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In the pipeline
Re Court Upholds Trans Mountain Approval (Feb. 5): The courts look to the past, pay attention to what went before – to precedent. But who is looking out for the future? What happened in Australia could also happen here. The more pipelines we construct and the more we develop the oil sands, the likelier that may be.
As far as the government goes, it looks like business as usual. Interestingly, the most influential voices on the dangers of climate change are coming from the financial sector. I am thinking of Mark Carney, who has warned about financial collapse linked to a climate emergency, and BlackRock chief executive officer Larry Fink, who wrote that “climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects.”
Investors know that both sides of the ledger matter, the money coming in and the costs. It seems our government is not paying attention to the costs of climate change – which I believe far outweigh the economic benefits of the oil industry. In Australia, a billion critters burned to death. Ultimately we are critters, too, and subject to the same biological forces.
Claudia Cornwall Author, British Columbia in Flames; North Vancouver
Finally – sanity prevails!
Martin Wale Dorval, Que.
Re A Harsh Verdict On Life In A Toronto Jail (Editorial, Feb. 4): Jeffrey Persad is reported to have been harshly treated at Toronto South Detention Centre. Perhaps if Mr. Persad had not broken the law, then he would not have been incarcerated in the first place. While conditions at the jail may not have been ideal, should we be generating sympathy for the man? It certainly should not come from people who contribute to society in a positive way.
If Mr. Persad continues engaging in illegal activities after his early release, he should expect more of the same kind of treatment.
Ed Hegge Red Deer, Alta.
I believe one of the most important points about Canada’s jails is that a significant proportion of the population is Indigenous, and the rate is increasing. In 2017, Indigenous people made up 4 per cent of Canada’s population, yet they were over-represented as 28 per cent of male prison inmates, 42 per cent of female inmates and 43 per cent of youth inmates. I find there is no justification for those numbers, and they are the people most victimized by the system.
Canada faces a crisis in its judicial system and a crisis of racism – and it seems very little is being done about it.
Ed Whitcomb Author, Understanding First Nations: The Legacy of Canadian Colonialism; Ottawa
Re Trump Extols ‘Great American Comeback’ Ahead Of Vote To Impeach (Feb. 5): At the State of the Union, we knew that Donald Trump was the emcee – but we weren’t sure if the game show was Let’s Make a Deal or Truth or Consequences.
Neil McLaughlin Burlington, Ont.
Dealing with dementia
Re Supporting Those With Young-onset Dementia (Feb. 3): My dear wife, Lisa, was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia known as frontotemporal degeneration. She was 43 at the time. Two months later, she had to be placed in long-term care, and it is where she continues to reside. With Lisa in mind, I wish to commend the joint vision shown by Carleton University and Carefor Health and Community Services in bringing about a much-needed day program. Sadly, such vision appears to be lacking in government.
Municipally, Ottawa still has not taken steps to be officially designated a “Dementia Friendly Community.” Provincially, the Conservatives have yet to fund the final year of the Ontario dementia strategy (approximately $65-million of a previous $101-million Liberal commitment). And federally, it seems abundantly clear that dementia is not a priority – there was nary a mention of it in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to the Health Minister. How utterly disappointing to me, considering this same government unveiled the first national dementia strategy last June.
Creative vision, as shown by Carleton and Carefor, should be essential for tackling the dementia crisis head-on in Canada. All levels of government would be wise to follow their lead.
Matthew Dineen Dementia Advocacy Canada; Ottawa
Re A Cascade of Memories (First Person, Feb. 4): I, too, navigated the journey of dementia with my father. I received wise advice from a counsellor on how best to deal with Dad’s declining memory and the dilemma that came with his heartbreaking question: “Where is mom?” The truth was that she died two years before of cancer. I was told that there was no good purpose to be served by having dad repeatedly experience the grief of losing his wife. To save him pain, it was okay to suspend reality and say whatever it was he needed to hear.
I responded by telling him that she was out having fun with her friends. It was hard at first to not tell the truth, but I soon came to realize that navigating dementia involves mostly living in the moment. "The facts mean nothing” – what matters most is how they feel.
Carole Stitt Stouffville, Ont.
Re Trouble Brewing (Report on Business, Jan. 25): I feel it is important to recognize that the growth of craft beer reflects the demand of consumers, who are increasingly choosing locally made craft beer. Craft sales in Ontario outgrew the overall beer category by 10 per cent in 2019, an impressive feat at a time of decline in overall beer sales, with consumers wanting a wider selection of choice and increasingly visiting grocery and Liquor Control Board of Ontario stores to get it. We expect this to continue and that is why the government’s proposed reforms to further expand access are so important to our industry.
If done properly, it would make it easier for consumers to find the craft beer they love on more local shelves, and help the industry continue to grow, strengthen and create more jobs across the province. That would be great news for consumers and brewers alike, and something we look forward to becoming a reality.
Scott Simmons President, Ontario Craft Brewers; Toronto
Peace be upon you
Re The Never-ending Fight Of A Strong-willed Child (Feb. 4): The key ingredient in weathering parent-child conflict is often exercising wisdom in picking one’s battles. In the final analysis, the issue of whether a child wears socks seems trivial and a wise parent would leave it alone. While a pope seems like an unlikely source of advice for parenting, John XXIII once said: “See everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little."
Paul Thiessen Vancouver
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