Tonight I witnessed something that was done in a cold and ruthless way on the backs of those who have no voice. Tonight I saw our Mayor Joe Fontana and Counselors Swan, Henderson, Polhill, Orser, Van Meerburgen, D.Brown, and White, all vote to cut One Million Dollars from affordable housing. What is unbelievable is that Joe Fontana was the former federal housing minister and Counselors Polhill and White are in wards with the second highest rate of Ontario Works in the city and yet they slashed away at the people who need their support most.
These Councilors voted to reduce hours at community centres where many of the most vulnerable go for help: Fontana, Swan, Henderson, Polhill, Orser, Van MeerBurgen, Brown. Thankfully they lost.
These Councilors voted to cut $500,000 from accessibility from the Citizens with disabilities reserve fund: Fontana, Swan, Henderson, Polhill, Orser, Van Merbergaan Brown, White.
There are so many of you who voted to put the Mayor in on a 0% tax increase and the result is cuts to the poorest in our City, cuts to children and cuts to homeless Londoners. Was it worth it for the savings to you?
London is a generous city but why can’t we pay more in taxes and show our generosity this way? Would you pay more taxes to eliminate an 8-year waiting list for affordable housing? Would you pay more to taxes to make sure that 1 in 4 children in London do not live in poverty? Would you pay taxes to make sure that we create a city that is an example of kindness and generosity?
I would and I’m sure you would too.
Tonight the Mayor and these Councilors lost all credibility and we as citizens now need to organize and stand up and say this is not the City we want. We do not want a City that leaves the most vulnerable behind. We do not want a City that is not progressive. We refuse to have a City that is about 0% at all costs. We want a City of opportunity for all not just a few.
If you have agree then you have a responsibility. Your responsibility is to not just be angry or heartbroken or sickened but to do something about it. You must decide that you will no longer sit behind your keyboards idly complaining but that you take action.
Write or call these councilors and the mayor here:
Mayor Fontana – firstname.lastname@example.org 519-661-2500 Ext. 4920
Polhill – email@example.com
Swan (Chairs the Council Housing Leadership Committee) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Orser – email@example.com
D.Brown – firstname.lastname@example.org
Van MeerBergn – email@example.com
Handerson – firstname.lastname@example.org
White – email@example.com
Send a letter to the editor of the London Free Press here: firstname.lastname@example.org
By doing this you choose to pay your fair share and you choose to make a City of opportunity for everyone but not on the backs of the poor.