Canada’s Tea Party?
Brian Ellison says he’ll take the “one-time hit” of the Ontario Liberal Party’s misuse of $1-billion of taxpayers’ funds in the gas plants debacle, over what he sees as the misguided policies of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives ($1-Billion. Ka-ching – letters, Oct. 14). I don’t agree, but fair enough. Then he labels the PCs as “our version of the Tea Party” – and that’s just a bit too much partisan hyperbole.
This Thanksgiving, it’s worth reflecting on the reality that our politics are nowhere near as polarized and extreme as they are south of the border. We can lament our sometimes excessive and bitter partisanship. But the fact remains that the distance between our major parties on most key policies is much smaller than that between America’s Republicans and Democrats. And we certainly have no domestic equivalent to the Tea Party.
In truth, Canada has achieved a fairly satisfactory degree of consensus on most issues of public policy. “Not bad, and it could be worse,” might be a very Canadian expression of seasonal thanksgiving.
Cam Battley, Campbellville, Ont.
The government is going to get me a break on a grocery list of small items that might save me $10 a month (Conservatives To Push For A More Consumer-Friendly Canada In Throne Speech – Oct. 14).
This is just another list of small-time distractions the Conservatives hope will win votes in 2015. When we look over what they’ve done since 2006, we have little reason to believe they understand the marketplace. They’ve failed on their high-profile bid to broaden access to cable. They’ve wasted millions on their efforts to buy fighter jets and helicopters. They’ve had quite a few opportunities to hold corporations accountable – banking, mining – and have always relied on voluntary compliance.
I just have a really hard time seeing Stephen Harper as my consumer’s advocate.
Esther Shannon, Vancouver
Half for nature
Ian Brown writes about Harry Locke’s belief that we need to “share the world with nature” (Do We Set Aside Half For Nature? – Oct. 14).
The plain fact is that if we continue to despoil the landscape by relentlessly extracting its resources – many of which are non-renewable – and ruthlessly expelling its non-human inhabitants, there will eventually be nothing left for anyone.
Some may think that there are plenty of new worlds out there waiting to be colonized. If they exist, they’re hoping only that we stay away.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
I was never good at math, so help me with this.
In our pursuit of the sustainable development of tar-sands oil, we should not destroy, but protect 50 per cent of the wilderness area. Yet, climate-change scientists project that if we burn this oil, global warming will alone cause the destruction of half the planet’s wilderness area.
So, according to my math, if we follow this logic, our grandchildren will likely inherit nothing more than an asphalt parking lot once called a wilderness reserve.
David Wood, Mildmay, Ont.
There is no place
Bobby Orr was the greatest player ever to don skates. But I strongly disagree with his conclusion that fighting is a necessary part of hockey (There Is A Place For Fighting – Sports, Oct. 12).
One of his arguments is that without fighting as a deterrent, other players will take liberties with stars and not have to answer for it. But this is predicated on the belief that officials and the league should or will do nothing.
Football (soccer), the greatest sport in the world, has evolved a set of rules that successfully prevents injury and correctly punishes those who break them. True, “diving” and faking injury plagues the game, but good referees spot and punish it. Players can even be ejected for it. In any case, the problem is certainly preferable to what we see in pro hockey.
Let’s clean up pro hockey by enforcing the rules instead of providing “a place for fighting.” Sorry, Bobby.
Donald A. Fraser, Waterloo, Ont.
Haven’t we progressed beyond this kind of thinking? Or is hockey destined to remain a glaring contradiction: a game that prides itself on finesse, skill and intuition while still requiring on-ice fisticuffs to make sure everyone follows “the law of the jungle.”
Is there any wonder why minor hockey enrolment is falling in Canada?
Dan Tanner, Hammonds Plains, N.S.
Shirt on your back
As a conscientious consumer, I applaud your investigative report into The True Cost Of A T-Shirt (Business – Oct. 12).
There is another equally important aspect of a T-shirt’s “true costs” that deserves investigation: environmental impact as a result of factors such as shipping, packaging and disposal. I would love to see a Globe followup article addressing these costs.
Susan Staniforth, Peterborough, Ont.
Your exposé on the human costs associated with the garment trade was revealing but lacked a key element: What is the actual cost these companies pay for the T-shirt that retails for $8 to $20?
Martin Pick, Cavan, Ont.
You’re either committed to defending women’s rights, which include the right to control our reproduction, or you’re using them as a politically expedient smokescreen. There is no middle ground. With the government’s ban on supporting overseas projects that help victims of sexual violence find safe abortions, it’s clear which side they’ve chosen.
Amy Kaler, sociology department, University of Alberta, Edmonton
But it felt like eternity
Re ‘It Was Hell’: Tales Of The Rogers Outage (Globe T.O. – Oct. 12).
Seriously? Hell for me was realizing this headline was not a spoof.
Laurie Ann Milne, Timmins, Ont.
The Bard put a curse on anyone who would disturb his bones (Rewrite Shakespeare, Kill Off Characters. Is Nothing Sacred? – Globe Film, Oct. 11).
Perhaps he should have done the same for anyone who dares to change or remove his words. Is nothing Shakes-cred anymore?
Douglas Cornish, Ottawa