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Craig and Marc Kielburger.

Jesse Grant/Getty Images

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WE fit?

Re WE To Review Its Governance, Refocus On International Work (July 16): I believe the best restructuring WE Charity could do is change its current leadership and retire the two founders.

What many see as WE’s blending and blurring of charitable and for-profit enterprises has raised the issue of its integrity. The Kielburgers “sincerely regret” their mistakes, but have yet to make their charity fully accountable to donors and the public. There should be an independent audit of WE and ME to WE’s domestic and international governance, partnerships, contractors, consultants and treatment of staff and directors.

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The future of the volunteer sector, and the critical role WE plays, warrants this.

Ken Rubin Ottawa

As a manager of non-profit organizations having experience with both the existing Canada Summer Jobs program and the new Canada Student Service Grant, I can report that the design of the grant is far superior for community organizations.

With the grant, there is not the heavy administrative burden of payroll-filing. As well, this model empowers non-profits to work together: The current initiative I am working on involves six smaller groups creating 130 positions for university students.

There have also been questions about the rate of pay. But when considering that students also receive the Canada Emergency Student Benefit of $1,250 per month, the total amounts to higher than minimum wage – fair remuneration for their work.

The positive features of the grant for non-profits should be recognized and supported.

David Walsh St. Joseph Community Ventures, Toronto

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Change for climate change

Re Ottawa Hesitates To Seize Opportunity To Tackle Climate Change (Report on Business, July 14): Columnist Adam Radwanski cites both Germany and Britain, countries that have created new climate policies during the pandemic. What do they have that we don’t have here? That would be national climate accountability frameworks.

We almost had such a policy in 2010 with the NDP-led Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-311), which passed through the House but was killed by Conservative senators. It would have required that the government set regulations to lower greenhouse gas emissions 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, and set a long-term target of 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050. Imagine where we would be today if we had climate accountability laws for the past decade.

Cathy Orlando International outreach manager, Citizens’ Climate Lobby; Sudbury

Since the pandemic, senior federal officials have found time to meet hundreds of times with oil lobbyists. Yet they haven’t engaged with the majority of Canadians who tell pollsters they want climate action to be an integral part of the government’s recovery strategy, and who have some innovative ideas on how we can build back better.

We have an opportunity to come out of this crisis with a more resilient, equitable and caring country to deal with the ongoing and interlinked crises of climate change, biodiversity destruction and rising inequality.

Let’s not blow it.

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Keith Stewart Senior energy analyst, Greenpeace Canada; Toronto

When we look at statistics from Energy Policy Tracker regarding current financial support for the fossil fuel and clean energy sectors in Canada, we notice the disparity between $315.46 per capita and $5.93, respectively. If our government is serious about climate-change mitigation and economic recovery, those numbers should be reversed.

It looks like a case of opportunity meeting preparedness, and currently our government is not seeing the opportunity nor do they seem prepared. There are strategies waiting for political will.

Ron Robinson Nelson, B.C.

As columnist Adam Radwanski notes, a recent report from Corporate Knights details $100-billion in green-spending opportunities that could create six million person-years of employment in the next decade. The prospects for leveraging tax dollars with private investment for improving power-grid connections between provinces on a fee-for-service basis (like Ontario’s Highway 407) are particularly impressive.

There is huge potential value added in enabling more clean hydro power to flow from British Columbia to Alberta, Manitoba to Saskatchewan, Quebec to Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This value would also be increased by raising the carbon tax. If Alberta would only realize that the rest of the country is trying to help it climb out of a fossil-fuel hole and achieve clean prosperity.

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John Stephenson Toronto

Hail to the chiefs

Re The Next Step In Ending The War On Drugs (Editorial, July 13): It is refreshing to hear the Association of Chiefs of Police recommending that substance abuse and addiction be treated as a public-health issue. Its call to decriminalize personal possession of illicit drugs would also help reduce the backlog in our courts and institutions.

The association’s recommendations are a major positive step which should not be overlooked. Congratulations to the chiefs!

Agnes Samler Toronto

Pay it forward

Re Grocery Executives Defend Decision To Cut COVID-19 Pay Premiums For Workers (July 11): Watching MPs grill grocery executives over the end of pandemic “hero pay” shows to me that no good deed goes unpunished. These businesses stepped up and did the right thing in the early days of the pandemic, and they should be recognized for it, not criticized.

The unfortunate effect of this parliamentary investigation is that next time circumstances merit a temporary pay increase for workers, executives will likely think twice about implementing anything. If MPs were serious about establishing a living wage, then they could pass laws to make that happen.

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Elliot Smith Toronto

X marks the spot?

Re Canada Is Unprepared For A Pandemic Election (July 13): We are one-fifth into the 21st century and still don’t have technology for secure online voting? Most of us handle our finances online, but we can’t mark an X on a virtual ballot?

John Cihal Calgary

Play ball (elsewhere)

Re Major-league Quarantine Was Never Realistic (Sports, July 13): I look forward to the joy of watching professional sports again, at least on television. None of us will be going to the ballpark this season, so does it matter where the Blue Jays play home games? As far as I’m concerned, the team could share Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs.

I find little upside in inviting hundreds of Americans to Toronto for baseball. Players are young, vigorous, rich people who are expected to refrain from physical contact and stay cloistered in their hotel rooms for months – sure.

Jays owner Rogers Communications would obviously prefer to use Rogers Centre in Toronto to save money. But I’d prefer to designate baseball as non-essential in Canada until the United States gets COVID-19 under control.

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Norman Rosencwaig Toronto

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