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Fans cheer as they drink just off a central square in Manaus, Brazil on Friday, June 13. (Matt Dunham/AP)
Fans cheer as they drink just off a central square in Manaus, Brazil on Friday, June 13. (Matt Dunham/AP)

WHAT READERS THINK

June 16: Booze, soccer, mayhem – and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Booze, soccer, mayhem

To add alcohol to a supercharged fan base is ludicrous: FIFA should be responsible for any injuries, deaths or destruction in the stadiums (‘As Much A Festival Of Alcohol As It Is Of Football’ – June 13).

We attended a soccer match in Argentina a few years ago. We were body searched for booze and weapons before we entered the stadium, which was a shambles. Washrooms were destroyed, concession stands were demolished. We were told this is what happens when the crowd goes wild.

The opposing team and supporters arrived in armed buses. Huge fences divided the two sides in the stadium. The atmosphere was electric and this was not even an important game. Afterward, the home crowd had to remain in the stadium until the visiting team and supporters were on the buses and out of the area.

Alcohol will only heighten the dangers caused by fans suffering from soccer fever.

Susan Stacey, Toronto

.........

Iraq can contain this

Re Tehran Would Intervene With Eye On Saudi Arabia (June 13): With its recent takeover of Mosul, ISIL is moving toward its supreme goal: the creation of an Islamic state overlapping Iraq and Syria.

ISIL is one of the most extremist groups, more so than al-Qaeda, which disavowed it earlier this year because of its conduct in Syria, where it incited enmities with other opposition groups.

ISIL constitutes a threat to all of its neighbours. In other words, it has no fans in the region: not the tribal leaders, Iraqi government, Iran, Syrian neighbours (the opposition and President Bashar al-Assad’s cult), Arab Gulf states – or Israel of course.

The group can be contained, but the best way to do this is internally within Iraq, not through the intervention of outsiders, whose presence will increase fragmentation in the religiously and ethnically divided state because the minority Sunni group will not welcome it.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki needs to rectify his relationship with the Sunni and Kurdish minorities in the country and establish a genuine coalition. This is the only way forward at this critical time.

Dalal Daoud, PhD candidate, political science, Queen’s University

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Carbon: What price?

Re ‘Who Can Save The Planet? Voters (June 13): Gary Mason refers to President Barack Obama’s wanting to “put a price on carbon” to reduce carbon emissions. OPEC has put a price on oil, going from $2 a barrel in the early 1970s to about $100/bbl now, with a spike to $130/bbl a few years ago.

During this time carbon dioxide emissions have kept rising at only a slightly slower rate.

Just how high a price would Mr. Obama – or Mr. Mason – propose to actually reduce emissions?

Tom Brydges, Brampton, Ont.

.........

Prices, not workers

The Alberta MPs clamouring to retain the temporary foreign worker program are half right: The booming resource economy has created regional hot spots where unemployment is very low and some (particularly low-wage) jobs are hard to fill (MPs Fear TFW Changes Will Worsen Labour Shortage – June 13).

But the problem is not a genu-ine labour “shortage” and it won’t be solved by artificially importing labour at public expense.

The problem is a breakdown in the labour market’s operation: Canadian workers aren’t flowing into these high-demand regions to take up jobs in food services and hospitality. Why not?

Because the large corporations that dominate the hospitality sector force franchisees to operate within national pricing guidelines. No “small business” can afford to pay Fort McMurray wages while charging Vancouver or Toronto prices for its products.

Politicians who were serious about small businesses and job creation wouldn’t be aiding and abetting this anti-competitive juggernaut. They would be cracking down on the price-fixing that is at the root of the problem.

John Meredith, Victoria

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Ontario’s way ahead

Many pundits are misreading the meaning of the Ontario election results. Voters weren’t giving Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals a mandate for massive NDP-style program spending. If they were, the NDP vote would have collapsed, and it didn’t.

I think the electorate was frightened of PC Leader Tim Hudak’s agenda and figured it was safer to stick with the Liberals. In fact, I think many voters would prefer that she take time to consider the financial situation in Ontario before coming out with a budget.

Now that her party has a majority, there’s no need to stick with such an NDP-friendly budget.

Peggy Berkowitz, Ottawa

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The voting public has repudiated the idea that causing massive job losses to pay for corporate tax reductions has currency. Let’s hope this concept is consigned to the dustbin of history forever.

Bruce Henry, Brampton, Ont.

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Western Canadians have viewed with dismay the decade-long descent of Ontario – under a Liberal provincial government – from a have to a have-not province. Unless the Wynne government significantly alters its fiscal practices and energy policies, the election results appear to guarantee the continuation of that descent.

The million jobs envisioned by Tim Hudak will be created, not in Ontario, but in provinces like Saskatchewan, B.C. and potentially Alberta, where electors and investors value fiscal responsibility, and resource development strives to take up the slack created by a crippled Ontario economy.

Preston Manning, founder, Manning Centre for Building Democracy; former leader of the Reform Party

.........

This is Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Paul Martin moment. In the 1990s, the then-finance minister, with the backing of then-prime minister Jean Chrétien, turned the reputation of Canada and the federal Liberal Party around through prudent spending and taxation policies that eliminated deficits and dramatically reduced the debt. The disarray of the right-wing parties at the time gave the Liberals an extended window to push through tough but necessary measures.

Ms. Wynne has a similar opportunity now. She is committed to her 2014 budget, and should follow through with it as she promised during the campaign. But planning should commence immediately to prepare for the next budget, to do for Ontario what Mr. Martin did for the country as finance minister.

Peter Love, Toronto

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Ontario needs to be taken out to the shed and whipped.

Eric Pugash, Vancouver

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Given the state of Ontario’s economy, the three major parties all need to come up with creative, carefully considered policies that are not the product of unbending devotion to dogma. The time for class warfare is over.

Bret Mecredy-Williams, Toronto

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It is time to send in the army to separate the Greater Toronto Area from the rest of Ontario. These urban dwellers have demonstrated once again that they are far too challenged on far too many fronts to be allowed to choose acceptable leaders. Rural Ontario would henceforth not be responsible for their financial and moral debts.

J.P. De Grandmont, Griffith, Ont.

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