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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference about the government's decision on the Trans Mountain Expansion project with Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in Ottawa on June 18, 2019.


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Pipeline pain vs. gain

Re Ottawa Approves Expansion Of Trans Mountain Pipeline (June 19): Announcing a major pipeline project the day after declaring a climate emergency: Other than embarrassing scheduling, is this climate policy anything new? We picked this government to represent us, and frankly it does. This hypocrisy is Canada’s hypocrisy.

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We want to have our environmentally friendly cake, and eat it, too – with oil-sand ice cream. We care a whole lot about climate change, but not enough to pay $2 a week to fight it, according to a recent CBC-commissioned poll.

It’s not that the instinct is wrong, economic growth versus aggressive climate action is a spurious choice. Massive investment and labour would be required to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. Surely it is possible to have growth and aggressive climate action, but this isn’t what it looks like, making public statements on climate while continuing with business as usual. We’re going to have to change the way we live, and we need a government courageous enough to lead us.

Jack Morton, Toronto


The Prime Minister says, “We are a government that cares deeply about the environment. And we care just as deeply about the economic success of Canadians.”

As proof of the first sentence, the government rightfully requires Environmental Impact Assessments of major economic projects. As proof of the second sentence, the government should then require Economic Impact Assessments of major environmental-protection initiatives, such as its carbon tax and recent bills banning tanker traffic off B.C.’s northern coast (Bill C-48), and politicizing the energy regulatory system (Bill C-69).

If such assessments had been done, published and debated, the government would be in a position of actually finding the balance between environmental protection and economic development, a balance which has thus far completely eluded it.

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Preston Manning, former leader, Reform Party; Calgary


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has found the sensible middle ground in balancing the interests of all Canadians (Pipeline Expansion Is The Right Move, June 19).

Those on the right, who’ve never seen a pipeline they didn’t want to hug, and those on the left, who consider all pipelines the devil’s arteries, will never be happy with the middle ground. That, however, is the ground sensible Canadians want to occupy on this issue. Pipeline expansion is indeed the right move, and I say that as someone who has voted Liberal and Conservative, and who is concerned about the environmental future of two teenage daughters.

Sarah Mason, Winnipeg

Bill 21’s price

Re Legal Challenge Launched Against Quebec’s Secularism Bill A Day After It Becomes Law (June 18): An abaya is usually black, but not always. It may cover a Muslim’s woman’s head and hair, too, and is as much a cultural garment, as it is a religious preference.

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One bright morning a few summers ago, my wife, our daughter, and I chanced to see in front of beautiful Trinity College in Dublin throngs of multi-ethnic students passing through its magnificent gates. Among them were two Muslim girls, smiling and laughing, as were the many other students. Their cultural concession: Their abayas were kelly green. This isn’t to say Ireland has been without its own troubles, horrible troubles, but the scene I described is, for us, one of hope.

Quebec’s new Bill 21, banning teachers, police, government personnel and “others in position of authority” from wearing religious symbols, is most unfortunate. Lost in all of this will be the value of collective cultural diversity, talent, and opportunities for inner peace and human understanding.

Don Carruthers, Oak Bank, Man.


There can be nothing more important to our democracy and future as a country than the protection of civil rights and freedoms. As a Canadian citizen, I am shocked Quebec passed Bill 21. As a religious person, I am deeply concerned for those in Quebec of all faiths and denominations who will be marginalized, targeted and stifled as they seek to pursue their professions and maintain their place in a multicultural nation.

There is a moral imperative to speak out against this injustice.

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Kersi Bird, Reverend, Calgary

Credibility, the China file

Re Freeland Rejects Chrétien’s Extradition Proposal As ‘Dangerous’ (June 14): Chrystia Freeland says the Justice Minister should not exercise his legal authority to stop Meng Wanzhou’s extradition, as it would mean taking a political stance on a legal issue. The Foreign Affairs Minister’s claim that Ms. Meng’s extradition is not being treated as a political issue would have more credibility if she left comments on extradition cases to the minister responsible – the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General.

Constance Smith, Victoria


A letter-writer says interfering with the Meng extradition case is just “good business” and that it would not suggest that we support China’s policies (Chrétien Onto Something, June 15). He also says if Justin Trudeau can’t act on it quickly, he should make room for a government with the “intestinal fortitude” to do so.

I’ve heard rolling over and caving in to a bully described a lot of ways, but never as “intestinal fortitude.” Leaving aside that interfering now would be admitting what China has always claimed (that the government has it in its power to do exactly that), it would anger the Americans, our largest trading partner, and show China that bullying works. Neither strikes me as “good business,” even in the short term.

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Tom Sullivan, Toronto

Canadian-flavoured joy at winning?

I hate to rain on the Raptors parade, but in the interest of defending Canadian honour, I feel I must.

Need I remind people what happened this time last year? Raptors management threw our heart and soul under the bus. Yeah, we won and all. But at what cost? I would rather lose on my feet than win on my knees.

It wasn’t just DeMar DeRozan they threw under the bus. It was everyone who followed. Not cool. Maybe we should rename them the Toronto Ringers. That’s not a team built on character, that’s a team built in a lab.

While I am happy for the perseverance of the individual players, the loyalty of the fans, and the unification of the country, if this is the kind of ethics that wins championships, you can have it back.

Glendon Rayworth, Toronto

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Re Raptors Celebration Is A Stirring Glimpse Of Canada’s Identity (June 18): The Raptors will lose at some point to one of the 29 teams of the 30 that are American, largely, like the Raptors, made up of American players. Does our euphoria turn to despair? Will our national pride ebb away?

It’s odd that in sports we are so obsessed by ownership that we overlook some quite Canadian-flavoured triumphs. Two-thirds of the members of the St. Louis Blues are Canadian, but where was the joy in Canada at the Blues winning the Stanley Cup?

David Lemon, Delta, B.C.


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