A Call to Action
Valedictorians are delivering their speeches on line.
Recipients of honorary degrees are publishing their remarks in
newspapers. So it only seems fitting in the absence of a 2020 ARA
Annual General Meeting that we hear from the keynote speaker who had
so kindly agreed to address us.
Dr. Dianne Saxe is an internationally recognized
lawyer, rated among the top 25 environmental lawyers in the world.
She studied law at Osgoode Hall, earning an LL.B. in 1974 and a
Ph.D., also from Osgoode, in 1991. Most recently, she served as
Commissioner of the Environment for Ontario until the Ford government
cut that position. But that hasn't stopped her voice. The media know her as our
"environmental guardian" or "watchdog," titles
befitting her passionate defence of the environment, her unrelenting
warnings about climate change, and her fearless critiques of weak
Our Chair, Rita Bilerman, wrote to Dr. Saxe, asking
permission to quote her in our newsletter. And here follows her
"Hi, Rita, no problem at all. None of us know
when such meetings will be allowed again, much less when people might
decide to actually attend such a meeting. And I cannot predict what
my availability will be at that time.
"However, the climate crisis will become only more
emerging with the passage of time.
"I will keep putting useful materials on my
website, as well as some narrated presentations for free public use.
"It would be very helpful if you would encourage
each of your members to write to your members of parliament this
week, while the federal government is wrestling over the shape of the
government recovery program. People can write their own letters or
can attach and endorse one of the existing ones, such as:
"It's really crunch time now, and citizens who
care about this issue must speak up. Thank you."
You can learn more about Dr. Saxe at:
Charity Begins at Home
Small and not-so-small acts of kindness continue to play
out in the Annex, ranging from the posting of encouraging signs to
significant philanthropic actions.
An example of the latter is Spero Bassil's generous
forgiveness of his tenants' April rents in apartments and small
businesses at the corner of Dupont and Davenport. As Spero says,
"They're all important contributors to our community. I'm just
trying to help in the best way I can."
On the other side of the Annex, artisan Catharina
Goldnau on Howland Avenue is selling hand-made, Toronto-themed
ceramic mugs with the proceeds going entirely to the University
Health Network in support of COVID-19 research.
If readers learn of any other such generous-hearted
gestures, please let us know at email@example.com. We love to applaud such
A loud and colourful show of support on Brunswick
Catharina's Covid-19 support mugs are available on her
website at http://catharinagoldnauceramics.ca/
Nowhere to Go!Since last week's trumpeting of Curb-TO, editorials in
the mainstream press as well as in community newspapers and on the
radio have called for an extensive increase in the program. The City
is still seeking input on pinch- points such as the one pictured below
at Dupont and St. George. But many believe we have to go beyond
pinch-points to actual re-purposing of some streets.
Just yesterday our councillor, Mike Layton, released a
letter to Transportation Services supporting such a move. You can
read Mike's comments at: https://mailchi.mp/6f3311ef74de/ward11newsletter-1341090?e=6333cd4b89
Now also available on line is a map of our city
You didn't need this map to know that almost all the
sidewalks in the Annex are too narrow to accommodate safe pedestrian
bypassing. But the factual information it contains will be useful if
you wish to express your concerns or offer further suggestions to
or Mayor Tory (firstname.lastname@example.org).