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Suncor's base plant with upgraders in the oil sands in Fort McMurray Alta, on June 13, 2017.

JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

The green energy debate

Re Engineering A ‘Green Recovery’ Is A Terrible Idea (June 1): The authors are only partly correct. Yes, we should accelerate carbon price increases. But by itself an increased carbon price is simply no longer enough to get us to the desired result in time. Had we started 30 years ago it might have been enough, but we are much too late now.

We no longer have the luxury of picking only the one most cost-effective measure; in our climate emergency we have to use all the tools available. We need programs that include a combination of tightened regulations to discourage building more fossil fuel infrastructure and incentives to encourage the building of sustainable infrastructure.

And to be politically supportable, the program must be more than a green recovery. It must also be a just recovery, one that puts people first.

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Guy Hanchet Lakefield, Ont.

There are countless examples of government successfully “picking winners” and creating opportunities and jobs (green or polluting) based on investments in research, new job programs, training and supporting pilot projects. I got my first job during the employment-challenged eighties, which lead to a lifelong professional career in what became a Canadian winner – blue-box recycling – which has been exported around the world. We have a tremendous opportunity to provide newly unemployed people with jobs of the future through training and investments in retrofits, conservation technologies and other climate-friendly programs.

Betty Muise Thornbury, Ont.

Re What The Death Of Ontario’s Green Energy Dream Can Teach Other Provinces About The Challenges Ahead (June 1): Collaborative planning on renewable energy at the community level is the most important ingredient to success. We are not doing enough and we need to get this right if there is to be social acceptance of renewable energy.

The first step is community energy planning to establish the foundations for success – that means governance structures, strategy and community buy-in. Technology options are secondary and must incorporate social feasibility.

Empowering communities through collaborative planning from the beginning will mean that communities are part of defining the risks and benefits of projects.

Tonja Leach Executive director, QUEST, Ottawa

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Trump’s military move

Re No End In Sight For U.S. Protests (June 2): I guess Donald Trump does not know that the U.S. military were very active in winning the Second World War and thus beating fascists in Germany, Italy and Japan. So if I get him right, he’ll be calling on anti-fascists to overcome anti-fascists?

Michel Boisvert St-Bruno, Que.

The power of civil disobedience

Re In A Riot, The House Always Wins (June 2): Consistent with your editorial, the data are clear. They were in the case of Richard Nixon’s re-election (which you cite), but also in the strategic reasoning behind non-violent protest. The public, or at least a significant proportion of it, will eventually defer to the civil authority when there is violence in the streets. The violence will then legitimize counterviolence by the called-in police and military. But as well, more people will get involved in protest when it is peaceful, and this mobilization can motivate all the way to the voting booth. To unseat President Donald Trump in November, civil disobedience and peaceful protest: good. Violence: counterproductive, and wrong.

Robin Collins Ottawa

Municipal money fix

Re Feds To Fast-Track Gas-Tax Payments to Municipalities (June 2): It’s clear that local governments need a reliable source of revenue other than property taxes and parking fees and fines. Is there any reason the feds and the provinces can’t work out a deal that will allow individual municipalities to impose their own levy on the sale of gas within their boundaries?

If this was possible, it would raise millions of much-needed dollars each year for local governments while placing responsibility for any additional levy on the price of gasoline with politicians who are accessible and answerable to voters in their own communities. Funding problem solved.

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Ken Cuthbertson Kingston

Counting the opioid toll

Re In Guelph, Canada’s Other Epidemic Flares Up (June 2): This article notes that Guelph has experienced 11 opioid deaths in the first five months of this year. Guelph’s population is 130,000. I live just outside Perth, Ont. In May this year, three people died of suspected overdoses, likely related to “purple fentanyl.” Perth has a population of 6,000.

Public Health Ontario’s most recent Opioid Mortality Surveillance Report, posted on its website, covers the period to June, 2018 – two years ago. Yes, I know there is a worldwide pandemic, but the “other epidemic” continues and I have to wonder how well that is being tracked, and who is counting those bodies.

Ann Silversides Perth, Ont.

Airline responsibility

Re Airline Customers Don’t Deserve Cash Refunds (May 30): I didn’t ask Air Canada to get into the airline business. I don’t get a charitable receipt when I purchase a ticket. I don’t tell them what price to charge. My flight to Rome was cancelled by AC. A service was contracted for and not delivered. AC should not be telling me what I need to do and how to do it in order to take advantage of a “voucher.” They parked their airplane, sent their staff home and have kept my money. I want my money back.

Paul Baker Toronto

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Like many others I have had flights cancelled in the past few months. Also like many others, my view of the response of the airline is a mix of facts and opinions.

There is no doubt when purchasing my tickets I was given the option of buying a refundable ticket. There is no doubt that I chose the cheaper option. There is no doubt not reading all the details was my choice.

In my opinion, I am responsible for my decisions, even when they don’t work out. Government finances are stretched to the limit helping people whose lives and businesses are being destroyed through no fault of their own. It is my opinion that money is better spent on them rather than protecting me from the consequence of my decisions.

Ian Glassford Edmonton

The work from home burden

Re Is The Office Era Over? (May 30): Missing from the workers’ perspective to remote work is the effect on relationships. How are millennial couples, living in small bachelor or one-bedroom apartments in Canada’s major metropolitan centres, coping with spending their days with their partners in what was once their living room and is now an open office for two? Will more long-term relationships fracture in service of reducing corporate real estate bills?

Stefa Katamay Victoria

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