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An Air Canada jet takes off from Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield, N.S. on Thursday, March 8, 2012.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

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Safe harbour

Re Hong Kong Opposition Quits En Masse (Nov. 12): Canada should lease as many ocean liners as it takes to rescue not only Canadians in Hong Kong, but anyone who wants to come (other than known criminals). It would shock in the short term, but be a huge gain down the road.

Tom Fotheringham Ottawa

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Down a notch

Re Trump Makes A Final Assault On Democracy (Editorial, Nov. 12): So it is feared that the United States may slide to the status of a “managed" democracy such as Turkey, Hungary and Russia.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Democracy Index already classified the U.S. as a “flawed democracy” along with India. China remained “authoritarian.” Canada, Australia and New Zealand retained the status of “full democracy.”

Asad Ansari Oakville, Ont.

Meanwhile

Re Incoming (Letters, Nov, 10): A letter-writer from Ontario believes “it’s time for the federal government to again assume leadership" on the pandemic. But out here in British Columbia, I believe it was the province that took the lead.

B.C. had to ask Ottawa to stop cruise ships from docking and to close the U.S. border to non-essential travel. The federal government was also slow in advising against travel outside Canada.

Where was the federal government when there was already evidence as early as December, 2019, of a contagious virus in China? Doctors gave warning, but no action was taken. And even when advised to procure proper personal protective equipment, initial action was delayed until it was too late.

Rather than being pro-active to minimize the impact of COVID-19, it seems the federal government has been merely reactive and not shown true leadership.

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Louise Manga Victoria

Climate claims

Re Asking Biden Not To Cancel Keystone ‘Top Of The Agenda,’ Champagne Says (Report on Business, Nov. 9): The climate emergency recognized by a majority of scientists seems to not be well understood by the government.

In 2015, the Obama administration rejected the pipeline, saying its economic importance had been exaggerated and that its approval would undercut U.S. leadership on climate change.

Five years later, isn’t it time Canada and the U.S. stopped building pipelines and instead demonstrated responsible leadership with clean and innovative energy solutions?

Robert Winston Surrey, B.C.


Re Carbon Market Must Grow Rapidly: Report (Report on Business, Nov. 11): How would Mark Carney fight carbon created by forest fires and volcanoes? Who would buy credits to offset all those emissions?

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Barbara Davis Cantlie Toronto

Lift-off?

Re Airline Industry’s Lobbying Efforts Are Paying Off (Report on Business, Nov. 10): There is another reason why Canadian carriers are losing business to foreign carriers, and why they will likely continue to do so in the months and years ahead: Canadian travellers know that governing bodies in the European Union, Britain and the United States had their backs when it came to refunds for COVID-19 cancellations. I received a full refund from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines back in April.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government sat on the fence. My petition – to not provide aid to airlines until they provided full refunds – was presented in the House of Commons by my MP in May. Why did it take almost six months for the government to indicate they will act accordingly?

Many who signed the petition swore that they will never again fly on a Canadian carrier if they have the option. The government’s handling of this file has hurt both Canadian travellers and Canadian airlines.

Bob Scott Toronto


I appreciate that airlines have been devastated. However, handing funds to near-bankrupt corporations, financed ultimately by our grandchildren, should be done with great care.

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When government bailed out the auto industry in 2008, I believe it took shares. I think this approach should be repeated.

The airline industry is volatile, and government has already sunk billions into supporting it. Who else would take the risk? I think we should proceed with caution.

Ivor Green Calgary


Re Ottawa Makes Refunds A Condition Of Airline Aid (Report on Business, Nov. 9): While I find it welcome news that Transport Minister Marc Garneau has agreed to address the crisis rocking the aviation sector, suggestions that assistance would be tied to ancillary short-term policy and political objectives is concerning.

In addition to bridge pandemic assistance, sustainable recovery and renewed growth for the aviation industry should be based on long-term vision and enhanced marketplace solutions. The value and efficacy of any government assistance should also be measured by its transparency, rather than the number of strings that come attached.

Massimo Bergamini Former president and CEO, National Airlines Council of Canada; Ottawa

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Re B.C. Struggles Against The Second Wave (Editorial, Nov. 11): My son, a scientist currently developing vaccines against COVID-19, booked two return flights from Edmonton to Abbotsford, B.C. But given the recent provincial advisory restricting travel and visits in the Fraser Health region, I thought it would be a routine matter for him to secure a rebooking voucher. But since the flight had not been grounded by Transport Canada, the airline said his tickets could not be rescheduled nor refunded.

I am shocked by the refusal to adhere to B.C. restrictions. It seems to also defy Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s statement that airline aid "will come with strict conditions to protect Canadians and the public interest.”

My son should not be punished financially for being a responsible professional who complies with public-health provisions. Airlines should be reined in.

Thomas Joyce Surrey, B.C.

Rated G

Re Canadian Film Industry Applauds Province’s Step Back From Classifying Movies (Nov. 10): I believe Ontario’s proposed Film Content Information Act is a step backward.

Contrary to what film industry proponents imply, namely that moviegoers are capable of making their own choices, Canadians Concerned About Violence in Entertainment has long advocated the need for child development experts to be involved in the classification process. We have also long been of the opinion that the system is far too lenient and bends toward industry lobbying.

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Certainly, a national classification system, rather than a mix of provincial boards and agencies with varying criteria, would be preferable not only for industry but less confusing for consumers as well. But in no way should a rating system be abandoned entirely.

Studies show that children are increasingly vulnerable, exploited by online entertainment and aggressive marketing techniques. Such evidence should demand greater, rather than less, government surveillance and protection of the public interest.

Rose Dyson President, Canadians Concerned About Violence in Entertainment; Toronto


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