Way too provincial
Kudos to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall for putting free trade between the provinces back at the top of the national agenda (Western Provinces Push For Free Trade – In Canada; July 10).
It’s absurd that foreign companies – under international trade agreements – enjoy better access to provincial markets than some Canadian firms. It’s even more lamentable that Ontario, usually a leader in nation-building projects because it has the most to gain from them, is dragging its feet on giving up its “local knowledge” rule for provincial government construction contracts.
It’s laughable to suggest that some deep insight is needed to build in Ontario that isn’t needed in the more challenging climates and topographies of the rest of the country. Ontario’s government appears to have forgotten that what’s good for Canada is good for Ontario and vice versa.
Ontario’s provincial government is just way too provincial.
Brett House, Montreal
Alberta Premier Dave Hancock is supporting Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall in calling for the dismantling of internal trade barriers, but Alberta’s Finance Minister, Doug Horner, won’t support a national securities regulator because he’s “not going to be bought or bullied into signing something that’s not right for Alberta” (Quebec, Alberta Shun National Regulator – Report on Business, July 10).
No wonder citizens in other provinces can’t trust Alberta politicians when they say they’re promoting projects (read: pipelines) that are in the “national interest.”
David Robertson, Calgary
Energy East benefits
Re If Alberta Oil Heads East, Benefits For Ontario Are Hard To See (online, July 7): TransCanada’s proposed $12-billion Energy East crude-oil pipeline will create 10,000 full-time jobs. In Ontario, it will create 2,300 direct jobs during development and construction, and 6,000 spin-off jobs.
It will add $13-billion in GDP for Ontario’s economy over the project’s lifetime, and $3.5-billion in tax revenuesto repair roads, build schools and hospitals, upgrade crumbling buildings and more. TransCanada’s annual property tax contribution to Ontario through Energy East would be another $42-million.
Jeff Rubin claims Ontarians will subsidize Energy East and pay more for power. In fact, we expect gas transmission costs to drop because the Energy East conversion will reduce the Canadian Mainline cost of service which will benefit our shippers.
Energy East is an historic opportunity to connect the oil resources of Western Canada to the consumers of Eastern Canada, creating jobs, tax revenue and energy security for all Canadians for decades. That includes Ontario businesses, consumers and community organizations.
Alex Pourbaix, president, development; TransCanada, Calgary
Legalities of sex
Re Is There A Moral Case Against Prostitution? (July 10): Modern technologies allow us to separate procreation and pleasure, if we wish. Sex for pleasure can and often does stand by itself. Married couples do it. People in committed relationships do it. Singles on dates do it. Friends-with-benefits do it. All for the sheer enjoyment.
Most of our society is comfortable with this sex-for-pleasure activity. However, there are boundaries not to be crossed, such as coercion (e.g. rape), sex with children and sex in public.
Prostitution as a legal profession meets these criteria, with the added extra of money changing hands. Money alone should not change the moral climate and should not be clouding the discussion of how, and if, to regulate this legal profession.
David Kister, Toronto
The Harper government’s Bill C-36 would make it illegal to be a client or a pimp, while offering financial help for exploited women to get out of the world’s oldest profession. In fact, Justice Minister Peter MacKay went so far as to say he hopes the government funding in the new bill will eliminate prostitution entirely.
President Ronald Reagan once stated: “It has been said that politics is the second-oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.” Perhaps Mr. MacKay has been giving some thought to the Great Communicator’s words. Maybe he really does want to be No. 1 again by the process of elimination.
Bernie Smith, Parksville, B.C.
Good for the PM
Stephen Harper does not view the Supreme Court as his enemy (And The Enemy Is – letters, July 9). He is merely incensed with the court’s interference in the judicial-appointment process, and rightfully so. The power to appoint Supreme Court justices is held exclusively by the executive of the federal government.
The Supreme Court’s function is to interpret the law, nothing more, nothing less. The court has been sitting on high for much too long and has forgotten its original role. The Prime Minister is willing to challenge the justices on some of these issues. Good for him.
Canada was in desperate need of a PM with a majority government who is not afraid to upset the apple cart in this lawyer society of ours.
Caspar Pfenninger, Calgary
Ask Hamas …
Re Talk To Hamas (letters, July 10): A letter writer says “It’s time to get Hamas to the table and open a conversation.” I agree.
First question to Hamas: What borders of an Israeli state would you officially accept?
Second question: Are you willing to host an Israeli ambassador in your country?
Probably a short conversation.
Irwin Pollock, Montreal
Kudos to Rob Ford
Re WorldPride Snub Speaks Louder Than Homophobia Denials (July 10): Many people are up in arms that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford didn’t stand when other councillors were thanking those who organized the “Pride” parade.
I ask: If the yearly Greek parade were to have people who were naked, simulating sex acts, gyrating, dressed indecently and performing other shameful acts, wouldn’t the police start making arrests? Performing lewd and lascivious acts in public is still against the law. Aren’t children in attendance at Pride parades?
If, as I said, these events took place at the yearly parade in Greek town, and if the mayor did not rise to thank the organizers of such a parade, would he be considered Greek-a-phobic? Is there one set of laws for heterosexuals and another for homosexuals?
Dee Burns, Toronto
SINS of the data
Re Statscan Looks To Shore Up Census With SIN Data (July 9): Stephen Harper did away with the mandatory long form census to protect my privacy, resulting in flawed and incomplete data.
Now Statscan wants my confidential Social Insurance Number to access my private tax returns, to improve the quality of its data.
Marty Cutler, Toronto