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New two-storey houses are seen under construction in Chilliwack, B.C., on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Darryl Dyck/The Globe and MailDARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

Let’s be clear

Re Acrimony Grows Between Ottawa, Provinces Over Convoy Chaos (Nov. 23): I hope that the Public Order Emergency Commission goes beyond examining simply whether the conditions of the Emergencies Act were respected, but whether the act itself is adequate and clear.

Notably, the definition of a national emergency stipulates that it must “exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it” and “cannot effectively be dealt with under any other law of Canada.” But what about situations where provinces, for whatever reason, are unable or unwilling to exercise powers they do have, and to do so in a timely way? And how bad do things have to get to satisfy the existence of a national emergency?

At least the previous War Measures Act, as blunt as it was, considered cases of “apprehended” (anticipated) insurrection, to allow for pro-active measures before things get totally out of hand.

J. Phillip Nicholson Ottawa

Cause and effect

Re Smith Unveils Inflation-relief Policies (Nov. 23): Danielle Smith might do well to dust off her Economics 101 text and reread the section on supply and demand.

At this stage, injecting $2.4-billion into Alberta’s economy would increase demand for goods and services and continue to fuel inflation – resulting in the opposite effect of what she is trying to achieve.

Laurie Kochen Toronto

Good pick

Re Calgary MP Was An At-risk Youth Before Rediscovering His Sikh Faith (Nov. 21): To those who may be concerned about Conservative finance critic Jasraj Singh Hallan’s lack of accounting credentials: Don’t worry. I think Pierre Poilievre made a smart move.

There are plenty of chartered accountants in government to fill technical gaps. Mr. Hallan helps to softens Mr. Poilievre’s acerbic and argumentative front. Credentials count for nothing if there is no inherent understanding of how to help Canadians in these challenging economic times.

I am more Liberal-leaning than Conservative, but Mr. Hallan has my attention.

Nancy Carten Comox, B.C.

More care

Re Fewer Nurses Willing To Work In LTC: Report (Nov. 17): The headline should read: “Nurses fleeing to private sector as long-standing work issues remain unsolved.”

Nurses love nursing; they hate their jobs and are fleeing current working conditions in practically every sector.

Kathleen MacMillan PhD, FAAN, FCAN Kilmuir, PEI

Re A Crisis Response Demands Creativity (Nov. 16): The pathway to licensure in Canada for foreign graduates should be streamlined. We need them and they need us. Those recommending this as the solution to Canada’s physician shortages should, however, recognize a few other public expectations and realities.

Few would likely support the granting of medical licences to those who have not yet demonstrated competence to practice according to Canadian standards. To evaluate them and then provide education and training programs requires levels of infrastructure that do not currently exist.

We are short of doctors, particularly family doctors, because we are not training enough of them in Canadian medical schools. Compounding this, many new graduates are not choosing family medicine because Canada is not providing enough support.

Progressive team-based models would enhance the effectiveness of physician practices and make personal health and life better for them and, most importantly, for their patients.

Calvin Gutkin MD Mississauga

Can we afford it?

Re Now Is The Time To Invest In Sustainable Solutions To The Province’s Housing Crisis (Nov. 23): When I asked my office of real estate agents what “affordable” housing actually means, no one knew the answer. Yet all we hear from politicians is the need for more of it in Toronto.

What does “affordable” mean to our low housing inventory? Are developers excited to build “affordable” housing? Is “affordable” for people earning low wages?

From what we as agents hear, there is little interest in developing “affordable” housing for Canadians.

Who are the politicians talking to? Are they listening?

Anne Young Toronto

Secret history

Re Include Offices Of PM, Ministers In Access Laws, MPs Told (Nov. 22): For years, Canadian historians have bemoaned the lack of access to even benign information. I have seen graduate students change their thesis topics after realizing it would be a five-year delay to access documents from the 1950s.

I myself once requested the (still-classified) national air defence plan from 1940 and was denied. The reason given was that it would be detrimental to Canada’s national security.

I’m also the author of a history of the Northwest Passage, work based on research I started as a graduate student. Only as that book was going to press in 2017 did I receive a package of documents that I had requested as a student in 2005.

Stories of this sort abound in academic circles. Any Canadian historian would say that this broken system is more than an inconvenience – it represents one of the greatest barriers to Canadians telling and understanding their own history.

Adam Lajeunesse Associate professor, public policy and governance, St. Francis Xavier University Antigonish, N.S.

Political unity

Re Haunted Past (Letters, Nov. 22): On the failure to grant the African Union a seat at the G20, the assertion by a letter-writer that the “ghosts of imperialism and colonialism are out of the closet” feels unpersuasive and a bit glib. There are practical challenges such a proposal raises.

To what extent can the African Union speak for a continent that contains both Sudan and South Africa (which is already a member)? How could it make and, more importantly, enforce commitments on behalf of 55 disparate member countries?

And if the G20 is riven with unreconstructed imperialists, how did India, South Africa and Indonesia, among others, get in?

David McGrath Kingston

Bigger picture

Re Armband Pact Ultimately Turned Out To Be An Empty Gesture (Sports, Nov. 22): It feels easy to blame England captain Harry Kane and company for relinquishing their promise to wear armbands in support of human rights.

But FIFA demands a yellow card if non-sanctioned messaging is carried out. A second yellow card would result in expulsion from a game and sitting out the next match.

It is a sporting event when all is said and done, and scoring goals with 11 and not 10 players is quite important. (The recognition of Iran’s silent protest was appreciated.)

Blame FIFA by all means, but lay off criticism of individuals.

John Nightingale Lethbridge, Alta.

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