Closing restaurants is an arbitrary decision

Plus, a tale from a COVID food run and a response to The Breakfast Club cancellation in this week's reader mail

Only shut down restaurants that break rules

It’s astounding that thousands of restaurants around the city (any city) are being forced to close indoor dining because of a few that flouted the rules thereby allowing the virus to spread (NOW Online, October 9). 

A very high percentage of restaurants have very conscientiously stuck to the protocol and had no cases over many months. This is a very arbitrary decision and shows a distressing lack of foresight and understanding.

We were led to believe that one of the primary goals is to reopen the economy. Instead, we’re pushing most businesses to the edge of or into bankruptcy, and laying off thousands of employees.

You might have thought that the authorities could have handled the situation more intelligently and close only those that do not obey the protocols. This is not rocket science.

Chris Reid — From

Tale from one brief COVID food run

We face another onslaught of this dreadful pandemic, yet there are some who still do not take this situation seriously. 

During one very brief food run recently, I observed people with no face covering whatsoever going into grocery stores and other public places. Some even bumped into me. 

This type of behaviour demonstrates a lack of consideration for the community at large. More severe penalties should be put in place to deal with those who knowingly put themselves and the community at risk. After all, when they get sick medical resources have to be used to take care of them and those who are placed at risk might get sick and even die. 

Retailers also need to be empowered by the government to take action against those who don’t follow the rules.

YN — Toronto

Not going with the FLOW

I get Steve Parsons’s rationale for dropping The Breakfast Club from FLOW 93-5 (NOW Online, October 10). It was unprofitable and licensing a top-rated show like The Breakfast Club can be costly. 

But to state that his rationale for dropping the show was because the topics the hosts of The Breakfast Club we’re talking about, “didn’t match up with the culture of Toronto” is absurd. 

Issues that affect the Black diaspora in the U.S. don’t just stop at the border. As much as we like to fool ourselves, Canada isn’t a racial utopia. We have our Canadian George Floyd. We have our Sandra Bland. Last week in Ottawa we had our Breonna Taylor. Parsons is part of the problem. He shouldn’t be programming for a hip-hop station.

Isac Hayden — From

Readers’ Choice social justice awards seem small-minded

Just want to say that I’m finding your inclusion of the best activist group and best activist in your Readers’ Choice awards a bit cringy. 

Asking people to pit social justice based groups doing very diverse and equally important work against each other by making for a “winner” in such categories seems a far cry from simply restaurants or parks. 

A less cringy move would be to simply highlight all of the social justice based organizations as equally important and not have them in competition with one another. 

Casting a vote for whether Black Lives Matter and other racial justice groups are better than one another alongside voting for folks’ favourite pizza joint seems small-minded.

Natalie Boustead — Toronto

Another reason why Doug Ford may want an early election

Is Doug Ford Preparing To Call A Snap Election? (NOW, October 8-14). Doug & Co. want to reset the timer back two years to make savage cuts to social supports, privatize most of the TTC, sell off TVO and have another fire sale of government assets – all supposedly to justify paying for the deficit created by COVID-19. 

After the cuts have been made and services dismantled, the cost of restoring things will be too prohibitive for any government to undertake. And, of course, Doug will crow about reducing the size of government, as he did when he was on Toronto city council. It will be Doug’s equivalent of Mike Harris’s demolition of the initial construction of the Eglinton West subway and filling in the hole.

Frederick Harrison — From


Comments (1)

  • Patricia Starr October 22, 2020 12:18 PM


    Bike Lanes? The vast majority of people whose work pays the taxes in this province are not delivery boys and girls – they are grown ups who often live far away from where they work. And they have to drive cars if there isn’t effective public transportation.

    The fact that former city planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, had a massive white bike leaning on her desk in her office makes it own statement. But she lived at Bloor & Yonge and worked near there as well. Did she ride her giant bike to work?

    Thanks to Keesmaat’s personal priorities and her influence on the Mayor, many of us who “used to do Bloor St. for lunch and shopping” won’t go near there anymore. Who benefits? Not the restaurants that are losing a fortune and not the retail establishments who are also losing a fortune. Rumor has it that when the “trial period” is over, we might get our Bloor St. back.

    Ms. Keesmaat claimed that her kids were behind her “feeling so passionately about her new guidelines”. And how old are these “kids”? Being a “mom” has nothing to do with growing up vertical. It has to do with earning a huge salary, paid for by us, the taxpayers, so she is able to afford to live high. Trying to use her kids as an excuse is a reflection on her level of brain power.

    Her friend on city council, John Filion, is trying to turn Yonge St. into a bike lane haven. He claims there is only a 3 minute delay from the 401 to Finch if two lanes are removed. A sick joke. Obvious misinformation from Keesmaat.

    Cutting two lanes from Yonge St. and adding 2 bike lanes from the 401 to Finch will cost the city $2 million annually in lost street parking and add l/2 hour, at least, to commuters heading back home up to Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Vaughan, Newmarket. Those are the people of the GTA who don’t have the perks of Keesmaat and have to drive to get back and forth to work.

    And wearing a suit, either man or woman, is not exactly conducive to riding a bike. Most of the people in the GTA and surrounding area are over twenty and don’t ride bikes to work. Especially the Seniors in Willowdale.

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