I was not going to do this. I was just going to let me tweets stand as my opinion on the matter. But after reading what Sue-Ann Levy wrote about the TCHC Board of Director's meeting that took place the day before yesterday I feel I don't have a choice. Maybe she was watching on line at home. As I was. Maybe her audio was breaking up more than mine was. One can only hope. Because, otherwise, she glossed over some pretty important details.
Anyway, here 's a link to her warm and fuzzies about the subject matter at hand - TCHC board eyes vacancy and arrears problems.
Nowhere in her article does it mention that they can't even separate out the different categories of arrears. It's confusing to have the rent and parking arrears bundled together. Admittedly, they would have different degrees of consequences. Has TCHC not heard of pre-authorized payments? Or for those tenants on social assistance (over 75% of the TCHC population) pay direct? Why is this even an issue? With the pay direct option TCHC could effectively collect rents directly from Ontario (Never) Works and Ontario (Diss)Ability Support Program without it ever having been in the tenants bank account to begin with. Thereby preventing arrears from ever happening in the first place.
The most shocking (but subdued) debate involved proposed updates to the Boards Conflict of Interest policy. The member presenting the report acknowledged that the policy hasn't been updated since 2003 and "was seriously out of date". She suggested that the board members Conflict of Interest policy be on par with the general TCHC staff policy. Thereby no board member can receive gifts, meals, or donations.
Sounds pretty straight forward.
Not so fast. One male member piped up ("male member" lol) that just because someone buys him a meal doesn't mean he'll be swayed to vote in their favor. Then he goes on to say that "timely" disclosure may be more important. (Now if you took the time to read Sue Ann Levy's blurb you'd see that even she takes issue with TCHC doing ANYTHING in a "timely" manner.)
It had to be explained to him that this would be "an early warning policy", "you can't be making the decision", and that it's intent is "not to police you. It's to protect you" [and TCHC from the appearance of impropriety}.
Then from across the table comes a response. That maybe this should be principles based not rules based. We have all seen how well TCHC performs if there is no clear line drawn in the sand.
Back to that "male member" for a moment. Within the framework of downplaying the importance of the Conflict of Interest policy review, he mentioned that he sits on other Boards and Committees where he has signed a non-disclosure agreement. Maybe that's something you should have kept to yourself. Just sayin' ...
I don't know about you, but that raises a red flag for me. I want TCHC to be more transparent in it's dealings. After all they are dealing with millions upon millions of tax payers dollars. So to me, someone who signs non-disclosure agreements on the regular seems ill equipped to be serving on a quote unquote public board.
Continuing on in this discussion of public versus private. It is a fact that Toronto Community Housing Corporation has previously taken a run at acquiring charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency. Of course they were denied donee status (Something that Sue Ann Levy would have picked up on if she scanned the documents that were provided for the meeting.) That taken in connection with a comment made at the Board of Directors meeting about holding an Annual General Meeting (which was described by a board member as a legal requirement) in the future should scare the daylights out of everyone. Especially., when you consider the complete lack of transparency when it comes to public money. Imagine how badly TCHC could misuse private donations.
Maybe I'm a bit of an alarmist. But, I would rather be ringing the alarm than playing dead. This time I think Sue Ann Levy did exactly that. (Could someone please check for a pulse?) Otherwise, there is no way that someone with the reputation of "getting the story behind the story" could have witnessed, in person or via live stream, that exact same TCHC Board of Directors meeting without raising some serious questions. Maybe next time she can use my Twitter feed as a source of information. Otherwise, I would be concerned, if I was her, about plagiarizing from some board members notes.
North By Northeast (NXNE) is pleased to announce provocative, electro-pop sensation Peaches as part of this year’s festival. From acclaimed theatre productions to her cinematic debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, her triumphant ‘Live at Massey Hall’ show to the release of her first book, Polaris Prize Winner Peaches, has pushed herself further and with more artistic rewards than ever before during her time away from the studio.
Peaches music has been featured in movies such as Mean Girls, Jackass Number Two, My Little Eye, Drive Angry and Lost In Translation. Her music has also been featured on television shows including Lost Girl, The L Word, Ugly Betty, South Park, 30 Rock, and True Blood. Those inclusions are remarkable given Peaches continued ability to challenge sexual identity and gender politics with hits like "Fatherfucker".
In other words, Peaches has managed to wield immeasurable influence over mainstream pop culture while still operating from outside of its confines, carving a bold, sexually progressive path in her own image that's opened the door for countless others to follow.
North By Northeast (NXNE) announces Canada’s largest free e-sports event ever with Game Land at Yonge-Dundas Square. Brought to you by NXNE Omen by HP, and car2go, Game Land will welcome over 30,000 gaming enthusiasts, novices and pros in the heart of downtown Toronto to witness the best professional gamers in the world to kick off the 2017 edition of NXNE. Fans are invited to take part in the all ages free event, celebrating gaming and technology from June 16 - 18. For more information, please visit nxne.com/game.
Additional highlights of this NXNE Game Land include:
Players sign up on the provided links, and check-in 30 minutes prior to the event starting:
http://challonge.com/GameLandEU - May 24th
http://challonge.com/GameLandWC - May 25th
(Originally published to Fresh Print Magazine on July 6, 2015)
After attending the consultation on June 24th, 2015 that was designated an exclusive event for elected TCHC (Toronto Community Housing Corporation) tenant reps there seems to be a number of outstanding issues according to the summary of what has come out of the wide spread community consultations. Beginning with what the Mayor’s Task Force claims residents have stated TCHC is ‘Doing Well” in managing a portfolio of over 2,200 properties (that includes high rises, low rises, town houses, and scattered homes).
First on the slideshow list was “providing affordable housing”. One thing you may notice is that it doesn’t say that TCHC is providing “safe” and affordable housing. Maybe the fear and apathy among TCHC residents regarding criminal activity is the true cost of living in subsidized housing. In Toronto, the average rent (according to a survey done by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation in 2014) for a one bedroom is $899.00. For a similarly sized subsidized unit in Toronto an individual can expect to pay as little as $140. So what’s the average market rent cost compared to ignoring a little drug dealing or prostitution next door? … Who’s the whore?
By now you are probably asking yourself about TCHC’s security personnel. Well they would be doing triage in a community with a much bigger problem than yours without the necessary training, resources, or powers.
The second problem with the statement that TCHC was doing well at “providing affordable housing” was the waiting list. They would want you to believe that they are within acceptable limits of housing all the people that are on their subsidized waiting list within a reasonable amount of time. The most recent stats indicate there are over 90 thousand individuals and families who can expect to wait a minimum of five years. Forgive me but that doesn’t seem like they are even remotely capable of meeting the demand for affordable housing in Toronto.
The next item listed under the “Doing Well” category was the “call center”. Based on personal experience satisfaction with call center operations is a concept that is in constant flux. Besides, how can you claim that a call center is meeting it’s customer satisfaction quota if clearly two thirds, or more, of callers complaints are being ignored?
That two thirds guesstimate is based on the admission at a recent Operational Assessment Meeting open to residents that stated many calls to security are ignored unless there are three calls regarding the same incident. When you also take into consideration that the call center is working with outdated technology that two-thirds estimate begins to look a lot more like an unattainable goal.
Next to appear on the slideshow list under “Doing Well” was (try not to laugh) “good strategic planning”. The very nature of good strategic planning would preclude the need for a Mayor’s Task Force on TCHC would it not? Just sayin’.
Let’s not forget the inclusion of “some hard-working committed staff”. Are we seriously going to pat them on the back for doing their jobs? Admittedly, there are those staff members that go above and beyond every single day. Those individuals deserve our praise.
There are others that need to develop the mindset of ” but for the grace of God go I”. Coming from someone that’s not a religious person, by any means, that’s a significant statement. As a volunteer tenant leader trying to coordinate funding and development projects for my area I don’t want to hear from staff members how they are looking forward to their retirement or how they are dissatisfied with their job. Especially when it’s the same staff member making both statements. May I suggest early retirement? I’m sure there is someone out there who would appreciate your job with its introductory salary of around forty dollars an hour.
Approaching the end of the slideshow list under “Doing Well” was the State of Good Repair and the Closing the Gap initiatives. Beginning with the State of Good Repair campaign where TCHC created a mass sign up for residents to report any repairs that needed to be completed within their units. There was a steady stream of horror stories of projects being started then taking months to complete. One day a contractor would come to their unit to scrape the walls for plastering and painting. Then, on some occasions, months later, the resident would have to call TCHC’s maintenance line in order to get the painting and plastering completed. Never mind the nightmarish stories of incomplete kitchen and bathroom renovations.
Now the Closing the (Housing) Gap campaign isn’t “Doing Well” either. Basically, this involves TCHC hoping that the provincial and federal governments pony up 864 million each to cover the cost of capital repairs on housing stock that is, on average, forty two years old. “Doing Well” for any “Corporation” does not entail a subsidy of two thirds just to get its original stock into acceptable condition in order for it to become a marketable asset.
The final item on the Mayor’s Task Force on TCHC was “having tenant representatives [including] tenant reps on the TCHC Board of Directors”. It is a firmly held belief that if the TCHC was doing well with respect to tenant representation particularly at the Board level we would have equal representation. Meaning tenants would hold half of the TCHC Board of Directors seats as well as a co-chair position. It was reported at the Mayor’s Task Force on TCHC for Tenant Representatives that the two tenant reps currently seated on the twelve member board get railroaded during the decision making/voting process.
During the review on what TCHC appears to be doing well an audience member mentioned TCHC’s efforts at accommodating people with accessibility issues. Again that is another item that is open to interpretation. There are buildings within the TCHC portfolio that are not wheelchair accessible. Some are completely inaccessible. Whereas others are only accessible through the garbage room at the back of the building.
The Mayor’s Task Force on TCHC is trying to sell you (or rent you) a heavily subsidized version of propaganda about what TCHC is “Doing Well”. Doing well really should mean that those individual instances of greatness are common occurrences. It should also mean that there is an increase in the number of satisfied staff or tenants.
Mind you any significant change in work or living conditions within the TCHC community would only take place if the issues raised in the slide referring to “What Is TCHC Not Doing Well?” are adequately addressed. That I will leave for another day.
TORONTO, ON - LOTTO MAX presents Cavendish Beach Music Festival, is pleased to announce the performers for the Cavendish Farms Kitchen Stage,. A FREE Tailgate Party in the Cavendish Farms Kitchen Tent will kick off the weekend festivities on Thursday, July 6th from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Artists playing the Tailgate Party include, DJ Bad Ash, Johnson Crook, John King and Mountain Faith Band.
Artists announced to play the Cavendish Farms Kitchen Stage during the festival include CMA Award Winner and multi-platinum selling artist :Billy Ray Cyrus (aka Cyrus), Amanda Riley, DJ Bad Ash, , Eloie Richard, EmiSunshine. Endless Summer, Jason Price, JJ Shiplett, Rawlins Cross, Rik Reese, Sykamore, The Good Brothers, The Lovelocks, The Mountain Faith Band, The Stanfields, TJ King and Tony Jackson.
When attending Cavendish Beach Music Festival you cannot forget about the food! Season 7 MasterChef Champion Chef Shaun O'Neale will be cooking all weekend long for Cavendish Beach Music Festival attendees.
For more information on Atlantic Canada's largest outdoor music festival, artist lineup, and tickets to the Cavendish Beach Music Festival presented by LOTTO MAX please visit www.cavendishbeachmusic.com
OMG Even the poster is drool worthy. Don't you agree?
TORONTO, ON - The Canadian summer will heat up fast as Magic Men Live! will be bringing its unforgettable ultimate ladies' night experience to Ontario with an additional stop in Montreal. The tour begins in London, Ontario at Centennial Hall on May 31 with a run of west coast dates to be announced soon.
Magic Men Live! is the first live stage production to bring the combined phenomena of Magic Mike, Fifty Shades of Grey and other female-focused erotic entertainment to life. Now in its fifth year and finishing a year of performing over 140 shows and performing to over 100,000 people, Magic Men Live! is bringing Canadian audiences a show that promises to be is bigger, better and hotter than ever.
"These are our first Canadian shows and there's already been a lot of excitement about it from our fans and the guys," said Hass. "We've been looking forward to this for a long time and its finally happening. We can't wait to show our Canadian fans this show!"
Magic Men Live! invites ladies to let loose in an empowering, fun-filled environment and embark on an unforgettable night out. With thrilling choreography, visual story lines, state of the art design elements and themed acts, Magic Men Live! entertains audiences by bringing fantasies to reality with the help of it's 10. With an exciting and innovative cabaret-style show filled with comedy, theatrics, sexy dance moves, and audience participation, Magic Men Live! has sold out shows around the United States.
Magic Men Live! is spearheaded by Myles Hass, the host of the show. Hass started in the adult party entertainment business in 2007, learning from a family member who has been in the business since 1989. Starting the company more than six years ago from his bedroom in his parents' house, Magic Men Live! has now grown into a multi million-dollar company, performing all over the USA. Hass' aims to bring a one of a kind experience that inspires awe, excitement and happiness for millions of people around the world.
Magic Men Live Tour Dates
May 31, 2017 Centennial Hall London, ON
June 1, 2017 Centre in the Square Kitchener, ON
June 2, 2017 Patridge Hall St. Catharines, ON
June 3, 2017 Chrysler Theatre Windsor, ON
June 4, 2017 Danforth Music Hall Toronto, ON
June 5, 2017 Algonquin Commons Theatre Ottawa, ON
June 7, 2017 Grand Theatre Kingston, ON
June 8, 2017 L'Olympia Montreal, QC
For ticketing information PLEASE visit www.magicmenlive.com Make a date with Magic Men Live! Don't forget to bring a friend or two ... or ten.
There were some happy fans today as two of The Jacksons (YES ... THOSE JACKSONS!!!!) were at Yonge and Dundas Square to meet the public to promote their upcoming tour. They will be back in the Tdot on Friday, June 9th, 2017 for a concert at Rebel night club .
Even members of the media were starstruck today with many of them posing for pictures with the music icons. One fellow I keep running into at select music related events asked if I had my turn for a picture with The Jacksons. I had to explain that it's best if I remain behind the lens. It takes one photograph to realize that I was born with a face for radio. LOL
Thankfully, there were many beautiful people on hand and I didn't have to prove my point. :D
Fans are invited for a chance to win free tickets to June 9th, 2017 show at Rebel.
Monday, May 8, 2017
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m
Yonge Dundas Square (North East Corner)
1 Dundas St. E.
Toronto, ON M5B 2R8