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An oil and gas pumpjack is shown near Cremona, Alta., on Oct. 1, 2020.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

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Royal response

Re Indigenous Leaders Concerned About Future Of Reconciliation Efforts With New Monarch (Sept. 15): Indigenous leaders in Canada will ask King Charles to support the reconciliation process. The King can help, but it is really up to all of us to make reconciliation a reality.

King Charles will no doubt listen to the input of Canadians, including the views of the government, before he speaks. But it should not be the place of a constitutional monarch to take sides in a political battle.

Karlis Poruks Edmonton

Told you

Re ‘The Report Was Clairvoyant’: UN Scientists Predicted Extreme Weather (Sept. 13): Right-wing politicians and conservative commentators, along with some in the fossil-fuel industry, made efforts to prevent action from being taken to limit global warming. Their goal was to create doubt about the science, to ensure profit from fossil fuels continued for as long as possible.

As evidence clearly shows, the scientists were right all along. The economic cost of climate change will likely be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The potential cost of human suffering and loss of life is difficult to imagine.

Climate-change deniers should owe the world an apology.

Suzzanne Fisher Calgary

Call it quits

Re Hockey Canada Wanted Self-governance (Sept. 14): The whistle keeps blowing, but Hockey Canada doesn’t seem to hear it.

As long as its leadership does not resign or get fired, they could retraumatize those who have been sexually abused in the world of hockey. Survivors could feel that there is no justice and their sense of safety is compromised.

Ken Hundert Registered psychotherapist, Toronto

Canadian creativity

Re Canada Must Match The U.S.’s Huge Investment In Science And Innovation (Sept. 5): As the holder of 70 patents for medical devices and technology, I can speak with some authority about innovation, invention and creativity. In my experience it is rarely, if ever, birthed into existence by taxpayer money.

Talent is mobile and searches the world for opportunity. This means a culture of openness to new ideas and one that rewards risk-takers. This happens when corporations and institutions compete for customers.

All the products that I have sent to market were funded by myself or by private companies and investors. If government funding was the only solution, Apple and Google would be reliant on the generosity of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Rather than looking for more government handouts, Canadian institutions that wish to further innovation should focus on managing every dollar, and creating a culture that enables the recruitment and nurture of the best creative talent. That is something they cannot buy.

Kieran Murphy Professor of interventional neuroradiology, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto


Re Canada’s Farm Czar (Report on Business, Sept. 10): Serious problems can occur when old fences, tree lines, rock piles and crumbling structures are removed from the farming landscape. They provide important habitat for birds and mammals that live on the Prairies, or migrate through this countryside on the way north in the spring and south in the fall.

The removal of habitat would result in the subsequent decline of these animal populations. Sterile farmland may increase crop productivity, but at serious cost to the environment.

I am worried about Robert Andjelic’s potential ventures into Manitoba and Alberta. We don’t need that kind of progress.

Bruce Dancik Edmonton

Mountain pass

Re Canmore’s Housing Crisis Driving Out Doctors, Families, Development (Sept. 10): One of Canada’s fastest growing towns, Canmore, Alta., is in a wildlife corridor of continental significance. The massive Three Sisters Mountain Village proposal stands to impact wildlife hanging on to habitat.

For six days in 2021, more than 230 impassioned community members spoke at town-hosted public hearings, with 90 per cent of them opposed to the development. The reasons include needs to address perpetually affordable housing, engage in right relations with First Nations, support human-wildlife co-existence and reduce carbon emissions.

Providing more housing alone, in an area-limited town, would not lead to long-term affordable homes. Instead, it would exacerbate work force housing shortages as in other mountain towns, double the population and impair a key wildlife corridor.

Unchecked growth that harms nature and does little to provide long-term housing options for working people cannot be the answer. The community deserves innovative solutions that address the needs of all.

Hilary Young Canmore, Alta.

On notice

Re Ontario Regulator Moves To Strip Builder Of Its Licence (Real Estate, Sept. 16): With the Home Construction Regulatory Authority’s creation in 2021, many were led to believe the sheriff had finally come to town. The previous regulator, Tarion, operated for 45 years without ever having a builder code of ethics. Powerful industries don’t like to be regulated, and Tarion seems to have been most obliging.

But it would be hard for me to find more timid regulatory language than the HCRA’s “notice of proposal.” It can be, and in this case has been, appealed to the Licence Appeal Tribunal, and then can even be appealed later to another provincial court. This matter may be tied up in our overburdened court system for years, partly at taxpayer expense.

Why doesn’t the regulator use its own discipline and appeals committee, as other regulators do, and make its decisions final? No more polite invitations and testing the waters. Time for the regulator to start regulating.

B. M. Captijn Consumer advocate, Toronto

Take space

Re The Problems Of Way Too Much Parking (Editorial, Sept. 10): If each driver requires four or five extra minutes of driving to find a parking space, that is a lot of unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. But if a driver then decides to move closer to where parking is easier, it creates more urban sprawl.

I prefer the parking spaces.

Brian Casey Halifax

Firsthand stories

Re Book Smarts (Opinion, Sept. 100: Contributor Ray Robertson’s eulogy for 1980s Toronto’s “long gone” used bookstores should have mentioned that they have been replaced by a new generation of equally excellent shops.

Balfour Books, BMV Books, Contact Editions, Doug Miller Books, The Monkey’s Paw, Pandemonium, Sellers & Newell and Zoinks Music and Books are just a few of the most interesting and creatively managed used bookstores that still make Toronto a browser’s paradise for bibliomaniacs.

Nostalgia is all very well, but not to the point that it obscures a vibrant contemporary scene.

Paul Stuewe Toronto

Newly hired in the early 1970s to manage the philosophically oriented Volume One bookstore, in an old wine shop on Spadina Avenue just down from College Street, across from Gwartzman’s Artist Supplies next to El Mocambo, I turned for advice to other dealers all the time (maybe especially to the Philip Larkin lookalike, whose nearby shop was actually inside Central Reference on College).

Toronto’s garment district had folded and the rise of proprietors with small bookshops like mine became real family. The atmosphere of the secondhand book trade behind the counter was every bit as gratifying and collegial as contributor Ray Robertson makes it out to be.

Collaboration rather than competition.

Rose DeShaw Kingston

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