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Members of several labour unions march to a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers in Lakeside, PEI, on June 14, 2010. More than three years later, finance ministers are still debating the issue. (ANDREW VAUGHAN/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Members of several labour unions march to a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers in Lakeside, PEI, on June 14, 2010. More than three years later, finance ministers are still debating the issue. (ANDREW VAUGHAN/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

WHAT READERS THINK

Dec. 17: The CPP debate: $12,150 – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

CPP debate: $12,150

Re PEI Pushes For CPP Consensus (Dec. 16): The reality is that barely a third of employees in Canada have a workplace pension plan. They have to rely on the CPP, which provides a maximum of $12,150 a year. Without an increase in this basic pension income, millions of Canadians will live their retirement years without economic security.

Seniors are the fastest growing age group in Canada. Without their spending, economic growth won’t happen. Talk of expanding the CPP has been going on since 2009. It’s time for the federal government to address this critically important issue.

Kip Wood, Nanaimo, B.C.

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Applaud the court

Re A Step Back (editorial, Dec. 16): Courts are to interpret the laws and their applications. In this case, the Supreme Court of India highlighted that the responsibility for this odious law is rightly in the legislative assembly.

The Globe’s criticism should be directed at the government of India for not having taken the homosexuality law off the books long ago. India’s Supreme Court should be applauded for its stand in support of democracy.

Brian Williams, Belleville, Ont.

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Meddling politicians

Re Flaherty, Kenney At Odds Over Ford Comments (Dec. 16): Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says that, not being a resident of Calgary, he doesn’t comment on the mayor of Calgary.

He isn’t a Toronto resident either, but that didn’t stop him from wading into Toronto municipal politics by endorsing Rob Ford in 2010.

It’s a bit late for him to complain about politicians’ meddling in other people’s business.

Joel MacDonald, Regina

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An element of fun

Re Disney-fying The Life Of Anti-Disney Author (Life & Arts, Dec. 13): The review of Saving Mr. Banks brought back memories of a 10-year-old me, when Pamela Travers stayed with us in Montreal for a short time during the Second World War.

She arrived with her eight-year-old son, Camillus, and chaos reigned. She lived in the world of laughing gas, of flying under umbrellas and eccentric nannies. Her life and that of her creation, Mary Poppins, were clearly intertwined. Above all, she thought like a young child and created images that fascinated and delighted my sister, 11, and myself.

During the war, I collected old medals and SPCA pins advertising birds of many colours. These were stored in a Laura Secord box. When Ms. Travers left us for New York shortly before Christmas, so enthralled was I with her that I gave her the entire contents of my box. She readily accepted it.

My mother thought it bizarre that she would leave with my treasures and told her sister, who had introduced Ms. Travers to our family. A few weeks later her sister phoned and said she had bumped into Ms. Travers on the subway. Stretched across her coat was every one of the medals and pins.

Her appreciation of my present was never forgotten by me and my family.

Alex K. Paterson, Montreal

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Actions versus spin

Re A One-Time Cheque Is Not Enough (editorial, Dec. 14): When this government speaks, it presents itself as the best friend our military has ever had.

At the same time, it dismisses soldiers who are suffering from wounds incurred in battle and replaces lifetime pensions with lump-sum payouts. Actions speak louder than spin, and this government’s actions are a disgrace.

Joe O’Brien, Halifax

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Church-state divide

Re This PQ Provocateur Is Divisive, But No Machiavelli (Dec. 16): Konrad Yakabuski writes that “The first American colonists were Puritans fleeing persecution.” True enough. But he goes on to say, “It’s why freedom of religion is entrenched in the U.S. First Amendment.” Really?

While the Puritans may have fled persecution, the commonwealths they established in New England were theocracies that persecuted dissenters (and witches) throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.

Jefferson’s doctrine of a wall of separation between church and state was designed to ensure that the government of the new federal republic would be constitutionally obliged to refrain from religious persecution and proselytizing. It is my sense that the framers of Quebec’s values charter are proposing the same thing as the republican founders of the U.S. – namely, a “civil religion.”

The views of Mr. Yakabuski and the editorial views of The Globe itself are biased against the aspirations of Quebec’s French Canadians to create a secular society that reflects their traditions and values. I can’t understand why the editors of Canada’s national paper are so intent on alienating French-speaking Quebeckers.

The Supreme Court of Canada may rule that the Charter of Quebec Values is unconstitutional. But the French-speaking community may think otherwise and decide at the next provincial election that separation from Canada is the best course of action.

And in a democracy, the majority rules.

Christopher Adamson, Toronto

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Gridlock: Who pays?

Re A Gas Tax Is Not On (letters, Dec. 16): Ontario’s economy is largely dependent upon the economic well-being of the Greater Toronto Area.

And the economic health of a metropolis is very dependent upon its transit system. Since the folks who live in the smaller communities are just as dependent upon the province as those who live in the GTA, it’s to their benefit to preserve, if not enhance, the effectiveness of the GTA in generating the wherewithal to sustain the living standards of those living in the rural areas.

Major changes are required to bring public transit in the GTA up to 21st-century standards. As we will all benefit, we all need to pay – through a dedicated tax on fuel, or some other means.

Ron Bobker, Oakville, Ont.

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Given that the GTA generates some 20 per cent of Canada’s GDP, if the Big Smoke can’t puff, then the government-subsidized lifestyles enjoyed in small-town Ontario will go up in smoke.

Douglas Higgins, Grafton, Ont.

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Atta go, Mr. McLeod

Re Talking Point (Focus, Dec. 14): My life partner is still thanking Ian McLeod. Since the letter by Margaret Wente’s husband clarifying his motive for not putting his cereal bowl in the dishwasher, my husband has claimed Mr. McLeod’s rejoinder as his.

His new mantra “it keeps our marriage fresh” has been substituted for his typical apology around household offences such as day-old sock balls left on the bedroom floor, crusty oatmeal bowls and best guest towels being used to buff winter boots.

Atta go, Mr. McLeod.

Patricia Bain, Thunder Bay, Ont.

 

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