Category: Ontario


Time to speed limit teenager’s cars

Highway 401 west of the :en:Don Valley Parkway...
Image via Wikipedia

I sent this note to the Hon. Jim Bradley, Minister of Transportation for Ontario.

Although I disagree with the need to have speed limiters placed on the most responsible drivers on the roads, ie. heavy trucks, I do agree that any vehicle in which a teenager is allowed to drive should be limited.  To make enforcement simple, allow officers to scan any vehicle that has been pulled over for speeding and is driven by a teenager.  If it doesn’t show governed, then issue a stiff fine to the vehicle owner.  I am getting tired of hearing about all those caught doing 200kmh and being charged and impounded.  That doesn’t really seem to solve the problem, although it makes a good headline.

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Ontario Provincial Police badge
Image via Wikipedia

This story doesn’t pass the smell test.  It’s one thing to charge a fellow officer – but for this to hit the papers like this?  Very odd.

An OPP officer has been charged under the province’s street racing laws for speeding in her police vehicle while on duty.

via… | Ontario | OPP car seized, officer charged for 50 over.

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Recycling insanity

WUHAN, CHINA - OCTOBER 29:  A man stands besid...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

If there was ever any doubt that recycling is simply a feel-good program that does nothing, except cost, the environment, then perhaps this blue box nightmare story will help convince you.

Ontario’s recycling scraps – dirty peanut butter jars, plastic toys, and unsorted paper – are being shipped to Asia at a rate of thousands of tonnes a month.

via… | Ontario | Blue-box leftovers go to China and back.

The sooner we put all our time and effort into incineration the better.  Landfills up north – ie. far enough north where the suburbs are unlikely to ever reach – is another completely sensible idea.  Ontario is a massive province – just keep driving north of Dundas St., silly hall people, to realize this, and you’ll see we will never ever in a thousand lifetimes run out of room.

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Where’s the salt?

My question to those in charge of clearing our roads, a function as basic as picking up the garbage: where are the salt trucks on the 401, DVP, and other major highways around the GTA?  As recently as a few years ago, plows and salters were out around 4am, just before the crush of traffic starts at 5am.  Lately, these cleaners are not out till well after 5, perhaps closer to 6.  By this time, enough dunderheads have hit the roads to cause chaos.  The costs of the the havoc are far greater than paying the boys to come out an hour earlier.

A crash involving three tractor-trailers and several other vehicles at Hwy. 401 and Allen Rd. has shut down all eastbound express lanes of the highway and left three people seriously injured.… | GTA | One lane reopens at 401 and Allen.

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Banning phones

Although I am on my bluetooth all day long (thank you CityFido), I have to say most non-professional drivers should not be on the phone while driving.

Media reports say Ontario will join Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Quebec in banning cellphone use while driving.… | Ontario | Driving on phone to be banned: Report.


Toronto Zoo

My Toronto Zoo pass expires this month.  I am not renewing it.  I have had one for four years.  The only good thing I can say about having one is that if we got to the Zoo and it was a madhouse, we could always turn around and come back another day without feeling the pressure to stay.

The Zoo is not cheap.  It costs $8 to park and then (if you’re unlucky enough not to get a close spot to the entrance), you haul yourself to the entrance to pay another $20 per adult (age 13+) and $12 per child.  You have to ask for a map if you want to know where you’re going once you’re in there (they are not offered to you nor are there any to pick up once you get in) and then you’re in with acres of land to trek to see (if you’re lucky) a few animals.  Oh, you also have to pay for anything “fun” once you’re in on top of what you paid to get in (the Zoomobile [$7/person], camel rides, pony rides, etc. [$6/person]).  And let’s not even talk about the price of food in there (many moons ago there used to be a McDonald’s which was affordable – apparently that was a bad idea).

You’d think with all the money it costs to get in a do things, the Zoo would be top notch.  Ha!!!  The place is as rundown as it can be.  According to the Zoomobile tour guide, this is called “letting nature take its course”.  Uh-huh.  This is called “let’s spend the money on anything but the Zoo”.  My eldest daughter’s class adopted a snow leopard last year (the Zoo is big on people “adopting” their animals – more money!).  The day after they adopted it, the Zoo sent an E-mail to their teacher, telling her that the 2 year old leopard had died.  Did they get their money back?  No.  Wonder what happened to it?  They certainly didn’t get a shot at another, more robust, animal.

Like I said, I’ve had a pass for four years.  I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen certain animals in the Zoo during those four years (and we went fairly often – to get our moneys worth out of the pass, not for the love of the Zoo).  This year, we were invited (being Members) to a “sneak peek” of the stingray exhibit.  Guess what?  It cost money to get into!  No mention of that in the invitation.  Of course, being a Member, I paid a whopping dollar less per person than Joe Average, but still.  All we did was stand there and look at the rays (since the deaths of the rays in Alberta, no one’s allowed to touch them anymore).  I saw larger rays in Florida for free.  In their own habitat!  Imagine that.

The entire Americas section is under construction.  Does anyone know that?  Of course not.  There’s no mention of it anywhere in the Zoo.  Poor people are slogging around to the back of the Zoo (which takes quite a while to get to since it’s laid out so crazily) only to find that there are no animals.  Lots of machinery, though.  You’d think they could put up a sign at the entrance telling people not to bother going back there.  I suppose that would take some money which they don’t seem to like using (at least for Zoo purposes).

I am not renewing my pass.  Sorry Toronto Zoo.  You just don’t utilize yourself well enough to deserve my money anymore.  If we feel the need to see some animals, we’ll go to the Bowmanville Zoo.  It’s not large, but it makes up in size for the proximity and number of animals.  They deserve my hard earned money (plus they do a show that you don’t have to pay for!).  Gotta love that.


Global cooling in Niagara Falls

I really wish global warming would kick in again, because damn it was cold in Niagara Falls.  Second time I’ve been there at this time of year when it’s been close to freezing with the wind.

That said, we were prepared and went to a great waterpark off the strip.  If you have small kids, then this is a great place to go that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.


Mandatory training

Instead of picking on the truckers, most of whom are professional, accident free drivers, I think it’s time to bring in mandatory driver training for all first time (driving) licence holders. 

It just might prevent tragedies like this.

A family friend of two young women involved in a fatal car crash that claimed three lives in central Ontario said she’s “heartbroken” by the unexpected loss of the pair who babysat her son the day before they died.

Driving a vehicle is just not taken seriously by most four wheelers.

Doing u-turns in front of tractor trailers at night on empty country roads is clearly the result of inattention and inexperience.


Top cop makes his own collar

This is why I always liked Fantino.

A driver who blew past an unmarked OPP cruiser on Hwy. 401, in a car allegedly loaded with illegal drugs, got the surprise of his life this week when he found himself face to face with the province’s top cop.


Election post-mortem

Finally, an assessment I can agree with.

Nobody expected John Tory to lead the charge for a new conservatism in Ontario. He never said he would. Instead, being a good moderate Conservative of the old Red Tory school, he played the game according to the old rules: Don’t rock the boat,


No sign on my lawn

Even though I voted conservative, I think it’s an easy call that the Libs in Ontario will have an even bigger majority, and Johnny won’t even win his own seat.

The old adage, governments are voted out, not in, holds true.  Dalton took a page out of John Chretien’s page, and has done almost nothing (except break promises). 

By being invisible, people can ignore government and continue making money.  Therefore, my next prediction, a record low turnout, is another easy call.


Failure of our government

Here’s one Ontario taxpayer who must be questioning those who he pays taxes to.

Pickering Fire Deputy Chief Simon Almond said the fire department got a call at 7:22 p.m. and were on the scene at 7:36 p.m., with two pumpers, two tankers, a command vehicle, and 18 firefighters in tow.

“That would be our normal response to that type of call,” he said.

16 mins to a fire in an urban area?  That’s acceptable?

What the story doesn’t say, and I can’t find a link online, is that the man was driven to Rochester, NY, 4 hours away – since the local air ambulance was unavailable.

No burn unit bed in Ontario, or for that matter, Quebec.  No ambulance to fly him quickly to a bed to recover or even perhaps survive.

Welcome to third world health care.

God forgive if it was a bus full of burned people.  Then what?


Why I like Fantino

How can you not like the guy?

Would you still try to weasel your way out of a speeding ticket if it was the OPP commissioner standing outside your car?


Get them out

When is the government going to get out of the electricity production business?  They obviously can’t get it right.

Hot days ahead and a desire to keep cool could spell trouble for the province’s electricity system.


Failure is not an option

Meet the building blocks of our future.

“No wonder kids come to school thinking they’re getting a free ride. There’s some sense that you just can’t fail,” said Pighin. “We hand out credits like tic tacs.”

Time for the pendulum to swing back, don’t you think?