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Ontario’s government is considering following B.C. and implementing a foreign home buyers’ tax. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
Ontario’s government is considering following B.C. and implementing a foreign home buyers’ tax. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

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March 11: Too little, too late in the GTA market. 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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Outrageous. Repeat, outrageous

It is some sort of justice that Mr. Justice Knees-Together has resigned from the Federal Court – but when consideration is given to the oft-repeated remark that delays in our supposed justice system are outrageous, critics might consider this case (’Knees Together’ Judge Resigns After Council Votes For Dismissal, March 10).

Why on earth did it take so long to get to this point, even allowing for due process and all that goes with it? An average high school vice-principal on a busy afternoon could have reached a just conclusion on whether Robin Camp should remain on the bench.

That he has been on full pay since the outrageous judgment he delivered in 2014 when he asked a 19-year-old in a sexual-assault trial why she didn’t keep her knees together is even more outrageous!

Forgive my repetitive outrage.

Ian Guthrie, Ottawa

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Too little, too late in hot market

Re Ontario Revisits Foreign Home Buyers’ Tax (March 10): After a year of doing nothing, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has had a revelation that he needs to be concerned about people’s ability to enter the Toronto real estate market.

He also expresses concern about the fact that there are “bidding wars everywhere.” Does that mean that in addition to looking at a foreign home buyers’ tax, he plans to further regulate the real estate industry whose own practices have created bidding wars by setting a single, arbitrary deadline for offers to be considered?

Toronto’s real estate market is certainly affected by limited supply and increasing demand. But outright greed has also played a role in the growing real estate bubble in the Greater Toronto Area.

The Ontario Liberal government’s too little, too late realization that it has a role to play in managing the problem reeks of desperation as the Liberals prepare for the election in 2018.

Paul Clarry, Aurora, Ont.

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Abject, yes – but substantiated

Re Pathetic And Proud (Life & Arts, March 10): Yes, self-degenerating social media posts are a liberating trend from the oppression of perfectionism, but these online displays of abject life-moments ultimately stem from the same place as those boasting posts and selfies: the need to be “there,” the need to feel substantiated, to be corroborated.

In a world that for many has lost the traditional foundations that fulfilled that need (religion, family, community), we turn to digital reflections and communications to give us substance.

Monica Kucharski, Mississauga

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Subway dreams

Re Toronto’s Transit Tardiness Mustn’t Carry On (March 9): Unless the Beijing subway map that Toronto City Councillor Chin Lee produced at the executive committee meeting discussing the Scarborough subway was prepared this year, it was probably out of date.

Recently, while we were visiting Beijing, our host provided my wife and me with a map of the subway system that was two years old. When using the system, we realized that since the map we had was issued, three more sections of lines had been built and were fully operational. And the city is currently constructing six more lines.

Torontonians can only dream.

Leonard Naymark, Toronto

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Your editorial on the Scarborough subway nicely summed things up: a boondoggle on rails (T.O.’s Transit Plan: Pay More, Get Less, March 2).

Until just over two years ago, I was a resident and homeowner in Scarborough, and supported the original transit plan, dubbed “Transit City,” as a cost-effective way to greatly expand Toronto’s transit system. Under this plan, eastern Toronto would have seen a vast improvement in transit service. Instead, it appears Toronto residents will be saddled with the rising expense of a more than $3-billion, one-stop subway extension.

The real irony is that Rob Ford, a mayor who campaigned to “stop the gravy train,” unwittingly created one with his singular obsession with “subways, subways, subways.”

It’s worth noting that for roughly the same estimated cost, the City of Calgary plans to build a new 40-plus kilometre C-train line running across the city. From my perspective, perhaps Calgary might have a few lessons to give Toronto on how to get things done.

Phil Piltch, Calgary

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Shared-space safety

Re The Cycling Culture Of Change (March 9): Copenhagen’s bicycle culture is also helped by amenable weather – relatively mild winters, cool summers – and a flat terrain. Regrettably, helmets are unpopular: In the picture accompanying the article, I could only spot a handful of the more than 50 riders wearing a helmet. Riders may be complacent there, knowing that cars are driven defensively on behalf of the cyclists (something most Canadian drivers have yet to learn).

An often overlooked problem is the conflict between cyclists and pedestrians. Cars and bicycles don’t mix, but neither do bicycles and pedestrians, whether on a designated shared pathway or on a city sidewalk.

Urban spaces are shared three ways: by motorized vehicles, by cyclists and by pedestrians. We can separate users, but only to a certain extent. The rest is up to how we use shared space.

Reiner Jaakson, Oakville, Ont.

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