Why Toronto needs to support arts and culture more than ever

Plus, notions of white privilege, towards a not-so-perfect future without police and banning air conditioners in Letters To The Editor



Toronto needs the arts more than ever 

I read some disturbing news about the future of NOW Magazine (NOW Online, June 11).  I have been reading NOW since I moved to Toronto 7 years ago, the main reason being the venues and culture pages. NOW is the must-read magazine during Fringe. I used to take the screening times page and keep it in my pocket to go see movies and I love your team of journalists who are doing amazing work.

If you were to scrap movies, theatre and others arts coverage, I will not be a reader anymore. I believe that you will be on the wrong side of history. 

We need a magazine that supports arts more than ever. NOW Magazine is one of the rare outlets that highlight local artists. We need it. I hope you will make sure that NOW Magazine’s legacy keeps thriving.

Florian François

Toronto

Let the music play

I’m sure you have heard an earful about why arts coverage is so important in NOW but wanted to share my perspective as a musician with a strong personal connection to the paper. 

My dad Michael (Mike) Smith was the city hall correspondent for NOW for several years. It’s one of my bucket list items to make it onto the cover. 

As a young person who has grown up in this city, NOW has been a part of my life forever and although things change, the paper’s commitment to covering politics and the arts in a thoughtful and thorough way feels important to maintain. 

Please keep covering small local bands and the awesome music scene that is emerging in Toronto. Moscow Apartment was so honoured to be included twice in your list of bands to watch.  

NOW just feels as much a part of my Toronto as the ROM or AGO or High Park (or listening to Metro Morning). 

Brighid Fry

Toronto

Towards a not-so-perfect future 

You published a cartoon entitled Towards A Future Perfect that proposes that the city end real estate projects, provide a roof over everyone’s head, reinvest in health, and defund the police department (NOW, June 4-10). You forgot to mention defunding the fire department as well.

So where is the money going to come from for the housing and health initiatives? It won’t be from real estate taxes. I guess it could come from the police budget. But did you know that in 2019 the Toronto Police Service responded to about 1.4 million emergencies? The Toronto Fire Department responded to about 300,000 emergencies in 2018. What’s going to happen when there is an emergency but not enough police to do anything?

Back to taxes. I know, let’s just raise taxes on those who own houses. They’re fat cats! Or we could raise the PST. What about road fees to enter Toronto? Higher taxes on cigs and booze and pot perhaps. To be honest I do like the housing and health initiatives. But the police cruiser on fire… not so much.

Don Cooper

From nowtoronto.com

G20 lessons on police budgets

When the G20 met in Toronto, the police “kettled” hundreds of people, in the pouring rain, and took them off to detention facilities specially constructed for the purpose. Some of those arrested weren’t protesters, but just passing by on their way home.

A friend of mine was one of the people planning protests. A nice man called Kevin came to their meetings. He took minutes and brought doughnuts. Then one day, they saw him getting into a police car. He was an undercover cop.

I heard from a member of the Raging Grannies that the same thing happened to them. If the police have the resources to send an undercover cop to spy on the Raging Grannies, they have too much money.

Elizabeth Block   

Toronto

Of class privilege

I disagree with the assertion by letter writer Christopher Mansour that “the notion of white – any privilege – turns us all into monsters and breeds antagonism and violence.” (NOW, June 4-10). 

When I was in high school in Toronto I had many classmates who came from middle-class privilege. Although it often affected their perspective, it did not turn them into monsters.

Class privilege is one of the most consequential forms of privilege and we should not overlook it.

Bruce Couchman

Ottawa

TCHC’s AC controversy offers cold comfort

TCHC as a landlord has the right to ban window-mounted ACs – barring certain disability exemptions – in its units (NOW, June 11-17). More importantly, it is under a moral and ethical obligation to do so. 

In 2007 TCHC commissioned a study on ACs from Finn Projects (Synchronicity Projects, Inc.) It concluded that most window ACs were not properly installed or maintained. This leads to huge wastes of energy (dirty condenser coils consume extra power). In addition, this was a significant safety hazard as units can fall off window sills.

The tragic loss of a young child’s life finally goaded the TCHC into executing some of the recommendations of the 2007 Finn Projects report. I believe that every tenant has a right to comfort in their premises. But this cannot come at the expense of the suffering and death of other members of our community.

Moses Shuldiner.

Toronto

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