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Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks to reporters next to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Aug. 18, 2020.PATRICK DOYLE/Reuters

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In ‘n’ out

Re Trudeau Prorogues Parliament Until Sept. 23 After Appointing Freeland Finance Minister (Online, Aug. 18): Chrystia Freeland as Finance Minister. And Deputy Prime Minister, soon-to-be-former Intergovernmental Affairs minister and former minister of Foreign Affairs. Is there anything that woman can’t do?

None of these jobs are easy. Hats off to her!

Marianne Orr Brampton, Ont.

The nitty-gritty of finance can be handled by talented bureaucrats. I would much rather have my finance minister get the big picture and, for me, Chrystia Freeland’s writings on inequality qualify.

With a Prime Minister open to thinking big and a Finance Minister who understands the impact of inequality on Canadian life, we could see the makings of a truly progressive legacy. Working with the NDP, this government has a chance to innovate with a green economy, basic income, pharma care, affordable housing and more publicly owned enterprises, so that profit stays with the people, not corporations.

Roderick Benns Lindsay, Ont.

Re Morneau Resigns; Insists He Was Not Pushed By PM (Aug. 18): I see that The Globe’s front-page photo depicts a true martyr. I am sure Bill Morneau suggested his resignation to Justin Trudeau in the interest of the government being able to carry on its work dealing with the pandemic.

His interest in the work of WE Charity seems genuine. His apology seemed genuine. And he will continue working for Canadians, just not as an MP.

Peggy Hutchison Singhampton, Ont.

Re Crisis Shows The Liberals At Their Political Worst (Aug. 18): Bill Morneau made mistakes that, on balance, matter little to me.

Given the state of other democracies near and far, I’ll gladly take a kerfuffle over a charity – recommended by the public service – and a reimbursed trip if it means having the steady hand, compassionate vision and strong leadership that the Trudeau government has practised. I also gladly accept the financial debt incurred to keep my fellow Canadians afloat.

Moral debt is far more difficult to repay, if not impossible.

Paula Jessop Toronto

Dare one say that Bill Morneau is no more?

Brian Summers Victoria

Burn, baby, burn

Re The Cash Bonfire At B.C.‘s Site C (Aug. 17): In the 1970s, I lived in the Peace River area of British Columbia when Site C was first proposed. I find The Globe’s editorial is right on the money.

However, while inferred in relation to mounting costs, what should not be forgotten are the engineering questions of whether the planned dam will even be technically viable. These are issues of dam stability, slumping reservoir banks and accumulation of sediment. Location continues to be an engineering nightmare; two earlier dams upriver are in completely different geography.

I hope there is the political courage to shut down construction – it always has been a dam too far.

Don Chapman Surrey, B.C.

Site C’s endless problems with geological instability have forced BC Hydro to admit the ultimate cost of the project “cannot be determined.” It seems that costs have gone so far beyond even the $10.7-billion figure from 2017 that further guesses would only result in further embarrassment.

While the B.C. NDP government may find this degree of uncertainty acceptable, bond rating agencies are less likely to be satisfied. A Moody’s analysis from May, 2019, warned that “a weakening in BC Hydro’s financial metrics” are a major factor that could lead to a downgrade of the province’s credit rating, meaning higher borrowing costs.

How much more money will be thrown at Site C before B.C. realizes that geology has mostly determined it cannot be safely completed – and cancels the project?

Blaise Salmon Mill Bay, B.C.

The Globe’s editorial describes dams as “antiquated and destructive technology.” Indeed. If built, Site C would be an ill-conceived, ill-fated megadisaster; violate Treaty 8 Indigenous rights; drown a fertile and irreplaceable agricultural valley; poison fisheries with methylmercury contamination; sever migration routes of precious birds and caribou; shackle British Columbia to ruinous hydro debt.

N.J. Pollak Vancouver

The 55 square kilometres that Site C would flood are Treaty 8 lands. The First Nations there have not given the consent that Canada, as a signatory of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is supposed to obtain.

Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination have called for Site C to be cancelled. Canadians should take note: This is on us.

Anya Hageman Kingston

Tough times

Re Ford Accuses Ontario Teachers Of Inflexibility (Aug. 18): Ontario and its teachers seem to be headed toward yet another impasse on reopening schools. These are the same teachers who have continued receiving salaries and benefits while many others have lost their jobs. Now would be the time for teachers to give back.

Since the pandemic began, doctors, nurses, health care workers and first responders have stepped up and worked untold hours. I don’t recall any of them complaining about additional time needed to care for patients.

Most teachers have maintained that their overriding concerns are for the education of our kids. I would say to them: Continue to advocate for better and safer working conditions, but do show flexibility in spending more teaching time in the classroom.

Michael Gilman Toronto

Pay, perchance?

Re Toronto Police Agree To Pay $16.5-million To Detained G20 Protesters (Aug. 18): In what way will the police be paying this $16.5-million? Will the police budget be funded $16.5-million less? Will officers who ordered the G20 actions be sued personally? I don’t think anyone in the police will be made to pay.

The headline should read: “Toronto taxpayers on the hook again for police screw-up.”

Norman Rosencwaig Toronto


Re 617 Days That Michael Kovrig And Michael Spavor Have Been Jailed In China (Aug. 18): At the bottom of The Globe’s front page, there is a running tagline recording the number of days that Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been jailed in China. In fairness, I think The Globe should publish a parallel count of how long Meng Wanzhou has waited, under arrest, to get her case in front of a Canadian court for decision.

This won’t happen, I understand, until next year. Both of these situations are scandalous, and they are joined at the hip.

Fintan Kennedy Toronto

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