Sandra Bussin, designating heritage sites
People and property in Toronto
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Geoff and Melissa Teehan recently purchased a house in Toronto’s ever so trendy Beach area. In 2007, Melissa was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder that has left her a quadriplegic. The couple bought this home because it was big enough to convert into a home that was that would be accessible for Melissa.
As Geoff told the Toronto Star, he made a big mistake when he started a blog to advise people about the proposed changes to his 100-year-old home. A neighbour got wind of it and complained to local city councillor, Sandra Bussin. The home had never been designated as a heritage site but Bussin, without any notice to the Teehans, began the process to prevent its conversion. Both the neighbour and Bussin told the Toronto Star that while they “empathize” with Melissa, the couple cannot be allowed to destroy the image of the neighbourhood by altering the structure.
Geoff Treehan was also quoted in the Star as saying that he just cannot understand how a building can be more important than people. It’s almost just as easy to feel sorry for him as it is to commiserate with his wife.
The fact that some people on his street put the physical appearance of one house above the physical needs of a disabled person should surprise no one. This is Toronto where ideology trumps the welfare of people. Giving Teehan the benefit of the doubt, he is too close to the situation to understand how the desire to keep the property as is fits perfectly with the ideology that runs through not just the Beach but the entire City of Toronto. He actually seems to believe that he has some rights in the property merely because he owns it. That is not a principle that is enshrined in socialist Toronto. Toronto is the city that passed a bylaw forbidding residents to cut down trees even when the tree is on their own property. There have been instances, one in particular, where the homeowners informed the city that a huge tree in their front yard was rotting. Between the bureaucracy and the well earned reputation of city workers of not working too hard, nothing was done. During a storm the tree fell into the house; no one was hurt or killed but that was more by chance than anything else. Since it is illegal for people to protect themselves and their families from dangerous situations on their own property, it is perfectly understandable for leftist councillors like Bussin to put the esthetic values above the well being of people like Melissa.
Those on the extreme left like Sandra Bussin and her idol, Mayor David Miller, always put ideology above the well being of their constituents. They love to talk about how much they care about the disabled and how everything should be made accessible to them. And they love to spend the taxpayers’ money on making buildings accessible to the disabled. But they don’t care about them; it’s all about making people like Bussin feel good about themselves. If they really cared even a bit for the disabled, they would be in favour of an exemption so that the seriously disabled Melissa Teehan could have a better lifestyle. It’s only one house in a large neighbourhood in a large city.
The worst thing about this whole episode is the utter hypocrisy of Bussin and the “good neighbours” who want the house to remain as is. They claim to “empathize” with the Teehans but this is so disingenuous. They are merely seeking approval for their utter lack of caring. The only thing they empathize with is the look of their beloved neighbourhood.
If Bussin is really serious about preserving the house at the expense of Melissa, then she should actually be going further. She should work hard to get Melissa not only out of the neighbourhood but out of the city of Toronto. Bussin should be trying to run her out of town or in this case wheel her out of town. What good is she? She can’t even ride a bicycle.
The Beach is infamous for years ago having signs by the water that said “No dogs or Jews allowed”. Perhaps Sandra should dust those old signs off and put “No cripples allowed” signs throughout her ward. Hopefully they will work better than the no dogs or Jews signs did (the dogs are still there).
Preventing the Teehans from altering their home in order to give the seriously disabled Melissa a better quality of life is nothing more than a mere example of how the City of Toronto works under its leftwing ideological municipal government. The lefties are the ones who cry over the fact that the poor and disadvantaged are locked up in jails but couldn’t care less if Melissa Teehan can never leave her home.
Hopefully those that have a modicum of common sense will prevail in the end and the Teehans will be allowed to make the necessary changes to their home. But if they can’t, it will hardly be surprising.