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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians want the federal government to show leadership on the environment. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians want the federal government to show leadership on the environment. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

WHAT READERS THINK

Oct. 6: Energy showdown. 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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Energy showdown

Re Premiers Draw Battle Lines Over Carbon (Oct. 5): Transitions are rarely easy – be it personally, professionally or for our country. As a nation, we are in the exciting process of transitioning to a low-carbon economy. No one expected it to be easy. Push-back from those vested in the old economy should be expected.

While provincial and federal governments appear to be playing a dangerous game of chess over new fossil fuel projects, the reality is that climate change is urgent and accelerating. We have an obligation to our children to make this challenging transition to a renewable future, and to do it in a socially just manner.

Laura Sacks, Castlegar, B.C.

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Our Prime Minister would get a lot less flak if he were seen to be striking a better balance between addressing climate change and economic growth, including new pipeline development.

The federal government’s approval last week of the LNG terminal in Northern B.C. was incredibly disingenuous, considering the 190-plus conditions attached and the fact that, given low natural gas prices, the economic viability of the project is seriously in doubt.

If Justin Trudeau put his shoulder properly behind the Trans Mountain and Energy East projects (with the appropriate safeguards), Canadians could have some faith that he is genuinely concerned about our economic well-being.

Bruce W. Healy, Parksville, B.C.

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How is it that federal Liberal administrations, especially those led by a Trudeau, invariably revive national unity as an issue by the way they mishandle issues such as energy, health care and environment? The last thing this country needs is increased federal-provincial wrangling. But that is precisely what unilateral federal interventions in areas of provincial or joint federal-provincial jurisdiction provoke and amplify.

Preston Manning, former Reform Party leader, Calgary

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Housing controls

Re Property Sales In Vancouver Plunge As Foreigners’ Tax Takes Effect (Oct. 5): As it is with people, so it is with governments. There are things they can control, and things they can’t. Before the B.C. government introduced the new foreigners’ tax, it studied a similar measure in Hong Kong to curb property speculation, which like Vancouver’s was partly fuelled by mainland Chinese money.

I hope B.C. officials didn’t just study the cause, but also the effects, of such actions. These measures drastically reduce sales activity, but not property prices.

Unless homeowners are desperate for cash or facing an impending market collapse, most will just hold on to their property, as has been the case in Hong Kong, instead of lowering their price.

The B.C. measure is likely to curb speculation but won’t make homes more affordable. And it will collect less tax from fewer transactions and capital gains.

Alex Lo, Willowdale, Ont.

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We need data on how many non-residents buying homes in Vancouver and Toronto as investments pay cash. Mortgage regulations may well affect Canadian buyers more than the non-residents they are aimed at. It is doubtful that non-resident billionaires seek mortgages from Canadian banks, particularly if they have money to launder.

Betty Cullen, Toronto

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Arms and the man

Re Liberals Reject Motion To Scrutinize Arms Exports (Oct. 5): “Is the defence industry really something we wish to cut back on?” asked the parliamentary secretary to the Foreign Affairs Minister, while defending her government’s rejection of an NDP motion for more parliamentary oversight of arms exports.

Maybe I’m just unimaginative, but I can’t really think of a better industry to cut back on than the one that sells weapons to tyrannical regimes like Saudi Arabia.

Refusing calls for parliamentary oversight so that his government can proceed with arms deals with one of the world’s worst human rights violators isn’t what I imagined Justin Trudeau meant when he promised “sunny ways.” How much longer will Canadians use Mr. Trudeau’s considerable charm and style as a reason to give his government the benefit of doubt, when sadly the substance continues to be much the same?

Kevin Caners, Berlin, Germany

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Cases like Monsef’s

Re Ottawa Softens Stand On Citizenship Cases Like Monsef’s (Oct. 5): Perhaps it would have been more accurate to say: Publicly, Ottawa Ottawa Softens Stand On Citizenship Cases Like Monsef’s. Because away from the uncomfortable public scrutiny of cabinet minister Maryam Monsef’s case, as you report, “the government appears to be in a rush to use as many revocation notices as possible before the law changes.” Hypocrites …

Angela Pelletier, Montreal

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The Trudeau government, I’m sure, wishes the Maryam Monsef issue would go away, but it must not. This is a serious legal matter that has impacted hundreds of others. I have a friend who inadvertently put similar misinformation on his immigration application. After many, many appeals and efforts to rectify the matter, he was kicked out of Canada. No excuses. No ability to have powerful people yell “racism” or “birther!” Just told to leave. Period.

Canadians may give Ms. Monsef the benefit of the doubt that indeed her mother never told her the actual place of her birth (hard to believe), but the fact remains that when they came to Canada, there was no need to give false information.

In the interests of fairness to all of those other refugees and immigrants, at the very least Ms. Monsef must step down from cabinet until this matter is settled.

Jim Church, Kelowna, B.C.

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Hmm …

Re The Misguided Mayors of Vancouver And Montreal (Oct. 3): Distress about bike lanes causing gridlock for cars and consequently increasing exhaust emissions is what is misguided. A solution rooted in science and economics – rather than a religious belief in 4,000-pound vehicles, often transporting only one person – is more bikes and more transit.

A little digging offers historical parallels to such resistance to change, including references to the Farmers’ Anti-Automobile Society of Pennsylvania, which is said to have proposed the following state law in the first decade of the 20th century:

“Automobiles travelling on country roads at night must send up a rocket every mile, then wait 10 minutes for the road to clear. The driver may then proceed, with caution, blowing his horn and shooting off Roman candles, as before.

“If the driver of an automobile sees a team of horses approaching, he is to stop, pulling over to one side of the road, and cover his machine with a blanket or dust cover which is painted or coloured to blend into the scenery, and thus render the machine less noticeable.

“In case a horse is unwilling to pass an automobile on the road, the driver of the car must take the machine apart as rapidly as possible and conceal the parts in the bushes.”

Russell Banta, Ottawa

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