Comment 36542

By Kenneth Moyle (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2009 at 19:46:14

There are some shocking facts presented in this article - the appropriate response can only be outrage. Well, that is until one starts asking questions, at which point one wonders if things are as shocking and outrageous as they sound.

For example, Mr. Wood writes that "the poverty rate for unattached individuals has risen to 41.9 percent". Shocking! That's nearly half! How can that be? Well, who are these "unattached individuals"? I assume the this is the report to which he refers:; this report does not define the term either. But Stats Can uses the term to refer to single adults 18 or over. And so if that 42% includes 19 year olds fresh out of high school in their first jobs and university and college students, it becomes far less surprising. Hell, I was unattached and technically poor until I was 23 and got my first real job.

And what is meant by "poverty" in this report? It uses Stat Can's LICO measure*, which measures _relative_ poverty. Until we become a socialist utopia, someone will always be relatively poor, and it makes sense to me that young adults - who are surely a large chunk of the population of unattached adults - _should_ be relatively poor (since they are in school or just beginning to work).

Mr. Wood also refers to "evictions" from the old Regal at King and Bay: poor people evicted without due process! thrown out on the street! in the cold of June! But eviction is not the same thing as "termination of lease". And while these people did not have leases (one can only assume), even if they _had_ had leases, they would only have been given 60 days, just like any other tenant (I'm assuming that they would be month-to-month leases, and not long-term leases which would leave them exposed to liability for early termination).

Mr. Wood also refers to tenants being "ordered out in the middle of the night", implying that this happened in the case of the Regal. But he doesn't give us any reference, leaving me wonder if he isn't engaging in more misleading hyperbole.

Let's expose injustice and discuss the plight of the poor in this city - we should be able to make the Hammer better for everyone. But scary red herrings do not help convince me that relatively poor 20 year olds and thankfully-renovated fleabag hotels are somehow part of the problem of unregulated rooming houses.


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