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Rights on the right
Re O’Toole, MacKay Square Off In First Conservative Leadership Debate (June 18): Peter MacKay’s claim that “he will defend gay rights and abortion rights” begs the question: Defend them from whom? The answer would seem to be: from within his own ranks. It is, observably, mostly socially conservative Conservatives who attack those rights in the first place.
It remains to be seen whether he has the will that Andrew Scheer lacked to quell those attacks. I personally doubt it, considering that he disparaged 2012 legislation to protect transgender rights, insultingly calling it the “bathroom bill.”
Conservatives should clean up their own prejudices before trying to convince voters that equal rights will be defended by them.
George Olds Hamilton
Re Huawei Hires Lobbyists To Tap Into Canadian AI Research (June 18): Does Canada want to be in a leadership position with new technology, or should it drop out and follow U.S. leadership? Huawei is a leader in 5G and AI technology, and it has been working effectively and sharing with Canadian institutions and companies for many years. Huawei gives us a chance, as a small but dynamic power, to be part of an expanding world enterprise.
Of course Huawei also benefits, but so far, sharing has been productive and cutting that connection would lead to a major loss for Canada. Not so for Huawei – it would continue elsewhere to another country’s benefit.
The question should really be: Do we trust that the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance is working for international peace and goodwill, or do we feel the pressure to deny Huawei is based on political and selfish motives? Is there a real security problem? The record shows that no allegations has been proven and, in fact, Huawei security is stronger than previous 4G technology.
If China is feared as a threat and must be stopped, then such believers are part of a group that would seek disharmony in the world. And they should ask themselves: Who benefits from division?
Keith Hester North Vancouver
Once again, China wants to take advantage of Canadian research in advanced technology. Why do we continue to even consider letting this happen? Technology corporations from other countries also contribute to the use of our universities in furthering their own causes, leaving Canada with employment but little ownership.
One way to tackle this situation would be to have such foreign-supported research agreements brought under national security laws, which can provide Canada with a golden share of outcome. In this way, Canada would have leverage for some ownership, leading to some homegrown solutions rather than just a few jobs.
Geoff Hedges Toronto
Re Telus Use Of Huawei Gear In Ottawa Called Security Concern (June 16): There looks to be no reason that exists for Telus to be using Huawei equipment, except very narrow corporate self-interest. “Trading with the enemy” may be fine in T-shirts and shoes – not so with sophisticated technology.
There is no doubt to me that the Chinese government is the antithesis of a liberal democracy. Telus may have spent billions on Huawei equipment, but it’s time to redress that decision.
Steven Bark Keene, Ont.
Lost in the plot
Re Canada Loses Bid For UN Security Council Seat (June 18): Groucho Marx said: “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” My hunch is that Marx aptly sums up the attitude of many Canadians to Justin Trudeau’s failure to secure a seat on the United Nations Security Council: pleased as punch.
Orest Slepokura Calgary
I hope the Trudeau government understands the significance of its failed United Nations Security Council bid. Pretty words may get them elected in Canada, but internationally it seems they are not seen as honest brokers.
Ireland and Norway outshine Canada with their foreign aid, peacekeeping and foreign policies. It’s fine to say Canada will continue to promote values of peace, freedom, democracy and human rights on the world stage. But as long as we continue, for example, to sell arms to countries such as Saudi Arabia and fail to definitively address Israel’s actions in the West Bank and Gaza, I believe we are seen as hypocrites.
Until we turn words into action, including here at home in regards to Indigenous inequality, we will likely never win the hearts and minds of other nations. Rather than a defeat, this should be seen as a wake-up call.
Ken Pattern Vancouver
Why is Russia a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council with veto power? Why not Germany, Japan or India, which all have much larger economies than Russia? The only answer I can conceive is that the UN is an outdated, out-of-touch organization that came out of the ashes of the Second World War. It may have reflected the globe in 1945, but I certainly do not see the same today.
Jerry Amernic Toronto
Money for nothing?
Re CERB Extended To Cover An Additional Two Months (June 17): As the Prime Minister announced the extension of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, I was hopeful it would be with new rules and caveats. Unfortunately there were no changes.
When are we going to start encouraging the country to get back to work? Where is the incentive for many workers who receive as much on CERB as they would working? It is not that people are lazy or irresponsible – they simply have a grasp of economics.
I see signs all over British Columbia saying “we are hiring.” The economy here is returning. But without staff, my company cannot be part of the recovery. I am unable to open one of my store locations because of staffing issues, and others are running at reduced hours with thin teams on the floor.
I cannot expect more of the wonderful group of employees who have kept my company afloat during this unprecedented time. But I need help. I am not unsympathetic to those who have lost their jobs, but CERB should be replaced with a revitalized EI program.
Cathy Jesson Black Bond Books; Surrey, B.C.
Re The CERB If Necessary, But Not Necessarily (Editorial, June 17): I believe the editorial board overlooked a third option, which could be called “be fair” and increase minimum wage in all provinces to be equal or above the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit. And, for good measure, mandate paid sick days so that workers can stay home when necessary without the worry of loss of income, thus decreasing the risk of workplace infections.
This might be the incentive people are looking for: fair pay and a safe work environment.
Barbara Howson Toronto
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