Tommy Douglas, the former premier of Saskatchewan and father of Canadian medicare, is a long-time political hero of Toronto Mayor David Miller. A framed picture of the NDP's first federal leader and his famous exhortation, "Courage my friends, it's not too late to make a better world," hangs in the mayor's office.
So it was with some emotion that on the 100th anniversary of the politician's birth, Mr. Miller proclaimed Wednesday as Tommy Douglas Day in Toronto, at a seniors rally for medicare held in the council chambers at City Hall.
"He's been an idol of mine the entire time I've lived in this country," Mr. Miller, who came to Canada from England in 1967, told the audience of several hundred that included federal medicare royal commissioner Roy Romanow and Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman.
Mr. Miller also recounted that a month ago he received a surprise gift from an elderly stranger, John Lee: a Douglas tartan tie, complete with a Tommy Douglas autograph.
"I'm thrilled to wear it today," said Mr. Miller, who presented a copy of the city proclamation to Mr. Douglas's daughter Shirley Douglas.
No name changes
in my ward
Several suburban city councillors are still chafing over the push to remove about 100 duplicate and triplicate street names from the citywide roster of 8,000 (making it easy for police, fire and ambulance in postamalgamation Toronto).
Look for some kind of last-ditch stand at city council next week when the issue comes up.
Etobicoke Centre Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby is not persuaded there is a problem. And if anyone has to change the name of their street, she contends, it should not be long-time residents in her affluent ward.
Scarborough Centre's Glenn de Baeremaeker and York South-Weston's Frances Nunziata (who has managed to spare historic Weston) are also unenthusiastic. "It's another curse of the megacity," Mr. Baeremaeker laments.
Can you hear me now?
Herewith we submit Exhibit No. 1 at the approaching Alcohol and Gaming Commission hearing into complaints of excessive noise at The Docks, an increasingly notorious waterfront nightclub: The current issue of Professional Sound magazine.
"The Docks -- Loud, Louder, Loudest," the magazine trumpets in a cover story devoted to the nightclub's latest megawatt sound system. "It was designed and built for dance music -- to play it both loud and on a massive scale," the magazine declares, describing in loving detail the "vibrating ground stacks" and 52 amplifiers.
The new system is so loud that even Professional Sound is wondering, "Why on earth could such a room require so much power?"
Moscoe tries diplomacy
The Toronto Transit Commission is sometimes known as the Howard Show, after chairman Howard Moscoe who's happy to roar like a lion no matter the diplomatic cost. Witness his recent growling at York University, which is resisting the TTC's proposal for a rapid-transit bus route through the northwest Toronto campus.
No surprise then that at this week's TTC meeting, commissioner David Shiner told Mr. Moscoe that the commission had not signed on to his recent theatrics: "It's not a one-man show here," declared Mr. Shiner. (News to us.)
In response, Mr. Moscoe invited Mr. Shiner to issue a vote of non-confidence in the chairman. But Mr. Shiner declined.
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