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Workers walk to a jet fuel barge at Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Terminal on Burrard Inlet in Burnaby, British Columbia on Nov. 18, 2016. (CHRIS HELGREN/REUTERS)
Workers walk to a jet fuel barge at Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Terminal on Burrard Inlet in Burnaby, British Columbia on Nov. 18, 2016. (CHRIS HELGREN/REUTERS)

WHAT READERS THINK

Dec. 1: Trudeau’s energy bet. 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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PM’s energy bet

Re Trudeau Hedges Energy Bets (Nov. 30): I remember the day, Oct. 30, 2013, that Justin Trudeau offered the following brave and hopeful comment to the Calgary Petroleum Club: “Times have changed, my friends. Social licence is more important than ever. Government may be able to issue permits, but only communities can grant permission.”

The Kinder Morgan pipeline permit has now been issued, against the wishes of many communities “directly affected” – a favourite criterion of the National Energy Board – including Vancouver and Burnaby.

That’s not brave leadership.

Jim Sinclair, North Bay, Ont.

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Congratulations to the Prime Minister for courageous, pro-Canada decisions on the difficult matters of pipelines and the environment.

Approval of certain strategic pipelines versus rail clearly seems better for the environment.

However, the worry about increased tankers in Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea next to Vancouver is difficult to dismiss. The anger of many of my neighbours is predictable, but short-sighted. We all care for the environment and want to protect the land and water, as well as the people of Canada.

The leadership, hard work and authentic environmental focus of federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and the progressive work of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is a gift to Canada.

Carol Vignale, Delta, B.C.

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Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna should resign. I accept that she did her best, but obviously she hasn’t convinced cabinet to take climate change seriously.

In Paris, the Liberals clung to Stephen Harper’s low greenhouse gas emission targets. The federal government continues to subsidize fossil fuels; now Justin Trudeau has approved Kinder Morgan, a move equivalent to putting millions of new cars on the road. Whether fuel is burned here or in China, it all goes into one atmosphere. Ms. McKenna may want to cross the floor to the Green Party.

Pat McMahon, Victoria

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Apparently it’s too risky to move dilbit through the Douglas Channel, but okay to ship the same product through Vancouver Harbour, past the southern Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island and Victoria. That inconsistency alone shows the decision was all about political horse-trading, not science.

Bob Campbell, Surrey, B.C.

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Justin Trudeau has revealed himself as a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing. He announced the approval of two major pipelines, presenting the decision as environmentally responsible. He parrots the line that we can have oil sands growth and climate action at the same time. Wrong. We need to keep the oil in the ground.

Mr. Trudeau backed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and committed to truth and reconciliation. Yet these pipeline approvals and other pipeline decisions demonstrate the falsehood of this promise. First Nations such as Clyde River, Chippewas of the Thames, and now the Tsleil-Waututh are forced to go to court to defend their rights to protect the land and water.

Both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples have been ignored in our efforts to safeguard the climate for current and future generations and for all species. We need to unmask the wolf. We need to take up the responsibility to fight to protect this planet.

Rebecca Weigand, Toronto

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Kinder Morgan: No, no, no, no.

Fiona Hanley, Montreal

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The leaders of the environmental and anti-pipeline movement are about human rights, community representation and social justice. Unless you don’t do what they want – then you are the enemy and it’s time “to go to war”?

Grant Longhurst, West Vancouver

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Follow the benefits

Re How To Stop A Trump: Proportional Representation (Nov. 30): Canadians already have a way to stop a Donald Trump: It’s called Parliament. We don’t vote for presidents or prime ministers. We elect individual members of Parliament. To stay in office, a prime minister must retain the support of fully half of them. Ed Broadbent’s own example demonstrates how well our system works: Joe Clark lost the confidence of the House and consequently his job as prime minister.

It’s difficult to imagine some Canadian version of Donald Trump ever achieving that level of support to begin with, harder still to conceive of him keeping it over four yeas. (If Parliament could turf Mr. Clark after just nine months, it would surely be swift in correcting a mistake like Donald Trump.) Comparing Canadian politics to American is apples to oranges.

The problem with the U.S. is that Americans have ceased to vote for individuals and vote for parties instead – exactly the premise of proportional representation, which emphasizes parties over individuals. Mr. Broadbent and his supporters clearly believe PR would benefit the NDP. But would it benefit Canadians? That’s the question we need to ask.

Scott Gardiner, Toronto

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Lobbyists … lobby

Re PM Defends ‘Ethical’ Liberal Fundraising Event Attended By Marijuana Lobbyists (Nov. 30): Registered lobbyists are lobbying. Special interests are advocating for their special interest. Shock! Horror! Outrage!

Here’s what missing in the discussion: How is the Canadian election system supposed to be funded? How does this government compare to past governments?

I, too, am purchasing “cash for access” to advocate for my special interest and expect a meeting with the PM in the near future at a fundraising event. Don’t look for my name on a Forbes list: I am a senior on a fixed income wondering if I can stretch the equity in my home to live till I die. The Canadian political system, including the government, is accessible with or without cash.

The ease with which our elected representatives can be accessed by all Canadians – not just the rich but anyone who makes the effort – is one of our democracy’s strengths. In the 60 to 90 seconds I will likely get with Justin Trudeau, I will advance my case for creating a Canada I can be as proud to pass on to my children as my parents were. This will include: balancing economic interests with the urgent need to address climate change, righting the wrongs done to indigenous people, government policy based on evidence, rebalancing the tax system to create a more egalitarian society, re-establishing Canada’s place on the world stage for the betterment of all humankind. Wish me luck.

Stuart McRae, Toronto

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Incoming: falling sky

Nov. 30, 2016: An entire Sports section without a word about hockey! What to make of this phenomenon: anti-Canadian values, elitism, Russian hacking, concussions, Don Cherry’s decline, global warming, it’s 2016, or the sky is falling?

Tim Jeffery, Toronto

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