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People wearing face masks visit Huawei's new flagship store,in Shanghai, on June 24, 2020.

Aly Song/Reuters

Just say no

Re Huawei Draws Up ‘No-spying’ Pledge (Sept. 17): It’s very simple: Either this pledge is countersigned by Xi Jinping, or it’s worthless.

Michael Robinson Toronto

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Ha! Thanks to The Globe and Mail for a great laugh-out-loud moment. Informed Canadians are well past trusting promises made by Chinese leaders, be they government or corporate.

What is that Chinese proverb? “On the outside, be benevolent; on the inside, be ruthless.”

Catherine Lowes Toronto


When did The Globe start putting comics on the front page?

William Cluett Toronto

Closing time

Re Is Canada Ready For Round Two? (Editorial, Sept. 16): The Globe and Mail’s editorial calls for closing non-essential industries as a necessary step in suppressing the spread of COVID-19, citing strip clubs as an example. How about airlines? Movie theatres? Bars and restaurants? Cross-border tourism? These industries are being driven out of business now, but cannot be allowed to reopen on a profitable basis as long as suppressing spread remains our first priority.

Ian Coleman Edmonton

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Matters of law

Re Canadian Bar Association Names First Indigenous President (Sept. 12): Just like new Canadian Bar Association president Brad Regehr, I would like to see an Indigenous person sit on the Supreme Court. Most Canadians would probably agree that this is desirable and necessary. But it shouldn’t happen at the expense of the requirement to be bilingual in our two official languages.

Francophones have fought and continue to fight hard for their rights, as every minority does. Mr. Regehr’s call to waive the language requirement for Indigenous candidates would amount to taking away the rights of one minority in order to accommodate another. This cannot be a zero-sum game.

Mr. Regehr would do better to encourage Indigenous lawyers, especially those who aspire to play a role at the federal level, to take advantage of resources offered to them and learn both official languages. It would be great if the next generation of national Indigenous leaders could speak their own languages as well.

Denis Schingh Toronto


Re University of Toronto Law School Under Fire, Accused Of Not Hiring Scholar After Pressure From Sitting Judge (Sept. 17): I served on several University of Toronto hiring committees. I found the procedure to be efficient, scrupulous and meticulously fair to all applicants. That an anonymous person from outside the university can influence a dean to overrule a committee’s unanimous vote seems unconscionable.

Law dean Edward Iacobucci should resign, to reduce the damage done to the university.

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Reiner Jaakson Professor emeritus; Oakville, Ont.

More life

Re Imagine A World With A Billion Americans (Opinion, Sept. 12): It boggles my mind to think that, in this day and age, there are still people who believe the solution to the world’s problems is population growth.

Hasn’t anybody been listening to all the information of late about the link between climate change and human impact on the planet? Where would all the resources come from to support an ever-increasing population? What impact to the rest of the habitants of the planet is imagined with yet more consumption?

Basic biology indicates that populations crash or decline rapidly when they overuse resources. Well let’s have more people so we can test this tenet once and for all.

Rick McKelvey Penticton, B.C.


Columnist Doug Saunders advocates for rapidly increasing the population of Canada to 100 million. With that in mind, let’s examine Canada’s IPAT equation.

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That is, the quantity of greenhouse-gas emissions (I or impact) should be proportional to the size of the population (P) generating the emissions, for a given level of affluence (A) and level of technology (T). As populations grow, emissions grow. So if Canada’s population is growing by about 1.5 per cent annually and the economy by 2 per cent (or more), then how are we to achieve a 3-per-cent reduction in the volume of GHG?

This impossible scenario is like running on a treadmill: We go nowhere toward meeting our Paris commitments to stabilize global climate.

Derek Wilson Port Moody, B.C.

How much housing?

Re Canada’s Housing Market Supply Crisis Isn’t Backed Up By The Evidence (Sept. 17): I believe skyrocketing housing prices are caused by a mismatch in supply and demand, not an issue with one or the other.

Yes, our largest cities are seeing huge increases in demand, but these places are also the economic engines of our country, where people are often at their most productive. We should be encouraging this demand by providing the supply to facilitate it.

As well, if our zoning codes would allow more gentle development by small developers – instead of the all-or-nothing approach they currently favour – we could achieve such supply without surrendering our cities to big developers.

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Colin Margetts Edmonton


To say that there is no shortage of housing in Canada would be to ignore the length of time required to bring new housing projects to market, and the cumulative impact of layers of housing regulations and policies on supply over time.

Numerous independent studies demonstrate that there is a consistent year-over-year shortfall in housing supply versus demand in the Greater Toronto Area, numbering almost 10,000 homes a year. Altus Group’s monthly report of new homes remaining in inventory (at all stages of construction) shows that number declining from 17,500 in mid-2010 to 9,600 in mid-2020.

I find that demand-side taxes and restrictive policies have not proven successful. The experience of other jurisdictions demonstrates that a concerted supply-side effort would be required to reverse previous policies that have led to decades of undersupply.

Dave Wilkes President and CEO, Building Industry and Land Development Association; Toronto

Airlines amiss

Re Cash-strapped Transat Renews Call For Aid Amid Delay In Takeover (Report on Business, Sept. 11): Understandably, the airline industry is going through unprecedented difficulties. However, we should recognize that personal finances have also taken a hit, and subsidizing airlines when service is cut and flights cancelled may not be in everyone’s budget.

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Declaring non-refunded tickets as charitable donations might lessen the sting of these losses.

Anne Swales Peterborough, Ont.

Red all over

Re Red Alert (Letters, Sept. 16): May I suggest another verse about the U.S. wildfires? Red sky at noon – apocalypse soon.

Christopher Kelk Toronto

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