Church publication gets acclimatized to new home in East York

Jocelyn Bell’s work is figuratively and literally on the move. As the managing editor of The United Church Observer, she has seen both the content of her publication and its office location change.

Readers of the most recent editions of The United Church Observer can read stories about becoming a vegan or about the daily meditations of First Nations traditions.

“(With) our tag line ‘ethical living, justice and faith,’ there’s a heavy emphasis on how we are in the world,” Bell said. “That’s kind of how we express our faith at this place.”

EMS dispatcher talks couple through birth of their daughter

With the assistance of an EMS dispatcher, a father delivered a baby girl in an Uber vehicle near a busy East York intersection.

On Jan. 18, Anita Thompson, a Toronto Emergency Medical Services dispatcher had nearly finished her 12-hour shift when she got a call. An anxious father and his wife, who had gone into labour, were travelling in an Uber vehicle en route to a hospital. Thompson said the father explained that the Uber driver had pulled off the road at Overlea Boulevard and Thorncliffe Park Drive, so the ambulance sent by Thompson could rendezvous and assist the parents. Thompson described the scene inside the Uber.

Politicians, constituents still waiting for electoral reform

The MP for Beaches-East York believes that electoral reform will not happen by the next federal election in 2019.

In 2015, following the election of Justin Trudeau as prime minister, the Liberal administration recommended a number of initiatives and ultimately legislation that would replace the “first-past-the-post” voting system in Canada. In the wake of months of consultation with the public, some believe such alternatives as proportional representation, a ranked balloting system and online voting will not be ready for the next federal election. East York’s Nathaniel Erskine-Smith says it may take longer.

“The promise was to make 2015 the last election under first-past-the-post,” he said, “and if it’s hard to make the promise happen before 2019, we should still be committed to the promise in the long-term.”

Cadets carry on air force traditions at Danforth Tech

From the parade square at Danforth Tech, Alina Farrukh can see the loftiest of goals.

“You get to learn about clouds and stuff that I would not learn at home or with any other program,” Farrukh said.

Farrukh, 14, says her ultimate goal is to get her pilot licence through the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and to pursue her dream to fly air force aircraft.

Premier hears about cockroaches, broken elevators

Tenants from the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood gave Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne a rough ride Tuesday night during a town hall consultation at the Thorncliffe Park Public School.
The residents raised multiple complaints about their landlords and accused the provincial and municipal governments of not trying to bring the landlords under control