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And then there were…
Re The Nightmare Scenario Facing Divided Democrats (March 5): Bernie Sanders may be stuck in the 1960s, but it was a very progressive decade. Advances in civil rights and a massive demonstration of the U.S. distaste for war are two milestones that still resonate today.
As for how Mr. Sanders, as columnist Konrad Yakabuski writes, “hates everything,” that seems very much not the case. He stands for a single-payer health-care system. He stands for free tuition for students entering college, and the cancellation of student debt. And he stands for a government that would work on behalf of working people.
Robert Milan Victoria
The current state of the Democratic race should not surprise anyone. Super Tuesday certainly showed who many Democratic voters feel has the best chance of unseating Donald Trump. Just as importantly, it indicates who they would be most comfortable listening to for the next four years. Moderation and dialogue versus stridency and intransigence – it’s an easy choice for most to make.
Chris Marriott Chelsea, Que.
Re U.S. Democracy May Be Running Out Of Time (March 5): Contributor Sarah Kendzior’s view on the inability of senior politicians to govern, because they may die soon and thus are a threat to democratic progress, has to be one of the most offensive ageist opinions I have come across in a long time.
If youth is the future, I suggest the low turnout of younger voters is more of a threat to democracy than folks of my generation ever can be.
Barry Singer Toronto
Re Primaries Show That Gender Equality Is A Pipe Dream (March 5): I believe there’s no arguing with Lawrence Martin’s premise that the U.S. primaries have shown a bias against impressive female candidates; that Sarah Kendzior is right about a contest between septuagenarians; that Konrad Yakabuski is right about an ideologically fractured Democratic Party. But all these problems could be constructively solved.
Joe Biden could go a long way toward winning the nomination, and defeating Donald Trump, by choosing a young, talented woman as his running mate – and soon. Someone such as Amy Klobuchar or Kamala Harris on the ticket could bolster campaigning power and send a clear message to younger and more progressive voters. It could help win upcoming primaries and end the nomination race earlier. And it could set the stage for the first female president of the United States; vice-presidents becoming president have become quite common in the last 75 years.
Steve Parish Ajax, Ont.
Re The USMCA Cultural Poison Pill: Why The Broadcast Panel Report Could Lead To Millions In Tariff Retaliation (March 2): As chair of the expert panel that produced the report in question, it is appropriate for me to address contributor Michael Geist’s concern of “millions" in tariff retaliation by the United States if our recommendations are implemented.
The basic trade principle upon which Mr. Geist relies is expressed in Article 15.3(1) of the USMCA, commonly referred to as the “National Treatment” provision. However, the panel report specifically requires such national treatment. Recommendation 60 states: “We recommend that all media content undertakings that benefit from the Canadian media communications sector contribute to it in an equitable manner. Undertakings that carry out like activities should have like obligations, regardless of where they are located.”
The basic principle espoused in our report is simple: There should be consistent obligations to support Canadian cultural policy for all media content undertakings involved in similar activities, whether foreign or Canadian. Because our recommendations would treat foreign and domestic suppliers alike in similar circumstances, nothing in the report should give rise to a right of retaliation under the USMCA.
Janet Yale Chair, Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel; Ottawa
Re Should Canada’s 1950s Approach To Culture Still Apply In The 21st Century? (March 4): When my 13-year-old daughter comes home and tells me more people in her history class seem to know who George Washington is than Sir John A. Macdonald, we continue to have a cultural identification challenge. Thankfully, we were able to play for her CBC’s John A.: Birth of a Country, which enriched her understanding of early Canada and the struggle for nationhood. I dare say she didn’t hate it – a tacit teen endorsement if ever there was one.
If we don’t do the work to build Canadian identity, then who will? We should empower and enrich our public broadcaster so that we may be enriched, in turn.
Roderick Benns Lindsay, Ont.
Re Carbon Pricing Conservatives Can Support (March 4): I agree with columnist Andrew Coyne that the Conservatives have failed to put forward a credible climate plan. However, I believe the Liberal plan is only credible to the credulous.
The majority of greenhouse-gas emissions by resource projects result from consumer demand. In my mind, no plan to reduce emissions can succeed without addressing this issue. Yet the Liberal plan, by rebating taxes to consumers, shields them from most of the direct impact. Such a policy might work if the whole world adopted it – I’m not holding my breath. The Liberal plan may actually increase emissions by transferring them to countries with more lax environmental standards.
Canada should have a carbon tax that covers the life-cycle emissions of the products and services we consume. Not an easy task, but I find nothing else is credible.
Barry Bower Toronto
Columnist Andrew Coyne has it right in saying that carbon pricing is the simplest, cheapest and least divisive way of signalling to producers and consumers where and how to cut emissions. But he also suggests that Conservatives woo voters, paradoxically, by burying a carbon-pricing policy in a series of others that he acknowledges will be disliked by environmentalists, such as the abandonment of current emission-reduction targets.
Environmentally minded Canadians would surely see through such a scheme. Wouldn’t it be better to suggest Conservatives adopt a carbon-pricing policy because it is the right thing to do?
Jeffrey Levitt Toronto
Yours to rediscover
Re Ontario To Temporarily Distribute Old Licence Plates (Feb. 29): I would guess no one at 3M Canada or the Ontario government has ever read David Ogilvy, or there would never have been a licence-plate design of white digits on a blue background.
Mr. Ogilvy – perhaps the godfather of contemporary print advertising – repeatedly found that reverse type is much harder to read than dark text on a white background. That is at least one reason why police can’t read these embarrassing plates. And hopefully that is the one reason Ontario will revert to the blue digits on white background with which we are all so familiar.
Mark Christian Burgess Cobourg, Ont.
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