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Ban single-use plastics
Re Scrap Heap: Canada’s Recycling Industry In Crisis Mode (Folio, May 15): Waste management businesses are struggling to process their subpar plastics, and governments are left holding the proverbial bag without overseas buyers for our unwanted, so-called renewables. Municipalities are struggling with curbside recycling programs, just as citizens, more often than not, are faced with having to buy products that come in non-recyclable materials.
Rather than dealing with the fallout, we need to ban single-use plastics at the source. And don’t tell me that it will hobble the food and consumer-goods industries. People aren’t going to stop eating. As long as there is a buyer at the end of the line, the market will find a way.
Jayson MacLean, Ottawa
Re MPs Apologize To Norman For Impact Of Failed Prosecution (May 15): It was very impressive to see members of the House of Commons, in a rare display of unanimity, vote to recognize Vice-Admiral Mark Norman for decades of loyal service to Canada, express regret and apologize for the personal and professional hardship he and his family endured. What was not so impressive was that both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan left the House before the vote was taken, each to deal with a “previously scheduled” engagement.
Barry Francis, Toronto
Referring to Donald Trump and friends, Lawrence Martin writes that “The accruing gravity of the climate-change issue is becoming apparent to all but the most resolute troglodytes” (Trump’s Shambolic Foreign Policy Risks Tempting Him Into War – May 15).
And yet, on the very same page as Mr. Martin’s column – and writing as Ontario directors of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation – Christine van Geyn and Jasmine Picket commend Doug Ford’s fight against the carbon tax (Ford Is Wise To Fight The Carbon Tax. But He Shouldn’t Use Taxpayer Money On Ads – May 15).
They do not mention that the latter’s net cost is minimal, while the cost of climate change for the taxpayers they claim to represent is becoming huge.
Jean Daudelin, associate professor, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University
My husband and I have been taxpayers for more than 40 years, and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation does not speak for us. We are among the large majority of Canadians – 83 per cent, according to a recent Abacus poll – who are either “quite,” “very” or “extremely” concerned about climate change. We support governments at any level that take firm climate actions, that move our economy toward a low-carbon future, and that can offer our kids a chance at a livable planet.
Ellen Schwartzel, Toronto
The Ontario election wasn’t a referendum on the carbon tax. It was a consensus to kick out Kathleen Wynne. Ontario understands that we must address the climate crisis, and I expect this fall’s federal election will make that clear.
Alex Cameron, Mimico, Ont.
5 cents’ worth …
Re Doug Ford’s Feel-Bad Movie Of The Summer (editorial, May 14): The Ford government’s attacks on the carbon tax in its One Little Nickel spot on TV have one baffling element. The “cash flow” runs in the opposite direction compared to most other taxes.
The gas pump is not sucking up nickels, it is spewing them out at such a force that they fall all over the floor. Similarly, the fruit in the grocery store is shedding nickels, the canned goods are spewing nickels and the heating vent is gushing out nickels. Maybe this is all a subtle message to support the carbon tax?
Maybe Mr. Ford is a sort of “Manchurian candidate,” who actually has a secret environmentally friendly agenda. Maybe all those nickels are a metaphor for the annual rebate from the federal carbon tax that will actually leave most families better off at the end of the year.
Michael Greason, Toronto
Nickels, nickels, and more nickels spill to the ground in this big-budget, anti-carbon tax extravaganza – Doug Ford, producer. Upward of 600 million taxpayers’ nickels are being spent to further a partisan agenda, to dissuade Ontarians from the best economic tool for curbing carbon emissions. This production, in whatever way you cost it, is well over budget.
James Schaefer, Peterborough, Ont.
Hmm, is this business with nickels pouring out actually subliminal messaging of slot machines paying out? I won’t be surprised if some of this footage gets reworked into advertising for a Ford Nation casino at Ontario Place.
Ian Kamm, Toronto
Dirty money’s source
Re How Bad Is Our Money-Laundering Problem? (May 15): Isn’t the more important problem where this dirty money is coming from in the first place? Wouldn’t we be better off tackling the problem at its source?
It seems to me that policing money-laundering operations is one great game of Whac-A-Mole. The ways to launder dirty money are practically limitless. Shut down the casino route and another method pops up immediately. (Remember the car wash on Breaking Bad?)
Dirty money is reported to be mostly from the illegal drug trade, gambling, extortion and insider trading. In my view, the first two are the major contributors. There is an effective solution to both: Legalize drugs and all gambling. It is not a panacea, but it would reduce the money-laundering problem significantly.
Patrick Tighe, Petawawa, Ont.
Re Faculty Groups Seek Legal Aid In Response To Ontario Plan To Cut Salaries Of Elderly Professors Drawing Pensions (May 15): The Ford government claims that faculty renewal is the purpose of its plan to cut to zero the salaries of older professors who are legally required to draw their pensions.
If this is truly the government’s intent, the forthcoming regulations should require each defunded position to be matched with a tenure-track opening for a new faculty member. Otherwise, the government could be suspected of fomenting resentment against senior employees in order to justify further cuts to the Ontario professoriate.
Naomi Goldenberg, professor, University of Ottawa
Re #Nomore (May 15): Jennifer Hulley’s First Person essay confirms my feeling that there are many people in the world who are so shallow, they couldn’t drown in themselves. I am very glad I saw Paris several times before the explosion of selfie-taking tourists began faking their way around the City of Lights.
Kevin Byrne, Bright’s Grove, Ont.