As a bike advocate with a reputation for telling it like it is, Michael Louis Johnson says he just couldn't let Ontario Power Generation (OPG) "hijack" last week's Bike Week group commute and pancake breakfast at Nathan Phillips Square.
Johnson, a co-founder of Streets Are for People and occasional NOW contributor, was asked to MC the event as well as a Bike Week cabaret at Clinton's later in the week.
He was relieved of his duties after making what city staffer Alex Bowron writes in an e-mail were "negative comments" following OPG spokesperson Cara Clairman 's spiel. OPG was a sponsor of the event.
Bowron did not return a call from NOW requesting comment.
But Johnson says all he did was encourage the few hundred cyclists who showed up for free T-shirts and pancakes "to go over to the OPG tent and ask them, 'Really, how clean is nuclear power?'"
This, after he says the OPG rep took the podium to "read a three-minute commercial for nuclear power... [and] turned the event into another green-washing advertisement.
"I didn't make any 'negative comments,'" says Johnson. "I didn't even hint at OPG's desire to keep power as a giant, centralized, profit-making behemoth instead of developing the methods of small, local production that are gaining popularity in progressive societies."