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How the Provincial Budget Does and Doesn’t Screw Toronto

Good: youth will have their drugs covered. Very bad: there is little or no new funding for transit or social housing

Queen's Park. Photo by generalpictures in the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Queen’s Park. Photo by generalpictures in the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

On April 27, the Ontario government tabled its budget for fiscal year 2017/2018, a political document that sets the stage for the Liberals bid for re-election in June of next year.

The big highlights include a balanced budget for 2017/2018 and a new pharmacare plan, but only for Ontario residents under the age of 25 (called OHIP+). There’s also additional funding for health services and new hospitals in Niagara Region and Windsor, hydro bill subsidies, expansion of rent controls and taxes on foreign property buyers, new child care spaces, and a pilot project testing basic income payments in selected communities.

Some of these, such as extending rent control regulations to all rental properties, will have a big impact Torontonians. The province also green-lighted a municipal hotel and AirBnB tax, after rejecting the City’s plans for implementing tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway.

Keep reading: How the Provincial Budget Does and Doesn’t Screw Toronto

news

Five Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful Films to Watch at Hot Docs

Toronto's documentary film festival runs till May 7, and will showcase 230 films from a record 58 countries.

Carson

PACmen (Democrazy, USA/Australia)

Directed by Luke Walker, 82 minutes

Screenings:

Tuesday, May 2, 7:00 p.m.

TIFF Bell Lightbox

Wednesday, May 3, 3:30 p.m.

Hart House Theatre

Friday, May 5, 11:00 a.m.

TIFF Bell Lightbox

Saturday, May 6, 12:30 p.m.

Fox Theatre

This documentary looks at the controversial system of SuperPACs (political action committees that are allowed to raise unlimited donations without directly coordinating with the candidate) through observing the quixotic presidential run of Dr. Ben Carson, the Black, conservative brain surgeon whose appeal to evangelical voters made him, for a brief time, the front-runner in the race for the 2016 GOP nomination.

Like Donald Trump, Carson had no major political experience and ran an outsider campaign tied to his autobiography, but, unlike Trump, increased media scrutiny that turned up embarrassing stories from his past (like his belief that the ancient pyramids were used for grain storage or the news of a stabbing incident in his teens) finally wrecked his campaign, to the despair of Carson’s true believers who saw him as God’s chosen candidate.

Keep reading: Five Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful Films to Watch at Hot Docs

news

Not Welcome in Canada Because of Her Disabled Son?; “I’m Good Enough to Work, But Not Good Enough To Stay”

Time is running out for Mercedes Benitez, a temporary foreign worker who is fighting to stay with her family.

Mercedes

In the Philippines we were really poor. Farmers. We were a family of eight. I worked all through school, farming, selling things. Then I started caregiving. It was okay. I grew up planting rice and planting corn all day in the sun, so I thought as long as I’m in the shade, I’m okay.

After school I got married. I thought getting married would help me escape from poverty, like “you’re not alone anymore.” I was supporting my parents, and I was anxious to start my own life. In fact, Romeo was my only boyfriend. I had no time to play around.

Keep reading: Not Welcome in Canada Because of Her Disabled Son?; “I’m Good Enough to Work, But Not Good Enough To Stay”