City of Opportunity on the backs of the vulnerable

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 – jfontana@london.ca 519-661-2500 Ext. 4920

Polhill – bpolhill@london.ca

Swan (Chairs the Council Housing Leadership Committee) – jswan@london.ca

Orser – sorser@london.ca

D.Brown – dbrown@london.ca

Van MeerBergn – pvanmeer@london.ca

Handerson – dhenders@london.ca

White – sawhite@london.ca

Send a letter to the editor of the London Free Press here: letters@lfpress.com

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.

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7 thoughts on “City of Opportunity on the backs of the vulnerable

  1. Jody – I have to differ with some of your sentiments on this one. Affordable housing is not necessarily the only answer to our homeless situation here or elsewhere. I have log been a proponent of less affordable housing and more in favour of making housing more affordable. To me there is a huge difference. Also we as a community really need to concentrate. Also we as a community really need to concentratge more on the reasons that those who have poor shelter have it and better remedial measures than stacking them into areas which have all the leading tendencies of becoming depressed areas. It’s a very difficult subject for sure, but we really need to be more prudent in how we spend our public dollars. Until I can have trust completely in those doing that on my and your behalf, I am someone relutant. But this is a beginning, getting involved and opening dialogue, those (politicians included) who participate will be the ones to find the answers and show who it is out there who really cares.

  2. the whole system is a bust. i lost my job xmas eve, my wife only works part time, we have 4 kids. and have been told that unless we hit rock bottom and lose our utilities/ shelter (within the next month this will happen), we cannot receive help from the agencies we have put into via taxes and contributions of time and money for over 20 years…. and now its gonna get worst

  3. I count 8 votes (fontana, swan, white, orser, van meerburgen, polhill, henderson, brown). Who wasn’t there? Who voted against it? Can we get it back in front of them? They’ve made a mistake.

  4. I remember a time when both White and Swan were heavily involved with a big protest in 2001 demanding for more money and focus being put on poverty in London,. even had involvement in the agency/shelter that came about because of said protest! Very sad.

  5. Pingback: London: City of Opportunity, or City of the Lost? « The Pollyanna Papers

  6. Pingback: London: City of Opportunity, or City of the Lost? | london, ontario

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