Sometimes there are unexpected consequences to our actions. On the other hand, the fee-for-checked-bag policy has totally predictable consequences (Will WestJet’s Checked-Bag Policy Carry Weight With Its Customers? – Business, Feb. 6).
Fewer checked bags equal more carry-on bags. Bags in stuffed overhead bins are generally limited to around 10 kilograms, but having witnessed a healthy person requiring help to lift her bag up into the bin, I believe that limit is regularly exceeded.
If the aircraft comes to an abrupt stop, all this extra weight could come to rest on the passengers’ heads below, or impede an emergency evacuation. I check all my luggage and would pay an additional 2 per cent on my ticket just so everyone’s luggage gets placed in the aircraft hold, where it belongs. Are we concerned about passenger safety or a “2 per cent bump in revenue”?
Daniel Slunder, national chairman, Canadian Federal Pilots Association, Ottawa
The ‘law industry’
As a retired lawyer, I find the demise of a distinguished law firm like Heenan Blaikie (Heenan Blaikie Lawyers In Merger Talks With U.S. Legal Giant – Feb. 6) to be very sad.
What is more distressing is that the legal profession is now to be treated as the “law industry.” Most industries have very low standards of public service.
Are the provincial law societies going to demand professional standards? They have shown they will not. That is really sad.
Stephen Barker, Toronto
Quotas for men
In Janet Yellen Didn’t Need A Quota (Feb. 6), Margaret Wente suggests that one of the reasons women are underrepresented in senior positions is because they would rather go to teacher’s college. A visit to any Ontario public school will confirm that elementary teaching is a predominantly female occupation.
This situation must be rectified immediately. Children need strong male role models. Consequently, while laws are passed setting female quotas and targets for boardrooms, similar legislation should be passed requiring that half of elementary teaching jobs be reserved for males. They do, after all, make up roughly half the population.
At the very least, those school boards that do not have, say, 40 per cent males (to borrow Norway’s number) in elementary teaching and care-giving positions should be “named and shamed.”
Robert Cairns, Cobourg, Ont.
Thank you for the recent Focus piece about superbugs (The New Germ Warfare – Feb. 2). I’ve worked in Canadian hospitals for more than 40 years. Here are two suggestions that I’m certain would decrease the spread of germs.
First, insist that patients wash their hands before they eat. Second, clean blood-pressure cuffs and oxygen sat monitors (those are the little gadgets that nurses put on your finger to measure pulse and oxygen levels) between patients. They’re used everywhere, as are fingers.
Cathy Harrop, Registered Nurse, Canmore, Alta.
Thanks for making the horrific numbers visible: Each year, 220,000 patients develop infectious diseases while in hospital and each day, 22 patients die from them.
My heart ached for Brian Young’s mother, who acquired C. diffficile three times before succumbing to the third bout. My own sister contracted hospital-acquired MRSA – it wasn’t the cause of her death, but it brought pain and discomfort and inhibited her ability to live her last year of life to its fullest.
The highly paid CEOs of our hospitals must be held accountable. Florence Nightingale, with far fewer resources and only rudimentary science, did better in fighting the infections of her era over 100 years ago.
Grace Stanley, Brooklin, Ont.
Fair Elections Act
The Fair Elections Act focuses all of the agency’s promotional advertising on informing people of the basics of casting a ballot: the dates, times, locations and methods of voting. It’s the job of aspiring candidates, not government bureaucrats, to give people a reason to vote.
The evidence affirms this approach. Turnout has plummeted from 75 to 61 per cent since Elections Canada began its turnout campaigns. Roughly a quarter of young non-voters expressed that not knowing where (25 per cent), when (26 per cent) or how (19 per cent) to vote played a role in their decision not to cast a ballot.
The solution is to require Elections Canada to focus all of its advertising on informing youth, aboriginals and everyone else of all the details of casting a ballot. That is precisely what the Fair Elections Act will do.
Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State (Democratic Reform)
What about flaring?
The CAPP’s Alex Ferguson fails to mention the natural-gas flaring in the Bakken oil fields (Energy Solutions – letters, Feb. 6). Drilling companies burn off this gas to get at the more valuable oil products. So much is burned that the light is visible from space. What about all that methane pollution? What about all that waste?
Mary White, Fredericton
I’m compelled to respond to recent letters about Toronto’s downtown airport such as Jets Are For Pearson (Feb. 5). Here in Edmonton, we recently killed our long-time downtown airport and I couldn’t be happier. Living relatively close, it was amazing the difference it made when the scheduled jet flights ended.
I can’t understand how or why would anyone living in the condos on Toronto’s waterfront would want to live with the noise and pollution from jet traffic. If Porter wants to play with the big boys, put them on the same field.
Jeffery Morie, Edmonton
Have a little pun
I couldn’t help but note the sly reference in Sean Gordon’s report ‘Interesting’ Accommodations No Impediment In Quest For Gold (Sports – Feb. 5) to “piddling matters like Sochi’s now-infamous tandem toilets.”
Please encourage more of your journalists to have a little more pun when writing about matters not so consequential. It’s minus-unbearable almost everywhere in Canada right now and we could all use some warmth from a chuckle or belly laugh over the morning paper.
Maribeth Adams, Kamloops