Skip to main content

People shop along Queen Street West in Toronto on June 11, 2021.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter. Sign up today.

It ain’t easy

Re Ottawa May Want To Go Back To Business As Usual With Beijing. But That’s Not Possible (Opinion, June 18): The Canadian government and business leaders should learn from Germany’s pivot to Russian natural gas. That is, it isn’t as straightforward as it seems to pretend that we can do business with authoritarian regimes, whilst ignoring or making symbolic statements about abhorrent behaviour and disregard for rule of law, treaties and human rights.

There is an old saying: If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

Stephen Gill East Gwillimbury, Ont.

Power struggle

Re Can The Liberals Replace Justin Trudeau? (June 20): Everyone is replaceable, especially a politician with a history of risky and questionable behaviour and policies – and a probability of losing power.

Losing power is the only sin in politics.

Clay Atcheson North Vancouver

Re Behold The Future! (Editorial Cartoon, June 20): I love this cartoon. I’ve been waiting for something like this to show Pierre Poilievre’s irresponsible attempts to persuade Canadians of the long-term value of cryptocurrency.

Unfortunately, his followers probably still think he’s the best candidate for prime minister.

Gillian Churchill Oshawa

Better times?

Re Quebec Nationalism’s Latest Surge: It Did Not Begin Here, And It Will Not End Here (Opinion, June 18): Columnist Andrew Coyne foresees everything changing for the worse in Quebec. I prefer the long view, as I find it more realistic.

In 1977, on the passage of Bill 101, similarly apocalyptic commentaries were published. Yet 45 years later, the idea that French should be “the normal and everyday language of work, instruction, communication, commerce and business” here, as per the preamble to that law, is uncontroversial. Indeed, it’s just daily reality.

Some of the provisions of the original bill were rescinded, others faced and lost court challenges (or won them), governments fell, ministers came and went, public opinion was alternately anxious and placid. With time, a saw-off was reached. By the early 2000s, many commentators noted widespread social peace in Quebec.

Can Mr. Coyne not foresee another such evolution? I can.

David Winch North Hatley, Que.

Bigger footprint

Re Your Car’s Expanding Waistline (Editorial, June 20): On climate change, Canadians spend much of their time debating energy supply: fossil fuels and pipelines on the one hand, renewables and turbines on the other. It was refreshing, then, to read The Globe and Mail’s editorial on transportation energy demand.

The International Energy Association refers to energy efficiency as the “first fuel.” The cleanest, cheapest, most reliable source of energy is what communities can avoid using, while still providing full energy services for residents and businesses.

Karen Farbridge Guelph, Ont.

While I have a definite requirement for a full-sized pickup truck, I agree that many people driving pickups never even remotely utilize the cargo capability. But even if my need to transport large amounts of cargo diminishes, I would still buy a full-sized pickup.

I am a tall (and, yes, a large) person. Manufacturers seem to willfully design cars far smaller than what most North American “full-sized” adult individuals can easily accommodate. This feels especially true for these people in winter with large coats.

I believe that manufacturers could easily take a small SUV and rip out the back seat, move the front seat 10 inches, raise the roof three inches and change it from a four-door model to a two-door “elongated” one. There would be huge demand for such a car.

Since North Americans cannot change their physical size, the solution should lie with vehicle manufacturers, not the buyers.

Don Anderson Whitby, Ont.

Housing divide

Re West Vancouver Highlights Issues Driving Housing Crisis (June 18): While contributor Jatinder Sidhu offers an interesting perspective on the “housing crisis” in the context of West Vancouver, I believe he does a disservice to planners and elected officials who struggle to keep communities green and livable in the face of unprecedented challenges.

“NIMBYs” and local governments have long been the scapegoats for those pushing densification at any cost. Seldom mentioned is the marketing of local housing as a global commodity and an investor component that currently exceeds 20 per cent. In recent years, West Vancouver had up to 1,700 homes sitting vacant, and many remain that way today.

Residents are encouraged to develop community plans that are barely adopted before proponents of rapid densification push to ignore them and negate greenspace, adequate parking, zoning compliance and other considerations. In the absence of acknowledging real local concerns, Mr. Sidhu’s Positive Voices could risk becoming a shill for the development industry.

David Sheffield West Vancouver

Personal choice

Re Masking Up Creates Tension In Public Spaces (June 20): In the long run, it should be easy: Respect others’ decisions and don’t interrogate them about their conclusions. I’m shocked some people haven’t been learned and activated that lesson during the past two years.

God knows how many times I heard discriminatory interactions between bus drivers and people unable to mask while trying to board, whether the driver asked for evidence they couldn’t mask or made it known they had to say they were exempt. If others want to mask in my presence, I won’t ask them to stop – much as I expect they’ll avoid asking me to don one, since I want my communication to be as equitable as it can (something impossible if masking, since it means lips cannot be read).

Why not show mutual respect via common sense? It’s simply right.

Amy Soule Hamilton


Re A Song For My Father (Opinion, June 18): Contributor Gillian Deacon’s audition for an off-Broadway production of Godspell brought back memories from many years ago.

As an enthusiastic non-union actor in Calgary, I saw an open audition call for The Phantom of the Opera. Like Ms. Deacon, I had to wait for hours until all the unionized performers had been seen.

Finally my name was called to sing for a panel of two men and one woman. About halfway through the first verse, I realized I was singing for Garth Drabinsky; but all I could think was that his hair needed a wash. The words flew out of my head and I had to “la la la” to the end of the verse. But they let me finish it!

I didn’t get called back, of course, but I took pride in knowing they’d taken longer with me than with others who were in and out in a flash.

Madeleine Lefebvre Sidney, B.C.

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: