Who could possibly be against doing something that would be both good for the environment and improve housing affordability in our biggest cities? By turning public land devoted to noisy, dangerous and polluting vehicles into social/co-op/rental housing it is possible to put a dent into runaway climate change while improving housing affordability and urbanity. Radio... Continue Reading →
Media war against limits to cars continues in Montreal
Do you support humanity and livability? Or the "right" of people to use private cars? This question is aimed particularly at the left end of the political spectrum, to that part of the public who should know better. It's been dispiriting to see progressives echo a right wing municipal party/dominant media campaign against curtailing car... Continue Reading →
We have an addiction problem — cars
I often read troubling reports about the world's unfolding climate catastrophe while working at McGill, but, ironically, steps from the university library I am reminded of Montréal's unwillingness to make the changes required to avoid civilizational collapse. During recent construction on Sherbrooke Street police have been stationed on corners near the university to direct traffic.... Continue Reading →
Capitalism kills — our oceans the deadly proof
For 21st century capitalism the more disposable the better. Ocean life and human health be damned. According to a recent Ellen MacArthur Foundation study, the world’s oceans are set to have more plastic than fish by 2050. At the current rate of production and disposal the net weight of plastic in the oceans will be greater than... Continue Reading →
Are tolls a ‘flat tax’ or one step in building a sane (carless) society?
What’s left and what’s right? Usually it is obvious, but sometimes you have to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. For example, the Toronto toll debate has exposed a lack of scrutiny of the leading source of corporate profit over the past century by many supposed leftists. Absent a political economy of... Continue Reading →
A first step in ending global warming — ban automobile ads
A Metro should never be wrapped in car ads. On this past week, the whole front of Montréal's Metro paper promoted Kia. All of page 2 and the back of a paper targeted at the city's transit riders also promoted an unhealthy, lethal, inefficient and utterly unsustainable mode of transportation. Incredibly, public transit systems regularly... Continue Reading →
Toronto mining firm gives Canada a bad name
The ‘Ugly Canadian’ strikes again. Toronto-based Kinross Gold recently suspended work at its Tasiast mine to protest an order from Mauritania’s government that unpermitted ‘expatriates’ stop working on the massive project. The lead foreign firm in the sparsely populated West African nation has been embroiled in a series of power struggles with its Mauritanian workforce.... Continue Reading →
Unions will thrive if they promote alternative to capitalism
At their finest labour unions are class conscious organizations that check the corporate elite’s influence over public policy. But, even the best Canadian unions have largely failed to provide an alternative vision to the existing system and challenge the power of big business over important areas of our lives. Alongside collective-bargaining activities, unions have spearheaded... Continue Reading →
What’s ‘Green’ about subsidizing car travel?
Would you believe the Green Party recently took a more environmentally regressive position on an important issue than Stephen Harper? Elizabeth May added her voice to the main opposition parties on a recent visit to Montreal by telling suburbanites they should expect a future non-Conservative federal government to continue aggressively subsidizing the most costly, unhealthy... Continue Reading →
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