If we are really declaring war against plastic bags, then let's do a D-Day on them – only in this case, the “D” stands for “dairy.” Four litres of milk includes three small plastic bags inside one large plastic bag, often inside a plastic grocery bag.
Not only are these bags not recycled, but they are a pain to open. A corner is cut off and this snippet is a choke hazard for kids and a plugging hazard for drains.
If we could return to recyclable plastic or glass milk bottles, we would end tons of plastic waste, cry over less spilled milk, and begin to enjoy again the one-handed, easy, spill-proof opening of a nice clear bottle of milk. Here is Toronto's chance to milk its plastic-bag lead for all it's worth.
Doug Gruber, Guelph, Ont.
The decision to ban the use of plastic bags was ill-conceived, made without input from the public or retailers. It is an argument, dare I say, to have a senate at the city hall level – a chamber of sober second thought.
Derek Jansen, Toronto
What about all the disposable diapers going into landfills? Ban them, too. The math of landfill savings is astounding.
Robert Caille, Brampton, Ont.
If Councillor David Shiner, who initiated the push to have plastic bags banned in Toronto, is truly concerned about the environmental impact of plastics, he should start with forgoing the case of single-use water bottles in his office and get himself a couple of refillable bottles to grab when he is off to a meeting.
Colleen Smith, Dundas, Ont.
The figures you promote are not representative of the investments made by Rx&D members (Lack Of Drug R&D Tough To Swallow – editorial, June 8). By the federal government's account, our record of investment over the past 23 years is, on average, 9.9 per cent per year. Rather close to the target of 10 per cent.
A 2011 KPMG study of health research investments, developed in collaboration with the federal government, found that investments made by our members amount to more than 20 per cent above and beyond the report you quote.
Our members invest more than $1-billion in Canadian life science R&D annually, and are consistently among the top spenders on R&D in Canada. We are asking for the tools to attract more.
Russell Williams, president, Rx&D
When I was the head of research for two major cancer charities, we were annually frustrated by not having nearly enough funds to support all the glowing research we saw, yet pharma, who are big players in the oncology field, were not living up in any way to their research “obligations” under Bill C-22. I am a big proponent of reasonable patent protection, but we ought to be demanding and enforcing the requirements
already agreed to and legislated before reopening this discussion.
Michael A. Wosnick,
Richmond Hill, Ont.
No sympathy here
Sorry, but those who aren't willing to move to find work get no sympathy from me (Stuck In Place: The Mobility Problem – Report on Business, June 7). Last year, I worked in Alberta for eight months; I saw my family for nine days in total during that time. Now, I am in Newfoundland, working for 14 days in a month and lucky to be home for a week per month.
Difficult? Sure. Necessary? Yes. My work pays for a roof over their head, food in their bellies and clothes on their backs. I am slowly paying toward four college or university educations and, I hope, a retirement – though from the looks of it, I'll work till I die.
N. Emson, Halifax
The proposed mine near Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) is not a case of first nations and environmentalists pitted against non-native residents. A significant proportion of the non-native population of Williams Lake and the Cariboo region stand firmly behind the Tsilhqot'in Nation in our opposition to this project (Fish Lake Mine Offers Test Case For Tory Environmental Rules – June 6).
Many of these residents have the same concerns that the independent expert panel found: immitigable significant impacts to fish, fish habitat, grizzlies and a devastation to Tsilhqot'in culture, regardless of which “variation” of this huge mine is proposed.
The fight against the mine proposal is for all British Columbians and all Canadians who want a review process that is transparent and accountable to the public. In the face of the previous scathing findings, this so-called “new” proposal cannot be approved.
Chief of Tl'etinqox-t'in; chairman, Tsilhqot'in National Government
Admin vs. care
The criticism of Ontario's Local Health Integration Networks misses the mark. The introduction of LHINs streamlined health-care decision-making and eliminated several overlapping layers of bureaucracy, including district health councils and ministry regional offices.
A much greater bureaucratic threat to patient care is the costly model of Community Care Access Centres (CCAC) case management that sees 6,000 highly qualified nurses employed to provide case management services instead of delivering front-line care. This means fewer hours of care get to those who need it.
The government has pledged to increase community support funding and expand personal support worker care by three million hours. But, if these investments are going to do any good, funding must actually make its way to those delivering the care.
The current risk is that CCACs will continue to shave more than 33 per cent off the top to cover administration. If you had your choice, would you rather have 6,000 RNs pushing paper or delivering front-line care?
George Smitherman, former
Ontario minister of health and
long term care (2003-2008)
The new diplomatic axis between Moscow and Beijing is described as “one that puts the ‘stability' of governments and societies ahead of human rights and democracy …” (Hu And Putin Set Realpolitik Agenda As New Age Dawns – June 6). Clearly, this is antithetical to the Western powers, which put the stability of banks and business ahead of human rights and democracy.
Although, on second thought, the governments-ahead-of-democracy theme does seem to fit right in with our present government's view of parliamentary
democracy. Maybe Stephen Harper should send an observer to get some tips.
Frank Loomer, Victoria
Conrad Black's new lawyers state that without sufficient resources, Lord Black was forced to use lower-cost (not low-cost) lawyers and therefore was “intentionally deprived” of his right to legal representation (Conrad Black Wants Remaining Fraud Convictions Dismissed – June 5).
The lawyers who did represent him shouldn't be upset. If I may use a “Blackian” phrase, they, like other Canadians, have simply received a Brobdingnagian insult from Lord Black. It means big.
Garry Preston, Oakville, Ont.