Letters to the editor: Soundcheck on anti-social behaviour in public places

Plus, Kristyn Wong-Tam's vaccine views, the NDP's bad rent control proposal and revisionist history on Black cowboys in reader mail this week


Private speakers don’t belong in public spaces

Your article Shop local: The best holiday gifts under $250 notes that a benefit of the Sonos Roam Smart speaker is that it can be used in rinks and parks.

Please do not promote the use of private speakers in public places in your articles. It is incredibly anti-social and entitled behaviour that makes public spaces less enjoyable by adding unnecessary and distracting sound.

Torontonians are generally good about sharing physical space in public places, but it is important to share sonic space too.

Ryan Taylor Toronto

Vexing vaccine questions

Re Kristyn Wong-Tam to step down from Board of Health over COVID backlash (NOW Online, November 23).

I can’t understand why Councillor Wong-Tam needs to impose her views on everybody else. As a gay man who helped successfully fight for the rights of the entire Rainbow community in the early 1990s, I never had the temerity to think I spoke for everyone. Perhaps she could use her privilege and high intellect to create space for other marginalized people to speak for themselves.

John DavisonFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Can young people save the planet?

Re Was the UN Climate Change conference just more “blah, blah, blah?” by David Suzuki (NOW Online, November 24).

As individual consumers, far too many of us still recklessly behave as though throwing non-biodegradable garbage down a dark chute, or flushing pollutants down the toilet will somehow be safely absorbed into the air, water, and land.

Admittedly, I notice every time I discard trash, the spring-cleaning-like sense of disposal satisfaction. Perhaps it’s due to Earth’s relatively large size, which seemingly enables a general obliviousness, if not carelessness, towards the natural environment.

If it were not for environmentally conscious and active young people who are just reaching voting age, matters would be even bleaker than they are.

Frank Sterle Jr.From NOWTORONTO.COM

NDP rent control proposal is poorly thought out

Re Op-ed: Vacancy decontrol has failed tenants and should be abolished (NOW Online, November 21).

The Ontario NDP recently tabled Bill 23, Rent Stabilization Act, 2021 which was scheduled to go to second reading on November 25. If passed, the Bill would amend the Residential Tenancies Act to require landlords to set the rent for a new renter equal to or less than the last rent charged to the previous renter.

Why would a landlord put a dime into fixing up the place if they can’t get any higher return? If there is not a decent return on investment, fewer people will choose property investments, resulting in fewer rental units on the market, which will only raise rents, not lower them. This is one poorly thought-out proposal. There is no regard for the law of unintended consequences.

Dan RogersFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Revisionist history on Black cowboys

Re A miscast Benedict Cumberbatch swaggers through the Power of the Dog (NOW Online, November 16).

According to Black Cowboys in the American West: On the Range, On the Stage, Behind the Badge, about one-quarter of the workforce in the cattle range industry were Black. So no, most cowboys were not Black. The author is guilty of the revisionist history he accuses the film of.

Michael HakaFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Illegal scooters forgotten in e-bikes debate

Re E-bikes on Toronto’s streets: It’s a love-hate thing (NOW November 18-24).

I spend a great deal of time in Toronto. I often see electric kick-scooters on the roads and sometimes being pushed onto the subway. I believe that owner-operated electric kick-scooters should be allowed for those 16 years of age and older on the same roads or lanes as bicycles. 

Rental scooters are a different matter. Depending on the system being used they can be parked on sidewalks and can be a hazard to pedestrians. They should be allowed only if they can be parked in designated places in an upright position.

It is foolish that such scooters are only allowed on private property in Toronto. There is no reason why the many current users should be made to feel guilty for using a product that is environmentally friendly and reduces congestion.

Bruce CouchmanOttawa

City has the power to enforce e-bike rules

Thanks for your coverage on e-bikes. The responsibility of enforcement is not just with the police but also the city’s by-law enforcement officers. The city has the “tools to enforce rules as they relate to vehicles”, as its own bylaw states. Some bikes are just not obeying the rules, which gives great concern to other bicyclists, pedestrians of all ages and automobiles.

Joanne Smale TORONTO

Canada must stand up in the fight against global malnutrition

On December 7 and 8, the Nutrition for Growth Summit will be held in Tokyo. This summit signals a chance for Canada to make a huge difference in the lives of women and children suffering from malnutrition in middle- and low-income countries.

Every year, more than 2 million children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related illness, and an estimated 149 million children are presently stunted in their growth due to chronic undernourishment. The lives of women and girls, who are 50 per cent more likely to face malnutrition than men and boys, are being put at risk. 

Gabriella AmesburyEdmonton

@nowtoronto

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