Friday, June 26, 2009

I have no sympathy. Dam you CUPE Local 416 and CUPE Local 79!

I am personally pissed off because this strike is preventing me from visiting Centerville on Center island, due to lack of ferry service. Their web site is currently displaying this message:

Centreville News Flash!

Dear Guests, It is with great regret we advise you that Toronto Civic Employees' Union Local 416's choice to strike has caused Centreville to close. Without these workers, the City can not operate the ferries or maintain the park in a safe manner. This strike has put over 400 Centreville seasonal employees out of work. We hope that the city and the union will come to a swift conclusion. Our plan will be to resume operation the first full day the workers are back to work. Please check back here for any updates. We hope to see you on the Island very soon!

And as I may have mentioned, we decided to spring for season passes this year. Not that they are insanely expensive, but they are not cheap and we are on a limited budget.

The idea was to have the option to just go there any day we'd like this summer, and the only expense would be the cost of the ferry ride. I wonder if they will give us a refund? Probably not, not like it was their choice to close the park. From our two visits this year, and our many visits last year I can say that Centerville employs A LOT of students. I wonder how these student feel now that their summer jobs have diappeared.

Also, all Canada Day celebrations will be canceled if the strike continues. (Which it will, there is pretty much no chance of it being resolved today.)

That, and if you know The Boy at all, you know that one of the things he looks forward to all week is watching the garbage truck every Thursday. He was actually crying on Wednesday night. Poor little guy.

Not to mention that some Toronto parks have now been designated temporary dump sites. Garbage in public parks is always a great idea!
Maybe we should change out tourism ads to:
"Come to Toronto! We stink......... Literally!"

I have do not support this strike at all, and I hope that these unions are able to resolve it quickly before they ruin everyone's summer.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Plastic bags and Toilet paper

The other day I went into a popular Canadian retailer who is currently promoting their "green" products. I ending up buying some stuff and when I said "No bag for me today thanks." The sales associate seemed somewhat appalled that I would rather carry my newly purchased "green" products in my canvas bag than a plastic one of theirs (which of course sported a huge logo.) It was the way she said "Oh.......well.....okay." and waved her hands dismissively in the air. It was also the way she looked at me.
I didn't say anything because I really am not one of those crazy die hard environmentalists, and I wasn't about to cause a scene. (Besides the actions of one sales associate do not necessarily reflect the company's policies) but I was a little bit upset by it.
Personally I consider the plastic bag to be one of the worst things there is.
Easy, readily available, and totally unnecessary. A real sign of the decadence of our society and how ignorant we are about how our everyday convenient choices impact the planet on which we live. (Yeah, I know, but re read the warning at the top)
I'm not saying I never ever ever use a plastic bag. I'll admit that in a pinch I've taken them. But I hate the fact that they are available at all. If it were up to me, they wouldn't be.

Well luckily, they now must charge 5 cents a bag in Toronto, so retailers will probably assume that I'm cheap rather than a weirdo.
While I think that this a basically a step in the right direction, that's more because it will create awareness around the issue of plastic bags, than actually act as a deterrent, or reduce plastic bag use.
I also have a big problem with attaching a monetary penalty to plastic bags. Because that's basically the same as saying you can be decadent and wasteful as long as you are willing to pay for it.
Sadly the biggest concern around this issue right now seems to be centered on who will get the five cents.

(But what about the toilet paper? The title is "Plastic bags and Toilet paper"! Yeah, well, seriously, don't get me started!!!)