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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 21, 2022.PATRICK DOYLE/The Canadian Press

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Can anyone?

Re With Enough Support, Ukraine Can Still Defeat Russia (June 20): With enough support, Canada can defeat Russia, too.

Bob Ewen Toronto


Re With Necessity Abating, It’s Time To Wind Down The Hybrid Parliament (June 21): I agree that the Trudeau government’s case for maintaining a hybrid House of Commons is unconvincing. Indeed it smacks to me of simple opportunism.

While Parliament has been able to function amid the obvious issues raised by the pandemic, the past two-plus years produced a hologram Parliament and, as such, a pale and unsatisfactory substitute.

The lifeblood of Parliament requires genuine face-to-face debate, whether in the chamber or in committees. Accountability is poorly served by Zoom sittings.

The government’s justification, based on “predictability,” is hardly compelling, and would fail the test of responsible government in a parliamentary system. The present hybrid model was borne out of the requirements of a specific time and circumstance.

It is time to bring back the House.

Michael Kaczorowski Ottawa

Political renewal

Re Can The Liberals Replace Justin Trudeau? (June 20): Fresh blood, fresh ideas and renewed energy should be the first priority for Canada’s major political parties.

Political dynamism and renewal are what democracies need and thrive on. Similar to the creative destruction formula in the marketplace, political recreation is healthy and imperative.

The Conservatives are going down that road now. I feel the Liberals need it badly for sure. After three elections, the Trudeau brand seems to be getting stale and boring, recycling ideas with a lack of vision.

There is room for peaceful transition and a changing of the guard from now to 2025. The cold calculation of power demands it, and Canada needs it.

Elie Mikhael Nasrallah Ottawa

One act

Re Quebec Nationalism’s Latest Surge: It Did Not Begin Here, And It Will Not End Here (Opinion, June 18): On the use of the notwithstanding clause by the Legault government, the only possible response would be for the government of Canada to use the power of reservation and disallowance under Section 90 of the Constitution Act of 1867.

That provision effectively allows the governor-general, on the advice of cabinet, to disallow provincial legislation within one year of passage. It is accepted by some academics that this provision is still a valid constitutional option where necessary “to protect civil liberties.” Other constitutional scholars and writers have argued that Section 90 has become “inoperative in practice.”

However, on the arguable assumption that Section 90 is still a viable and operative provision of the Constitution Act, the government could simply declare that use of the notwithstanding clause by any provincial government would be disallowed except in matters of national emergency.

Robert Thompson QC, Calgary

Yours to discover

Re Why Was The Emergencies Act Invoked? (June 18): It seems to me that a major reason for the implementation of the Emergencies Act was the failure of the Ontario government to respond to the occupation of Ottawa and the blockades at Ontario border crossings. Although the protests philosophically centred on the federal government, they mostly occurred in Ontario and primarily damaged the citizens, reputation and economy of this province.

Doug Ford and his ministers were notable by their absence while Pierre Poilievre, as an Ottawa MP, was blowing his own airhorn.

Martha Gould North Bay, Ont.

Money for …

Re These Circuses Sure Cost A Lot Of Bread (Editorial, June 21): As Toronto struggles to house the homeless, care for the elderly, pave the potholes, complete the subway, fill the pools and hydrate the thirsty, the city plans to squander $100-million on supporting FIFA, that organization of questionable integrity.

Is Toronto nuts?

Rick Walker Toronto

Fitter, happier

Re Your Car’s Expanding Waistline (Editorial, June 20): That 5,000-pound hunk of metal in the driveway? It is there because a pervasive barrage of expensive, effective and unregulated advertisements persuaded someone to buy it.

If we consider carbon-fuelled cars and trucks harmful enough to ban their sale a mere dozen years from now, then we’re overdue for regulation or a ban of gas-guzzler advertising – the same way we so effectively control ads for tobacco and other known harmful products.

Andreas Souvaliotis Toronto

I do not think the behaviour of Canadians is any different from that of other people.

Since time immemorial, men in particular have had a love affair with modes of transport. The horse provided spectacular improvement in mobility compared with walking, and no army role was more prestigious than that of the cavalry.

I lived in Holland during the 1973 oil crisis, when the use of our car was rationed – never drive on Sunday! We then confidently predicted that Volvos and Mercedes-Benzes would disappear in favour of the Fiat 500 or Volkswagen Beetle. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Boudewyn van Oort Victoria

In Canada, we like to blame our low population being spread over vast distances for the fact that our carbon footprint is greater than those of European countries. While that may be true, there is another reason that seems to be ignored.

In Canada (and the United States) we tend to have far too many stop signs. And it seems like almost every stop is a four-way stop. Is this necessary?

Wouldn’t yield signs be sufficient in most cases where the view of an intersection is not obstructed, at least in low-traffic residential areas? Before thinking it would not be safe: That is how it is done in many European countries with just as high safety standards as we have.

Maybe we can reduce our carbon footprint by just re-evaluating if all these stop signs are really necessary.

Tim Bilida Toronto

I support all efforts to reduce dangerous emissions, to own and change our habits to make the planet cleaner. To heal.

As an Albertan from Ontario, I cringe when I hear that “we are the problem” with a high-emission oil industry, when the market clearly desires more. The biblical call on hypocrisy is seeing the speck in a neighbour’s eye and not the log in one’s own.

Or: “Why do you see the hybrid vehicle in our driveway and not the SUV in your own?” We can all do better.

John Pentland Reverend, Calgary

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