“I kind of feel offended that anybody would feel I am in any way a homophobe.”
Retiring Chief Justice Roy McMurtry, attorney general during the 80s bathhhouse raids, pleads his case 40 years later.
Photo By Susan King
Faulty towers’ fatal light
Buildings guilty of sending our feathered creatures to bird heaven might soon get marked for it. But following the deadliest year yet for bird-building collisions (5,400 in 2006), Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) director Michael Mesure says stronger measures are needed, like a light pollution bylaw and changes to the building code. "The city really needs to step up to the plate," he says, since building owners, for aesthetic and financial reasons, have been slow to adopt suggested practices such as treating existing glass with a less reflective coating. The TD Tower on Wellington has historically been the worst culprit, but now Mesure says the suburbs are doing their bit, with glass giants like the Consilium Place towers at McCowan and 401 (1,500 birds killed per year) topping the list.
Photo By Mark Daye
Homeless signs hit a nerve
For street nurse Cathy Crowe, there's a maddening irony in the city's lightning-quick removal of official-looking signs calling on passersby to, among other things, "Please keep our streets clean, over 818 people have to sleep on them." To Crowe, "it's very representative of what the city does with people who are sleeping outside now." The signs are the work of OCAD student Mark Daye, who says, "The messages were about extending courtesy to everyone and humanizing the homeless as people who share the city with us. The homeless are easily ignored by passersby," he explains. Bylaw officials last week removed "a few dozen" signs affixed to posts. "You can't put signs on poles without authorization or a permit," says city spokesperson Brad Ross. Media companies put up billboards illegally all the time without city officials batting an eye.