Whose net benefit?
At the very least, CNOOC must be limited to minority ownership of Nexen (Oil Patch Seeks Foreign Takeover Rules – Sept. 26). If that isn’t good enough for CNOOC, Canadians need to ask themselves: Why? Could it be that minority rights would interfere with CNOOC’s plan to ship the oil to China?
Nexen would be a precedent-setting deal in the takeover of a Canadian oil producer by a foreign, state-owned petroleum company. If CNOOC acquires 100 per cent of Nexen, how can we say “no” to future takeovers by, say, Rosneft (Russia), Aramco (Saudi Arabia), Petrobras (Brazil) or others?
If there is a business case to develop the oil sands, domestic and international publicly traded oil companies (Suncor, Shell, Exxon, Total etc.) ought to be able to raise the capital.
Normal rules of capitalism will not apply to nationally owned oil companies if there is not enough oil to satisfy demand. Does Canada really want to expose itself to a feeding frenzy of foreign companies feasting on Canadian oil for their home markets under those circumstances?
Our government should put that in its “net-benefit” pipe – and then smoke it!
Peter Sarvos, Burlington, Ont.
I had intended to visit Paris next summer, but after reading about virtual Embassies In The Ether (Sept. 26), I realized I could save a bundle on flights and hotels and still capture all there is to know and experience about France, its culture, its politics, and its people by staying home with the Internet. I’m looking forward to a barrel of virtual fun.
Michael Rapsey, Ottawa
The idea of housing British and Canadian embassies in the same structure is so brilliant, one suspects it must have come from the Americans (Politicians Fend Off Criticism – Sept. 25). Having your White House poodles sleeping together makes them so much easier to handle.
Art Duhame, Campbell River, B.C.
I fail to see what all the fuss is about over the Canadians and British sharing consular office space. Pooling of resources in this way is hardly revolutionary (tempest in a teapot, anyone?).
As a dual Canadian-British citizen, I had occasion to renew my British passport some three years ago. I was mildly taken aback to find that this is no longer done through the British High Commission in Ottawa, but through a processing centre in Washington.
I did not, however, find this change high-dudgeon worthy.
Judith Bird, Montreal
One of our last major money-saving deals with the trustworthy Brits involved our ace leaders’ purchasing four used submarines for $750-million in 1998, spending $1-billion-plus refitting them and planning to have three of them in the water …by next year.
Therefore, before moving in, it would be a good idea to check the roof, the furnace, the plumbing, the electrical system – and to make sure that any Canadian asbestos has been removed.
Tim Jeffery, Toronto
Provide clean needles
Re Ex-Prisoner, Advocacy Groups Sue Ottawa For Not Giving Inmates Clean Needles (Sept. 26): The Canadian Nurses Association supports this lawsuit, which is based on prisoners’ rights to health care.
Having clean needles in the prison system is a public-health approach that helps prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS, which are more prevalent in prisons than in the general population.
Drug users living outside prison walls have access to needle programs, so why not inmates?
Barb Mildon, president, Canadian Nurses Association
I’ve worked for at least two global companies, both recognizable household names, which at the time of my employment were posting well over $1-billion in quarterly net profits.
Notwithstanding their profits, on several occasions we were mandated to share accommodations with other employees during business travel to conferences and meetings to “contain costs” (A Pendulum Too Far – letters, Sept. 26).
If it was acceptable practice for them (and ultimately, us), it’s certainly acceptable for city councillors. As for the ability to judge what is reasonable, it is the councillors who have lost that ability.
Alex Pulcini, Campbellville, Ont.
All about closure
The assassination of Turkish diplomat Atilla Altikat in Ottawa in 1982 was wrong (Tribute To Slain Envoy Reopens Old Wounds – Sept. 20).
The monument unveiled last week “will help bring closure,” according to Lale Eskicioglu, of the Council of Turkish Canadians.
It is regrettable that Turkey, to this day, is unable/unwilling to understand this concept with regard to the genocide of Armenians, when more than one million were exterminated. The Armenian diaspora, to this day, is still waiting for their closure. Where is the monument to the genocide victims?
Robert Semerdjian, Burnaby, B.C.
Little wonder that NHL owners regard players as cattle (Bettman Finds Timely Diversion – Sports, Sept 24). The owners are clearly full of bull. Moreover, we know how bulls treat the cows.
A. Quinney Shipley, Toronto
Reading your stories about the 1972 Canada-Russia series brought back wonderful memories.
I went to Moscow with three friends to support our team. Each day, we were taken on bus tours. On a tour of the Hermitage Museum, we noticed each room had an older Russian lady, complete with babushka, who kept things tidy and watched us like a hawk, making sure no one touched the beautiful items.
A chap in our group had the then-new Polaroid camera. I will never forget him taking the Russian lady’s picture, handing it to her and then watching her as the picture developed before her eyes. It was priceless. She just could not believe it.
On our way over, I bought a box of cigars at Heathrow. Between the second and third period of the final game, I went below the grandstand and gave the cigars to the Russians. As I passed them out, each chap gave me his pack of cigarettes as a thank you gesture.
Picture 16 big Russians, puffing on their stogies, beaming. They all looked like “capitalists.” That moment should have been on TV.
Matt Tomljenovic, Stouffville, Ont.
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