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NDP leader Jagmeet Singh meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Nov. 14, 2019.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Storm watch

Re Aftermath Of Fiona’s Fury (Sept. 26): Being leader of a country that provides more billions in public financing for fossil fuels than any other G20 country entails periodically consoling citizens, whose lives are torn apart by catastrophic weather events that are intensified by global warming.

The trick, which the Prime Minister seems to excel at, is not making a connection between cause and effect.

Jack Hicks Shawnigan Lake, B.C.

World leaders

Re Putin’s Call-up Of Reservists Triggers Exodus From Russia (Sept. 23): Over a century ago, around 1905, my grandfathers left Imperial Russia owing to poverty, pogroms and forced conscription into the czar’s army.

Some things don’t change. Just a different czar.

Bernard Goldman Toronto

Re Italian Right-wing Coalition Set For Majority (Sept. 26): The party led by Giorgia Meloni, heir to the neo-fascist groups founded by Mussolini loyalists, will form the next Italian government. The Sweden Democrats, founded by neo-Nazis, will be the second-largest party in Sweden’s new parliament and the largest supporter of its new government. How could these things happen in liberal democracies like Italy and Sweden?

Blame the proportional-representation electoral system both countries use. It has fostered the establishment and growth of extremist parties.

Thanks to the first-past-the-post electoral system, no fascist has been elected to a legislature, federal or provincial, in Canada. We should keep it that way.

Canadians should avoid proportional representation like the plague.

Peter Love Toronto

To the left

Re What’s The Point Of The NDP? (Opinion, Sept. 24): Wrong question, wrong party. Voters should be asking themselves what the Liberal Party really stands for.

If the Liberals had won a majority in the 2021 election, would we have access to affordable daycare, a price on carbon and multiple initiatives on social justice, reconciliation and inclusivity? Not to mention the small gesture toward dental care.

Maybe Justin Trudeau should wear an orange tie instead of a red one.

Richard Willingham Toronto

The problem I see is not that the Liberals have moved left, but that the NDP has moved to the mushy middle.

Our country needs a party that will call out the fossil-fuel industry for its role in hastening climate change. We need a party that will hammer away at the injustices in our tax system.

I have supported the NDP for all the 56 years I have lived in Canada, but long to see it grab headlines with louder calls for wealth taxes, no more pipelines and oil to be left in the ground – the Liberals would never have the courage.

Julie Beddoes Toronto

Who approves?

Re Queen And Country (Letters, Sept. 26): A letter-writer absolves the Queen of historical maltreatment of Indigenous peoples, shifting the blame to our government. For every act passed by the Canadian government in relation to this mistreatment, wasn’t each one given royal assent?

Rob Graham Kingston

Life and death

Re B.C.’s Cancer Care Marked By Long Wait Times, Staff Shortages (Sept. 23): The first waiting time is a referral from a family doctor to a cancer centre. What about the one million B.C. citizens who do not have a family doctor?

A lifelong friend developed pancreatic cancer two years ago. There were numerous delays. He got his first “treatment” one week before he died.

The average Canadian family pays more than 40 per cent of total income on taxes. We are getting poor value for money when it comes to health care. We should demand accountability and change from elected officials at all levels.

Derryck Smith MD, Vancouver

Up, up and …

Re Tories May Support Part Of Liberal Affordability Plan After Previously Criticizing It (Sept. 22): A risk with the government’s $4.6-billion “inflation-relief” package is that it, as Pierre Poilievre describes, “pours more gasoline on the inflationary fire.”

The cost must be paid at some point, either with higher taxes today or in the future (to the extent that deficit-financing is used). Relief is provided to those who receive benefits, but only by raising the cost of living for taxpayers who finance the program.

An alternative to selective inflation relief is to cut costs. Streamlining government regulations would reduce operating costs for firms, and the savings could be passed onto consumers. Making the government more efficient, say by digitization, could reduce the cost of government services, thereby giving taxpayers a break.

Constance Smith Victoria

Re What To Watch For As Recession Risk Rises (Report on Business, Sept. 26): I believe the Bank of Canada’s plan to abate inflation by raising interest rates is a ruinous one that will temporarily slow inflation – by permanently ruining the economy.

The economy is not like a thermostat, setting to cooling or heating at one’s whim. Rather, it is a complex relationship between business and banks, and employers and employees who face immense competition from like-minded organizations. The chain once broken is difficult to reset, with bankruptcies alienating banks from businesses and employees from jobs; the cumulative effect of destroying the perilous balance of economic prosperity.

The bank’s deliberate plan feels reckless beyond comprehension.

Neil McLaughlin Burlington, Ont.

That was easy

Re Fly Away (Letters, Sept. 23): At an airport, a traveller scans their passport at a kiosk, which is integrated with ArriveCan. If all is well, it spits out a receipt, which is then handed to a customs agent. It takes as long as the agent takes to stamp a passport and say “welcome back.”

When I came across the border by car, the agent scanned our passports and only asked if we were over our duty-free limit. We offered to show our ArriveCan code. He said no, the information is right in front of him when he scans a passport. It could not have been shorter.

As for filling out ArriveCan, once an account is set up the first time, one merely fills out new travel information on subsequent trips. It takes mere minutes.

ArriveCan is not causing queues; it’s the sheer volume of people. ArriveCan caused none of that.

L.J. Ridgeway Ottawa

Silver lining

Re The Romance Of Silver (First Person, Sept. 23): My wife sold my mother’s silver service and got $1,550 for the set. The money has seen more light of day in the last week than the silver service had in the last 19 years.

Steven Brown Toronto

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