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Bombardier gave its top five executives and its executive chairman more than $32-million (U.S.) in 2016, a nearly 50 per-cent increase over 2015. During 2016, the company laid off thousands of its workers and asked for and received public funding from the Quebec and federal governments. (Reuters)
Bombardier gave its top five executives and its executive chairman more than $32-million (U.S.) in 2016, a nearly 50 per-cent increase over 2015. During 2016, the company laid off thousands of its workers and asked for and received public funding from the Quebec and federal governments. (Reuters)

WHAT READERS THINK

April 3: Bombardier’s executive pay. 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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Bombardier’s execs

Thousands of workers lost their jobs at Bombardier at the same time its top executives received a nearly 50-per-cent pay hike?(Bombardier Executive Pay Drawing Fire – Report on Business, March 1). And this at a company that is an embarrassment in its inability to deliver its products on time and has it hands out to us for taxpayer-funded support?

If these executives had an ounce of respect for themselves, Bombardier’s work force or us taxpayers, the very least they would have done is forgone a fatter pay package. This is just so capital-letters DISGUSTING.

Sarah Wilson, Winnipeg

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Bombardier, Bombardier,

How can your bosses get such pay?

Your C-series required a bailout;

You can’t get your Toronto rail out;

You sent your workers out on layoffs

While begging governmental payoffs.

You’re living off the public purse

And now to make it even worse

The Beaudoins and the Bellemares

Get more champagne and faster cars.

And when I hear “It’s private sector,”

I just get vexed and even vexter.

But then I’m middle class, you know;

It must be different with True Dough.

Tom MacDonald, Ottawa

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Marijuana supply

By Canada Day, 2018, Canadians will have access to legalized marijuana (Canadians’ Trust In Marijuana Industry Going Up In Smoke: Poll – Report on Business, March 29).

The federal government will be responsible for ensuring Canada's marijuana supply is “safe and secure.” It has said it is leaving it to the provinces to decide how to “distribute” marijuana to the public, but what about how it gets “distributed” to retailers?

It’s time our government gave this question serious consideration, because getting it wrong could have major consequences.

Pharmaceutical distributors deliver more than 95 per cent of all medications to hospitals and community pharmacies. That’s about four million deliveries a year to more than 10,000 pharmacies and hospitals across Canada, and it’s done with greater than 99 per cent accuracy. What that means is that no matter how remote their location, whether they live in Moose Jaw or Mississauga, Canadians receive their medication within a day, without question and without having to pay a premium.

That experience makes pharmaceutical distributors the ideal partner to ensure legal marijuana gets from producer to retailer in the safest, most cost-effective way possible. With a national, highly-regulated distribution infrastructure already in place, it is a turnkey solution for government that will require minimal oversight.

The federal government should regulate cannabis distribution so we avoid a patchwork system of regulations across provinces that could have negative ripple effects for years to come. With legalized marijuana becoming a reality, now is the time for the government to get this right.

David W. Johnston, CEO, Canadian Association for Pharmacy Distribution Management

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A capital question

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has proposed an increase in the amount of capital gains to be taxed on non-primary residences, stating this will help curb the rising cost of housing (Sousa Sets Sights On Housing Affordability, March 28).

Studies by BMO and Royal Bank, however, show that the major causes of house appreciation are low supply and high demand, low interest rates, higher incomes, a higher percentage of income going to mortgage payments, down payment gifts from family members and foreign buyers.

Suggesting that those who buy secondary residential properties as investments could be contributing to housing-market appreciation by reducing supply does not take into consideration that these properties are usually quickly renovated and rented. That helps alleviate the rental crisis in Toronto, which has a vacancy rate of 1.3 per cent.

The Liberals are greatly in debt and default to increasing taxes whenever possible, rather than looking for other viable options.

Dan Anglin, Toronto

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As a real estate broker, I agree that housing should not be treated as a commodity.

The sale of principal residences is free of capital gains tax. The creation of housing for others is taxable on sale; the proceeds on the sale of a business are taxable above a certain level: So what are we doing? We are taxing those who would rather convert their energy and savings into enterprises whose growth and job creation helps us stay competitive, and rewarding the self-indulgent who park their savings like gold bricks in the best locations.

Level the playing field. Eliminate the capital gains tax, it costs more than it is worth.

And as for government-created social housing, the illegal market of dwelling units – you know, your neighbour’s basement apartment – is doing a far better job of integrating people into communities than “the projects.”

James Palmer, broker, Ottawa

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Canada in Africa

Re Ottawa Wisely Backs Away From Mali (editorial, March 30): One hesitates to read too deeply into your reasoning in calling for our troops to be in Latvia and Ukraine but not in any part of Africa.

You say Canada has failed badly in peacekeeping efforts in Somalia and Rwanda. Yes, but that can only be used as a reason to avoid further efforts on that continent if we assume Canada is incapable of learning from past mistakes.

Canadians understandably don’t want our troops engaged in a shooting war. Given the aggressive posture taken by Vladimir Putin, can we say with confidence that Latvia and Ukraine will amount to nothing more deadly than an eastern European vacation? If avoiding actual combat is the sole determinant of where our troops should go, Mali is perhaps best avoided. However, the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo is different. DRC is free of extremist militias; the small, lightly armed militia groups that operate in part of DRC would not stand against well-trained, fully equipped Canadian soldiers.

Canadian mining companies have operated in DRC for years. Every Canadian with a cellphone or computer likely owns a little piece of DRC, given that these devices contain coltan (tantalum), most of which comes from mines there. We can’t pretend we have no responsibility to see the country advance its slow march to political and economic stability.

Putting any engagement with Africa on a “very slow track” is doublespeak for turning our backs on an entire continent.

Steve Soloman, Toronto

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That history thing

Re Doomed To Repeat (letters, March 29): As Friedrich Hegel said, the only thing we learn from history “is that we learn nothing from history.”

David Goldsmith, Ottawa

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