Wal-Mart has done more to help low-income families than most social programs.
The knock on sharing
With some bubbly cider on hand, bike types christened the newest addition to the up-again, down-again Toronto Bike Plan – “sharrows” on Hallam between Dufferin and Ossington. Not to be confused with bike lanes that clearly separate riders from car traffic, sharrows are “shared” by both bikes and cars. More are planned for Lappin Avenue. But coming just a couple of days after a cyclist was door-?prized and run over by a truck on Eglinton West, these sharrows seem barely worth celebrating, a marked giveaway of precious ground in the ongoing road war. On the street, when push comes to “get out of the fuckin’ way,” we’re pretty sure who’ll win the battle.
PM’s thin disguise
The guy who runs the PMO like the Reichstag (aka Stephen Harper) has hired the geek (aka Guy Giorno) who not so long ago sold Attila and the Common Sense Devolution to the Ontario hordes to be his chief of staff – and the Ottawa press corp thinks the move foretells a more open approach by the PM to PR? What Kool-?Aid bowl is this mob slurping from? The PM has just recruited the nastiest political operator in the game. The gloves are off. Harp’s not the type to back down when pushed into a corner. He’d rather tear his balls off and eat them. It may be the flaw that ultimately undoes him.
Making sushi of your A/C
The Clean Air Foundation kicked off its annual turn-?in-?your-?A/C-?and-?get-?$25-?back-?on a-?new-?energy-?efficient-unit-?at-?Home-Depot event at Dundas Square Tuesday. OCAD students turned a few of the rusted heaps into sushi art for the event. But Ontarians seem to be cooling to the program. Last year, 8,000 junkers were turned in, compared to 15,000 the year before. Like so many rebate programs, the payout is only available to those who can drop $400 on an Energy Star-?rated unit. For most, the CO2-?spewing $99 special from the hardware is the only alternative.
Tobacco ban puffs on
A provision of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act banning displays of tobacco products – those so-?called “power walls” that dominate convenience store checkout counters – takes effect Saturday. Eerily, tobacco company execs, who’ve huffed and puffed their way all the way to the Supreme Court fighting ad bans on smokes, have been strangely silent. It may not be long before this ends up in court, too. In Ontario, 12,000 people die each year from smoking – that’s 82 per cent of the province’s drug-?related deaths and more than four times the number caused by alcohol and all street drugs combined. That’s something the court may want to consider.