An interview with Louisa, a person working to support residents of 103-105 West Lodge Ave in Toronto as they have faced intermittent heat, power, and water service in their apartments from at least February 2019. The two high rise apartment buildings were recently bought by the multinational asset management firm Timbercreek who have focused on evicting residents through the landlord tribunal while letting the buildings fall further into disrepair.
In the interview we hear about frozen sewage filled pipes bursting and leaking through ceilings and walls, people stuck in unreliable elevators as power fluctuates, food spoiling in inconsistently powered fridges, and long walks up dark stairways with bottles of water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Through all the issues, Timbercreek is not compensating people for their losses, while the ignore much-needed repair work and shamelessly continue to evict residents.
Louisa notes you can call the Timbercreek office in charge of rentals (647-951-5498) and demand fair treatment and fair compensation for existing tenants, ending eviction actions against tenants, and immediate repairs to the building.
Background information about the resistance in Toronto’s West Lodge towers:
Timbercreek has a history of similar behaviour through Canada and around the world. Check out this in-depth article “The battle for Heron Gate”, which looks into Timbercreek and their assault on the Heron Gate neighbourhood and community in Ottawa.
Focusing on the ongoing war on drugs and the resultant public health emergency, this episode opens with the trailer for the new podcast “Crackdown” which features “Drug user activists covering the drug war as war correspondents”, and continues with an interview with organisers of a “Pop-Up Overdose Prevention Site” in Kitchener-Waterloo.
Focusing on the ongoing war on drugs and the resultant public health emergency, this episode opens with the trailer for the new podcast “Crackdown” from Vancouver based host and producer Garth Mullins which features “Drug user activists covering the drug war as war correspondents”. This monthly podcast is “about drugs, drug policy and the drug war led by drug user activists and supported by research”.
Shifting from the west coast to Waterloo region, the show continues with an interview with Kyle Wall and Julian Ichim, 2 organisers of a pop-up overdose prevention site campaign in Kitchener-Waterloo. This new campaign is has two main goals. The first is to prevent deaths of drug users by creating a place where they may more safely consume drugs. Many of the deaths triggered by fentanyl and other opioids would be avoided if the drugs were taken in a setting where someone else was present to administer naloxone and emergency breathing if needed. The second goal is to put pressure on the government in the Region Waterloo to take action to open the much needed supervised injection and consumption sites that have faced long delays in their approval and funding.
On February 28th 2019 at 5pm, members of the “Alan Ryan People’s Community Defense Brigade” organised a gathering in downtown Kitchener and marched to the Region of Waterloo headquarters to set up the first pop-up overdose prevention site in a new campaign to prevent deaths of people who use drugs, and to put pressure on the regional council who have been dragging their feet on establishing much-needed supervised consumption and injection sites.
At least 10 people died in the region in January alone from opioid overdoses, with February death toll similarly high, with at least 2 additional deaths in the final days of the month.
The group set up a tent and stocked it with necessary supplies, like clean needles, water, blankets, disposal bins, and most importantly, naloxone kits, which when administered to someone experiencing opioid induced respiratory depression, can help stabilise their breathing. After several hours, the group packed up for the eve, announcing that they will be setting up this operation daily in different spots around the downtown until official supervised sites are established.
Today we are joined by organisers Julian Ichim and Kyle Wall To talk about the grassroots overdose prevention site campaign and the larger public health emergency brought forward by the manufactured opioid crisis.
The show closes with the song “Mutiny in Heaven” by The Birthday Party.
Mazaj Show is a twice weekly radio show on Waterloo Radio 102.7 which covers Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph. Six hours a day, twice a week at the Peak time every TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY from 2:00 PM till 8:00 PM. This show for the Arab community which speaks Arabic Language.
Mazaj Show is the only voice for Arabs in Kitchener Area and Guelph.