Casino math adds up to low-paying jobs
The media write a lot about the casino (NOW, April 11-17) but little about the 10,000 supposed full-time union jobs being promised.
Some 90 per cent of the space proposed for this complex would go to hotel, convention and retail - businesses that support mainly part-time lower-paying non-union jobs.
MGM in Nevada might pay over $40K a year to some casino floor staff, but the wages for the rest range from $8 to $15 per hour, and they're mainly part-time.
Considering how hard it is to unionize a workplace in Toronto, I fail to see how the proffered math can work any differently here.
Keeping lefty cyclists happy
Ben Spurr tries to make the argument for taxpayer-funded parking spaces and showers for cyclists by comparing them to bike parking offered by private-sector businesses (NOW, April 11-17).
However, he fails to mention [that those] bike racks and showers were paid for by the companies and not by taxpayers' hard-earned money.
If any of the companies mentioned in Spurr's article were in the same fiscal mess as the city of Toronto, it's guaranteed they would not be wasting a million bucks on bike racks and showers.
As a city, our focus needs to be getting that debt under control, and only then should we worry about wasting money on keeping a couple of hundred lefty cyclists happy.
Fords fail bike parking test
Seventy thousand dollars in potential parking revenue from 24 spots in a 2,087-space garage, versus $220,000 from 380 bike parking spots that are in such high demand downtown that people have to enter a lottery to get a space. The Fords fail at math.
The $600,000 already spent on this required infrastructure will be completely thrown away if cancelled. Once again, the Ford administration's incompetence is putting the city at risk of losing money, the opposite of what he campaigned on.
Tar sands facts, like them or not, Toronto
Saul Chernos's piece on the anti-oil cabal gabfest frankly made me ill (NOW, April 11-17). These sanctimonious environmentalists would be merely irritating if they weren't so dangerous.
The opposition to Alberta crude being pumped eastward through an existing pipeline in Toronto reeks of extreme NIMBYism. Thousands of jobs in Toronto's financial sector are tied to Alberta oil development, so having Alberta's oil moved through Toronto should not be an issue.
Let's face it - the oil industry is dirty, and there will be pipeline spills. Green energy such as wind and solar is very important and should be pursued at all costs, but right now we still need oil and pipelines to market.
The environmental movement sees a chance to ignite a religious crusade against pipelines, regardless of what that does to the thousands of people who are employed directly and indirectly by the oil industry.
Andrew van Velzen
Astral responds to bus shelter ad static
Re your recent article about city staff's recommendation to update advertising on some bus shelters (NOW, April 4-10).
While Astral Media appreciates your interest in the program, I want to clarify a few points.
The first is to make clear that the staff recommendation clearly states that the new technology will not display action, motion, blinking, fading, dissolving, intermittent or flashing light or the illusion of such effects.
We also want to ensure that your readers are aware that the proposed change does not affect all bus shelters. Astral Media and our partners at the city of Toronto will work closely to identify a small number of bus shelters that will receive the screens.
The truth is that advertising, as part of the street furniture program, benefits everyone, including the city, which will receive more than $915 million in value (including rent it receives directly and the building, installation and maintenance of all street furniture) from the program.
Senior Vice President, Real Estate
Porter Airlines: that's some chutzpah
Porter Airlines has bought jets for which the Island Airport runways are too short (NOW, April 10). To lengthen them, they need the permission of several levels of government. Do they think those governments, presented with the jets as a fait accompli, are going to roll over and grant permission? Are they right? That's scary.
And when they finally have to admit that they aren't making money, have never made money and are unlikely to be profitable in the future, will they ask for government bailouts because they are now too big to fail? That's even scarier.
I read Susan G. Cole's article on Margaret Thatcher (NOW, April 11-17) and couldn't help responding. I am afraid Cole's analysis of her has a fundamental flaw. You relate personality traits to ideological policies.
Resolve and assertiveness are personality characteristics that may or may not coincide with ideas that are good or bad for the public. Leaders throughout history exhibited strong leadership skills only to be detrimental to society.
If only we could have both the attributes of a strong personality and vision in our next PM!
NOW welcomes reader mail. Address letters to: NOW, Letters to the Editor, 189 Church, Toronto, ON M5B 1Y7. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and faxes to 416-364-1166. All correspondence must include your name, address and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length.