Sorry for nothin’
Drew Hayden Taylor may “buy Harp’s apology” for residential school abuses (NOW, June 19-25), but many, including myself, do not. Genocide as defined by the UN Convention includes “transferring children of the group to another group.”
That’s cold, hard genocide. This genocide was accomplished by usurping the sovereignty of indigenous nations. Apologies don’t count when the crimes of the Canadian government have yet to stop.
While I tend to disagree with Bill C-61 (NOW, June 19-25), as a songwriter, I have invested a stupid amount of my hard-earned dollars, formed alliances with recording engineers and tech people, all so I can write, record, control and pay for my own future in a music business swimming in incompetence. So when I hear anyone with a marginal investment in music suggest that I give it away because that’s the hip new medium, I just cringe. If your music has value, no one has the right to cheat you of it.
Norman Wilner’s review of Guy Maddin’s playful and potent film My Winnipeg (NOW, June 19-25) perplexes me. Is it, as he suggests, just not his cup of “twee” or yet another sign of a predilection among many of this city’s cultural scribes to be dismissively cynical? Maddin possesses a sublime singular vision that loves and dares, and if that’s “twee,” well then, fuck me.
On Howard’s end
RE Desperately Seeking (NOW, June 19-25) For clarity’s sake, please note that I didn’t hire Jack Layton to design the city of Toronto’s energy efficiency program. He was hired by the public works department. His report came back to my committee that was putting the plan into effect.
Car culture crash
I find it astonishing that letter-writer B. Flint would suggest the CAW has “eaten away at GM’s profit margins for years” (NOW, June 19-25). Labour costs account for a fraction of what it costs to actually build a vehicle in Canada – approximately 8 per cent. This is true of most capital-intensive manufacturing industries.
What’s plaguing General Motors, and most other auto makers in Canada, is rooted more deeply in economic fundamentals.
The loss of auto manufacturing jobs is symptomatic of a general decline in Canada’s middle class. I don’t think the writer fully understands the severity of this crisis and what it means for the future of our country.
CAW national staff representative
Can you please, please hire someone who knows something, anything, about the vibrant contemporary jazz/improv scene in Toronto? Toronto has the most important jazz/improv scene in the country – one of the best in North America – but you’d never know it from reading your paper.
A case in point: one of the most important and exciting young contemporary sax players/composers around, Dave Binney, comes to town from New York for two shows and there’s no feature in NOW?
For the love of Modernism
Mike Smith refers to regent park and Lawrence Heights as “Modernist planning disasters” (NOW, June 19-25). Is there really a problem with Modernist design or simply underfunding and a policy that dictates where a social assistance recipient must live?
Gentrification hits Heights
I really loved Mike Smith’s article on the Lawrence Heights redevelopment proposal. It paves the way for a good discussion on revitalization of social housing.
It also pointed out what happens when social housing is earmarked for redevelopment. People will be displaced and historic areas changed.
I moved to St. James Town after living in South Riverdale, an area that’s become gentrified beyond all recognition. I hope that progress and repair can happen in Lawrence Heights without displacement.
Leslieville, liberate us
RE Don’t be outsmarted (NOW, June 19-25). If the OMB rules against the wishes of Toronto on the Leslieville development, we need to make Toronto a province and forget about the OMB.
Regarding your advice to lay off on coif medicine (NOW, June 12-18). There’s a great cheap product, all natural, for scalp conditions and thinning hair called Herbal RX, sold at Sugar & Spice in Kensington and Smith’s Pharmacy on Yonge north of Lawrence.
Cooling to A/C
Regarding making sushi of your A/C (NOW, May 29-June 4). Fortunately, Ontarians are not cooling to the Clean Air Foundation’s Keep Cool program. Since the program is run in partnership with utilities, uptake depends on the number of regions participating. So when 15,000 old, inefficient room air conditioners were reportedly collected in 2006 and 8,000 in 2007, that was because about twice as many utilities participated in 2006. This year, in just the first weekend, we’ve surpassed the number of units collected by 52 per cent compared to last year in Toronto. We collected 2,687 in one weekend.
Keep Cool Program Manager
Clean Air Foundation
Stop, bike thief!
It could have been much worse.
On a recent Sunday on Dundas West in Chinatown, my 18-year-old son had his bicycle stolen from in front of a restaurant.
We’d just unlocked our bikes when a young man in his 20s put his hands on my son’s bike and said calmly that he was going to take the bike.
He repeated himself several times, so I told my son to let go of the bike and then chased him on my bike for 20 minutes through the streets of the downtown core. I was screaming “bike thief” to anyone who could help.
Two police officers stationed at the corner of Queen and Spadina outside their patrol car just watched. When the thief reached into his pocket and made a cellphone call, I got really scared and left the scene.
I’m thankful and relieved that my son and I got off unharmed but disappointed in the lack of help from the police.
Name withheld by request