Letters To The Editor | March 29-April 4, 2018

Our cover on rescue dogs brings out cat lover plus, the president of the association representing Canada's nuclear industry says Pickering is safe from Russian hackers, despite reports to the contrary

Dog cover lover makes case for rescue cats 

How Millennials Turned Owning A Rescue Dog Into A Social Cause (NOW, March 22-28) I absolutely loved your cover story on rescue dogs. It’s remarkable to see our millennials leading the way! As a fanatic feline lover, feline film fest founder and mom to Josephine Baker and Dorothy Dandridge, I’d love to see our city passionately embrace our many rescue kitties – young and young at heart and equally deserving of forever homes. Cats are full of charisma and make the best pillow warmers. Come on, Toronto. There’s enough room in our hearts and our social justice agendas for cats and dogs. Talk about purrrfection!

Jill Andrew, Toronto

Nothing stylish about Iris Apfel’s politics

Jesus Christ, Iris Apfel (NOW, March 22-28) is “charmingly cranky?” 

She’s an immigrant-hating, Obama-bashing, Trump-loving, overly entitled old lady who happens to dress well. Nothing charming about her political views at all.

Deb Matheson, Toronto

Appropriating ballroom culture – whoa

Re Toronto’s House Ballroom Sound Gets A New Dancefloor, (NOW Online, March 14). I’m a ballroom dancer. We dance in ballrooms (which have proper sprung ballroom floors) where we listen to ballroom music, which is specific to the 10 ballroom dances. 

Ballroom music is some of the most beautiful and poignant music I’ve ever heard. So imagine my surprise to read your article. Not my ballroom at all. Lol! Let me assure you, no one would welcome this type of music. So to call it ballroom is disingenuous and appropriating and confusing. 

Clinton Collier, Toronto

Kathleen Wynne: the good, the bad

Regarding Enzo DiMatteo’s article Ford Comes Full Circle (NOW, March 22-28). Doug Ford did not steal the PC leadership. He played by the rules and he won. 

Kathleen Wynne has been good for Ontario and bad for Ontario. It was good that she expanded rent control and put $20 million into recharging stations for electric cars. It was bad that she sold 52 per cent of Hydro One and let the college teachers’ strike go on for too long.

Randall Jeffrey Pancer, Toronto

“No risk” to Canada’s nukes from hackers

With regard to your news story Hacking Of Ontario’s Nuclear Plants “A Very Serious Question,” Says Premier (NOW Online, March 20), by Angela Bischoff, director of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA). 

The author selectively edited the quote from Premier Kathleen Wynne to bolster the OCAA’s argument that nuclear facilities in Ontario are at risk of a cyber-attack.  

There is no risk to the operations of nuclear power plants from a cyber-attack, because nuclear power plants are designed to be disconnected from the internet and other networks, preventing hackers from accessing plant operations or safety systems.

As reported by Forbes, “Fortunately, while the Russians may be able to disrupt electricity transmission in general, and electricity generation from many power plants like natural gas and wind farms, they can’t hack into nuclear power plant operations. Nuclear plants are still mostly analog and not connected to the internet.”  

John Barrett, President/CEO, Canadian Nuclear Association, Ottawa

Chalk River nuke fallout still smouldering  

Thank you for the timely article about the dangers associated with the hacking of Ontario’s nuclear plants. 

The 1952 Chalk River accident at the NRX reactor involved a series of powerful hydrogen gas explosions that threw a four-tonne gasholder dome four feet through the air, allowing radioactive gases and vapours to escape the plant. The intensely radioactive reactor vessel was destroyed and is still stored on site, buried in sandy soil. Young Jimmy Carter was one of a group of nuclear engineers sent by the U.S. Navy to assist in the radioactive cleanup. 

Five years later, a burning irradiated fuel rod in the NRU reactor spread radioactive contamination throughout the building. I assisted Corporal Bjarnie Paulson, one of 600 military men ordered to carry out the cleanup, win compensation for over 200 radiation-induced cancers that occurred all over his body. A co-worker received a similar settlement. 

A major accident at a much larger power plant like Pickering could have life-changing health consequences for the general population.

Gordon Edwards, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, Hampstead, QC

NOW model contest misses the mark

Perhaps when NOW put out a call for the next cover model it should have stated in bold type, “only applicable to those in their 20s.” While the contest checked the boxes in diversity, it missed the mark entirely on having at least one older model among the finalists. It’s not that I’m pissed about not making the cut, but as a 50-year-old the door was seemingly closed even before I sent my photograph.

Jack Saltzberg, Toronto

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