You’re paranoid about Andrew Scheer: Reader love and hate

Plus: deforestation company Resolute responds to Greenpeace

Andrew Scheer nonsense

Grimacing alarmist Michael Coren raises the tired and ludicrous SoCon bugaboo in his article on the election of Andrew Scheer as Conservative Party of Canada leader (NOW, June 1-7). But to suspect that the Conservatives in Ottawa will ever roll back any human rights legislation requires a supersized dose of paranoia. Government has way too much on its plate with the economy, health care, pensions, etc, to risk entanglement in thorny wedge issues. Time to get real and ditch the partisan claptrap.

John McKellar, Toronto

Forest giant responds to Greenpeace

Adria Vasil correctly notes in Greenpeace’s Battle Royal Over The Boreal (NOW, June 1-7) that Greenpeace has been forced to admit in legal filings that its serial attacks against our company were “non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion.” 

Perhaps most egregious is the hypocrisy of Greenpeace’s claim that our efforts to hold the group accountable amount to “shutting down free speech.” A more diligent story might have queried the glaring contradiction here. 

One potential answer comes from Greenpeace’s own web site, where the group justifies its stance by declaring that “Freedom of speech does not apply to misinformation and propaganda.” We wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, but note that Greenpeace doesn’t seem to think it applies when it is the defendant. 

Seth Kursman, Vice President, Corporate Communications Resolute Forest Products

Venezuela crisis like U.S. in Chile circa 1973?

Re Venezuela Crisis Hits Toronto by Christian Peña (NOW, June 1-7). 

U.S. president Barack Obama declared Venezuela a “threat to national security” in March 2015.

This was the opening shot in the U.S.’s economic and political war against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

The opposition in Venezuela took the hint and escalated violent street demonstrations. This is all too eerily similar to the Nixon/Kissinger/CIA plot against the elected government of president Salvador Allende of Chile in 1973.

Ted Turner, Toronto

Why Scarborough gets bad rap

As a person who lived in Scarborough, I can completely relate to what author/playwright Catherine Hernandez is saying (NOW, May 25-31). 

Scarborough gets a bad rap because it’s not downtown and it’s multicultural, something a lot of people in Toronto haven’t grown up with and therefore simply don’t respect. There’s a buffet of top-rated food here that’s second to none, more affordable shopping and people who are interesting, educated and polite. 

Alana Rayman, Ajax

Bikes on John other 355 days of the year

Re John Street Culture Shock (NOW, June 1-7). A large part of the intent behind the John Street redesign is to provide Much Music and TIFF a space to have outdoor street parties.

John is already shut down for this purpose, but less than 10 times a year. 

Can’t we have space for bikes on the 355 days it isn’t shut down and still close it off for street parties? 

Stephen Cooper, From

Saddle up for World Naked Bike Ride

Kudos to NOW for promoting Bike Month events (NOW, May 25-31). However, I was disappointed that World Naked Bike Ride was missing from your listings. 

World Naked Bike Ride is a protest against dependence on oil. It’s always the second Saturday in June. Interested people meet at Coronation Park at 10 am, and the ride tolls out at 1 pm. People are encouraged to wear sensible footwear, helmet, sunscreen and a smile! 

The ride is “bare as you dare” to be fully inclusive.

Dick Goodwood, Toronto

Black female directors matter

Your NOW staff story Black Heroes Of Toronto (NOW, May 25-31) failed to mention the names of the five film directors and producer of the films on which the article is based.

Your article’s failure to credit us continues the erasure of the legacy of Black female filmmakers in the city, who are perennially underfunded and not celebrated. 

To erase the profile of five Black women who are against all odds making films is to support the inherent racism that we face daily in the film industry. 

Although this oversight was subsequently corrected online, this was a missed opportunity to highlight the deep history of Black female filmmakers who have been documenting our history. 

It is important to understand the struggle Black women face to achieve agency and recognition for their contributions to an industry that often overlooks them, especially in an issue devoted to Black struggle featuring Black Lives Matter’s Sandy Hudson on the cover. 

We are hopeful that NOW will hold to a higher standard in future, guided by awareness, sensitivity and a commitment to Black female artists.

Sarah Michelle Brown, Ella Cooper, Sonia Godding Togobo, Laurie Townshend, Ngardy Conteh George, directors

Alison Duke, producer

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