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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the General Motors CAMI production plant in Ingersoll, Ont., on Dec. 5.Nicole Osborne/The Canadian Press

Who’s to say?

Re Why A Price Cap On Russian Oil Won’t Deliver A Fatal Blow To Putin’s War Fund (Report on Business, Dec. 3): How on earth do Europeans see themselves able to cap the price of a commodity controlled by a foreign power? In wartime? At the start of winter?

What will the European Union do? Stop buying at a certain price? Sanctions didn’t work. And some members see no irony in buying from an enemy.

Ashok Sajnani Toronto

Not well

Re Landlocked (Letters, Dec. 3): It is fine to compare Alberta to a banana republic, as a letter-writer does. But please remember that if oil and gas is put out of business by our federal government’s policies, we would all be poorer for it.

John Roy Calgary

My background is in oil and gas. Some years back, I was commissioned to co-author a book titled Footprints: The Evolution of Land Conservation and Reclamation in Alberta.

When I began writing my chapters, I was confident that petroleum companies behaved fully within the bounds of the law. Indeed, they do.

However, I learned about an incident where an oil-producing property was sold to a numbered company. Knowing that the oil field on that acreage would soon end, the seller wanted to avoid paying for its reclamation. In due course, the numbered company declared bankruptcy, and reclamation costs went to a provincial agency.

In earlier years, Alberta was prepared to fund land reclamations. Based on what I have seen from Danielle Smith, her government will monkey around with sovereignty issues and other such nonsense, and pay no heed to environmental and related issues.

I look forward to the coming provincial election.

Peter McKenzie-Brown Calgary

In action

Re Most Canadians Favoured Invocation Of Emergencies Act, New Poll Shows (Dec. 5): Most Canadians favour peace, order and good government. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the majority of Canadians supported the invocation of the Emergencies Act.

Whereas Justin Trudeau’s decision to invoke the act may not have been completely within the letter of the law, I believe his actions were definitely within the spirit of the law.

Keith Crysler Ottawa

More to do

Re Winnipeg Police Say Alleged Serial Killer Behind Deaths of Four Women (Dec. 2): Once more, as we mark the killing of 14 young women in Montreal in 1989, we are faced with headlines reminding us that gender-based violence is still with us.

Statistics tell us that, on average, a woman or girl is killed every other day in Canada. Indigenous women and girls are said to be six times more likely than non-Indigenous women to suffer these consequences.

Violence against women is embedded in gender power dynamics, women’s inequality, patriarchy and colonialism. Fundamental human rights are put at risk through these systemic practices; women’s rights in particular are sidelined as violence continues.

Femicide is preventable if we are willing to address the causes‚ support women’s equality, provide necessary education, engage men and boys in the process and fund services to support the prevention and elimination of these egregious acts.

No country is free of this violence. Canada is no exception.

S.F.M. Cullum Ottawa

Life, death

Re When Dignity Only Comes In Death (Editorial, Dec. 5): I know from firsthand experience that the difference between surviving or not surviving mental illness can be as stupidly simple as whether a person can afford $500 to $800 a month for medications, pay for an hour of therapy every few days or engage other treatments.

No one asks to have physical or mental ailments. A person being forced to choose suicide or medical assistance in dying, because society can’t be bothered to provide better health care, is disgusting to me. Shame on all of us.

Bill Hollings Toronto

Re Psychiatrists Call On Ottawa To Delay Expansion Of MAID (Dec. 1): The federal government gave provincial regulators and professional associations two years to come up with additional guidelines or protocols for medical assistance in dying. The expert panel on MAID and mental illness reported in May with detailed recommendations. What have stakeholders been “working diligently” on in all that time? Endless debate as to when a mental disorder is irremediable?

Every psychiatrist does not need to be trained for MAID. Legislation requires that two assessors consult another physician or nurse practitioner on a requester’s medical condition, if neither of them have that expertise. The expert consulted will help assessors understand whether a requester meets stringent eligibility requirements and safeguards.

It is likely that few people with mental disorders will choose MAID unless they are in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability, to the point that they endure intolerable physical or psychological suffering.

Sherry Moran Ottawa

Re Simons Faces Criticism For Campaign Highlighting Medical Assistance In Dying (Dec. 3): I saw the Simons video and regret it has been pulled. I regard it as a commentary on the beauty that exists in both life and death, not as a marketing strategy. It moved me.

I find it deplorable that Jennyfer Hatch, the video’s subject, could not access the support she needed. The more this happens, the more difficulty assessors and providers of medical assistance in dying are going to experience with track-two applicants.

While people may feel compelled to seek MAID, a lack of proper support alone does not make them eligible for it. They must qualify and meet stringent requirements.

Canadians deserve to live comfortably and choose a good death when the time comes. At the same time, our governments should come up with strategies and funding to improve access to support and appropriate health care. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Mary Anne Cecutti Toronto

Accept it

Re Word Up (Letters, Dec. 5): A letter-writer thinks “unprecedented” should be the word of the year. My vote is for “unacceptable,” that all-purpose expression of disapproval.

More often than not, “unacceptable” is a misnomer, used to describe things that have already been accepted by someone – for example, passport-processing delays or offers of medical assistance in dying to veterans.

I yearn for the day when “unacceptable” is put out to the pasture of overused, meaningless adjectives, where words such as “inappropriate” and “problematic” already graze. Given its popularity with those who write talking points for federal cabinet members, I suspect this is a vain hope.

Richard Ellis Ottawa

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