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Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 18.PATRICK DOYLE/The Canadian Press

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Afghan approach

Re NGOs Can Fast-track Afghan Resettlement (Dec. 2): This suggestion deserves a credible response from government. Why is it not at least a partial solution? Why not bring in experienced former employees of Global Affairs Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to support the work in Ottawa and of embassies and consulates abroad?

The situation of many Afghans who directly worked for us, in addition to those who supported Canada as we sought to establish a presence in Afghanistan, deserve a life better than having to relocate daily to avoid the Taliban.

Many Canadians are signing up to support them. Can the government not match their sentiments?

Eileen Olexiuk Former diplomat in Afghanistan (2002-2005), Ottawa

Contributor Rachel Pulfer writes from the perspective of Journalists for Human Rights, and is concerned for Afghans at risk for helping Canadian government officials and media. While I support her, I want us to also remember the others who are at immediate risk in Afghanistan.

They don’t, as Ms. Pulfer says, have the luxury of time. We urgently need a humanitarian-based policy to address the crisis and help all Afghans unite safely with family and supporters in Canada.

Rita Davies Toronto

Cut it out

Re Poilievre’s Critique Of Central Bank Will Stick If Inflation Lingers (Report on Business, Dec. 1): I agree with Pierre Poilievre’s claim that the Bank of Canada has been funding the deficits of the Liberal government. However, these expenditures were necessary to support families and businesses during the pandemic and should not be considered responsible for inflation, which has occurred around the world largely as a consequence of supply-chain disruptions.

I find Mr. Poilievre is correct that through secondary market purchases, the BoC has enriched commercial banks that simply buy government bonds and offload them to the central bank for immediate profit. So why has the BoC, which has been procuring issues at government auctions for the better part of a century, not simply increased its direct purchases?

The central bank should eliminate the transaction costs of bond middlemen, and cease providing a public banquet for “corporate welfare bums.”

Larry Kazdan Vancouver

Holds up

Re Were B.C.’s Dikes Ever Up To The Job Of Stopping Floods Like These? (Dec. 2): This article allocates a good portion of responsibility for the poor maintenance of dikes and bad land controls on politicians. In the Netherlands, this responsibility was taken away from them.

In the 12th century, water boards were formed that had exclusive jurisdiction over dikes and waterways. By the 16th century, these elected boards were independent authorities that built and maintained dikes, created polders and managed waterways and almost anything else to do with water. They were independent of all other levels of government and could raise taxes, issue bonds and levy punishments.

Their work is critical, as most of the Netherlands would be subject to flooding.

Gerhard Henkemans Edmonton

Build better

Re Solid Foundation (Letters, Dec. 3): As a former mayor in the Greater Toronto Area, I have seen the sprawl-versus-density debate play out many times.

I have no doubt that denser urban development is more cost-efficient and supportive of the transit and other urban services we need. I also have no doubt that many people wish to live in single detached homes.

Is there a supply problem? Yes. The baby-boom generation is generally occupying one bedroom of a four-bedroom home. Many would be happy to downsize by selling to a young family. But they want to stay in their community and they don’t want to live in a 500-square-foot shoebox.

If the development industry wanted to solve the supply problem, they would build what empty-nesters want. But as long as they can look to a provincial government that believes sprawl is the answer, we will likely not solve this.

Steve Parish Former mayor; Ajax, Ont.

A separation

Re How Advisors Can Help Women Reduce The Pension Gap (Online, Dec. 2): As a divorced woman mere months away from earliest unreduced retirement eligibility, I was disappointed to find that this article was directed to women who are part of a couple.

Divorced women suffer even more of a pension gap. This is due not only to child-rearing years, but also to divides in income while married, as well as an ex-husband’s share in the woman’s pension (especially when he had no pension vehicle).

A girlfriend uses the term “cat-food granny” in reference to the dire prospect of eating that kind of tinned tuna in one’s elder years, made grim thanks to divorce. As I watch my actual retirement date recede further toward the distant horizon, this scenario feels all too real.

Maribeth Adams Kamloops

Pay up

Re MLB Owners’ Shopping Spree May Not Be The Best Way To Demonstrate Financial Ruin (Sports, Dec. 4): How did we get into such a sorry situation where millionaire players – the average salary is about $3.7-million, with some players making upward of $20-million – are unable to come to an agreement with billionaire owners?

Let’s not forget that baseball is a “game.” The only skills one needs are to throw, catch or hit a baseball better than the rest of us.

I believe the lockout will be short-lived. To meet player demands, owners would only need to increase the price of a hot dog and beer from $18 to an even more exorbitant $20 – and many baseball fans will gladly pay it.

Play ball!

Michael Gilman Toronto

Preservation pressure

Re Sacred Rock Mistaseni Blown Up To Prepare For Saskatchewan Dam (Moment in Time, Dec. 1): One summer in my teens, friends of mine and I, who heralded from the village of Elbow in Saskatchewan, were hired to help archeologists dig around an Indigenous sacred rock, where many artifacts were left including arrowheads and beads.

Its location was in the Qu’Appelle Valley, where thousands of buffalo were herded and hunted by Indigenous peoples with much success. There were protests against the rock’s eventual demolition, which were even attended by Buffy Sainte-Marie. Nevertheless, it was blown to rubble. It had probably been there for thousands of years.

If such disrespect for Indigenous monuments were extended to modern landmarks, we might expect Notre-Dame Cathedral or the Taj Mahal to be susceptible to the need for parking lots or condos.

Beric German Toronto

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