Encampment activists send wrong message on hotel shelters

Plus, rising COVID stigma, Zack Snyder's Justice League fail and why politicians are afraid to rein in the real estate market in reader mail this week

Here’s how hotel shelters can help fix homelessness

It’s not hard to see why some housing activists are ineffective when they’re pushing sentiments like living in a park as being better than living in a hotel (NOW Online, March 18).

As for demanding permanent housing, activists do not have the economic or political clout to get this done. There needs to be a separate agency dedicated to getting homeless people into halfway houses or supervised housing where they can heal and have access to sustaining jobs or activities to re-orient their lives.

If some of these hotels currently being used for temporary shelter could be repurposed into safe everyday housing with on-site social workers and services, then that should be explored. They need to be safe places without illegal drug use, some reasonable rules and expectations.

Torontonians would back an enterprise that would be compassionate and can show legitimate results. A roof overhead is only the first step. We have to help individuals get back to being a part of society with everyday purpose and dignity.


Real estate lobby denies there’s an affordability problem

I met Tim Hudak, head of OREA the lobby group for real estate agents in Ontario, and I asked him about the housing market and he hilariously tried to claim that there isn’t an affordability issue. He argued that real estate agents don’t need to be regulated because the issue isn’t overpriced homes in the GTA but a need for more homes to be built.

What we really need is stricter restrictions on real estate agents. They’ve been unscrupulous – from double ending deals (where they represent both the buyer and seller, often without revealing that fact) to shadow selling (raising the price to multiple buyers to jack up the cost and increase their commission).

Real estate groups have managed to evade regulations beyond passing a simple test. Politicians are afraid to do anything about the real estate market because it’s been used to prop up a failing economy for the last 15 years.

Jermaine DuboisFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

People on disability face housing discrimination

I receive disability and it’s not nearly enough money to pay rent, let alone buy food and other necessities. People on disability also face discrimination when it comes to finding housing. Landlords don’t want to rent to a person on ODSP because they assume certain things about us. Getting approved for an apartment is difficult. I hate relying on other people to help me financially. It needs to change. We need more affordable housing.

Zachary Benjamin Martin From NOWTORONTO.COM

COVID stigma rearing its head in a big way

Re We May Be Getting Too Used To Living In Our COVID Cages (NOW Online, March 19). I passed a woman on a deserted street recently. Though more than six feet away from her, I thought to be courteous and safe and stepped into the empty street for more distance. She scurried by, looking at me accusingly, as though afraid I’d leap at her and infect her. Nearly everyone I pass on the street these days steps off the sidewalk out of my way. I haven’t socialized in over a year and am now afraid I never will. The Typhoid Mary stigma is huge.

Ellis Portal From NOWTORONTO.COM

Toronto’s bathhouses provide a sense of community

Re Coalition Calls For Reopening Plan For Bathhouses (NOW Online, March 17). Bathhouses provide a safe environment for people to meet. Some have clinic space for outreach organizations like ACT, for example, to come and do anonymous testing and offer safe-sex information. Bathhouses don’t create promiscuity. Individuals do but the number of partners a person has is their own business. Safe sexual practices for everyone are what is important. Monogamy or non-monogamy is a personal choice and not for others to moralize about. Bathhouses also provide a sense of community – especially for closeted people – where they can meet people, have a drink or a meal, watch TV or play video games. Some bathhouses accommodate the working poor who aren’t gay but don’t make enough to rent an apartment. They bring their belongings in a suitcase on wheels, sleep in a room, get a shower and shave, maybe have a snack then head off to work

Michael Dorman, Spa ExcessToronto

Zack Snyder’s Justice League an even bigger failure than original

Nice take by Norm Wilner on Zack Snyder’s Justice League (NOW Online, March 15. I don’t see what the fans call “epic”, “miles better”. It’s the same movie, with a ton of slow motion, over-dramatized scenes, that were not necessary. There’s no added depth, even the “unity” was left unexplained. Basically, the movie was a slower and more painful death than the 2017 version. Synder had more time and money to make things right, alas, he didn’t. This was an even bigger failure.

Darryl Gonzalez From NOWTORONTO.COM

Message in a bottle

Re The Best New Bottle Shops In Toronto (NOW Online, March 15). There’s an interesting social divide between the consumers of beer and the consumers of wine. Beer drinkers do not mind drinking from a can whereas you could not give wine away if it came in a can.

Glenn KitchenFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Promising Young Woman gets too much credit

I just watched Promising Young Woman. Your review gives too much credit. It is by far one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. The casting is way off. The screenplay made no sense at all. The film hooks us with a decent premise that got us asking why is she obsessed with teaching men this lesson, but we never get a satisfactory answer. We never see her humanity. Whole portions of the story made no sense at all. I could go on for the next hour detailing the multitude of ways this movie is a failure. The most amazing part is seeing that it’s gotten a 90 per cent on the Rotten Tomatoes meter. What?!  The whole world has lost its mind



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