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Another solution

Re “The time has come to think about what comes after the war in Gaza” (June 10): The idea of a proposed trusteeship for the administration of Palestine is an excellent one. Constructive ideas like this are rare and especially welcome.

The issue is who should oversee the trusteeship. The United Nations is proposed, however I am not sure if Israel trusts the UN to fully protect its interests at this time.

An alternative could be an ad hoc body, for example a special council of, say, France, Canada, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. If this council also committed to maintaining security for Israel, I can see it being accepted by all sides.

So propose a UN trusteeship, but have an alternative available if the idea founders.

Ed Dunnett Qualicum Beach, B.C.

Kudos to contributors Lloyd Axworthy, Michael W. Manulak and Allan Rock for proposing a United Nations trusteeship. However, their noble pursuit of a two-state solution looks to be merely a pipe dream.

Oct. 7 was an atrocity perpetrated by an acknowledged terrorist organization. While I am emphatically no fan of Benjamin Netanyahu’s actions in response, it’s inescapable that there had to be a reprisal. A more clinical one would have spared many of the thousands of lives lost, but a response there surely had to be.

The only viable two-state solution I see is one wherein the safety and security of both Palestinians and Israelis is absolutely guaranteed. That is not possible if even one Hamas operative is anywhere near the area.

The UN can postulate all it wants. Unbiased action is required, not an endless stream of censures against one party.

Alan Rosenberg Toronto

Capital calculations

Re “Freeland says broad strokes of capital-gains tax hike haven’t changed, details coming Monday” (June 10): So professionals, including doctors and lawyers, “use tax strategies that turn normal income into capital gains.” As a retiree, with fully taxable but very limited “normal income,” where do I, and the other 99 per cent of Canadians, sign up?

Donald Rollins Vernon, B.C.

I believe most Canadians, no matter how they feel about the proposed capital-gains tax hike, find Chrystia Freeland’s recent comments reprehensible. According to her, the only group that can prevent “the wrath of the vast majority of their less privileged compatriots” would be individuals targeted by the tax. There may be good arguments for this tax change, but this does not sound like one of them.

Her comments also show me a complete lack of responsibility from the government for the current frustration held by so many of the “less privileged.”

Colin Lockhart Carleton North, N.B.

Re “Consider these last-minute planning ideas before capital-gains tax changes arrive” (Report on Business, June 6): Very helpful tax planning tips, but also some cautions to consider.

Another key aspect to consider, before deciding whether to trigger capital gains, is the potential impact of the Old Age Security clawback for seniors like me, a modest-income taxpayer with accrued gains (largely inflation) from several decades of ownership of a simple lakefront cabin or other sources.

Columnist Tim Cestnick illustrates the substantial complexities in planning and compliance arising from proposed changes to capital-gains tax for hundreds of thousands of taxpayers, particularly in such a short time span and with limited information.

These complexities should be ample reason for a wise government to ditch the proposal, as is suggested, without even considering its numerous other flaws.

Charles Black Mississauga

What goes up …

Re “From pensions to health benefits, the absence of inflation indexing is making us poorer” (Report on Business, June 8): Finally it is proclaimed that “price levels are permanently higher.” Lower inflation does not mean general prices are coming down, it just means that they’re not going up as fast.

I wonder what poll results would be if people were asked if prices go down when inflation goes down?

Louise Kolanko Toronto

Popular opinion

Re “Canada may be headed for a populist government – but how would it govern?” (June 10): An interesting analysis of the populist “anti” approach to government, and a proposal to “leaven the power of populism with the attributes of good governance.”

I suggest the best way to anticipate the conduct of populism in power, if the Conservatives win the next federal election, is to look at the records of self-styled “populist” premiers such as Ontario’s Mike Harris and Alberta’s Ralph Klein.

Graham Taylor Peterborough, Ont.

Contributor David McLaughlin writes that the ideal model of liberal democratic governance is “evidence-based decision-making.” Perhaps that was true at one time, but it is not the case today when I observe policy decisions increasingly made on emotional grounds.

Furthermore, I would argue that this triumph of feelings over facts is the very thing that has caused the backlash of populism.

George Parker Cobourg, Ont.

Business rating

Re “Who’s to blame?” (Letters, June 10): A letter-writer asks us to trust McKinsey to do good work because the consulting firm hires the best business graduates. Outside of the quest to create more equity for its partners, the question “good for whom?” gets muddy.

Rather than simply trust “business thinking,” public-sector clients may need to provide clearer ethical guidance when enlisting this type of help to address societal issues.

Chris Irwin Toronto

McKinsey is indeed a top consulting firm, admired and used by many other firms globally for advice, strategy and recommendations.

Having worked in management consulting and its operational implementation, I know there’s a popular saying: “No one ever got fired for hiring McKinsey.”

Martin Wilkins Calgary


Re “Of concern” (Letters, June 7): The Globe’s delightful history of Letters to the Editor has generated wonderful comments from readers and, in particular, some of the published and unpublished writers. I note that one correspondent has expressed the opinion that it’s best not to criticize The Globe if one wants to be published.

I must disagree, and refer to one of my critical and published letters dated Feb. 10, 1996 (”A national talent pool”). I wrote: “I wonder how many of your readers have recognized the cost-cutting methods you’ve recently incorporated at The Globe and Mail. I refer to the many innovative ways in which you’ve induced your readers to provide editorial material at no cost to you.”

It was probably a given, but I did mention Letters to the Editor as well.

George Dunbar Toronto

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Keep letters to 150 words or fewer. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here:

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