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Public Engagement in Experiential Futures



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Newcomers & Precarious Work

The Canadian government has developed extra social programs to help newcomers from climate disaster zones but because of the growing exponential complexity of the crisis, many newcomers are falling through the cracks. Many have found this as an opportunity to develop informal networks where newcomers can develop support networks for themselves. While some have found this as a way to cope with the sometimes inefficient support from the government, others use these networks as a platform for commercial exploitation.

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Increased climate change in the form of radical weather events and rising water levels continues to displace people on an exponential level across the world. Canada continues to act as a beacon for refugees through their public sponsorship program but the government is failing to catch up and support the amount of refugees entering the country. Some Canadian citizens see this as a drain of their resources and fail to see how refugees are contributing to Canadian society.

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Toronto continues to be a Canadian hotspot for newcomers and climate refugees. Many of the first newcomer communities who have established roots in Toronto’s downtown core are now that much more robust and have become daily destinations for newcomers to gather, share news and grow their social networks. Because of this, the population density has doubled since 2017.

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Canada and other G19 leaders have highlighted the climate refugee crisis to be the greatest threat to global stability. Because of this, Canada continues to increase the amount of climate refugees it takes in year after year in spite of its capacity to support them. Because of the complexity of the crisis, no country has been able to develop a best practice around refugee settlement and this is causing conflicts with local communities.

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Because of ever growing informal economies, policing agencies have started to turn a blind eye to light precarious work done in public (ie: street vendors and shops without business licenses). They have however, started to plant agents into newcomer communities in order to crack down on the growing underground cybercrime gang networks in Toronto.

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Year after year, summer temperatures have hit record highs putting great strains on Toronto’s energy networks to provide power to cooling systems. Many of the newcomer communities and local Torontonians who do not have the resources to combat the heat migrate to cooler public commercial spaces. This provides opportunities for cultural communities to come together but it also creates conflicts between newcomer communities and those who think they pose a strain on the system.

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With radical climate change negatively impacting global food production, food has become scarcer and more expensive in urban centers like Toronto. Newcomer communities turn to each other to share resources and food. Also, because of shortages in employment, bread winners now have to find ways to support not only their families but their extended communities as well.

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The sharing economy has become a booming sector in Canada, especially with newcomer communities as a source of employment. Because of the insular nature of trust in newcomer communities, third party sharing economy apps have been developed exclusive to newcomer community members. These third party apps, because they are less regulated, also bring with them more risks in the type of sharing engaged.

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Many of the high rise condos in downtown Toronto have started to deteriorate due to the economical building practices and materials used in the condo boom in Toronto that began in 2010. Because of the high costs associated in replacing and fixing the materials and fixtures, the prices of these condos dropped considerably, attracting many citizens who normally wouldn’t be able to afford living in the core. This has resulted in the “Rich Ditch” where more affluent Torontonians have moved to more economically wealthy suburbs like Hamilton.

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Bitcoin has become the platform newcomers use for financial exchange. Banks and the CRA are falling behind in regulating how income generated from informal work is being accounted for due to Blockchain hacking. Because the majority of newcomer work is done this way and because of the majority of Toronto is made of newcomers, this is a missed income tax opportunity not being used to address the aging infrastructure and the lack of social and health services in the city.

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