Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Workplace Aluminum Stairs Complying with OSHA & IBC

There are conformity requirements to prevent employee injuries or drops when you own or handle a building or business. OSHA and IBC have strict, established requirements for the various layouts of staircases as well as guardrails. There is a requirement to recognize which style fits your situation to meet security needs without endangering code compliance with other structures.

When purchasing commercial stairs, you need first to identify your company's local building code needs and application. For open locations or public areas with the heavy movement of people, you should stick to IBC standards. However, OSHA guidelines may obtain all facilities that employ workers in the United States, such as factories where safety and security problems develop due to their workers working therein any time throughout the day change without supervision.

The sturdiness of galvanized steel lends it a certain allure. It begins intense and also silvery, though, after 6 to 9 months (galvanized steel's "rust"), it obtains dull to an impaired reddish brownish. Galvanized steel has a solid link to the marine backdrop, making it a superb product for interior decoration jobs with a nautical style. Due to this, galvanized steel is a typical product for nearshore frameworks, including piers, anchors, and homes.

On the other hand, galvanized steel is much more challenging to deal with and modify than lightweight aluminum since you can not repaint galvanized steel for the first 6 to 9 months after purchase. During the galvanizing procedure, gases escape from the zinc and end up being trapped in the steel, causing the weathering procedure. The paint will undoubtedly bubble and distort if painted while these gases are still running the wall surface.

Galvanized steel is an appealing choice if you want to stick with a nautical theme. Galvanized steel is not the optimal product for a stairway that might promptly customize to your linking after purchase.

With powder-coated lightweight aluminum in any personalized shade, you can quickly add a modern-day, modern, or commercial idea with a distinct character.

Lightweight aluminum's resistance to corrosion makes it an excellent product for usage in industrial settings. This metal stairway style is best for oceanfront penthouse terrace races because of its smooth, contemporary appearance. All that's left is a layer of great white powder finish to complete the appearance. This contemporary metal piece is optimal for oceanfront residences and also resorts with its streamlined lines and also bright white coating.

Making use of steel for a reinforcement stairway railing or steel stairs structure is more inexpensive and long-lasting. Taking advantage of steel in stairs makes them stable, resistant, and additionally lasting. They do not come to be endangered by significant environmental adjustments, as well as unlike timber, and termites will not ruin them. However, to fight steel corrosion, the metal is frequently dealt with as both of those points. Metal staircases can handle more weights than hardwood activities, which enables different innovative styles.

Indeed, steel staircases and also barriers aren't the only premade items that maintain installment websites risk-free. Any item can be made with these same benefits when hiring a team of experts who can source top-quality materials like steel stairs!

Even though steel stair projects are quicker than traditional building and construction tasks, they possess many advantages. That's because metal staircase installation sites do not need to bother with the typical dangers of building from the ground up, like weather delays or faulty products! For several local business owners, steel railings are an essential part of their style process for industrial establishments. Metal staircases and metal barriers include several advantages hook, line, and sinker compared to other materials like wood or fiberglass.

Using steel for a steel staircase barrier or metal staircase installation is much more cost-effective and robust. The use of steel in staircases makes them durable, resilient, as well as long-lasting. They don't end up being deteriorated by significant environmental adjustments, and also, unlike hardwood, they won't be ruined by termites. Nevertheless, to battle deterioration of steel, the metal is typically dealt with to be both of those points. Metal stairs can take care of more weights than lumber actions, which enables even more artistic layouts.

Metal stairways are highly versatile, which means they can be used on any business establishment, from restaurants to hotels! Metal barriers go exceptionally well with industrial structures because it adds an upscale look at low costs. For example, steel stair barriers oblige to be much more attractive than metal stairways because installers can customize them with elegant shapes and designs, which eliminates the need for additional interior design.

Despite the situation, you have an included level of protection with metal stair railings on both sides. This is because steel barriers are a lot more reputable and give the needed support that will certainly keep you safe whatsoever times. Also, if somebody is using one side of the stairwell or even holding something in the other hand, you should never endanger safety and security.

When it concerns with metal stair systems, there are several options that you can match design with safety. It is up you, as a manager, to keep your worker safe and let them go home in one piece to their families.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Toronto: Love it? Hate it?

If you are a Canuck do you hate Toronto? Do Americans love to hate New York?


From Saturday's Globe and Mail

If, as the makers of a new documentary claim, everybody hates Toronto, why does everybody live here? I mean, everybody who matters?

Let's All Hate Toronto, premiering next week at — where else? — Toronto's internationally acclaimed Hot Docs documentary film festival, tries to uncover the reasons for the rabid hatred that TROC (The Remaindered of Canada) feels for Toronto, the nation's cultural and commercial capital.

Directed by transplanted Montrealer (transplanted to — where else? — Toronto) Albert Nerenberg, the film shows what happened when Mr. Nerenberg and a pal posing as “Mr. Toronto” drove across the country setting up fake “Toronto Appreciation Day” booths. The results are not pretty — for the also-ran cities. People kick the signs down, attack Mr. Toronto verbally and physically, and make really ugly anger faces into the camera. What a load of jealous, whiny, unresolved-childhood-issues-carrying ingrates.

People in Montreal appear mostly bemused by Mr. Toronto's antics, probably because bemused is their default reaction to everything.

Montrealers are too lazy to lift an eyebrow. Mount Royal could suddenly turn into a smoking tower of bubbling lava and the nicotined boulevardiers of St. Laurent would only shrug, blame the federal government, and get back to the vital work of sneering over their federally subsidized pints of Maudite. A life without aspirations must be such a comfort.

Vancouverites, people who spend a suspiciously Macbeth-ish amount of time protesting their calm, forgiving natures, turn positively apoplectic at the very sight of the word Toronto. I suspect this is largely because Vancouver is where failed Torontonians go to die. They have good reason to be bitter, stuck as they are, huddled and wet under the ass end of a mountain, forgotten and lonely, with only the faint hope of a devastating avalanche to get them through the night.

Other cities weigh in on the Toronto issue as the film chuckles along, but they are places too small and of too little consequence to mention. You know the cities I mean — the kind that people get away from.

When I first moved to Toronto in the early nineties, from no less a sludgehole than Saint John, N.B., which bears the questionable distinction of not being “the cute St. John's” (i.e., the one in Newfoundland), I was instantly entranced.

I remain so today, because all the bad things the rest of the country says about Toronto are so wonderfully, refreshingly true: It's trashy, dirty, dangerous, rude and full of itself. In other words, it's a big city. If Toronto suddenly turned quaint, clean, secure, polite and ingratiating, it would be Victoria, or Fredericton, and the last thing this country needs is another scone-hoarding mini-Rhodesia wrapped in a dusty doily. One per coast, please.

Toronto is big and, like all big things, except Saskatchewan, complicated. When you go big, you accept a certain amount of mess, and expect to leave a trail.

So, yes, Toronto has homeless people, street preachers, beggars and streetwalkers sporting thigh-high boots, just like in the movies. Movies about cities.

Yes, Toronto has lots of people from lots of different places who don't always understand or like each other. Some of us find the confusion entertaining, a live screwball comedy with a multiracial cast. Another benefit is the happy truth that a great number of Torontonians, coming from elsewhere, are, blessedly, folks who have never heard of Nickelback, sung that god-awful Barrett's Privateers song in a fake Irish pub, found curling anything but weird, or revered the stale stylings of Michael Bublé. They bring their own bad art to town, and are happy to share.

And, yes, Toronto has snooty restaurants manned by crabby underwear models — if by snooty one means that every entrée is not served on white toast and slathered in canned gravy (unless you ask, and pay extra).

But best of all, Toronto does not care about you, about what you do, about where you're going or what you're wearing. In Toronto, nobody is watching from behind their kitchen window curtains, nobody knows your parents, grandparents and dentist, nobody remembers where you went to school or how bad your hair was in Grade 11, and nobody is cluck-clucking about your divorce, weight gain, poor investment strategy or binge drinking. Until they get to know you.

You are alone here, anonymous. You have no history, owe no social debts, sing no little-town blues. For as long as you like, you can be one of the crowd — because we actually have crowds.

To anybody who has ever lived in a small Canadian town, one of those finger-wagging gossips' warrens run by the United Church and unburdened by genetic diversity or stylish clothing, the averted gaze of the preoccupied, uncaring Toronto subway rider buried in his BlackBerry is a benediction.

What, then, is the problem with TROC (The Refuse of Canada)? The simple response is that they're just jealous, but jealousy is often a symptom of deeper unresolved issues.

Post-colonial studies teaches us that citizens of colonies (or, in Canada's case, former colonies) suffer from a psychological condition that causes them to constantly perceive themselves as being outside the centre, as living on the margins.

Subsequently, the actual centres of colonized countries (in our case, Toronto) are resented via displacement, because hating the colonizer is too big a dilemma to face, and we're conflicted in our emotions about our former masters. It's a bit like being mad at your boss for no good reason because you're really mad at Mommy and Daddy. Toronto is the scapegoat for the nation's buried resentment of London, Paris or Washington (pick your colonizer).

Fair enough, and almost forgivable — Vancouver and Montreal and Halifax can't help it because they're mentally ill. If the nation can only cope with its inadequacies by projecting its disappointments onto me and my city, I'm willing to play therapist. But I want compensation.

At Toronto rates, please. Wellness, like success, ain't cheap.

I learned that here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day - Just say no to plastic bags!

Happy Earth Day! Unsure what change to make to help our environment? Start small. Say no to plastic bags and use re-usable cloth sacks or recycled paper bags and boxes. Need some motiviation? Read below. It's pretty disturbing.

Plastic bags are killing us

The most ubiquitous consumer item on Earth, the lowly plastic bag is an environmental scourge like none other, sapping the life out of our oceans and thwarting our attempts to recycle it.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Aug. 10, 2007 | On a foggy Tuesday morning, kids out of school for summer break are learning to sail on the waters of Lake Merritt. A great egret hunts for fish, while dozens of cormorants perch, drying their wings. But we're not here to bird-watch or go boating. Twice a week volunteers with the Lake Merritt Institute gather on these shores of the nation's oldest national wildlife refuge to fish trash out of the water, and one of their prime targets is plastic bags. Armed with gloves and nets with long handles, like the kind you'd use to fish leaves out of a backyard swimming pool, we take to the shores to seek our watery prey.

Dr. Richard Bailey, executive director of the institute, is most concerned about the bags that get waterlogged and sink to the bottom. "We have a lot of animals that live on the bottom: shrimp, shellfish, sponges," he says. "It's like you're eating at your dinner table and somebody comes along and throws a plastic tarp over your dinner table and you."

This morning, a turtle feeds serenely next to a half submerged Walgreens bag. The bag looks ghostly, ethereal even, floating, as if in some kind of purgatory suspended between its briefly useful past and its none-too-promising future. A bright blue bags floats just out of reach, while a duck cruises by. Here's a Ziploc bag, there a Safeway bag. In a couple of hours, I fish more than two dozen plastic bags out of the lake with my net, along with cigarette butts, candy wrappers and a soccer ball. As we work, numerous passersby on the popular trail that circles the urban lake shout their thanks, which is an undeniable boost. Yet I can't help being struck that our efforts represent a tiny drop in the ocean. If there's one thing we know about these plastic bags, it's that there are billions and billions more where they came from.

The plastic bag is an icon of convenience culture, by some estimates the single most ubiquitous consumer item on Earth, numbering in the trillions. They're made from petroleum or natural gas with all the attendant environmental impacts of harvesting fossil fuels. One recent study found that the inks and colorants used on some bags contain lead, a toxin. Every year, Americans throw away some 100 billion plastic bags after they've been used to transport a prescription home from the drugstore or a quart of milk from the grocery store. It's equivalent to dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil.

Only 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled worldwide -- about 2 percent in the U.S. -- and the rest, when discarded, can persist for centuries. They can spend eternity in landfills, but that's not always the case. "They're so aerodynamic that even when they're properly disposed of in a trash can they can still blow away and become litter," says Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste. It's as litter that plastic bags have the most baleful effect. And we're not talking about your everyday eyesore.

Once aloft, stray bags cartwheel down city streets, alight in trees, billow from fences like flags, clog storm drains, wash into rivers and bays and even end up in the ocean, washed out to sea. Bits of plastic bags have been found in the nests of albatrosses in the remote Midway Islands. Floating bags can look all too much like tasty jellyfish to hungry marine critters. According to the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, more than a million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from eating or getting entangled in plastic. The conservation group estimates that 50 percent of all marine litter is some form of plastic. There are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. In the Northern Pacific Gyre, a great vortex of ocean currents, there's now a swirling mass of plastic trash about 1,000 miles off the coast of California, which spans an area that's twice the size of Texas, including fragments of plastic bags. There's six times as much plastic as biomass, including plankton and jellyfish, in the gyre. "It's an endless stream of incessant plastic particles everywhere you look," says Dr. Marcus Eriksen, director of education and research for the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, which studies plastics in the marine environment. "Fifty or 60 years ago, there was no plastic out there."

Following the lead of countries like Ireland, Bangladesh, South Africa, Thailand and Taiwan, some U.S. cities are striking back against what they see as an expensive, wasteful and unnecessary mess. This year, San Francisco and Oakland outlawed the use of plastic bags in large grocery stores and pharmacies, permitting only paper bags with at least 40 percent recycled content or otherwise compostable bags. The bans have not taken effect yet, but already the city of Oakland is being sued by an association of plastic bag manufacturers calling itself the Coalition to Support Plastic Bag Recycling. Meanwhile, other communities across the country, including Santa Monica, Calif., New Haven, Conn., Annapolis, Md., and Portland, Ore., are considering taking drastic legislative action against the bags. In Ireland, a now 22-cent tax on plastic bags has slashed their use by more than 90 percent since 2002. In flood-prone Bangladesh, where plastic bags choked drainage systems, the bags have been banned since 2002.

The problem with plastic bags isn't just where they end up, it's that they never seem to end. "All the plastic that has been made is still around in smaller and smaller pieces," says Stephanie Barger, executive director of the Earth Resource Foundation, which has undertaken a Campaign Against the Plastic Plague. Plastic doesn't biodegrade. That means unless they've been incinerated -- a noxious proposition -- every plastic bag you've ever used in your entire life, including all those bags that the newspaper arrives in on your doorstep, even on cloudless days when there isn't a sliver of a chance of rain, still exists in some form, even fragmented bits, and will exist long after you're dead.

Grand efforts are under way to recycle plastic bags, but so far those efforts have resulted mostly in a mass of confusion. A tour of Recycle Central in San Francisco makes it easy to see why. The plant is a Willie Wonka factory of refuse. Located on a bay pier with a stunning view of the downtown skyline, some 700 tons of discarded annual reports, Rolling Rock bottles, Diet Coke cans, cardboard boxes, Tide plastic detergent bottles and StarKist tuna fish cans surge into this warehouse every weekday, dumped from trucks into a great clattering, shifting mound. The building tinkles and thumps with the sound of thousands of pounds of glass, aluminum, paper, plastic and cardboard knocking together, as all this detritus passes through a dizzying network of conveyor belts, spinning disks, magnets and gloved human hands to emerge as 16 different sorted, recyclable commodities, baled up by the ton to be shipped or trucked away and made into something new again. It's one way that the city of San Francisco manages to divert some 69 percent of its waste from landfills. But this city's vaunted recycling program, which is so advanced that it can collect coffee grounds and banana peels from urbanites' apartment kitchens and transform them into compost used to grow grapes in Napa Valley vineyards, simply cannot master the plastic bag.

Ask John Jurinek, the plant manager at Recycle Central, what's wrong with plastic bags and he has a one-word answer: "Everything." Plastic bags, of which San Franciscans use some 180 million per year, cannot be recycled here. Yet the hopeful arrow symbol emblazoned on the bags no doubt inspires lots of residents to toss their used ones into the blue recycling bin, feeling good that they've done the right thing. But that symbol on all kinds of plastic items by no means guarantees they can be recycled curbside. (The plastic bags collected at the recycling plant are trucked to the regular dump.) By chucking their plastic bags in the recycling, what those well-meaning San Franciscans have done is throw a plastic wrench into the city's grand recycling factory. If you want to recycle a plastic bag it's better to bring it back to the store where you got it.

As the great mass of recyclables moves past the initial sort deck on a series of spinning disks, stray plastic bags clog the machinery. It's such a problem that one machine is shut down while a worker wearing kneepads and armed with a knife spends an hour climbing precariously on the disks to cut the bags out, yielding a Medusa's hair-mass of wrenched and twisted plastic. In the middle of the night, when the vast sorting operation grinds to a halt to prepare for the next 700-ton day, two workers will spend hours at this dirty job.

Some states are attacking the recycling problem by trying to encourage shoppers to take the bags back to grocery stores. California requires large grocery stores and pharmacies that distribute the bags known in the trade as T-shirt bags -- those common polyethylene bags with two handles, usually made from petroleum or natural gas -- to take them back for recycling, and to print instructions on the bags to encourage shoppers to return them to the stores. San Francisco Environment Department spokesperson Mark Westlund, who can see plastic bags lodged in the trees on Market Street from his second-story office window, is skeptical about the state's ability to get shoppers to take back their bags. "We've had in store recycling in San Francisco for over 10 years, and it's never really been successful," says Westlund, who estimates that the city achieved only a 1 percent recycling rate of plastic bags at the stores. "People have to pack up the bags, bring them into the store and drop them off. I think you'd be more inclined to bring your own bag than do that."

Regardless, polyethylene plastic bags are recyclable, says Howie Fendley, a senior environmental chemist for MBDC, an ecological design firm. "It's a matter of getting the feedstock to the point where a recycler can economically justify taking those bags and recycling them. The problem is they're mostly air. There has to be a system in place where they get a nice big chunk of polyethylene that can be mechanically ground, melted and then re-extruded."

So far that system nationwide consists mainly of supermarkets and superstores like Wal-Mart voluntarily stockpiling the bags brought back in by conscientious shoppers, and selling them to recyclers or plastic brokers, who in turn sell them to recyclers. In the U.S., one company buys half of the used plastic bags available on the open market in the United States, using about 1.5 billion plastic bags per year. That's Trex, based in Winchester, Va., which makes composite decking out of the bags and recycled wood. It takes some 2,250 plastic bags to make a single 16-foot-long, 2-inch-by-6-inch plank. It might feel good to buy decking made out of something that otherwise could have choked a sea turtle, but not so fast. That use is not an example of true recycling, points out Carol Misseldine, sustainability coordinator for the city of Oakland. "We're not recycling plastic bags into plastic bags," she says. "They're being downcycled, meaning that they're being put into another product that itself can never be recycled."

Unlike a glass beer bottle or an aluminum can, it's unusual that a plastic bag is made back into another plastic bag, because it's typically more expensive than just making a new plastic bag. After all, the major appeal of plastic bags to stores is that they're much cheaper than paper. Plastic bags cost grocery stores under 2 cents per bag, while paper goes for 4 to 6 cents and compostable bags 9 to 14 cents. However, says Eriksen from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, "The long-term cost of having these plastic bags blowing across our landscape, across our beaches and accumulating in the northern Pacific far outweighs the short-term loss to a few."

Of course, shoppers could just bring their own canvas bags, and avoid the debate altogether. The California bag recycling law also requires stores to sell reusable bags. Yet it will be a sad irony if outlawing the bags, as San Francisco and Oakland have, doesn't inspire shoppers to bring their own canvas bags, but simply sends them to paper bags, which come with their own environmental baggage. In fact, plastic bags were once thought to be an ecologically friendly alternative to cutting down trees to make paper ones. It takes 14 million trees to produce the 10 billion paper grocery bags used every year by Americans, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Yet suggesting that plastic bags made out of petroleum are a better choice burns up Barger from the Earth Resources Foundation. "People say, 'I'm using plastic. I'm saving trees,'" he says. "But have you ever seen what Shell, Mobil and Chevron are doing down in the rain forests to get oil?"

Gordon Bennett, an executive in the San Francisco Bay chapter of the Sierra Club, agrees. "The fundamental thing about trees is that if you manage them properly they're a renewable resource," he says. "I haven't heard about the oil guys growing more oil lately." Still, as the plastic bag industry never tires of pointing out, paper bags are heavier than plastic bags, so they take more fossil fuels to transport. Some life cycle assessments have put plastic bags out ahead of paper, when it comes to energy and waste in the manufacturing process. But paper bags with recycled content, like those soon to be required in San Francisco and Oakland, use less energy and produce less waste than those made from virgin paper.

The only salient answer to paper or plastic is neither. Bring a reusable canvas bag, says Darby Hoover, a senior resource specialist for the Natural Resources Defense Council. However, if you have to make a choice between the two, she recommends taking whichever bag you're more likely to reuse the most times, since, like many products, the production of plastic or paper bags has the biggest environmental impact, not the disposal of them. "Reusing is a better option because it avoids the purchase of another product."

Some stores, like IKEA, have started trying to get customers to bring their own bags by charging them 5 cents per plastic bag. The Swedish furniture company donates the proceeds from the bag sales to a conservation group. Another solution just might be fashion. Bringing your own bag -- or BYOB as Whole Foods dubs it -- is the latest eco-chic statement. When designer Anya Hindmarch's "I am not a plastic bag" bag hit stores in Taiwan, there was so much demand for the limited-edition bag that the riot police had to be called in to control a stampede, which sent 30 people to the hospital.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Contest: A new church was born today... What shall we name it?

The conservatives have been saying that the Anglican Communion should have a central authority in an uber-primate and covenant. They have also said that no church should make a change in doctrine or practise without some kind of consensus throughout the Anglican Communion and an okay by the Primates and instruments of unity - including the Archbishop of Canterbury.

They have made the argument that the TEC and ACC made an illegal unilateral move by ordaining VGR and allowing same sex blessings. (Ignoring that several other national churches have done the same thing or that churches also unbiblically allow divorced and remarried adulterers to be members, clergy and bishops. But hypocrisy isn't a sin, evidently.) The failure to "repent" of this illegal move should be enough to "expel" the TEC and ACC from the Anglican Communion.

Neither the Archbishop of Canterbury nor do other national churches of the Anglican Communion recognize CANA as a parallel Anglican church in North America. The ABC requested that Akinola not attend this service. That request was ignored by both CANA and Akinola.

Now, by the Conservative's own argument, the Nigerian Church has committed the same "sin" as the TEC. It made a unilateral move without the okay of the instruments of unity, the ABC or approval by the other Primates of the Anglican Communion. Akinola has put himself above the authority of the ABC by ignoring the ABCs request. The punishment should be the same as they advocate for the TEC and ACC - expulsion from the Anglican Communion.

CANA views Akinola as their new uber-primate above the ABC. When Akinola attended any sacerdotal CANA ceremony then he is acknowledged and accepted their view that he is the uber-primate. Once you have two uber-primates you have schism. A country can't have two Presidents, nor can a church have two primates.

So congratulations! A new church has been born. They have a new Archbishop of Abuja as your new uber Primate, they have ceased to be Anglican. They are still Christian, but no longer in communion with the Church of England.

I am taking submissions on its new name. Any ideas?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Bishop demands 'better theology' of sex

MICHAEL VALPY: Globe and Mail

The Christian church has a deeply flawed understanding of sex that has led to morally groundless objections to masturbation, birth control, abortion and homosexuality, says a leading Canadian Anglican bishop.

In particular, the church has been wrong for centuries on the notion that sex exists only for the purpose of procreation, Right Rev. Michael Ingham, bishop of the Greater Vancouver Diocese of New Westminster, told a conference in Ottawa last night.

"Christianity as a religion stands in need of a better theology of sexuality," he said, "a better understanding of the complex role sexuality plays in our human nature and of the purposes of God in creating us as sexual beings."

He said the church has misunderstood references to homosexuality in the Bible, wasted energy in persecuting individuals who have argued for a new understanding of sexuality, and failed to comprehend how much the Bible and church doctrines have been shaped through the lens of male experience.

Bishop Ingham's call for a new theology of sex will be felt as a shock throughout the 77-million member Anglican Communion, Christianity's third largest denomination.

He already has outraged most Anglican leaders by authorizing the blessing of same-sex unions in his diocese.

That act led in part to the Canadian church being asked to withdraw from the executive body of the world church.

His comments last night come just two weeks after world Anglicanism's primates -- or senior archbishops -- issued an ultimatum to the U.S. branch of the church, giving it until Sept. 30 to pledge not to bless same-sex unions or appoint openly gay bishops at the risk of being kicked out of the communion.

The Canadian church is to decide nationally on same-sex blessings in June.

The forthrightness of Bishop Ingham's address on sexuality is without precedent in the Canadian Anglican church. It not only puts him at odds with much of the Anglican Communion but with Roman Catholicism, most Protestant sects and the Orthodox Church.

The Bible's Christian New Testament condemnation of homosexuality, he said, is "almost certainly" a proscription of sex between adult males and young boys -- tolerated in the 1st century AD in Greek society -- and not a proscription against adult homo-eroticism.

"[The Christian biblical writer] St. Paul understood same-sex relationships only in terms of the older-man and younger-boy relationship of the Greeks, which we call pederasty, or in other words child abuse. . . . But no difference was perceived [by the Christian church] between child abuse and adult same-sex love.

"Today we have a better understanding of homosexuality as a basic and natural orientation experienced by some members of the human community, just as we find the same thing among some animal species, and in Christian terms we must come to think of this as not only natural but also God-given and good.

"But these developments in the social sciences and therefore in popular understanding are still relatively new -- since about the 19th century. They have not yet penetrated the church's thinking except at the edges of its consciousness and greatly against its will."

Several times in his address, Bishop Ingham referred to the church's inability to get beyond a fixation on genital intercourse -- and a negative view of sexuality for any purpose other than procreation as tainted, impure and evil -- isolated from a full, loving interpersonal sexual relationship.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Gays welcome... immigrants not so much

Sigh...It's sad to say that while Quebec has made great gains in acceptance of gays and lesbians, immigrants, especially Muslims, are often still out to lunch. The stereotyping found in the declaration sickens me. There is only one immigrant family in the village in question, and everything prohibited in the declaration is already illegal in Canada. So the intent is to keep those weird Muslims out of pure, White, Catholic, French speaking Québec.

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Immigrants wishing to live in the small Canadian town of Herouxville, Quebec, must not stone women to death in public, burn them alive or throw acid on them, according to an extraordinary set of rules released by the local council.

The declaration, published on the town's Web site, has deepened tensions in the predominantly French-speaking province over how tolerant Quebecers should be toward the customs and traditions of immigrants.

"We wish to inform these new arrivals that the way of life which they abandoned when they left their countries of origin cannot be recreated here," said the declaration, which makes clear women are allowed to drive, vote, dance, write checks, dress how they want, work and own property.

"Therefore we consider it completely outside these norms to ... kill women by stoning them in public, burning them alive, burning them with acid, circumcising them etc."

No one on the town council was available for comment on Tuesday. Herouxville, which has 1,300 inhabitants, is about 160 km (100 miles) northeast of Montreal.

Andre Drouin, the councilor who devised the declaration, told the National Post newspaper that the town was not racist.

"We invite people from all nationalities, all languages, all sexual orientations, whatever, to come live with us, but we want them to know ahead of time how we live," he said.

The declaration is part of a wider debate over "reasonable accommodation," or how far Quebecers should be prepared to change their customs so as not to offend immigrants. Figures from the 2001 census show that around 10 percent of Quebec's 7.5 million population were born outside Canada.

Earlier this month the Journal de Montreal newspaper published a poll of Quebecers showing that 59 percent admitted to harboring some kind of racist feelings.

The Herouxville regulations say girls and boys can exercise together and people should only be allowed to cover their faces at Halloween. Children must not take weapons to school, it adds, although the Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled that Sikh boys have the right to carry ceremonial daggers.

Salam Elmenyawi, president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, said the declaration had "set the clock back for decades" as far as race relations were concerned.

"I was shocked and insulted to see these kinds of false stereotypes and ignorance about Islam and our religion ... in a public document written by people in authority who discriminate openly," he told Reuters.

Last year a Montreal gym agreed to install frosted windows after a nearby Hasidic synagogue said it was offended by the sight of adults exercising.

Newspapers say a Montreal community center banned men from prenatal classes to respect Hindu and Sikh traditions and an internal police magazine suggested women police officers allow their male colleagues to interview Hasidic Jews.

Montreal's police force is investigating one of its officers after he posted an anti-immigrant song called "That's Enough Already" on the Internet.

"We want to accept ethnics, but not at any price ... if you're not happy with your fate, there's a place called the airport," the officer sings.

An accompanying video shows clips of Muslims and Hasidic Jews and at one point shows shots of a partially nude woman to mock those who wear veils.

The Herouxville declaration is available, in English and French, at the "avis public" section of the town's Web site,