A giant stuffed polar bear named Vanishing Tundra and a Santa with a lump of coal in his stocking for PM Stephen Harper were among the hundreds who gathered at the Kyoto Now rally at Dundas Square Saturday, December 8.
Organized by Toronto Climate Campaign, a coalition of eco groups, the rally was one of 30 held in Canada and hundreds in more than 50 other countries around the world as government leaders met at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.
Jen Hassum of the Ontario Federation of Students dialled up the PM's office on her cell for the crowd.
Will Harper get the message?
The government has pledged $85.9 million over four years for climate change research.
But Greenpeace executive director Bruce Cox says the feds keep "dragging their feet and pandering to industry" on climate change.
The focus, said NDP leader Jack Layton, should be on reducing greenhouse emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 "just like David Suzuki says we should." All in the crowd agree.
Black and blue
Lord Black's spell over former underling Christie Blatchford knows no bounds. There was the Globe's designated Black suck-up, blah-blah-blahing about how child killers get less jail time than the six and change handed the former Hollinger head this week for defrauding investors. Nuts. The real crime here is that Black can avoid the hoosegow for months while waiting for his appeal to wend its way through the courts -- if he can shut up, that is, and not continue to insult his triers. That may be asking too much of Mr. Big Shot.
Mayor’s cop cut-up will cost us
We're all for keeping the ballooning cop budget in line, but David Miller's crack about T.O. cops not yet being the highest paid in the world -- right in the middle of contract negotiations, no less -- has to rate as a PR blunder. If the mayor's concerned about keeping cop costs in line, the last thing he needs is to get the cop union's back up. Every 1 per cent increase in cops' pay means adding another $10 million to the $840 million the force is already requesting. And you know this crew will want at least the same 3.5 per cent wage hike firefighters got. They're already sticking it to us pretty good, Mr. Mayor.
V is for war resisters
A victory for war resisters? The Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration voted 7-to-4 on December 6 to allow Iraq war objectors and their families to stay in Canada after the Supreme Court rejected their appeal. Canada said no to Bush's war in Iraq, so it makes sense that resisters be allowed to stay, no?
Saving Simcoe House
Nice to know that a little of Leslieville's history will be saved when Simcoe House is converted into townhouses in the coming months. The 1887 edifice was a popular drinking spot and owned by the family of the King of Kensington, Al Waxman, before being sold and converted to a gay leather bar in the late 80s. Folks with plans to build a big-box mall on Toronto Film Studios land across the street may want to take a cue on preservation here.