And baby makes three
Re A Royal Welcome (July 23): There are three in this marriage now, and it isn’t crowded at all.
Douglas Cornish, Ottawa
People are sending gifts for the new prince to the royal couple.
Want to send a really useful gift?
Sponsor a child and let the royal couple know you did it in honour of their first child. Now that would be a gift worth sending.
Brian Tracey, Gatineau, Que.
Our royal connections have gone on for too long. They are divisive and ridiculous, as is now most evident in this boy born into a feudal frenzy.
William Emigh, Victoria
My daughters, both in their teens, can’t understand why I’m caught up in this event. In a world with so much bad news, where’s the harm in sharing the joy at a child’s birth? My children are keen enough to follow the gossip on their favourite celebrities.
Sarah Johnson, Vancouver
In other news …
Sebastian Grunstra, Ottawa
Re Dubai Frees Woman Jailed After Rape Report (July 23): The term “military intelligence” is often used to illustrate an oxymoron.
Then I read about the Norwegian woman who tried to press rape charges, only to be charged and imprisoned herself in the United Arab Emirates. The man she accused was convicted of “consensual rape,” which has to set the new standard for oxymorons.
Jerry Amernic, Toronto
Jobs to go to
Re Premiers To Face Off Against Ottawa Over ‘Flawed’ Job Program (July 22): One of the most compelling characteristics of the federal government’s new Canada Job Grant is its ability to facilitate the movement of prospective workers in the skilled trades from areas of underemployment to areas of job growth and opportunity.
Member companies of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada represent about 40 per cent of resource industry construction in B.C. and Alberta.
We see firsthand the Western businesses struggling to hire and develop a skilled Canadian work force, while capable workers in parts of Eastern Canada search fruitlessly for jobs in their own underperforming regions.
Any forward thinking job-creation strategy for Canada must include a robust plan to promote labour mobility. The Canada Job Grant puts the power to develop workers in the hands of workers and employers. This market-driven model is the best way to ensure industry has the workers with the skills they need, in the right place at the right time.
Some premiers seem more concerned about preserving their regional empires than finding good, well-paying jobs for their constituents. Provincial leaders need to stop the turf-wars and start embracing a national perspective to job creation and economic development.
Sean Reid, federal and Ontario director of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
God and bread
Paul Griffiths asks, “Can [the Pope] find a word to say to … the poor of the world that will comfort and inspire them?” (Brazil Tests Pope Francis – July 22).
The question assumes that “a word to say” is what the poor of the world want from the Vatican. It suggests as a response Mahatma Gandhi’s famous comment: “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
John Lazarus, Kingston
Detroit’s bankruptcy has been blamed on municipal corruption and mismanagement; it is said that there is simply not the tax base to retire the accumulated debt (The Straits Of Detroit – editorial, July 23).
What is missed is the structural reason for the city’s economic unsustainability: The metropolitan area of Detroit consists of a large number of independently incorporated cities. None contribute taxes to the city of Detroit, essentially the downtown of the metropolis.
Many of these cities have affluent populations and sound economic bases. Each funds its own municipal services and infrastructure – for example, Bloomfield Hills and Grosse Pointe.
It is the economic (and hence social and racial) balkanization of the metropolitan area, along with the lack of economic diversification, that is the cause of Detroit’s bankruptcy. If the metropolitan area had a common tax base, the outcome would be profoundly different.
There is also a larger lesson to be learned for Canadian cities. The huge deficit in municipal infrastructure investment – in our case occasioned by a genuine inability of municipal taxes alone to fund the hard and soft infrastructure necessary for economic success and social well being – is accumulating to an alarming degree.
It has been estimated that traffic congestion alone is costing Canada $10-billion a year. And that may be the easiest of infrastructure improvements to put into effect.
A. J. Diamond, Toronto
Bullying at work
The High Cost Of Violence Against Women (Report on Business, July 20) only touches the surface of the issues that continue to plague women in 2013.
Bullying should be added to the list. There are very high costs, including those on the bottom line, but despite this, boards of directors, governments and corporate entities refuse to take on the issue.
Heather MacLean, New Maryland, N.B.
Is Charlie there?
Re Thieves Steal Steinway From Toronto General Hospital In Broad Daylight (July 23): The stolen Steinway piano story reminds me of another bold scam in the Toronto area in the late 1960s.
A phone call would come into an office. The caller would ask for Charlie. When told no one named Charlie worked there, he would hum and hah. Naturally, the person who had answered the phone would ask if they could help.
After a short silence, the caller would say he had a new, large, high-end colour TV console worth far more than the $150 he was asking for it. The caller would then ask if, just maybe, the victim-to-be was interested in this great, though “hot” deal. If the answer was yes, the victim was told to come to a specified large warehouse and park at the last loading dock door at a set time.
The scam artist would come out of the regular door next to the loading dock, ask for the $150, tell the victim to open the trunk and he would bring the TV to the large loading dock door.
He would then go inside the warehouse, never to be seen again. Seemingly, the scam worked for quite a while, as victims were not eager to report their experience to the police.
Peter Dielissen, Fredericton