April 6: Hypocrisy towards Ukraine, Donna Skelly speaks out against Hamiltonians and other letters
Mass graves, rapes, brutal torture and murder, deportation to Russian camps, more than 10 million people displaced. What will it take for the world to act? We once said never again. Yet we go on with our daily lives, many of us not even wanting to follow the news anymore because it is too disturbing, let alone urging our leaders to give the brave Ukrainians what they asked for. Save the intriguing, moving, commemorative and touching commemoration ceremonies that are sure to happen. It will only be meaningless hypocrisy in the face of our failure to act when we had the opportunity. Evil triumphs where the good do nothing. We will pay the price for our inaction, in the currency of our humanity.
“Iran is already a malignant influence”, March 25
Mike Fegelman opposes JCPOA revival by making false claims about Iran.
First, Iran’s nuclear facilities have been subjected to the toughest inspections ever devised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and have fully complied with them. It was not Iran that was an untrustworthy partner. It was the United States under Trump that abrogated the deal.
Second, Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons. The IAEA has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program. Even annual US intelligence reports since 2006 have found no such evidence. However, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT), Iran has the sovereign right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Third, Iran is not an “evil influence” in the Middle East. Iran has not waged war on its neighbors for centuries, nor has it supported terrorism. On the contrary, Iran powerfully contributed to the defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
If Fegelman is looking for an untrustworthy Middle Eastern partner, he should focus on Israel, which has not ratified the NNPT and has an undeclared stockpile of hundreds of nuclear weapons. Unlike Iran, Israel regularly attacks its neighbours, most recently Syria. It is the only country in the region to oppose the UN-endorsed idea of a Middle East free of nuclear weapons.
As for “malignant influence,” Israel is also eligible. It illegally occupies much of Palestine and was branded last week by Canadian Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine, as an apartheid state, systematically discriminating against Palestinians.
The JCPOA aims to create peace and prosperity. Fegelman is expected to join mainstream global public opinion in supporting the deal.
Developers and government
Once again, Donna Skelly has spoken out against the people of Hamilton saying Hamilton has an ‘anti-housing, anti-growth ideology’ that is at the root of the affordability crisis.
In fact, the “affordability crisis” is fueled by developers and the provincial government. Skelly must know that the residents of Wards 11 and 15 voted against the boundary expansion.
Developers have shown that their plans do not include affordable housing. Discover the new developments over the last two years on Rymal and the Mountain. They do not include affordable homes. In fact, there’s a new sign on Rymal Road that advertises “luxury townhouses”.
In January 2022, the average price of a single-detached home was over $1 million. In February 2022, the average selling price for a single-family home in Hamilton was over $976,000.
The average price in January 2022 in Hamilton, Burlington, Niagara and Haldimand was over $1 million. The twins were selling for over $870,000.
Minister Steve Clark is challenging Hamilton’s decision and wants to send it to court for review and demands that Hamilton revise its plans by July 2022. So much for democracy. It should be noted that developers in the Hamilton area have approximately 1,100 acres of farmland just ready to build non-affordable housing.
Breakdown of democracy
Homelessness highlights a flaw in our political system: city councilors are more concerned with pleasing voters than solving problems. Jason Farr, a strong voice against homeless encampments, sees the answer in tougher enforcement because that’s what his constituents want and that’s how he gets re-elected. The council voted to spend $300,000 on an “encampment coordination team to better coordinate responses.” It might get the homeless out of the parks, but so what?
Instead of a “camp coordination team,” I suggest we dedicate the $300,000 to addressing our society’s main weakness: what do we do with the poor?