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Re Getting Credit For Canada’s Natural Gas (Editorial, Dec. 13): If we expect to get carbon credits for sending liquefied natural gas to China so they can cut emissions by burning less coal, shouldn’t we give China carbon credits for producing all the goods we import from there? Without those imports, we would have to consume a lot of energy manufacturing the items here.
To make carbon accounting fair, every item traded should have an assigned value that is assessed against the consuming nation, not the producing nation. As long as we are importing Chinese goods – without taking responsibility for the associated carbon footprint – aren’t we just a nation of hypocrites?
Steen Petersen Nanaimo, B.C.
Do the right thing
Re No. 9 With A Bullet (Letters, Dec. 16): A letter writer makes the case for Canadian efforts to combat global emissions despite Canada being responsible for only 1.6 per cent of it. One apt analogy: In the Second World War, the British, Americans and Russians could have won without us. But nevertheless, we did our part, because it was the right thing to do.
David Shore Richmond, B.C.
Forest front lines
Re ‘Logging Scars’ Show That Impact Of Deforestation Is Underestimated, Analysis Reveals (Dec. 4): When it comes to the forestry sector in the 21st century, Canada’s forests and forestry workers have a significant role to play in our collective fight against climate change.
Forestry workers make products that store carbon. These are worthy alternatives to environmentally harmful products such as cement and single-use plastics. Concurrently, 94 per cent of the land that the industry operates on is public, which demands a collaborative approach to land planning and provincial approval of science-based plans. These efforts help support biodiversity, advance watershed health, preserve wetlands and keep communities safer from wildfire risks. This complex work seeks to find balance across multiple – and sometimes competing – values.
Like any other sector, forestry is not without its challenges, but we are proud to be innovative, sustainable and inclusive in nature.
Derek Nighbor President and CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada; Ottawa
The China file
Re Hong Kong Supporters Protest Richmond High School Amid Student Confrontations (Dec. 14): It was unfortunate to see that Richmond Secondary School treated incidents involving pro-Hong Kong and pro-Beijing students as disciplinary events, rather than an opportunity to demonstrate freedom of speech.
May I suggest that a better way to handle the situation could have been a school debate – who is right: the Hong Kong protesters or the Chinese government? A debate could have shown that the Canadian Charter of Rights provides for freedom of thought, belief and expression. Every individual has a right to expression of an opinion – and every individual has a right to disagree peacefully with that opinion.
Lorraine Shore Burnaby, B.C.
Re Barton Applies Business Skills While Grappling With New Role (Dec. 14): “My problem is,” new ambassador to China Dominic Barton told foreign students at Tsinghua University, “I don’t even know what I don’t know.” Is this Socratic irony or the start of a genuine search for a fresh foreign policy regarding China?
Mr. Barton is a “bull on China,” which suggests the continuation of a foreign policy driven by economic considerations, spiced up with a bit of value rhetoric. Recent events, however, seem to show such a policy to be a failure. A parliamentary resolution to review all aspects of the Canada-China relationship – supported by the opposition – shows a felt need by Canadians for a more robust attitude toward China.
As Mr. Barton engages in this Socratic journey, one hopes he enacts an ethically more courageous and muscular policy, even though his political masters voted against the resolution in the House of Commons.
Béla Szabados Regina
Canada at the UN
Re Canada’s Craven Gambit For Negligible Power On The UN Security Council (Dec. 11): A recent poll found that 88 per cent of Canadians believe the country should be engaged with the United Nations. These are not people reliving some halcyon days of Pearsonian peacekeeping. I believe Canadians, across the country and the ideological spectrum, understand that the institution was set up “not to get us to heaven but to save us from hell.”
While much continues to be forwarded by Canada within the UN General Assembly, the Security Council remains the most important board in the world, where decisions affecting global power and peace are taken. During previous stints on the council, Canada brought forth concepts and practices that contribute to a more just world. The government’s aspirations to be there again should be seen as a powerful acknowledgment of the country’s global responsibilities.
There is a Canadian viewpoint that should be present in UN leadership. It is not triumphal; it is persistent and speaks for all global citizens – that we must think and feel beyond our shores. That Canada recently voted in support of the long-held view of a two-state solution in the Middle East should not shock anyone, nor should the fact that Canada also remains a staunch supporter of Israel.
Kathryn White President and CEO, United Nations Association in Canada; Ottawa
Disability and diversity
Re Some Hard Conversations We Need To Have About True Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace (Online, Dec. 6): Contributor Damien Hooper-Campbell writes that progress on diversity and inclusion in the workplace will only come from leadership and culture change that embraces the competitive advantages of difference – which is why it was surprising he failed to mention disability in the workplace.
Research shows that including persons with disabilities in a competitive labour market can give a company advantages in innovation, improved productivity and economic performance. Such inclusion has also been linked to decreased staff turnover and improved job satisfaction.
Including persons with disabilities is not charity – there is evidence it’s good business. They are accustomed to problem-solving on a daily basis to live in a world that was not designed for them. As Janet Riccio of Omnicom Group put it in challenging business leaders to include disability in their diversity agendas: “There’s something far worse than being mistreated and that’s being ignored.”
Yazmine Laroche Deputy Minister of Public Service Accessibility; Ottawa
Re U.K. Election Highlights Deep Divide In The Region (Dec. 14): Since the Scottish National Party won a majority of seats in Scotland and Nicola Sturgeon is contemplating a referendum for separation from the United Kingdom, can we anticipate the resurrection of Hadrian’s Wall?
David Morris Fredericton
It’s about time to delete the “Great” in Britain and substitute “Little.”
Hammond Bentall Stratford, Ont.
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