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Pierre Poilievre holds his 'intervention paddle' at the Conservative Party of Canada English leadership debate in Edmonton on May 11.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

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Option C?

Re More Freedom Or More Death? (Opinion, May 7): I would reject outright the narrow dichotomy proposed by columnist Doug Saunders. That is, to beat any future pandemic we either need to accept a hard lockdown (like China) or a milder but still rigid social lockdown (like New Zealand). Why not choose the approach of another Pacific island: Japan?

The country rejected any real lockdown (they were thought to be unconstitutional). Yet it ended with a COVID-19 mortality rate about one-quarter that of Canada, and ranking somewhere between those of lockdown champions Australia and New Zealand.

Lockdowns have a poor track record of disease mitigation, as measured against impingements on civil liberties and normal freedoms. Let’s try to do better next time.

David Winch North Hatley, Que.

Conservative check-in

Re Poilievre’s Campaign To ‘Restore’ BoC’s Independence Is In Fact An Assault On It (Opinion, May 7): My thanks to columnist Andrew Coyne for drawing attention to Pierre Poilievre’s baseless assault on the Bank of Canada.

The BoC’s independence is vital to the long-term health of the Canadian currency and economy. Without it, politicians of every stripe would interfere in BoC decisions – not to promote the measured and well-informed (though sometimes unpleasant) decisions for which the bank is known, but rather for short-term political gain. Mr. Poilievre’s campaign is clear evidence to me of that.

A pox on Mr. Poilievre and his selfish ambitions. I am alarmed (but not surprised) by his efforts to bring American-style politics of misinformation and division to Canada. I will be getting off my couch to oppose it.

Ross Hedley West Vancouver

Re Preston Manning Concerned By Divisive Tone Of Tory Leadership Race (May 7): Isn’t he the one who started it in the first place?

Janice Couch Kingston

I am amused that Preston Manning wants Conservative leadership candidates to play nice, because the nasty media will surely turn the spotlight on their extreme and divisive positions and beliefs.

Stephen Harper had to muzzle his more embarrassing caucus colleagues to prevent the party from becoming a laughing stock and, for the most part, kept a lid on “extreme” and “divisive” commentary. It is ironic, perhaps, that Mr. Manning led the charge to rid the old Progressive Conservatives of their progressive leanings and move the locus of party power to Western Canada, where extreme and divisive policies and beliefs seem most at home.

Ken Lutes Vancouver

Energy initiative

Re As An Indigenous Woman, Working In The Oil Sands Didn’t Expose Me To Violence – It Helped Me Escape It (May 7): I thoroughly enjoyed Estella Petersen’s heartwarming story of how employment in the energy industry helped her escape violence. Her story should be a must-read for those who protest the development of our energy sector.

Clearly the world must reduce carbon emissions, but the war in Ukraine has taught us that the world still needs dependable energy sources as we move toward carbon neutrality. The Canadian oil and gas industry has bent backward to reduce carbon emissions, yet our government continues to throw up roadblocks.

Our oil and gas resources are often found in remote areas where many First Nations are located. Ms. Petersen provides a perfect example of how employment and partnership in the resource industry can empower First Nations people.

Bob Erwin Ottawa


Re Missing The Boat (Report on Business, May 7): In 2015, neither Canada nor the United States had any liquefied natural gas export terminals in operation. Today, Canada still has zero and the U.S. has seven in operation with more to come in the next few years.

This tells me all I need to know about why Canada’s GDP per capita is consistently 15 to 20 per cent lower than that of the U.S. We will always be less productive and less wealthy than our neighbours to the south if our country continues to be run this way.

Jonathan Klein Calgary

There seems to be gigantic regulatory hurdles that Canadian companies have to undertake before major liquefied natural gas projects are undertaken, particularly when compared with other competitive countries such as the United States and Australia. While these countries have forged ahead in the past decade to build LNG plants to export to Asian markets, we seem to have only one viable company building a terminal in Kitimat, B.C.

As the headline of this article suggests, Canada really missed the boat years ago.

J.G. Gilmour Calgary

Better governance

Re Watchdog Says Rogers Plan To Maintain Competition Falls Short (May 11): The decision by Canada’s competition watchdog to nix the Rogers-Shaw deal is another example of how corporate governance matters in the real world.

Rogers underwent something of a boardroom meltdown when a family rift took centre stage last fall and led to a huge change in leadership, all mirroring the wishes of one man: chairman Edward Rogers. The dual-class share structure that allowed him to gain control may suit a few old boys in the boardroom, but such unchecked power also tends to blur the eyes of decision makers to reality.

In the case of the Rogers-Shaw deal, that would have meant heeding the federal government’s wishes for a deal that translates into better market competition and ultimately lower customer rates. Rogers shareholders, which include a number of pension funds, may pay a steep price for that misjudgment and for governance practices that allowed such a blunder.

J. Richard Finlay The Finlay Centre for Corporate and Public Governance, Toronto

Academic inquiry

Re Pushing Scientific Boundaries Is In The Genes (Opinion, May 7): Contributor Samira Kiani’s perspective on genetic engineering highlighted for me an abdication by universities of a legacy to transmit culture.

That doesn’t just mean history, art or literature. Culture includes morality and ethics, too. Those are highly contentious concepts nowadays and, as Ms. Kiani makes plain, they are worse than irrelevant in the view of many in the scientific community,

An institution with the capacity to educate students about culture and the unbridled pursuit of knowledge would be able to put the brakes on the dangers that Ms. Kiani warns about. Unfortunately, universities no longer seem to see that as part of their mission. “Integrating input from diverse perspectives is, for many scientists, a foreign concept.”

I believe they have become captive to runaway capitalism and the worship of technology. We see the consequences of that capitulation everywhere.

Neil Macdonald Toronto

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