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Cup of Joe
Re Biden, Sanders Pick Up Wins In First Super Tuesday Primaries (March 4): I found a few things in the U.S. Democratic presidential race were clarified in the past 72 hours.
First, Bernie Sanders seems to have a support ceiling that he can’t exceed. Being able to win primaries by only securing 30-per-cent pluralities, with little support from key constituencies, is not a prescription for success in a general election. Mr. Sanders should accept this reality and step back from his candidacy.
Secondly, Democratic success traditionally revolves around black voters and suburban women; Joe Biden may not be everyone’s first choice, but he appears to be the candidate that these voters are willing to coalesce around. I believe they are the key to defeating Donald Trump, and their resounding voice on Super Tuesday should be heeded.
Third, the role of vice-president looms more importantly than in past elections. Mr. Biden should make his choice soon, and California’s Kamala Harris seems to be a very strong contender.
Frank Malone Aurora, Ont.
Racism in Canada
Re Indigenous People Face Racist Backlash Over Pipeline Protests (Feb. 28): It is deeply troubling to see many Canadians, who are known to be open and kind people, make derogatory comments and death threats against people defending their land; people whose health has been affected by industrial activities time and again. Indigenous people have been oppressed and discriminated against for centuries, yet still give Canadians the privilege of living on unceded territory.
Indigenous or not, we should all play a role in this matter. If one wants to learn more, speak to Indigenous people to understand their perspectives, or take a class on Indigenous health and history at a local school. Lastly, Canadians should speak out if they witness racism or consider writing the local MP or MPP if Indigenous rights are seen to be withheld in their community.
Indigenous issues are Canadian issues.
Julien Courville Halifax
Around the bay
Re To Build Bridges, Not Barricades, Learn From The Cree Nations Of Quebec (Feb. 27): Looking across James Bay from Quebec to Attawapiskat on the Ontario side, I see a great contrast, and much to learn. Revenue-sharing of resources has raised the standard of living for the James Bay Cree of Quebec. This started with Hydro-Québec, and we should have more such co-operation. However, I remember the Cree being accused of selling out, judged to be insufficiently Indigenous. A few decades later and things are imperfect but much improved. I don’t think they are any less Indigenous.
Dan Moore Peterborough, Ont.
Re Will Legault’s LNG Plans Survive Widespread Fossil Fuel Protests? (Report on Business, March 4): Few are surprised by political hypocrisy, but I believe the hypocrisy of François Legault on pipelines sets a standard of historic proportions. He worked hard to kill Energy East, a “dirty” pipeline from Alberta to New Brunswick. Now he supports a pipeline project in Quebec. Dirty no more.
I am fed up with how Quebec, as well as Ontario, seems to use its political might to disadvantage other regions of the country, and how the federal government countenances such behaviour.
Ian Thompson Halifax
Re The USMCA Cultural Poison Pill: Why The Broadcast Panel Report Could Lead To Millions In Tariff Retaliation (March 2): Contributor Michael Geist cautions Canada to not protect Canadian content in digital broadcasting because of possible trade retaliation as part of the USMCA. Yet for the past century, Canada has protected our airwaves – they belong to Canada and we deserve to benefit from them.
The Canada-U.S. border is the longest in the world. Without content regulations, I believe there would be no Canadian content creators and their businesses in this country. Can you imagine Canada without Rush, Leonard Cohen, Sarah McLachlan, Atom Egoyan, the Barenaked Ladies, Alanis Obomsawin and all? Creators are national treasures.
Every country that perceives itself as culturally distinct protects their content. Imagine visiting France and only being able to enjoy American-made artworks and taste American culinary art – Big Macs in the Louvre?
If we bow to U.S. bullying in business or the arts, then we surrender what is Canada. I implore our parliamentarians to support Canadian creators and their related industries by revoking the digital-tax exemption for technology companies and levelling the broadcast playing field.
Ed Henderson Composer, SOCAN board of directors; Vancouver
Contributor Michael Geist raises the spectre of U.S. retaliation against Canadian exports because of the USMCA’s cultural exception. However, the government of Canada’s support for cultural workers and industries over many decades has been essential to the creation of a thriving cultural sector in a sea of international competition.
Culture, according to Statistics Canada’s most recent numbers, employs more than 660,000 Canadians and that, surely, argues strongly for swift ratification of the USMCA as it was signed, with the cultural exception intact.
Kate Edwards Executive director, Association of Canadian Publishers; Toronto
Re Should Canada’s 1950s Approach To Culture Still Apply In The 21st Century? (March 4): Columnist John Ibbitson asks why we should continue to subsidize the creation of Canadian content. I ask the question: Why should we not?
Do we think that others are going to tell our stories for us? Every developed country, other than the United States, supports its content with multiple financial incentives. To think that Canadian content – also known as culture – could be made by and for Canadians without subsidy seems to be imaginative fiction.
Philippa King Toronto
Out of order
Re David Gardner: Actor, Director, 91 (Obituary, March 2): I was stunned to learn David Gardner was never deemed worthy of the Order of Canada.
Over the years, I have watched game-show hosts, hockey players and musicians receive the honour. Many plied their trade south of the border, only briefly spending parts of their careers here. Mr. Gardner’s commitment to developing the arts, and Canada, exemplifies in spades the definition of the Order of Canada. Its own website says the award “is how our country honours people who make an extraordinary contribution to the nation."
What a shame. What an oversight.
Ken Myron Ancaster, Ont.
Boys won’t be boys
Re Fewer Boys Born In Ontario After Trump Election Win, Study Suggests (March 3): The surprising result of an epidemiological study was interpreted as a reduced number of boys born in Ontario due to shock about the election of Donald Trump. However, alternate conclusions are possible. For example, shock at the election of Justin Trudeau in 2015 may have resulted in the difference.
James Robblee Ottawa
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