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A Canadian flag flies on Parliament Hill. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
A Canadian flag flies on Parliament Hill. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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Oct. 11: Is bigger better? 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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Is bigger better?

Re A Bigger Canada Benefits Us All (Oct. 10): Tom Milroy suggests that rapid population growth will lead to a strong economy, better education and a smaller carbon footprint. The concern these days is that with an aging population, we cannot support all our retirees with a smaller cohort of young workers.

While the lopsided age structure poses problems, I cannot imagine how we can reduce our carbon footprint while increasing our population by three times to about 100 million by 2100! And it’s hard to imagine that rapid population growth in places such as the Greater Toronto Area would help people find better daycare or cheaper housing.

The federal government should research how we can thrive with low or zero population growth. In the long term it makes no sense to count on increased population to solve our problems. We have to face the idea of population levelling off at some point. Why not now?

Robert Mills, Niagara Falls, Ont.

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Mr. Milroy fails to describe how exactly different aspects of society (such as education and cities) would be bettered through sheer increase in the number of people living here. In particular, it’s not clear how we’ll be able to “build big cities with smaller carbon footprints” – a goal that appears to be a rather oxymoronic one.

Natasha Lomonossoff, Nepean, Ont.

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Topic of debate

Re Trump Launches All-Out Attack On Clinton In Effort To Salvage Campaign (Oct. 10): The Oxford English Dictionary defines debate as “a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote.”

What we have witnessed in the U.S. presidential “debates” is pure trash talk, the arguments revolving around who is the better porn star, Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

Nirmala Shear, Oakville, Ont.

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I enjoyed watching the shenanigans but they sure made me thankful that we have a parliamentary system in Ottawa.

Gordon Rogers, Toronto

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Donald Trump criticized the Canadian health care system as being slow, and said that Canadians who needed major health procedures go to the U.S. in many cases. Let him know that if he wants to get that sniffle problem fixed, there are many excellent ENT specialists in Canada. No wait required!

Ted Moryto, Pembroke, Ont.

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Another question

Re The Trillion-Dollar Question, editorial (Focus, Oct. 8): The carbon tax is intended to change bad behaviour (carbon emissions) by making it more expensive to engage in that behaviour (Economics 101). If, as suggested in your editorial, the funds raised are then used to lower personal and business income tax rates, that will in effect remove the penalty and therefore behaviour will not change (Human Nature 101).

Bruce Henry, Waterloo, Ont.

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Beyond its value for the environment, this policy is beneficial to our mental health. The reality of climate change can be daunting, overwhelming. But the new plan fosters what I would call “climate optimism” – a sense that the situation is serious but not hopeless.

Gideon Forman, Toronto

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Yes, the national carbon price provides a “foundation for action” and yes, it will lead to “years of debate.” But that is exactly the problem. When he was elected, Justin Trudeau faced the challenge of inducing those provinces that already have a carbon price and generate the bulk of Canadian emissions to do more. He sidestepped that challenge and instead focused on a minimum price, which only induces action in small-emission jurisdictions that do not have a price. The national carbon price is a squandered opportunity. Douglas Macdonald, senior lecturer, School of the Environment, University of Toronto

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Fresh take

Re Sophie’s Way (Focus, Oct. 8): Sophie Grégoire Trudeau’s courage and loving ways are so refreshing, especially in the Trump era of crass insults. I, too, dealt with a food disorder for 20 years, until a kind and helpful psychologist cured me (40 years ago). We are privileged to have Ms. Grégoire Trudeau as our chatelaine.

Julie Beaudoin Pearce, Victoria

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I sincerely wish writer Sarah Hampson hadn’t stooped to medieval witch-hunt imagery by referring to Ms. Grégoire Trudeau and Dawn Bramadat as possibly “boiling cats’ tails and eyes of newts.” It is inappropriate to ridicule both the way the Prime Minister’s wife is choosing to conduct her spiritual life, and the beliefs and practices of Ms. Bramadat and her clients.

Katharina Urbschat, Quebec City

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Fee fight

Hats off to CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais in his courageous stand against the giants of the telecommunications industry for their greedy and arrogant conduct (Pushing For Competitive Market, CRTC Slashes Wholesale Fees Charged By Incumbent ISPs, Report on Business, Oct. 7). Their reluctance to share their broadband networks with smaller companies at reasonable rates is the primary cause for the high cost of home Internet services.

I remember arriving in Canada in the 1950s, when it cost a half-day’s pay to make a long-distance phone call to my parents overseas because Bell Canada monopolized the Canadian telecom market; it wasn’t until 30 years later that it was forced to allow competitors access to its lines. The same is true with the Internet today. Consumers need to let the CRTC know that we are not happy with the status quo and that we support Mr. Blais in his endeavour to lower the outrageously high cost of Internet services.

Ivor Bennett, West Vancouver

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Perilous talk

Re The Perilous Whiteness of … Pumpkins? (Focus, Oct. 7): Finally! Margaret Wente puts into words how we are losing the war by fighting stupid battles.

It is an insult to those facing true discrimination when we pontificate about the need to feminize the study of glaciers. Stop looking for offence and bullying good people who won’t toe the PC line. Recognize that not all offence is malicious and spend a moment looking at intent. Dare I say “man up”?

Daniel Kollek, Dundas, Ont.

Getting lucky

Re Blue Jays Picked The Right Time To Peak (Sports, Oct. 10): When Cathal Kelly mentioned the Blue Jays’ way of manufacturing their luck, I was reminded of that old saying: “I’m a great believer in luck; I’ve noticed the harder I work, the luckier I am.”

John Barker, Sarnia, Ont.

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