R. Jeanette Martin
Harper's foreign pipe dream
Prime Minister Harper would have American environmentalists excluded from the Northern Gateway pipeline debate (NOW, January 12-18). For consistency, so too ought all foreign-owned companies, for Canada is not paramount in their arguments and interests.
To Harper, security of supply for central or eastern Canada is of no concern. To him, "There's nothing the government can do about it.... It is fundamentally a market-based decision. We don't dictate pipelines go here or there."
Unfortunately, the result for Canadians is foreign ownership of resources and manufacturing.
The change we want to see
What I have learned from occupy is empowerment: if I want something to happen, I do it - I shouldn't expect others to do it (NOW, January 26-February 1).
I learned early on that my expectations of Occupy were not going to be met, so I let them go. I realized that things I thought were important didn't seem so to the [St. James] camp as a whole. So I would do what the camp wanted me to, and when so inclined, I would do what I felt I needed to do on the side.
We have no leaders. At the same time, we are all leaders. We were practising community, we were being the change we wanted to see in the world, and we were trying to come up with solutions instead of just whining. If you participate, I believe you will begin to understand.
Norm Kelly's Occupy math
In response to Councillor Norm Kelly's letter on the real costs of Occupy (NOW, January 5-11). If we are to tally the costs of the occupation of St. James Park, we need to consider a few more things.
A large number of those people were indeed homeless. Over the course of five weeks, they were sheltered and fed. Even way into the night there was a constant lineup of people at the food tent, and the cooks and food handlers never stopped moving. All of this food was donated, and all services were volunteered.
I'd have thought Kelly and other councillors would appreciate having this responsibility taken off of their hands for at least a while.
No cover for Occupy
I'm disappointed in you. All these years of claiming to be the alternative voice and you never once gave Occupy the cover while it struggled to survive. You missed a huge opportunity.
The current Time Magazine names its person of the year: the protester. Time Magazine, the straightest publication of the straight world, while next week NOW will have another Hollywood bimbo or generic model selling something on the cover.
I really mind NOW not giving back to the very community and people who support it. Don't be terribly surprised when a local publication comes along with the kind of energy and purpose NOW once had. NOW, you're getting in the way of history.
Alternative to careers guide
I appreciate your new class action supplement, though there's really nothing alternative about it. With few exceptions, most of the careers highlighted would require students to be rich, on ODSP (people on ODSP get their entire college and university education paid), on OSAP or some bursary fund or have a part-time job.
Are there not alternatives to these mainstream careers that don't end up costing students the equivalent of a small mortgage?
The problem with Bob Rae
I understood that Bob Rae took the job of interim leader on the understanding that he wouldn't run for the leadership (NOW, January 19-25). If he does run, wouldn't that be dishonest? Or are politicians different than everyone else?
I suspect we're seeing the end of the Liberal party, just as we are witnessing the end of the middle class. Let it die peacefully, and let's move on.
Transit sanity, maybe
I'm very glad there's more organizing occurring about the retention of Transit City and attempting to bring some sanity to Toronto transit (NOW, January 5-11).
Mayor Rob Ford's unilateral trashing of the funded Transit City is a travesty. There is a strong wish to hobble public transit with blighting mega-projects and deny the laws of physics at the same time.
Let's hope the Code Red group can catalyze a lawsuit against Ford for the $65 million in cancellation costs of Transit City. We also need a transit commission where the majority of commissioners actually use transit.
Adria Vasil's column are weight loss herbs environmentally safe? (NOW, January 5-11) gave wrong info on conjugated linoleic acid. CLA is a highly beneficial natural trans fatty acid in the meat and milk of animals that get to use their muscles to walk and graze on green pasture. Factory-farmed meat and dairy products are very low in CLA because the animals are confined and eat processed GM corn and soy.
Commercial CLA is made from safflower oil. The only vegan alert is that the soft gels are made from animal gelatine. A tablespoon of organic high-oleic safflower oil twice a day before meals works about as well as taking CLA pills.
Certified Nutritional Practitioner
Bike plan a one-way street
I'd just like to make a quick contribution to the discussion about bike lanes. The old city of Toronto cycling plan suggested making one-way streets accessible to cycling in either direction. This may be a great idea.
It's true that T.O. is driver-oriented, that public transportation isn't great and as a result many people drive. This would take a long time to change. Main streets don't have much room to give up to be transformed [to conform to] a complete street design, and again, this is a big challenge financially and politically.
So instead of forcing the fight between cars and bikes onto Queen and Dundas, let's look at linking residential streets in a network of bike lanes.
Thanks to Ron Sparks for his letter on NOW's Top 10 Comedy Shows for 2011 (NOW, January 12-18). He's one of the class acts in comedy.
Robert James Smith
Heritage our duty
I'd love to read in your progressive weekly what we can do to bring out the problem of destruction of Toronto's heritage architecture. When I became a Canadian citizen, I remember learning from the citizenship guide that one of the responsibilities of a citizen is preservation of the country's heritage.
When I moved to Toronto, I was shocked to walk the streets, to see such brutality committed to a beautiful Victorian architecture.
Gen-Xers take advantage
I received a copy of your "paper" after my son travelled into the city for New Year's Eve.
I was so happy when Rob Ford won the mayor's office. To me, this meant an end to people always turning to the government for things they want, an end to Liberals always trying to give things away to gain votes.
What I didn't understand is just how addicted a small portion of society has become to government.
When I grew up, we worked. We didn't ask for things. Toronto is full of immigrants and Gen-Xers who line up to take advantage of free goods and services.
Grow up. Put in a few more hours. If you don't like things, go donate your time and fix them.