Some October commentaries

Let’s take back the sidewalks!

A few weeks ago, I was walking along Toronto’s Bloor Street when I met hordes of cyclists all chanting “More bicycle lanes on Toronto streets!”

I hope they win their way I’m all for giving the utmost protection to those who choose to pedal their way along or streets: it’s healthier, and better for the environment and the economy.

However, and this is a Big however. Cyclists must be prepared to give a little — and these aren’t just kids. I’m talking about thousands of cyclists who’re abusing our sidewalks invading them at will, expecting pedestrians to jump out of their way. They refuse to stop at red lights and they hurtle down one way streets in the wrong direction.

It’s all very well to blame the police for not being more vigilant but these road warriors know we just haven’t enough police on the streets

I know it takes time and money to establish the necessary bureaucracy to begin an enforceable bicycle licensing system but no amount of dedicated cycle paths will stop this abuse until we do.

A crime is a crime

I’m disgusted over the reported physical attacks on Asian-Canadian fishermen and the spray painting of homes and vehicles with anti-semitic and anti-homosexual slogans in York Region.

This may sound paradoxical, but I feel it couldn’t have happened in a better place. As might be expected, culturally sensitive Chief Armand LaBarge of the York Regional Police Service has been quick to come up with statements that he considers these to be criminal acts.

Too often when anything like this happens, municipal government representatives from mayors to police chiefs to other solid citizens come out with woolly statements which enjoin us to ”wait and see” whether these are really hate crimes or “isolated” incidents.

Whichever way you look at it an offence of this kind against a single mosque or a single synagogue or a single cemetery or a single man, woman or child is a crime.

One such act isn’t just an isolated incident. It’s the product of a sick mind that if it’s swept under the rug will feed other sick minds that are just waiting to sneak out of the closet and back again before their anonymous acts are given the perpetrator’s name.

Wake up, Canadian retailers!

I must confess that when the Canadian loonie rose above parity with Uncle Sam’s I made a little holiday in my heart. For too long, George W Bush and his gang of tricksters have been leading Americans into an inflated sense of their superiority.

But the higher loonie is bad for our exporters and tourism from the United States and I know it’s bad in that it signifies the beginning of what looks like a economic downtown which will affect us all. So let’s hope for the American people and for us that the worst won’t happen.

And I certainly hope the current flood of Canadians shopping across the border slows down; it’s not good for our own retail industry.

Oh yes, I’ll take some of the blame there too, but I intend to mend my ways.

There are certain steps Canadian businesses must take. If parity or an even higher rate begins to look permanent, Canadian retailers had better attend to competitively pricing what can now be obtained for much less south of the border.

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