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Re No, This Is Not A Watershed Moment For Hockey (Dec. 3): The recent coverage of player abuse by coaches and management of NHL teams seems to point to a fear of speaking out by players, lest they lose their livelihoods through release or demotion. This situation screams for the establishment of a whistle-blower policy that would allow players to expose mental, physical and other types of abuse by their employers.
Such abuse permeates all levels of hockey, but seems to be particularly problematic in junior and professional hockey. The Ontario Hockey Association, when it was under the leadership of David Branch, had a remarkable record of introducing changes to the league that led to the reduction of fighting and improved player safety and education. It would be noteworthy if it is the OHA that first introduces a whistle-blower policy as the next logical step in improving the lot of major junior hockey players.
Stuart Wright Trenton, Ont.
I was coached by many personalities in my life. Some players thrived from what we are now referring to as emotional abuse, others from coddling. Coaches should understand players’ triggers and abuse should not be tolerated. However, my issue with this new freedom to speak out is this: Why are these individuals not speaking out for the queer players in the game?
Why aren’t queer players comfortable enough to come out? Could it be that entire locker rooms are not yet ready to shift culturally into the present? My coach berated me because of a bad shift. Well, how about I’m queer and can’t tell anyone?
I’m just curious as to why we can talk about coaches emotionally abusing players, but we remain unable to talk openly about our sexuality.
Patrick Petrucka Black Diamond, Alta.
Re How A Clause In The Paris Climate Accord Could Help Kenney And Ottawa Find Common Ground (Nov. 30): A discussion about the details of the Paris Agreement has been long overdue in Canada. As reporter Kelly Cryderman notes, Article 6, which concerns “voluntary agreements where emissions-reduction measures in one country can be credited to another,” has many details yet to be hashed out – that is putting it mildly. Sorting out its implementation will be a major part of the climate talks in Madrid this month.
On Article 6, the claims of LNG Canada should not be taken at face value. While natural gas produces fewer greenhouse gases at the point of burning, upstream emissions should also be considered. Increasingly, Canadian natural gas comes from fracking, and fracked gas has the same carbon footprint as coal, owing to the massive methane emissions.
Article 6 requires that any trades or deals “deliver an overall mitigation in global emissions.” Therefore, shifting coal emissions in China to methane emissions in Canada would seem to fail that test and undermine climate action.
Elizabeth May OC, MP, Sidney, B.C.
Roots of misogyny
Re When Misogyny Turns Deadly (Opinion, Nov. 30): I do not agree that violent or deadly misogyny should be referred to as an act of terror. It is truly abhorrent and, while it should be condemned in the strongest terms, it seems to me no more an act of terrorism than an act of violent bullying in a schoolyard.
Michael Gilman Toronto
I believe misogyny runs deeper than ideology. It seems to be a core value at the very base of thinking, even below the level where such primal values as otherness reside.
I see misogyny as a form of otherness twisted up with deep loathing. While ideology can be amended by enlightenment, curing society of misogyny might be a more complicated task.
Kathleen McCroskey Surrey, B.C.
For those looking for a concrete way to express solidarity with the millions of women and girls around the world who have suffered violence, I suggest they sponsor a refugee or refugee family through Canada’s Blended Visa Office Referred program.
Officers of the UN Refugee Agency refer refugees to Canadian authorities for sponsorship by groups of Canadians. The group can request a specific case profile (for example, a female-headed household or a victim of trauma) through Canada’s Refugee Sponsorship Training Program. In most cases, the refugees arrive here in about three months.
Over the past four years, the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa and its local partners have sponsored more than 400 refugees through the program. It is hard, emotionally demanding work. But it works. And it can change a person’s life, and the life of a woman or girl, forever.
Donald Smith Refugee Ministry Office, the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa
Stuck in drive
Re For Whom The Road Tolls (Opinion, Nov. 30): Former Toronto chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat advocates toll roads to end congestion. That doesn’t seem to be working with Ontario’s 407 ETR, one of the most expensive toll roads in the world.
Graeme Lamb Fonthill, Ont.
I suggest that “induced demand” is a way of dodging the fact that road capacity in cities is so far below demand that people are staying home whenever they can. I believe congestion itself is already suppressing demand, and road tolls could make city life even less livable.
How about better transit? It is often unreliable, crowded and too expensive to offset its faults. That enough people still drive through congestion seems to be an indictment of the alternatives.
Cities will keep growing. The capacity of the systems to move people and goods around – roads and transit and alternatives – should increase as well.
Jeff Breukelman Richmond Hill, Ont.
The most effective way to reduce traffic congestion is to tackle what I believe is the root cause: office work.
It is a mystery to me why more companies are not embracing remote work, nor governments providing incentives to do so. Said incentives would cost taxpayers a fraction of new transit and reduce carbon emissions. It would also lead to better work-life balance, increased productivity, reduced office costs – and more cars left at home.
Dave Love Oakville, Ont.
As a member of the 1 per cent, I heartily agree with former Toronto chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat’s argument in favour of road tolls. The poor would be forced onto transit and it would be much quicker for me to pilot the old Bentley to my downtown office. My cost will be slightly higher, but, at my income, do I care? Besides, I can just write everything off as expenses.
On behalf of all of us in the wealthy elite, I would like to thank Ms. Keesmaat!
John McLeod Toronto
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