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Two out of three
Re In Canada, Opacity Is The Soul Of Politics (Editorial, May 28): To complain about government opacity seems a little picayune given that the stated desire of our constitution is peace, order and good governance.
I think most would agree that Canada has achieved peace and order, but no country will ever achieve good governance since that has no parameter of measure. Enjoying the first two at least gives one calm and happiness. Worrying about the third would be futile in any country.
Rob Graham Kingston
Show me the…
Re Two Ontario Universities Partner With Blacklisted Chinese Firm (May 28): Did researchers at Queen’s and York universities never get past asking, “How much?”
Ab Dukacz Mississauga
Re Higher Property Taxes Could Help Cool The Housing Market While Boosting City Finances (Report on Business, May 28): The quickest and simplest way to slow down home prices would be to increase the land transfer tax, which is borne by buyers. A 5-per-cent tax would immediately pour cold water on prices.
Amin Jivraj Thornhill, Ont.
Recent increases in home prices have been astonishing. Any increase in property taxes would be insignificant in comparison and likely not affect this surge in any way. I believe few home seekers, if any, decide against making an offer because of excessive property taxes.
The only result of higher property taxes would be an unjustified extra expense for all home owners, not just the minority involved in current market transactions. No winners, all losers.
Property taxes are derived from home prices and should not be considered a driver of them.
Graeme Lamb Fonthill, Ont.
Re Scientists Raise Proliferation Concerns Over Nuclear Plans (Report on Business, May 26): Used nuclear fuel in current reactors has yielded less than 1 per cent of its non-carbon nuclear energy. To call the remaining 99 per cent waste would be like a kid licking a chocolate bar once and then throwing the rest away.
Current efforts to recycle and reuse the remaining energy in used nuclear fuel, and at the same time eliminate the million-year radiotoxicity of used stockpiles, should be encouraged rather than panned. Recycling approaches, like pyroprocessing or the proposed Moltex WATSS approach, are specific non-proliferation technologies. They cannot extract or purify weapons plutonium but yield a mix of atoms, including those million-year radioactive isotopes, which are then consumed as fuel in a new breed of small modular reactors.
It should be a win-win.
Peter Ottensmeyer Professor emeritus, University of Toronto
Moltex has consistently said that its proposed technology does not raise nuclear weapons proliferation concerns. I am interested to learn more about the New Brunswick project and the due diligence conducted before granting it $50.5-million in federal funds. Even a cursory review of the literature and U.S. government reports raises big red flags for me.
I cannot find anything on the Natural Resources Canada website about nuclear weapons proliferation risks or increased risks from new forms of toxic radioactive waste. New Brunswickers and all Canadian should have more information to help us understand all the risks we may be exposed to.
I echo physicist Frank von Hippel’s call for a thorough review of the broader implications of this project, and further call for a parliamentary debate on its global proliferation implications.
Susan O’Donnell Fredericton
Re ‘No Need For This Right Now’ (Report on Business, May 28): Are we in for this again? After the Parti Québécois came to power in 1976, Sun Life pulled out of Quebec and Royal Bank moved many key departments and personnel.
Will Quebec’s language laws precipitate another shift in power and money into Ontario? Wait and see.
Bruce Craig Hamilton
Re To Truly Tackle Climate Change, Canadians Need To Discuss The Meat Of The Matter (May 24): All food has an environmental impact. When beef farmers practice sustainable grazing management, Canada can produce beef with less impact and vital environmental benefits.
A study, produced for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef by Deloitte, found that the industry contributes a large proportion of potential wildlife habitat – 68 per cent – on just 33 per cent of total agricultural land. It also found that intact temperate grasslands and tame pastures, combined with moderate levels of grazing, currently sequester approximately 1.5 billion tonnes of soil organic carbon.
Canada’s temperate grasslands are one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems, which should be preserved and not converted to other climate-negative land uses. The less than 20 per cent that remains is largely under the care of beef farmers and ranchers. Many of them are doing everything they can to protect the environment we all count on.
Anne Wasko Chair, CRSB; Eastend, Sask.
As a recent migrant from vegetarian to vegan, I would note three points.
It’s a mistake to say, “I could never get used to X.” Taste is surprisingly malleable. I thought giving up coffee cream would be a major sacrifice, but now I prefer the plant version.
It’s better to look at a vegan substitute as a new food rather than a meat or dairy replacement. I’m looking at you, especially, cheese shelf.
What self-concept do people want for themselves? “I love my bacon and don’t want to know what happens in slaughterhouses?” Or, “Some inconvenience is worth avoiding passive participation in the agony of innocent, sentient animals, from cattle to chickens, who merely seek to live in peace alongside humanity?”
John Goyder Oakville, Ont.
What many folks remain unaware of is that plant-based meat substitutes are delicious, particularly in dishes such as lasagna. I guarantee people won’t notice the difference!
So why not try switching from meat to a plant-based alternative when there is no sacrifice of flavour – and one can make a modest contribution to preventing environmental degradation.
Paul Thiessen Vancouver
Re Carson Block On The Stress Of Selling Short (Report on Business, May 25): Shorting is indeed essential to a properly functioning market. A more interesting story to me is why does Canada continue to ignore U.S. and EU standards for short transparency, settlement and naked shorting? Examining our Wild West approach to institutional shorts would be a true service for the retail investor.
Jordan Berger Toronto
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