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Re Who Killed The Frontier Oil Sands Mine? (Editorial, Feb. 25): By elevating resource projects to be a direct dare to both the federal government and Justin Trudeau, it seems Jason Kenney has raised the stakes for political purposes. He should not be surprised when Canadians take up the dare, choose sides and up the ante. His either/or rhetoric, in my view, has inflamed passions in Canada about these projects, and having grown up in Alberta, I’m sad to see people are taking sides regarding the province itself.
An effective advocate for the province would have, instead, worked in alliance behind the scenes to help promote Teck’s decision and remove the win-lose stigma of it. Canadians might have taken a different cue from that. But then, that would be working for results, not politics.
L. J. Ridgeway Ottawa
Re Manifesto Reflects ‘Depth Of Frustration In Alberta,’ Kenney Says (Feb. 22): I believe Alberta is a distinct society and I support the Buffalo Declaration.
I see it as a warning to the rest of Canada that the status quo is not acceptable. I do not want my grandchildren to live in a country where citizens in some provinces can be seen as not equal because of an archaic Senate structure, a country where they may not have equal job opportunities because they do not live in central Canada or are not fluently bilingual. All Canadians should have the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities, even if they live in distant parts of the country.
I am a proud Canadian. However, the inability I see in the current federal government to acknowledge a bias against Alberta, or modernize Canada’s constitution and governance model, has convinced me that the province would be better off with an updated relationship to the rest of the country. Lacking that, I would like to see Alberta become an independent nation state.
Donald Koch Calgary
One would think that any statement of long-term grievances titled the Buffalo Declaration, which includes a call for constitutional changes to overhaul the Senate, would be demanding inclusion of representatives elected by Indigenous Canadians.
Arthur Petch Ottawa
Protest the hero
Re Liberal Impasse With Wet’suwet’en Chiefs Is A Political Opportunity For The Conservatives (Online, Feb. 21): A recent Ipsos poll showed that some 40 per cent of Canadians support First Nations people, who are defending their Constitutional rights, which the Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed. This is a remarkable and encouraging trend.
When Treaty 6 was negotiated in 1876, the federal negotiator, Alexander Morris, said to the Crees and others: “The instructions of the Queen are to treat the Indians as brothers, and so we ought to be. The Great Spirit made this earth we are on. He planted the trees and made the rivers flow for the good of all his people, white and red; the country is very wide and there is room for all.“
History has shown that has not been the case. But with growing public support as we are seeing today, perhaps Morris’s florid deceptions can be transformed into something like reality, where federal and provincial governments share in the management – and prosperity – of traditional lands alongside autonomous First Nations governments.
Russell Banta Former chief federal comprehensive land claim negotiator; Ottawa
Re The Importance Of Protest For The Wet’suwet’en Resistance (Feb. 24): Three p.m., a protest in downtown Edmonton. We’ve been marching for an hour, waving signs, shouting support for the Wet’suwet’en. I believe Canada should hold its actions accountable to its principles; the law should protect our rights, not override them.
We’re making noise as the RCMP attempt to curtail our march. Suddenly, a woman starts shouting that we’re paid protesters. My parents murmur similar things about environmentalists being paid, as do some politicians. This sounds like virulent anti-democratic rhetoric, a blatant attack on the voice of the working class.
The wealthy can pay for ads and access legislators directly through contributions and lobbyists. Protest is one of the most expedient methods for people such as myself to raise our voices.
Tyler Beaulac Edmonton
Re The Rule Of Law Is About More Than Rules, Or Law (Opinion, Feb. 22): Columnist Andrew Coyne writes that “if you want the law’s protection. you also have to accept the law’s authority." I believe he is absolutely correct. Otherwise, we have anarchy!
J. Donald Harris Brantford, Ont.
Re Portions Of Federal Prostitution Law Constitutionally Invalid, Ontario Judge Rules (Feb. 22): I believe the federal government should amend the Criminal Code with respect to prostitution, regardless of whether the Crown appeals the recent decision of the Ontario provincial court, which held that several sections are unconstitutional.
Among other things, it should be legal to purchase services from sex workers who are independent and self-employed, including working in a collective with other independent, self-employed sex workers. They should also be allowed to engage in limited text-based advertising either in print or on the internet in ways normally accessible only to persons above the age of 18, such as in bars and taverns.
It should remain illegal to employ, hire or manage sex workers to provide services to third parties. I am assuming that sex workers have enough skill and managerial talent to organize and promote their own services without the need to be subordinate to a third party – even an apparently benevolent third party.
Bruce Couchman Ottawa
Re Should We Celebrate The Weinstein Verdict? (Feb. 25): Here’s hoping lawmakers are busy right this minute here in Canada updating the laws around rape to include provisions for trying, convicting and sentencing people who may be enabling such criminal behaviour. Harvey Weinstein had a team. What about all of them? In his case, there is plenty of evidence of a repeat pattern. How could his closest supporters not be aware?
Let’s amend our laws to deal with those who would enable predatory behaviour, whether it’s in the theatre, movie or church environments.
Barbara Klunder Toronto
Re How Can I Get My Airplane Seat Neighbour To Stop Talking To Me? (Pursuits, Feb. 22): It was late September, 2001, and I was on the first Victoria-bound plane out of Toronto allowed to fly after the Sept. 11 attacks. We lined up outside the terminal to leave our bags.
That sense of anxiety somehow loosened our tongues on the plane. I chatted to a woman moving to Victoria for a new job, and to another who was coming to take up her role as grandmother in her daughter’s family. We are still in touch today.
Anne Moon Victoria
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