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A real estate sold sign is shown in a Toronto west-end neighbourhood in May, 2020.Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press

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Across the pond

Re Brown Endorses Quebec’s Charest To Lead Conservative Party (July 13) and Race For New British PM Is Most Diverse Ever (July 12): Now that I can watch both Conservative races in Canada and Britain, I see how utterly stupid is the approach in Canada.

At least in Britain, MPs with stakes in the outcome decide quickly and efficiently who will lead their policy agenda downstream. In Canada, the mad, maybe corrupt scramble to sell the right to a vote, to people who may or may not care about the outcome, seems needlessly out of touch with reality.

I hope the outcome in Canada is less scary than it appears right now, but I have little faith at this point.

Stuart MacPherson Innisfil, Ont.

Re Poor Patrick Brown, A Victim Once Again (Opinion, July 9): Now I know why I feel duped as a taxpayer in Mayor Patrick Brown’s city.

Marianne Orr Brampton, Ont.

On courage

Re Medical Resident Sued Over Misconduct Claim (July 9): Sophia Duong should be commended for her courage in coming forward with her allegations of sexual misconduct against Benedict Glover, a “rising star in the clinical and research worlds.”

My thanks to Dr. Duong for openly identifying herself and helping to destigmatize accounts of sexual assault.

Susan Poaps Toronto

Nuclear option

Re Will The Ukraine War Fuel Nuclear Proliferation? (Opinion, July 9): Not only does the United Nations non-proliferation treaty restrict nuclear weapons to five states that already have them, Article 6 also goes much further and obliges them “to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals,” as they formally acknowledged at the 2010 NPT review conference.

In fact, those five states have repeatedly acknowledged that obligation. In January, China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States jointly said that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” and declared their “ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Acknowledging the NPT cannot be to simply reinforce nuclear status quo among nuclear powers, adorned from time to time by pious utterances of a world without nuclear weapons. It requires demonstrable and irreversible progress toward that goal in the present.

Russia’s threats of nuclear attack in its war on Ukraine makes disarmament obligations all the more urgent.

Ernie Regehr Waterloo, Ont.

Chicken and egg

Re Blame Putin For Retreat From 2050 Net-zero Goal (Report on Business, July 9): I find net-zero a questionable goal to begin with, and the target so far into the future as to be almost worthless.

A review by Climate Action Tracker found that a majority of countries’ net-zero policies are inadequate. Canada has missed every climate goal since 1992. We are nowhere near being on track.

The war between Russia and Ukraine is more likely being secretly hailed by Western allies and the oil and gas sector. If anything, it has highlighted just how deficient current policy is in turning this energy-guzzling ship around, providing a way to justify a business-as-usual approach.

How convenient.

Cheryl Shour MSc, environmental economics; Toronto

A reminder

Re Pariah No More (Opinion, July 9): Contributor Dennis Horak, the former Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, puts forth the case that the country should no longer be considered a pariah state. On the contrary, let us be reminded that Saudi Arabia continues to be a repressive regime and remains near the top of the list of countries with the worst human rights records.

Saudi Arabia continues to imprison, torture and execute dissidents. It continues to be complicit in the civil war in Yemen. Let us not forget that, less than four years ago, it sanctioned the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Allowing women to drive doesn’t show me that Saudi Arabia is any less a pariah.

Michael Gilman Toronto

Crises collide

Re Cash Won’t End The Family Doctor Shortage (July 12): Ontario family doctors, for many years, have been able to work in the kind of blended salary and fee-for-service model for which columnist André Picard advocates.

When my wife and I started our family practices a few years ago, medical graduates enthusiastically chose family medicine in Ontario because we could provide good quality care while maintaining a positive work-life balance. What has changed since then? I believe the most important reason why current graduates eschew family medicine is the exorbitant cost of housing.

My wife and I could never dream of practising family medicine and raising a family if we had to buy our house in 2022 instead of 2010. Our collective failure to respond to the housing crisis is having all kinds of spillover negative effects.

Eric Stutz MD, Toronto

Re The Missing Voices In The Housing Crisis (Opinion, July 9): Densifying urban areas is important and necessary, as are representational voices. Vocal higher-end property owners need not be an issue if basic guiding principles and rules are developed and followed.

In-filling and refurbishing could take the place of some demolitions and megatowers. Innovative public transit could usurp vehicle-centric thinking. Mandatory green space and rigid environmental codes could make safe spaces for all. Affordability can happen only when provinces and cities co-operate and contribute appropriate funding.

The loudest voices of the well-heeled need not ever carry the day, even if they are the only ones to show up at public meetings.

Peggy Smith Halifax


Re Will Golf Make Good On Its Pandemic Mulligan? (Opinion, July 9): One critical point on how to grow golf: the speed of play.

Golf is a game where each player affects the speed for everyone playing with or behind them. No one, especially young people, wants to spend six hours playing a round of golf. Four hours should be ample time to complete 18 holes.

To make this happen, I suggest two things: golf courses require every player to have attended training on etiquette, speed of play and course maintenance. Golf Canada should lead this initiative.

Then reduce the prevalence of golf carts. The game was made to be walked and carts do not speed up play. Developers should refrain from building courses only mountain goats can walk, and cart rentals should be an option that attracts extra fees.

Look to Scotland.

Mark Roberts Gananoque, Ont.

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