Monday, 29 October 2012

TorontotheBetter supports action against privatization of Toronto's LRT transit system

We draw the attention of all Toronto social seconomy supporters to the following important call to action from Scarborough Transit Action. A better Toronto requires needs a strong public sector if social enterprise is to thrive. Thanks to Scarborough Transit Action for this alert.


Toronto Council is on the verge of signing off on a Master Agreement with Metrolinx that will lock in the privatization of four new Light Rapid Transit line's. They intend to make this irreversible and far reaching change to our public transit system without having access to all the facts about privatization. Only by deferring the item (CC27.6) can Council conduct public consultation and consider the evidence. Here's what they need to review before making a decision:

-up to date research indicating privatization costs are 16% higher than publicly funded infrastructure in Ontari

a copy of the soon to be released Value for Money assessment of private vs. public cost estimates for LRT expansion in Toronto, (Infrastructure Ontario).

-an audit of the Value for Money assessment process as they are known to be biased in favour of P3's. (Provincial Auditor)

-the report conducted by the American Public Transit Association outlining concerns with handing over a huge ($8.4B) project to a multinational consortium.

CALL YOUR COUNCILLOR AT 311 TODAY. Ask them to DEFER agenda item CC27.6 at the Council Meeting of October 30th. Tell them they need to learn the facts about P3's and hear from the public. No more back room deals and secret meetings.

Mayworks Festival Open Call for Submissions 2013 Festival

Mayworks Festival Open Call for Submissions 2013 Festival

Deadline: November 5, 2012

Mayworks Festival - Toronto is pleased to invite submissions for its 28th
festival season. Applications are accepted from groups and individuals in a
range of disciplines, including: visual art, music/ poetry, film, video,
interdisciplinary, and theatre.

Mayworks Festival is a multi-disciplinary arts festival that celebrates
cultural production working class culture. Mayworks Festival seeks to
showcase high calibre art by artists at all stages in their careers that are
politically and socially engaged with labour realities. We are especially
committed to providing a platform to support the underrepresented labor of
indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, migrants, women,
queer-identified people, people of color, and youth.

Our program committee is guided by our equity policy that recognizes the
systemic discrimination and injustices faced by equity-seeking groups.
Mayworks Festival is not a funding body, we work in partnership with unions
and co-presenters to present events that fit our mandate. We are committed
to paying artists’ fees.

Submissions will not be accepted after the deadline date: Nov. 5, 2012.
Proposals selected will be notified by email by December 2012. The festival
dates (TBD) will be in early May 2013.

Questions about the application process, contact Dianah Smith at . Organizations interested in co-sponsoring an event at Mayworks Festival, contact Nausheen Quayyum at .

Sunday, 28 October 2012

TorontotheBetter movie series features problem Canadian gold mine in Marmato, Colombia

A dead priest, a community in turmoil and a Canadian open pit mine in Colombia, our latest "free trade" partner, are the ingredients of our Oct.30, 2012 screening: Marmato, Manger of Gold. Do Canadians care what their ming companies do? They should.  A portion of of proceeds from the screening will be sent to the Marmato community defense collective.

For more information see

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Welcome to Toronto's newest food co-op

Torontothebetter is pleased to welcome the West End Food Co-op, Toronto's, and TorontottheBetter's, newest food co-op. John Richmond and fellow WEFC workers opened their doors on Saturday October 6th and Torontothebetter was honoured to make the first purchase to go through the WEFC cash register - some blueberries, from the rich selection of Ontario fruit and vegetables now available to the public at 1229 Queen St. West, just west of Dufferin. Better nutrition means a better Toronto and better nutrition requires quality local food in worker friendly workplaces like West End Food Co-op.

Congrats to Good Catch General Store

TorontotheBetter stopped by Good Catch General Store at 1556 Queen St. West to say congratulations to Jola Sobolak (and son, Leon) on five years of innovative retail service to the Queen West community. Accessibility matters for Toronto's social economy. If it's not on our corner, how many will use it? Thanks, Jola for bringing fair trade and other progressive products and services to your neighbours at Queen and Lansdowne.

Monday, 1 October 2012

TorontotheBetter recognises a garden that excels - at Metta Housing Co-op

The picture tells the story. While the rest of Toronto goes about its business and occasionally takes a breather, Metta Housing Co-op at Dundas and Dalhousie offers to all its front garden (which regularly wins the Co-op Housing Federation of Toronto Garden of the Year award.)

TorontotheBetter Visits 2012 Toronto Self-Healing Festival

On Saturday, September 29th, TorontotheBetter workers were pleased to meet Nahid Ameen of new TorontotheBetter participant Conscious Health at the 2012 Self-Healing Festival on Bathurst St. Where safe and feasible, TorontotheBetter  supports active involvement by all in their self-care. As we see every day, good health depends a lot on the food we put in our bodies. Good luck with your personalized food preparation approach, Nahid.