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No more Czars or Komissarz (sic)

5 Apr

Backround:
Karen Stinz is a councillor in Toronto’s city hall. She is one of many people running for mayor against the current mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. If you do not know who Rob Ford, is consider yourself lucky. And blessed.
Ms Stinz made a speech today outlining her proposals to ease traffic in Toronto. I was driving at the time and got a bit upset.

Dear Karen,
Congratulations on deciding to run for mayor. You seem like a breath of fresh air and you are on my short list of candidates to support.
I listened and read the reports of your plan to tackle Toronto’s gridlock and transportation needs and was bemused.
A transport czar?
Really?
Every time a “Czar” is appointed it leads failed results and an unwieldy bureaucracy.
Look at the how effective the US “drug czar” has been.
The title “Czar” is a Russian one, and these despots were only good for invading other lands, repressing their own people, and corruption. Hardly a designation you want to give to a someone.
Perhaps your policy needs a bit of
Sincerely,
Nestor Gula

Boycott Russian Booze

2 Apr

Dear Mr. Holyday,
I am writing to you as a constituent of Etobicoke-Lakeshore to ask you to support Ms. DiNovo’s Private Member’s Bill calling for the LCBO to boycott Russian vodka.
This is not an anti-Russian action as it is a pro-democracy, pro-human rights issue.
Businesses in the Russian Federation are inextricably linked together and the makers and the exporters of Russian vodka must support Putin’s actions.
You, no doubt, know of Putin’s actions in Crimea and now is threatening a full scale invasion of Ukraine.
His aggression is not limited to former nations occupied by the Soviet Union, but has already been exposed by his past maneuvеrs in the Arctic.
While this boycott might not in itself compel him to stop his aggressive behaviour, the LCBO is one of the largest buyers of alcohol in the world and it will have a serious impact in some pocketbooks and symbolically. The trade sanctions enacted by the Canadian federal government, the EU and the USA is a good step and we all must do our part to ensure that no money goes to Putin’s war coffers.
I believe it is for this issue that all parties can put their differences aside and support this motion to ban the sale of Russian vodka until Crimea is returned to Ukraine and democracy and human rights take hold in the Russian Federation.
Thank you,
Nestor Gula

Letter: Stopping Billy Bishop

26 Mar

Background:

Toronto has a nice little airport on its waterfront. The airport is on an Island. I like the airport. It used to serve private airplanes but a few years back an airline, Porter Air, started flying larger propeller craft from the airport. There was a controversy many years ago about building a bridge to the island to serve the increased traffic to the island airport. The airport is served by a small ferry. The citizens voted for the mayor who opposed the bridge and it has been pretty calm since then.
Recently the airline has wanted to expand its service and use jets. For this They would need to extend the airstrip into the lake and have much more infrastructure.
There is a vote on this in Toronto City Council coming up and I am writing to my councilor, Peter Milczyn.


Dear Councillor Milczyn,

I am writing to you in the hope that you will not support any expansion of service at the Island Airport – Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ).
I’ve been searching through the internet and I have been unable to see any categorical statements that you have made, either for or against. You have criticized Porter’s plan saying, “It is no plan,” and I applaud you for that.
But I would like you to come out and definitely state that you are against airport expansion.
There are many reasons to be against this expansion but one of the best is that there is no easy access to the airport, either by public transport or by car. The intersection, Bathurst and Lakeshore, is a monumental mess as it is. I drive by there on occasion and always curse myself for forgetting what a vile pit of confusion it is. The only upside is seeing people abandon their stuck cabs and hoof it through traffic with their suitcases in tow to desperately try to make it on time for the flight. Perhaps the airport might make sense if there was a direct exit from the Gardiner Expressway. (Yea, that will never happen.)
Porter’s plans, for their expanded service, includes flights to Florida, the West coasts and many other points. We do not need to turn, what was a nice urban airport, into a minor International Airport.
Please come out strongly opposing any expansion of Billy Bishop airport.
Thank you,
Nestor Gula