Plural pronoun power
I really enjoyed Carla Gillis's article on Rae Spoon. (January 26- February 1). Thank you for properly using the pronoun "they"! And for the record, it is perfectly grammatically correct to use "they" as a singular pronoun! [According to Oxford Dictionaries], "you can use the plural pronouns ‘they', ‘them', ‘their.' etc., despite the fact that, technically, they are referring back to a singular noun. It's increasingly common in current English and is now widely accepted both in speech and in writing."
Review gone Haywire
I used to have faith in your movie reviews. Until now. Haywire. Four Ns (January 19-25). I spent good money to see this movie because of you. C'mon, guys. You must have taken some money to rank this movie up there with other 4-N-worthy flicks. Or maybe you're a fan of anything Soderbergh. I'm missing something.
Transit bickering Ford's fault
The Sheppard subway had its funding pulled and it was terminated at Don Mills to save money under Mike Harris. In four years, David Miller devised a plan to serve the greatest number of Torontonians and revitalize some of the city's most worn-down thoroughfares.
It also would have connected Toronto truly for the first time since amalgamation. In four years, Miller built a plan, got it fully funded and had it started. This is something very few have been able to do so quickly. It's sad that Rob Ford tossed the entire thing away, and now were stuck with bickering.
Let's fire the TTC
Light rail does not move more people quicker, and, sadly, that is the key issue. It was chosen because it is cheaper. If we are to invest, we should be doing everything possible to build a foundation of subways around the city and into the GTA.
This city's planners and council have never grasped the notion of including plans for mass transit in subdivision planning. They demand plans for water, sewage, gas, hydro, roads, sidewalks, etc., but transit like a subway or even an LRT, never. That is their failure. All of them.
Imagine if the existing subways had never been built because their expense was never covered at the time of their installation by then-existing density.
We should do so without TTC at the helm in design, management or construction. Bring in another firm. Get fresh thinking and methodologies.
Coffee cups blue bin no-go
I appreciated reading Adria Vasil's informative and helpful article about how to dispose of takeout containers (January 19-25). However, I need to correct a misconception. The city of Toronto cannot accept paper coffee cups, with or without lids, in our blue bin/recycling stream (or in the green bin).
Currently, the only disposal option is to put them in the garbage. Vasil's column states, "The city may be able to recycle paper cups," which could be interpreted [to mean] that we can actually accept coffee cups in the blue bin.
However, due to the special coating on the paper (to withstand hot liquids) and the fibre type used in the construction of the cup, paper cups cannot be processed along with other paper products.
The occasional coffee cup that ends up in error in recycling may end up in the paper separated and sent to market, but it will be screened out at the paper mill and become part of its waste. [Adding] significant quantities of cups could result in our paper loads being rejected because of increased contamination levels, which ultimately decreases the worth of this recycled material - Toronto's most valuable in terms of total revenue.
If residents are confused, we encourage them to check Waste Wizard at toronto.ca/recycle.
Acting General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services
City of Toronto
Recently, Bombardier Aerospace announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Morocco for the establishment of a manufacturing facility in that country.
They intend to invest $200 million (U.S.) in equipment, buildings and start-up costs over the next eight years. By the end of 2020, 850 workers are expected to be employed at the Morocco facility.
The company anticipates that there will be no impact on its current workforce level at other sites as a result. Support for Bombardier and other domestic aerospace companies by the Canadian taxpayer is well documented.
This financial aid is necessary for Canada's aerospace industry to compete on a level playing field. That said, Bombardier's decision is wrong-headed.
Canada has lost half a million manufacturing jobs in the last five years. The Canadian government has the leverage to tell Bombardier that it must invest domestically.
President CAW Local 112 (Bombardier)
Pink Ribbons, Inc. disappoints
As a breast cancer survivor and a supporter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, I watched with interest the premiere of Pink Ribbons, Inc. at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. It opened in theatres on Friday.
The film, which speaks to the need for inclusivity of perspectives about the cause, misses out on the voice of the thousands of women and men who proudly raise funds for breast cancer research and awareness.
While questioning the motives of the corporations and foundations involved in breast cancer awareness, the filmmakers fail to explore the value derived by members of the breast cancer community from participating in the runs and walks.
The film makes a valid point about the use of the pink ribbon on products. I would like to see corporate partners be more transparent about exactly how much they are giving and who they are giving it to.
My mother and I battled breast cancer literally at the same time in 1992. I survived. Breast cancer killed my mother. When breast cancer knocked on my door again in 2008, I was thankful to have the foundation in my corner.
Carol Ann Cole
Twenty-two years ago, on the night of January 19-20, 1990, Soviet authorities staged the falling empire's last brutal crime against the Azerbaijani people. In the midst of a popular freedom movement in the capital, Baku, 26,000 troops stormed the city overnight, indiscriminately killing unarmed inhabitants. According to the official counts, 137 civilians were killed that night alone (with up to 170 reported dead by February) and 714 wounded. Black January was the turning point. In October 1991, Azerbaijan restored its constitutional independence. I join members of the Azerbaijani Canadian community in remembering the victims and heroes of Black January.
President, Azerbaijani Student Association, U of T