Toronto Transit Corruption

Have a look at the letter below, and if you feel the same way I do, feel free to cut, paste, personalize and send it…

To:
councillor_shaw@toronto.ca
councillor_shiner@toronto.ca
councillor_ashton@toronto.ca
councillor_minnan-wong@toronto.ca
councillor_lipreti@toronto.ca
councillor_miller@toronto.ca
councillor_kelly@toronto.ca

Cc:
michael.neuman@bell.ca
nadir.mohamed@rogers.com
darren.entwistle@telus.com

Bcc:
callforhelp@g4techtv.ca
homepage@pulse24.com
marketplace@cbc.ca
technews@canoe.ca

To the councillors of the TTC:

I was shocked to read this article detailing the TTC's plan to install an underground wireless network solely for the purposes of advertising.

As a Torontonian who has travelled abroad, I believe that what our supposedly "world class city" needs much more than a wireless advertising network is a usable mobile phone signal in its subway system. As a TTC user I must ask you: Given the steep declines in ridership on the system, how exactly do you think that more advertising is going to attract more riders? Do you not think that underground mobile phone service is a more valuable investment for the TTC and wireless carriers to make?

Along with the other recipients of this email, I would be most interested in hearing your thoughts on this matter...

Sincerely,

(Your name here)

A Simple Plan

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I’ll probably end up joining the Keep Ontario’s Cameras Rolling rally tomorrow at Queen’s Park, but ultimately I don’t think that tax credits will be the saviour of Ontario’s film and television industry — or the country’s, for that matter.

What we really need is new legislation from our government for more Canadian content on our screens.

It’s worked for the music biz. The CRTC has mandated 35% Canadian content on our radio stations each and every day between the hours of 6am and 11pm, and with grants from FACTOR Canadian recording artists can get the cash they need to get their music video on MuchMusic.

The result? After years of Canadian content minimums we’ve got a roster of musical acts whose success speaks for itself.

On the boob tube the CRTC has called for an average of 8 hours of Canadian programming per week in the 7 to 11pm window. This represents about 29% of the weekly prime time window, but barely more than than 6% of your typical broadcast day!

The result? I’m struggling to get my own TV pilot broadcast on a third-tier digital network, for a licensing fee of only $20 per minute of screen time!

As for movies, the CRTC doesn’t seem to have put any thought into Canadian content on our cinemas. My local megaplex, The Paramount, has a total of 15 screens — surely some homegrown product could play on one or two of them!

Now I’m not opposed to the idea of tax credits — sucking up to runaway productions from the States would at least give crews and day players some extra cash. But wouldn’t it be better for everyone to have a healthy film and television industry of our own? I think so.

Better Ted than Telus

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The big telco news yesterday was the announcement of a friendly takeover of Fido by Rogers. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking:

“Serves you right, Currie, for abandoning your landline phone in the first place! What’cha gonna do now, smart guy?”

Well, for starters I’ll ease through the changeover thanks to my 24-month City Fido contract. And the higher prices I’ll likely have to pay when the contract expires will be eased somewhat by the 10% discount I’ll be entitled to as a Rogers VIP customer. And I’ll have access to Rogers’ extended 850MHz GSM network, so I’ll no longer be charged for analog roaming when I’m at the cottage.

It’ll be sad to see Fido go, of course. But assimilation by Rogers is a much better alternative to a Telus takeover; all signs pointed to Telus dismantling the Fido network and forcing refugees to migrate to CDMA.

Caribana

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A “local actor” talks about supporting Caribana on Citytv News

Even though the largest Caribbean festival in North America takes place right under my nose, I’ve never really participated in Caribana until this past weekend. I’m glad I did!

For many Torontonians, the first word that comes to mind when you mention Caribana is violence, whether it actually takes place or not. While there has been some trouble in years past, it’s no different than the mob behaviour at your typical playoff game or rock concert.

For me, enjoying a free concert by Morgan Heritage in the company of representatives of all races, religions and whatever else served as a reminder of what a vibrant, diverse and wonderful city I live in.

Prince himself said as much on MuchMoreMusic last night!

Like Mike

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Happy Canada Day!

This dual citizen spent the early hours of the morning filling out application forms to get an absentee ballot for the upcoming US Election, after seeing Farenheit 9/11 on Election Day here.

And guess who I’ll be voting for?