Airbnb rentals getting out of hand
Re Airbnb’s Condo Clash (NOW, March 21-17). The city needs to step up and do something about mortgage-paying condo dwellers being subjected to having their once quiet – and very expensive – real estate threatened by loud, rude, partygoers too cheap to pay for a proper hotel and who would rather turn condo buildings into Cancun at spring break.
The article stated a very disturbing point that so many condos are bought solely for this purpose. How are renters vetted? Is it known if they have dodgy pasts or criminal records? They could be anybody.
Look, I get it. Toronto is a super-expensive city and it’s a real struggle to get by, but many of us do it without relying on various money-grabbing schemes that put our neighbours at risk. This whole Airbnb business has gotten way out of hand and must be legislated or scrapped altogether.
Alex Blake, Toronto
Rewriting Japanese Canadian history
The ROM exhibit Being Japanese Canadian: Reflections On A Broken World is superb (NOW, March 7-13).
Especially striking to me was the exhibit’s integration within an existing gallery.
Encountering these new works situated among the objects and stories of Euro-descended Canada creates a powerful narrative and emotional experience.
However, an important missing fact in the exhibit’s text came to mind, which I believe the ROM needs to amend.
The internment order made by the federal government ignored Canadian military officials and RCMP testimony that the Japanese Canadian population posed no threat and opposed taking any punitive action.
Further, scholars and activists have challenged the term “Japanese Canadian internment” on the grounds that under international law, internment refers to detention of enemy aliens, whereas most Japanese Canadians were Canadian citizens.
Sarah Peebles, Toronto
Hate is like a stale baguette
Re Down The Hate Rabbit Hole by Paul Salvatori (NOW, March 28-April 3). Bigotry in Canada will not abate, but the thing that bigots don’t get yet is that hate is like an old baguette – hardened, stale, tasteless, cross-purposed and Janus-faced. We must strive for more compassion, love and kindness of every fashion.
Ivan Smason, Santa Monica, CA
Something worse than racism in Israel
Letter-writer Judith Deutsch states that “Israel’s racism preceded its statehood in 1948. Even its labour unions and highly touted socialized communities (kibbutzim) have barred Palestinians.”
But something worse than racism is taking place in Israel – the “nation-state law” approved in 2018 states that “national rights in Israel belong only to the Jewish people.”
It effectively denies all rights to millions whose religion differs from the protected group. It makes it legal to treat “others” whose culture, religion and traditions as enemies.
That is not only scary, it should be condemned by all of us.
Francisco Suarez, Toronto
Disaster Economics by Saul Chernos (NOW, March 21-27) was a good lesson in the environmental destruction caused by Canadian mining corporations abroad, but there was an important aspect left out.
If a full 30,000 people got to the PDAC conference here in Toronto, and many of these from other parts of the world, there’s a pretty high carbon footprint left from all of that flying.
The greenhouse gas costs of this event should be part of the accounts of the mining industry’s sustainability efforts.
Hamish Wilson, Toronto
Of Jann Arden, epic concerts and sex toys
I was delighted to discover that your print issues have become lighter. I originally thought this would make it less cumbersome to carry on transit. I continue to peruse your publication on subways, streetcars and park benches.
This week, however, I was unable to access articles on the Jann Arden interview, sustainable sex toys and upcoming April concerts because they are only available online.
As a result, I still love Jann Arden, but will be missing potentially epic concerts and don’t have an eco-friendly, biodegradable dildo.
K. Oldzlir, Toronto