Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

People attend a protest march near the Russian embassy in Berlin on Feb. 18 to commemorate Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny following his death on Friday.Markus Schreiber/The Associated Press

Spend wisely

Re “Dodging the NATO spending target for defence is a shrug that Canada can no longer afford from its politicians” (Feb. 15): The cost of having a military that is small but technically advanced and powerful is not only in our reach, but should be considered absolutely necessary.

War could break out almost anywhere. I’m not hawkish and do not want to become a society like the United States, where military culture is pervasive, but we can’t be naïve either and think we will avoid war or that the U.S. will protect us.

We should develop a military like in Norway, Finland or Sweden, one that an opposing force knows won’t be a pushover, as Canada’s often is today. We could not defend ourselves from a Russian or Chinese invasion, never mind some smaller country.

Unlike the Second World War, there would be no lull in a modern war to step up and prepare ourselves. Either we are ready or we are not. I’d rather be ready.

David Bell Toronto

Why should we want an international reputation based on being Washington’s defender?

Canada’s reputation in matters of conflict has been as a peacekeeper. That is surely what we want to build on.

Our role should be to foster principles of peaceful co-existence, not to support the trend of seeing countries with different economic and social systems as enemies. If we cannot promote peace and dampen the flames of war, how will we find time and resources to address the real threat that faces us all, that of the climate crisis?

Let’s build our trade and economic well-being on peace and solutions to the myriad of issues and problems presented by climate change.

Marion Endicott Toronto

Pump it up

Re “With new low-income energy program, Ottawa will try to prove it can tackle climate change and affordability crisis at once” (Report on Business, Feb. 13): While this is a great step forward from the earlier plan, it is still silent on ensuring that all new buildings are fitted with heat pumps and energy-efficient. This would save money from doing retrofits.

Another item that should be legislated is that all home sales have a mandatory energy audit. This way, the buyer knows exactly what they are getting in terms of monthly and retrofit costs. Also, it would be an encouragement for those not targeted by the grants to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and thereby raise resale values.

Jorma Ikavalko Simcoe, Ont.

Payment plan

Re “Ontario to require referendum on any future ‘carbon tax’ plan” (Feb. 14): I won’t vote for a politician who does not support carbon pricing. Enough of the nonsense already.

No one is being hurt by carbon pricing gradually increasing at a predictable rate. Most of us, especially those with lower incomes, receive back more in the Canada Carbon Rebate than we pay for carbon. I certainly do.

If someone has concerns, just be sure to cause less carbon to be burned. That’s all. Don’t tell me it’s not possible.

John Stephenson Toronto

It might be time for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government to “axe the tax” themselves, and sooner rather than later.

It would force a rethink of Canada’s approach to climate action, allow the Liberals time to present a new environmental plan to Canadians and force the Conservatives to develop one of their own. Should the Liberals lose the next election, it’s dead anyway.

In Ontario, there will be a referendum on the issue. The tax has become highly divisive, which is unhealthy, and so there should be a new approach.

It could even help the Liberals at the polls, as real debate on environmental policy could emerge. And in axing the tax, a key plank of the Conservative platform would be dead.

Desmond Pouyat Toronto


Re “Bill 124, Doug Ford’s caps on wage increases, ruled unconstitutional by Ontario Court of Appeal” (Feb. 13): Whether or not one agrees with Ontario’s attempt to limit public-sector wage increases, the Court of Appeal striking down the law for unionized workers is a fine example of “government by the courts.”

The court justified its ruling based on the Charter, specifically the freedom of association interpreted to imply collective bargaining rights for unionized workers. The court thus put shackles on the freedom of government to control wage expenses as it deems best.

We have become less a government of the people and more a government of the courts. I find this ironic, because the only countries where courts operate with freedom and independence are liberal democracies. They are thus undermining their foundation and threatening their own legitimacy.

We should remove the Charter from the Constitution. I believe the only real protection for rights and freedoms comes from an engaged citizenry in a healthy democracy, not from the courts.

Jim Paulin Ottawa

League of their own

Re “Fergie (Ferguson) Jenkins, first Canadian to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame” (Moment in Time, Feb. 12): Fergie Jenkins was the first Canadian man inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the United States.

He was preceded by Canadian women, among them my aunt Yolande Teillet from St. Vital in Winnipeg. She was inducted into the Baseball of Fame in June of 1988 as a member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Jean Teillet Vancouver


Re “Western leaders, officials blame Putin’s Russia for Alexey Navalny’s death” (Feb. 17): Alexey Navalny was one of the bravest people I have ever heard of. And for three months in 2020, he unknowingly helped me get through the COVID-19 crisis.

Everything was shut down, there were few sources of entertainment and I had just traded independent living for a retirement home. But there was this brave man, who had survived poisoning from a lethal substance apparently placed in his underpants.

So I asked my male friends for used but clean underpants, wrote “FREE NAVALNY” on them in fabric ink and mailed them to the Russian ambassador in Ottawa. They probably never reached his desk but, hey, I was at least doing something to honour this extraordinary man.

I don’t know if the Nobel Peace Prize can be awarded posthumously, but surely Mr. Navalny, who faced horror and indignity with grace and wit, has earned our highest acclaim.

Anne Moon Victoria

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:

Interact with The Globe