One cuts, one picks
When I was a kid and there was one piece of pie, mom would have my brother cut it in two and I would have first pick. Could anything be fairer?
With that in mind, if the owners and players were to present me with their most reasonable offer, I’d be willing to impartially determine which one indeed championed the most equitable approach to an agreement. With my experience – 28 years of marriage, a manager with profit and loss responsibilities – I know what constitutes a shared goal and how to settle scope of work issues. (Disclosure: I know jack about hockey.)
I’d render a decision* within two days of their submissions, so arena schedulers should get busy (NHL Cancels Games Through The End Of November – Oct. 26).
Timothy Dickson, Cobourg, Ont.
*I reserve the right to craft an equally binding resolution by finding a middle position.
Let both sides bleed money until they appreciate who pays their bills.
James Lindsay, Nanaimo, B.C.
Reason to worry
It’s wrong to dismiss concerns about Chinese corporations using the new China-Canada investment pact to challenge Canadian regulations and policy (Canada-China Investment Treaty: Evidence Doesn’t Support Doomsayers – Oct. 26).
U.S. energy company Occidental was awarded $1.8-billion plus legal fees this month in a case against Ecuador under a U.S.-Ecuador investment treaty. At issue was Ecuador’s decision to cancel an oil permit when Occidental portioned off some of its claim to Encana against express government orders.
Exxon Mobil and Murphy Oil won a NAFTA lawsuit against Canada this year. The firms disputed an R&D profit-sharing measure in Newfoundland and Labrador that Canadian courts found to be legal under federal and provincial law. The award is not yet public.
About a third of all investor-state disputes globally relate to resources, including challenges to delays or cancellations of mining and energy projects.
Stuart Trew, trade campaigner, Council of Canadians
Three Globe and Mail headlines from Oct. 26: Chinese Firm In Corporate Spy Caper; China Blocks Story Alleging Wen Jiabao’s Family Amassed $2.7-Billion During His Tenure; Tories Defeat Last Minute Push For Hearings on Canada-China Investment Treaty.
Do we want anyone – let alone a Chinese government-owned corporation – to be able to sue us in secret? What is Stephen Harper thinking?
Marjory Loveys, Brockville, Ont.
Keepers of the coasts
Our coasts are our coasts, “owned” by all Canadians (Whose Coast Is It, Anyway? – Oct. 25). It is the responsibility of all us to defend them – militarily, environmentally, politically. With responsibility, comes authority and a degree of entitlement to decide what is best for our coasts and all of us – be it immigrants, visitors, imported cars or nuclear fuel cells coming in, or resources flowing out.
Citizens most directly affected should have a very strong voice, but ultimately, in matters of national importance, it is for all Canadians to decide. Oil exports may not have reached that level of national importance but, if and when they do, we should all be able to decide what is best.
I live in the Yukon where the population is 30,000. Should we and our brethren in the NWT and Nunavut decide whether Canadians may access their northern coast?
George Asquith, Whitehorse
Russell Smith’s poignant memorial to Toronto poet Raymond Souster (A Great Of CanLit When CanLit Was Great – Oct. 25) reminds us of a forgotten builder of Canadian literature’s early driving force, the literary press. Ray Souster’s impact was all the more extraordinary because he was self-effacing to the point of invisibility.
As one of the principals of Contact Press, he diverted precious time and energy from his own writing to publish brilliant young poets (Cohen, Nowlan, Newlove, Atwood) without seeking glory for himself. Contact was a prototype for the Canadian publishing revolution of the 1960s and ’70s, yet Mr. Souster didn’t earn a cent from the enterprise. For him, it was all about the work itself.
Roy MacSkimming, Perth, Ont.
First, John Barber as good as declares independent publishing in Canada is over (The Demise Of Douglas & MacIntyre Ends A 40-year Dream – Oct. 24). Then the headline on Russell Smith’s column tells us that CanLit is no longer great. Is it something you’re putting in the water at The Globe and Mail?
Without question, the climate for Canadian writing and publishing is daunting, and the loss of another distinguished publisher would be a painful blow. But at the same time in our history, “CanLit” is earning more international accolades than ever before, and independent Canadian publishers are dominating this fall’s book-award lists.
Carolyn Wood, executive director, Association of Canadian Publishers
Amanda Todd’s death has brought discussions of bullying and suicide to the surface of public debate (Connecting The Dots Between Bullying And Teen Suicide – Oct. 25). Recently, Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) published data on the connection between suicidal thoughts and bullying victimization, showing that Amanda’s story is not uncommon among Ontario’s teenage girls. CAMH conducted an anonymous survey of students from Grades 7 through 12 across the province and found that 21 per cent of girls who were bullied by peers at school also contemplated suicide at some point that year. This percentage represents a staggering 31,800 girls, and is double the percentage seen among girls who were not bullied at school.
We found a strong relationship between cyber bullying and suicidal thoughts. Girls who were bullied online were over three times more likely to have thoughts of suicide than girls who were not cyber bullied.
The numbers are clear: Bullying is not simply kids being kids, and is not just something that everyone has to go through as a part of growing up. The effect bullying has on young people has become an important public health issue. Prevention of bullying is everyone’s responsibility.
Robert Mann, senior scientist, Public Health and Regulatory Policy Section, CAMH
Re CEOs Back Tax Increase To Help Cut Deficit (Oct. 26): Now that the heads of more than 80 major U.S. corporations, including well-known Democrats and Republicans, are endorsing the Obama call for tax increases to reduce the deficit, one hopes the undecided will be persuaded that a Romney vote is a Mittstake of Obamanable proportions.
Renate Mohr, Ottawa
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