High water line
Re Flood Warnings (letters, June 25): Questions may need to be asked about flooding and the harm mitigation report, and what was done with it, but that’s a separate issue from getting Albertans back in their homes.
Lawsuits aren’t the answer. Canadians everywhere need to remember the generosity they show when disaster strikes abroad and respond at home in the same way. My family is donating, including my kids, who are giving their allowance money.
Jasmine Akbarali, Toronto
Will the combination of floods and costs in the Prime Minister’s city be enough to persuade the MP for Calgary Southwest that climate change has a price (Alberta’s Flood Costs Mount – June 25)? That those costs could at least partially be met by a dedicated carbon tax to pay for the assorted disasters on the way?
Bill McAndrew, Ottawa
Time after time, in so many urban environments, local officials issue building permits on known flood-plain land. When flooding happens, owners of these homes expect Canadian taxpayers to compensate them for what was the owners’ bad decision to build there in the first place. Then they want to rebuild in the same place, so they can get flooded out again in a few years.
I am really tired of seeing my federal and provincial tax dollars being used to bail out these people. I don’t blame insurance companies for not paying for overland flooding. They understand the negligence.
Phlyp Birch, Binscarth, Man.
Kudos for Mr. Mayor
Re How To Respond In A Crisis (editorial, June 25): At one of his news conferences on Sunday, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi got a tweet from “our dear friends at the Calgary Public Library.”
It was about which branches were open, which were closed, that late fines were waived and all holds would be honoured with a 10-book limit – “and that includes you, Mayor Nenshi.”
Then it said there would be no charges for returned books damaged in the flood. Mr. Nenshi looked up, smiled and said: “I guess if you’ve accidentally dropped a book in the bathtub, now is the time to return it.”
Mr. Nenshi has not only been an effective leader in this crisis, he reaches out with warmth. He is a true “Ben Adam,” a real human being.
Richard Bronstein, Calgary
‘I am Canadian’
Re Molson’s ‘Canadian’ Comeback (Report on Business, June 25): I applaud Molson Coors for bringing back their “I am Canadian” slogan and commercials. Molson stands in stark contrast to Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has chosen to ignore its Canadian roots and let its Labatt brands, such as Blue and 50, disappear from the public eye in favour of promoting – with the regional exceptions of Keith’s and Kokanee – their other international brands.
Norman Levine, Toronto
Duped? Doubt it
Re Why This Strategy Won’t Fly In Syria (June 25): Retired major-general Lewis Mackenzie warns us of the very real risks of a no-fly zone over Syria. However, I question his view that “Russia and China had been well and truly duped” by the earlier Security Council resolution in 2011 authorizing the UN intervention into Libya.
Russia and China were fully aware that “all necessary measures” is code for possible all-out intervention. Both countries engaged in Security Council debates and “went along” (in Mr. Mackenzie’s words) with the text, but abstained on the vote. Russia expressed reservations about how the resolution “would be enforced and by whom, and what the limits of engagement would be” (UN discussion summary).
However, all Security Council members, including veto-wielding Russia and China, were permitted – even expected – to sit in on the sanctions committee to determine how the resolution was to be implemented. They chose to sit out, leaving the decisions in the hands of NATO.
It is doubtful there was an excess of “duping” going on.
Robin Collins, Ottawa
Lovers on deck
I realize it’s important to try to reassure the public following a tragedy like the sinking of the B.C. passenger ship Queen of the North in 2006 (Navigator Sentenced To Four Years For Ferry Sinking – June 25). However, surely those reassurances should be based on common sense and on heightened supervision.
Assurances that in the future, “there will never be a situation where two lovers or two former lovers will be alone on a bridge again,” are hard to believe. How can this be achieved? Periodic surveillance of staff leisure time? Demanding full disclosure of someone’s past sex life on the application for employment?
Brave promise. But unlikely to be met.
Gordon S. Findlay, Toronto
6 per cent … plus?
Re Share The Risk, Bridge The Gap (June 24): As a retired actuary who was a pension consultant for more than 30 years, I question the statement that “lower future investment returns [among other things] will almost certainly create problems.” Lower investment returns than what? And how can the authors be sure of that?
I remember well the admonition presented to us 30 years ago by the then-president of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. What he said was that, in his youth, the current wisdom was that long-term interest rates would never reach 6 per cent again. His youth was in the 1950s and early ’60s, when cheap money policies had interest rates well below 6 per cent, just like now. When he made his statement in the 1980s, inflation and interest rates were way up in the double digits – just as they could be in the future.
Significantly higher interest rates than now could have a major impact on pension costs and the way retirement income plans, including CPP and private plans, need to be structured.
Peter Hirst, Oakville, Ont.
Abreast of normal
Re Want Your Kid To Climb The Social Ladder? Breastfeed Your Baby (June 25): I wish your headline had read: “Want your kid to descend the social ladder? Don’t breastfeed your baby.” Do you see the difference?
Breastfeeding doesn’t create superhero babies. It creates normal ones. I would love to see all of us measure against that standard.
Lori Ciaralli, Kanata, Ont.
Re A Bonfire Of Our Vanities (Focus, June 22): I saw the photo of the pretty birthday cake in the paper and I counted the candles. There were only 79.
Why is the article about living to be 150 years old if there are only 79 candles? Maybe there were some smudges but it looked like 79 to me. It is my birthday on Thursday this week and I will be nine years old.
Isabella Hensley, Ancaster, Ont.