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Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton takes to the podium during a news conference in Toronto on April 28, 2021.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press

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Sick of it

Re Ontario Relents, Will Provide Three Paid Sick Days For Workers (April 29): Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says “this will save lives.” I can’t help but be struck by the disingenuousness of these remarks.

If this legislation will save lives now, one can only wonder how many more lives might have been saved had this government not cancelled paid sick leave legislation passed by the previous one. It then resisted introducing its own legislation for more than a year since COVID-19 first struck.

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It looks like too little, too late. This government should be ashamed for putting ideology before humanity.

Ken Glick Toronto

“It’s petty. It’s cynical. Honestly, I am speechless about this,” says doctor Andrew Morris of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. That about says it all.

Cathy Clark Toronto

Pray tell

Re China’s Falling Population Poses Challenges And Opportunities (April 28): Most of mankind worships the god of economic growth.

Corporations strive for constant increases in earnings, pushed by investors seeking ever-rising dividends. One phone or car is viewed as insufficient, now all family members must have their own. This demands the ever-increasing extraction of resources without regard to their inevitable exhaustion, evidence of which is already here.

So I question columnist John Ibbitson’s argument for preserving economic growth by Canada greatly increasing its immigration intake. Consequences would include more pollution, urban sprawl destroying more fine arable land, transportation bottlenecks and many more.

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Brian Mulroney’s recent call for 100 million Canadians should be balanced against the ills observed in the world’s overpopulated countries of today. Must we strive for a fertility rate “needed to sustain the population?”

Ken Mackenzie Calgary

Who’s in charge?

Re Ottawa Only Learned Chinese Police Ran Visa Centre This Year (April 29): A couple of years ago in China, we were on a tour bus headed for Tiananmen Square. My wife asked the tour guide about the incident that took place there. He answered, “Nothing happened. It wasn’t reported in the papers or on TV. Most Chinese know nothing about it.” Then: ”When we get off the bus, don’t speak to me about it. There are police everywhere – in uniform, out of uniform, everywhere.”

Surprised? Surprised that Ottawa is just catching on.

Mickey Belman Toronto

Old enough

Re The High(er) Cost Of Old Age Security (Editorial, April 29): As its name suggests, Old Age Security was created to deliver a safety net for those who do not have enough income for a secure and dignified retirement. Many people who receive OAS today do not need that support.

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Support for seniors with incomes of up to $79,000 seems misdirected, and that includes the $500 bonus this summer. There will likely be a financial burden placed on upcoming generations as the OAS demographic grows and that of taxpayers shrinks.

I don’t think it takes a mathematical genius to find ways to support seniors based on need. Clawbacks should be complete long before the current threshold. This could free up billions of dollars each year for non-profit long-term care homes and other senior health initiatives.

The average Canadian income is about $49,000. Why not start clawbacks there, and create a more equitable society?

Bruce Henry Waterloo, Ont.

Energy engagement

Re Canada’s Emissions Targets May Seem Modest, But They Are Staggeringly Ambitious And Will Require Tough Decisions (Report on Business, April 23): Columnist Adam Radwanski writes that reductions from our largest emissions sources in oil and gas might “spark a national unity catastrophe.” My review of efforts to co-ordinate federal-provincial energy and climate policy since the 1970s leaves me convinced accommodation with Alberta and Saskatchewan can be found. That can only be done, however, if the Prime Minister talks with those provinces.

National unity was hardly served when Justin Trudeau did not consult with Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon on new targets (Ottawa Sets New Target For Emissions – April 23).

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Douglas Macdonald Author, Carbon Province, Hydro Province: The Challenge of Canadian Energy and Climate Federalism; Toronto

Less is more

Re After Massive Deficit, No Doubt Ottawa Eyeing U.S. Moves On Capital Gains Taxes (Report on Business, April 28): Columnist Konrad Yakabuski provides rationales for taxing capital gains at rates lower than earned income. Speaking as someone who has benefited from capital gains from time to time, it seems the main reason for a lower tax rate on capital gains is to enable wealthy people to become wealthier.

Frank Malone Aurora, Ont.

True transparency

Re To Truly Make An Impact, Non-profits And Charities Must Push For Political Change (Report on Business, April 23): Totally disagree. Non-profits and charities that draw on donations to make other people’s lives better or more comfortable should remain neutral.

When we support a cancer run, we do not ask why did you get cancer? When we support a safe house for battered women, we do not ask why are you here? When we support a single parent with mattresses for her children, we do not ask why pregnant again? When we support a food bank, we do not ask why hungry? At Rotary, we join and donate to provide “service above self.”

There should always be expenditure limits for performing advocacy functions. All lobbying is essentially a form of advocacy; it should be clearly identified as to not mislead donors. I believe lobbying constitutes a for-profit enterprise.

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Politics can be divisive, and we need more civility.

Irene Makar Edmonton

Elephant endangerment

Re Elephant Hunt By NRA Leader Causes Outrage (April 29): Just when one thinks humanity is as shallow as it can get, someone manages to drain a little more from the pool. To even call this a hunt feels ridiculous.

One doesn’t hunt an elephant – one simply goes out and finds it. These animals are the size of a dump truck and are equally as nimble. Once found, killing it is about as dangerous and manly as killing a puppy or a kitten.

Absolutely disgraceful.

Art Dewan Kentville, N.S.

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Conservative confidence

Re It’s Not Just Trudeau. The West’s Mavericks Are Mad At O’Toole, Too (April 28): So Alberta’s Maverick Party only ran in ridings where Conservatives would win by “big, comfortable margins.” Now there’s a winning campaign strategy if ever there was one.

“Vote for us … and get someone else elected.” A maverick position indeed!

Jim Young Burlington, Ont.

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