On Thursday July 19th, SBL’s Sam Tecle, had the chance to speak with Matt Galloway, host of CBC’s Metro Morning. He was invited to discuss Minister Michael Tibollo’s wearing of a bulletproof vest during a police ride-along in Jane and Finch. He brought up the bulletproof vest during question period which sparked a city-wide debate on racism and what we once called “priority” neighbourhoods. In addition to the interview, we wanted to interrogate what the wearing of a bulletproof vest in Jane and Finch means politically. In so many ways, the donning of the bullet proof vest and Minister Tibollo’s touting of that fact re-inscribes Jane and Finch as not only a no-go community, one in which the general public need avoid at all costs but it also continues to position Jane and Finch (and other similar communities) as those worthy of continued structured neglect and disinvestment. By structured neglect, we mean the cruel irony of the fact that in order for a community, an entire swath of people to be considered at-risk, marginalized or priority means that for generations they would had to have been structurally neglected and continually disinvested. There is no other glaring truth to this fact than the set of community housing by Firgrove that were deemed too far gone to even have been renewed or revitalized. In a city and province with dwindling social housing, that we are allowing the small number of housing we do have to decay to that degree is neglectful to say the least.
Check out the conversation on Metro Morning: