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Opening the door
Immigration Minister John McCallum has left the door open for a major future increase in immigrants to 450,000 per year (Immigration Target Kept At 2016 Level, Nov. 1). Such an influx is not a smart way to improve our economic growth.
More newcomers will worsen congestion in our major cities and make housing more unaffordable for young people. It also increases the need for more taxpayer funded roads, water/sewer lines, schools and hospitals.
A better economic strategy is to promote our innovation and productivity. We could emulate the smart countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan that make higher-value goods. Increased training in entrepreneurship could be a sort of national Dragons’ Den. An invention-support program to help spur new products could be a low-cost federal initiative. And we could aggressively promote our unique places of natural beauty to foreign tourists.
David Platt, Toronto
Re Big Canada Concept Has Some Major Drawbacks (Oct. 31): Campbell Clark astutely points out flaws in the Century Initiative’s case for a “big Canada,” but the nation-building part appeals to him.
To build a big country, the Century Initiative would have Canada plunder weaker economies for their brightest and best-educated to add to our global clout. So, we let other countries keep their land but grab their human capital. Isn’t this just 21st-century imperialism?
Jude Carlson, Winnipeg
I love Canada with a gratitude only an immigrant can feel. In the summer of 1970 as the Vietnam War raged, and I was 23 with $500 in my wallet, I received landed immigrant status at the border. When I told the immigration officer I was evading the U.S. draft, he welcomed me. Canada gave me a sense of purpose, many lifelong friends and a career, starting with the National Film Board and CBC.
Two years after becoming a naturalized citizen, a job offer brought me to Texas. Now, as this shameful U.S. presidential election looms, I hope and pray democracy prevails over demagoguery.
The political climate has soured into a noxious cesspool of lies, threats, hatred and fear. What’s worse, no matter who wins, there’s no end in sight.
The bumper sticker used to read, “America Love It or Leave It” so I did. Now I wonder if continuing to live in such an increasingly toxic atmosphere is really worth it. Canada offered me a choice then, and thankfully does now. Shovelling snow is a small price for being able to live peacefully among kind, nice people without guns.
The pride I feel in “the true North strong and free” diminishes some of the shame I feel for what the “land of the free and home of the brave” has become.
Bob Karstens, Austin, Tex.
Re Clinton’s Money Grab Comes With A Price (Oct. 31) Has Konrad Yakabuski not heard of the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and other major Republican donors who have contributed millions of dollars through super PACs in this and previous elections?
Hillary Clinton’s fundraising may not seem savoury. But given the polarized U.S. political scene, can one expect any difference from either side of the spectrum?
Ron Gregor, Halifax
Peter and Paul
Re PM And Millennnials: The Love-In Won’t Last (Focus, Oct. 29): Margaret Wente would have the government act like Robin Hood: Take away from the (allegedly) wealthy seniors and give to the (allegedly) poor millennials.
This ignores two things. First, it’s estimated that anywhere from 6 to 10 per cent of Canadian seniors live below the poverty line. Second, when the millennials become seniors, their safety net will be significantly smaller.
The current situation will not be resolved by robbing Peter to pay Paul. Rather, governments need to rebuild a robust economy that will create employment for the millennials.
Alistair Hensler, Ottawa
Re State of Emergency (Globe T.O., Oct. 29): The challenges described in this article are happening elsewhere, beyond the “marquee hospitals” of downtown Toronto.
Downtown Hamilton experiences the highest rate of in-patient hospitalization of any urban setting in Ontario. Overall emergency department use at Hamilton Health Sciences has risen 20 per cent in four years and 53 per cent in eight years.
Like other large teaching hospitals, we face significant challenges balancing the relentlessly increasing pressures felt in our emergency rooms with the need to meet our mandate to provide some of the province’s highest volume tertiary-care services for cardiac surgery, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, trauma, neurosurgery and pediatric care, among others.
Population growth is only one factor. More fundamentally, solving this problem requires that we rethink health-care service delivery for urban populations in Ontario. In the absence of more appropriate health care options, people will continue to use highly-specialized hospital emergency departments for health care needs they were never intended to address.
Richard McLean, chief medical executive, Hamilton Health Sciences
Re Marvel CEO’s E-Mails Ruled Admissible (Oct. 29): Do I have this right? Two multi-multi-millionaires, Harold Peerenboom and Isaac Perlmutter, seem to have nothing better to do than fight one another in court using “high-priced lawyers and private detectives,” and plenty of allegedly defamatory statements, all over the disputed contract of a tennis instructor? Now, now, gentlemen!
Peter A. Lewis-Watts, Barrie, Ont.
Missing the game
Re For Ratings-Depressed NFL, It’s Just Not In The Stars (Sports, Oct 29): The article fails to mention another reason for depressed TV ratings of nearly all professional sports, especially football and baseball: Constant close-ups.
The setting up of plays, adjustments to opponents’ moves, shifting of the outfield are an important part of any game. Do we get to see this? No, instead we are treated to head shots of the coach pacing on the sidelines and close-ups of players kibitzing in the dugout.
Karen Cantine, Edmonton
That may cost you
If I pay $1,500 to attend a Liberal fundraising event, I can hobnob with a cabinet member and presumably ask questions. Could I expect that answers would be part of the deal?
Mike Froebel, Thornhill, Ont.Report Typo/Error
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