The article Park of Broken Promises (NOW, July 22-28) expresses understandable frustration at the slow progress that has been made toward building Downsview Park, but it does not fairly describe the current state of evolution of Canada's first national urban park. Let us explain. The Downsview lands are currently divided between two federal agencies: Parc Downsview Park Inc. (PDP) Inc., 236 hectares (583 acres); and the Department of National Defence, 24 hectares (61 acres).
Once the transfer of the land from the Department of National Defence to PDP has been completed, we can begin to create the new physical reality of Canada's first national urban park.
The Wilson lands to the south that have been sold to Home Depot and Costco are not contiguous to the park or to any of our other commercial lands.
PDP aspires to create a sustainable community, with a national purpose and identity, of great magnitude and prestige for all Canadians, and to grow Downsview Park into one of the greatest parks and communities in the world.
The reality is that today Downsview Park is a vibrant place where thousands of people are educated and entertained through a wide variety of community and school programs and seasonal events.
It is regrettable that the article did not include pictures of our recent Canada Day celebrations, where 80,000 people enjoyed exciting events and activities. Instead, NOW chose six desolate, out-of-context photos.
David V.J. Bell, Chair
Tony Genco, Executive Vice-President
Parc Downsview Park Inc.
I read NOW religiously, and honestly it's worse than going to church on Sundays for gut-wrenching messiness. Take John Harkness's Comic Marvels (NOW, July 22-28). I'm assuming the point of this article was for Harkness to show off his knowledge of the comic-book-to-film phenomenon, though it lacks any sense of research to support this. The Matrix movies quote and reference the Ghost In The Shell manga, not the anime, which differed considerably from the source material.
Akira, the film, is a representation of 10 per cent of the actual Akira epic, which is larger than three telephone books and tells the full tale of a lone boy known as Akira - a story too large for the film adaptation, so Akira was removed from the story, but never to the point of becoming a government project.
From Hell, like The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman, was a horrid bastardization of the original text, so much so that Alan Moore himself denounced the film.
Not too mention the general disappointment with Tim Burton's Batman films, which did well in their day because comic properties were still relatively new and untouched but have not stood up to any critics' long-term opinions.
It's sad that NOW has such a huge voice and reaches so many people but is unable or unwilling to give underground subjects the attention and respect of things like politics.
Producer, Golden Bullet Studio
English in India
In an otherwise interesting article, Joe Wilson quotes a disability activist's speculations about the benefits of making the Internet more accessible (NOW, July 22-28). Such benefits, we are told, will extend beyond people with disabilities to "emerging markets such as India, where English isn't widely spoken." Huh?! Of course English is widely spoken in India! People, please get your "developing world sound bites" straight.
As a former resident of Hamilton, born and raised, it truly breaks my heart to see what's being done to Red Hill Creek Valley (NOW, July 22-28). The United Nations has declared the Niagara Escarpment a significant biosphere in need of environmental protection.
The flood in Peterborough should be a wake-up call that paving over natural creeks and wetlands is tantamount to shooting yourself in the environmental foot.
So what is our response in this moral and ethical morass? To allow the clear-cutting of thousands of trees and the destruction of a biosphere.
There is no time like the present to take a stand and work to save Red Hill Valley. Please visit www.eneract.org.
I wonder if Robert Priest has ever taken a course in micro-economics. If he had, I'd think he wouldn't think so badly of the idea of "emission trading" (NOW, July 22-28). This idea is meant to suit the different cost structures of different firms. It encourages firms that can reduce emissions at a lower cost to make more reductions and sell off their quota at a higher price. Firms can buy extra quota rather than going out of business because they can't reach a certain emission standard.
Ideally (in the perfect world of economics), all firms would adopt some method of emission reduction that will be less costly rather than buying up other people's quota.
Of course, economic theory does not always work, but the best thing one could learn from economics is that people respond more enthusiastically to incentives than to rules or regulations.
Feeling Power Of The Dog
As a lover of thought-provoking and socially relevant theatre, I rely on NOW to help me separate the fluff from the substance. I was therefore disappointed that NOW failed to review Christopher Brauer's outstanding production of Howard Barker's The Power Of The Dog, running at Equity Showcase Theatre. The play forced the audience to reflect on the power of ideologies. The subject is all the more compelling given that we are once again witnessing the dogs of ideology and war in Iraq.
This production had to be one of the finest I have had the privilege of experiencing in Toronto. I left the theatre with the final scene embedded in my mind and heart; few productions are so memorable. NOW readers needed to know about this play.
Marching for Sudan
Oh no! Not another article on Iraq (NOW, July 15-21). In the Sudan, there is a massacre of almost genocidal proportions and over a million refugees displaced to neighbouring countries - more deaths and refugees than in Iraq. Where are the anti-war marchers who had so much compassion for Iraq? Why are they not now marching for Sudan?
Perhaps the Iraq anti-war marches had more to do with anti-Americanism than with compassion?
Pick on somebody else
re Censoring Al-Jazeera (NOW, July 22-28). You cannot possibly be suggesting that B'nai Brith and other Jewish groups speak for all Jews any more than Mel Gibson speaks for all Christians. Many of us believe in freedom of speech, though it's sometimes painful. Al-Jazeera's existence is a reality and it needs to be viewed as another voice. So give us a break and pick on someone else for a change.
Bike lanes for safer Dundas
re Larry McLean's letter, Bike Lane Wasting My Time (NOW, July 15-21). Dundas has been my daily bicycle route from downtown to the Beach for years. I was relieved when the bike lane was introduced, as it makes half my trip far safer than it was before. As for inconvenience, even if traffic is a little slower during two peak periods, I think cyclists' safety is more important than motorists' convenience.
Fantino doing a good job
re Fantino's Chilling Legacy (NOW, July 22-28). Isn't the devil you know preferable to the devil you don't know? I admit some ignorance of what has happened at various rallies during his tenure, but I have been in Toronto since the 60s, and there has never been a rally of the type you describe that has not had complaints against the police.
It seems to me that when a person offends people on opposite sides of the political spectrum - namely, NOW and the police union - it's a sure sign that he's doing a good job.
Whatever Fantino's defects, there's no doubt that he is intelligent and a great communicator. I dare you guys to poll your readers on what they think of him.
Tony De Carlo
I find it very interesting that you made no mention of Canada Day on the cover of your July 1 issue. Is it that celebrating this great country isn't cool?
If NOW can't provide even a one-line mention of the history of Canada, should we leave it to those large corporations called Molson and Labatt?