star says mel's no puppet
Following NOW's analysis last week of the secretive redevelopment deal for Union Station that was won by friends of Mayor Mel's, Toronto Star city columnist Royson James dismissed suggestions that the fix was in and noted that staff reports clearly say the winning firm won on all six criteria, except heritage. Call us muckrakers, but given the deals the mayor and senior staff have done over the past two terms of council -- TEDCO, MFP, Michael Saunders, et al. and the Kirkland Lake dump (before it was trashed by council) come to mind immediately -- we believe any backroom deal at City Hall these days deserves to be greeted with a heaping plate of skepticism.
talk about the weather While the Globe and Mail didn't even believe in global warming a decade ago, this Tuesday's paper read like it was the end of the world. Consider the headlines:
Our water is at risk, climate study finds (A1), Lean, mean growing machine under siege (A3), New battles loom over Russia's great lake (A12), Deadly floods, torrential rain lash Europe (A12), Massive pollution cloud threatens Asia, UN says (A12).
teachers' pet peeve
The hard-nosed forensic accountant the provincial Tories have hired to investigate the Toronto District School Board budget seems to have a thing for conservatives. Although Al Rosen is reportedly not politically affiliated, he was hired by the Canadian Alliance nearly two years ago to probe Prime Minister Jean Chretien's personal business dealings. Considering that for years Rosen has been an outspoken critic of the accounting world's sacrosanct (and now discredited) Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and that he pulls no punches when it comes to taking corporations to task over their questionable number-crunching, we urge him to come over from the dark side.
B'nai Brith is up in arms over a campus calender at U of T "dedicated to the memory of the innocents, Afghanistan and Palestine, murdered."
The dedication was made in the Anti-Calendar, an offbeat directory for students. BB says it's spiteful to Jewish students. The anti-editor says that's not what was intended. We're usually the first to call BB on their overcharged rhetoric, but in this case not including the victims of suicide bombers in Israel was just asking for trouble.
coolest head of the week
Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham takes it for being one of the few voices not prepared to give military carte blanche to the U.S. Instead, he'd put the fate of Iraq in the hands of the UN. The U.S. is itching to go to war. They charge -- though none of their multi-billion-dollar spy equipment has been able to confirm it -- that Saddam Hussein is hiding weapons of mass destruction. Whatever happens next should be decided by the UN, not Uncle Sam.