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Competition for detached homes in hot markets has driven prices into the stratosphere. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
Competition for detached homes in hot markets has driven prices into the stratosphere. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

WHAT READERS THINK

March 23: Water inequities. 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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Bottled-up  inequities

Re Stuck On The Bottle (Life & Arts, March 22): Since Nestlé leads the Canadian bottled-water industry, which generates “$2.5-billion in annual sales,” perhaps the company could send bottled water (complimentary?) to our First Nations that do not have safe drinking water.

It is a travesty that our government has allowed these areas to suffer with contaminated water, while companies such as Nestlé are raking in billions of dollars as they usurp our precious resource.

Jeffrey Manly, Toronto

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Housing: the rerun

Re Surging Sales Of $1-Million-Plus Toronto Homes Fuel Calls For New Measures (March 22): When are government and real estate agencies going to wake up to the fact that houses should not be viewed as commodities but as homes? Anyone who lives and works in Canada should be able to establish a home here.

No one living outside the country should be able to park money in Canadian real estate. Real estate should be for those who have chosen to live, and work in and for this country.

J.B. Cullen, Toronto

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Could you please stop quoting Toronto real estate professionals and their studies?

They are one of two groups which are benefiting the most from the crazy house price escalation (the other being municipal politicians and their tax coffers). Asking their opinion on this situation is like asking turkeys if they should vote on an early Thanksgiving. We’ve already seen this movie in Vancouver and we know how it goes: If you own a house, you will be worth more; if you don’t, you never will.

Cam Kourany, Kelowna, B.C.

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Sweet? It isn’t

Re Budget’s Sweet Note (letters, March 22): The president of the Canadian Beverage Association could be a reincarnated Marie Antoinette (“Let them drink sugar”) when he writes about his concerns for the “more economically vulnerable.”

Give me a break.

I tutor teenagers from low-income families. Manipulated by the Canadian Beverage Association members’ relentless advertising, they spend money on expensive bottled water and empty-calorie, high glycemic index “soft” drinks, when they could have enjoyed our unadvertised delicious tap water with a locally grown apple and a chunk of Canadian cheddar. They’d be healthier, save money, and support our beleaguered farmers. But that would hurt the sales and profits of CBA’s multinational, megacorporation members.

Howard Goodman, Toronto

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Letter writers appear to be advocating for a tax on sugary snacks and beverages. At the same time, we hear complaints about how intrusive governments are becoming in our lives.

We seem to accept that just because you have access to a gun does not mean you have to shoot it, but cannot accept that just because you have access to sugar, you don’t have to eat it.

Not taking personal responsibility for our actions seems to be the future.

Ken Duff, Vankleek Hill, Ont.

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Binge drinking

I have been following your Unfounded series and have also read the House Of Commons standing committee report calling for the tracking of sexual assault data, and training for judges and police in handling sexual assault cases (MPs Urge Tracking Of Sex-Assault Data, Training For Judges, Police, March 21).

Where is the discussion about the issue of excessive drinking by young women? Some of these women are drinking before going out, often consuming 15 drinks or more. In some cases, they are risking their lives.

These are the same young women who would never drink and drive. Education on drinking and driving has been very effective. Young people understand that this puts oneself in “harm’s way.” Why is there no peer pressure on the issue of binge drinking? Where are the howls of outrage? Why aren’t womens’ groups demanding a responsible approach to drinking?

I agree it is necessary to educate judges and the police, but by not educating young women about the dangers of excessive drinking, we are doing them a disservice. Until this behaviour is altered, I fear we will continue to read horrible stories about sexual and other assaults.

Dawn Polley, Vancouver

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The party, the left

Re Get Over Your Funk, NDP – And Stick To The Layton Script (March 22): The NDP under Jack Layton was temporarily able to attain unexpected electoral traction as an apparently “moderate” party, due to the coincidental combination of Jack’s pizzazz, the patently floundering Liberals under their then “leadership” and the collapse of the Bloc Québécois. These factors were all in due course removed. There is little room now for an extra “moderate” party in Canada.

The NDP has to do its actual job of being Canada’s main party of the left. Its greatest achievements have come through its leftward influence, especially in minority governments, even absent high NDP seat counts.

And how better to show the flaws of the party which currently has the Leader with Pizzazz, than to emphasize what better might be done with a more left-leaning approach?

John F. Fagan, Toronto

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What ‘units’ want

Re Why Campuses Are Ditching Free Speech (March 21): Margaret Wente argues that university administrators tolerate this practice of shutting down certain speakers because they are frightened of their faculty.

This argument appeals to readers of a certain ideological bent, but it has no basis in reality in the modern Canadian university.

The fact is, universities are businesses with presidents commanding salaries commensurate with those of the CEOs of medium-sized companies. In this corporate university where profits are maximized by enrolling more “units,” the customer is always right. And so if customers want to shut down certain speakers for the sake of some sense of ideological purity, they are supported by administrators in the name of student satisfaction.

Richard Raiswell, Charlottetown

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It’s, um, caliginous

I am not sure whether or not the editorial staff at The Globe and Mail felt that “murky” was to be the word of the day, but it did appear in at least three articles Wednesday in the Report on Business: “murky business dealings” (A Bullish Case For Bombardier), “murky outlook” (Recovery, Interrupted), “murky clouds” (Waiting Out The White House).

Are things really that bleak, dark, gloomy, foggy, uncertain out there that a thesaurus cannot help clear things up?Domenic Monteferrante, Montreal

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