Suffragette a sellout
You really seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel when, with all the courageous women activists in Toronto, you celebrate MP Carolyn Bennett's squabble with Chretien over the lack of women in the cabinet (NOW, January 31-February 6).
Would Bennett make a difference? No. As one of her constituents, I have been appalled at the way Bennett has fallen in line with every wretched decision the federal government has made, from support for the bombing of human beings in Afghanistan and Kosovo and the sanctions that kill seven Iraqi children each hour (surely a violation of the good doctor's Hippocratic oath!) to her recent enthusiastic support of a budget that favours bombs and domestic repression over affordable housing.
Ironically, Bennett would have been a great choice for cabinet precisely because she is someone who is willing to swallow her alleged social conscience for a bit more power.
Toronto Action for Social Change
In defence of white lawyers
I read your magazine weekly and have always had nice things to say about it. Perhaps that's the reason I got so pissed after reading your Up Front item Raising The Bar (NOW, January 31-February 6).
"The last thing the world needs besides more lawyers is more white lawyers." What the hell is that supposed to mean?! I am a young, white female who grew up in a housing project and wants to become a lawyer. What you said is just like saying the last thing we need is another black rapper.
Poverty no excuse for terror
In floating myths, Enzo Di Matteo quotes John Asfour as saying, "You have to have been pushed to the end of the abyss to get to a point where nothing, absolutely nothing, matters any more. These are people who are not living under normal circumstances. There is a lot of poverty. There is a lot of pain. Why are we so surprised if we see anger manifested in that society?"
You seem to suggest that poverty gives Palestinians the right to conduct and condone terrorism by killing innocent civilians. I don't know where you get your information, but I know a biased, unresearched article when I see one.
Richard Ambrose, Toronto
Eating up Arab propaganda
after reading floating mythsby Enzo Di Matteo (NOW, January 31-February 6), it occurred to me how the extreme left and extreme right have similar views on Israel.
What happened to the good old left-wing intelligentsia who had real ideals? I never thought NOW was so naive, yet Di Matteo's views seem to be based purely on emotions (resulting) largely from the very carefully placed propaganda of Arafat and his cronies.
Stephanie Boska, Toronto
Know thine enemy
the enemies of hemp reform and cannabis reform are one and the same. Not only do they not give a tinker's damn about hemp, but they also think nothing of letting thousands of sick and dying people linger in pain and misery or of incarcerating 700,000 people per year, mostly for simple possession, while they lie, cheat and steal in order to maintain the profits of prohibition.
The alternatives to prohibition will not be as profitable to them as the current policies are. And that includes hemp... like it or not.
Myron Von Hollingsworth
Fort Worth, Texas
Hemp ban ridiculous
i agree with adria vasil's blasting of the new DEA ban on hemp products (NOW, January 31-February 6). I disagree, however, that it is Americans who want this ban. Not so.
Most Americans perceive how ridiculous this ruling is, and many of them see the need to end cannabis prohibition altogether.
Many of us are looking hopefully to the north for this critical reform to begin.
Taking it to the street
i'm not sure a steady diet of rambunctious jaywalking is healthy, but I agree with Thomas Timmins that pedestrians need to have more authority in the streets (NOW, January 31-February 6). , Torontonians are daily bullied by right-turning (on a red) motorists who, as they turn, continue to look left for oncoming traffic. One gets fed up with being the invisible walker and having to pound on the swivel-headed driver's hood to assert one's legal right to safely cross.
Timmins brilliantly suggests rewarding pedestrians with tax breaks, but if that won't fly, at the very least the city should fix those impatient, get-your-ass-across walk lights that pay no attention to an aging population.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Misery loves company
it was like a breath of fresh air when Don Wanagas disappeared from the National Post.
So, great was my surprise when I met him again in the pages of NOW. Doing what? Spanking his eternal pet subject, Mel Lastman (NOW, January 31-February 6).
Nothing has changed. He's still busily rolling his Sisyphean boulder uphill, but this time in the well-deserved Hades of the company of Enzo Di Matteo. May both of them live in curiouser times.
George U. Samson , Toronto
City's drinking water clean
99.9% pure (now, january 24-30) suggests that the city of Toronto is over-treating its drinking water. For the record, our city staff work diligently to ensure that tap water is safe and of high quality.
The city of Toronto has been a Canadian pioneer in requiring chemical suppliers to provide toxicological assessments of chemicals to ensure that they do not pose a health concern.
The controlled use of certain chemicals in the treatment of raw water is necessary to prevent events such as those recently experienced in Walkerton.
Where residual chemicals may be undesirable, the city takes great care to ensure that they are minimized. In Ontario, the presence of a chlorine residual is mandated by regulation in water on its way from the plant to the consumer.
After an appropriate amount of chlorine is used for disinfection purposes, this amount is lowered to a specific target level before the water is distributed.
The city minimizes and closely monitors aluminum levels in drinking water.
A low concentration of ammonia in drinking water is not a health issue. Where by-products or the chemicals themselves may pose a health risk, standards are set for maximum amounts.
The issues surrounding Toronto's beaches are not related to drinking water.
The location of the city's drinking water intakes is far (approximately 2 kilometres) from shore, minimizing the impact of contaminants. Anything that reaches the intakes is taken care of by treatment.
FICE General Manager
Water and Wastewater Services
Serving white privilege
the review by steven davey of House of Gourmet (NOW, January 31-February 6) reflects typical white blindness.
Davey's world must be white vs. Chinese (or whatever ethnic restaurant he dines in). I'm glad he's not careful about his words, though. Just confirms that this white privilege that so many whites deny is oh sooo present.
Keep affirming your race, Steven, and us non-whites will be reminded that we really don't exist (except, of course, to feed you white people).
Imran Sikand, Toronto