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CAQ: C isn’t for Canada
Re Quebec’s New Landscape (editorial, Aug. 20): The old-style nationalist CAQ (think Union Nationale) is heavily favoured to form the next government, quite possibly with a majority. Most of us know that the C in CAQ doesn’t stand for Canada. If, as The Globe and Mail says, François Legault has embraced federalism, it is a loveless embrace indeed. While Philippe Couillard is the most unabashedly pro-Canadian Quebec Premier ever, Mr. Legault, a former PQ minister, struggles to convince many Quebeckers of his federalist bona fides. And with the CAQ pledge to abolish school boards, an important protection for English-speaking Quebeckers, the A certainly doesn’t stand for anglophone.
The Q in LGBTQ doesn’t stand for Quebec. Maybe if it did, Mr. Legault would have shown up for Montreal’s Gay Pride parade, like the other political leaders did. Having figured out that he can form a majority government without anglophone support, the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québéc appears to have calculated that he doesn’t need the support of the gay community either.
There are other letters of the alphabet which I won’t press into service to describe the coming election.
Political realignment, indeed.
Howard Greenfield, Montreal
Re It’s Time For A Fresh Look At Energy East (Report on Business, Aug. 18): Derek Burney’s arguments are surprising coming from someone who was a diplomat (though not from someone who was a director for Shell and TransCanada Pipelines). He not only suggests that building the Energy East pipeline will help address our problems with Donald Trump and the Saudi prince, but subtly implies that it will “make Canada great again.” Mr. Burney agrees that we are in a hole with climate change but blithely offers the equivalent of advice to the effect that we keep on digging. His alternative to a carbon tax is that, with more pipelines, we produce even more carbon!
If the fires out West this season are any indication, the hole Canada is in with climate change will only get deeper. What governments need to consider is whether the resultant economic losses will (if they haven’t already) outweigh any potential gains from building oil pipelines to any coast, and develop policies on that basis. Governments will be remembered if they strike the right balance.
Michel G. Côté, Ottawa
Saudis and sorry
Re: Canada Owes No Apology To Saudis (Aug. 20): In Quebec in the 1950s, my mother bought a shop. In spite of using her own money (inherited from her family) to do so, my father had to co-sign the documents. He also had to sign any cheques she wrote over a certain amount, or they were invalid.
Women had to wear hats to church then (and men had to remove theirs). In my city at least, women were fined if they wore shorts on the streets. Women travelling in Europe in the 1950s and ’60s carried scarves. Their heads (in some places, their shoulders, too ) had to be covered in order to visit inside churches.
Maybe the Saudis simply need more time – 50 years, perhaps.
Jane Alleslev, Kingston
What former ambassador Paul Heinbecker was too diplomatic to mention is the willingness of the Saudis’ neighbours to support this barbaric regime, and the silence of Canada’s allies – the supposed “civilized” world. We don’t need the backing of the idiot in the Oval Office. But the support of our other allies, and any remaining doubters here, would be gratifying – and overdue.
Alan Rosenberg, Toronto
Forests on fire
Beyond blaming the mountain pine beetle epidemic and the resulting dead timber for the fires in the B.C. interior, the public should be asking: When insect-induced tree death occurs, why does the Minister of Forests not rearrange timber-harvesting schedules to prioritize removal and stockpiling of timber from stands of dying trees, thereby also encouraging the healthy ones to grow longer? Instead, Canadian forestry throws huge amounts of money at spraying with insecticides and the dead timber remains standing.
Rodney Savidge, Fredericton
Irrespective of MAID
Re The Data On Assisted Death (editorial, Aug. 17): While I appreciate the concern regarding inadequate information about what kind of suffering leads to requests for MAID, Canadians do not need another government report in order to access better palliative- and home-care services. With or without MAID, we know there is gross inequity in the distribution and availability of palliative care and home care.
Current research suggests the overwhelming majority of those who request MAID are well connected to palliative care. There is even concern in some quarters that almost disproportionate attention is being paid to those who request MAID, siphoning away much needed services. So, yes, by all means ask for more data – but also ask for action now to improve palliative care and home care, irrespective of MAID.
Jyothi Jayaraman, palliative-care physician, MAID provider, Vancouver
Statues and stories
Re Removing Statues Not The Solution To Addressing A Troubled History: McKenna (Aug. 16): Environment Minister Catherine McKenna wants a “thoughtful” way of telling stories and implies that statues are central to this process. Statues rarely facilitate the telling of stories – and certainly not those from multiple perspectives. Statues often impede story-telling; they signify that all the necessary perspectives on, say Sir John A. or Nellie McClung or Jinnah have been sifted through and a consensus reached.
This at least partly accounts for many Canadians’ stubborn outrage at the removal of these items – and the upending of an implied consensus. Let’s hope the widespread discomfort results in the kind of thoughtful revisiting of Canadian history Ms. McKenna (and so many others) hope for.
Maura Hanrahan, Board of Governors Research Chair, University of Lethbridge
Not so uncool
Re I’m Proud Of (And Embarrassed By) My Old Car (First Person, Aug.15): I, too, have an old (1992) Corolla.
Last summer, when my 12-year-old grandson was visiting from rural Michigan, he kept looking out for Lamborghinis and other luxury cars (Vancouver having been named North America’s luxury-car capital). When we stopped at a waterfall on the Sea-to-Sky Highway, three young men from Quebec in the next car were unloading their climbing gear. One asked if the Corolla was mine. Then he spent a good five minutes raving about the Corolla’s fine engineering and long life.
So there, all you Lamborghini lovers, here’s one grandma, and her old car, who are not so uncool after all.
Maribeth Ruckman, Vancouver