Political posturing marks Keystone XL cancellation

Plus, smoke and mirrors on Toronto pot shops, the Tragically Hip versus Mill Street and more confusing COVID travel restrictions in reader mail


Rail riskier than pipelines

Re Canada’s Keystone Pipeline Wake-up Call (NOW Online, February 11). There are reasons why the shift to green energy has been so slow over the last 20 years and why the liberals are quiet right now. It might be prudent to look at why we haven’t already stopped using oil and gas and address the problem from that perspective. But debates over pipelines are pure political posturing. If the demand exists for oil and gas and it’s not carried by pipelines it will be moved on other higher risk and less efficient transportation networks like rail and truck.

Andrew LawsonFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Keystone a threat of mass destruction

The Keystone XL pipeline had to be stopped because a toxic bitumen spill into the Ogallala Aquifer would poison the drinking water for millions. That would be worse than a weapon of mass destruction and would destroy the agriculture of the Great Plains states.

Earl Richard – From NOWTORONTO.COM

Smoke and mirrors on pot shops


Re Are There Too Many Cannabis Shops In Toronto Neighbourhoods? (NOW Online, February 12). It is inaccurate to say that “One of the regulations of retail cannabis shops is that their windows must be covered”. The regulation is that product must not be visible from the exterior. If cannabis retailers decide to interpret that as floor to ceiling opaque window film, that is evidence of either their lack of creativity or disregard for the facade of the streetscape. We don’t have to have ugly “unopened cigarette pack” style shops, but many retailers have chosen that look.

And spare me the outcry from politicians now. They have had years to ensure the success of the legal retail cannabis framework, but they have done zero. But now, with clustering, suddenly they want to help.

As much as I’d love to see a natural rollout of retail cannabis, that all went out the window when the AGCO did a U-turn two years ago and announced a licenced lottery. I would have loved to see even one politician raise their voice back then to try and steer this industry in the right direction. Instead, they all stuck their heads in the sand.

I feel for the BIAs because they have limited power despite good intentions. I also feel for those fearing gentrification. But we elected morons and they let the issue pass them by until it was too late

Sasha S.From NOWTORONTO.COM

Tragically Hip to be square

Re The Tragically Hip Sue Mill Street Brewery Over 100th Meridian Beer (NOW Online, February 10). I’d have more sympathy for Mill Street if the brewery were local. But it’s owned by Labatt. And I’d have more sympathy for Labatt if it were Canadian. But it’s owned by Anheuser-Busch.

Eric MillsFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Hindu extremism targets Muslims

I completely agree with Gurpreet Singh on Akshay Kumar’s citizenship. (NOW Online, February 6). I come from a South-Asian, Muslim background and see so much Islamophobia from right-wing Hindus. Hell, I remember when Hindu groups in the U.S. worked with white nationalists and fascists to oppose the so-called “World Trade Center” mosque. Given their close collaboration with Modi and Hindu extremists abroad and complete willingness to promote hatred against identifiable religious and racial groups, I would say many do not accept Canadian values of tolerance and freedom of speech towards others.

G.S. RuddinFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Black-owned biz without the downtown bias

Thanks for the list of Black-owned businesses to support (NOW Online, February 6). However, you have listed shops and businesses in Scarborough and Etobicoke as “in the GTA”. Why not list them in East Toronto and West Toronto respectively? Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York are part of Toronto, period. NOW has always had a downtown bias and that’s fine, but when you take the time to compile a list of businesses you need to not stigmatize people living in the farther reaches of Toronto, especially given that there is a greater degree of diversity the farther you get from downtown. Thanks!

Sean McManusFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Remembering Wayne Roberts

Re In memoriam: Wayne Roberts, 1944-2021 (NOW Online, February 9). I remember Wayne well from our youth, decades ago when we worked together tirelessly in the broad social movements pushing for change. Our paths haven’t crossed for many years, but my respect for him has endured. RIP, Wayne.

Barbara L. StewartFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Lockdown with too many exceptions

Re Canada’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions (NOW Online, February 12). There are too many exceptions for every rule, no wonder people are confused. Lockdown should be just that. Some of us are following the rules, no visit to our family, children and grandchildren, and we suffer emotionally because the government does not do a proper job. Wish the government would define “essential travellers”. These days and age, everything can be done on the computer.

Solange GrattonFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Comments (2)

  • Frank Sterle Jr. February 14, 2021 09:05 PM

    Re: “Rail riskier than pipelines” AND “Keystone a threat of mass destruction” …

    To mega-money-minded men, ‘practical’ greenhouse-gas-reducing solutions will always be predicated on economic ‘reality’, the latter which is mostly created and entrenched according to fossil fuel industry interests.

    Indeed, for a leader to try reworking this ‘reality’ would seriously risk his/her own governance, however a landslide election victory he/she may have won.

    Though normally there’s resultant political unwillingly to effectively address the immense environmental corruption and destruction at the hand of we reckless and greedy humans, apparently there’s plenty of ostrich syndrome to maintain it.

  • Frank Sterle Jr. February 14, 2021 10:06 PM

    Re: “Smoke and mirrors on pot shops” …

    I’m surprised that the pharmaceutical industry in Canada didn’t create a greater stink against the JT Liberals formally legalizing pot consumption, recreational or medicinal.

    I doubt that a Biden/Harris governance, or even one more liberal, would risk angering the American pharmaceutical industry by legalizing pot consumption.

    As THC is a known generally healthier and more effective alternative to pharmaceutical chemical tranquilizer and painkiller (etcetera) use and abuse, it is therefor a threat to industry profits.

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