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May 6 Bulletin

06 May 2020 10:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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 governmental policies.

Our Chair, Rita Bilerman, wrote to Dr. Saxe, asking permission to quote her in our newsletter. And here follows her reply:

"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:

https://saxefacts.com/dianne-saxe-ph-d-in-law/ ;

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 aracares@theara.org. We love to applaud such initiatives.   

A loud and colourful show of support on Brunswick Avenue.

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 sidewalks:  https://sharedstreets.github.io/sidewalkwidths-toronto/#14.78/43.67014/-79.3998

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 Mike (councillor_layton@toronto.ca) or Mayor Tory (mayor_tory@toronto.ca). 

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