“[This is] obviously a campaign to smear a progressive initiative this government committed to and has followed through on. ”
Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky on leaked letters from Tory-friendly developers thanking the government for Greenbelt favours. Maybe if the Grits hadn't taken $10,000 a pop for private tête-à-têtes they wouldn't be in this mess.
Fight pot laws, not grow ops
The tragic deaths of four Alberta RCMP officers underlines the absurdity and danger of Canadian drug laws. Most Canadians regard marijuana as relatively harmless, and millions are regular users, but pot's illegality makes them "criminals." As in the violent days of Prohibition, when organized crime took over the alcohol trade, people versed in operating outside the law are most likely to manufacture and distribute marijuana. Neighbours are endangered by grow ops' jerry-rigged electrical work and by health risks including mould, while police functions - and dollars - are dangerously diverted to fight a victimless crime. Time to turn the cultivation and retailing of marijuana over to law-abiding citizens - by changing the law.
Dumb and Dundas
If Toronto wants to clean up urban blight, start with Yonge-Dundas Square and leave posterers alone. The ill-conceived public space is again advertising for a general manager, the second time in a year. But it will take more than staff to fix this badly designed good idea. What the bleak space really needs is people, and they won't show if the city keeps charging for its use. Sure, make Richard Branson pay, but let community groups have it gratis - and stop chasing off kids. Maybe then GMs will stick around.
Liczyk's faux-feminist fight
Appalling that during International Women's Week a lawyer for disgraced ex-city treasurer Wanda Liczyk is claiming her public pillorying is an attack on women. As Boeing's CEO is dumped for a fleeting fling with a co-worker, Liczyk's lawyer claims her two-and-a-half-year affair with a supplier was both "brief" and no factor in her decision to give untendered millions to his firm. Like other Lastman-era scoundrels, Liczyk should slink off and not remind us of past indiscretions.
Fantino's security fence
One day on the job and Julian Fantino, Ontario's new emergency services czar, is scooping freebies and burning taxpayer cash. After being handed the political plum to keep him from electorally threatening McGuinty's guys, he didn't wait a day before taking a free trip subsidized by vested interest groups to "study" Israel's border control and police services. Even the paranoid ex-chief can't really believe Ontario's security issues are like those of war-torn Israel. Is he planning a "security fence" around the embattled Jane-Finch 'hood? Fantino should at least feel out his new job before grabbing globe-trotting gimmes.