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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marc Miller holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Nov. 1.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Keep it simple

Re “We must spur businesses to drive our economic growth” (Report on Business, Nov. 6): Thanks to Anne McLellan and Lisa Raitt for a concise, clear and non-partisan opinion on what our economy needs to grow and be sustained over the long term.

I agree with their prognosis but am more impressed by their pragmatism. Most of our problems, both macro and micro, can be broken down to expose simple solutions. Unfortunately, the solutions often require hard work and tough decisions, as noted by the authors, and politicians and other leaders can’t or won’t face that reality, instead opting to make everything impossibly complicated and thereby avoiding the hard work.

If only Ms. McLellan and Ms. Raitt would re-enter politics, I would be inclined to vote for them regardless of their party affiliation.

Robert Hawkins Bedford, N.S.

Road to nowhere

Re “The Liberals are lowering carbon taxes and raising immigration. They should do the opposite” (Report on Business, Nov. 3): How effective is a car being driven by three unconnected operators: one steering, another on the gas pedal, and a third operating the brakes, with little attention paid to the destination.

This is the impression I have trying to make sense of the Bank of Canada on the brakes, immigration policy on the gas pedal, and the Prime Minister’s Office at the steering wheel.

Bill Bousada Carleton Place, Ont.

Expiry date

Re “Why doesn’t Justin Trudeau understand that Canadians want change?” (Opinion, Nov. 2): I think columnist Lawrence Martin is right: Recent times have put an unmarked but stringent 10-year limit on the duration of political leadership in Canada. What he terms the “comms revolution” has brought a change in the times.

With Justin Trudeau, it seems clear that the 10-year limit has been stretched past the breaking point, whether he acknowledges it or not. On the bright side, that same trend implies that the growing cultural impatience induced by the information explosion means it should take us even less time to be utterly sick and tired of Pierre Poilievre.

John Brooke Montreal

Altogether now

Re “Smoke signals” (Letters, Oct. 31): “Which generation will we ask to save the planet?” After reading a review of Adam Welz’s new book The End of Eden: Wild Nature in the Age of Climate Breakdown, I would ask, “Which generation could save the planet?”

Mr. Welz, a South African environmental journalist, does not like the term “climate change.” He prefers “global weirding.” That covers our situation where warm air in Siberia causes the death of wader birds in West Africa.

Everything is connected, but often society doesn’t want to admit that there is a climate crisis. Mr. Welz hopes this world abuse will not outlast the century.

Is it more likely that we will have to confront the bleak consequences of destroying our world? If so, all generations will be forced to cope.

Margaret van Dijk Toronto

In principle

Re “Federal government freezes immigration targets, plans for 500,000 permanent residents in 2026″ (Nov. 2): “Shrinking public support for immigration” suggests that Canadians are turning against immigration per se. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

The Nanos poll referenced found that 53 per cent of surveyed Canadians want Canada to accept fewer immigrants annually than the permanent-resident target for 2023, which is 465,000. Our current levels of immigration (both permanent and temporary) are, as a percentage of population, some of the highest in the developed world.

I’m not aware of any Canadians who are turning against immigration per se; what I see Canadians turning against is a policy of continuous increase in immigration levels, in a country experiencing dire housing shortages and tremendous strains on its health care systems.

Don LePan Nanaimo, B.C.

Work, work, work

Re “The immigration numbers Ottawa should be fretting about” (Editorial, Nov. 3): As a recently retired Ontario college faculty member, I have to agree.

Allowing international students to work off campus 40 hours a week guarantees that their academic pursuits will suffer, and very likely their physical and mental health as well. Any educator would agree it is near impossible for a student to hold down 40 hours of work each week, generally at minimum wage, and be able to keep up academically in any full-time postsecondary program.

This results in high levels of student stress when they inevitably fall behind, and undermines the entire academic process for which they are ostensibly in the country in the first place.

It is clear to me that no educators consulted on the policy decision allowing this.

Barbara Dobson Lambton County, Ont.

Business friendly

Re “The Liberals broke the immigration system. But better is always possible” (Report on Business, Oct. 31): In some industries, it may be the case that productivity is dropping because of business not investing in technology and innovation because cheap labour is available. Over-regulation, overtaxation and ever-increasing overreach by governments into business could well be the main reasons for reluctance to reinvest.

These business enterprises would only be too happy to invest in our economy if they were treated more fairly taxwise compared to other countries, and not punished for success like they often can be in Canada. A stable, predictable regulatory environment would also do wonders for investors.

Try opening a business by going to a lender. When they ask about projections and repayment, the answer cannot be, “Gosh, I really don’t know because I don’t know what the government is doing with regulations right now.”

Then the lender ends the conversation by saying, “Thank you for coming in, it was nice visiting with you today.”

Patrick Boyle Kelowna, B.C.

How do you say …

Re “Quebec’s bad law to make brands names be in French will have bad consequences” (Report on Business, Nov. 2): Brand names are trademarked for good reasons: They have significant business value and are important for product recognition.

One of my family members, who lives in Montreal and is an avid fan of Apple products, has sarcastically translated Microsoft to “micromou.” To explain the joke to non-French speakers, this could be translated back to English as “tiny and limp.”

I’m quite sure that Microsoft would not be enchanted with “micromou,” and that sales in francophone areas with such a brand name would suffer. (For full disclosure, I am a long-time user of Microsoft products.)

Some names just don’t translate.

Hélène Dion-Piché Ottawa


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