Teachers' unethical investing
your piece on the ontario teachers Pension Plan (NOW February 19-25) left the impression that Greenpeace and the Sierra Youth Coalition disagree with the Social Investment Coalition over whether existing law allows pension managers to pursue socially responsible investment. In fact, we agree that there is nothing in law preventing the consideration of social or ethical criteria when selecting investments.
We do believe, however, that it will take legislative direction to force the OTPP in particular to pursue socially responsible investment. Each time this issue comes up, the OTPP digs in its heels, saying the law does not allow it to be progressive, and scaring teachers by saying their ethics will cost them money. Neither is true.
It's My Future Campaign
Docs messing with my head
re no-thrill pills (now, february 19- 25). I've had the joy of dealing with mental illness. I was involuntarily committed to a detox in the U.S. I was plied with heavy drugs such as Paxil, thiothixene (a powerful anti-psychotic also known as Navane) and Depakote. Not to mention benzodiazepine, which they gave out freely, especially if you got upset and wanted to talk about your problems.
They'd insist I was having symptoms. If I argued with them, they'd get more punitive. Upon my release, they refused to give me my records. I had come there looking to deal with some specific issues, and with all the money that was spent on my "treatment," no one would listen.
Rep theatres going to hell
is it just me or are toronto's rep theatres going to hell? Last week I could have watched Something's Gotta Give 15 times or Mona Lisa Smile 17 times. Not to criticize these fine films, but I remember when the reps offered a more cosmopolitan menu. How many people today have had a chance to see Seven Days In May on a big screen, a movie as timely as ever thanks to a couple of guys named Cheney and Rumsfeld?
Today the reps seem to think that showing Wings Of Desire, Casablanca and A Clockwork Orange every chance they get somehow adds up to fine cinematic fare.
paula fletcher's fence has some justification (NOW, February 19-25). After all, dogs were poisoned and children made sick, and although a dozen flat-footed cops tromping through the snow failed to turn up any more evidence, a single happy Labrador retriever, nosing in the snow at the park's edge, demonstrated there may be more buried poisoned wieners. So put up a fence. But why, Paula, do you have to block the east-west path at the top of the park? After all, you've left two access routes to the skating rink and clubhouse. You're willing to risk exposure at those two places, so why not allow cyclists and school children and ordinary pedestrians trying to get away from the busy Danforth to cross from Strathcona to Hogarth and back? After all, it is an official Toronto bike route. You campaigned on a bicycle-friendly platform. Jacob Allderdice
I won't be buying blackSpot
re sneaky, very sneaky (now, feb ruary 19-25). I shop responsibly. I invest ethically. I own more than 10 pairs of shoes. I guess I won't be buying a pair of blackSpots. Christina Babcock
your reviewer jason richards seems to have missed the point of what Waleed Abdulhamid said during his Brigantine Room performance (NOW, February 19-25). Yes, he did say that "we" (as in both Freedom L-ive and Radio Nomad, Waleed's other group) do not play "world music," but neither was Freedom L-ive's set "reggae," regardless of the evening's "Jamaican" vibe, though they did play a song with a reggae feel.
Waleed was referring to the infamous Mel Lastman "boiling pot and dancing natives" incident during the Sounds In The City event at City Hall in which Radio Nomad participated. Incidentally, since then City Hall has changed its contract to include a "no proselytizing" clause. It's not clear if it applies to all or some performing groups.
Osama is no hero
re o.g. pamp's letter (now, january 29- February 4). Pamp claims that Osama bin Laden "must be admired" for choosing caves over luxury and is an "inspiration" for opposing the Yanks. Osama's 9/11 has been a disaster in terms of curtailing U.S. power. He provoked the U.S. into toppling the Taliban, gave Bush a flimsy pretext for invading Iraq and even handed others an excuse to oppress their Muslim minorities under the guise of "the war on terror." U.S. power has never been stronger. Jan Burton
Israel the new South Africa?
morris sosnovitch (now, febru ary 19-25) somehow equates various Israelis being discriminated against with the demolition of Palestinian homes, the assassination of political leaders, illegal settlements and the collective punishment of an entire people, and presumes to call half-hearted individual measures against this state "racist"? When it was South Africa, there really was no question, was there? Naseer Ahmad
Our crimes against children
re robert priest's swift injustice (NOW, February 5-11). Today I witnessed a middle-aged man screaming and writhing with pain and humiliation. He was in a therapy session, reliving the long-repressed visceral memory of a childhood spanking. Like millions of people, my client is discovering that much of his lifelong depression and anxiety is rooted in beatings he received many, many years ago.
It is shameful and irresponsible to ignore the fact that this type of abuse plays a significant role in the multi-billion-dollar pandemic of emotional illness.
Priest makes a brilliant point that many in the peace movement forget or ignore - that childhood violence is the real cause of global violence.
International Primal Association
what a waste of words. some clown named Rahim Ladha wasted 48 words trying to trash Canadian poet Stuart Ross (NOW, February 12-18). If he had donated these 48 words (just four words a month) to Ross, Ross would have made a poem out of them. It would have been another great poem.
To rectify Ladha's wastage, we pledge five words a month in his name for the next year to Stuart Ross to use however he wishes.
Our only expectation in return is that Ladha will use five fewer words a month. CanLit will be the richer for it.
Jim Smith and Jo-Anne McNamara
Pro-coppers not hand-picked
as a participant at the recent police town hall meeting, I was angered by Mike Smith's article (NOW, February 12-18). For starters, his assertion that "most in attendance seem to have been hand-picked by local MP Tony Ruprecht." While it is true that the meeting was publicized by posters produced and distributed by Mr. Ruprecht's office, those of us who took the time to attend did so without any personal encouragement from him. As for the audience being "largely sympathetic" toward the police, I have to wonder if Smith was at the same meeting I was. Many of us were very disturbed by various comments made by both the police and some members of the public (especially the former officer whose partner was "shot in the line of duty by a Jamaican and then executed by a Chinese doctor at St. Mike's" - Smith didn't even get the quote correct!). Smith even mentions several speakers who received angry responses from the chief. Were they not part of the audience too? J. Betts
Make port boss walk plank
re ferry, ferry, quite contrary (NOW, February 19-25). After four years lead time, all the federally run Toronto Port Authority has to show for itself is a tentative landing spot consisting of a tent at the foot of Cherry Street. It's surrounded by a bunch of rusting cargo containers, and there's no TTC service or access road. The Port Authority has terminal illness. Make them walk the plank. Anne Hansen
T.O. - city with no class
please accept an unbiased point of view from a transplanted western Canadian. Other than live theatre and overpriced professional sporting events, Toronto has very little to offer. But if you're still interested in seeing for yourself, take one of the first trips on the new fast ferry service. After leaving Rochester's new multimillion-dollar terminal you'll be greeted here in a tent.
Rochester, take your tourist dollars somewhere else. Toronto isn't worth it. Ottawa is much more interesting. and Montreal much more exciting.
Westerners more oppressed
i'm writing in response to lisa Volkov's letter about Islam oppressing women (NOW January 29-February 4). In The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf writes that "If a political regime subjected its opponents to the atrocities that women endure in the name of 'beauty,' there would be an international outcry." Wolf is referring to the oppression of women in the West under a patriarchal regime.
Women may be liberated because they now have more freedom to dress as they choose, but this liberation is within a patriarchal structure that has a solid history of oppressing women.
I suggest that we look beyond our ethnocentrism.
Sorry, wrong number
thank you so much for listing the University of Toronto Sexual Education and Peer Counselling Centre in the Love & Sex Guide issue (NOW, February 5-11). However, the number that was listed is our business number. The correct information-line number is 416-978-8732. Alison Griggs