Going Too Far

Toronto Community Housing (TCH) has spent more than $18,000 on private investigators in the past two years — and at least some of those tax dollars went towards surveillance of its own employees.

I’ve spent years watching TCHC trying to overcompensate after issues have been brought to the attention of the public eye, and just making a bigger mess out of it.
This surveillance is a perfect example of a corporation still stinging from the results of several investigations into improper spending practices and billing by employees.Rather than put approved practices used by other businesses into place to prevent these issues from happening again, TCHC overreacts and instead uses costly private investigators, and for what exactly?
Now they have to sit there, spending more precious money on lawyers, having to justify the use of these wasteful measures on what ultimately looks to be some minor misdemeanors by some veteran employees.
It would be so nice to see some common sense used by this bloated City of Toronto owned corporation beforehand, rather than after the fact.

Trio of wireless companies exit lobby group, claim big-player bias – The Globe and Mail

Trio of wireless companies exit lobby group, claim big-player bias – The Globe and Mail.

This news comes as no surprise.
I’ve known for years just bad the situation is with the Big Three telecommunications companies, and unless people start standing up to them, it’s just going to get worse. The government either needs to show they’re serious, or should just stop pretending that they’re interested in making transparency and fairness a part of our consumer lives

Ricky Martin Gives a Damn


The Give a Damn Campaign has released a new message, which premiered Monday night on CNN’s Larry King Live during an episode featuring the topic of anti-gay bullying.

In this clip, Ricky Martin joins Elton John, Idina Menzel, Rachael Harris and Wanda Sykes — all speaking out to end these senseless acts of violence and intimidation.

My personal feelings towards M. Martin is that he should have given a damn many moons ago, when his presence was oh so much bigger. Ricky could have and WOULD have made a much more lasting impression using his star influence on this campaign to end bullying.

RE: Anti-Israeli group vows to be at Pride Parade


Christopher King

[1] | Christopher King

The protesters are not "anti-Israeli"!! so would the REAL reporters out there stop slapping that label on them. It’s pathetic!!

This group is NOT opposed to Israel, a label that has been slapped on them by folks to justify the purely political censorship imposed.

These well meaning folk are opposed to what to what they perceive as an apartheid being perpetrated against the Palestinians similar to what transpired in South Africa 20 + years ago, which is not even comparable to them being purportedly anti-Israel.

Just like the people who protested against Guantanamo Bay are not anti-American because they do not believe in torture, etc…

Having a dissenting view should not be censored.

I’m not part of the group. To be honest, I could care less, but allowing the City of Toronto dictate to Pride Toronto of all agencies what is palatable to the public and what is not flies in the face of everything that Pride Toronto was created for.

Pride Toronto generates how many dollars in comparison to the pittance the City donates? Administration should have just "cancelled" the party, stating the reasons why. and then stood back and watched the international fall-out ensue, until City Councilors ran back to them, begging them to reconsider and vowing never to interfere again.

Reply | May 26, 2010 10:31 AM

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David Topping replied to comment from Christopher

You’re very much right (about the "anti-Israeli" label, at least)—I’ve updated the article and appended a correction above.

Reply | May 26, 2010 11:03 AM

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Matthew Harper

Matthew Harper replied to comment from Christopher

Agreed. The best thing that could happen to the majority of Israelis would be an exit from the settlements and a normalization of their relationship with Palestine. It’s hardly anti-Israel to promote what would be in the best long term interests of all of the parties in the region.

Reply | May 26, 2010 11:44 AM

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Colin replied to comment from Matthew

The best thing that could happen to the majority of Isrealis would be if their neighbours stopped trying to exterminate them just because they’re Jewish.

Reply | May 26, 2010 12:37 PM

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rek replied to comment from Colin

Way to dumb it down, Colin.

Reply | May 26, 2010 12:41 PM

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Colin replied to comment from rek

I don’t think it’s dumbing it down at all. People on the left in Canada conveniently ignore that fact that most of the actions Israel takes are done because they are under constant siege and threat from the states around them.

Whether occupying Gaza or the West Bank actually accomplishes this is another story. But the motivation is to protect Israelis from groups who would like to see them obliterated.

Reply | May 26, 2010 1:04 PM

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rek replied to comment from Colin

Of course you dumbed it down, and now you’re being just as selective about which side of the story you want to tell as you accuse "the left in Canada". You’ve taken an extremely messy issue, which goes back generations and centuries, and reduced it to "because they hate Jews", and turned a willfully blind eye to Israel’s share of the antagonism lobed back and forth over the (real and unrealized) borders of the region.

Reply | May 26, 2010 4:28 PM

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Colin replied to comment from rek

No, I admitted that the Israelis may not be innocent in this debacle. But nobody arguing the Palestinian point of view is ever willing to concede their role.

Of course, if I were not holding back I’d argue that the entire thing is the fault of organized religion. Which is the cause of more death than anything else humans have created.

Reply | May 26, 2010 6:36 PM

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[7] | friend68

Tread carefully here… the issue of Israel vs. Palestine is nearly as contentious as bikes vs. cars.

Reply | May 26, 2010 2:43 PM

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Christopher King

[10] | Christopher King

I’m sorry, but why should we tread carefully.
The last time people stayed silent when a people were being oppressed, 6 million people died in Europe during the Nazi era. During Stalins regime, perhaps 20 million died. In Haiti, countless numbers of political dissenters and their families disappeared overnight, and this type of behaviour is still ongoing all over the world every day!
This has nothing to do per se with the issue of Israel VS Palestine. This has to do with good people standing up when they see injustice, and saying enough is enough!!

Reply | May 27, 2010 9:16 AM

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99.3% isn’t enough for you?

I just signed an urgent global petition to urge Berlusconi, Sarkozy and Harper to keep their promises to the poor.

It is vital that we do not let these leaders undermine the world’s anti-poverty efforts. On Thursday, UN poverty expert Jeff Sachs will deliver our global call to the United Nations General Assembly. I thought that you might want to join me in taking action — read the following email to learn more and click the links to join the call! 

plea for the poor link



Dear friends,

World leaders gather this Thursday at the United Nations to renew the fight against extreme poverty. But three countries — France, Canada, and Italy — are threatening to undermine the world’s anti poverty efforts, by slashing their development aid budgets and breaking their international promises.

Sarkozy, Harper, and Berlusconi promised to contribute 0.7% of their national income to fighting poverty — aid money that would save millions of lives, and still leave these donor countries with 99.3% of their money. But apparently, they think 99.3% is not enough.

Our best chance to keep these rich countries to their word on aid delivery is to raise the alarm in New York this week. Sign our petition now, spread it to friends and family — and our friend, world famous economist and top UN official on poverty, Jeffrey Sachs will deliver it in speeches to the assembled heads of state at the UN summit this Thursday. The more names on the petition, the stronger the message that promises on poverty must be kept. Click below to sign now:

Promise Breakers

We know that public outcries like this one can work — because massive people-powered movements have transformed the fight against poverty over the last decade. The Jubilee movement cancelled hundreds of billions in dictator debt in 2000, and pushed world leaders to adopt the Millennium Development Goals to cut world poverty in half by 2015. In 2005, poverty campaigners the world over won commitments from G8 leaders to double aid to Africa. Because of these efforts millions of poverty related deaths have been stopped and millions more children are attending school, sleeping under anti-Malaria bed nets, and drinking clean water. Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have all exceeded the 0.7% target and in this year aid rose in real terms in nine EU countries. If all countries stick to their promises, programmes fighting disease and alleviating extreme poverty could be scaled up across the world.

But this year, some rich-country leaders apparently think that the public no longer cares about poverty. In Canada, which kept 99.7% of its income last year, Stephen Harper seems more interested in winning his election than in upholding Canada’s tradition of moral leadership. France’s Sarkozy, for all of his diplomatic efforts, appears to think that his people don’t care about lives and deaths beyond his borders. And in Italy — already one of the stingiest donors in the world — Berlusconi appears happy to slash crucial funding, even though, as host of next year’s G8 summit, his actions set an example for the other richest countries.

French and Italian Avaaz members are already flooding their governments with thousands of messages about aid. But those of us in the rest of the world can play a crucial role as well–sending Harper, Sarkozy, and Berlusconi a clear signal that we expect them to keep to their word — so please help us raise an outcry that can’t be ignored at the UN summit:


In recent years, millions have been galvanized by a vision: that ours can be the generation that ends extreme poverty. With other crises vying for our attention, the strength of this vision is now being tested. Let’s join together and ensure that leaders keep their promises — so that the promise of human potential in even the poorest communities can be unleashed.

With hope,

Ben, Alice, Ricken, Graziela, Paul, Milena, Iain, Veronique, Brett — the entire Avaaz team

PS: For a report on Avaaz’s campaigning so far, see: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2


Fact sheet on Official Development Assistance from rich countries:

More on the Millennium Development Goals:

Bono and Jeffrey Sachs’ blog on the poverty debate this week in New York:

To learn more about the international campaigning that has moved governments in recent years,

More on concern about France’s meeting 0.7% targets

More on Canada’s backtracking on 0.7% commitment:

To see the 2008 report on governmental aid to Africa

To learn about Jeffrey Sachs’ work on UN Millennium Development Goals

To see examples of how aid is working

28 Once Again, Changes in CHU

Well, my birthday’s Birthday cakecome and gone. I’m still 28 (for the 9th year in a row) and going strong.
I find it ironic that every time I come out to stay with my folks for a bit, to relax, something comes along from back home in Toronto to disturb my peace.
This time round it’s an announcement from Leslie Booth, whom after stalling and blocking my every attempt to find out the results of the bidding war for private contracting firms that manage some of the communities within TCHC, letting us know that at the end of this month, although Greenwin Property Management will still be handling the day to day running of our building, that we will be transferred from out of CHU 25 Davenport-Midtown to CHU 16 St. James Town.
I’m admittedly upset. Who wouldn’t be in the same place? Tenant Representatives are supposed to act as the communication link between TCHC and it’s residents, and we’ve been stonewalled this entire time. We could have been ready for this, set plans into motion to make the transition easier, had answers to the questions that will be demanded of us by the residents we are supposed to be representing.
Instead, poor Michelle and I have a rather large mess to deal with. I’ve done my best so far since I got the news late Friday, emailing E-mailjust about everyone our community has been working over the past couple of years, trying to determine just who will be staying on and what part they will play in this transition.
Now that I’ve finished venting over the past couple of days, I’m trying rather to consider this as an opportunity.
This could be exactly what our community here needs! A chance to start over again fresh, without the general bias that has plagued any of our endeavours due to our being overseen by CHU Housing Manager Leslie Booth and her apathy.
We’ve come a long way so far, as far as I’m concerned, and we haven’t even hit our stride yet.
Watch out CHU 16, here comes 250 Davenport Road, and we have no intention of getting lost in the shuffle.