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A photograph of the CBC building in Toronto on April 4, 2012.

The Canadian Press

Closer read

Re What Canadians Should Understand About The Federal UNDRIP Bill (Dec. 8) and What Does UNDRIP Stand For? (Editorial, Dec. 8): Bill C-15 seems to miss the need for legislation that clarifies the relation of common law decisions to the asserted rights in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

To take one small example, consider Article 26.1: “Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.” This language is legally imprecise. However, several Supreme Court decisions have resulted in a concept of “Indigenous title” shaped by both the common law and the Indigenous understanding of possession of, and responsibility for, traditional lands.

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Why not develop legislation to clarify that our concept of Indigenous title is what Article 26.1 means in Canada?

Graham Brown Waterloo, Ont.

There is no consensus as to whether passing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into law would be good for Indigenous people or Canada. However, I think we can all agree that it would be great for the legal profession.

Les Shinder Ottawa


Re Hundreds Of CBC Staff Sign Open Letter Against Broadcaster’s Paid-Content Plans (Dec. 9): I believe there is nothing more deceptive than a publisher using paid content: advertising that looks or sounds like editorial coverage, without making it very apparent to users that the content has been paid for by a third party.

If the CBC needs ad revenue, then it should sell ads. At least users would know that it is a paid advertisement. Paid content feels deceptive unless it is explicitly labelled. The CBC should stop this intolerable practice immediately, and the senior executives that allowed it should be fired. The CBC has lost my trust.

David Bell Toronto

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The solution to this problem that has driven the CBC to pursue branded content can be found in the funding formula recommended by a parliamentary committee established in 2008 by Stephen Harper’s government.

That committee recommended annual funding of $40 per capita, which is $8 higher than the current level. If the federal government were to adopt this formula, it would generate more than $300-million, enabling the CBC to abandon all advertising and branded content.

The private sector, which is also cash-strapped, would benefit as well.

Tony Manera Former president, CBC/Radio-Canada; Ottawa

As long as the CBC is a public broadcaster, supported by public funds and tasked with a public mandate, the public is right to make noise when it does things that citizens find outrageous. Let the noise begin!

Eric Pelletier Chelsea, Que.

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Conservation consequences

Re Ontario Defends Conservation Proposals (Dec. 8): The Ford government seems ignorant of the role conservation authorities play in not only protecting the Greenbelt but all of Southern Ontario from flooding, erosion and polluted drinking water.

More important, its action would cause huge tax bills for remediation from potential calamities. Developers leaning on government to trash 75 years of “common sense” land-use planning would probably not pay for these damages.

How can Ontario ignore the municipalities and individuals who have been advising against this “high-level bombing,” as David Crombie describes the situation? It sounds as though the public is preparing to throw the bomb back.

Peggy Hutchison Singhampton, Ont.

The Ford government looks to be burying dramatic new limits on the power of Ontario conservation authorities in Bill 229, cynically titled the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act.

It seems clear that developers are first in line for “protection” and “support.” The rest of us can likely look forward to living in degraded environments that are unhealthy for us and the species we share them with.

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Deborah Moor Oakville, Ont.

Better way

Re To Help Revive The Economy, Think Transit (Editorial, Dec. 4): Bussing is about equality. Everyone can’t be expected to own cars. As The Globe and Mail’s editorial says: “A bus that comes every three minutes is life-changing. A bus that only comes every 30 minutes is literally a job killer.”

I live in rural Southwestern Ontario. We have no buses. We can’t get between towns. It’s “literally a job killer.”

It’s a great idea to make Toronto transit better. I’m all for it.

But it’s about time we invest in any transit at all for rural areas.

Christopher Spaleta Seaforth, Ont.

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Re A Green Skyscraper: In Toronto, Why Is It Such A Tall Order? (Dec. 9): A “green skyscraper in Toronto” seems an oxymoron.

Toronto is located at the confluence of two major migratory bird flyways in Canada. An estimated 25 million birds die each year during migration in Canada, with a disproportionately high number of deaths occurring in the city owing to collisions with skyscrapers. So the best design for a green skyscraper in Toronto would be no skyscraper at all.

Mary Burge Toronto

Rebel rebel

Re The Mackenzie Rebellion Ends (Moment in Time, Dec. 8): Thanks to The Globe and Mail for highlighting the importance of the Upper Canada Rebellion in Canadian history. Please do not inform the Ontario government, since the Veterans’ Memorial at Queen’s Park excludes any reference to the War of 1812, Black troops and such Canadian notables as the great-great-great-grandfather of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Sir Allan MacNab (who incidentally led the charge at Montgomery’s Tavern).

Rather, the memorial begins with the 1866 Fenian Raids. Any argument that excludes veterans of war prior to the events of Confederation should be negated.

Douglas Martin Hamilton

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Political reforms stemming from the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837 were important, but they did not lead to Canada’s creation as a democratic and independent country in 1867. In that year, Canada was born as a self-governing colony within the British Empire. The achievement of democracy and independence would have to wait until the 20th century.

Frank Abbott Toronto

Quantum leap

Re Alberta Teenager Wins International Science Competition By Explaining Quantum Tunnelling In Less Than Three Minutes (Dec. 8): Quantum tunnelling, eh? What an extraordinary achievement!

I hardly know where to begin, but I googled the term on the intertubes and the results pointed me to Wikipedia. Alas, when I clicked the link, my browser could not establish a secure connection to the server. Talk about the “other sides of barriers.”

Nigel Brachi Edmonton

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

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