Mohammad Mahjoub fair game
Thanks for your coverage of Mohammad Mahjoub's ongoing ordeal (NOW, December 6-12). In addition to the problem of using information gleaned from torture, folks like Mahjoub face the lowest standard of proof of any court in Canada, and the threat of deportation to torture.
It is worth pointing out that your use of the term "evidence" against him is inaccurate, since under a security certificate a judge may admit into the case anything he deems relevant, even if, according to the legislation, "it is inadmissible in a court of law." Hearsay, guilt by alleged association and unsubstantiated allegations about one's thoughts and political beliefs are considered fair game.
When I started the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada in August 2001, I could not have envisioned still working on this issue almost a dozen years later, but here we are.
Good news, though: all five facing secret trials in Canada are still here; two of the cases have been dropped. Significantly, CSIS hasn't issued a new certificate in more than six years, a tribute to grassroots efforts to expose and condemn this medieval practice.
Grassy Narrows smoke signals
I was sure your picture for Grassy Narrows Remembered (NOW, December 6-12) was actually a stack of giant cigarettes, not logs. Is that not an Indian reserve specialty along with gangster millionaires? Just asking.
New subway's biggest bug: wheelchair access
I just read your article about the TTC subway train door glitches delaying commute times (NOW, December 7). You neglected to mention the problem of the car floor height compared to platform height.
Take a look next time you're on the TTC. On average, the cars are several inches higher.
People using wheelchairs, pushing strollers, using walkers, etc, are getting stuck in the gap. The TTC knows. I wrote a letter to them last year, and they said they were working on it.
Yeah, I know how quickly they work.
Short shrift for the Who
At any blush, two original members of the Who still calling themselves the Who is wrong (NOW, November 24). Could you imagine Led Zeppelin doing that?
Part of the Who's magic is that Pete Townshend could never possibly be the "coolest man alive." He's got far too many issues for that. That's why he's so special. He doesn't mind saying dumb stuff in the search for essential truths. Don't you get that?
I feel a little bad for picking on you, but you made the mistake of writing a woefully inept review (way too short, like all NOW music articles) on one of my favourite groups.
The Who are unique in rock. They need to be handled carefully.
I find it amazing that NOW missed a very obvious candidate in its Betting Line (NOW, December 6-12) on possible mayoral challengers: Sarah Thomson.
Thomson rose to third in the polls during the 2010 election, but had to drop out for lack of funds.
However, she has been working for the past two years to build her support, getting pledges all over the city.
She's the key driver behind the Downtown Relief Subway line and pushed Metrolinx regional transit to announce last week that the DRL is in its next phase of development.
She is chair of the Transit Alliance and has obviously worked very hard to move Toronto forward despite the lack of leadership at City Hall. My money is on her, and I think she may just run up the middle.
Council overhaul no protection against power abuses
While I agree with Adam Giambrone that there could be some improvements and refinements to municipal powers (NOW, December 6-12), I don't think there should be a complete overhaul.
Giambrone's article assumes that municipal councils are progressive, looking out for the best interests of their citizens environmentally, socially and economically.
I agree that more progressive municipal councils might not abuse these powers, but, sadly, many would.
As for modifications to the Building Code, sure, there's room for improvement, but these need to be balanced with economic, social and environmental objectives at the provincial level to ensure that the general public and the construction industry can adapt.
No tolerance for Rob Ford
Here's an idea that might help create an atmosphere where the mayor doesn't suck (NOW, December 6-12).
Maybe, just maybe, alternative media like NOW could try being tolerant. Imagine if another paper made fun of a public figure the way NOW made fun of Ford. Seriously.
How about a picture of Michael Hollett on the front page of the Sun with a big red X through his face?
The people behind NOW are the most pretentious on earth. When a voice like Ford's comes along, there is no tolerance.
I take public transit. I believe in user fees. I support gay rights and legalizing dope. I also know we are broke. I'm sick of the joke at City Hall. Taxes kill jobs.
Council the problem, not Mayor Ford
Wow, great new issue. Amazingly balanced, unbiased journalism. You really make your agenda transparent with your constant Ford-bashing.
The real poison in this city is council itself, not the mayor. When you have a group like city council and you take their money and expense accounts away, they get very angry. The current result was inevitable.
Where will NOW be when council is finally rid of Ford and they decide to give themselves a 30 per cent raise? Fuck you, NOW.