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Evan Siddall, president and CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., in 2014. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
Evan Siddall, president and CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., in 2014. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

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Nov. 24: More questions – letters to the ROB editor Add to ...

More questions

Re Asset sales: more answers, please (Nov. 19): Tim Kiladze posed several unanswered questions about the Liberal government’s plans to sell off public assets such as airports, ports, highways and bridges. He might have added the following: Given these assets provide a monopoly service, who do we complain to in the event of excessive tolls or charges for their use, and what redress do we have to an unacceptable response? For assets with a maintenance deficit, what assurances do we have the owners will provide necessary upgrades given the need, as the author states, for a “lofty return” on the investment? How are the proceeds of this asset sale to be spent? What is to prevent the resale of these privately owned assets to foreign interests or foreign governments whose financial goals might not be in Canada’s interest? But the fundamental question is, is it the government’s intention to sell assets we already own to the financial industry, who advanced and will profit from this proposal? Dan Cameron, Regina

Wake up, CMHC

Re Raise down payments, CMHC head urges (Nov. 19): Evan Siddall, CMHC’s CEO, surely must win the 2016 Rip Van Winkle award. Having apparently just woken up from his who-knows-how-long slumber, he travelled all the way to London to urge Ottawa to consider raising down payment rules. My 90-year-old grandmother figured that out a decade ago and my white bunny rabbit rolled her eyes (pink) in bunny laughter when I read her the good news. Welcome back, Mr. Siddall. Unfortunately, closing the gate after the horses have escaped made your trip to London a waste of taxpayers’ money. Tony Fricke, Calgary

Short-term thinking

Re A Growth opportunity in the foreign-student business (Nov. 21): Bessma Momani and Jillian Stirk seemingly fail to recognize that having more foreign students in our universities and colleges means fewer spots for Canadians. Unless having more foreign students generates enough profit, not simply revenue, to fund expansion to accommodate increased enrolments and such enrolments can be maintained in the long run, the short-term opportunism promoted by the these Trudeau cheerleaders will have a net negative effect on Canada in the long run. Richard E. Austin, Toronto

Time to choose

Re Canada needs pipelines built the Canadian way (Nov. 15): The Canadian way should honestly acknowledge conflicting goals, then decide which is in our best interest nationally. We have a goal to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases by 30 per cent by 2030. We have another goal, to grow the economy, which some argue is served by building pipelines. But more pipelines mean more production from oil sands, which means more greenhouse gas emissions. Clearly the two goals conflict. So, which do we choose? Climate change mitigation itself spurs economic growth and new investment. It’s not obvious that pipeline building will create more economic benefit than transforming energy systems. But it is clear that unabated climate change will have huge dis-benefits, economically and environmentally (megadeaths, loss of biodiversity … etc). So, which should we choose? Time to choose, Mr. Trudeau … time to choose. John Stephenson, Toronto

Missing the point

Re Energy sector braces for rising threat from activists (Nov. 14): This article completely misses a crucial fact that thankfully is not lost on the courageous protesters across Canada. These brave persons risk arrest trying to protect all of us from catastrophic climate change, which our elected officials are utterly failing to deal with, as they approve LNG projects and push for more pipelines. I urge fellow Canadians to join the protesters. Catastrophic climate change is the biggest security threat humanity has faced. Louise Taylor, Pemberton, B.C.

Second-rate employers

Re Trump victory could be win for Canadian tech (Nov. 10): Canadian IT employers have succeeded in bamboozling the federal government into making it easier for them to bring in foreigners from the mythical “small, global talent pool.” Then we have the above article, which tells us something closer to the truth: there’s plenty of Canadian IT talent, but a lot of it is in the United States. One of these expatriate Canadians says “it’s not clear to me that even if I wanted to move that the type of career opportunities and pay level I aspire to … are available to me in Canada.” So instead of doing what they need to attract and retain Canadian IT talent, our employers, aided and abetted by our hapless federal government, are off looking for foreign workers who will do the job for less. It’s not Canadian IT workers who are second-rate. It’s Canadian IT employers. Jim Paulin, Ottawa

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 by e-mail, send to: letters@globeandmail.com.

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