March 21st Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 3/21/2014 7:09:00 AM

Drinking and driving

There's no need to hit the panic button but there's some new research that should be closely examined which basically says the older you get the less able you are to handle alcohol....something which has been assumed for years.

The important element to this study is that it shows older drivers' skills behind the wheel deteriorate even with just one drink.

Their ability to keep the car in the lane and their ability to maintain their speed is reduced. The steering wheel was jerkier.

Sara Jo Nixon at the University of Florida led the study and on the University's YouTube channel, she pointed out that this was a small study group...72 people.

Half in the 25 to 35 range. The other half in the 55 to 70 demographic and they were put through a simulated driving test.

The results have Doctor Nixon concerned about what this might mean in the real world.

Doctor Nixon says a much bigger studied is needed.

Chow and buses

The first red flag about Olivia Chow's run for mayor of Toronto and it's about transit.

Here's her plan. Cancel the subway extension into Scarborough and put in LRT.

That we knew.

What's new now is she wants to keep some of the aging fleet of buses on the roads longer.

That combined with the 1-hundred-40 new buses the TTC has already ordered would mean hiring more drivers at a cost of 15-million dollars a year.

15-mill in salaries, plus higher maintenance costs to keep the aging buses running just to beef up bus service by 10 percent.

Chow wants to increase the number of buses on city streets during the rush hours. Just what we needed...more large vehicles slowing your ability to drive to and from work and she's made it clear these buses will be put on the high-traffic routes.

Former TTC chair and mayoralty candidate Karen Stintz says for Chow to get something like that done would increase your property taxes beyond the rate of inflation.

Chow has already committed to tax hikes at or below inflation.

Keep your eye on another mayoralty candidate Sara Thomson.

She is a long, long shot but if Thomson were to become Mayor, she would make sure there are tolls on the Gardiner and Don Valley Parkway...tolls to be paid by commuters from the suburbs.


The Canadian economy, already suffering because of a lengthy truckers strike at the Port of Vancouver, the country's largest port, may also soon face a strike by CN Rail.

CN said last night that it has been notified by Teamsters Canada that 3-thousand conductors, yard workers and other train workers have rejected the latest tentative contract agreement.

That is the second tentative deal the union negotiating team hammered out and the rank and file said no.

CN is now proposing that all unresolved contract issues be submitted to binding arbitration.

No response yet from the Teamsters.

CN moves about 2-hundred-50-billion dollars worth of goods every year.

Since the 26th of February, truckers have been on strike at the Port Metro Vancouver. Exports and imports are stalled so much so that BMO Nesbitt Burns is saying this "disruption will lead to a sharp deterioration in the trade balance" this month.

Others say if its not resolved soon...consumers could start feeling the effects through higher prices.

The union meets on the weekend but the union boss is not optimistic.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper's plane will be wheels up at 9 this morning...destination Europe.

The highlight of the trip.

Harper is going to Ukraine for high level talks with the interim leaders in Kiev about the Russian siege of Crimea.

He would be the first G-7 leader to visit since the crisis began.

Government sources are quoted by the Globe and Mail as saying the Prime Minister is considering punitive sanctions against the Russian business sector.

By extension, Moscow would then likely retaliate against the Canadian business sector so there is another risk to damaging our economy.


The second day of search the vast waters of the Indian Ocean have turned up nothing...no trace of the debris found floating off the coast of Australia by a commercial satellite 5 days ago.

This is the only lead in the search for that Malaysian jetliner...which may turn out to be no lead at all.


No sign yet of a stolen puppy taken from its owners hand in a brazen armed holdup at a busy intersection.

It was 10 o'clock Tuesday night. Jane and Weston Road....right now a bus stop and a 7-Eleven.

A man was out walking his 3-month old puppy.

Two men walked up, stuck a gun in his gut, handcuffed him, went through his pockets grabbing his Blackberry, a gold chain and they grabbed the puppy.

There was a getaway vehicle nearby. They jumped in with the dog and drove off...what appears to be a random street heist.

The descriptions of the robbers and a photo of the puppy are up on our website: newstalk 1010-dot-com.




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  1. danieljchristie posted on 03/21/2014 07:55 PM
    Mr. Agar's comments re: Older Drivers and Drinking ignore an obvious fact: Drinking or no drinking, the acuity of older drivers behind the wheel lessen for many reasons, age among them. I'm 63 and I'm not the driver I was. I know that. I haven't got the fluidity of neck extension I once had. I wear bi-focals and I wouldn't think of driving myself home after a chemo treatment. It seems obvious to me that age combines with everything to diminish both our physical and intellectual abilities (Mr. Agar notwithstanding on the intellectual side obviously...) and our enjoyment of what we used to know. I'm reminded of what Leonard Cohen said: "My friends are gone/And my hair is grey/ I ache in the places/ Where I used to play." I still have a license. I still drink. But in retrospect I made a very good real estate move many years ago: I bought a house 144 steps from a bar. Now, I can part with my F150 with no regret. But God help me if that bar ever closes....
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