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A billboard welcomes U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei, Taiwan, on Aug 2.ChiangYing-ying/The Associated Press

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Canadian view

Re Beijing Vows Retaliation As Pelosi Addresses Taiwanese Parliament and Ottawa Urged To Focus On China Threat In Plan For Indo-Pacific (Aug. 3): The Globe and Mail’s front page juxtaposes Nancy Pelosi’s provocative, triumphal posturing over Taiwan and a call for Ottawa to “focus on China threat.” I believe nothing good can come from creating an enemy of the most populous nation on Earth, with its economy and military capability, then poking it with a stick.

I cannot recall China ever actually threatening Canada. Ms. Pelosi, on the other hand – United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, anyone?

Jim Young Burlington, Ont.

Re Nancy Pelosi’s Maverick Diplomacy (Editorial, Aug. 3): An appeasement policy toward China is not the stand I would propose for dealing with a bully.

Should we wait for China to invade Taiwan, as we did with Russia in Ukraine, or should we walk the talk and recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation now?

Bruce Henry Waterloo, Ont.

To go from a visit by a politician to nuclear war would be nonsense.

Authoritarians get their way by creating an imaginary crisis to suit their purpose. Democracies can’t control what they say or do. Democracies can control their own actions and those consistent with rational policy should be perfectly permissible.

I’m glad Nancy Pelosi went to Taiwan, regardless of motive. In democracies, politicians are free to take independent action.

This is more like a created tempest in a teapot. China limited Taiwanese exports of non-important goods and not microchips. Not quite nuclear war.

Michael Di Paolo Toronto

Next time

Re Ontario Health Minister Offers No Quick Fixes To Hospital Staffing Crunch (Aug. 3): I retired in Regina and, being old, soon found myself in a hospital after gall bladder surgery.

There had been no available beds when I was admitted. Rather than being kept on a gurney in a busy hallway, I was given space in the day surgery ward. The nurses were grumpy and not all that available for a longer-term patient.

When I got hold of a newspaper, I understood the Premier had announced that hundreds of nurses were to be cut. Did the province even think alternately of a few well-placed taxes on the corporate rich? Nope. Just cut the nurses.

I haven’t been in hospital since. But I’m still old (and getting older) and I dread the day I will need emergency care. I’m sure more nurses will be shown the door to save governments from having to find other means of keeping afloat.

Claudette Claereboudt Regina

Growing disparity

Re BC Housing CEO Quits, Cites Growing Anger Toward Policy Makers, Violence Against Homeless People (Aug. 3): What an honest (and rare) letter of resignation. Shayne Ramsay is very courageous.

In the world’s most famous book, there is a saying: “The poor you will always have with you.” To have politicians say they can solve this problem is impossible. Having lived in the B.C. Lower Mainland for 35 years and worked in downtown Vancouver for 15 years, that has been obvious to me.

I believe all we can do is mitigate as much of the negatives as possible. Add the drug issue and I too would be at wit’s end.

Are “refuge” cities in a controlled area possible? Within a kilometre radius of Main and Hastings, Vancouver has this type of thing built in. Time to move it with all the support systems in place, and compulsory attendance defined somehow?

J.A. Boessenkool Lethbridge, Alta.

Re Provinces Leaving Behind Low-income Families As Inflation Surges: Study (July 28): The University of Calgary, School of Public Policy’s report is just the latest in a growing body of evidence showing how some members of our communities face extreme economic hardship because of the inflation crisis.

Record use of food banks, soaring rents and sky-high energy costs combine to put low-income families and individuals at grave risk. This report rightly points out that unless governments act now to improve supports like social assistance, deteriorating health, growing food poverty and rising rates of homelessness are some of the inevitable consequences.

But something can be done. The pandemic showed us the benefits of providing vital supports, both for the people who need help and for our country’s overall economic health. Concerted action by governments can provide critical relief.

Canada’s unions urge all levels of governments not to lose sight of their responsibility to help those who need it most.

Bea Bruske President, Canadian Labour Congress; Ottawa

Hot and cold

Re Move To Mandate Mechanical Air Cooling In All New Multifamily Homes Is Misguided (July 28): While I appreciate the mainly academic arguments against widely used air conditioning, including how it contributes to climate change, I was not convinced.

Recently, it was about 40 C (if humidity is included) for a few days. My brand-new apartment building has no central cooling.

I did my best with passive measures including thermal curtains, multiple fans blowing over ice, keeping windows shut between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and wearing a soaked summer dress. Regardless, I was sleeping in an indoor temperature of 30 C and only seeing an overnight cool-down to 27 C.

I wonder if the authors would say the same things if we had a global cooling problem and temperatures were -40 C, with many people having no indoor mechanical heating. I think we need a combination of measures to create livable indoor spaces, including mechanical cooling.

Air conditioning saves lives.

Michele Patterson Nanaimo, B.C.

Way back

Re Americans Are More Gullible Than Canadians When It Comes To Falsehoods (July 28): David Hackett Fischer’s book Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America has great explanatory power, especially when applied to the immigrants who settled parts of Appalachia and much of the U.S. South.

Borderers were from parts of northern England that were constantly at war with the Scots. On arriving in America, they brought their folkways with them, which included an adoration of weapons and the corporal punishment of children, a mistrust of higher education and a marked emphasis on male-female differences in keeping with such practices as bridal abductions. Borderers were generally shunned by other immigrants such as Puritans and Quakers.

Much of the current rise of conservative values relates to the political centre having shifted southward and westward. Still, America’s recent flirtation with fascism is, in the main, a guy thing. More’s the pity that female political voices have been undervalued and so often demonized, especially by male chauvinists.

Ron Charach Toronto

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