Chow says city is broke but still wants to rename Dundas St.

spaminator

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Chow says city is broke but still wants to rename Dundas St.
Begs federal government for help while promising to push ahead on spending millions to rename Dundas.


Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Published Dec 13, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read
360 Comments
Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow claims the city is broke, while saying she will spend more than $12 million to rename Dundas St. on false pretenses.

The city’s coffers may be empty, and Mayor Olivia Chow may be begging the federal government for a bailout but that doesn’t mean we won’t spend millions to rename Dundas St.


Governance at City Hall isn’t driven by reality, it’s driven by ideology.


Originally pegged at $6 million, then $8.6 million, and now $12.7 million — just in city costs — the price to rename Dundas has ballooned. For the city there is the renaming of the street, the changing of the street signs or “blades” as the city calls them and a lot of administrative work.

The $12.7 million cost to rename the street doesn’t include the cost to residents or businesses who will have to change signage, promotional materials, legal contracts and more.

Henry Dundas was a Scottish politician who held enormous sway in the British Parliament in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The claim against Dundas is that he delayed the abolition of slavery because he amended a bill to make the abolition gradual rather than immediate.


The reality is that without the amendment from Dundas, what was proposed would not have passed. Blaming Dundas for keeping slavery alive is a form of historical illiteracy because it’s not true, but Chow pushes this false narrative as part of her agenda.

Before stating her continuing support for renaming Dundas, Chow detailed how destitute the city was without a bailout of federal cash. She said the city cannot afford to run their shelter programs or replace subway cars without federal support.

“Every night, the shelters are full. More than 200 people are turned away, and at least half of them are refugees,” Chow said.

“Our shelter costs have skyrocketed, and we have asked the federal government to support us, to help us pay the bills.”


It’s a valid request, just as the request for the federal government to help pay for subway cars is valid.

But, … if you are asking for other levels of government to bail you out, you might want to make sure that you are watching how you spend your own dollars.

No one who has looked honestly at the historical record would think that in a time of financial crisis, the real priority of the City of Toronto would be spending close to $13 million to rename a street based on an agenda-driven report.



When the move to rename Dundas began, council asked city staff to look at which other street or place names would be deemed inappropriate. The report came back with a list of 60 different names, including Yonge Street, Wellesley, Jarvis, Wellington and Brant.


There were 12 streets identified in Toronto named after slave owners, and even a street named for former Liberal Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier was deemed to be in need of renaming.

Laurier oversaw some of the most racist immigration laws in Canadian history, perhaps only outdone by fellow Liberal William Lyon McKenzie King. The policies Laurier oversaw included banning Black immigration, passing an effective ban on people coming from India and increasing the Chinese head tax from $50 to $500 to stop Chinese immigration.

Will we rename all of these streets, as well?

They surely have a worse record than Henry Dundas, but they have not been singled out by activists. If it would cost $12.7 million for the city to rename Dundas, what would be the cost to rename all 60 streets deemed problematic?


And if you can’t clean the streets, pick up the garbage properly and run the transit system to an acceptable standard, is this what the city should be spending money on?

Councillor Chris Moise said on Wednesday that renaming Yonge-Dundas Square would be paid for by his own community benefits fund. The renaming of Dundas Station, to be renamed Toronto Metropolitan University Station, will see the $1.5 million price tag paid for by TMU.

So municipal taxpayers won’t pay for renaming Yonge-Dundas Square, but taxpayers, in general, will still foot the bill.

There is no way for the city to rename Dundas without a massive cost. If the city had the money, that would be one thing, but when they are broke, it makes no sense.

Unless, of course, the reason is to spend $12.7 million to send a virtue signal from City Hall.

That is not worth the cost.
 

spaminator

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Toronto council approves renaming of Yonge-Dundas Square, Dundas Station
Author of the article:postmedia News
Published Dec 14, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 2 minute read

Yonge-Dundas Square and Dundas Station will soon be wiped off the map — at least in name.


Toronto city council approved a motion to rename Yonge-Dundas Square and also asked that the TTC enter a deal with Toronto Metropolitan University — formerly Ryerson — to rename Dundas Station as “TMU Station.”


The motion received majority support and is part of renaming efforts throughout the city of names connected to slavery and alleged racism.



Councillor Chris Moise said that TMU has agreed to pay the entire $1.7-milllion renaming cost associated with the Dundas subway station if it’s named after the university.

The motion in front of council on Thursday — placed by Moise and seconded by Mayor Olivia Chow — asked that council request the TTC board to make the name change by the fourth quarter of 2024.


The same motion asked that a new name be chosen for Yonge-Dundas Square by the end of the second quarter next year, CP24 reported.

Moise said a committee selected “Sankofa Square” this week after narrowing its choices to four names over the past few months. Sankofa originates in Ghana and refers to “the act of reflecting on and reclaiming teachings from the past which enables us to move forward together.”

In a statement, Chow said, “Adopting the name Sankofa Square recognizes the need to reflect on and reclaim teachings from the past, and enables us to move forward together.”

She added: “The City of Toronto remains committed to confronting anti-Black racism, advancing truth, reconciliation and justice, and building a more inclusive and equitable city. The City of Toronto is committed to acknowledging the impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery, while focusing on mitigating costs and impacts on residents and businesses.”


Also included in the motion was a directive that the Toronto Public Library Board rename the Jane-Dundas library branch in 2024 and that the TTC rename Dundas West Station by 2025.

The motion would direct the city manager to pause work on the previous process to rename all of Dundas St. until city council provides further direction on the issue.

None of the changes will come cheap and the issue has been controversial from the start.

The most recent estimate pegged the cost at as much as $12.7 million.

Proponents of the name change say that Dundas, a Scottish politician who held enormous sway in the British parliament in the late 1700s and early 1800s, delayed the abolition of slavery because he amended a bill to make the abolition gradual rather than immediate.
 

Taxslave2

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Aug 13, 2022
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They should rename Toronto to Dumbassville to reflect the lack of intelligence on the current administration
 
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spaminator

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Sneaky renaming of Dundas Square to Sankofa Square is revisionist madness

Author of the article:Joe Warmington
Published Dec 15, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 5 minute read

They can spend millions of taxpayer dollars to rename the main square in Toronto’s downtown, but no one will ever call it Sankofa Square.


No one ever should.


It’s Dundas Square or Yonge-Dundas Square but there’s no way any real Torontonian will ever refer to the square in heart of the city by a made-up, politically correct name that no one had ever heard of, that they were not consulted on and didn’t get a chance to vote for.

It’s like the enemy snuck in during the middle of the night when everybody was sleeping and stole the very soul of our city.

“They were so sneaky about it,” said Jennifer Dundas, a retired crown prosecutor and a “distant” relative of Henry Dundas, who has been trying to “set the record straight” on the Scottish politician.

Sneaky is the right word.

The first anybody had heard about this Sankofa name was earlier in the day Thursday but no one realized council would amend the agenda to voted on it immediately and inappropriately change two centuries of a very proud history.


“My understanding is that short notice, or no notice motions, have to address something urgent to make it on to the agenda,” said Dundas.

Councillor Jaye Robinson did her best to try to stop it. She along with Councillors Brad Bradford, Stephen Holyday, Parthi Kandavel were the only four to oppose this ugliness. Councillors is support were Alejandra Bravo, Jon Burnside, Shelley Carroll, Lily Cheng, Mike Colle, Paula Fletcher, Ausma Malik, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Amber. Morley, Jamaal Myers, Frances Nunziata, Gord Perks, Dianne Saxe and Chris Moise, who fronted the motion.

But voting in favour it was Mayor Olivia Chow who spearheaded this madness.

“Ultimately we are charting a path forward, one that is addressing community concerns,” said the mayor. “It enables us to move forward together, it’s just beautiful. I couldn’t think of a better name for a gathering place at the heart of our city.”



She wouldn’t say that if someone wanted to take her late husband Jack Layton’s name off the ferry terminal or remove his statue.

Instead Toronto will focus on changing the name of the square, a library and two subway stations. Dundas Station will become Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Station, which ironically is another made-up replacement name for Egerton Ryerson who is another victim of this wipeout of Canadian history and his statue torn down. The same was done to Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald.


It’s all so obscene and unnecessary. Using exaggerated grievances of a “colonizing” past, leftists want to change everything about Canada’s history so say goodbye to the city of Toronto as you knew it.


Calling it the beginning of a “journey,” Chow indicated that they will focus on these changes while putting on hold the original asinine effort to rename all of Dundas Street — based on inaccurate history of Henry Dundas. Research shows the Scottish politician was in fact in favour of abolishing slavery which former mayors John Sewell and David Crombie highlighted in an open letter.

Drunk with power, you know these traitors to Toronto will eventually get back to renaming all of Dundas Street. It, or Dundas Square, shouldn’t be renamed at all. But if Torontonians decided to do that, there are a million ideas better than Sankofa — starting with Canadian patriot Gordon Lightfoot who not only performed at nearby Massey Hall more than anybody else but was also present in the square to support our troops in Afghanistan in 2006.


Mayor Chow and her gang of revisionist history militants seem to hate Toronto and are looking to transform it from one of the great cities in the world into a sewer of their woke politics and test tube for their expensive, failing socialism that has taken a safe place and turned into one that is unaffordable and mean. This square has become a front for their failings so it is no surprise they would plant their leftist flag there by taking away its historical name and replace it with some of obscure concept representing a bird from Ghana, that metaphorically goes back to alter the past to forge a new path.

Chow's office tried to get TTC chief Rick Leary fired, but failed spectacularly. Now they are trying to deny any involvement.

It has no connection to Toronto.

Under their direction what should be the jewel of the downtown and centrepiece of tourism, Dundas Square, has become a staging area for drug addicts jonesing for their next hit, hunting for cash to achieve it or tripping or sleeping it off after they taken their latest shot or snort aided by taxpayers’ money to help them ingest their poison at a so called safe injection site right on the northeast corner of the square.


There’s stabbings there, shootings, assaults, sexual assaults, drug dealing and thefts which will get worse since on the other side of the square council recently quietly announced taxpayers will purchase the old Bond Place Hotel and make it a permanent homeless shelter. It’s great for those hooked on crack, opioids, fentanyl and crystal meth who can walk across the square for free needles or crack smoking kits. Not so great for people with families to sit there and have their lunch. Instead of it being a destination to host the world, it’s now a place where staff have to clean up the vomit. And other things.

This whole bizarre, unfair, cancellation exercise to change the name of Dundas Street because of an incorrect smear on Henry Dundas two centuries ago and his position on slavery has been nothing more than a cultural revolution style move to steal Toronto’s proud history and try to make it racist which it is not. It’s the opposite. Find another city in the world where people from all racial, religious, or economic backgrounds have been able to come and create a great life.

Toronto is the beacon for that. Yet, there are these bullies spending millions of tax dollars to cancel its builders and replacing them with made-up virtue signalling and expensive, inauthentic re-branding.

But no one will call it Sankofa Square or TMU station nor should they.
 

spaminator

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Chow compromised on Dundas, just as he would have done
She removed the Dundas name but not from the street because it wasn't politically possible


Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Published Dec 15, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read
Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow claims the city is broke, while saying she will spend more than $12 million to rename Dundas St. on false pretenses.

Olivia Chow cut a deal at council this week. It would have made Henry Dundas smile approvingly.


Sure, she smeared his good name with historically illiterate claims to remove Dundas from a transit station and Yonge-Dundas Square, but she also did it through compromising between what she wanted and what was possible.


Chow has been adamant that the city rename Dundas Street since before she was elected mayor in June. She is supported by a whole range of people who believe that for the city to purify itself, the name Dundas must be removed.

This is based on the false notion that Dundas, a Scottish politician and power broker in British politics across the late 1700s and early 1800s was responsible for prolonging slavery.

The real story is that Dundas was an abolitionist, but also a realist. If his colleagues had listened to him, they would have succeeded in ending slavery across the British Empire by about the year 1800.



With a growing body of historical literature pointing out that Dundas did not prolong slavery and the cost of the renaming process going to almost $13 million, the idea was not as politically popular as it had been.

Yet, Chow’s political base demanded that the change happen. They didn’t care about the new literature or the cost, they wanted this virtue-signaling move to go ahead.

The compromise at council this week was to rename Dundas Station on the Yonge subway line as TMU station while Yonge-Dundas Square will become Sankofa Square.

This we are told is a word from the Akan people in Ghana meaning to learn from our past.


It seems an odd choice given that the Akan people in Ghana were at the other end of the slave trade kidnapping their fellow black Africans and selling them to Europeans. As recently as 2016, a formal apology was issued by the government in Ghana for the role of their people in that country in perpetrating the transatlantic slave trade.

Still, Chow got some of what she wanted and she got something to give to her base to name changes while Dundas Street will remain intact for now because the cost is simply too big.

There’s also the problem that if the city went ahead with this, they would have to rename several other streets for people with actual connections to slavery – including Yonge Street, Jarvis Street and, according to city staff, 58 other place names that don’t meet the standards of today.


While I don’t agree with the renaming, especially with how it was done, if this stops the attempt to rename everything else at a time when the city is broke, then it is a compromise I can live with.

City Council engaged in another renaming effort at this week’s meetings, voting 17 to 6 in favour of renaming Centennial Stadium after the late Rob Ford. Wile this move has been linked to the city’s new deal with the province, both the Mayor’s office, and Premier’s office deny there is a connection.


That is partially true, but not completely true.

When Chow first went to Queens Park to meet with Premier Doug Ford in September, she raised the issue of renaming Centennial Stadium in honour of his late brother. Perhaps she was buttering him up, finding a way to his heart to get him ready to agree to the transformational new deal that was announced two weeks ago?


That’s the cold and calculating view, and in politics, we should never discount that, but there is something more of a human angle here.


When Rob Ford was mayor, he was instrumental in renaming the ferry terminals after Chow’s late husband Jack Layton. As she was speaking to reporters earlier this week about the stadium renaming, Chow said she understood the pain of losing someone too early and that Ford deserved the honour.

This move won’t make Chow’s base happy, but it’s good politics and good people skills.

The art of compromise. Like Dundas, Chow understands it’s needed in politics.

blilley@postmedia.com
 

spaminator

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Can a petition convince Toronto City Council to stop renaming of Dundas?
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Published Dec 20, 2023 • 2 minute read

The City of Toronto announced last week that the city approved renaming Dundas throughout the city, but compromised by modifying Yonge-Dundas Square, two subway stations and a public library.


The scaled-down initiative means it will cost just over half of the almost $13 million it was originally going to cost.


But it’s not the money that is the issue for some.

A new petition was launched on Dec. 16 to put a stop to the renaming of all things related to Henry Dundas.

“We demand Dundas Street, TTC Stations and Yonge & Dundas Square retain the name Dundas unless the city can afford a robust public vote about the necessity of a new name,” the change.org appeal begins.

“And if that vote concludes that a new name is necessary then a vote on the new name should follow.”

The petition, started by Jonny & The Flyer Vault From Toronto, goes on to highlight the “complex and rich” history of the “old and beautiful city,” one that is “full of drama, tragedy and triumph,” not to mention how the street and square have each hosted events, concerts, businesses and milestones that shouldn’t be forgotten.



“Street names elicit inquiry and curiosity, inviting residents and visitors into the past to learn and contemplate the present,” the petition reads.

“Removing Dundas would mean erasing a part of our collective memory. Making the decision to do so should be done with tremendous care and public consultation.”

It notes that the 2.1 million who live in Toronto not being consulted on the renaming was a “negligent and misguided” choice on council’s part.

The petition continues, “We find it Orwellian that government officials would choose historical erasure over embracing human complexity. Regardless of (Dundas’s) approach to abolition, his personal character or today’s moral conventions, it is asinine to make such significant changes based only on the demands of activists.”


While the author of the petition isn’t defending Dundas, they do take issue with the new name, Sankofa, due to it having “no historical or cultural significance to Toronto,” as well as noting that the Akan peoples, from whom the Ghanian word originates, “were themselves avid slave traders.”

The petition adds, “This isn’t to suggest the word itself is tied to slavery but it does demonstrate history is murky when we selectively indict the past to push agendas in the present.

As far as Dundas the man goes, the petition isn’t about him.

“His legacy is for academics — not bureaucrats or activists — to debate,” the petition reads, explaining that it’s “a defence of preserving the complicated nature of history as it intersects with the identity of our city.


“No human being — even our greatest heroes — passed through this life without blemish,” it continues. “This petition is a call to be vigilant against activism at City Hall that seeks to upend and spend rather than treat citizens as mature, thoughtful adults who can handle the complexities and ambiguities of history.”

The petition to halt the renaming of Dundas has more than 4,200 signatures at the time of publication.
 

Dixie Cup

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Chow says city is broke but still wants to rename Dundas St.
Begs federal government for help while promising to push ahead on spending millions to rename Dundas.


Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Published Dec 13, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read
360 Comments
Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow claims the city is broke, while saying she will spend more than $12 million to rename Dundas St. on false pretenses.

The city’s coffers may be empty, and Mayor Olivia Chow may be begging the federal government for a bailout but that doesn’t mean we won’t spend millions to rename Dundas St.


Governance at City Hall isn’t driven by reality, it’s driven by ideology.


Originally pegged at $6 million, then $8.6 million, and now $12.7 million — just in city costs — the price to rename Dundas has ballooned. For the city there is the renaming of the street, the changing of the street signs or “blades” as the city calls them and a lot of administrative work.

The $12.7 million cost to rename the street doesn’t include the cost to residents or businesses who will have to change signage, promotional materials, legal contracts and more.

Henry Dundas was a Scottish politician who held enormous sway in the British Parliament in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The claim against Dundas is that he delayed the abolition of slavery because he amended a bill to make the abolition gradual rather than immediate.


The reality is that without the amendment from Dundas, what was proposed would not have passed. Blaming Dundas for keeping slavery alive is a form of historical illiteracy because it’s not true, but Chow pushes this false narrative as part of her agenda.

Before stating her continuing support for renaming Dundas, Chow detailed how destitute the city was without a bailout of federal cash. She said the city cannot afford to run their shelter programs or replace subway cars without federal support.

“Every night, the shelters are full. More than 200 people are turned away, and at least half of them are refugees,” Chow said.

“Our shelter costs have skyrocketed, and we have asked the federal government to support us, to help us pay the bills.”


It’s a valid request, just as the request for the federal government to help pay for subway cars is valid.

But, … if you are asking for other levels of government to bail you out, you might want to make sure that you are watching how you spend your own dollars.

No one who has looked honestly at the historical record would think that in a time of financial crisis, the real priority of the City of Toronto would be spending close to $13 million to rename a street based on an agenda-driven report.



When the move to rename Dundas began, council asked city staff to look at which other street or place names would be deemed inappropriate. The report came back with a list of 60 different names, including Yonge Street, Wellesley, Jarvis, Wellington and Brant.


There were 12 streets identified in Toronto named after slave owners, and even a street named for former Liberal Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier was deemed to be in need of renaming.

Laurier oversaw some of the most racist immigration laws in Canadian history, perhaps only outdone by fellow Liberal William Lyon McKenzie King. The policies Laurier oversaw included banning Black immigration, passing an effective ban on people coming from India and increasing the Chinese head tax from $50 to $500 to stop Chinese immigration.

Will we rename all of these streets, as well?

They surely have a worse record than Henry Dundas, but they have not been singled out by activists. If it would cost $12.7 million for the city to rename Dundas, what would be the cost to rename all 60 streets deemed problematic?


And if you can’t clean the streets, pick up the garbage properly and run the transit system to an acceptable standard, is this what the city should be spending money on?

Councillor Chris Moise said on Wednesday that renaming Yonge-Dundas Square would be paid for by his own community benefits fund. The renaming of Dundas Station, to be renamed Toronto Metropolitan University Station, will see the $1.5 million price tag paid for by TMU.

So municipal taxpayers won’t pay for renaming Yonge-Dundas Square, but taxpayers, in general, will still foot the bill.

There is no way for the city to rename Dundas without a massive cost. If the city had the money, that would be one thing, but when they are broke, it makes no sense.

Unless, of course, the reason is to spend $12.7 million to send a virtue signal from City Hall.

That is not worth the cost.
Stupidity still reins in T.O.
 

spaminator

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Yonge-Dundas Square chair resigns over renaming of landmark: Report
Author of the article:postmedia News
Published Dec 20, 2023 • Last updated 18 hours ago • 1 minute read

Henry Dundas’ name is being erased from a Toronto landmark. Now a name associated with the controversial debate is reportedly removing himself from his position.


Less than a week after Toronto city council voted to rename Yonge-Dundas Square, Mike Fenton, chair of the Yonge-Dundas Square Board of Management, informed the head of council’s civic appointments committee of his resignation via a letter, the Toronto Star reported Wednesday night.


In the letter, Fenton said he supports the city’s efforts to find a new name for Yonge-Dundas Square, the Star report said, but council’s decision to rename it “Sankofa Square” lacked the proper timeframe in which to debate the issue.


Council’s decision on Dec. 14 came just two days after an advisory committee picked the new name.

“While I support the selection of a new name for YDS — the lack of a consistent, public review to evaluate this decision has been disjointed and lacking good governance,” wrote Fenton, according to the Star.

Last week’s motion received majority support and was part of renaming efforts throughout the city of names connected to slavery and alleged racism.

City council also last week asked that the TTC enter into a deal with Toronto Metropolitan University — formerly Ryerson — to rename Dundas Station as “TMU Station.”

Also included in the motion was a directive that the Toronto Public Library Board rename the Jane-Dundas library branch in 2024 and that the TTC rename Dundas West Station by 2025.

A change.org petition to stop the renaming of all things related to Dundas had attracted nearly 5,000 signatures as of Wednesday night.
 

spaminator

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If you want to erase the name Sankofa before it erases Dundas, there is a petition

Author of the article:Joe Warmington
Published Dec 26, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read
Daniel Tate is collecting signatures to resist the change of Yonge-Dundas Square to Sankofa Square.
Daniel Tate is collecting signatures to resist the change of Yonge-Dundas Square to Sankofa Square.
It took leftists one city council meeting to erase 200 years of Toronto history with the renaming of Yonge-Dundas Square to Sankofa Square.


It might take longer to restore it. But some are working on it.


If you don’t like the name Sankofa Square and want this city council decision to be reversed, there is only one thing that you can do about it. Sign a petition to reverse the weird and sneaky decision to change the name of Yonge-Dundas Square to a term that comes from Africa with a woke theme about moving from the past to the future.

The petition is up on change.org.

“Hope to reach 15,000 (signatures) by this time next week on our way to 100,000,” said Daniel Tate, the man behind the effort to try to convince Mayor Olivia Chow and council to abandon the Sankofa branding.

Tate, who works in the live entertainment business and knows how to fill a room, has a goal of reaching 100,000 signatures, which he hopes to present to the mayor.


The Rotary Club's Forget Me Not Remembrance Tree in Yonge-Dundas Square allows people to place a ribbon in memory of someone, but it is not a Christmas tree.

Does the public care about this? Do they like that city council, at the last minute, erased two centuries of history and snuck in a name no one in the public had ever heard of?

“The residents of Toronto were shocked and stunned at your closed-door, late-night decision to rename a beloved landmark of our city without massive and robust public consultation,” says a letter to council.

“How could this council so recklessly, and with such careless abandon, rename a public landmark that has generated trillions of beautiful memories for generations of Torontonians? … Dundas is not about some guy whose history is murky and debated from 200 years ago. It’s about how a name was reclaimed by a city over time.”

Most people never even knew there was a Dundas at all. But what they did know is Yonge and Dundas was part of their life growing up in Toronto.


Turns out there was a Henry Dundas from Scotland who, like Sir John A. Macdonald from Scotland, is now being cancelled on fuzzy history taken out of context.


The petition is not “a defence of Henry Dundas” but “a defence of preserving the complicated nature of history as it intersects with the identity of our city. No human being, even our greatest heroes, passed through this life without blemish.”

But if you are going to replace the Dundas name, a simple Google search would have shown the new name, “Sankofa,” has its own issues.

“It’s a Ghanaian word originating with the Akan people” that “has no historical or cultural significance to Toronto” but is an attempt to purposefully alienate every Torontonian’s connection to our city’s roots and to remake Toronto in an image manufactured by activists” as well as a “direct attack on the history of one of the most iconic areas of our city.”

But as Tate in the petition points out, “it’s important to note that the Akan peoples were themselves avid slave traders” and “when slavery declined in the West due to abolition in the 19th century, it actually increased among the Akan.”



Oops.

But this blunder could cost taxpayers millions.

They are going to rename the square, two subway stations and who knows what other names will need to go as the dominoes fall. The move to cancel Dundas Street itself has been around for a few years and was always a politically correct attempt to suggest somehow that Toronto had a racist past that needed to be cleansed. Of course, it’s all nonsense but it became farcical when the left-leaning cabal chose a name from Africa that actually has roots in slavery to replace the name of Henry Dundas, who was an abolitionist.

“We encourage people to learn about history, not to obfuscate it,” says the petition, which demands “our politicians be more responsible with taxpayer money” while reminding “the original petition to change the name had 14,000 signatures.”


Tate is hoping his petition will “blow that out of the water.” As of Tuesday afternoon, he was still a few thousand signatures away from hitting his goal.



If he can get there, there can be a real conversation involving the community on what to do next. Change it back to Yonge-Dundas Square or start a process for a new name – whether it be in memory of Gordon Lightfoot or Gord Downie or both by calling it Gord Square, or in honour of great Torontonians like Pinball Clemons, Donovan Bailey or iconic Canadians like Terry Fox or Chris Hadfield or after an Indigenous chief or even go the corporate route and sell the name to a business interest which will help pay for all of this unnecessary madness and assist the city with other expenses.

Tate says he just wants whatever is decided to be decided transparently and democratically.

“I really hope (the mayor and council) re-evaluate their position and offer an olive branch to citizens at-large,” said Tate. “Names engender nostalgia, warmth, energy. You can’t just erase that. It’s an assault on our communal lived experience.

“If we’re going to undertake a most important step of renaming a national landmark intersection and transit stations, we must do so in consult with people of all stripes.”

It all starts with your signature!

jwarmington@postmedia.com
 

Retired_Can_Soldier

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You know, I liked Jack, I hated his politics, but when he got official opposition I was genuinely happy for him. I even teared up when he did that last public appearance before the cancer killed him. As for Toronto and Olivia, I just shake my head, but you get the government you elect.
 
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spaminator

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Was full history of Henry Dundas's push to end slavery kept from City Council?

Author of the article:Joe Warmington
Published Dec 29, 2023 • Last updated 18 hours ago • 4 minute read

Calling it “misconduct” by City of Toronto staff, the committee fighting for the legacy of Henry Dundas claim an access to information search shows key information was held back from City Council in their decision to rename Yonge-Dundas Square.


“The documents show that staff refused to inform council about three recent peer-reviewed articles that exposed significant errors in their report on the legacy of Henry Dundas,” reads a news release sent out by the Henry Dundas Committee of Ontario (HDCO), chaired by distant relative Jennifer Dundas.


This is a major development that could call into question the whole renaming process.

It certainly needs to be looked into. These are serious concerns that don’t just revolve around the politics of a name change but also potentially cost taxpayers millions. With two members of the Yonge-Dundas oversight board — chair Michael Fenton and vice-chair Jan Mollenhauer — resigning in protest to this unexpected last-minute decision to install a new branding, this can’t just be glossed over as nothing.


It’s not a communist country or police state — even though sometimes decisions are pushed through in a secret process like you see in countries with those systems. But to have the history wrong is reason alone to reverse this — something former Toronto mayors David Crombie and John Sewell have already expressed in their protest letter. When will Mayor Olivia Chow and the 18 councillors who voted for this lunacy wake up and realize this is outrageously wrong-headed?

Former federal prosecutor and journalist Jennifer Dundas said the newly found documents show a tainted process that led to using tainted information about Scottish-born, British leader Dundas’s position on abolishing slavery and used it to take his name off the city’s main square and replace it with Sankofa Square, which ironically comes from the African country Ghana that history shows actually partook in the slave trade.


“Professor Angela McCarthy said the scholarship that staff relied on was bad history and said it was wrong to accuse Dundas of delaying abolition,” said Jennifer Dundas. “Her final article revealed newly unearthed documents from the British archives proving that Henry Dundas was a genuine supporter of abolition.”



Somehow this information did not make its way to City Council, which overwhelmingly voted in favour of removing the Dundas name on the assumption that the 1st Viscount Melville slowed the process of ending slavery by delaying the abolishing of it.

Jennifer Dundas said there are three articles that she believes show that was not accurate.

“The FOI documents show that staff refused to act on the new peer-reviewed articles, and failed to inform council that there was new evidence that exonerated Henry Dundas,” said Jennifer Dundas. “They swept the information under the rug, while continuing to claim on the city website that they were guided by peer-reviewed publications.”

The committee further added “senior staff were obviously aware of Professor McCarthy’s articles but did not have a single document showing that they were taking this new body of scholarship seriously. Notably, in an email responding to the HDCO, staff acknowledged McCarthy’s first two articles, but said they were not aware of any peer-reviewed research that claimed that Henry Dundas was an abolitionist. They declined to change their assessment.”


The committee states: “Later staff learned about Professor McCarthy’s third peer-reviewed article in August 2023, in which she presented new evidence that Henry Dundas genuinely supported abolition, staff were silent. They had no documents of any kind to disclose in relation to this ground-breaking peer-reviewed research.”



Councillor Brad Bradford told the Toronto Sun he had no idea about any of this information when it was at council and said a council peer pushing for the name change did not even know the new moniker being proposed and had to “fumble through his phone” to produce it for colleagues.


“It was a last-minute, backroom decision. The only connection Ghana has to Toronto is that the majority of the vehicles stolen here are shipped there,” Bradford said, adding he places the blame more on the “mayor trying to ram this through” than on staff.

With this allegation that council did not have everything it should have to make a decision, the question is what to do now? There is a petition at change.org on this that has garnered just shy of 20,000 signatures to “stop” the renaming — which is 6,000 more than the original petition used to help push the name change in the first place.

Bradford thinks another approach might be at budget time to try to get council to pull the earmarked $700,000 in funding set to change the square’s name, a library and two TTC stations.


The City responded Friday with what appears to be a doubling down effort.

“The consensus among scholars remains that regardless of the intentions of Henry Dundas, the outcome of his actions, which are thoroughly documented, led to the delay of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, causing more than half a million more Black people to be enslaved in the British Empire.”

His namesake Jennifer Dundas maintains this is distortion of the truth.



I don’t want the name changed at all. But if it must be, the citizens should get a vote. There are many ideas. Sankofa is never going to fly. If it can’t be Yonge-Dundas Square, I could live with calling it Gord Square after Gordon Lightfoot, Gord Downie and Gordon Pinsent and add their statues, but before that council should revisit the process with the proper history.

Something should happen because while history is being rewritten on false information, and taxpayers’ money is being wasted, there are people in nearby parks living beneath any humane standard that now-cancelled leaders like Henry Dundas, Sir John A. Macdonald or Egerton Ryerson would have found acceptable.

jwarmington@postmedia.com
 

spaminator

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New name for Yonge-Dundas Square sparks 'widespread disapproval': Poll
'Don't think we've seen numbers quite this strikingly bad for something before,' Liaison Strategies principal says

Author of the article:postmedia News
Published Jan 08, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read

The new name for Yonge-Dundas Square is a bit like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, according to a new survey.


It doesn’t fit.


Results from the new survey conducted by Liaison Strategies for the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada confirmed the general chatter that has followed in the aftermath of city council’s abrupt decision on Dec. 14 to rename Yonge-Dundas Square as Sankofa Square.

A whopping 72% of respondents disapproved of the move, while 16% said they approved and 12% weren’t sure.

“There is slim support, though, for renaming Yonge-Dundas to Sankofa. Instead, there is widespread disapproval from every demographic and every Toronto borough,” Liaison Strategies said in a Monday news release announcing the findings. “The name performs best downtown (17% approval), but even there 69% disapprove of the name change. Across the city, 71% disapprove of the move.”



City officials are stripping the Dundas name from some of its assets. Henry Dundas was an active politician from the 1770s to the early 1800s, when the British parliament was debating slavery abolition motions. There is a dispute surrounding Dundas’s role in the propagation of the slave trade.

The city said the term “Sankofa” originates in Ghana and refers to the act of reflecting on and reclaiming teachings from the past, which enables people to move forward together.


Liaison Strategies principal David Valentin told CP24 of the poll: “I don’t think we’ve seen numbers quite this strikingly bad for something before.”

City council voted in 2021 to rename Dundas St. and its associated assets following a renewed examination of anti-Black racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

A committee was formed to select a new name. At a council meeting last month, Councillor Chris Moise announced that after two years of consideration the committee had selected Sankofa Square as the new name.

Included in a motion to rename the square were two subway stations and a library, while a pause to rename the entire street was put forward. That project’s latest price tag was estimated at $13 million.


The motion asked that the TTC enter into a deal with Toronto Metropolitan University — formerly Ryerson — to rename Dundas Station as “TMU Station.” TMU has agreed to pay the entire $1.7-milllion renaming cost associated with Dundas Station if it’s named after the university.

Two members of the management board that runs Yonge-Dundas Square — chair Michael Fenton and vice-chair Jan Mollenhauer — resigned after the square’s renaming vote, citing concerns about a lack of public consultation.

The Liaison Strategies poll also showed that Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow’s approval rating was at 71% overall this month, but was down to 55% in Etobicoke. Some 22% disapproved of the mayor, while 7% were not sure.


Provincially, Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie is seeing a small increase in popularity (1%) in Toronto.

On the national level, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval ratings continued to tumble. According to the poll, Trudeau’s Liberals trailed the Conservatives by 10% in Etobicoke.

“Only in downtown do they have a comfortable lead as support is split between the Conservatives and the NDP,” Valentin said.

The pollster surveyed a random sample of 831 Torontonians through interactive voice recording (IVR) on Jan. 2 and 3. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.39 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
 

spaminator

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Sankofa rename would cost as much as Bayview Ave. revamp
And a recent poll found more than 70% of Torontonians disapprove of renaming Yonge-Dundas Square

Author of the article:Justin Holmes
Published Feb 03, 2024 • Last updated 11 hours ago • 4 minute read
It's estimated that changing the name of Yonge-Dundas Square would cost roughly a third of a million dollars.
It's estimated that changing the name of Yonge-Dundas Square would cost roughly a third of a million dollars.
What’s in a name – and how much is it worth?


The amount of money that’s been set aside to change the name of Yonge-Dundas Square to Sankofa Square could remake a stretch of a major Toronto street or transform a downtown community centre.


Those aren’t general examples – they’re two of the three projects approved during City Councillor Chris Moise’s tenure using the same type of funding he has said will be spent to rename Yonge-Dundas.

Moise, elected councillor for Ward 13 Toronto Centre in a landslide in October 2022, said on his website that city staff have estimated the cost of the rename at between $300,000 and $340,000. That figure is a bit less than half the total value of the three new projects in Ward 13 for which funding has been approved through Section 37 money.



Section 37, also known as the community benefits charge, collects money from developments or redevelopments of at least five-storeys tall that add at least 10 homes, based on the value of the land. That money is then spent to make the city a better place.

Toronto’s official plan lists some typical Section 37 benefits as public art, parks, housing and heritage conservation.

In an emailed response to questions, Moise said the three new projects, along with the Sankofa rename, are the only new spending for Section 37 funds for his ward this term. However, he expects funds will be released at City Council’s meeting in March for projects that originated from ideas from his constituents.


In March 2023, councillors voted to earmark a half-million dollars to revitalize the Dixon Hall Community Hub at 58 Sumach St.

“Renovations will include the creation of an expanded community kitchen, a meeting space for supportive services including housing and employment, a computer and media lab, general programming space, and much more,” a City Council motion boasted.

In May 2023, council agreed to set aside $19,200 to fund 12 murals on Bell utility boxes in the ward. The next month, council approved $350,000 for a new sidewalk on the west side of a lonely stretch of Bayview Ave. between Dundas and Queen Sts., plus an associated raised pedestrian crossing and marked crosswalks.

Moise said the Bayview money had been secured by his predecessor.


“Both of these projects may seem small, but I like to say if we take care of the small things, the big things will take care of themselves,” Moise wrote in his email. “People want to live in clean and safe communities. These both contribute to that goal.”


Meanwhile, $1,066,666 was approved in October 2023 to fund improvements to Anishnawbe Health Toronto’s Indigenous Community Hub on Cherry St. That request was more a proper settling of accounts than new funding, as the money had been agreed to by City Council years earlier but changes in legislation required it to be collected in a different way.

When it comes to Sankofa Square – the name comes from a Ghanaian word that refers to a reflection upon the past – Moise said, “For us, this is not about value or money. It is about recognizing the harm caused to the black community by the transatlantic slave trade.”


On his website chrismoise.ca, Moise says more than half a million in Section 37 dollars is available for “Dundas Square” work and “there is no ability for the city to direct these funds elsewhere.”

“Sankofa represents the idea of drawing strength and wisdom from the past to build a positive future,” Moise wrote in his email. “It is also about taking a responsible and reasonable approach to the renaming conversations.”

Julian Sleath, general manager at Yonge-Dundas Square, said the $300,000 estimate came from his office at a time when the city was considering renaming Dundas St. as well, and could be revised. He said it would cover things like signage, branding changes and perhaps a renaming ceremony.

Moise said no capital spending is yet planned for Yonge-Dundas beyond the renaming, but Sleath said the square naturally has its own wish list for any Section 37 money available, from updating infrastructure as needed to “security by environmental design.” Having recently replaced the security cameras, Sleath said he hopes improved lighting will soon make the square feel safer.

A recent poll found more than 70% of Torontonians disapprove of the move to rename Yonge-Dundas Square to Sankofa.

But Moise said he has “no concerns or reservations.”

“There will always be mixed opinions and emotions. It is important to be mindful that polls often do not capture the sentiment of marginalized folks who may see themselves in this renaming,” he wrote, adding respondents may have been unaware that the Section 37 funds earmarked for the rename “are not tax dollars.”

jholmes@postmedia.com
 

spaminator

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Renaming leaves millions on table
Author of the article:Justin Holmes
Published Mar 27, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 5 minute read

The board of Yonge-Dundas Square has not signed any sponsorship deals, perhaps worth half a million dollars per year, since its last one ended in 2019.
The board of Yonge-Dundas Square has not signed any sponsorship deals, perhaps worth half a million dollars per year, since its last one ended in 2019.
Chris Moise says Torontonians will one day think about Sankofa Square the way they do about Nathan Phillips Square or Mel Lastman Square.


The city councillor clearly has the vision, and he says the changes are within his purview. Some of the doubters need to be educated about the importance of what’s happening, Moise says, and some of the others “will get it when they see it.”


And as for the millions of sponsorship dollars once expected from what’s still known as Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS)? The identity of this city asset isn’t for sale.

“It’s Sankofa Square, period,” Moise insists. “I’m not keen on corporate namings.”

Documents released to The Toronto Sun under access-to-information legislation show the people in charge of YDS signed two contracts with consultants meant to bring in new sponsorships for the plaza. One of those, signed in December 2021, isn’t due to end until this December.


But Moise brought forward a motion in June 2023 that barred the Yonge-Dundas board from agreeing to those types of “new external funding agreements” until a governance report is done. That’s expected in May.

Days after Moise’s motion, Toronto held a mayoral byelection won by Olivia Chow. The timing was a coincidence, Moise says – he’s a first-term councillor, and he saw this as the right moment to have someone look at the governance of the YDS board “with fresh eyes.”

Less of a coincidence is what came next.

In December 2023, Moise announced Sankofa Square had been selected as the new name for the Yonge-Dundas plaza. Shortly after that council meeting, Michael Fenton and Jan Daly Mollenhauer, the chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, for the YDS board, resigned. A resignation letter from Fenton reportedly cited a lack of consultation on that name as a point of contention. (Fenton and Mollenhauer, in emails, declined to comment to the Sun, referring questions to YDS management.)


Moise, as councillor for Ward 13, Toronto Centre, has a seat on the YDS board. He says he doesn’t want to be “critical of the board at all,” but can’t speak for Fenton or Mollenhauer.

“They did not inform me of their departure,” he says, and neither has spoken to the councillor since.

“You take that as what you want,” Moise says.

Their successors are “very capable” and a much better fit for his Sankofa vision. He wants what might be Toronto’s most important intersection to host events “365 days a year” — rather than maybe half that — perhaps by attracting smaller but reliable bookings like farmers’ markets or functions hosted by nearby Toronto Metropolitan University.

But Moise the reformer says before he called for the governance review, his concerns were “not really taken seriously.


“There were conversations about sponsorship when I first arrived here, and the board – and the chair, I guess – were set in their ways going forward, which I was not comfortable with. I actually said this in my first and second meeting with them,” Moise says.

“I felt that my concerns were ignored, and they just proceeded as though I was not even present,” he adds. “Because I felt bulldozed through, this is why I went to council and asked for a pause and for a review.”


In October 2002, shortly before the square’s opening, city council authorized the YDS board “to consider the sale of naming rights” to help pay the bills. The board has worked since to attract sponsors, but has struggled. Since a $1.5-million, three-year “presenting sponsor” deal with General Motors ended in 2019, the board has failed to land another deal, with the pandemic partly to blame.


In 2021, the board teamed with a firm called Sponsorship Canada in hopes of finding more sponsorship money. The firm has done naming rights deals, but their contract made explicit that naming rights aren’t available at the square because of potential interest in renaming Dundas St.

Moise’s board of governance review came with an estimated cost, courtesy of the city financial planning department, of between $1.3 million and $1.7 million. Of that, $1 million represents a loss of “implications for any revenue agreements, like sponsorship” for both the years 2023 and 2024, based on the 2017 GM deal. It also predicted “a chill effect from this motion on sponsorship interest.”

Meanwhile, every month, YDS has paid Sponsorship Canada a retainer – and management confirmed to the Sun that the contract won’t expire until December.


But Moise says the “integrity” of a space has value, too, and he’d no sooner sell the naming rights to YDS – or, soon, Sankofa Square – than he would let Nathan Phillips Square become “Coca-Cola Square,” to use his example. He hopes Sankofa will be “viewed and respected” in the same way as that city icon.

Moise says he can’t comment on what sponsorship opportunities have or haven’t come for YDS, and when pressed for specifics on his conflicts with the board, he simply says he wasn’t “on board with the conversations around sponsorship.”

Asked if the Sankofa renaming played a role in that divide, Moise replies: “It was all intertwined.”

“The board may have had different ideas about what a name could have been,” he adds.

As for those skeptics who still don’t think the Ghanaian concept of Sankofa is right for the name of the square, Moise says he is sure “that will change over time.”

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“I think the narrative out there,” Moise says, “has been somewhat negative. I mean, your paper hasn’t helped.”

jholmes@postmedia.com

SUNK INTO SANKOFA
— $1.35M-$1.7M “financial impact” of a governance review called for by Chris Moise, ward councillor and a member of the YDS board.

— $1M of the above impact attributed to an “implication of … loss of sponsorship income … as a result of stopping any new external funding agreements” at the square, half in 2023 and half in 2024. The financial impact statement also notes a likely “chill effect from this motion on sponsorship interest.”

— $300G-$340G estimated cost for the Sankofa Square rename.

— UNKNOWN spent on consultants on sponsorship deals for the square, potentially off the table with the rename. One contract will not end until December.
 

petros

The Central Scrutinizer
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Low Earth Orbit
Sankofa...

The concept of Sankofa, originating in Ghana, refers to the act of reflecting on and reclaiming teachings from the past, which enables people to move forward together. This new name reflects the City's commitment to taking steps to right wrongs, confront anti-Black racism and build a more inclusive Toronto for all.Dec 14, 2023

In reality...

Along the eighteenth-century Gold Coast (present-day Ghana), European slave traders competed with one another to establish profitable trading relationships with African leaders. John Corrantee of Annamaboe (or Anomabu) was well known by African merchants from the interior and European slave traders on the coast.

https://slaveryandremembrance.org › ...
William Ansah Sessarakoo - Slavery and Remembrance


I'm confused. Are they honouring African slave catchers and the white brokers or rubbing it the faces of blacks?
 
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