We had a fantastic week on Toronto mayor election 2014 campaign trail. Contrary to some social media comments about seriousness and “fame whore” – I’ve been out and about becoming even more civic engaged than ever before. Just because I medicate with medicinal marihuana to treat a rare brain tumor and an internationally known cannabis advocate does not make me less civic minded. These past few days demonstrate I’m taking the Toronto mayoral candidacy seriously.
Sixty Volunteers Signed Up
Without people volunteering we can’t make our goals a reality. I’ve been connecting with volunteers via social media and the response has been fantastic. We’ve developed a strategy for volunteers, keep them warm in the winter and get them outside when it warms up. Our campaign needs all kinds of supporters to pitch in.
Join Our Campaign Team
Urban Forest Presentation by Dr Sandy Smith
“The forests are right here in Toronto.” Explained Dr. Sandy Smith, last Sunday at a talk for High Park Stewards. It was an excellent presentation on urban forests and our recent ice storm, which was nature’s way of pruning the city’s trees, is an opportunity to diversify our urban trees.
There’s no estimates yet, but the city probably lost trees that were due to come down in one to three years. Unfortunately, this means our parks and recreation department is doing three years worth of pruning in one winter.
How do we recover our canopy?
The City of Toronto could double its tree canopy by following recommendations made Parks and Recreation. This would put our city in line with other global cities. To do so, we need government and private property owners to work together to increase the canopy. This is an admirable project that would help Toronto from being a sweltering concrete jungle.
The John Howard Society of Toronto
Greg Rogers, executive director of The John Howard Society of Toronto, made time for me and I am very appreciative. One third of the approximately 400 people leaving Toronto jails a week are heading straight to the streets. They are homeless. Where do you think they are going to end up? If your answer is back where they are warm and fed ie jail, you are correct.
The moment they walk out the door they become a city of Toronto problem and are no longer a provincial problem. The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has no plan in place once someone walks out of the new jail’s self feeding criminal justice revolving door.
This is an issue that needs to be addressed or Etobicoke is going to have see a huge increase of homelessness. There’s no plan in place to shelter these men in Etobicoke or anywhere in the city for that matter.
However, The John Howard Society has partnered with other agencies and has a transitional space very near Toronto’s latest facility. Charities have done a better job at figuring out the solution than both levels of government.
Provincial and city government are basically relying on our jails to house homeless and mentally ill men with no plan to truly resolve these issues.
The Rosedale Club
Had a wonderful time speaking with The Rosedale Club. My talk was about how dreaming big almost ended prohibition and has me now dreaming about becoming a politician. I really enjoyed socializing and discussing a variety of political ideas from astute individuals.