who: The Tibetan Joint Action Committee where: In front of the Chinese Consulate when: Friday, August 8, 1:30 pm what: Protest, coinciding with day one of the Beijing Olympics, of the killings in Tibet
The art of censorship
Quick, hide your paint brushes and your tongues. Stephen Harper's rampage against all things mildly culturally provocative has now taken the form of $13.7 million cuts to the funding of Canuck artists abroad. The PM's press secretary, Kory Teneycke, who clearly has no idea what country and decade he's living in, slammed the funding of "highly ideological individuals exposing their agendas" (you know, like those flag-burning radical journos Avi Lewis and our very own Gwynne Dyer) "or fringe arts groups that in many cases would be at best unrepresentative and at worst offensive." Sounds like a page out of a poorly written 1984 sequel.
Puff, puff, purr
Who are we to pass on a little midsummer night's haze? Still, we did a double take when we happened across the Toronto Humane Society's site pushing Cat Stoner Day. The tie-dyed online poster, complete with blunt-toking tabbies in handcuffs, bizarrely took a swipe at Tre Smith, the Humane Society inspector who infamously lost his post after cuffing a man who left his dog to roast in a car last summer. We're all in favour of the THS brightening feline lives with a fresh catnip harvest, but we do have to wonder whether anyone else at the THS is dipping into the stash.
Ground zero for blame
If you woke up in the night last weekend thinking that a) an air raid, b) nuclear catastrophe or c) the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse had arrived when the Sunrise Propane facility blew up in the north end of T.O., you can send your post-traumatic stress bill to the province. Not only did it have the power to prevent the highly explosive industry from setting up shop in a residential area, but back in 95 the province actively sided with industry to squash Toronto's right to enact tougher laws than the province's clearly inadequate regs. More proof that "harmonizing" down never brings long-term harmony to those who have to live with the consequences.
One rotten idea
Is City Hall for real? Sending out garbage police to slap container scavengers, mostly poor, marginalized folks, with $360 fines, is just plain moronic. Yeah, we know they may be pilfering a lucrative stash of aluminum cans, but they're also playing a vital enviro role by sifting out and returning liquor bottles the city would otherwise dish out $12.50 a ton to have processed. Think about all those seniors, peeps without cars, Rosedale snobs and just plain lazy people who don't return their empties. Those bottles are happier being washed at The Beer Store than they are at the bottom of a garbage truck, so why don't we just warn against can-swiping?