12.24.2013 10:50 AM

In today’s Sun: no column whatsoever from me, but Merry Christmas (updated)

There’s no column, in fact, from anyone. I think we are running a page of terrific editorial cartoons instead.

So, I just wanted to wish a Merry Christmas to all six of my regular readers. You are terrific, and you help make this website much more interesting than I could ever make it on my own.

I’ve talked to my kids, this morning, about the close to one million people in Toronto who are now on day three without power, without water, and potentially without food. If anyone can tell me who is coordinating efforts to help the elderly and the infirm in some of those cold high-rises in Scarborough, I would greatly appreciate it. My sons and daughter and I want to help them out if we can. Please leave whatever information you can in comments about who is coordinating help for those people.

In the meantime, here’s a snap daughter and I took while trying to get around yesterday. With most of the traffic lights down on this side of Toronto, it was hard to do. The trees are pretty but also sad. Christmas 2013 will be one to remember.

UPDATE: Son Two and Three help me deliver food and coffee and clothing to the warming center located at 2231 Lawrence Ave. If you are in the neighborhood, and want to help out, that’s one place where you can go.

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20 Comments

  1. J.W. says:

    Do you think Ford has let this non emergency nonsense go on far too long, and there should be organized door to door checks by somebody. Older people can’t survive this. Or babies. People may die.

    This is a case where the army should be brought in for door to door searches in certain areas. I’m not in Toronto, so maybe I’m overreacting?

  2. debs says:

    Merry Christmas to the Kinsella Family. What a wonderful gesture, helping out those in need. Toronto has had a tough weather year, flooding and with the ice storm. Keep warm and safe to all of you.

  3. Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    Well done, Warren and boys.

  4. Ridiculosity says:

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town,

    darkness pervaded as the hydro wires were down.

    People were freezing all alone in the dark,

    praying for a miracle but sadly the odds they were stark.

    The trees fell prey to the cruel crushing ice,

    crashing down on houses – oh what a price,

    to pay for a mayor that is totally inept,

    not taking action, results in great debt.

    Next year I hope to avoid all the drama

    and position myself on a beach in the Bahamas.

  5. Stan Pearsmann says:

    The current headline in the Globe and Mail reads: “Food shortage latest challenge for frozen-out Torontonians.” I find this hard to believe – I bet Toronto has weeks even months of food on hand – the problem is a massive “let’s get off our bums” shortage. I salute you and yours for taking it to the streets and setting a good example – perhaps this is the take home of your punk ethos – don’t wait for leaders ! hehe.

    On completely different file, our little operation that you helped with has born fruit:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/10536246/Alan-Turing-granted-Royal-pardon-by-the-Queen.html

    A very Merry Christmas to you and all the best in 2014 !

    Beannachtaí na Nollag !

  6. Derek Pearce says:

    Belated Merry Christmas WK! I have indulged myself and am sitting on my couch in longjohns with a G&T, with the thermostat cranked up to 22. Because of power outage, work, and Christmas visits this is my first night at home in like 5 days. I’ll put the furnace back to a more protestant 19 tomorrow before I leave for work 😉 I feel a bit bad that I can’t help out others because I’m in retail (not at Cottage LIfe anymore) so have had to work work work many hours this whole time. Just pray the power comes back for everyone soon.

  7. Derek Pearce says:

    Oh, oh oh! I forgot to mention (okay I have to go to bed in a sec, but) I don’t think my employers read your site so just must say, talk about misplaced priorities. Working in retail again has been fascinating this Christmas– Tuesday eve we had a customer melt down, she was LITERALLY CRYING TEARS DOWN HER CHEEKS because we didn’t have the right f-ing ice cube tray she thought we had, and so couldn’t get the gag gift she wanted for her friend. Over and ice cube tray gag gift. I was appalled. Christmas stress I guess but really. I was a total bitch behind her back and made my coworkers laugh– “is she going to freeze those tears if she finds the right tray?”

  8. e.a.f. says:

    Given the Armed Forces are federally controlled, do not expect them to be sent anywhere. It costs money. The Cons are cutting the budget at national defense so drastically that cadets are forced to share uniforms, and such. Unless the problem is in Calgary don’t expect any help. You are on your own. The American states do have their “guards” which can be called in on emergencies by the governor. The provinces and territories in Canada have no such organization. If the police and fire fighters can’t deal with a situation, you’re fucked.

    If the private corporations who control electricity did not want to spend the money on overtime, they wouldn’t have to.

    Now given this is costing the utility companies a bomb, they may start a tree trimming program to prevent trees from falling on lines. In some areas in B.C., B.C. Hydro sends crews out in the summer to trim trees so that in high wind situations, they don’t land on the lines. it certainly has helped reduce the number of power outages. Of course on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, it is hard to freeze to death in your house, most of the time.

    The only emergency Ford will declare is when he runs out of drugs and booze.

    If the “big one” ever strikes B.C. we will be toast. the provincial government will never be able to deal with the results of a large earthquake. People need to keep enough food and water at home to ensure they can survive at least a week on their own. For many this is very difficult given the lack of adequate funds, however, those who can, should and then they can share.

    Warming apartments is difficult because people won’t have the equipment. However, building codes can be altered so that any new apartment towers are required to have an emergency generator capable of operating at least one elevator and running the heat for a few hours every day. A building with geo thermal heating will at least have some heat. of course some of those youtube videos which show how to create heat from a pop can heater are pretty interesting.

    • Matt says:

      Your comment about the Armed Forces is plain stupid.

      The army was very involved in the Alberta floods this past June.

      Think before trying to take a cheap shot at Harper.

      As for Ford’s leadership and not calling a State of Emergency, care to give specific examples of what would have moved faster if a SOE had been declared? The province stated day one Toronto would have all resources needed from them whether a SOE was declared or not. Hydro crews from Manitoba, Michigan, and surrounding area’s not affected were here from the start. Ford has done a ton to be ripped for. This isn’t one of them.

      Who would you rather have in charge, Norm Kelly? The guy who had to admit today he quietly snuck off to Florida on Christmas day?

  9. frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

    Im just curious if any other provincial govts or our neighbours to the south have made offers of hydro crews to help speed up the recovery process…..I thought that was what Canadians do in times of crisis……

    Hopefully offers have been made…

  10. Paul says:

    no Rob Ford fan but at least he is out and about .. saw a lady tear a strip off him on news …he accepted it graciously …

    where was the deputy Mayor made mayor by the rest of council …in Florida for heaven sake..where were the rest of council, how about all those Toronto Star reporters and the selcted 70 Honderich wrote too…. and other folks with all the answers…

  11. e.a.f. says:

    Matt, we need to talk. it wasn’t a cheap shot at the ‘armed forces. it was a shot at stevie slime. Of course he called in the Armed Forces for Calgary. Its his riding. Now as to the other areas of Canada, which are in this deep freeze, the Armed Forces could be helping.

    I am quite aware the Armed Forces can not just go out and about doing this type of work without instructions from the federal government. My point was, the federal government ought to have issued the instructions. The Armed Forces may not be able to put up the electrical wires but they could assist with debris removal, going door to door checking on people, especially in apartments. The Armed Forces could have assisted with snow removal. The Armed Forces could have assisted with providing water to apartments which didn’t have any. As one person pointed out, it would have been nice if the Armed Forces had been permitted to bring in their huge electrical producing mobile units. But no Stevie Slime didn’t want to do that. it would have cost money. he has had the budget for the Armed Forces slashed so he can go into an election with his version of a “balanced budget”. Well people may remember the cons failed to do anything during the snow/ice storm.

    As to the back up mayor, he ought to have remained home. he didn’t. he won’t win another election. Rob Ford didn’t do anything except go around opening his mouth and issuing hot air. he does not have the leadership skills the Mayor of Calgary has!. Rob ford comes from the political school of, I don’t care what you say about me, just spell my name right. Sure, he went out in public and people ranted, to what avail? It makes great theatre, but does nothing for anybody. The woman screaming at him on t.v. looked like an idiot.

    The premier of the province made some announcements but what really can she do. She does not have any forces to marshall to assist with the problems. That is part of my concern. provinces do not have the necessary people to do the work in these emergencies. They might want to think about getting some, because as the climate changes, there will be more of this.

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