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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:


Capped and traded

One reason why Canada's economy is likely to remain stagnant compared to the economies of emerging markets lies rooted in the Canadian federal structure (Economic Stagnation Is Here To Stay – April 14). Canada is not a single economy but a loose federation of 13 distinct economies, all jealously maintaining their independence. We are bristling with barriers to trade and the movement of people.

The approach to reducing emissions typifies the situation, with Ontario and Quebec forming a cap-and-trade alliance, whereas British Columbia has opted for a carbon tax (Ontario And Quebec Join Forces In Cap-And-Trade Market – Folio, April 14).

How can Canadian firms compete on the world stage if their competitive position within Canada is so constrained? Only a revision to the terms of federation will solve this problem – and that is not going to happen short of an economic disaster forcing change.

Boudewyn van Oort, Victoria


Cap-and-trade: A banking system by any other name.

Bill Davidson, Saanich, B.C.


Surely the success of any carbon pricing regime is how quickly and effectively it changes consumption behaviour at the grassroots. The cap-and-trade approach does this only slowly and indirectly.

Brian Yawney, Toronto


Entertaining … theft

Re You Want Game Of Thrones? Pay For It (Life & Arts, April 14): John Doyle says the pirating of TV episodes is simple "theft" motivated by "greed." But the truth is more complicated.

The technological ability to access and consume TV and film content online cannot be undone or forgotten, and its reorganization of the way people relate to and understand intellectual property rights is nothing less than revolutionary.

Like all revolutions, this one is as destructive of the old system and its norms as it is productive of new modes of thinking and acting. The bottom line is that TV entertainment, like creative work in every medium, is increasingly "unthinkable" as property.

As we move haltingly but inexorably toward an intellectual and creative commons, Mr. Doyle might consider whether the shameless and illegal activity of downloading content from the Internet is not contributing to the necessary and beneficial collapse of an industry and a corporate model that he is usually inclined to scorn.

Robert Stacey, Ottawa


My thanks to John Doyle for his column regarding media piracy by otherwise "nice, sophisticated Canadians."

The same goes on in the book world. I've been directed by concerned readers to websites where people are blatantly asking where they can download my books for free. I'm told my books are on seven pirate sites. My publisher instructs these sites to remove the books immediately, and they are back up the minute someone else asks for them.

We authors are told we should be grateful for the exposure. I don't need more exposure. Like every other author in this country, I need sales.

Melodie Campbell, Oakville, Ont.


It's a policy cancer

Re One Disease. Two Drug-Coverage Standards. Shocking (April 14): André Picard rightly calls inequality in access to drug coverage a public-policy cancer that requires immediate treatment.

With one in every 10 of us not able to fill our prescriptions due to cost, and Canadians paying on average 50 per cent more per capita for prescription drugs than in other developed countries, there are compelling equity and cost reasons to call on our government to take action. We'll have that opportunity this year during the federal election. Which parties will commit to a national pharmacare program so that all Canadians have access to the prescription medicines we need?

Jacquie Maund, Association of Ontario Health Centres


Genocide politics

Re Genocide's Firsts (letters, April 14): The First and Second Balkan Wars of 1912-13 saw at least 750,000 Muslims killed and driven out of the Balkan region by the attacks of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia. This atrocity, as well as the earlier mass killings and expulsions of Muslims on the north and east coasts of the Black Sea by czarist Russia in the 19th century, form an important backdrop to the extermination of the Armenians inside the Ottoman Empire in the First World War.

Far more important than the argument over which genocide was the first of the 20th century is the need to understand that history is being turned to partisan purposes in the declarations about the fate of the Armenians by Pope Francis, Canada's Parliament and filmmaker Atom Egoyan. For that reason, I see some merit in the suggestion by Turkish President Recep Erdogan that an intergovernmental history commission be formed by Turkey, Armenia and a third country to assess the claims and counterclaims about what happened to some two million Armenians, Turks and Kurds in the First World War. Such a commission would be useful, of course, only if it involved historical experts with access to full historical records.

I see great threats to the state of peace in today's world when history is misused for partisan political purposes.

Larry Hannant, history, Camosun College; University of Victoria


See Hillary run

Margaret Wente misconstrues the position of "modern feminists" when she argues that they rely on gender essentialism to make claims about men and women (Hillary Plays The Gender Card – April 14). While we continue to deny that there are "innate differences … between the sexes," that doesn't mean we believe men and women are the same.

The crux lies in the word "innate" – feminists believe gender differences are the result of socialization, not biology. This distinction is important because it allows us to recognize ongoing gender inequality in our society, while keeping ourselves open to the possibility of change.

While I won't comment on whether women necessarily lead "better" than men, in general, they do lead differently. This is an empirically verifiable fact.

Harry Chiu, Vancouver


"You vote for a woman when she's the best man for the job." Really? Or do you vote for the person when she/he is the best candidate for the job?

Hillary Clinton's attempt to depict herself in a softer light is standard political-image tinkering – something all politicians do.

Linda Steward, Calgary


Margaret Wente's column about Hillary and Chelsea Clinton brings to mind a joke that made the rounds during Bill Clinton's second term in the White House, right after his famous quote: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

It goes like this: Chelsea returned home after her first term at college, and her mother sat her down. "Chelsea," Hillary said, "I have to ask you this question. Have you had sex yet?"

Chelsea looked into her mother's eyes and replied, "Not according to Dad, I haven't."

Tell me, do we really need families like this in the White House?

Jerry Amernic, Toronto