What exactly is it that makes your special constables "special" anyway? I know they were given special powers by Toronto Police Services. But seeing as their innate power if invisibility is in full affect shouldn't those other powers granted by TPS be revoked?
Finally, I would like to applaud the CEO on her utopian vision of TCHC as a tenant centric organization. I would like to ask her which she thinks will come first. Will it be a complete staff change at TCHC to rid the organization of those that managers revealed are extremely antagonistic about the whole concept of tenant engagement in a report published last year titled Reading Between the Lines of Participation: Tenant Participation and The Participatory Budgeting in Toronto Community Housing? Or will it be Toronto Community Housing tenants achieving equal representation on TCHC's Board of Directors?
Whichever it is, I'm sure that we can all agree that Toronto Community Housing Corporation has many wrongs to right before it can begin to consider itself a tenant centric organization.
Thanks again for your time."
***UPDATE On January 29th, 2018 The Toronto Sun published an article by Sue Ann Levy about many points raised in my deputation to the Board of Directors at TCHC - Where's the Oversight for TCHC Repairs? (In addition, The Toronto Sun used a number of photo's that I provided.)
Friday, January 19 multi-platinum Canadian rockers Big Wreck stopped in Toronto for a show at REBEL, as part of a nationwide tour to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their debut album In Loving Memory Of (True North Records). In Loving Memory Of garnered the band's first three Top 10 singles, "The Oaf", "That Song" and "Blown Wide Open" earning a double platinum certification.
TORONTO, ON - Dan Aykroyd and Judith Belushi Pisano have announced a special performance of The Official Blues Brothers Revue at The Phoenix Concert Theatre, on Wednesday, February 28th at 8:00 p.m. This fundraising event will benefit the CAMH Gifts Of Lights program, providing practical, meaningful gifts that meet the unique needs of mental health and addiction patients at CAMH.
"The 'winter blues', or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that effects up to 20% of the population" said Gifts of Life Chair, Donna Slaight. "One of the best strategies for counteracting SAD is getting out of the house and interacting with people. Out of The Blues is both a fundraiser, and an opportunity for people to get out after a long, dreary and cold winter."
Tickets for Out of The Blues With The Blues Brothers Revue are on sale now through ticketweb.ca. Proceeds from ticket sales, as well as the musical silent auction, will be donated to CAMH Gifts of Light.