In this episode, Kate and Tara talk about some important news items from the last week, including the statement the Daughters of the Voice made in turning their backs on Justin Trudeau in in parliament, the upcoming Alberta election, and the new policy measures (read: cuts) Doug Ford has put in place which took effect on April 1st. Kate interviews her mother and aunt, both teachers, after the education rally on Queen’s Park, and we learn about the how Ford’s education cuts have put our public school system in a precarious situation.
Hello to our listeners after our two-week hiatus (read: school hellhole/abyss) from the podcast. We are BACK and are here to give you some tools to help you make your decision in your municipal election on October 22nd (tomorrow!).
What follows is our formula – give yourself 30 minutes to sit down and do this TINY bit of research that will ensure your vote goes to the best place for YOUR priorities.
If you’re in Toronto, Know Your Vote T.O. has centralized some of the tools you need to make your decision, so go there now before you begin to help you navigate this crazy bullshit!
If you’re not in Toronto, DO NOT FRET, we’ve got your back with tips & tricks.
To the steps!
#1 Find your ward bro
- You’ll need to google “what is my ward” + your city/municipality’s name
- Some city websites have a search function where you can put in your postal code and it will spit out the information
- If your city’s website doesn’t have that (sry), it will have “ward maps”. To find your ward this way, you will need to open up the ward map for your whole city, find your area, and then if you can’t pinpoint if your street is in ward 1 or 2 because they are closely together, you just go back to the ward map page and open the ward 1 and 2 maps, which will give you a zoomed in view. Yuck, we know.
#2 Rate your issues from most to least important. Here are the issues municipal elections usually revolve around:
- Public transit
- School boards, which allocate funding for schools from the province and which are responsible for listening to and acting on the concerns of constituents/parents
- Local issues (e.g. bike safety, congestion)
- City services like
- Sewage LOL
- Residential roads
#3 Choose your mayoral candidate
- On your city website, there is a list of candidates registered as running for mayor – they SHOULD have the contact info and websites for these people in the list. We checked several municipalities’ websites for this, so google that shit!
- From the mayoral candidates’ websites, compare their stances on your most important issue (we have found a pen and paper are useful for this, or a spreadsheet).
- For example, if housing is your most important issue, you might look for language like “investment in affordable housing,” or innovative ideas like giving Homeowners Property Tax Rebates to convert basements and attics into living spaces.
- If more than one mayoral candidate has the same stance on your most important issue, compare their stances on your second most important issue, and so on.
#4 Choose your city councillor
- If you’re lucky, your mayoral candidate will have endorsed a city councillor in your ward! Yay! Of course, we recommend checking out their website if this is the case just to make sure that they aren’t advocating anything that you vehemently disagree with (who knows, maybe they want to turn all public parks into trash piles????????).
- If your chosen mayoral candidate didn’t endorse a candidate for city councillor in your ward, you’ll need to google the list of registered city councillor candidates + the name of your ward, and do the same thing you did for your mayoral candidate! Don’t get stressed out, just skim for that one issue that you decided was important to you! You can do it – it’s chill. It is a very chill thing to you.
#5 Choose your school board trustee
- Your city councillor candidate should have endorsed a school board trustee candidate because that’s the easiest way for them to both get support, but if they didn’t, do as for you did for your mayoral candidate and * EXPRESS * YOUR * CREATIVITY * THROUGH * YOUR VOTE CHOICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#6 GO TO THE POLLS
- FIGURE OUT WHAT TIME YOU’RE GONNA VOTE – remember you’re entitled to time off work to do this!
- MAKE US PROUD/SEND US YOUR Q’S WE LOVE YOU XOOXXOXOXOXO GOSSIP GIRL
And finally, some news from the last couple weeks to have on your radar:
UN CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT: Hey guys!! We have until 2030 to prevent the dangerous destabilization of Earth’s climate – less than 12 years from now, according to a new report from the United Nations..
Lol cool so we’ll just go set ourselves on fire now!!! But for realz, the only way we can stop this is to elect some people that are gonna do something about this, so make sure you do that.
Here’s the episode of Family Compact about Climate Change and corporations we mention in the podcast, which has a comprehensive breakdown of the report and possible solutions that will both reduce carbon emissions and redistribute wealth.
The title pretty much says it all, but in addition to this, sexual assault centres across the province, which were waiting on an increase in funding from the government promised to them by the Liberals, have been told that their programs are now “under review.”
And you can buy it online and in stores across the country! Rejoice! On a very serious note, however, this legalization act requires a very close look at amnesty for people who have criminal records relating to cannabis possession.
From NOW Toronto:
“… In Toronto, Black men are three times more likely to be charged with simple possession of marijuana than white men. What’s needed now, say lawyers and academics who’ve recently launched the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty, is an amendment to Bill C-45 that will grant pardons to those who have been arrested for simple possession.”
While the federal government intends to issue pardons for cases of possession of 30 grams or less (as that will be legal as the new recreational legalization), they are not issuing record expungements or amnesty for these individuals. Having a criminal record greatly affects a person’s ability to get a job and travel, among other things, so this is something we’ll be looking closely at in the coming months.
We’ll be taking a short break after the municipal elections to ~breathe~ and then we’ll hit the ground running some time in November for our third and longest season yet, which will revolve around federal politics in preparation for the federal election in October 2019!
Kate & Tara
Tara and Kate discuss the Ford government’s commitment to balancing the Ontario budget at any cost after they “discovered” that the budget deficit was greater than reported by the previous government. They talk about this phenomenon in the broader context of a trend demonstrated by right-wing governments around the world, focusing in on the United States and the Kavanagh hearing as an point of departure.
Tara and Kate discuss the impact of the Ontario election and give a sneak peak of what’s to come for the pod.
Though what we’re seeing with the Ford government so far is concerning to say the least, there are opportunities to make your voice heard and to make change. The first opportunity is the upcoming municipal elections across Ontario. By voting in your municipality for a city councillor, mayor, and schoolboard trustee that are championing the issues you care about, you can stand up to Doug Ford’s regressive and hurtful policies. This season, we’re talking about what municipal elections are, how to vote in them, and how to figure out who to vote for.
If you like the podcast, please consider contributing any amount to our patreon to help keep the wheels running: https://www.patreon.com/undecidedpod
Resources from our news run-down:
- The difference between cap-and-trade and carbon tax
- Sex ed curriculum roll-back
- Snitch line for teaching
- Indigenous history education cuts
- Basic income pilot cancellation
- One conservative (of a few) who support a basic income
- Ford cutting Toronto city council in half
- Ford challenges feds imposition of carbon tax
- Ontario’s climate moves could equal the pollution from 30 coal-fired plants
- Safe injection site creation pause
- Our education episode from last season
Kate and Tara sit down with the hosts of ‘Do You Queer What I Queer?,’ a Toronto-based podcast which serves as a platform for diverse voices of politics and human interest in the LGBTQ community to educate, entertain, and expand world-views of listeners. In this crossover episode, Tara, Kate, Elliott, and Thom talk about queer issues in Ontario and what the three Ontario parties have to offer the community and its allies in the upcoming provincial election.
PARTY PLATFORM BREAKDOWN
- stated will roll back inclusive sex ed curriculum
- historic connections with anti-queer advocates
- maintain 2015 sex ed curriculum
- symbolism of Kathleen Wynne as party leader and Premier of Ontario
- pledged to establish a new Local Service Priority Fund to strengthen mental health supports for LGBTQ+ individuals
- pledged an additional $2.1 billion more over the next four years to increase the level of care and access for mental health and addictions services with a special focus on queer individuals
- committed to piloting Canada’s first dedicated LGBTQI2S Community Legal Clinic
- maintain 2015 sex ed curriculum
- fully cover the cost of transition medicine for trans individuals
- improve access to primary and secondary procedures