Strong communities

Toronto-Danforth is home to some of the strongest communities in Canada.  That’s why I chose to live here, it’s why I love living here, it’s why I’m committed to watching all my children grow up here and it’s why I will work to make sure that our communities not only stay strong but get stronger.

Our communities are compact and efficient, there are walkable shopping districts, neighbours know each other and get involved in community groups.  We have strong cultural communities that look after their members and grow their favourite foods in almost shockingly bountiful gardens.  Our seniors have incredible skills at self sufficiency, mending and repairing things that young people throw away.  We have amazing transit connections criss-crossing the riding and many families get by without a car at all.

But what fills me with most awe and hope is the way this corner of Toronto is at the forefront of finding new compassion and understanding, building bridges between people of different cultures, religions, ages and colours.  I love watching older Greek women sharing produce with their young Chinese neighbours.  I love watching toddlers with two mommies watching over them as they play with other toddlers freshly arrived from Bangladesh.  And I was actually brought to tears the drizzly day I joined in a peace walk through this riding organized by Christians, Muslims and Jews who shared food and prayers together.

I want to promote cohesion in diversity, a recognition that to have our own culture recognized and valued, we must learn to respect and embrace others as well.  I want to promote compassion, and a recognition that we are all lessened when there is suffering among us.  And I want to press for a government that will help so many local small green businesses just waiting for the right environment to soar.

4 responses to “Strong communities”

  1. Sammy writes:

    Hi Adriana,

    I was looking at what the Vision document had to say about helping student’s financial situations. It suggests a lot of good broad policies, but I’m looking for more detail. In particular about this point:

    “1. Increase funding for a needs-based Canadian National Student Loan and Bursary Program with an emphasis on low-income, first-generation, and Aboriginal students and communities.”

    I’m wondering by how much, and where this money would come from. This was brought to my attention by my boyfriend, who said that the NDP is aiming for 1 000$ per year in bursaries for qualified students. I’m not sure where they say the money is coming from, but I think the concrete promise is very persuasive for students in a tight situation.

    Cheers,
    Sammy

  2. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Hi Sammy,

    Our complete audited budget is available at the end of our platform here:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20141105223218/http://greenparty.ca/en/platform/budget

    The numbers are in millions. So you can see we set aside $160 million per year beginning in year two on the tuition credit and $400 million annually beginning immediately for post-secondary bursaries. The money doesn’t “come from” any one place – it’s part of an integrated budget that shifts priorities from the status quo in particular ways. Lots of things are moved around.

    We were looking at 50% loan forgiveness upon degree completion for qualified students.

    The thing about comparing the NDP and Green platforms is that it depends what you want. For the same cost you can either be extremely generous to a small number of very disadvantaged students or you can offer a small benefit to all students. Where you draw the line for qualification is as important as the level of support offered. I’m not sure how much the NDP think their programme will cost them. As far as I know, they haven’t presented a budget.

    Hope this helps,

    Adriana

  3. Sammy writes:

    This is incredibly helpful, thank you.
    The Green Party continues to surpass my expectations of politicians =)

    Have a great weekend,
    Sammy

  4. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Sammy, there’s another thing the Green Party offers for all students. The municipal youth employment programme budgeted for $1 billion dollars is intended to get youth working on municipal green infrastructure improvements. But at the end of the programme, each young person involved gets $4,000 towards student debt repayment.

    Adriana

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