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Dairy cows feed in Eastern Ontario on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump has sharply criticized Canada’s supply-managed dairy sector. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Dairy cows feed in Eastern Ontario on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump has sharply criticized Canada’s supply-managed dairy sector. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

WHAT READERS THINK

April 20: Dairy sense. Plus other letters to the editor Add to ...

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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Dairy sense

Re Trump Targets Canada’s Dairy Sector (April 19): This week, I purchased sliced Swiss cheese from a well-known Toronto supermarket. I paid $7.38 ($47.90 per kg) for seven small, square 3.5-inch slices of cheese.

That’s more than a dollar per measly slice for what is essentially milk and salt. The same store had Angus prime rib roasts for $33.05 per kg. That doesn’t make sense to me.

The “well-funded dairy lobbyists” must have a lot to answer for in creating these outrageous prices. I’m with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who contends that loosening the supply management system would lower prices through competition. Does this mean that I’m actually on side with Donald Trump?

Pauline Kellow, Toronto

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Canada does not allow the use of synthetic growth hormone (BST) to stimulate milk production in dairy cattle. The United States does. Until the Americans have the same level of food safety standards for dairy as we do, Donald Trump’s position on bovines smacks more of bull than the females of the species.

Rachel Simpson, Halifax

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With a dairy trade war on the horizon, let all Canadians be fromage freedom fighters.

Farley Helfant, Toronto

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We have listened to Donald Trump explaining to the world that for many, many decades, the United States has been duped.

Virtually every country and leader has taken advantage of the United States’ good nature, of its naivety. People the world over have outsold, outdesigned and outmaneuvered one U.S. president, Senate and Congress after another.

These countries have sent untold riffraff to the United States and sold unwanted goods and services to the gullible American public.

This past weekend, the new President pointed out that Canadians have been in on the game as well. It seems we have been cleverly selling them goods and services and slipping our excess low-life over the border all along. We have pawned off all sorts of unsavoury people – like James Cameron, Celine Dion, Mike Myers, Donald Sutherland and his son, Kiefer. It seems the list is never-ending.

There was a new spring in the average Canadian’s step today as we realized we were no longer alone in the world. Turns out we are not as stupid as we thought. Clearly, we, too, have taken advantage of the hapless American citizen.

Fred Paranchych, Edmonton

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What goes up …

Re Governments Rule Out Housing Measures That Would Boost Toronto Demands (April 19): Any politician who derails the housing gravy train will earn the instant ire of hundreds of thousands of homeowners (voters) who are mightily pleased to see the value of their habitable gold mine streak ever upward. Do Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Premier Kathleen Wynne want to further reduce their popularity? I think not.

Wayne Yetman, Toronto

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Toronto and Vancouver have always been expensive for housing and are likely to remain so. But whenever prices have increased by clearly unsustainable factors, the market has corrected itself in brutal fashion. Whether it’s a recession or a sudden increase in interest rates, prices will be forced down again and a lot of people will get hurt.

There are measures the federal government can implement, not just for Vancouver and Toronto, but for Canada as a whole.

The first is to limit government-backed insurance on mortgages to the lesser of $500,000 or three times the down payment, coupled with a verified income requirement sufficient to service the mortgage at an interest rate of 6 per cent. This will not prevent a second or even a third mortgage, but the lender will have to assume the full risk of default. The second is to make any capital gain from the sale of a principal residence within two years of purchase fully taxable.

At the municipal level, property taxes could be gradually raised to more closely reflect current market value. This could present a hardship for house-rich and income-poor owners, but there are ways to defer any large increase until the property is sold.

These measures, or some variation, should cool things and would be better for taxpayers and home buyers in the long run than allowing the current irrational exuberance to go unchecked.

Tony Manera, Ottawa

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Air-travel rights

Re Expect Air Passengers Bill Of Rights By 2018, Garneau Says (April 19): It does not need to take at least a year to develop an air passengers bill of rights.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau could just take a copy of the one at the entrances to the main terminal in Frankfurt, Germany. The EU air passenger bill of rights is printed in large capital letters at that location, so that if you’re paying attention to your surroundings, you can’t miss it as you enter the building, thereby giving you a heads-up to your status as a passenger.

This information is also available online, and is divided into various sections such as scope, delay, denied boarding, cancellation, involuntary downgrading and an arbitration board.

Lorna Froidevaux, West Vancouver

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‘Anti-union’ law

Re Senate Blocks Liberals’ Plan To Repeal ‘Anti-Union’ Law (April 15): The sordid story of the “Michelin Bill” passed in Nova Scotia in the 1970s offers a textbook illustration of the many obstructions available to large corporations intent on denying employees their moral and legal right to collective bargaining. In the past, such management has often been aided in this objective by bad law-making on the part of weak or complicit governments.

Unions are not a perfect solution to the divergent interests of owners and their employees. But they are an essential safeguard for the human dignity, basic rights and occupational health of workers everywhere. Senators of all stripes, Conservative, Liberal and independent should rethink their opposition to Bill C-4 if they desire to advance the state of social justice in this, our 150th year of nationhood.

Brian Richard Joseph, commissioner (retired), Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia; North Sydney, N.S.

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The other Revere

Re Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride (Moment In Time, April 18, 1775): Perhaps another perspective to the conventional one could be offered. This viewpoint holds that the American Revolution was actually a tax revolt; the British were in a recession, due in great part to protecting the American Colonies during the Seven Years War, and Paul Revere was a traitor to the British – or at very least a rebel. Perhaps all could have been solved by negotiations with Britain rather than at the barrel of a gun (i.e. Canada’s path).

As for me, I prefer Paul Revere Dick (Jan. 7, 1938 - Oct. 4, 2014) of Paul Revere & the Raiders, who competed with the British invasion in 1964 of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Matthew Stempien, Oakville, Ont.

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