No taxation without an extensive LRT system!

   28 March 2017, early evening

Clearly arguments need to get far stupider if the city is going to avoid building this Scarborough subway. (Well really, there is no way this thing is going to get built because at some point some level of government is going to actually have to write a cheque and is not going to want to spend that much money on something that’s clearly a boondoggle. Presumably, anyway.)

My cousin has started writing slogans. Get these plastered on bus shelters and we’re golden.

A rail network for Scarborough! From Victoria Park to Pickering! From Markham to Lake Ontario! A rail network in every pot! Light! Rail!

Buses are for school children! Subways are for elitist snobs! Scarborough deserves a full light rail network. Real transit for real people.

Get Scarborough out of buses and into trains. Scarborough deserves a fast, modern light rail transit system.

Why should hardworking people of Scarborough pay billions plus spend more time on buses so Town Centre elites can have their own personal subway?

That last one is my favourite.

Comment [1]  

Ocean's 12

    2 March 2017, early evening

Ocean’s 12 was a film I don’t think i’d have looked up if I wasn’t on a plane. I loved Ocean’s 11, but did it really need a sequel? I guess they had a great cast of people and that’s a good enough reason to get the gang back together for a second film. Like the first film Ocean’s 12 centres around a heist. Terry Benedict (Andy García) has discovered the locations of the original gang and threaten’s them all if they don’t pay him back his money. So they all get back together so they can start committing crimes again. Catherine Zeta Jones and Vincent Cassel make foxy new additions to the story, playing a hot Interpol cop and a handsome thief respectively. The movie was better than I thought it would be. Certainly far less compelling than the first movie, but still a lot of fun to watch. At the end of the day Steven Soderbergh is a good directory. Certainly a solid airplane film.

Reviews of Ocean’s 12 on Rotten Tomatoes.


The Hangover

    2 March 2017, early evening

On the flight to Paris I watch The Hangover. A group of guys get black out drunk at a bachelor party and lose the groom. They spend the next few days trying to find him. (Having your bachelor party days before your wedding seems like a bad idea: who does that anymore?) The film’s quite funny. The characters slowly piece together their weird night. It’s a silly fun film. Ken Jeong has a small part in the movie and is particularly great. (And Heather Graham shows up as well, who is lovely and i’m going to marry her.)

Reviews of the Hangover on Rotten Tomatoes.



    2 March 2017, early evening

Before leaving for Paris a week or so ago I thought I should check out Dheepan, so i’d fully understand the experience of a Tamil person in France. The film is about a former Tamil Tiger who claims asylum in France along with a women and an orphan: the three pretend to be a family. We watch as they struggle to adjust to life in a crime ridden suburb of Paris. Antonythasan Jesuthasan does a great job playing the title character, Dheepan. (All three leads are fantastic, really.) It was weird watching a film that acknowledges the war in Sri Lanka. I really loved this movie. You should watch this film. It’s a gritty crime drama with a Tamil dude at it’s centre: how could you not?

Reviews of Dheepan on Rotten Tomatoes.


Carding in Toronto

    2 February 2017, late afternoon

Word on the street is there are new regulations in the city around carding. When they were discussing this stuff last I emailed all the Toronto Police Services Board. I got replies from Shelley Carroll and John Tory’s office. I did not get a reply from Chin Lee or Sandy Murray.

Here is my exchange with them:

My understanding is that the Toronto Police Services Board is meeting to discuss carding tomorrow.

I have been carded twice. Both times I was probably 500m from my parents house. Both times I was drinking bubble tea with my friend Rishi in a park. Both times I was home from the University of Waterloo. The police shouldn’t have asked for my information then. They shouldn’t have my information now.

I shouldn’t have to email the group of you asking that my information, along with everyone else’s, is purged from whatever computers the police use.

But, here we are.
Ramanan Sivaranjan

Shelly Carol replied first. She is Shima’s old councillor, and easily one of the best councillor we have. She should have been mayor after Miller. Her response was still disappointing.

I am very sympathetic with your position on destroying the historic carding data. Unfortunately, there are pending civil litigations that require its retention at the moment. These are important cases that could finally illuminate the effects of carding before the Courts. The Board’s legal advice is that the evidence is key.

At today’s TPSB meeting, we will be recommending that all historic data be segregated and stored in a separate and secure database. Access will only be possible through the Chief or his stated designate. Every three months the Chief will report publicly before the board on all requests for access, the requests that were honoured and why and how many requests were denied and why.

I know this doesn’t get us as far as you would like, however, I will be moving a motion requesting that a Judge determine the Board’s right to have the historical data destroyed once the cases have been dealt with.

Shelley Carroll

I replied, because I wasn’t that happy with her answer.

Is it common or uncommon for the police to respect the recommendations made by the police services board? I’m still confused why the police would need access at all, even if the data needs to remain alive while legal cases are before the courts. Would their access be in support of these legal proceedings?

I appreciate your reply. (You are one of my favourite city councillors.)

Ramanan Sivaranjan

Our conversation ended there. John Tory’s office replied next.

The Mayor welcomes the Toronto Police Services Board’s revised policy on Regulated Interaction with the Community and the Collection of Identifying Information.

This policy is part of the important work Chief Saunders has been leading to modernize the Toronto Police Service and rebuild trust between our communities and our hardworking police officers. This change includes increased training to address bias, restricted access to and oversight of historical data, and the introduction of a ‘Know your Rights’ public awareness campaign.

The Mayor advocated for the deletion of the historical data that has been compiled through the process of carding. The board, however, received compelling advice related to the legal and practical rationale against deletion, including legislative provisions and the data’s relevance to civil litigations and active Charter challenges. The data has therefore been put in restrictive access and there have been considerable increases to accountability and transparency around its use.

The Mayor strongly believes that our police can do their jobs and can keep our city safe while at the same time protecting the rights of our citizens. The best investigative tool the police have is the trust of the people they serve and protect.

If you have not been able to read the policy, please click on the link below for it.

Thank you again for contacting the Mayor’s Office.


Kevin Moraes
Policy Advisor
Office of Mayor John Tory

And that was that. Stop and frisk Toronto edition lives on. No one can I say I didn’t try, though.


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