This isn’t a matter of right or left, but of right and wrong. Due to
circumstances well beyond the city’s control, this is the direction we
are headed. For any number of reasons — climate change, fuel costs,
congestion and diminished resources — the heyday of the car is over and
alternatives are needed.
Toronto and Ontario’s unwillingness to take the bicycle seriously is a
sign of culture grown tired, irritable and brittle. Whether it’s wind
turbines, road tolls or bike lanes, we’re unable to keep up. Provincial
Conservative leader Tim Hudak has made it clear clean energy and the
environment have no place in his party’s platform.
Same thing with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s regime, which
announced recently it plans to lay off 700 staff at the federal
environment ministry, a shocking display of contempt.
“Cycle tourism has been wildly successful in other places,” notes
Toronto MPP Tabuns, who met this week with various cycling groups that
hope to use a $351,800 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to
promote bicycle tourism.
“I am glad we are doing it here,” says Tabuns, “promoting clean, green, healthy jobs.”
The fact remains, however, that cyclists are generally unwelcome on
the streets of Toronto, let alone Ontario. We’re not talking here about
bike lanes on the 401, but many other provincial thoroughfares where
According to our licence plates, Ontario is “Yours to Discover.” “Yours to Recover” might be more to the point.