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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says federal legislation overhauling the assessment process for major projects dealing with natural resources could mean new private-sector pipelines will not be built in Canada.The Canadian Press

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:


Not fair, not reasonable

Alberta’s alienation from Canada, and talk of Albexit is more than just a pipeline issue (‘Albexit’ Is No Solution For A Real Problem – editorial, Dec. 28). For years, Canada’s economy has been sustained by Alberta, either directly through jobs in the oil patch or by federally mandated payments distributed by Ottawa through equalization to our “have not” provinces.

Now, however, Alberta is in trouble, and needs help from the rest of us in Canada – help which has been denied by the very provinces who have benefited from Alberta’s payments (more than $200-billion and counting since 2000). Our federal government’s approach to Alberta’s plight is neither fair nor reasonable.

Confederation, just like family harmony, comes at a price and it’s time for the rest of the Canadian family to step up and help Alberta. Failure to do so by Ottawa and the provinces will only encourage Albexit.

Cecil Rorabeck, London, Ont.


With the endless discussion about building pipeline capacity to export Canada’s oil, why isn’t the focus on building refinery capacity right here in Canada? Isn’t that the obvious solution hiding in full sight?

Ian Savidge, Toronto

Eyes on China

Re We Must Finally See China For What It Truly Is (Dec. 29): Late 1950s, early 1960s, height of the Cold War: What if companies had decided to move their manufacturing operations to the USSR because manpower was cheaper there? I know, didn’t happen. With good reason. So why are governments so keen to allow it to happen now, with companies tripping over each other to relocate their plants in China, a dictatorial, expansionist, totalitarian Communist-run state?

A state with nuclear weapons, and where the money we funnel there is ending up, in part, in the pocket of that very same Communist government to use in building more missiles – missiles that it could aim at us. How many ways is this utterly screwed up? Yet, people – and our so-called “leaders” – essentially shrug and accept it?!

Jim Harris, Ottawa


The Canadian government recognizes and condemns that China is already stealing data from the military, government agencies and private companies in Canada, yet it is considering allowing the Chinese through Huawei to supply 5G networks? Do the various departments in Ottawa actually talk to each other?

Patrick Martin, Westmount, Que.

Risk? Bank on it

Re How Blocked Mergers Foiled Banks’ Ambitions, And Forced The Big Six To Innovate (Report on Business, Dec. 26): Blocking mergers among the Big Five in 1998 not only forced them to innovate about how they would grow, it also forced them to get serious about risk. (At that time, the National Bank, which now rounds out the Big Six, wasn’t considered a player in terms of mergers.)

Between 1998 and the 2008 crisis, the Big Five experienced loss events, whether due to exposure to the Enron accounting scandal, the dotcom implosion, the 2001 Argentinian financial crisis or operational ineptitude.

In particular, the loss experiences of TD and CIBC so threatened their sustained profitability that these two had to retool their existing business models with greater emphasis on risk management. Had these banks been allowed to merge and become mega banks like Citigroup, it is not clear that they would have responded to these loss events in the same way.

An additional lasting impact of the blocked mergers was a more prudent banking industry better prepared for the acute stress of the 2008 crisis.

David Pringle, economist, Ottawa

Smartphone Refuseniks: It’s a wonderful world

Re Free To Roam: The Canadians Who Shun Smartphones And Thrive (Dec. 26): As I turned the page reading this article, planning my letter about how I’m not trying to be sanctimonious about my disinterest in smartphones, it sure was fun to see one of your interviewed “refuseniks” and flip-phone devotees say precisely the same thing.

At 46, I often feel as if my own resistance to smartphone culture is representative not so much of technophobia (although perhaps there is some if that, if I’m being honest with myself), but rather the sense that the hyperspeed tech revolution simply whizzed past me as I struggled to establish my career and life from the standpoint of my print-based consciousness.

As I cling for anxious comfort to foldout maps and newspapers, struggling to respond to 30-second turnaround e-mails on my old laptop, I long to remember how anybody did anything 15 years ago.

Andrew M. Wender, Victoria


How wonderful to see there are other people who aren’t mesmerized by their cellphone. I use mine to call out and nothing else.

For sufferers everywhere, I have developed a new app for free: It turns off your phone with a single finger stroke.

Feel welcome to use NotApp anytime, anywhere!

Michael Vollmer, Burlington, Ont.

Headstones, row on row

Re The Tragedy Of Canada’s ‘Little Stalingrad’ (Dec. 27): Years ago on a motor trip in Italy we were leaving Ortona when we saw a small sign just above ground level showing a turn to a Canadian military cemetery.

At the top of a hill lies beauty and tragedy. Rows and rows of the traditional white headstones, each with a maple leaf, and a beautiful rose bush in front. There was total tranquility, and the air was filled with the sounds of birds and the scent of flowers.

We separated and each walked our own route, coming together again at the entrance with tears streaming down our cheeks.

Yes, we remember my wife’s father, Ben, who was killed early in the fighting in Normandy, and have visited his grave and Canadian war cemeteries in France many times, but these beautiful Canadians were unknown to us. We must always remember and honour the fallen, and support the Commonwealth War Graves Commission which maintains the Moro River, and all the other Canadian and Commonwealth cemeteries around the world.

Peter Clendinneng, Ajax, Ont.

Not to be discussed

Growing up, I was taught there were four topics never discussed in polite company: Sex, religion, money and politics (’Tis The Season To Be Angry, Dec. 27). Without those subjects it was difficult to get into an argument. It was also a sure-fire way to learn the art of conversation, a skill sometimes sadly lacking today.

In fact, until my parents died and letters of thanks from charities started arriving, I had no idea how they voted – and I bet they didn’t know how each other cast their ballots either. It may seem archaic today, but it worked.

Nancy Marley-Clarke, Calgary

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