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Canada's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walk together before delivering the fall economic statement in Ottawa on Nov. 21.BLAIR GABLE/Reuters

Well spent

Re “The Liberals’ new definition of restraint: overspending by less than they had previously” (Opinion, Nov. 25): Borrowing to buy a house and borrowing to, say, fly to Las Vegas to gamble are not the same thing. So a government adding debt to build useful infrastructure is not the same as pouring dollars into non-productive boondoggles.

The former adds to wealth. The latter subtracts. This is ultimately reflected in the relative value of a currency, as markets judge the attractiveness of a country as a place to invest and do business.

So when complaining about the astronomical amounts of debt being incurred by federal Liberal (and provincial conservative) budgets, some examination of quality of spending should be considered.

Ron Beram Gabriola, B.C.

Live it up

Re “Canada’s most livable cities” (Report on Business, Nov. 25): As a University of Victoria grad, I know all about the awesomeness of Victoria. And as a proud Winnipegger, I am happy to see us at No. 3.

However I wonder about the adjacent cities of Victoria – there are 12. How did they end up so different?

Mayfair Shopping Centre borders Saanich, which placed seventh. Does that make Victoria a better place to live? Royal Jubilee Hospital borders Oak Bay, which placed 10th. So health care is better in Victoria?

Central Saanich is 40th on the list. Is the weather so much worse that far north?

Derek Rolstone Winnipeg


The “dreamy seaside life” comes with caveats.

No. 1: Victoria is on an island and serviced (some would say loosely) by ferries at the mercy of storms, hordes of tourists and other ships that break down. Expect delays. Expect dolphins, orcas and spectacular scenery. Don’t expect a bridge.

No. 2: Did I mention the island? For practical purposes, we have only one road that goes north-south, because we also have mountains and pretty, pesky, fjordic geography that makes it difficult to have more roads.

No. 3: Victoria gets snow (and sleet and ice) despite its mild weather. Not much, but when we do, we have little means of getting rid of it.

Victoria isn’t lotus land. However, if someone want to be a leftist hippie (or a retired teacher), content to stroll Cook Street Village and snicker at those east of the Rockies, it’s just grand and I love it.

Maureen Jackson Victoria


Thanks loads for enticing yet more people to move to Victoria, where there are not enough doctors and we’re losing precious green space to canyons of high-rise apartments for those who can afford them.

Vicki Metcalfe Esquimalt, B.C.


Dieppe and Fredericton are the only two ranking cities (Dieppe is a city?) in Atlantic Canada? Then explain why one sees so many New Brunswick plates in Halifax, particularly on weekends.

However, I must agree with your view on Victoria. It reminds me of Halifax.

David Smith Halifax


Your list of Canada’s most livable cities does not include mine.

Stratford has billed itself as “home of the Stratford Festival and the Ontario Pork Congress.” Can’t get more livable than that!

Henry Van Drunen Stratford, Ont.


As a resident of Mississauga, I was curious to see where we would fit in your list of Canada’s 100 most livable cities: nowhere! To ignore a city of almost one million people surely vitiates your endeavour.

Cyril Doherty Mississauga


I was surprised to see that Toronto, Canada’s largest city and one of its most vibrant, did not make your top-10 list for raising kids. Bringing up our kids here is one of the best choices we have made.

Our kids have the world at their doorstep. They have diverse classmates who enrich their education and social lives. They benefit from incredible cultural resources such as world-class museums and institutions.

For kids with medical issues or any kind of special need, there is access to a world-class children’s hospital and legions of professionals supporting schools, clinics, camps and programs that accommodate all abilities and interests.

Plus, Toronto kids grow up in an ancestral meeting place on the shores of a majestic Great Lake, surrounded by lush ravines on the doorstep of the Carolinian forest, Canada’s most biodiverse region.

Sarah Finkelstein Toronto


Merely considering the bagels, my bookseller Ben, my pharmacist Daniel, my barber Leo, my ever-available Dr. H., unbeatable friends and neighbours and the best hardware store anywhere, how is it that I’m in only the 64th most livable city in Canada?

Farley Helfant Toronto


A crucial factor in most people’s quality of life: proximity to family.

No doubt it is nice to bicycle to the grocery store in retirement, but it is even nicer to see one’s grandchildren.

Tanya Bartucz Toronto

Keep it down

Re “In Sweden, William Nylander brought a rare bit of glamour to the NHL” (Sports, Nov. 25): Hockey is one of the most interactive team sports in the world. The number of passes, complicated plays, shifts on the fly, special teams and, of course, the culture of enforcers and protectors breed a fully integrated and necessary team mentality.

Hockey rewards assists and boring interviews. No tall poppies are allowed in the dressing room, where one bad haircut can be the cause of ridicule for life.

It is no accident that modest Canadians excel at this, the most exciting and brutal of games played by buddies.

Nigel Smith Toronto

Sign here

Re “Ways to have your say: An update on Comments, and answering a question about Letters” (Nov. 25): The Globe and Mail (and most newspapers) requires letters to the editor to be signed with the correspondent’s name. But online comments allow correspondents to use a nickname. Why?

I suspect that if online commenters had to use real names, there would be far less work editing comments for offensive or hateful content.

Alan McCullough Ottawa


Historically, anonymous publishing has been essential to the spread of ideas under censorship regimes; the European Enlightenment, for example, wouldn’t exist without it.

I find it telling that anonymity has returned with a vengeance, as we live in electronic surveillance states with scope and penetration that make historical censorship regimes look quaint.

Ryan Whyte Toronto

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