R. Jeanette Martin
Women Won’t Forget vigil at Philosopher’s Walk, Tuesday, December 6.
HarperCons forget 6/12/89
Another anniversary of the Montreal Massacre has come and gone (NOW, December 8-14), and all the office of Security Minister Vic Toews deemed worthy of repeating was that the gun registry is useless, even on a provincial level, because "criminals don't register their guns."
One wonders whether the minister would just as well have us dispense with vehicle registration to make life easier for dangerous drivers and car thieves. After all, they, too, would love it if we couldn't trace misused vehicles back to their owners!
Bias on women's violence
NOW editor Susan G. Cole scored solidly against anti-feminist Marc Rudov on The John Oakley Show when she argued that action should be taken 365 days a year on violence against women, not just on the one day when we remember the Montreal Massacre.
There's a strong gender bias in law enforcement, a deeper bias than racism against black men. Evidence of that surfaced again recently in the enquiries regarding sex-related misconduct in the RCMP.
The violence with which police officers sometimes make arrests of women suggests flagrant sexual debauchery. For example, the handling of G20 protesters.
We're losing our eco cred
On messing with mother nature (NOW, December 8-14). Wow. I've recently arrived from Australia, and I'm none too proud of our environmental credentials, but I never expected this from Canada.
For many years I'd thought of Canada as an enlightened, forward-thinking country. Since arriving, I've read of obstructing climate negotiations, expensive bicycle lane removals (I've lived on three continents and never seen that!!) and now the Ontario environmental commissioner's annual report. We're worse than the U.S.
I've met many Canadians on my travels who wore the maple leaf on their backpacks so as not to be mistaken for Americans. My advice to Americans: wear the stars and stripes so you're not mistaken for Canadians.
Critical look at Far North
Thank you for your coverage of the environmental commissioner's report this week. Great critical work. You captured many of the issues highlighted by the commissioner. In particular, the material on the Far North Act deserved the close attention you gave it, an element absent from coverage in most media outlets.
Jonah Schein, MPP, Davenport
Dollar store transit policy
In three lean years for the TTC (NOW Daily, December 11), Ben Spurr writes, "While [Councillor Peter] Milczyn's 15-cent fare increase would avoid the service cuts, those service reductions are actually seen by [TTC chair Karen] Stintz and [TTC general manager Gary] Webster as necessary to deter ridership growth. Lowering service standards will drive away 3.7 million additional riders next year, and that will allow the city to avoid spending $93 million on new buses they can't afford." Dollar-store city.
Maev Beaty cover a beauty
A wee fan letter here. I just read Glenn Sumi's piece on Maev Beaty (NOW, December 8-15) and want to let you know how much I enjoyed it and, knowing Maev a little bit, what a great job Sumi did of getting her onto the page.
Jay-Z, Kanye on Auto-Tune
Reviewer Kevin Ritchie seems a little confused about the "backing band" at the Jay-Z/Kanye West show at the ACC (NOW, December 1-7).
There was a laptop DJ quite adept at pressing play on his computer and one other musician who also could have been checking his email behind a bunch of synthesizers. To say that constitutes a band is a stretch. The most work done that night was by the person or team who ran the Auto-Tune plug-in on Kanye's microphone
Strangely, Jay-Z, while covering a large portion of his recorded output, chose not to perform his Death Of Auto-Tune, I guess so as not to embarrass Kanye.
I left the concert with a bad taste. My thoughts may be best summed up by Rick Rubin, "Hip-hop isn't about art any more. It's about getting paid."
Why we keep truckin' food
Wayne Roberts's dissertation on trucked produce should have started with a trip to the Ontario Food Terminal, where all train tracks were removed and paved over.
Combined with Brian Mulroney's deregulation of trucking and NAFTA's green-lighting of trucks directly from Mexico, this guaranteed deliveries by trucks and virtually nothing else.
Social housing fix
I appreciated Emily Weedon's piece on the proposed TCHC housing sell-off (NOW, November 10-17). I'm also a market-rent tenant with TCHC, and while my home isn't up for sale, my family will face eviction to make space for rent-geared-to-income tenants displaced by the sell-off. Unlike Weedon, however, I have no confidence that we'll land on our feet.
The Toronto rental market is notoriously tight right now. We cannot compete with the professional childless couples landlords prefer.
I'm appalled that the TCHC board would so casually throw families, children and vulnerable people into turmoil without considering other solutions to the shortage of cash for repairs.
TCHC tenants facing displacement need to speak and enlist the support of Torontonians. If we can save libraries, surely we can prevent families from being evicted.