Letters to the editor: The case against renaming Dundas – NOW Magazine

Plus, calling out white conservative supremacy, falling off the climate cliff in BC and my AstraZeneca catch-22 in reader mail this week


Will cost of renaming Dundas come out of police budget?

Re Toronto Moves To Rename Dundas Street Over Slavery Ties (NOW Online, July 7) How about not renaming Dundas? But white, male politicians will feel good about themselves. And isn’t that what’s really important?

Until recently how many people even knew about Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville? You ever look up at a street sign at Yonge and Dundas, give a thumbs up and a wink and say, “Thanks Henry”? Toronto has some 9,500 streets. Are we now going to investigate every street, road and avenue to make sure they are named after only good people? Who gets to judge? What would the criteria even be?

Just renaming Dundas is an expensive process involving some 730 street signs, two subway stations, three parks, a public library, 625 Bike Share stations, 60 businesses and more, not to mention Dundas Square.

Where do you think that money comes from? The police budget? Puhlease. And what about all the business owners on Dundas? What happens to their investments and all the printed flyers and takeout menus and websites and neon signs and stationery and envelopes and cheques.

Spend the money on education. Start programs on the history of racism. Instead of the sterilized version of Canadian history, let kids know exactly what was done to the Indigenous peoples of Canada and what we still do.

Yes, racism exists. Changing the name of a street ain’t gonna fix it.

Cliff GoldsteinFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

White supremacy plays out in Toronto’s public places

Re Bylaw Officers Racially Profiled Black People In Toronto Parks: Ombudsman (NOW Online, July 9).

It’s regrettable that such flagrant white supremacy still exists in Toronto’s by-law enforcement, policing, and administrative departments. The indignity and sorrow felt by the two women told by the by-law officer that they should “be shot for trespassing” is a level of scum and villainy that warrants criminal prosecution. The two women need to know that they can privately prosecute this person by laying an information against him before a justice of the peace and requesting a peace bond to ensure he never harasses them further. If the JP finds enough to warrant a criminal investigation, the matter will be heard before a Criminal Court Judge who can order the police and Crown to put the individual on trial.

It is not an unfair statement to say that Toronto is a racially segregated city. That racial hatred plays out in our museums, subway stations, art galleries and even classical music halls just as it does in our universities and libraries. There is the perception of some individuals that certain cultural spaces are meant only for white citizens; even outdoor spaces are presumed to be the purview of white people. The City of Toronto must commit to doing better just as our cultural venues must commit to eliminating the racial bias leading to such toxic outbursts.

Christopher MansourToronto

Conrad Black spews hate

Re Of Charlatans, Conrad Black And Canada’s Genocide Denial (NOW Online, July 5).

I am disappointed that your paper would give a platform to Conrad Black who is a convicted criminal, guilty of defrauding his own shareholders. The fact that he is even allowed to spew his radical conservative hate in Canada is a disgrace. Most informed Canadians know that the National Post is no more than a Conservative Party mouthpiece.

After renouncing his Canadian citizenship and ultimately being forced out of the UK in disgrace after being convicted and jailed in the U.S., he managed to ass-kiss Harper to be allowed back into Canada. It’s unbelievable that he is given even a shred of credibility.

George MalcolmFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Time to call out white conservative madness

Re An Open Letter To Canadians On Canada’s Residential Schools Shame (NOW, July 1-7) Excellent article. But why are Canadians so dishonest about what the problem is?

Whether it’s the attacks on Muslim women in Alberta, the terrorist attack on a Muslim family in London, the stealing, abuse and killing of Aboriginal children, protests against BLM and Indigenous activists, the perpetrators are always white conservatives – and often Christians!

Canadians of all races and religions are upset at all these crimes but the perpetrators are always the same. Let’s call them out. As we see churches burn across Canada and blame Indigenous people, let us remember who started this madness.

GS RuddinFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Adamsons Barbecue’s anti-lockdown lawsuit part of personal agenda

Re Adamsons Barbecue’s Anti-Lockdown Lawsuit Turns Out To Be More Sizzle Than Steak (NOW Online, July 2).

Adam Skelly has no respect for the law, or any authority other than his own. Why he has not been shut down solely on the fact that he has operated several businesses without a license astounds me. I guess he sees any kind of infringement on his own personal agenda as unconstitutional. He should face the full force of the law.

Patrick DaltonFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

COVID’s cruel cycle just beginning for poor countries

Several years ago, before the pandemic, I travelled to Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, and something I was told has never quite left my mind: be careful not to get hurt here because the hospitals are not as good as in Canada.

It is terrible that people in low-income countries all around the world have to face health issues because of inadequate facilities, but COVID-19 is not only harmful to health but to the economy, creating a cruel cycle.

Beyond the deficiency in intensive care for COVID-19 patients, the vaccine rollout in low-income countries means COVID-19 is far from over. In Africa, less than 2 per cent of the population has received a first dose, a dramatic gap between our high-income countries.

As Canada begins to give out second doses, we need to start thinking about how we are going to achieve worldwide vaccination to open borders, travel freely and trade safely.

Sajjad JessaToronto

Stuck in AstraZeneca catch-22

I now live in St. Catharines. Here, I was unable to get an AstraZeneca first dose, because they ran out before I could get an appointment. I had a reaction to the stuff that you drink before a colonoscopy, so I can’t take Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. I was told by a pharmacist that I could actually die if I got one of those. I have phoned everywhere that I could think of – Niagara Health, my local MPP, various walk-in clinics about how there is now no way to get a first dose of AstraZeneca. Nobody has been able to help me to get a vaccination, and it looks like Johnson & Johnson will never get accepted by any province. To make it all more painful was the response that I got from Doug Ford’s office. They bragged about how well they had done vaccinating everyone else.

Penel SmithFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

Falling off the climate cliff

The climate cliff is now in full view. The heatwave in BC shows us the cliff we are driving off at full speed.

The COVID crisis has elicited the correct government response, with income support and vaccine provision. Meanwhile, the climate crisis is almost devoid of appropriate action. In BC, 700 died from the climate crisis heat wave.

There is a disconnect between consequences and action. Instead of wasting $16 billion on the Trans Mountain pipeline, we should invest in things we actually need, like clean energy and affordable housing.

Bruce HansonFrom NOWTORONTO.COM

@nowtoronto