The editorial entitled, “Saving our community spaces” in the March 11, 2016 edition of local paper “The Town Crier” was written by TCDSB Trustee Jo-Ann Davis. She emphasizes the importance of public spaces (like publicly funded schools!) to both communities and economic growth. Davis also outlines the many challenges that make creating community spaces difficult right now.
While all levels of government agree on the importance of community spaces (a.k.a Community Hubs) in theory, none of the levels of government with access to funding sources – municipal, provincial level and federal – appear ready to provide the funding and leadership needed to create community. Instead, school boards (which cannot directly access funding but instead, rely upon whatever is given to them by the Province) and not-for-profits (which clearly don’t have deep pockets!) are left shouldering the responsibility of figuring out how to cobble together community spaces without any real access to dollars.
This model clearly isn’t going to lead to success. Money isn’t the only ingredient needed for successful community hubs but it is an important one!
Next time you hear a City Councillor, MPP or MP talk about the value of community spaces (a.k.a Community Hubs) – ask them what they intend to do to help create and fund these important elements of our public infrastructure. All levels of government must start working together in order for communities to have the spaces we want and need.