Toronto's mayor Rob Ford hasn't done much for cyclists but that shouldn't stop cyclists from lending the beleaguered mayor a helping hand. Ford's campaign to reduce traffic congestion by taking on cyclists and eliminating transit projects hasn't had any success so a few new ideas -- and a bit of old fashioned ingenuity -- should be welcome. For a start, cyclists can point the mayor in the right direction in dealing with the large, traffic-blocking, cube vans used by major courier companies.
The status of the authors of this article and the others from the Tahrir and the Saoirse is currently unknown. There has been no contact since they were taken into custody by the Israeli navy early Friday. A Vancouver-based colleague of the crew was told "your delegates are being interrogated" by a conservative Israeli journalist, with no further explanation offered.
A few months ago, the Greek government acted at the behest of Israel to help enforce its illegal and unjust blockade of Gaza. Freedom Flotilla II was blocked, and the closure of Gaza was extended all the way to the shores of Europe.
It's not every day that on Parliament Hill you'll hear four people making a genuine attempt to engage with Canadians rather than dubious pitches for our votes.
Tuesday's events were different, largely because the usual suspects had left the building for another electoral traipse, leaving behind a little space for other voices to be heard. The four that spoke up, on behalf of over 200 organizations representing tens of thousands of members across Canada, had one idea.
And they weren't talking about the limited notion of returning to the ballot box now and again. They were talking about the process by which empowered citizens engage in an ongoing dialogue about what's really best for our country.
The need for change in Ottawa is urgent. Our federal government is dividing us, damaging our democracy, and failing to address the major challenges that face our country.
Whether we're talking about the lack of action for our environment, the unequal economic recovery, or the erosion of democratic values, this government is either failing to take action on the issues that matter to a majority of Canadians, or it is acting against our values. And all of this is occurring as the need for profound change rises in the face of the interlocking crises that define this young century.
Open Letter for a "NEW" Democratic Socialist Party
Sisters and Brothers,
In his Oct. 9th, 2010 column, titled "The NDP: Not your father's socialism," John Ivison of The National Post wrote about the NDP's "metamorphosis of an old 20th-century socialist party into a vibrant 21st-century social democratic party." What exactly a "21-st century social democratic party" looks like is hard to discern though a few clues were provided by Ivison in a lower paragraph in the story:
When I was a toddler I recall my parents discussing something called the Waffle. It caught my interest not just because I was raised in a politically charged environment but because it was my favourite breakfast food.
Back then towering intellects of the left tired with the direction of the NDP took it upon themselves to write a manifesto. When I heard that the Waffle was a manifesto I quickly lost interest, but for those who cared it was an attempt to write out the aims of the NDP as a socialist party.
Municipal elections in Toronto are upon us next week. Municipal decisions shape our everyday lives, from the quality of our public services to the health of our environment, yet voting turnout hovers at around 40 per cent. Your involvement during the final few days of the election is critical to shaping the outcome.
Here are five strategic ways you can take action.
Make up your mind
You get to vote for four positions this October: Toronto school board trustee, Catholic school board trustee, mayor, and city councillor. The city's election website lists all candidates by ward. Check it out by clicking here.
A new political party, which won office in Montréal's Plateau Mont-Royal borough last November, has begun to widen sidewalks, add bike paths and close some streets to traffic.
By doing so, critics have accused them of engaging in class warfare.
In a much discussed La Presse opinion piece, Luc Chartrand denigrated the "supposedly enlightened urban planning" measures as "nothing but a strategy by the wealthy to grab territory in a centrally located district... to the detriment of the general interest of the City."
This is just one more example of the Big Lie. Call black white, say war is peace, claim the media is leftwing and argue urban space dominated by cars is good for poor and working-class people.
This week provincial and territorial premiers will meet in Winnipeg for the annual Council of the Federation meetings. With the federal government refusing to take any meaningful action on climate change, provinces and territories have the opportunity to pick up the slack and lead.
Here we try to clear up a few questions that premiers might be asking themselves regarding climate change action going into these meetings.
Is this really urgent?
- "Those not busy being born are busy dying" Bobby Dylan
On the weekend of June 26th, Toronto underwent a transformation. A new generation of activists were politicized, and in many cases radicalized. Also, a new generation of journalists were born, products of a long-awaited fusion of traditional and new media. For me, it was a return to days of old, going back a decade to when I was young and radical.