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Plus, the case for a basic income, why there's no engaging China on human rights and COVID is exhausting teachers in reader mail this week
Re Tiny Shelters Carpenter Asks Toronto To Drop Legal Challenge (NOW Online, February 22). Let this man build shelters for the homeless and then tell him to come to Manitoba and build them for the homeless here too. Enough is enough. It’s not like the homes are taking away from those who can afford million-dollar homes living in Toronto. There is always going to be a need for housing that’s temporary for people confronted with the decision of sleeping on the streets and overwhelmed homeless shelters, which are currently breeding grounds for COVID. At least moveable shelters like this are helping keep some people alive. We need more compassion from the government.
Kristen Guy – From NOWTORONTO.COM
I appreciate Julia Mastroianni’s article about the complex expansion plans for the Foundry site in the Distillery District (NOW, Online, February 26). In fact, I live just a few blocks west of the area in question. My one regret is that, despite the article’s detail and helpful images, I am still unable to visualize the specific area in question. I remain regretfully in the dark.
Joel Roher – From NOWTORONTO.COM
Re The Conservative Party Has A China Problem (NOW Online, February 25). It was a consensus vote by the NDP, Conservatives, Green Party and Bloc (notwithstanding the 80 Liberal MPs voted for it) to accept the motion to recognize the genocide of ethnic Muslims in China. It’s not anti-Asian or anti-Chinese to condemn genocide. I’m happy to give the Conservative party a chance.
Jezreel Vanlevi – From NOWTORONTO.COM
As a Chinese-Canadian, I think Canada needs to take a stronger stance against China. Aside from massive human rights violations of Uyghur Muslims, Hong Kongers and anyone who dares dissent to Beijing, China exports its views to foreign countries via its ex-pats and international students. Here in Canada, we have incidents at McMaster University and the University of Toronto receiving threats on social media. And not to mention Beijing’s cover-up of COVID that helped unleash a global pandemic. They could have contained it rather than suppress information at the start. I am not a Conservative Party supporter and never will be. But Canada, regardless of administration, needs to take a firmer stance against the country that has punished and tongue-lashed us simply for honouring our extradition treaty obligation. There is no engaging this country without sacrificing our own principles and values.
Endy Aych – From NOWTORONTO.COM
Re Op-ed: It’s Time To Transform Our Society With A Basic Income (NOW Online, February 20). An argument I sometimes hear about basic income is that it will create a lazy society in which workers can opt for handouts instead of working for their pay. This usually accompanies denunciations of disability and criticism for so-called poor life choices. I note that these critics are typically Conservative or Republican by political inclination, are affluent or hold distinguished positions.
A basic income would solve homelessness and enable people with long-term disabilities to lead lives of dignity. But it must be supported by honest labour reform as capitalist structures tend not to favour people of colour and many business people opt to hire people from their own racial group.
Christopher Mansour – TORONTO
Re COVID-19: Ontario Reports 1,258 New Cases (NOW Online, February 26.) I would love to hear how teachers feel about teaching during the pandemic. Concrete details might move Premier Doug Ford and the unions to return to homeschooling until everyone has received a vaccine. As it is, the virus ricochets from home to school to home. The safety models do not work and kids and teachers are exhausted.
Agi Lukacs – From NOWTORONTO.COM
Regarding the article, Ontario Relaxes Rules Around Home-Based Food Businesses by Richard Trapunski (NOW Online, January 6). Some points should be clarified.
First, the rules still are essentially the same for a commercial restaurant as someone baking sourdough bread in their apartment. Low-risk foods have the same exemptions whether produced in a home or commercial kitchen.
Also, the legislation was also updated and relaxed back in 2018 (see O.Reg. 493/17). Unfortunately, most of the home-based food operators don’t call for an inspection and often don’t understand the difference between low and high-risk food. For example, any custards or raw cookie dough require refrigeration. Some might think a cookie dough without eggs is fine but it is still a high risk due to the flour component and inherent risk of contamination with E. coli. Health units also don’t have resources to troll the websites for illegal sales and probably wouldn’t have resources to inspect all that are out there, especially those that pop up for a limited duration to make a few bucks during the holidays. So buyer beware. If they’re not listed with the local Health Unit they haven’t been inspected.
Theresa Dunkley-Verhage – From NOWTORONTO.COM