Saturday, January 18, 2020

Cabbagetown Youth Centre crisis

10.20 a.m. Saturday morning, and it has just started, the snow, as they predicted. We'll get a lot today, so a hunkering down kind of day; it already feels muffled and shrouded out there, with less than an inch on the ground. Tonight a huge treat - my tenant who works at the symphony has given me tickets for Mozart's Requiem at Roy Thomson Hall. Shovelling, and then Mozart.

Yesterday, a P.D. day, Anna came over with her two boys and three siblings she was looking after for the day, including a tiny preemie sixteen-month old. Here is Ben with his best friend and schoolmate Ian. They are about to make a huge mess with Play Doh.
Eli and Ian's savvy, sensible older sister were building a fort upstairs with ensuing chaos. A great thrill, to see Eli carry the baby around with tenderness and care. And to watch the love my daughter puts into all children, not just her own. I truly do not know where that came from; certainly not from me, I've never had that kind of patience. It's miraculous.

I took the older four to the playground and the Farm; what a resource, this quiet place where animals are chewing. We watched the piglets snarling and snapping at each other, as siblings do. There were lots of eggs in the henhouse, and I remembered with nostalgia when I used to be able to buy them, still warm with feathers. Then the city decided it wasn't safe.

Speaking of unsafe: it looks like our Cabbagetown Youth Centre is going to close for lack of funding - private funding dropped off and provincial funding was slashed by the vicious, stupid, short-sighted, mean-spirited Ford government. A vital after-school place for local at-risk kids, it's at the heart of the community. Our GoFund me campaign isn't nearly enough; I've spoken to our MPP and wrote yesterday to Bill Morneau, our MP, pleading with them both to do something. No one cares. If only I could sic Anna on the case. But she is preoccupied with the school strikes, which will hit her local school Monday. She has offered free child care to anyone who needs to go to work.

As Krugman wrote yesterday in the NYTimes, Why does America hate its children?
Multiple studies have found that safety-net programs for children have big long-term consequences. Children who receive adequate nutrition and health care grow up to become healthier, more productive adults. And in addition to the humanitarian side of these benefits, there’s a monetary payoff: Healthier adults are less likely to need public aid and are likely to pay more in taxes.
It’s probably too much to claim that helping children pays for itself. But it surely comes a lot closer to doing so than tax cuts for the rich.


Speaking of Americans: Bill Maher was back last night after a long break, and his interview guest was Nancy Pelosi. Now that is an admirable woman. "When you enter the arena, as I do," she said, ladylike, in an elegant pant suit and very high heels, "you have to be able to take the blows and also deliver them." And she does. She pointed out with great relish, "Trump is impeached forever. No matter what the Senate decides, he will always be impeached." YES!

And finally, my own two cents: Hooray for Meghan and Harry. It will not be easy to figure out how to break free of centuries of tradition, and for Harry to leave everything he has ever known, to find a new way to live. I salute your courage for trying. Let's leave them alone to make their way, shall we?

If only. As someone said on Twitter, Harry's mum died when he was a little boy. He had to walk behind her coffin and remain composed whilst people in the crowd, who had never even met her, were in hysterics. I am vehemently anti royal, but I hope he has a fucking great time forever with his hot wife.

And now perhaps a good idea to get dressed.

PS From across town: snow is falling, Dad and boys playing board game, cat keeping an eye on things. Luckily, there are lots of places where children are loved.

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