Archive for March 2015
Torontoist’s David Hains reports on the latest stage of Toronto’s fight with the wily, behanded raccoon.
A new type of green bin from the City of Toronto aims to finally stymie our number one menace: raccoons.
According to a staff report at council, the $31.6-million contract awarded to Rehrig Pacific Company has more than twice the capacity, and, more importantly, features a “rodent-resistant locking lid.” (Important editor’s note: Raccoons are not rodents, but the staff report refers to the misunderstood critter pretty much as though they are one.)
The bins will be distributed to residents in late 2015 and early 2016.
This green bin wasn’t just slapped together—this is serious business. There was a poll and everything. In 2012, Ipsos Reid did reached out to 501 Toronto residents over the age of 18 and asked them for their thoughts on the preexisting bins.
Among respondents, 67 per cent said “rodent resistance” was the most important feature of their bin, presumably because they know losing is not an option in the War on Raccoons.
This emphasis on raccoon resistance may be counter-productive, though. Raccoons are very smart and adaptive, and by making the green bins extra difficult, we may just be creating an environment for a breed of super-raccoons. It’s pretty much like (spoiler alert) the plot of the Edge of Tomorrow.
The Globe and Mail‘s Marina Strauss reports that Target Canada is closing its stores a month early. I really will have to get out Saturday to see my local one for the first time.
After taking 26 months to launch its first stores in Canada, U.S. discounter Target Corp. is now looking at shutting all 133 of them in just three months – a month less than originally planned.
In a sign of how fast the retailer is moving to leave this country, insolvent Target Canada plans to speed its store closings by one month and turn off the lights by mid-April, a court filing this week says.
“It is anticipated that the pace of delivery of Vacate Notices by the [liquidation] agent will continue to increase over the next two weeks, such that all stores are expected to be closed to the public as early as mid-April, 2015, which represents a significant achievement,” says court-appointed monitor, Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc.
Since Target Canada filed for creditors’ court protection on Jan. 15, it has been hit with a flood of bad publicity about everything from disappointing liquidation sales to the treatment of its suppliers, pharmacists and other creditors.
Now the U.S. retailer is taking steps to rush its exit, helping to take the spotlight from its failed foray outside its home market where it still has avid cross-border Canadian shoppers.
Outlook India’s Vivek Menezes writes about how the Indian state of Goa, once a Portuguese enclave, has flirted with the idea of being a Singapore-like city-state.
At that very beginning of decolonisation in Asia, the Portuguese dictator Salazar found a lot to like in what was happening in the British-ruled port city — its new Legislative Council included only six (later nine) elected seats out of twenty-five, and only British subjects were eligible to vote. Meanwhile the colonial system remained dominant. Salazar figured this an excellent model for the four-centuries-old Estado da India Portuguesa.
Even after the Council yielded to a fully-elected Assembly, and the UK Parliament passed the 1958 State of Singapore Act accepting the establishment of an independent state, Salazar still looked for a Singapore-type solution to the increasingly thorny Goa crisis, as Nehru and Krishna Menon grew progressively restive about the last colonial “pimple disfiguring the face of India”. The Portuguese dangled promise of a NATO port at Mormugao to his allies, and it took a Russian veto to stymie the US/UK-led United Nations resolution demanding withdrawal of Indian troops after their mercifully bloodless takeover in 1961.
In the immediate aftermath of Indian annexation, the Goan freedom fighter (he famously got into a fistfight with the colonial Governor General) António Anastásio Bruto da Costa led a group demanding “Goan Goa” with “full sovereignty” to be achieved via “natural right to a plebiscite.” This “third force” also looked to Singapore as a model of what might be possible in Goa.
With those political questions resolved, visions of Singapore continue dancing in the minds of a very wide range of contemporary observers of India’s smallest state. As India Today — the national media outlet that gets Goa most consistently wrong — ludicrously put it in 2013, “the steady march of urbanisation, experts predict, will turn tiny Goa into a Singapore-like city state miraculously untouched by the woes of overpopulation and urbanisation.”
Why these supercharged fantasies for famously laid-back Goa? Perhaps the promise of manageable size, with per-capita GDP and human development statistics dramatically higher than the neighbours? Both Singapore and Goa are centuries-old pockets of globalisation, with relatively cosmopolitan leanings. If it could happen there, it could logically follow that it can also happen here.