Input on Bluffs turbine project shouldn’t be limited to Scarberians.
Wind cries NIMBY
Andrew Cash makes some valid points about the November 24 meeting on Toronto Hydro's proposal to install a wind-measuring device in Lake Ontario (NOW, November 27-December 3). What's missing is the context.
The meeting was never really about a wind-measuring device; it was about the future of wind turbines in the lake. That's why we asked people to come to the meeting. Had we not, the small but loud opponents dominating the debate up to that point would have had free rein to claim there was massive support to stop the placement of a wind-measuring device.
We had a responsibility to our members to show that many people in Scarborough and across this city believe renewable energy is a great thing and that every option should be explored, including a wind farm 2 kilometres offshore.
Toronto Environmental Alliance
Tempest in a turbine
Andrew Cash's colourful report of a public wind power meeting in Scarborough misses some key points. The first is the urgency for Ontario to get serious about 21st Century energy, which means using less and generating much more through renewables. This mandates projects like turbines in windy spots like the Lake Ontario shoreline.
I don't think people with concerns are climate change deniers. But nor do I share Cash's slant that input on city projects should be limited by neighbourhood. If so, only downtown residents would have say in expanding subways to bring more people into the core. Only Pickering residents could comment on Ontario spending billions of dollars on nuclear-centred power. I could go on.
One day, I look forward to Scarborough residents visiting downtown to comment on big solar panels atop its high-rises.
NDP Energy and Environment critic
Getting real about change
Regarding What's the big idea? (NOW, November 27-December 3). Yes we can be a country that embraces green technology and sustainable energy. Yes we can build an economy that supports good jobs with benefits instead of more low-paid temporary work. Yes we can bring our troops home and invest the $490 billion earmarked by Harper for war in Afghanistan in real foreign aid, infrastructure and education. Let's take inspiration from our friends south of the border and mobilize for real change here at home.
Bailout boon for the banks
The $75 billion bank bailout has been justified by the minister of finance, James Flaherty, as necessary to ease the credit crunch facing Canadian banks and make consumer and mortgage loans cheaper and more available. It does nothing to help those who have lost their jobs.
It would have been a far better use of the $75 billion to invest it in upgrading the nation's roads, bridges, sewers, water treatment facilities, health services, education, housing and the environment.
Where did the $75 billion come from anyway? Was it borrowed from the Bank of Canada at zero interest, or from the market or possibly all from the banks themselves? The bailout goes on without end.
Workers suffer, pols dither
While factories close, working women and men in the manufacturing sector are suffering as our politicians dither. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are gone, and another 250,000 are expected to be lost in the next few years. On any other continent, a job crisis of this magnitude would have people on the street demanding action. We are a compassionate society. Our compassion for those who have lost their jobs must turn into action and our complacency into outrage.
President, CAW Local 112
Harper a hypocrite
Stephen Harper recently stated that "the opposition has every right to defeat the government, but Stéphane Dion does not have the right to take power without an election. Canada's government should be decided by Canadians, not backroom deals."
I am a voter in the riding of Vancouver-Kingsway. Perhaps Harper can explain why [one-time Liberal minister] David Emerson became a Conservative government minister through a backroom deal and not by a decision of the voters. That was then and this is now, eh, Stephen?
I attended NOW contributor Gwynne Dyer's recent talk at George Brown on his new book, Climate Wars. Dyer comes at global warming as a born-again environmentalist via strategic (war) studies. By his own admission, his depth of knowledge on warming issues is 18 months. He has nonetheless tried to give an upbeat interpretation of how we can beat this huge problem with techno fixes while we belatedly lower our carbon emissions.
His talk didn't work at all, in my estimation. He's fooling himself about every Canadian's carbon liability. He's fooling himself about his own liability, since he admits to being a frequent flyer.
Don't buy the book. There are others out there who know better.
J. Smokey Dymny
Kanye West fails the test
Instead of wasting time venting about Benjamin Boles's ridiculous rating in his review of Kanye West's latest disc (NOW, November 27-December 3), I'd rather focus on West, who is nothing more than a cartoon character. The video for his current single, Heartless, is quite fitting. Once you strip away his overly conceptualized music videos and sporadic media outbursts, there's not much left. West's delusions of being compared to the musical greats of yesterday speaks to just how completely lost he is. He's always been a subpar producer, and now he's an even worse singer. How sad.
Bull on Steyn
Joshua Errett refers to Mark Steyn's "radical writings" and suggests that if the Human Rights Commission spotlight hadn't been on him, he would be writing in Wasilla, Alaska (NOW, November 20-26). Bull.
Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, Steyn's book America Alone is funny, well researched and well written. He is an excellent author, and all authors - even the most famous - go through dry spells.
The kicker: Steyn's book was on the Canadian bestseller list prior to all the human rights fallout, a fact your writer conveniently failed to mention when slamming him. A bit of jealousy, perhaps?
David W. Hazell
King East under attack
Regarding Naughty on St. Nick's (NOW, November 20-26). Another old Toronto street, the first main commercial street of the old Town of York, arguably more prominent and historic than St. Nicholas, is under attack by bylaw-breaking high-rise developers. King Street East between Jarvis and Parliament is today facing proposals for three tall condos.
One, at the corner of Parliament, has already been appealed to the all-powerful Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), the "Offensively Meddlesome Board," since it overrides local planning.
No other province has a similar body. The city of Toronto has a far larger population than six of our 10 provinces. Yet it cannot control its own urban planning.