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Re Deep Down (Opinion, May 28): Thomas Homer-Dixon, Ian Graham and Ellen Quigley have it right. Geothermal generation of electricity is an opportunity that Canada ignores at its peril. About 50 years ago, another energy opportunity in the national interest presented itself. Massive federal subsidies helped to develop the Alberta oil sands and they became a huge economic success. Now the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United Nations tell us that fossil fuel use must urgently be wound down. Would it not be appropriate for massive federal subsidies to be redirected toward the exploitation of our geothermal energy resources? Business leaders appear simply not to have the stomach for the investment required; waiting for a willing entrepreneur to address the need within the urgent time frame appears next to futile. Only bold decisions at the federal level can enable immediate development of geothermal energy on the scale needed.
Barrie Webster Victoria
Shame on Canada for not embracing geothermal energy. We should look to Iceland to see its progress on geothermal energy. It is just too obvious: Below us is enough heat to satisfy all the world’s energy needs, a roadway to clean energy. This warrants large-scale research and commitment.
Ken Jewett Mulmur Ont.
Re Proposed Luxury Tax To Reduce Sales Of Boats, Planes And Cars By More Than $600-Million (Report on Business, May 27): If the federal government needs more revenue from wealthy people, instead of imposing a luxury tax it should raise the marginal income-tax rate for high-income earners. Don’t levy a tax based on how people choose to spend their after-tax income. That is neither fair nor right.
Tony Gooch Victoria
Sales of luxury vehicles would decline if we taxed them more, according to a rough estimate by the Parliamentary Budget Office. Some people say that’s bad. We disagree.
The argument that this will significantly hurt middle-income workers and manufacturing jobs is thin at best. None of the recent news coverage considers the tax’s potential to benefit society. Our economic and social well-being relies on more than just rich people buying things. Trickle-down economics has been proven a fallacy.
The revenue raised could be used to stimulate domestic manufacturing of more affordable zero-emission vehicles. Done right, it could mean more and better jobs.
Instead of hoping elite buying habits will lead to jobs, let’s invest in creating and supporting the green industries of the future.
Katrina Miller executive director, Canadians for Tax Fairness, Toronto
The Federal Liberal brain trust has decided that a tax on expensive cars and boats would be a good idea. The tax is expected to raise under $800-million over five years. The parliamentary budget office says the tax will reduce economic activity by almost $3-billion over the same time frame. The federal government will forego tax revenue on $3-billion and growing. Given the federal tax as a percentage of GDP is about 34 per cent, Mr. Trudeau will have given up about $1-billion in tax revenue for about $800-million.
We need much better fiscal responsibility and accountability from Ottawa.
Joel Cohen, FCPA Hamilton
Re Guns And Rosés (Letters, June 1): Two letter writers aim to defend handgun possession in Canada, and both miss the mark. By likening the negative health impact of a handgun to that of a glass of chardonnay, one writer conveniently ignores that fact that while I can indeed do considerable harm to myself with alcohol, I cannot physically injure or kill others. And while the other writer sees the recent invocation of the Emergencies Act and proposed handgun ban as steps toward a “police state,” they ignore the fact that said Act was used as a tool to break up an illegal occupation of our country’s capital, rather than a harsh measure used against a “political protest.”
As a downtown resident of the largest and most dangerous city in this country, I fully support a ban on handguns as an important first step to combat gun violence, and hope that other steps will follow.
Stephen Beaumont Toronto
Re The Guns We Really Need To Talk About (Editorial, May 30): The simple and bottom-line truth is that countries with less gun ownership, stricter gun control laws and good social services have less gun-related crime. Much less.
They aren’t “police states” and are generally good places to live. Why not learn from them?
William Love Burlington, Ont.
Eyes in the sky
Re: Canadian Firm That Tracks Methane Leaks From Orbit Launches Three More Satellites (Report on Business, May 26): I was pleased to read that the Canadian firm GHGSat has launched more satellites to detect leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas and significant contributor to climate change. Data collected has the potential to help gas producers and transmission companies reduce their emissions. The world needs many initiatives like this to address climate change, and these actions will have a huge but necessary cost, a burden for everyone. How long will it be before our political leadership, across all parties, speaks with one voice to ensure Canadians understand the seriousness of climate change and that individuals, companies and governments all need to co-operate and support one another to address the challenge?
Edward Young Swanston Etobicoke, Ont.
Russia’s liquid exports
Re EU Leaders Agree To Partial Embargo On Russian Oil (Report on Business, May 31): We were told that severe economic sanctions imposed on Russia would be the best path to bring Vladimir Putin to his knees and show him the folly and consequences of his invasion of Ukraine. The European Union has announced, however, that its embargo on Russian oil exports will only apply to oil imported by sea. Somehow oil delivered by pipelines will be exempted from sanctions. Sadly countries will find ways to get around other sanctions. They might even find some creative justification to allow Russian vodka to be imported to the West, but only from certain distillers.
Michael Gilman Toronto
Re In Defence Of Baseball’s Absurdity (June 1): I very much appreciated this lovely essay but the unmentioned ultimate absurdity in baseball is how fans and players have to accept the frequently incorrect umpire calls of balls vs. strikes while technology shows us the readily available correct call.
In a sport obsessed with statistics, could we have these bad calls registered and applied to batters’ corrected batting averages?
It’s more than absurd. It’s maddening. The essence of baseball is a super athlete correctly seeing balls versus stikes. Penalizing the discerning player and fair-minded fan is reducing the game to unbearable absurdity, for me.
Art Bowers Kitchener, Ont.
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