Rob Ford looks bored
I had a co-worker once who was kind of a scummy guy. No real nerve or backbone. I mean, he was boisterous, but there wasn't any meat to him. He was disliked.
Thing is, the guy got bored of the position. He didn't show up for shifts and blamed everyone for his messes. The worst of it came when he claimed one of our female staffers had challenged him to a fist fight and he started screaming for her to be fired on the spot. Thing was, she worked four floors above him.
When I think back to that situation and replace my former co-worker with Rob Ford, it feels like the exact situation the mayor finds himself, to the letter.
Mayor setting off alarm bells
Re Fire Alarm (NOW, September 13-19). Rob Ford has asked for efficiencies from all city departments.
Toronto Fire Services has asked for an increase of about 130 firefighters to complement its current staff of 3,176. The police have asked for an increase of about 234 officers in their current staff of 5,600.
And Toronto Ambulance has asked for an increase of 200 staffers to add to its 851.
These are greatly needed increases to deal with ever-increasing call volumes.
During Rob Ford's mayoral campaign, he wanted to make paramedics essential. Now that he's mayor, he is cutting the very service he deemed essential.
Why is he playing with people's lives?
Following the money on organics
Organic Field Day (NOW, September 13-19) by Wayne Roberts is all very well, but the purpose of the Stanford study he refers to isn't to establish whether organics are higher or lower in nutrients, a claim never made by those of us who support the organic food movement.
We buy organic because it's free of pesticides and genetically modified organisms and mitigates the environmental harm done by agri-business.
This flawed "study" is supported by agri-business giant Cargill, which gave a $5 million grant to Stanford University for the creation of a Centre on Food Security and the Environment.
Why am I not surprised?
Alexander the excellent
Excellent interview by Norman Wilner with the Sudan-born, English-raised Alexander Siddig (NOW Daily, September 13). But what does Siddig think of the recent developments in Sudan, I wonder?
Emily Rose Shelley
More ink for dinosaur Dylan
In response to letter writer Hank Edison, I would say that Benjamin Boles's review of the new Bob Dylan CD (NOW, September 6-12) was too generous.
As Dylan warbles his fossilizing remains deeper into the mud, I am surprised that NOW would even give that already dead dinosaur any ink at all.
Sunday shopping choices
Re City Selling Us Out On Sunday Shopping (NOW, September 13-19). I wonder if Lynne Boccaccio has ever stopped to think about the waitress, the bartender, the taxi driver, the movie theatre worker, the festival worker, the amusement park worker, the garden centre worker, the hotel worker, the Toronto Island ferry operator, the gas station attendant, the ice cream vendor and everybody else who works in so-called "essential services" so she can enjoy her long weekend.
Those who freely decide to work should be entitled to that choice. The trade union movement fought hard to earn wage premiums on stat holidays.
Businesses in every other sector are entitled to open their doors provided they pay time and a half and that they respect the fact that workers are legally entitled to refuse work shifts (without providing a reason) on any and all stat holidays if they so choose.
Kim Rivera's right to resist
Kim Rivera, the mother of four who is threatened with deportation, is a conscientious objector under international law.
Last spring, the Canadian Council of Churches released a letter sent to Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney asking that U.S. war resisters be allowed to stay in Canada.
This was followed last week by another letter from the Canadian Friends Service Committee, the United Church of Canada and the Mennonite Central Committee Canada.
It is time to stop denying the truth. The war resisters are heroes, not criminals, and must be allowed to make their lives here in Canada.
Respect for library users, not abusers
Robert Priest's Are Libraries Throwing The Book At Us? (NOW, September 6-12) was a real eye-roller.
I for one am grateful for libraries and show respect for my fellow citizens and library users by returning books on time.
Everyone knows that fines unpaid grow. If you use libraries in a spirit of community and show consideration for the system and its users, you will have no problems.
As usual with this sort of thing, the fact that it has generated letters to the editor is motivation enough for NOW to have printed it.
But a reasonable article would have bemoaned the library system's need to use a collection agency at all. If it helps libraries and protects them and people like me from abusers, then I am all for it.