Heritage hit and run
The old Dominion grocery store in Parkway Mall, deep in the heart of Scarberia, promised "a world of free parking" when it opened to the car-loving masses at Ellesmere and Vic Park in the late 50s. Now it's being recommended for historical designation by the unlikeliest of preservationists, developer-friendly local councillor Michael Thompson. The rare example of modernist architecture - the arched roof was the largest built in Canada at the time - was the first shopping centre commissioned by the Bronfman family. The hidden curve in this story: the owner, Credit Suisse, is floating condo plans for the site - 2,200 units, to be exact, that'll put a roadway right where the store now stands.
Do these signs equating the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza to the Nazi Holocaust amount to inciting hatred? The Canadian Jewish Congress thinks so and has called on police to investigate the laying of charges against these Toronto protesters and others at anti-Israel demos across the country last week. Go to nowtoronto.com/news to tell us what you think.
Number of bird strikes at the Island Airport last year. Something to ponder, says a presser from CommunityAIR, after a run-in with geese sent a U.S. Airways jet crash-landing into the Hudson River last week.
ON THE RECORD
Israeli peace activist and Nobel nominee Jeff Halper, in Toronto at the Winchevsky Centre tonight (Thursday, January 22) and at Bloor Street United Church Friday, tears a strip off the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza.
On Israel's rationale
There wasn't any. It was just revenge. The message for the Palestinians is, "We're going to pacify you."
On the hope for peace now that Obama's president
Same old same old. First of all, you have Hillary Clinton (appointed secretary of state), who's already announced she's not going to talk to Hamas. Then Dennis Ross, who's been working for a Jewish right-wing think tank all these years, is appointed to be the Middle East envoy. If the U.S. wants to get out of Iraq, it has to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
On what Canadians can do
This is the first country Obama's coming to. It would be a perfect time to raise human rights. I think this would send a very strong message. It could set off a kind of dynamic, not of criticism of American policy but of saying to American policy-makers that you can't impose, you've got to bring Palestinians into the peace process genuinely.
On his refusal to bear arms or serve in the Occupied Territories during compulsory military service in Israel
I came out of the anti-war movement in the States. I knew Palestinians, and I knew they weren't my enemies. I was able to get away with it. In those days, there's wasn't a movement of conscientious objectors; I was one weird guy. But my three kids all went to jail (three months each) for refusing.
On the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza
On whether there's more hope for peace now that Obama's president
On what Canadians can do
On his refusal to bear arms or serve in the occupied territories during his compulsory miitary service in Israel
THE BIG IDEA
Poverty activists are calling it a miracle that warming centres were actually open when a faulty sprinkler system cut power to a huge swath of homes in the west end last week and sent thousands scurrying for cover from the cold. The centres are usually closed to the homeless during the day, unless there happens to be an extreme weather alert. Talk about lights out.Time to flip the switch on this dim policy.
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