7 News Archive
True Facts
Ulli Diemer

Ah, how the police mind works! Toronto's finest, with the approval of Metro Council, have just approved a new crime prevention program, to be called Cabs on Patrol.

The idea is based on a similar program operating in Phoenix, Arizona, and simply involves cab drivers reporting suspicious incidents to police. What’s a suspicious incident? The police offer two examples: “unlocked doors and windows on a closed business” and – are you ready – “very old cars travelling in wealthy neighbourhoods.” Now we can’t even drive around Rosedale to look at the houses we’ll never see the insides of. Also given was an example of what not to report: “domestic disputes” (known to many women as “wife beating”)...


If you’ve been studying the want ads lately, you may have noticed a prominent display ad placed by the Ontario Lottery Corporation, seeking a “Special Events Assistant.”
The ad stipulates that applicants must possess “good communication skills, ability to solve problem, organize workload and work with a minimum of supervision” as well as a class ‘G’ driver’s license. The ad lists the responsibilities the chosen individual will be required to carry out, culminating in “You may be required to wear one of our animated character costumes”....


Spelling out their philosophy in a 1 1/3 page glossy ad in the latest issue of Toronto Business, magazine is Via Rail, the people whose recent slashing of rail service is having a devastating impact on communities from B.C. to the Maritimes. “Some say business travellers are a bit more demanding” the ads says. “We say, a bit more deserving.”

VIA goes on to explain how it has developed VIA 1, “the most comprehensive first-class travel concept” in the Windsor/Sarnia to Quebec City “business heartland.” Business travellers are to get “extra service: Special ticketing and check-in. Pre-boarding in major cities. Complimentary and attentive service... a full range of sleeping car option.” “And throughout the Ontario-Quebec corridor” – as opposed to almost everywhere else in the country – “there are more daily trains than ever before.“ They conclude that “it’s not surprising that VIA 1 is the first choice of travellers who want true first-class service”...


You’ll be glad to know that the decision of the Reagan administration to ‘ease up’ on safety violations in U.S. mines was a success in its first year, despite the ‘prophets of doom and gloom’ who claimed that federal inspectors were already far too lax to start with. The policy of reducing ‘paperwork and bureaucracy’ so mine owners could get on with making their operations more profitable resulted in a 16 per cent decrease in citations for safety violations (less paperwork), and a 27 per cent decrease in fines (more profit). Of course, mine deaths increased 15 per cent: more men died in mine ‘accidents’ last year than in any year in history. But this ‘regrettable’ detail shouldn’t be allowed to obscure the overall success of the policy.

Published in Seven News, July 9, 1982