After serving nine years as Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty has stunned the country by announcing his intention to step down as Liberal leader. Regardless of one's opinion of the man, he has arguably had a bigger impact on the province than many of his predecessors. There may be much to criticize in his record, but there is also much to laud. Now is a good time to evaluate some of his bigger legislative initiatives -- good and bad.
Recently, my partner and I feared becoming "that family" on a flight from Toronto to Glasgow, Scotland. Our particular infant, born three-and-a-half months ago, has a killer set of pipes on him. I am certain that up against him most anthem rockers would scurry away like scared little country mice. We survived the worst of it and with these helpful tips you can, too.
Uprooted from their lives, sometimes in a violent manner, many refugees find themselves in alien lands with little or no knowledge of the local language or culture and (generally) without friends or family to help a lending hand. Most western governments refer to refugees as "clients" or "customers" when processing their applications. There's little or no recognition of the person behind the paperwork. That's where Canada's Romero House comes in.
So there I am in my last column agonizing over whether Canada should ban that obscene and hateful Internet video called Innocence of Muslims, when it occurs to me that it might be a really good idea to come up with an example of freedom of speech in action. Something easily understandable. Something vivid. Something gutsy.
I think the Seattle Sounders -- the super successful soccer club -- is on to something. The Sounders have decided to not only listen to their fans, but to take it one step farther and allow their faithful flock to decide the fate of the club's General Manager, Adrian Hanauer, via a vote. I know what you're thinking: how on Earth did they conjure up this cockamamie scheme?
Toronto's own Jamil Jivani will soon return home as a newly minted Yale Law School graduate. For the nearly 25 year old law student, who is a self-described citizen committed to the "principles of change, hope and progress" -- it has been quite a ride. For him, even a gig as an intern at one of the most exclusive law firms New York was not enough to convince him to stay in the United States.
The subject matter and plot of Innocence of Muslims are an abomination, deeply offensive to people who really, really don't need to be offended any more, particularly during this delicate time in their history. But I believe absolutely in my right to be offended. Which is the reason I simply can't propose that we lessen our democracies by banning any writings and films offensive to Muslims or any other religious folk.
Earlier today, Toronto City Councillor Georgio Mammoliti caused a stir when he discounted an independent report by Toronto's esteemed Ombudsman, Fiona Crean. In her report, she found that the appointments to city agencies and boards had been "compromised" by political influence. As a public servant, Mammoliti has advocated ideas that are disturbing at best. In a heated exchange, Councillor Perks spoke for all of us when he told Coun. Mammoliti, "Shame on you -- get out of this chamber" and called him a "bully."
Diana Alli is one of the many distinguished Canadians being honoured with the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal this year. She shares her unique experience as an immigrant and shares the many volunteer work she is pursing now that she has retired from the University of Toronto after four decades.
As reported earlier this week, the fine folks running The Toronto District School Board have been up to a few things which have led me to conclude that they do, in fact, hate kids, or at the very least have some bad ideas on what to do with them. First on the docket was this little number. Now in the perfect world, an all gay school, or one that allows the "free expression of homosexuality" would be awesome, a big step forward as they say. But here's the problem with it. It is, for all intents and purposes, segregation. Removing a visible minority from the public high schools, and placing them in their very own school. Sounds good, but isn't that what they did in Little Rock, AK circa the late 50's. If I recall history class, there were riots and national guard deployments over that. And also note the idea of having an "inclusive society" generally implies having everyone working together, not in their own little sectors.
You've given the media so much to comment on: missteps, mixed messages, leaderless moments in city hall, all topped off with the cherry of antagonism. Of course they don't like you. Your job is to be the face and the leader of the city in which we all live, and sometimes, you're not so good at it. They are very good at their job, which is reporting on you.
Long before Mark Persaud became the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal winning activist, the noted Toronto lawyer spent many trying days as a new immigrant on the streets of Toronto, homeless. He opens up on the early days as an immigrant, his law career, why he is a patriotic Canadian and the reason why he is committed to peace and justice in Canada and abroad via the Canadian International Peace Project.
Frank Toskan tends to shy away from the media and rarely boasts about his success, even though he was responsible for opening some 300 MAC Cosmetics stores worldwide in just 15 years. This is the first in-person interview he's granted in more than 15 years.
I feel very fortunate to have been born and raised in Toronto. And with so many things to do in Toronto with kids, I feel very fortunate to be able to raise my children here too.
Yunel Escobar has served his three-game suspension for writing a gay slur on his eye black last Saturday, and will return to the Toronto Blue Jays lineup tonight. Wait, didn't that happen, like, yesterday? We've barely had time to breathe, and now Escobar is returning?
As the chopper returns, you'll get gorgeous views of the Toronto Islands, the largest urban car-free community in North America and perhaps Toronto's best geographical treasure.